Federal Safety Requirements for Tow Truck Drivers

Towing is a challenging task and includes various risks. The chances of a tow operator being struck by oncoming traffic or getting into an accident are significantly higher than your average driver. Ignoring tow truck safety protocols may result in serious injury or even death. Therefore, if you’re in the towing industry, it’s essential to follow the federal safety requirements.

Fortunately, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released proper safety measures that will keep your truck drivers safe.

Safety Requirements for Tow Truck Drivers

OSHA is an agency regulated by the federal government. They require employers to provide safe and healthy work environments for their employees.

OSHA has laid out rules and regulations that help tow operators remain safe while on the job. Besides OSHA, the Department of Transportation puts laws in place that protect the safety and health of commercial vehicle drivers.

Safety Equipment for Tow Truck Drivers

The equipment for tow truck operators should prioritize functionality and visibility. Every tow truck driver should properly prepare in advance in order to limit their time in dangerous situations. Therefore, drivers need to keep the proper tools and protective gear on them at all times. It’s also crucial they make sure their towing equipment is fully functionable and working properly before heading out.

Personal Protective Equipment

Protective equipment should be functional and comfortable. Most importantly, their gear needs to be visible to other drivers. When we say this we’re referring to clothing that’s reflective and bright. This will improve the safety of tow operators during the early morning and late at night.

Here’s a list of the most important personal protective equipment:

  • Reflective headwear
  • Reflective safety vests (they should use neon yellow, orange, or green vests)
  • Proper footwear
  • Eye protection
  • Gloves

Tow Truck Driver Safety Tips

Here’s some of the top safety tips for tow truck drivers:

  • Create a safety zone to remain in while loading and unloading the towed vehicle.
  • Turn on your hazard lights while loading.
  • Use your truck as a protective barrier from you and oncoming traffic.
  • Never tow a vehicle that’s larger than your towing capacity.
  • Regularly check your towing equipment to make sure it’s up to safety standards and works properly.


Using safety equipment and following proper protocol is a must in the tow truck industry. Following the safety tips mentioned in this piece can help you or your drivers steer clear from various work related dangers.


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