Typically working upon the directives of dispatchers, a tow truck driver is in charge of driving to areas where a vehicle accident or breakdown took place, connecting the vehicle to the tow truck, and transporting them to repair stations or particular places. Their responsibilities include communicating with clients to identify their needs, answering inquiries, providing assistance by performing minor repairs, changing tires or jump-starting cars, and recommending solutions when necessary. Furthermore, as a tow truck driver, it is essential to perform regular maintenance checks on towing trucks for a safe and efficient service.

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Tow Truck Driver Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real tow truck driver resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage and expedite the secure transportation and accountability of logistic materials and HAZMAT chemicals to commercial, state and government facilities.
  • Operate tow truck and equipment (dollies, go jacks).
  • Drive rollback tow truck, load and unload cars, secure cars on truck bed, operate hydraulic, maintain truck
  • Right eye injury and ineligibility for CDL )
  • Job require current CDL with clean driving record.
  • Maintain contracts with several companies as well as CHP work.
  • Read maps, GPS and follow written and verbal geographic directions.
  • Maintain the vehicle in proper working condition as per CHP regulations.
  • Drive and operate towing trucks, wheel lift wrecker and rollback.
  • Load and secure heavy transport vehicles with cranes and relate equipment.
  • Maintain heavy transport trucks, trailers, cranes, forklifts, and lighter duty vehicles.
  • Operate all kinds of tow trucks and wreckers from light duty and self loaders to heavy duty
  • Prepare various vehicles for painting by cleaning, patching surfaces and applying primers and base coats.
  • Perform roadside assistance including tire changing, fuel deliveries, battery charging and changes, lockouts.
  • Provide quality customer by transporting customers, vehicle lock-outs, battery jump starts, and tire changes.

Tow Truck Driver Job Description

When it comes to understanding what a tow truck driver does, you may be wondering, "should I become a tow truck driver?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, tow truck drivers have a growth rate described as "as fast as average" at 5% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of tow truck driver opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is 99,700.

A tow truck driver annual salary averages $38,555, which breaks down to $18.54 an hour. However, tow truck drivers can earn anywhere from upwards of $29,000 to $50,000 a year. This means that the top-earning tow truck drivers make $32,000 more than the lowest-earning ones.

Once you've become a tow truck driver, you may be curious about what other opportunities are out there. Careers aren't one size fits all. For that reason, we discovered some other jobs that you may find appealing. Some jobs you might find interesting include a cdl driver, van driver, driver, and mixer driver.

Tow Truck Driver Jobs You Might Like

12 Tow Truck Driver Resume Examples

Tow Truck Driver Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 22% of Tow Truck Drivers are proficient in Transport Vehicles, CDL, and Customer Service. They’re also known for soft skills such as Hand-eye coordination, Hearing ability, and Physical health.

We break down the percentage of Tow Truck Drivers that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Transport Vehicles, 22%

    Tow vehicles, drive a variety of roll bed tow trucks, perform lock outs, safely transport vehicles.

  • CDL, 17%

    Light, medium, and heavy duty trucks and also semi tractor trailer with a class a CDL.

  • Customer Service, 14%

    Provide excellent customer service *Transporting vehicles from dealerships *Transporting private vehicles *Vehicle Recovery *Impounding of vehicles for local Police Departments

  • Loaders, 10%

    Required to drive Tow Truck/Flatbed and heavy equipment such as front end loaders.

  • AAA, 8%

    Owned and operated towing business - ran police calls, road side assistance calls (AAA), and private calls.

  • Fuel Delivery, 5%

    Responded to and resolved roadside assistance calls (lock outs, fuel delivery, tire changes, battery problems).

"transport vehicles," "cdl," and "customer service" aren't the only skills we found tow truck drivers list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of tow truck driver responsibilities that we found, including:

  • Hand-eye coordination can be considered to be the most important personality trait for a tow truck driver to have. According to a tow truck driver resume, "drivers of heavy trucks and tractor-trailers must be able to coordinate their legs, hands, and eyes simultaneously so that they will react appropriately to the situation around them and drive the vehicle safely." Tow truck drivers are able to use hand-eye coordination in the following example we gathered from a resume: "answer police calls and assist with accident scene coordination.- provide customer service and vendor relations. "
  • Another commonly found skill for being able to perform tow truck driver duties is the following: hearing ability. According to a tow truck driver resume, "truck drivers need good hearing." Check out this example of how tow truck drivers use hearing ability: "transport and deliver customer goods while adhearing to strict deadlines and safety regulations for professional drivers. "
  • Tow truck drivers are also known for physical health, which can be critical when it comes to performing their duties. An example of why this skill is important is shown by this snippet that we found in a tow truck driver resume: "federal regulations do not allow people to become truck drivers if they have a medical condition, such as high blood pressure or epilepsy, which may interfere with their ability to operate a truck" We also found this resume example that details how this skill is put to the test: "dot physical certification as of 8/16/2016 until 8/16/2018"
  • See the full list of tow truck driver skills.

    The tow truck drivers who went onto college to earn a more in-depth education generally studied automotive technology and business, while a small population of tow truck drivers studied general studies and criminal justice.

    When you're ready to become a tow truck driver, you might wonder which companies hire tow truck drivers. According to our research through tow truck driver resumes, tow truck drivers are mostly hired by AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah, North Central Group, and TRU TECH Systems. Now is a good time to apply as AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah has 2 tow truck drivers job openings, and there are 2 at North Central Group and 2 at TRU TECH Systems.

    If you're interested in companies where tow truck drivers make the most money, you'll want to apply for positions at City of Detroit, T N T Auto Co, and Elite Service. We found that at City of Detroit, the average tow truck driver salary is $43,974. Whereas at T N T Auto Co, tow truck drivers earn roughly $42,194. And at Elite Service, they make an average salary of $42,194.

    View more details on tow truck driver salaries across the United States.

    We also looked into companies who hire tow truck drivers from the top 100 educational institutions in the U.S. The top three companies that hire the most from these institutions include Knight Transportation, Werner Enterprises, and United States Army Corps of Engineers.

    For the most part, tow truck drivers make their living in the transportation and automotive industries. Tow truck drivers tend to make the most in the transportation industry with an average salary of $39,670. The tow truck driver annual salary in the automotive and government industries generally make $38,270 and $37,461 respectively. Additionally, tow truck drivers who work in the transportation industry make 55.6% more than tow truck drivers in the retail Industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious tow truck drivers are:

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    What CDL Drivers Do

    A CDL driver is responsible for the transportation of goods from the manufacturing warehouse to specific store locations. CDL drivers' duties include inspecting the items before and after the delivery to ensure that the orders are correct with the right quantity, providing proof of delivery from the receiving customers, following the delivery schedule and report any delays immediately, monitoring the vehicle's engine for efficiency, and escalating concerns of incorrect deliveries and defective items. A CDL driver must have excellent time-management and multi-tasking skills, following safety procedures and road rules at all times.

    In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take cdl driver for example. On average, the cdl drivers annual salary is $24,557 higher than what tow truck drivers make on average every year.

    Even though tow truck drivers and cdl drivers have vast differences in their careers, a few of the skills required to do both jobs are similar. For example, both careers require customer service, emergency equipment, and gps in the day-to-day roles.

    These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. A tow truck driver responsibility is more likely to require skills like "transport vehicles," "cdl," "loaders," and "aaa." Whereas a cdl driver requires skills like "dot," "cdl-a," "otr," and "pet." Just by understanding these different skills you can see how different these careers are.

    Cdl drivers tend to make the most money in the retail industry by averaging a salary of $63,457. In contrast, tow truck drivers make the biggest average salary of $39,670 in the transportation industry.

    The education levels that cdl drivers earn is a bit different than that of tow truck drivers. In particular, cdl drivers are 0.7% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a tow truck driver. Additionally, they're 0.0% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Van Driver?

    A van driver is responsible for operating a wide and a larger-sized vehicle than a regular car, usually used as a company shuttle to pick up and drop employees to designated areas. Van drivers should have a clean driving record, ensuring the safety and comfortability of the passengers while on the road. They should also be familiar with the location, considering alternative routes for any road complications to avoid delays. A van driver must have comprehensive knowledge of the mechanical industry, inspecting the engine's condition, and perform repairs as necessary.

    Next up, we have the van driver profession to look over. This career brings along a lower average salary when compared to a tow truck driver annual salary. In fact, van drivers salary difference is $2,301 lower than the salary of tow truck drivers per year.

    While the salary may be different for these job positions, there is one similarity and that's a few of the skills needed to perform certain duties. We used info from lots of resumes to find that both tow truck drivers and van drivers are known to have skills such as "cdl," "customer service," and "gps. "

    In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, tow truck driver responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "transport vehicles," "loaders," "aaa," and "fuel delivery." Meanwhile, a van driver might be skilled in areas such as "otr," "vehicle inspections," "patients," and "pet." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

    It's been discovered that van drivers earn lower salaries compared to tow truck drivers, but we wanted to find out where van drivers earned the most pay. The answer? The transportation industry. The average salary in the industry is $37,113. Additionally, tow truck drivers earn the highest paychecks in the transportation with an average salary of $39,670.

    In general, van drivers study at similar levels of education than tow truck drivers. They're 1.5% more likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 0.0% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Driver Compares

    Drivers are responsible for safely transporting people, packages, or goods from one destination to another. They should be familiar with the different routes that may be taken to reach the desired goal. They should be expert navigators and may use navigation apps to help them along the way. They should also be familiar with the basic mechanics of the vehicle they are using and the proper maintenance and cleaning needed to ensure that the car is running well. Drivers are expected to have excellent customer relation skills, a strong sense of direction, and superb organizations.

    Let's now take a look at the driver profession. On average, these workers make lower salaries than tow truck drivers with a $3,784 difference per year.

    While looking through the resumes of several tow truck drivers and drivers we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "cdl," "customer service," and "emergency equipment," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

    Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from tow truck driver resumes include skills like "transport vehicles," "loaders," "aaa," and "fuel delivery," whereas a driver might be skilled in "math," "basic math," "safety rules," and "cleanliness. "

    Additionally, drivers earn a higher salary in the manufacturing industry compared to other industries. In this industry, they receive an average salary of $39,688. Additionally, tow truck drivers earn an average salary of $39,670 in the transportation industry.

    Drivers typically study at similar levels compared with tow truck drivers. For example, they're 0.6% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.1% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Mixer Driver

    A mixer driver is responsible for operating mixer trucks to deliver construction materials and concrete mixtures to construction and industrial site. Mixer drivers must inspect the condition of the truck's engine before and after operations to ensure its stability and performance that would prevent operational delays and avoid potential hazards. They should also dispense the mixtures properly and clean spills after delivery. A mixer driver must have excellent organizational skills to control the truck safely and ensure that the correct materials are delivered.

    The fourth career we look at typically earns higher pay than tow truck drivers. On average, mixer drivers earn a difference of $13,449 higher per year.

    While their salaries may vary, tow truck drivers and mixer drivers both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "cdl," "customer service," and "emergency equipment. "

    Each job requires different skills like "transport vehicles," "loaders," "aaa," and "fuel delivery," which might show up on a tow truck driver resume. Whereas mixer driver might include skills like "dot," "post-trip inspections," "ladders," and "asphalt."

    Mixer drivers earn a higher salary in the construction industry with an average of $51,169. Whereas, tow truck drivers earn the highest salary in the transportation industry.

    In general, mixer drivers reach similar levels of education when compared to tow truck drivers resumes. Mixer drivers are 0.2% less likely to earn their Master's Degree and 0.1% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.