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What Does A Tow Truck Driver Do?

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.

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.
  • Drive rollback tow truck, load and unload cars, secure cars on truck bed, operate hydraulic, maintain truck
  • Work with law enforcement during emergency situations that include rollovers and multiple automobile accidents.
  • 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.
  • Reconcile register, run sales reports, and close the facility.
Tow Truck Driver Traits
Hand-eye coordination
Hand-eye coordination describes being skilled in using your hands when it comes to physical activity.
Physical health refers to the condition that one's body is in.
Communication skills shows that you are able to relay your thoughts, opinions and ideas clearly to those around you.

Tow Truck Driver Overview

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.

Tow truck drivers average about $17.03 an hour, which makes the tow truck driver annual salary $35,425. Additionally, tow truck drivers are known to earn anywhere from $29,000 to $43,000 a year. This means that the top-earning tow truck drivers make $14,000 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

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, Physical health, and Communication skills.

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%

    Licensed CDL B driver operating a tow truck to pick up disabled vehicles.

  • Customer Service, 14%

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

  • AAA, 8%

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

  • Fuel Delivery, 5%

    Provide minor vehicle repair (fuel delivery, battery change/ battery charger, lock out, and flat repair).

  • Tire Pressure, 5%

    Performed services such as gas deliveries, jump- starts, tire changes, wheel- lift tows, and flat bed tows.

"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:

  • The most important skills for a tow truck driver to have in this position are hand-eye coordination. In this excerpt that we gathered from a tow truck driver resume, you'll understand why: "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." According to resumes we found, hand-eye coordination can be used by a tow truck driver in order to "answer police calls and assist with accident scene coordination.- provide customer service and vendor relations. "
  • Another trait important for fulfilling tow truck driver duties is physical health. According to 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." Here's an example of how tow truck drivers are able to utilize physical health: "clean driving record, dot ability to perform physically demanding work. "
  • 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.

    Once you've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you might start applying to companies to become a tow truck driver. We've found that most tow truck driver resumes include experience from Copart, Aramark, and LKQ. Of recent, Copart had 23 positions open for tow truck drivers. Meanwhile, there are 5 job openings at Aramark and 5 at LKQ.

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

    If you earned a degree from the top 100 educational institutions in the United States, you might want to take a look at Knight Transportation, Schneider National, and Werner Enterprises. These three companies have hired a significant number of tow truck drivers from these institutions.

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

      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 $18,217 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, safe operation, and emergency 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," "aaa," and "fuel delivery." Whereas a cdl driver requires skills like "dot," "cdl-a," "otr," and "hazmat." Just by understanding these different skills you can see how different these careers are.

      The education levels that cdl drivers earn is a bit different than that of tow truck drivers. In particular, cdl drivers are 0.2% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a tow truck driver. Additionally, they're 0.2% more 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 $2,186 lower than the salary of tow truck drivers per year.

      A similarity between the two careers of tow truck drivers and van drivers are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "cdl," "customer service," and "tire pressure. "

      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," "aaa," "fuel delivery," and "unload vehicles." Meanwhile, a van driver might be skilled in areas such as "otr," "vehicle inspections," "company policies," and "cpr." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

      When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, van drivers tend to reach similar levels of education than tow truck drivers. In fact, they're 2.2% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.2% 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.

      The driver profession generally makes a lower amount of money when compared to the average salary of tow truck drivers. The difference in salaries is drivers making $7,185 lower than tow truck drivers.

      By looking over several tow truck drivers and drivers resumes, we found that both roles utilize similar skills, such as "cdl," "customer service," and "tire pressure." But beyond that the careers look very different.

      As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from tow truck drivers resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "transport vehicles," "aaa," "fuel delivery," and "unload vehicles." But a driver might have skills like "safety rules," "weather conditions," "dot," and "customer orders."

      Drivers are known to earn similar educational levels when compared to tow truck drivers. Additionally, they're 0.9% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.3% 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.

      Mixer drivers tend to earn a lower pay than tow truck drivers by about $4,183 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 "safe operation. "

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

      In general, mixer drivers reach similar levels of education when compared to tow truck drivers resumes. Mixer drivers are 0.3% less likely to earn their Master's Degree and 0.3% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.