Heavy Duty Towing – State Requirements On Becoming A Tow Truck Driver


Towing companies play an important role in the community. When your automobile breaks down and cannot seem to do anything about it yourself, your natural response is to contact a towing company. While towing companies generally provide towing services, not all of them are similar. There are towing companies that do extremely well at providing roadside assistance, some on light duty towing, and others on heavy duty towing.

Heavy Duty Towing – A Leading Towing And Recovery Service Provider

Take Heavy Duty Towing as an example. The heavy duty towing service provider serves the San Jose, Bay Area as well as the surrounding cities by providing round the clock heavy duty towing, recovery services and roadside assistance. With the company’s broad collection of equipment, tow trucks, as well as heavy duty wreckers, they are able to efficiently and safely tow any kind of vehicle no matter the size and the circumstance.

One of the reasons why Heavy Duty Towing is one of the best towing and recovery providers is not only because of the equipment and trucks that they have, but also because they make sure that their drivers who handle and operate them are licensed and well trained, which is required by the different states.

On Being A Tow Truck Driver

When it comes to being a tow truck driver, there are some requirements and criteria that one need to meet apart from having a professional driver’s license and the patience and skills needed to competently handle a tow truck. Regulations for tow truck drivers would differ in every state, however most would necessitate them to pass a succession of tests and programs for licensing prior to becoming qualified to operate a tow truck.

People who are interested in driving and operating a tow truck must have an unsoiled driving record as well as have an excellent interpersonal skill, in addition to being able to work in extremely flexible schedule. For age requirement, drivers need to be at least 18 years old and must pass a vision test, physical ability exam and a drug test. Several employers also do background checks for any criminal records.

Appropriate Licensing

It is required by the federal law that tow truck drivers are holders of a commercial license prior to towing over 26,000 pounds (11,790 kg). Several states also necessitate professional tow truck drivers to acquire a commercial license no matter the kind of tow truck they intend to drive and operate or the amount of weight they intend to haul. In order for them to obtain a commercial license, they will have to attend in-person training, pass a written test and a practical driver’s exam.

Proper Certifications

In terms of towing certification, state regulations would vary whether tow truck drivers need a specific one. However, most states would require drivers to obtain a certain certification so that they can be employed. If drivers previously have a practical experience in towing or handling a tow truck, they could work at obtaining a certification from the Towing and Recovery Association of America. The training, which could be taken in-person or online, comes in three levels:

  • Level 1 – Light-duty certification would entail drivers to meet every driving requirements specified by the state as well as have no less than 90 days experience of operating a tow truck in the previous five years. This 100-question certification test is usually conducted at tow shows as well as at community colleges. Passers will get their certificates through fax within a number of days after taking the exam.
  • Level 2 – To get a midlevel certification, drivers need at least a year of work experience as a medium duty or heavy duty tow truck driver and a recovery operator, must hold a commercial license, requirements specified by the state and a level 1 certification. Drivers need to pass a written test to assess their fundamental theoretical knowledge as well as an oral test to evaluate how drivers handle actual situations.
  • Level 3 – In order for drivers to get a heavy duty certification, they should have a commercial driver’s license together with an endorsement, at least 2 years professional work experience operating a tow truck, and a level 2 certification. Moreover, they also need to pass a test that includes a written portion assessing their theoretical knowledge as well as an oral segment evaluating how they will handle real-life scenarios.