Creating A Happier Automotive Environment

What You Need To Know If Your Semi Truck Needs To Be Towed

by Katrina Morgan

For truck drivers, having a semi break down on the road can be frustrating and costly. Either you need to get your load delivered on time, or you need to make it back to your base of operations to pick up another load. In both cases, you'll need to know what to do when your truck needs a tow. Here are a few things to keep in mind if your semi ever breaks down.

Contact Your Dispatcher

You'll want to notify your trucking company that your rig is not in working condition. In some cases, your dispatcher may be able to contact a towing company for you and provide additional information about what to do if you have a full load in your trailer. If your dispatcher isn't able to do this for you, you'll need to contact the towing company on your own. Let the tow truck driver know the weight of your load if you need the trailer towed, and let him or her know what type of hitch you have. This will help to ensure the driver comes out with the proper gear to move your truck.

Set Up Warning Equipment

Keeping you, your  truck, and other drivers safe is important when your truck breaks down. Even if you are pulled over onto the shoulder, you should set up warning equipment to let other motorists know that your truck is disabled. This might include hazard warning triangles around the truck, or in severe winter weather, it might involve setting up road flares. If your engine can still be engaged, be sure that you also have your hazard lights on. You may even find that fellow truck drivers will stop to offer assistance if they see that you have a disabled truck.

Stay In The Cab

Staying in the cab can help you to stay safe while you wait for a tow. Standing on the side of the road, particularly if you are on a busy freeway or highway, can be dangerous. As long as it is safe for you to do so, remain in the cab. During the winter months, you can run your engine every hour or so to keep the cab warm. It's also a good idea to keep hand warmers, blankets, and extra coats in your cab just in case you do break down in an area that experiences sever cold or snowy conditions. Staying in the cab also means you have easy access to your radio so you can stay in contact with your dispatcher and other trucks on the road.

Remain calm and wait for help to arrive. When the tow truck arrives, you can discuss possible repairs as you head with the driver to the local body shop.