If you think that you’re mechanically inclined enough to start up a tow truck business, think again. While towing vehicles are usually straightforward, extracting a car from a tight place or hooking a damaged car up to a tow truck can be challenging. Thus, because of the demand of the job itself and the business as a whole, you have to comply with the requirements on a national and state level. Here is a checklist of all the things that you need before you start a tow truck business.

DMV Compliance Checklist

Man driving a truck

The US Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has issued a list of requirements that tow truck business owners must comply with. DMV requires the following:

Your business should provide regularly maintained vehicles and create a regular maintenance program. Vehicles should have the proper equipment and parts, including tow truck lights, spare tires, repair tools, and the like. They should also indicate their respective DOT numbers.

Before use, all vehicles must be inspected before leaving the truck garage. The same is done as soon as a truck arrives. This should be documented. In case of an accident, all incidences should be logged in a register, too.

All drivers should have updated qualifications and safety performance history records. You should also have a record of their hours of service. At the same time, they should all be familiar with federal regulations code.

DOT Compliance Checklist

The US Department of Transportation has issued a checklist of requirements as well, including the following:

Make sure that all your drivers have copies of the DOT policies and the current Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules. You should also have them in your office or place of business. Plus, each driver must sign the policies, indicating their compliance with what’s written in the documents.

In case a driver violates the policies and rules, immediate removal is expected. Your supervisors should be aware of this. All driver supervisors are required to complete any training program required by the DOT.

Drunk driving

DOT has also enforced its rules regarding drug and alcohol abuse. In summary, their rules include:

All drivers are required to take a drug test. However, you should inform them beforehand that such an analysis is expected of them before they can be hired for their job. After the test, results should be kept on file. If the test is not yet available, a driver is not allowed to do safety-sensitive tasks.

Along with the drug test, drivers are required to provide information about their previous employer and that as an owner, you should contact them to check on your driver’s background. Anything you learn about your driver should be kept on file as well.

Random drug and alcohol tests are also required for your drivers. DOT requires owners to a random drug test at least 50% of their drivers once a year, while only 10% for alcohol abuse test. But remember, they should be informed that a random check will be done. Whoever is found positive should be referred to an approved substance abuse program.

If you want to start a successful tow truck business, make sure that all the points in the DOT and DMV compliance checklists are covered. This is for your safety, as well as your employees’.