Attention Wrecker Operators – REMINDER

As a reminder, operators of wreckers are required to possess proper class license and all applicable CDL endorsements when towing vehicles that require an endorsement, such as tank or hazmat. The only endorsements that are not applicable are passenger and school bus.

There has been some recent confusion, because of the regulation which allows for a first time, emergency move from a breakdown or crash to the nearest appropriate repair facility to be done without the requirement for the wrecker operator to have the applicable endorsement. Once that first emergency move is over, all applicable endorsements apply.

As a recent example, a wrecker was called to remove a disabled peddle truck from the highway. This first, emergency move was accomplished by a CDL driver without an endorsement for tank or hazmat and was within regulation and law. The towing company was then asked to move the vehicle on a second occasion, from the towing company to the owner’s terminal for decommissioning. This second move necessitated the requirement for the wrecker operator to possess a hazmat and tank endorsement since the peddle truck was not cleaned and purged. Because the operator did not possess a CDL with the proper endorsements, the move resulted in a violation.

The following is a link to the FMCSA website for guidance: