National training course comes to New River Valley
Drivers traveling down North Main Street in Blacksburg on Sunday likely looked twice as they passed a school bus lying on its side at Campus Automotive.
The bus was placed on its side for good reason.
It was part of a training exercise for wrecker companies hosted by Campus Auto.
Wrecker operators from Virginia and North Carolina spent the weekend at the auto repair shop to learn more about recovering a vehicle using a single traffic lane to allow for traffic to continue moving.
The weekend training was provided by WreckMaster, a national training company that travels across the country offering professional wrecker operators training to make the work more efficient and safer.
Campus Auto general manager Johnnie Self said he’s been sending his wrecker operators to such training courses for years because he wants them to be certified.
But the closest WreckMaster training courses happen in Roanoke.
“This year, we thought it would be good for the local companies in the NRV to be able to take advantage of the
WreckMaster training,” Self said. “For us, the training gave us a chance to share with others how we work as a tow company.”
Self said 18 wrecker operators attended the weekend course. Operators from Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Wytheville, Lynchburg and Durham, N.C., were on hand to recover the school bus.
Christiansburg’s Total Car Care lead tow truck operator Link Sheppard has been working as a tow truck operator for more than 25 years and said that even he learned something during the 16-hour class.
“You don’t want to see anything roll over, especially a school bus,” Sheppard said. “The course taught us to handle the situation more effectively and efficiently; we looked at the picture from a new angle.”
Sheppard said bringing local companies together allows everyone to work together, be on the same page and know what to do in the event that multiple companies work an accident together.
WreckMaster training courses cost $445 per person and are often a great way to build trust, relationships through networking and confidence for each operator, Self said.
At the Blacksburg session, operators were taught to mathematically calculate the ability of their own equipment to ensure the truck could handle the given recovery.
Self’s shop is no stranger to training courses.
Campus Automotive is one of American Towman Standards Authority’s fewer than 50 five-star rated companies in the United States. In fact, it is the only five-star company in Virginia, Self said.
In order to receive the five-star rating, Self said, Campus Automotive underwent an accreditation process that included 23 different standards, from uniform and truck fleet requirements to automating dispatching.
Self hopes he can continue to bring training to local companies in the NRV in the future.
“The training is definitely something we’d like to do each year,” Self said. “We’d like to see even more local participation and maybe even involve law enforcement and other first responders in training.”
The Roanoke Times | 381-8627
No Comments »
No comments yet.