Garages - Road Service

On this page

When providing road side service, what should I remember about traffic control?

Back to top
  • Survey the area for any hazardous conditions especially where other cars may be driving nearby (e.g., merging lanes, intersections, on-coming traffic, etc.).
  • Use ample warning lights or pylons around the pick-up area.
  • Wear high visibility personal protective clothing, especially in low-light or dark conditions.
  • Wear protective footwear.

When providing road side service, what should I remember about supplying fuel?

Back to top
  • Label containers as required by regulations.
  • Carry fuel in a labelled, approved portable container fitted with a tight cap and a pouring spout.
  • Maintain contact between the container and the filler opening when refueling a vehicle.
  • Use separate containers for handling gasoline and diesel fuels.

What should I know about towing another vehicle?

Back to top
  • Check the type of transmission on the vehicle and follow the manufacturer's instructions for towing front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicles.
  • Tow rather than push a vehicle whenever possible.
  • Avoid use of flares in case of fuel leaks.
  • Turn on disabled vehicle flashers and, if available, place the tow extension stop/turn signals on a visible place on the vehicle being towed.
  • Outfit service trucks with emergency equipment, warning signal devices, and wheel chocks.
  • Equip service trucks with a properly rated fire extinguisher.
  • Post the maximum hoisting capacity of towing unit on the winch mast. Do not remove or paint over information on the manufacturer's data plate.
  • Leave at least three wraps of the cable on the winch.
  • Operate hoist controls away from the winch drum, travelling cables, and sheaves. Keep bystanders away.
  • Make sure wheel lifts extend far enough to have clearance when turning.
  • Be aware of electrical powerlines when the boom is extended.
  • After a vehicle is rigged, do a double-check. Make sure all cables or connections are secure before driving.
  • Make sure any locking pins are properly engaged.
  • Wear sturdy gloves to prevent cuts from cables and sharp objects.
  • Do not straddle the tow cable.
  • Do not work under a vehicle suspended by a tow truck. Place jack stands or blocking under the frame.
  • Do not exceed the towing capacity of the truck, or exceed the limits of the cables, chains, tow bars, etc.

What are some items to inspect on the tow vehicle?

Back to top

Inspect weekly:

  • control mechanisms for poor adjustment or excessive wear
  • safety devices for poor adjustment and proper operation
  • hooks for cracks or excessive deformation

Inspect monthly:

  • structural parts for deformities, cracks, or corrosion
  • sheaves and drums for cracks or wear
  • pins, bearings, shafts, gears, and locking devices for cracks or distortion
  • cables for excessive wear, corrosion, broken strands, severe kinking and improperly applied, cracked, or corroded cable connections

What are some safety tips for priming a carburetor?

Back to top
While uncommon in most vehicles, if priming a carburetor, ALWAYS:
  • Wear protective gloves, long sleeves, long pants, and eyewear.
  • Pour a small amount of fuel or starter liquid into the carburetor air intake with the engine stopped. (Use a small container that holds around 2 oz. or 60 mL - do not use a regular size fuel container.) Replace the air cleaner and lower the hood.
  • Do not spill gasoline on hot engine parts.
  • Have a fire extinguisher (Class B for flammable liquids) handy in case there is a fire.
  • Stand back while the engine is being started to avoid risk of burns. Repeat procedure if necessary.
  • Do not try to start a stalled vehicle while pouring the fuel into the carburetor. This action may cause a flashback and ignite the fuel in the container.

Refer to OSH Answers Garages - Tire Precautions for information on changing tires, and Garages - Batteries for information on charging and boosting batteries.

  • Fact sheet last revised: 2016-10-03