Most of my tow truck driving career took place at a company that had an impound yard under an interstate freeway.  We had no running water.  For a long time we had a bucket and a bar of soap outside the office trailer.  Someone would go across the street to the cab company to fill up the bucket with fresh water every other day or so.  The bucket went away when we got 2 things: the "waterless" hand cleanser in the plastic outhouse, and a water cooler in the office.  Now, the water cooler shouldn't have anything to do with a change in hand-washing routine, but it did, because we all used the water cooler to wash our hands. You know, just run a little into your palm and rub your hands together to spread the germs around.  This led to 2 other things: rotten carpet in front of the water cooler, and a bacterial experiment in the overflow basin of the water cooler.  That little basin was like a primordial cesspool.  The water in there was an unnatural "color," and it smelled baaaaaaaaad.  Every once in awhile, someone would dump it out the window, but rarely did it get cleaned or wiped out, so the active ingredients kept a foothold.  I'm fairly certain that a few new species developed in that basin, and probably in the carpet below.

Working under the bridge had its benefits.  For one, it was dry mostly.  And the lot was paved.  And relatively flat.  Not completely flat, though. One afternoon I showed up for work, and my assigned truck was not there (a point of major irritation, I will tell you).  One of the day shift drivers had hooked up to a Subaru to retow it, and a police tow came in, so he left the car on his truck and took my truck.  I waited impatiently for him to return, and in meantime, ANOTHER police tow came in, so I had to unhook the car from his truck and take it.  Do you see the irony there?  If he would have done that, I wouldn't have had to do the extra work, and I wouldn't have had to drive
his truck, which was probably vastly inferior to mine.  And that's not all.

Because the Subaru on the back of his truck was locked up, because he had it lifted from the front (the drive wheels), and because it
had been parked in the center of the lot in a row without any curbs around it for a couple of days, I assumed that it was in park or in gear.  I
was also in a hurry to get to the police call.  I was also driving an Eagle, which works great for fast hookups, and fast UN-hookups.  So I merrily went on my way.  When I returned with the police tow, the front passenger-side fender of the Subaru was tucked neatly under the side of a long flatbed trailer parked next to it, with a nice long crease.  The Subaru's front wheels had been turned to the right, which promoted free rolling in the very slight downhill incline of the lot from west-to-east.  When it was parked in the center row of the lot, it had been parked so that the wheels were headed southeast, which apparently kept it from rolling away.  Which just goes to show you: never park the car in neutral in such a way as to let it be subject to any inclines.

Of course, you can block the tires or unlock it to put it in gear, but that requires getting out of the truck.

By the way, I am not certified in anything, so nothing I write in this blog can be legally construed as professional advice.  And it shouldn't.  I'm advising you of that.

Have a safe and profitable week.

Nick Kemper

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