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ID:	87867 I have spent thousands of hours behind the wheel of a wrecker in my career as a repoman, as well as when I was the owner of an auto repossession business. When I was an owner, I was a working owner and I still jumped into a wrecker and picked up collateral, as well as did ride alongs with my repo agents. As a driver, I was never in a major accident (or minor one that I can remember) in all those years, but there were some real close calls where I could have wound up in the morgue. I can remember riding with another agent I worked with where we both could have died. We were out in the country and there was snow on the ground, but the roads had been cleared. Although he was not speeding, he was traveling at a pretty fast pace and, as he came over a hill, we hit some black ice. The truck begin to spin at a fast pace and I had the “life passing before my eyes” experience. My partner never gained control of the wrecker and as we skidded off into a field we missed several telephone poles, trees and fence posts. Fortunately, neither of us were hurt and the truck did not have any damage. How could this have been avoided?

Over 20 years ago, I had the opportunity to take an EVOC (Emergency Vehicle Operations Course) and what I learned there stuck with me. Always be prepared for an accident and you’re less likely to have one. The course taught me to not only keep my eyes on the road just in front of me, but as far down the road as I could see. It taught me to look through the rear window and on through the front window of the car in front of me, watching all along for potential dangers. It taught me to always stay active by scanning in front of me and to the sides, and to use my mirrors to monitor the rear.

There are several things that could cause a repossessor to have a crash. One would be outside distractions – from a pretty girl jogging on the street to the repoman scanning houses looking for collateral. There are also internal distractions – the phone, the GPS, the laptop and, of course, the CD player and radio! Be sure you curb your wrecker when fidgeting with any of those devices, and use an earpiece for phone communications when you are driving. Illegal actions such as driving too fast or unsafe lane movement can also cause a crash, and poor maintenance on your wrecker can be the culprit in a crash – bad tires and brakes both come to mind. Weather conditions, as in the situation I described above, are also potentially hazardous.

As I get older, I have learned one thing. Driving faster does not really get you there that much quicker. When you are out working, slow down! It might not only keep you from having an accident, but you might notice a vehicle you are looking for by moving slower. Always be sure you take the appropriate evasive action when faced with a potential collision. You might want to think about and practice what you will do when something really happens.

My final word is about fatigue and sleepiness. I have been there and, if you are going to be truthful, you have too. We have all had plenty of nights on the hunt where we worked way too many hours. I can remember plenty of times where I was rolling around in the darkness and found myself nodding off. What did I do to combat that? I tried to get the right amount of sleep, but, of course, that did not always happen, so I became a contortionist! I could sleep in all sorts of positions in my wrecker! I can remember several nights when I went to a police department parking lot or a rest area to grab a quick nap, and woke up and found myself curled up on the floor of my wrecker. I am 6’4″ tall and at that time I was quite large, so that was a real feat for me. If you find yourself nodding off when you are driving, do not be stupid and continue on down the road. Your life and the lives of drivers around you are more important than some debtor’s vehicle. Find yourself a safe spot, pull over and grab a power nap. Do it a few times a night if you have to, until you are completely alert to drive. I want all of you to make a lot of money in the auto repossession business, but, more importantly, I want you to go home to your family safely every night.

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