How to Become a Tow Truck Driver

Becoming a tow truck driver is more than just a job – it’s a profession that requires a unique set of skills, dedication, and a strong commitment to helping others. If you’re interested in joining the ranks of towing professionals, this article is your comprehensive guide on how to become a tow truck driver. From the qualifications you need to the steps you should take, we’ll walk you through the journey to becoming a respected and skilled tow truck operator.

Meet the Requirements: What It Takes to Be a Tow Truck Driver

Before embarking on the path to becoming a tow truck driver, it’s important to ensure you meet the necessary requirements. Most states require a valid driver’s license, a clean driving record, and a minimum age requirement (usually 18 or 21 years old). Additionally, having a high school diploma or GED is often preferred by employers. It’s also essential to possess strong communication skills, as interacting with distressed motorists and coordinating with dispatchers are integral parts of the job.

Tow Truck Driver

Educational and Training Pathways

While formal education beyond a high school diploma is not typically required, enrolling in a training program specific to towing can provide you with a competitive edge. These programs cover topics such as vehicle recovery techniques, safety protocols, and customer service skills. Some community colleges and vocational schools offer courses in automotive technology that can complement your training.

Obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)

A crucial step in becoming a tow truck driver is obtaining a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). The CDL allows you to operate larger vehicles, including heavy-duty tow trucks. CDL requirements vary by state, but they generally involve passing a written exam, a skills test, and a medical examination to ensure you’re physically fit to operate commercial vehicles.

Gain Practical Experience

Practical experience is invaluable for aspiring tow truck drivers. Many individuals start by working as an apprentice or trainee under an experienced tow truck operator. This hands-on experience allows you to learn the ropes, practice towing techniques, and understand the intricacies of the job. Practical experience also provides you with insights into vehicle recovery, safe towing practices, and effective customer communication.

Certifications and Specializations

In addition to a CDL, pursuing relevant certifications can enhance your career prospects. The Towing and Recovery Association of America (TRAA) offers certifications that demonstrate your expertise in various aspects of towing, such as light-duty, medium-duty, and heavy-duty towing. Specializing in specific areas of towing, such as recovery or transporting specialty vehicles, can also set you apart in the field.


Becoming a tow truck driver involves a combination of meeting requirements, obtaining a CDL, gaining practical experience, and possibly pursuing certifications. This unique profession demands a blend of technical skills, empathy for distressed motorists, and the ability to adapt to a variety of situations. By following the steps outlined in this guide and seeking opportunities for hands-on experience and specialized training, you can embark on a fulfilling career as a tow truck driver. Remember, the road to becoming a towing professional is a journey that requires dedication and continuous learning.

If you’re considering a career as a tow truck driver, you’re embarking on a path that requires dedication and the right training. At Hurst Towing, we understand the importance of skilled and compassionate tow truck drivers. Whether you’re interested in joining our team or need reliable towing and recovery services, we’re here to help. Reach out to us for all your towing needs and experience the Hurst Towing difference.

Contact us if you’re stranded, need a lift, or even want to purchase a vehicle from one of our auctions. We’re always open!