A Life Before Music

It’s hard to imagine that there was a time when music wasn’t my occupation. I love the conversation that comes after I tell people that I’m a singer-songwriter. It’s a great conversation starter. Believe it or not, my previous job was a better conversation starter. People always become so interested when you say you’re a tow truck driver. I worked for ‘Tow Truck Ipswich’ for a little over 7 years, straight out of high school while I built my music business up on the side. Here are the top things people wanted to know about this former 20 something-year-old tow truck driver.

  1. How do you drive that big truck through Brisbane traffic?

    People are always amazed at how we drive the trucks through the small and winding streets of inner-city Brisbane. I don’t understand the hype. I guess that comes down to practice (like most things). Tow truck drivers are very experienced in driving their truck, and they know every inch of it like the back of their hand. Maneuvering it through busy streets is one of the easiest parts of the job.

  2. What’s the most common kind of car you tow?

    I think what people really want to know when they ask this question is whether the cars are fancy or bombs. I can tell you that tow truck drivers will tow a car that needs towing regardless of its value, but we find ourselves picking up expensive sports cars just as much as old rust buckets. Interestingly though, it can often be the luxury cars that never get collected. I always speculated that the owners couldn’t be bothered with the hassle of retrieving their car and just bought a new one. Imagine having that kind of money.

  3. What does a typical workday entail?

    I think many people envision tow truck drivers to be sitting around a radio waiting to race to a job, but it’s not like that. We spend a good part of the day washing and maintaining the fleet of trucks and completing copious amounts of paperwork. Other than that, we spend a lot of time refreshing our mechanical skills so we can help stranded drivers rather than instantly tow their vehicles. Come to think of it, towing a car is the fun part but it’s not something that we wait around for all day.

  4. Some people would ask me why I didn’t get a “real job”.

    This one really stings. I suppose people who park illegally and have their cars towed would be a little bit prickly, but honestly, tow truck drivers don’t deserve the bad rep. Tow truck drivers play a huge part in keeping traffic moving and reducing carpark congestion. If it weren’t for tow truck drivers, obstructions on freeways would bank the traffic up for days, and illegally parked cars would clog up carparks all over town. Not to mention the broken-down cars that would remain in their freeway stopping lane gravesite without a tow truck to take them to a mechanic.
    Even though my tow truck driving days are behind me, I still lift 4 fingers off the steering wheel and give a nod to other tow truck drivers I see around Brisbane. They always acknowledge me back.

Ciao for now!

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