NATIONAL DRIVER CERTIFICATION PROGRAM (NDCP)
TRAA is the only National Association representing the towing and recovery industry. Through a grant from the Federal Department of Transportation, TRAA established the only National Standards for tow truck operators and from these standards developed the National Driver Certification Program.
Tests include Light, Medium, and Heavy Duty Towing & Recovery in the areas of:
- Customer Service
- Incident Management
Q How do I apply for certification?
Print an application from the website (choose the application from the list on the right) or request a copy by email, fax, or mail. Fill out all information and return with payment and photos.
Q After I apply for certification what is the next step?
Once TRAA has received your completed application, payment and photos a study guide will be mailed, or you may download the Level 1 study guide from the website. (Level 2 study guide is not available via website).
Q What testing options are available?
You may take a computer test at a PSI testing facility or a paper & pencil test at a Tow Show or Community College near you. Computer testing is not available in all states. (Level 2 certification testing is not available by computer).
Q What is the difference between computer and paper & pencil testing?
The contents of the exam are the same however, with the computer option you will receive your results at the end of testing. The paper & pencil process can take 2 to 3 weeks for processing.
Q Once I become certified when does it expire?
Your certification is active for 5 years from the date you became certified.
Q How do I maintain my certification?
You will need to apply for re-certification to maintain your certification. After TRAA has received your completed re-certification application and payment our office will mail you a short questionnaire to complete and return to TRAA. Your certificate will follow.
LEVEL I CERTIFICATION Light Duty
- 90 Days employment as a tow truck driver in the last five years.
- All state driving requirements must be met.
100 Multiple Choice Questions
YOU NOW HAVE TWO TESTING OPTIONS AVAILABLE IN MANY STATES
- Paper & Pencil Option: Administered at a local community college, library or Tow Show. This option is less expensive although you must wait 2-4 weeks for test results
- Computer Option: Allows you to instantly receive your test results at the end of testing.
Level 1 Application (PDF 443k)
Paper & Pencil Testing:
- Submit application, payment and photos.
- TRAA will send you a study guide and instructions on how to schedule your test.
- When ready to take the test, contact TRAA at email@example.com or call 1-800-728-0136 to schedule your test. You will need your current driver’s license to take the test.
- You will receive your test results within 2-4 weeks.
- If you fail the test you will need to resubmit your application and pay the retesting fee to TRAA, reschedule with TRAA and retake the test.
Paper & Pencil Testing Fees:
Level 1 Member $100 Non-Member $125
Retest Member/Non-Member $60
NO SHOW FEE $20
- Visit the PSI website (http://candidate.psiexams.com) or call 800-733-9267 to locate the testing facility nearest to you. Computer testing is available in many states, but not all. New facilities are being added regularly.
- Submit application, payment and photos to TRAA.
- TRAA will send you a letter with your test ID code, and your study guide (if you have requested a mailed copy) and instructions on how to schedule your test.
- To take the test visit the PSI website or call 800-733-9267 to schedule your test. You will need your test ID code and your photo ID to take the test.
- You will receive your test results when you have completed the test.
- If you fail the test or miss your appointment without 24 hour notice, you will need to resubmit your application and pay the retesting fee to TRAA, reschedule with PSI and retake the test.
Computer Testing Fees:
Level 1 Member $160 Non-Member $185
Retest Member/Non-Member $110
REVIEWING THE STUDY GUIDE BEFORE TAKING THE TEST IS CRITICAL
If you fail the test you will have to pay a retesting fee. Also, if you are unable to keep your test appointment and fail to cancel with sufficient notice, you will be subject to a retesting fee.
Passing The Test: Those successfully completing the test will receive 2 patches, 1 ID card, and certificate indicating your status as a Nationally Certified Tow Operator.
LEVEL II CERTIFICATION Medium Duty
Level 2 Application (PDF 29k)
- One year employed as a medium/heavy duty truck towing and recovery operator (20,000 … 26,001 + GVWR)
- Hold a commercial Driver’s License (CDL ABC)
- Meet all driver/operator requirements of the state from which he/she is applying
- Have successfully completed Level 1 of the National Driver Certification Test
200 Multiple Choice and true/false Questions
Test consists of questions on the following topics:
- Professional Image and Personal Appearance
- Operator Responsibilities as a Towing and Recovery Professional
- Personal Safety Considerations
- Customer Service
- Communication Skills
- Safety at the Scene
- Safe Driving During Towing and Recovery Operations
- Proper Procedures for Vehicle Preparation for Towing and Recovery
- Accident Prevention Skills
- Types and Classifications of Towing and Recovery Equipment
- Proper Inspection/Care of Towing and Recovery Units
- Incident Management
- Special Considerations Involved in Hazmat Recoveries
- Equipment Required for Proper Operation of Various Towing and Recovery Units
- Proper Hook-up Procedures for Specialty Vehicles, medium/heavy truck, combinations
- Loading, Securing, and Unloading a Vehicle Using Carriers and Trailers
- Cargo Concerns including Loading, Securing and Unloading
- Proper Procedures for Uprighting Overturns
- Recoveries—Proper Winching Techniques
LEVEL III CERTIFICATION Heavy Duty Recovery
Level 3 Application (PDF 38k)
- CDL with endorsements (air brakes, tank operations, etc.)
- Level 2 Master Tower Certification
- HazMat awareness (endorsement of HazMat can be another bar but is not required for Level 3)
- 2 Years of experience as a recovery specialist,
Plus one of the following—
- Sponsor letter from a towing facility owner or training school verifying that the candidate is qualified to take a test of this level.
- Driver’s statement of experience with documentation of experience such as logbook, resume or the like.
- Company owner statement verifying that the driver has participated in at least 10 heavy recoveries.
One of the things that became abundantly clear in the development of the Level 3 test is that unlike Levels 1 and 2, there are, within the bounds of safety, several ways of doing a recovery. The Advisory Committee realized during the development of the test we would have to allow for a testing of the analytical abilities of the tow operator rather than the strictly factual approach as in Levels 1 and 2.
In order to do this it was decided that the test should be both written and oral. The written portion would determine whether or not the tower had the basic academic knowledge to be deemed a heavy recovery specialist. The oral would give him an opportunity to apply his knowledge to an actual incident which would be before him on a screen with accompanying an written description of the particulars, i.e., weather conditions, topography, actual damages, etc.
The following were the competency areas decided upon by the Advisory Committee:
- Truck and equipment capabilities
- Attachments of heavy vehicles
- Vehicle Placement
- Recovery formulas
- Preparation for Towing
- Weather Conditions
- Knowledge of blood-bourne pathogens
- Customer relations on the scene
- Fire potential driver should be alert to (vs. fire department responsibilities)
- Company dispatching communications
- Company team communications on the scene
- Proper maintenance of snatchblocks, etc.
- Air cushion recovery (decision making)
- Hydraulic recovery (decision making)
- Scene assessment (pre-planning)
- Unloading (upright vs. on the ground)
- HAZMAT awareness
- EPA awareness (spills, water source, clean up)
- Knowledge of the drug and alcohol regulations
- Command Center communications
- Incident Management—who’s in charge (when)
o Preparing invoices
NATIONAL DRIVERS CERTIFICATION PRICING
||Application and Study Guide (Printed)
||Application and Study Guide in (Print and CD - PowerPoint)
||Application and Study Guide (Printed)
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