Emerald Towing's new Class D Recovery Vehicle in action.
The Florida Highway Patrol and the Florida Department of Transportation entered into an agreemen--an Open Roads Policy--with the important objective of being able to reopen blocked roadways as quickly as possible following a traffic crash. A new tool has just been introduced that may help in this endeavor.
The Open Roads Policy states that a road shall be cleared or reopened within 90 minutes of the arrival of the first law enforcement officer at the scene of a major traffic crash or other incident that closes down lanes of traffic. One of the major obstacles in this effort has always been the lack of availability of the equipment needed to remove large vehicles, such as semis, or other heavy objects from the roadway.
Thankfully, some wrecker recovery companies are moving toward using a new type of vehicle, called a Class D recovery vehicle, that can easily pick up and move large damaged vehicles and other objects and place them onto flat bed trailers to clear blocked roadways. As of yet, the new Class D vehicle has not been approved by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for inclusion on the official rotation list, but a pilot project is being considered in southeast Florida to determine the feasibility of its use.
Lt. Richard Vore, Troop L, was at the scene of a crash on I-95
in Palm Beach County where the new Class D recovery vehicle was used.
At a recent crash on Interstate 95 in Palm Beach County, Emerald Towing was able to test the new Class D recovery vehicle and literally "pick up" a fire-damaged tractor and trailer and place them on a flat bed to remove them from the roadway and quickly reopen the road to traffic.