The Week's Features
But New York State towmen vow to continue fight
The severity of the damage made this a difficult recovery
Company name starts the creative process for graphics company
New Justice Gorsuch renders first opinion in ruling
IQV20 kits designed to provide versatility
Digital Edition
Click Here
Tow Expo Dallas
Dallas, TX.
August 17-19, 2017
AT Exposition
Baltimore, MD.
Nov. 17-19, 2017
AT ShowPlace
Las Vegas, NV.
May 9-11, 2018
Don't Miss It!
CIRT President Bobby Tuttle's "Insurance Strategies for Today's Volatile Market" seminar will provide information on what is happening with the increase of insurance premiums in the towing industry, the types of claims that the underwriters are identifying as causes for increasing premiums and possible strategies that towing companies could employ to help reduce their claims and rates. This seminar will take place during Tow Expo Dallas, August 17-19, 2017 at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine, Texas.
Translate Language  
American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingJune 21 - June 27, 2017

City, State
Sheridan, IN
(Pop. 2,665)
Eastsound, WA
(Pop. 4,500)
Blackwood, NJ
(Pop. 4,545)
Byron, GA
(Pop. 2,887)
Light-Duty nonconsensual tow rates as provided by Police Towers of America.

Pricing Your Services for Profit

blogprofit 0df9cBy Don Archer

Recently, I received an email from a tower named William who is fed up with his business and said he was about ready to park his truck and look for a job. He complained about the competition, the economy and said he wasn't even making enough money to pay for insurance.

Obviously exasperated, he asked, "How should I price my services?"—what he believed was the problem.

I responded with words of encouragement, telling him to price his services so that he always made a profit and stop letting fear be his guide.

Towers often believe that pricing their services properly is the hardest part. Some think they have to be the low-price leader, others ride the middle, while others charge what they're worth and are able to grow their businesses.

But how does this last group do it? What is it that these guys understand that the rest don't?

They understand that charging less than what you're worth is caused by fear; and fear is a poison that will ultimately kill your business. They know that using fear as a factor in determining rates causes you to shoot too low and miss.

If fear of losing a tow causes you to price your services too low to pay the bills, you need to change your strategy. Instead of focusing on not losing, focus on winning by charging rates that get you excited to get in your truck and get going.

There are four factors that determine your success in the marketplace: supply, demand, quality and quantity.

Many towers believe they don't have any control over the first two, and each firmly believes that they've got "quality service" wrapped-up.

What many fail to understand is the last one, quantity, and how it can help you to compete while increasing your bottom line.

Here's a simple and practical pricing strategy to help you to understand. Use this only as a framework from which to begin. You must determine your rates based on the service provided. Just be sure to consider all the costs.

• Cost of Doing Business: Add up all of last year's expenses, everything that's considered a cost of doing business. Fuel, rent, advertising, insurance, repairs and maintenance, tires, employee expense, damages, office supplies, utilities and phones. Add in the interest paid on trucks and real estate. Then divide that number by the number of calls you did that year. For example: If the total cost was $100,000 and you ran 4,000 calls, then your cost per call would be $25.

• Determine your expected Return On Investment: Add up the value of your trucks and equipment and real estate, or a percentage of real estate that's used solely for the purposes of conducting business. Include taxes paid on both. For our example we'll assume it all comes to $500,000. After you know what your investment is you need to then decide what kind of return you want. If you want a 10-percent ROI then multiply that number by 10 percent (.10), ($500,000 x .10 = $50,000) then divide the result by the number of calls you did last year ($50,000/4,000=$12.50)

• Trucks and Equipment Replacement: Your truck is considered an asset and it will have value when you trade or sell, but it must also be considered an expense. This is hard for many to wrap their heads around. Each mile you put on your trucks and every time you use your equipment, you lose value. It's also slowly becoming obsolete. As better, more technologically advanced trucks and equipment become available, yours are becoming less and less sought after.

Think about it like a carpenter replacing a table saw. Eight hours per day for 500 days can take its toll. When it's time to replace it he'll be looking for something that'll hold up better, not something that's already worn out. So you must work the cost of replacing this stuff into your cost per call. To cover the cost of replacement, I suggest you go by the $1 per mile rule. In other words if you drive 60,000 miles in one year then you need to collect $60,000 from the 4,000 calls that you did. ($60,000/4,000=$15)

• Add these three numbers together and you have a good starting point. Some calls will be higher, some will be lower; this is an average to shoot for.
(Cost of Doing Business + ROI + Truck Replacement = Starting point)
So where does quantity come into the equation?

Once you've considered all the costs and know that your rates allow you to make a profit you'll become more confident and your fear will all but disappear. The residual effect will be that you'll get more customers. No longer will you be that scared guy cold-calling repair shops begging for work. You'll be happy and helpful in all areas because you know your numbers. And because positivity attracts, you'll get more work.

But that's not even the best part.

When you increase the number of customers you're serving, you can revisit your pricing strategy. Then, if you choose to, you'll be able to lower your rates while still maintaining your desired profit. With lower rates you'll be more competitive and have the opportunity to help more people, creating a snowball effect. Of course some of your variable costs will increase, but so will your income. You'll drive more miles, but you'll still be capturing replacement costs.

Whatever method you use to determine your rates, remember to never let fear play a part.

Don G. Archer and his wife, Brenda, own and operate Broadway Wrecker in Jefferson City, MO. Don is also multi-published author, educator and speaker helping others to build and start successful towing businesses around the country at Want to learn more email him direct at

Finding and Attracting the Best

Youre Hired be41dBy Don Archer

Growing your business requires you to wear many hats. Sometimes you've got to be customer service, accounts receivable, accounts payable, human resources, marketing director, shop manager, guidance counselor and even babysitter.

Due to the nature of this feast-or-famine industry, you must also run a tight ship. Every man and woman onboard plays a vital role in keeping your business afloat. So when you lose one of them or your business begins to expand, you need to fill the position fast.

How you find, attract, and select employees will set the tone for all future interactions. Before you just throw up a job posting, there are a few things to consider.

What are you looking for in an employee?

Of course you want someone who's always on time, takes pride in their work, is motivated, a good communicator and a team player. This should be part of your job posting, but consider using language that communicates the value you place on your employees.

Make It Inviting

"Come join our team of highly motivated tow truck operators."

Your job here is to attract the cream of the crop. While detailing what a successful applicant looks like, the language you use must be inviting and inspiring.

Job Title

You then must consider the title the employee will assume once hired.

Are you looking for a "Driver," or a "Tow Truck Operator?"

Anyone who's driven a car is a driver, which means you'll attract everyone. But not everyone has what it takes to become a Tow Truck Operator. To attract the best applicants, consider spicing the title up a bit. Don't go crazy though; VP of Tow Truck Operations might be a little over-the-top.


How will the successful applicant be compensated for his time?

Whether it's hourly or hourly plus commission, you must take into consideration ALL of the costs.

Think about the time and effort that goes into creating a job posting, attracting the right applicants, the interviewing process and then selecting the best of the best.

Then there's time invested to bring the successful applicant up-to-speed: training them on company procedures, safety training, tow truck operations and customer service. Time is money; regardless of your new hire's level of compensation, you will still incur these costs.

Next, consider the quality of applicants you would attract if the pay was more than the going rate. Do you think you might have a larger pool of qualified applicants to choose from? A well-compensated employee stays with the company longer, is happier and much more productive.

Look at Yourself

Now that you've identified what you're looking for in an applicant, determined the proper job title, and the level of compensation, and crafted an offering that attracts the best of the best, you're ready to post it to the internet. Right?

Wrong. There are a few more things to consider before taking that step.

It's a two-way street. You're willing to trade your money for their time, but only if they're the right fit. And they're willing to trade their time for your money, but only if your company is right for them as well. You both are taking a risk.

When bringing someone new onboard, you calculate risk by thoroughly screening applicants. They calculate risk by doing a little research online. That means they're looking at your website, reviews and Facebook page.

They're looking for success stories and images of a happy, fun working environment. What they don't want to see is some staunch, uptight and dark workplace where everybody hides so the boss won't yell at them.

So before you post your job online, take a look at the way your business is represented there first. Look at it from the perspective of a potential applicant. Accurate or not, what they see is what they believe they're going to get.

The time and effort you put into finding, attracting, and selecting employees will be directly reflected in the results you achieve.

American Towman Field Editor-Midwest Don G. Archer is also a multi-published author, educator and speaker helping others to build and start successful towing businesses around the country at Don and his wife, Brenda, formerly owned and operated Broadway Wrecker in Jefferson City, Mo. E-mail him direct at
Translate Page
Contact Us

WreckMaster President Justin Cruse said that the WreckMaster Convention will bring together towers from all over North America to provide a unique and beneficial opportunity to broaden knowledge.
© 2017  Tow Industry Week/American Towman Media, Inc.