Washington, DC, December 08, 2009 -- The Towing and Recovery Association of America (TRAA), the national association representing the towing and recovery industry, takes issue with the cover story published in the most recent “Landline Magazine” the official publication of the Owner Operators Independent Drivers’ Association (OOIDA). While we recognize a minimal effort in this article to support the majority of towers in this industry who constantly do the right thing and work tirelessly 24/7, most of the article is devoted to continuing media browbeating of the industry in general.
Not having seen the actual invoice and documentation discussed in this article, we are at a bit of a disadvantage to speak with any great authority, but from our collective experience we can note some things not considered in this article that have direct effect on towing invoices:
Towing is like any other business and has administrative expenses, equipment, overhead, training, insurance, rent, legal and regulatory expenses. Towers provide 24/7 service 365 days a year and are often called out several times in a given night. This readiness and response must be considered in a fair operating rate.
Towing companies are required to carry insurance while many owner/operators are under insured or not insured at all which is the real problem when it comes to losing their trucks when an incident occurs.
With the increased spotlight on Traffic Incident Management by the Federal DOT and law enforcement in particular, towers are being required to respond quickly to incident scenes even if they may not be able to perform their recovery until other responders (fire, EMS, HazMat) have completed their tasks. In many cases towers are being asked to assist with scene management, flagging etc., all of which require additional training and equipment.
Storage for towing companies is a huge expense and most of the towing contracts require that towers maintain adequate storage facilities for their towed and wrecked vehicles. For the acreage they must maintain the rent and taxes are substantial. As the national association, TRAA has consistently addressed the issues of cost of business and professional invoicing. Every year we sponsor a Legislative and Leadership Conference in Washington and address this issue in one form or another. We have had professional towers present Power Point classes on knowing the cost of doing business so as to know how to effectively invoice.
2010 will be no exception…we have scheduled a panel consisting of towers and truckers to address the invoicing problem at our Legislative and Leadership Conference in March. We will have a state police officer weighing in on the non-consensual rotation requirements with regard to state and municipal variances in maximum charges for towing and recovery, and there will be an insurance representative on this panel as well.
Some time ago, TRAA invited CNN to come to its executive offices and film and interview with its 2nd Vice President. In order to be completely open, we provided the CNN staff with tow truck rides around the Capital Beltway so they could really experience what incident response entailed. We filmed in the office over 6 hours. When all was said and done, CNN released a 6 minute expo with less than one minute reflecting our interview and the other 5 minutes concerned “rogue tower” sensational experiences in another part of the country. Unfortunately, the media in general does not find the “responsible” side of this industry to be good press.
We would be less than truthful if we did not acknowledge that there are towers and towing companies who are “unscrupulous” but they are NOT the majority of this industry. We work tirelessly to educate and encourage all towers to take the high road and welcome the media, consumers and all incident responders to join us in our efforts…working together we can make a strong impact.The Towing and Recovery Association of America endeavors to pass along positive news about the towing industry and places press releases in conjunction with these efforts. This release is a part of that effort. News submissions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. To contact TRAA, phone 800-728-0136. Alan Gregg, President.