FinallyJan 18th, 2013 | By Editorial Staff | Category: Jack Schrock's Blog
Take a $75,000 tow truck, fuel and other operational expenses, driver’s wages to pay yourself or an employee, office expenses, insurance, storage lot rental, etc., etc., etc., and you often run out of money long before running out of days in the month.
In the beginning, most wreckers were owned and operated in conjunction with an automotive-related business. Indeed, the service station industry launched many of today’s leading towers, along with garages, body shops, transmission shops, salvage yards and others. In the beginning, most wreckers were used to support another, possibly more profitable, business which was supported by the wreckers. In urban areas there were a few firms that specialized only in T & R, but very few.
Then, a number of things seemed to gang up on our industry. First and most importantly, the service station industry decided to cancel their full “service” station leases, replacing them with today’s convenience stores. Thus, many operators were left on the street with a handful of wreckers and were challenged to develop a business plan to make them profitable standing alone. Also, at about the same time, T & R equipment manufacturers were being driven to offer more expensive technologies in response to dramatic design changes in both cars and trucks. There were other factors, most especially operator training and certification leading to the term “Professional Tower” and a perceived need supported in some circles to become fully qualified “First Responders.” Another very important factor was the proliferation of towing associations that pooled information and gave towers political muscle they never enjoyed before.
I know this is all boring for you old timers because you have lived through the process that has led us to today’s T & R circumstances. Where do we go from here? That’s a conversation worth consideration.