Wreckers Revisited

Nov 22nd, 2013 | By | Category: Jack Schrock's Blog

Jack Schrock PhotoThere is a misconception that all you have to do is buy and wrecker and you will somehow become successful. To put that another way, some seem to believe that wreckers alone make more money than you can spend.

Going back to the early days, all wreckers were marketed and sold as “shop equipment” not unlike an air compressor, power lift, etc. It is well documented that Ernest Holmes, Sr. ran a garage in downtown Chattanooga and fabricated a wrecker to recover casualties for repair in his shop. That concept continued to dominate the Holmes Company and they eventually adopted the slogan: ”The big profit jobs don’t drive in they are towed in.”

However, in the 60s we were all led to believe that T & R could become a stand alone “professional” business what with air cushions, rescue tools and trailers. Indeed, there was an attempt to move T & R into “first responder” status to act as team members with firemen, EMTs and law enforcement. I recall a training session in Denver where a dozen or so firemen attended a WreckMaster class to try to learn more about how they were going to work more closely with T & R at incident scenes. In some regions that concept is still being somewhat pursued but, for the most part, we continue as a separate contractor mostly because not all towers are trained and/or equipped to be first responders so our product is too inconsistent even within most areas.

It’s madness for a driver to invest in an expensive tow truck even before he or she sees a need and has a business plan. If your market is already well served, your chances for success are almost zero. And discounting services to steal business from the established towers doesn’t assure success. It only somewhat delays ultimate failure.

This is a great business with lots of growth opportunities but I suggest that you look before you leap.