First of all I would like to welcome you. You have just found the most complete and detailed towing information on the internet. I say this because I built a towing information and training site (http://howtotow.com/members) starting in 2010 and I am the first and only person to do so. I guess I am the only towing owner operator that is willing to share with everyone what I know. You might be able to find bits and pieces of towing information somewhere else but it will not be like the extensive towing information and training that I have set up in the members area.
Let me introduce myself
My name is Wally Cass and I have been working in the towing industry for 25 years. I began as an employee in 1987 and I started my own independent towing business in 1995. I have recently retired due to some physical limitations. I have been very reluctant to give it all up and I would very much like to continue towing because I really enjoy what I do. There is always something new going on and I get to see new places and meet new faces. Every dispatch call is different and new and it beats sitting at a desk. I especially enjoy working for myself and the feeling of independence. The good news is that I am dedicating my time to teaching others everything about the towing businesses.
You may be interested in only a certain area of the towing business such as only performing roadside assistance or contracting with the motor clubs and providing service calls like jump starts, lockouts, tire changes and gas delivery. You may want to do impounds or haul only equipment. You may decide that you want to do it all and maybe hire employees and have multiple tow trucks. You could have a flatbed or rollback tow truck which is universal for hauling different things such as equipment, fork lifts, hot tubs and of course vehicles but I think you get the picture. You could also decide to have a wheel lift tow truck for towing only vehicles. You may want to tow only semi trucks or again do a combination of the fore mentioned. The decisions are endless and the income potential is endless. I elaborate on each topic within the members area. Now you can just pick and choose how you want to operate your towing company.
I recently had a member contact me and he explained that he was new to towing and after reading everything that I provided in the members area he decided to start his own towing business. Well his situation and outcome is too good to just pass up so I will let you hear what he said.
Quote: "Wow, Wally , I am Luis Chacon and I purchased 1 flatbed on Ebay about 10 months ago. I paid for your website and to become a member. I read every word in it and followed your direction and instruction. My son asked me "dad you think we can do this ?" I told him Wally said we can and if he did it so can we, we just need to be "about the business," our business. The tow truck I purchased was a 99 Chevy c6500 for $8000 in basalt Colorado, we drove up there and drove it 1500 Miles back to San Antonio Texas in one of the worst snow storms Colorado had, after that trip I told my son this, "Josh, the determination we showed just to drive that truck and get home in one piece is the same determination we need to put into the business. Wally we had never ever been in the tow business before. We had never even been in a tow truck, but with your advice and our determination we now have 3 tow trucks, 4 service trucks and we are buying another truck in the next week or so. We will do around $350,000.00 in our first year! I called all the motor clubs, I called every garage, I called every company in the city, I called every tow truck company and told them if they get backed up I can help them at a discount rate. I worked 24/7 and I haven't taken a day off, and I haven't accepted no as an answer to anything, I have made friends and enemies. I have been able to have my wife quite her job and work with us. I have been able to send one of my son's to school, and I have 7 children. Wally I never post and I rarely look at the website anymore, not because I don't want to but because I am always towing. Wally I just want to tell you this: You changed my life, and I never said thank you, so here it is "THANK YOU WALLY CASS" .....it is 4:36 am I am writing you at this hour because I just got home from towing and 4 of my employees are still working. Can you believe that I have employees now. Because I listened to you. Please share this with everyone that subscribe to your site. Luis Chacon" End Quote.
I am happy for Luis. He read everything that I had to offer and then he took action. He made a decision to go for it and not look back. It does not take a fortune to get started. I started my towing business with my existing Ford F-150 pick up truck and a used hydraulic tilt trailer. I didn't have any money to start with. All I had was determination and a credit card. I did however buy a new Dodge Ram two years later and I built a custom tilt trailer (I also bought my first house). I bought a second Dodge ram another year later, built a second trailer and hired an employee.
I chose to operate my towing company with least amount of expenses. For me that meant towing for the motor clubs, acquiring local business accounts and listing my business in the phone book and internet for retail accounts. I did not want to impound vehicles. There was too much red tape and expenses. I worked comfortably from home and deducted part of my mortgage on my taxes as a home office. There is much more and I explain it all in the members area.
This is how I got started in the towing industry
I started working for a large towing company in San Diego CA. 1987. The towing company was so large that they had eight impound yards, over a hundred tow trucks, their own fueling stations and their own mechanics shop. I worked for this towing company for 7 years, attended and certified by CTTA towing and recovery classes. I drove every tow truck in their fleet and I was one of their lead drivers in the heavy duty towing and recovery class when I left to start my own towing business in my home State of WA. in 1995.
I remember how tough it was to start a towing business at the time because I had a family to support and I didn't have any savings to speak of. All I had was the desire to own my own towing business and I was willing to do what ever it took to make it happen. You will also need determination and dedication to make your towing business a success.
You have one advantage over me that I didn't have!
You have my 25 years of towing experience, 18 years of which were as a independent towing business owner and operator. Now I would have loved to come across a website such as this one that offers information and insight to owning and operating a towing business but frankly there was no such site to visit at the time and I have yet to find any other site that offers the extensive towing information and videos like I have to offer in my towing training course.
Sure I already knew how to tow vehicles but I had no idea where and how to sign up with the motor clubs, negotiating with the regional managers to get better towing rates, accounting, billing, taxes, employees, insurance etc. and the list goes on. I was only an employee dispatched to tow vehicles and I had no experience in these other areas. Frankly, I lost a lot of time and money by doing everything by trial and error and I wish this information was available to me when I started my business.
How much can I expect to make with my towing business?
First of all it comes down to how dedicated are you to your towing business? Will you operate 24 hours a day 7 days a week? Will you have huge start up costs such as operating with a impound yard? Will you start out with employees? Will you go out and get the accounts necessary to keep the phone ringing? How much competition do you have in your area? What kind of towing rates do you have to compete with from your competitors? maybe you have a specific niche in the marketplace that makes you stand out. Maybe your equipment is better or different than your competitors. Maybe you can offer better rates and discounts. The area you plan to operate in needs to be researched so you know exactly how much business you can expect in your area and what rates you should charge to make it profitable. There are so many variables that I can not give you one definite answer to the income you can expect to make.
However I can only tell you how I operated my towing business and how profitable it was for me but again your income will vary depending on the previous questions. I explain everything (in the members area) on how much I make and what my rates are with the motor clubs but I will tell you briefly that I worked 24/7 for the first two years. As soon as I had my business license I went out and secured local accounts. I purchased a website TowingTransport. Within one month the calls were coming in steady. Within one year I was able to move into my own house. Within 2 years I bought a brand new truck, a nice used 22 foot bayliner boat, a used trail bike and 2 go carts for the kids. The third year I bought a second new truck and hired an employee. The employee was a relief as it gave me some time off from towing
Was it worth starting and operating my own towing business? Absolutely. There was no way I was going to make that kind of money working for someone else, besides I always had time to do what I wanted between calls and I worked out of my house. More importantly I found my own independence. No one but me could tell me what to do. No one could lay me off. If I was going to work for anybody it was for me and my family. Not for someone else. Everyone gets tired of the same old grind day after day and with towing I always saw new places and new faces.
What My Towing Course Will Not Teach You.
I will not explain how to do impounds or repossessions. I tow strictly for the motor clubs, retail accounts and local business accounts. This is my area of expertise. Customers are happy to see me coming to their rescue, unlike impounds and repossessions. I never wanted to get into impounds or have a impound yard because of the problems and red tape that one must go through. You have to get approved by your governing agencies, zoning, fencing, make sure the office is proper, Dept of Licensing, titles, registrations, auctions, state patrol vehicle inspections, proper notifications etc. Then there are the financial obligations of leasing or mortgage and insurance for the property and garage keepers liability.
I work out of my home with no overhead costs. In fact I deduct part of mortgage come tax time as a home office. My low overhead allows me to keep my towing rates low which in turn gets more customers. The best part is my customers are happy customers. Well maybe not so happy because their vehicle broke down but happy to see a tow truck arrive and help them.
What My Towing Course Will Teach You
There are videos explaining how to tow vehicles in the light duty class, unlocking vehicles, winching, recoveries and showing proper towing equipment. I discuss the different types of tow trucks such as the wheel lift tow truck versus the flatbed or rollback tow truck, the good and bad aspects and why you may consider a flatbed tow truck advantageous over the wheel lift. (ultimately less work and no worries about the drive train of the vehicle being towed). Below are just some of the topics covered.
- How to Tow and How to hook up to a vehicle properly, Videos and detailed descriptions show you how to hook up to a vehicle properly. The most common mistakes while hooking up are explained. You must have this information to prevent damage claims.
- Business planning, what you will need to get started in the towing business.
- Accounting, keeping accurate records, invoicing, billing, taxes, office equipment, supplies, etc.
- Everything you should know about Motor Clubs,how to contract with the motor clubs and which ones are the best including: rates, addresses, phone numbers, towing areas, length of times allowed to a call, billing methods and more.
- Advertising, some of the best ways to advertise your towing company and one of my favorite places to advertise for free!
- Insurance, Learn how to purchase commercial towing insurance and the details.
- How to get business accounts, methods I use to get accounts even if the business already has a dedicated towing provider.
- Service calls, explains the best way to perform service calls and the equipment used.
- Safety, how to operate safely to prevent injuries to you and the public.
- Winching, how to winch properly, (common mistakes while loading a vehicle), procedures, safety, how to winch a vehicle out of a tough situation, taking care of the winch and cable.
- Preventing Damage Claims, learn from my experience what not to do and how to avoid damage claims.
- Common Forms, download forms online, prevent damage claims for pre-existing conditions, dispatch sheet.
- How to unlock a Vehicle in under three minutes, modern method to unlock vehicles, "do not use slim jim on vehicles" (Video) avoid damage to the electronics in the door.
- Towing equipment. using the right towing equipment is essential. Choosing the right equipment will save you money and time. I explain my must have requirements for towing equipment not only for towing but also for service calls. I explain in detail how the towing equipment is used.
- Plans for building a Commercial, Gooseneck, Fifth Wheel, Hydraulic Tilt, Towing Trailer, Get the plans to build the best commercial towing trailer. These plans have never been released and I make them exclusively available to you after you sign up.
- How to tow a motorcycle, Learn how to hook up to a motorcycle properly. I explain how to tow a motorcycle using a flatbed and what not to do. Prevent damage claims.
- Tire changes, Learn some of the tricks I use on those stubborn tire changes and some of the problems you may face. Be prepared!
- Jump Starts, You need more than just a set up jumper cables! I explain why and how you will benefit from using the proper equipment.
- Towing Resources, I list my favorite places to shop for towing equipment and parts. There is also useful information in the forum located in the members area. Members can ask questions and join in discussions. I will also answer your questions.
- And Much More!
There are many more benefits when you sign up at HowtoTow.com including a free bonus which includes a total of 84 legal forms and 597 business letters which can be used in any business or for personal use.
Now go ahead and sign up. Use my experience and support to your advantage. If your not happy with the info just ask for a refund. It's just that simple.