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Anybody in the towing Biz? Corey?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by newyorkin, May 2, 2005.

  1. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    I really want to start a business soon...

    I just passed a towing company and saw about 2 dozen wreckers parked, and realized a towing gig is something I would LOVE to do. Maybe even do some repo's if it can work.

    I've used/driven wreckers and rollbacks before with and without a load, and it seemed like no big deal those times. Maybe I'm under-estimating it...

    Really, how complicated can it be? Every time I've called on a tow, it's been pretty easy work for the tow driver, and he gets a wad of cash from me.

    When I had my pickup brought 25 miles home on a rollback, it cost me $80 (I tipped 10, so $90), and took him less than an hour. If his truck at worst got 5 miles to the gallon, that's about $10-15 in fuel. The rest goes back into his pocket or business costs.
    Towing wrecks can probably even charge more, and go shorter distances, plus storage charges, but I guess I'd need zoned land for that.

    Then again, I'm wary of getting into a biz that can be drastically affected by fuel costs.

    Another thing prompting me to consider towing is that I found a reallllly nice late 90s Chevy wrecker for around $4K in New York... And an old Ford wrecker for $300 in New Jersey... :thinking:


    I'm in a stupid mode lately... Everything I look at/use/do I try to think of how I can make it a business opportunity... Then everything I come up with that I think is completely unique, I find has already been done.
     
  2. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I thought about it too...

    I have friends that run a ramp truck for a towing company--I thought it was a good job too--until I rode to a few wrecks with them...one crash the victim was still being cut out of the wreckage,a nice looking lady,screaming,blood everywhere...then they found her infant daughter under the car,still strapped into her car seat--crushed to death.. :frown1: --I peuked my guts out at the scene,and dont think I'll ever forget that day...

    The tow truck drivers are responsible for cleaning up any debris in the road in most cases---then I also learned you are usually "on call" 24/7,have to drop whatever your doing to go pick up wrecks or stalled cars--usually at 3 am,when most people out at that hour are drunk,stoned,and are being arrested for DWI--more than once a drunk threatened to kill my friend when his car was towed away...and most of the calls come during a bad storm,whether its snow,rain,or wind,your out at all hours in the worst of it...not much fun when you see how hard it really is...

    Two guys were friends of us that used to tow lots of cars to my friends repair shop were on RT 495 not far from my town--one wrecker had broken down,at 3am,the other guy went to "rescue" it with the ramp truck...while they were trying to hook the tow bar on the ramp truck to the disabled wrecker,the wrecker was struck by a drunk driver,which pushed it into the flatbed of the ramp truck--both of them died instantly,and were cut right in two. :frown1: --after I read about their deaths in the paper(both were only in their late 20's,just had little kids,left 2 pretty wives behind)-

    -My desire to buy a ramp truck was squelched--maybe I would buy one just to junk cars and trucks,or transport them for people..--but as far as towing cars off the highway..NO THANKS!!..with the way people drive DWI,and pay no attention to speed limits and talk on cell phones while driving,every wrecker call is a potential date with death...and even if YOU live,there's a good chance that the crash victims might not be alive when you get there--its not a job for someone with a weak stomach.... :crazy:
     
  3. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    I'm glad I posted here, I knew someone could come up with what I hadn't thought of or even considered yet...

    I'm doing some research on the web on this, too. It looks like something I really might be able to start, but the highway tows you describe are something to consider.

    If I had the room, I would have bought that old $300 wrecker in Jersey just for personal use and an occasional help-out tow. Just don't have a place to store it...
     
  4. 90blzr

    90blzr 1/2 ton status

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    Check insurance costs too. I think the insurance and registration on a 'tow truck' is $$$$$$$. At least in cali it is. My buddy has a flatbed tow truck/ramp truck. He bought it just to haul is crap around and the occasional help a friend out tow. Tags and insurance were $$$$$$$$$$ so he sold it.
     
  5. 90blzr

    90blzr 1/2 ton status

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    Oh and JDBlazer is a good one to pm, her husband is a tow truck driver.
     
  6. Ruthven13

    Ruthven13 1/2 ton status

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    The money isn't that great. I drove for a small family owened business in Montclair for several years and have already seen it all. The hassels of recovering wrecks that still have pieces of scalps and hair and who knows what else stuck to the windshield are nothing compared to what the owners have to deal with. People come in and want theire cars back, but don't want to pay. You get stuck with crap cars that aren't worth anything that the owners just decide to leave there and then it becomes your problem. We have gotten stuck with cars that we couldn't get titles for and culdn't get rid of them because of that. Good thing the boss "knows people". From my experience, it only starts to becomes lucrative when you own about 5+ trucks and keep them going all the time. By the time you get done paying for the trucks, fuel, the really high insurance, employees, lot and assorted taxes, maitainence on the trucks, and the aggravation of running the business you pretty much break even if you are lucky. Unless, as I said, you become big. Another local guy by me runs a BIG operation complete with tri-axle heavys and Landalls. He runs a 40' cat hull with twin big blocks off the Jersey shore for fun. He does really well :grin:
     
  7. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    even just to have a tow truck sucks. My dad had one, to insure it cost a couple hundred a month, and he used it like a few times a year.
     

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