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New Motor Club Forums ?!?!?!


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08 Mar 2016 10:44

DodgeTowGuy134 Wrote:

I know I've made mention of this in the past and asked about it, but it's been a while and I'm curious if this go around that maybe it can be done. Last time I asked, I was told that it wasn't doable due to being "lower traffic".

I'd like to see the following in the motor clubs forum area to be created so we can post and discuss the following:
- Honk
- Urgently
- Auto Help Line
- Coach-Net
- National Automobile Club (NAC)

I see that Allied (Allied Dispatch Solutions) finally got a forum created and even though they aren't an actual/traditional "motor club" there's now a place to have conversations about Allied and we can share our experiences about dealing with them. I'd like to see the same for Honk, Urgently and AHL, C-N and NAC.

Being that NAC, Coach-Net and Auto Help Line ARE actual motor clubs, even though they are lower volume clubs, I strongly feel that they should have their own forum area to group their posts together so we can discuss and research them.

Seeing that Allied got added to the motor clubs forum, even though they are NOT a traditional "motor club" and that they are a low volume caller also, I see no reason that Honk and Urgently shouldn't have their own forums as well. The same holds true here also, that we should have a place to group their posts together so we can discuss and research them.

By not having these forums listed along with all the others in the motor club area, it causes any posts about them (good/bad or wanting more info about them) to be scattered about the board and we have to either "research" to find the posts of new posts are created to rehash the same things and the discussions become ever MORE scattered and spread out among even more posts over time.

Also, Coach-Net may already be listed in the heavy duty area, BUT they DO also have a regular/standard duty towing & roadside assistance services and they should also be listed among the other motor clubs so we can discuss the regular automotive services there..

What I'm asking and suggesting here, I don't think is too much, simple seeking to have a dedicated outlet to discuss and carry conversations regarding these "clubs" in a single place to post. Ultimately, I think that in doing so (creating their own forums) will further strengthen our network of communication among towers and allow us to share our experiences with these "clubs" and by having a single location for each, it will eliminate the scattered posts across the board about them. I see it as "it only makes sense" to have a forum for each and every "motor club" regardless of how big/small or high/low volume they may be...why? Because it allows a single place to navigate to and go find answers from others posts and experiences about them, ask questions and share perspectives about each. Instead of multiple posts over time from different people asking the same/similar things: "Has anyone ever heard of..." or "How is it to work with..." or "Will xyz honor their PO's or should they be card only" or "Does anyone have contact infor for..." or any of the other posts that pop up across the board about them.

I hope that others here will support my request here, for the creation of these forums in the motor clubs area so that we can have these discussions and share in a unified conversation about each.

TowZone said:
I am researching a proper manner to add additional forums or adjust current forums. Members can participate in that research.
Urgently seems to be going after the industry market share harder then Honk. These discussions have been limited to Office and Impound, what if a forum was created to include both of these organizations. I relate them to Uber and Lyft, both are similar but Uber markets harder.

Is Auto Help Line and National Automobile Club (NAC) still around? I do not recall receiving more than a couple of votes in the rankings for either of these clubs.

There never has been enough discussions concerning Coach-Net to warrant a forum. But, I am open to suggestions.

Allied (Allied Dispatch Solutions) is new to the scene and received several votes in the latest rankings so a forum was created in response. I have very little knowledge of what I understood is a club which was formed from Allstate Motor Club. Is Allied not a Motor Club?

Motor Club topics created by non supporters can be found in the Office & Impound forum. Policy allows these topics to continue for 11 days before being moved to the proper forum. Topics related to clubs and organizations without a dedicated forum will remain in the Office & Impound forum. Allied came in with a noticeable number of replies during the recent rankings topic.

I am not sure that adding more forums which do not preform as well as others is the answer. Motor Club discussions have certainly dropped off over the past couple of years. Perhaps changing the recently added Canadian Motor Club forum to a General Motor Club forum which incorporates less active forums such as Quest, Allied, Coach-net, NAC even Urgently and Honk, along with the clubs in the current Canadian Motor Club forum is a resolution.

 I hope other members add their comments and suggestions as well. Such interaction with the membership guides the direction which the board forums take. I can only do what the board warrants and without the input the voices of the board/members are not strong enough or clear enough to make proper and warranted changes quickly. If, I could do so without regard for the outcome, I would open all Motor Club forums to all members which would increase the activity level. I will continue to research avenues which may include sponsorship's from the Motor Clubs. This is something I have avoided for 15 years as taking funds from Motor Clubs was not popular. I can say, the board has changed recently as the 2 most popular Motor Clubs have added links in the lower sidebar. These are Nation Safe Drivers and Fleetnet, this change may shift the motor club forum dynamics.

Again, I often receive comments & suggestions for members via email and inbox. Action is not always prompt, however I do keep those notes for reference as changes are warranted. If changes were made for every suggestion, the board would change weekly. Though, without the input changes are slower and without clear direction. This topic will likely change forums as it progresses, thanks in advance for your participation.
myerstowing said:
AHL is around just quoted them for a local tow a few minutes ago. I think a combined forum for Honk and Urgent.ly would be fine since they are trying to operate under the same concept. They are trying to disrupt the traditional motor club model and I think there will be plenty of discussion on them and others in the days to come.
NationalAutow said:
As far as NAC goes, yes, they are not high volume however I recall a trip to the bank today with one of their checks. It had four places to the left of the decimal.

They are most certainly in business and we have zero issues with them. I don't know how much discussion is warranted about a motor club that seems to primarily take care of fleets and does what they say they will and then pays for it.

Regarding each club having their own forum, Can we step back and look at the new norm? We, the towers are now legitimizing the clubs. I think it used to work the other way. Clubs are changing primarily due to the internet and things like tow411. My point is that we as towers legitimize a club by seeing that they have their own forum.

If you are a motor club, you aren't a REAL motor club UNTIL you get your own forum here...
DodgeTowGuy134 said:
I'm REALLY glad to see input from others on my suggestion and feedback!

NationalAutow is correct! We (towers) now have technology to our benefit and can search online on Google & especially here on Tow411, for infom about a "motor club" to find details about them, how they operate, who and where they are, who to contact/how to reach them and how well/bad they are to work with and also to discuss and other problems/concerns. Simply put, it's about networking our resources and experiences into a SINGLE place/location where WE can go to find such information! That's why I'm asking/suggesting that these "clubs" have their OWN separate forums! Additionally, I will also agree that NationalAutow is kinda right on point with the statement that a "club" is not viewed as a "REAL" club until they have a forum area on Tow411 and posts/input about them!

For two seperate examples: Look and see how many posts there are inquiring about Honk! From time to time posts pop up asking about who they are and so on... #2) What about posts asking about who "Jack Rabbit" (Jack Rabbit Dispatch) is?!....see the difference?! Honk is a MORE legitimate "motor club" that Jack Rabbit! Why, because of volume AND because posts that discuss and legitimize them in our eyes (the towers) where he list and discuss OUR experiences with them.

Now, regarding what a "motor club" is, traditionally we view them as a group who has contracted to provide for towing/roadside services for their contract clients (insurance/fleets/etc) and them have and maintain a list of contracted service providers, such as Agero, Quest, Road America. This would also include those who operate internally, such as Allstate and Geico.

Nowadays, with the advent of technology and mobile based app services, we are seeing a NEW offering from companies that pop up offering their App based services, such as Honk and Urgent.ly, who do NOT have their own contracted customer account, instead they are available thru mobile Apps who request assistances as needed. Agreed, Honk & Urgent.ly are essentially doing the same thing and going after the same target audience, similar to Lyft & Uber.

Additionally, there are DISPATCHING services, where they may or may not have contracted customer accounts and also may or may not have any sort of contracted provider base. This is where the Jack Rabbit Dispatch, Allied and a few other small guys fall into. They are simply a DISPATCHING service, of "Redispatching" calls to obtain services from other "Clubs" or fleet customers...Essentialy what they try to do is Price Shop the call in order to maximize THEIR share of the price of the call and minimize the amount the actual service provider is making........WAIT! While this simple statement MAY draw some different views, I understand that, but PLEASE try to see how I'm making reference to the core issue that they are a Dispatching Service as compared to being a full blown motor club!

NAC: Yes that ARE still around and as already stated, they caret to the fleet customers...for instance, they handle the contract roadside/towing services for State Vehicles! (such as our state)

Coach-Net does operate and offer regular/traditional roadside assistance and tow services for light and medium clients as well, from insurance to corporate accounts and others. They are a low volume club, but they still warrant their own forum as well, since they Are an established and Real motor club.

AHL, while a low volume club also, they are still in business. They take a % of the billed call price for their share, but are willing to pay at your retail set rates that YOU set, NOT them...So they ARE a good club to work with at retail rates, as long as you figure the % cut into your rate markup (which they actually state to do on their paperwork). They take about two weeks for a check payment to be sent to you.

As for the decline in participation from members to hold discussions in the motor clubs forums, I can only speculate as to why, but I can share my experiences...

While I do view and utilize the motor clubs forums to hold general discussions about those clubs, to mention issues I may be having with them and also to network/gather additional input and esperiences from others about them, I have seen a few different outcomings as a result. First, one club somehow went about and had me "banned" from their club many years ago now for having discussed a problem I was experiencing with them about a very particular pay issue. I was NOT bashing, but making light of a very specific pay concern I was experiencing. Eventually I was reinstated to their forum (I'm unsure of when).

Another club I discussed there went on the retaliation for my posts bringing light to their unfair billing practices of short-paying invoices. For them, ties were eventually cut (by them) from being a contracted provider because I spoke out and made others aware of the issue and then MANY on the board here experienced the SAME issue and also spoke out to affirm what I had said was going on.

For another club, things actually IMPROVED with them, our working relationship with the club rep was even better and my discussions about how well they were operating, being fair and conducting their operations went to reinforce a positive mutual working relationship with them.

So, what all this in summery means is that, Yes while motor clubs HAVE taken notice to Tow411 and our means/ability to network and discuss their clubs, it can go both ways in working for/against us, even if we are taking steps to work through an issue, they may choose to do the opposite. So, that "may" be one reason why others have decreased their participation in the clubs forums, because they are afraid that the club "might" take retaliation against that provider. I know it has had an effect of what I say in their forums.

As I had previously said, my end goal here is to be a facilitator of discussions and further our networking amongst towers across the country and world. I feel that Tow411 IS the resource the industry has come to recognize as THE place to turn for networking, information, resources and discussions of all sorts that encompass our industry as a whole. I hope to promote further discussions and by each "motor club" baving their own separate forum, it will allow for a single location of where to go to find answers, info and to discuss that particular club. I simply feel that spreading out all the posts across seperate areas of the board in different forums is counter productive and causes reproduction of threads in one manner or another, instead of bringing together into a single collective for discussions.

Also, let me say that OUR input/participation in Tow411, the various forums and threads on this board IS what makes it what it is today, that of such a valuable resource and wealth of information in a collective location ONLINE!

Again, thank you all for your time, attention and participation in reading/posting to my threads and especially to those at Tow411 for their openess, understanding, cooperation and dedication to make/keep Tow411 the industry online resource that it is, has become and will continue to be! I personally feel that Tow411 is an invaluable resource to our industry, the world over!
TowZone said:
I had already changed the manner that the Clubs who are considered Heavy Duty Motor Clubs could be accessed. These Clubs can be found in the HD Logistics forum and include Fleetnet, Coach-net, Interstar and The Towing Network.

This morning, I changed the recently added Canadian Motor Club forum to the North American Motor Clubs forum. I will be moving Allied Motor Club into the newly created forum until the discussion warrants a stand alone forum. I will also consider removing Allied Motor Club forum the ranking list though it did receive several responses. If this new club is more like a road service only provider such as jack rabbit as some have now suggested. We do not consider these typical clubs which the majority of the industry would incorporate into their business.

Let's keep the dialog going and I will work on a way to open these Motor Club Forums up to more members. If that involves the Motor Club adding supporter level banners does anyone have an objection. Keep in mind this may not occur overnight, it could take up to a year to implement. I will try to open that general motor club forum up in a few weeks on a trial basis.

DodgeTowGuy134 said:
Yes Ron, Allies is not a typical/traditional "motor club", they are a dispatch service (Allied Dispatch Solutions). Whereas Urgent.ly and Honk are App based and pretty much function as a dispatch service also.

Although Allied has ranked well in the ratings (as we haven't had any issues with them either when we deal with them on a credit card only upfront bases) they aren't like RAMC, Agero, Geico, Etc...so, it's your call as to leave them in the ranking or not, but I will say that if they did have enough feedback to give them a ranked position, I'd actually suggest to leave them listed. After all, the term "motor club" is beginning to change and involved a new dynamic, that of dispatch services and App base markets. While I don't consider Allied, Honk and Urgent.ly a "traditional" motor club, I do however group them into the "motor club" category. I do this because they aren't my typical local retail customers, they aren't my local commercial customers and so on, so they only seem to fall into the "motor club" grouping and that's how I have them listed in our facility computer management/dispatch system.

I really hope to see others participate in this conversation. I see that it's only had 5 posts, from the 3 of us and about 356 views, at this point...So I encourage others to please chime in and let us know, as Ron said, it takes the imput from all members of the group who wish to participate to help guide the group in the directions it should go to benefit us all.
TowZone said:
OK, attempting to work through this one. Moving Allied into a General Motor Clubs forum would likely be warranted.

Would it also be warranted to remove them from the rankings?

Would it be best to rank only the Top 5? I always felt it was like giving a free pass to those clubs not on the list.

Should it be a Top 7 or 8 List instead? I suppose that will depend on how many join the market and how many leave in the next year.

Too many questions as Motor Clubs scrabble to increase profits and gain more market share. It is my vision that clubs in the near future with more market share will be able to offer more services and structure the provider payments in a way that attracts more towing companies. This will all be up for discussion as the activity in the Motor Club forums increase and some Motor Clubs become more active in their forum.

I have changed directions on the motor clubs to some degree. While I am still not a fan of seeking Tow411 sponsorship's from the clubs. I find that when a club or any organization is vested in something they tend to participate more. It is the same with Sponsors & Patrons. These are the most active members within the community. But, then the same can be said for most other organizations.  While I consider Tow411 a Network and not an Organization, it is comprised of many organizations.

I hope more members jump into this discussion when I move it to a different forum soon.
Rod VT said:
I agree that more access to motor club forums would be good for the industry, but I am pessimistic it can be done without some serious frustrations (bashing) being posted.

I feel strongly that accepting sponsorships from the towing industry's customers (clubs) does not promote untainted conversation/moderation in any industry forum/association.

I am not really sure what the differences are between networks, organizations, and associations. Ron, I think Tow411 is more like a periodical/magazine that happens to have primarily reader supplied content. You have to have advertisers, and they generate some of the content too. But advertisers expect readers, so you have to walk a fine line since I think most board members come for the member content (although I do regularly check Showcase II for sales). You have the endorsed vendor program and that is positive. I know that these days almost everyone expects free content on the internet, hence an need to shift more towards advertising revenue. But how far you go down that road really does affect the content (or at least the overall tone) on the board...

Good luck making the right choices. LOL.
TowZone said:
Thanks, Rod your response is on track. You can see that this is never an easy decision. The past reasons the motor club forums are supporter level access only are clearly in the way. As is a rather huge reason, being that 20% of the funds are from Patrons such as yourself. Now I know that at least 10% will continue to support the Tow411 network. However what happens when nearly 10% which contributed to access the motor forums do not renew. Is that a hit that is justified. With that said, today I am actually fine with up to a 10% drop as Platinum & Gold Plus Sponsorship's are nearly sold out.

Now, we move away from the dollars that makes cents, I mean sense. Trying to have a sense of humor, didn't exactly work did it. Anyway, those who recall the Motor Club Talk from several years ago remember the bashing and lack of resolve. I actually do not believe that will return on the level it was back in those days. If it were still the same then it would have been present in Office & Impound and now in North American Motor Clubs & Apps. Most just want resolve these days and bashing the motor club didn't actually result in a resolution. Being strongly concerned about the situation without the bashing has lead to resolve with some clubs. Those clubs generally rank higher.

Thanks for the input and I do hope to stay on a path that leads to more discussion in the individual Motor Club forums by all active members.
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Fast Forward to 2018 and we are settling into our new home here on TowForce by Tow411.net


The Motor Clubs which support the Towing Information Network are found as Regular Forums.


The Motor Clubs that are not involved or defined as supporter level members at this time are found within the sub-forums marked "Various Motor Clubs"


Those marked as visitors who have not registered as a member will only be able to access these Motor Club forums after they have joined our TowForce membership.


Keep in mind you must create an introduction once you join in order to access the member only forums which do not require a supporter status.


Members of the old forums will need to register on TowForce.net as the data was not able to be transferred. Once registered your status will be set generally with an hours sometimes longer.

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