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How many tow operators in the us?

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01-09-2018: myerstowing wrote,

 

I was looking to see if there is any current census data in regards to how many tow truck operators are employed in the United States.  In comparison to other dangerous occupations, the statistics are compared in a per 100,000 workers formula.  It is hard to compare the danger of the towing industry when there isn't a good number for comparison.  For instance the easy ones to find are; truck drivers 3.5 million (multiple sources), 750,000 sworn police officers, 1,160,000 firefighters, 245,000 paramedics and so forth.  Do you think we are categorized under truck drivers?  In California our Workers Compensation code designates a class for "towing" so why isn't there data in regards to the number of tow truck operators? 

 

KL said:

Here's a slightly educated guess. By NAICS code #488410 there are 18,939 tow companies in the U.S. By NAICS 4 digit segment #4884 the companies within that segment average 8.5 employees per company. So best guess would be 18,339 x 8.5 = 155,882 tow company employees. Of course this number does not capture data from companies whose primary business is not towing for example a body shop or trucking company nor does it differentiate between types of employees i.e. drivers vs. dispatchers, etc.

 

MaP said:

Latest figures I could find are for second quarter 2017, NAICS code 488410 "Motor Vehicle Towing." For total U.S., there are 9,258 towing businesses employing 62,707 with average weekly wage of $725.

MaP2018A.png

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So based on the supplied information we have the following data to make educated assumptions:

 

63,000 tow truck operators

 

60 tow truck operator deaths annually https://internationaltowingmuseum.org/survivor-fund/

 

95.2 Deaths per 100,000 workers

 

Time.com recently posted the "Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs in America" http://time.com/5074471/most-dangerous-jobs/

 

                                                                                 Fatal Injuries          Total Deaths

                                                                             per 100,000 workers   

1

Logging workers

135.9

91

2

Fishers and related fishing workers

86

24

3

Aircraft pilots and flight engineers

55.5

75

4

Roofers

48.6

101

5

Trash and recycling collectors

34.1

31

6

Iron and steel wokers

25.1

16

7

Truck and sales drivers

24.7

918

8

Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers

23.1

260

9

First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers

18

134

10

Grounds maintenance workers

17.4

217

 

 

 

It appears that we would be included as the second most dangerous job in America.  

 

What does that mean for our industry?  What does that say about our incentive programs?  What are the impacts to our hiring practices?  How could this shape our rate structures?  Where is our visibility to the general and motoring public?

 

Just with these numbers, the towing industry deserves a statistical, professional census performed to better serve our interests.

 

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Hey BIlly ... I've been studying that number for years. I personally think there's no accurate accounting based on the many tow related venues or business types towing and recovery companies are listed under while they respond in a tow truck, i.e., repo, salvage, law enforcement, PPI, insurance hauling, long-hauling etc, full time and part time.  Only until recently, tow operator or tow involved statistics have been recorded, but there are historical fatalities (recorded or known) since 1934. If you ever come up with an accurate number that can truly reflect ALL of the tow operators in the states ... please share it with us. Thanks.    R. 


Randall C. Resch

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