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When would you say a Tow turns into a Recovery ???

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This Topic was Originally Created on Tow411 in December of 2010:


Just wondering what your definition of Towing Verse Recovery
This is The Louisiana Public Services Definition

Tow Only - is defined as a routine/standard tow that does NOT require special techniques or special
equipment as defined in Recovery. Tow Only equipment is considered normal use of a tow sling, wheel
lift, or winch cable to winch a vehicle onto a tilt bed tow truck. Tow Only rates as met in this definition
shall apply whether the vehicle is either mobile or immobile and is in contact of the roadway surface
Light Duty Tow rate $102.00 per hour

Recovery - is defined as the use of one or more of the following techniques under the following scenario:
The use of air bags, winching, hoisting, up-righting, removing, or otherwise relocating a vehicle when the
vehicle is found in such a location, state or position in which it could not remove itself from the location,
state or position under the use of its own power, even if it were in complete operating condition.
Light Duty Recovery Rate $140.00 per hour

So when or what would you say turns a regular Tow into a Recovery ????

 Rates and Definitions posted at ORIGINAL LINK BROKEN
doingitall tubered.gif said:
I for one think that the definitions are pretty good overall. Anytime I cannot pull up to a vehicle and reach it to hook up with less than 10 feet of cable out, that probably counts as a recovery. If I have to unhook and rehook at some point, that is probably a recovery. If I have to use most special equipment (snatch blocks, chain saw - NOT skates) that is probably a recovery. There are lots of scenarios, but in general if it rolls and is on a designated roadway, is not all mangled from an accident, that is probably a tow, not a recovery. Not every scenario will fit every rule though, and I think an experienced operator will know the difference.

JMO ...
annettemcd said:
The scenarios which get complicated for us are narrow, windy driveways or tight parking spaces where the tow truck may have to be backed a long distance, the vehicle has to be winched 90 degrees from the direction of the truck, and/or the tow truck must be repositioned a few times to get the vehicle in a position to load it. Add to that working at 30-40 degrees below zero where everything is stiff and the operator is cold.

If we have to pick up a vehicle that is not by the side of the road, it is often down a gravel road, down a narrow, windy, gravel driveway which has not been snow plowed, parked between a cabin and a broken down vehicle at a right angle to the driveway with a few trees in the way. Technically, by the definition above, since the vehicle could easy have gotten out of there if it was operational, this would be a simple tow. The only consideration is that since the rates given above are by the hour, than the total for such a tow would be higher because it would take longer to get the vehicle loaded.

Luckily, no one dictates our rates, so that we can evaluate the situation and charge accordingly without having to have the job fit a definition.
meggala said:
we call this restricted access and paid extra. yes I would call it a recovery
also if a car is in an under cover carpark
1Towman tubebronze.gif said:
Just a few examples lets say you get called out for a abandon vehicle 1st situation its a Toyota no keys but the cars unlocked wheel is locked straight I think every one would say simple tow???

now its the same car doors locked wheels turned hard and locked pretty easy maybe a set of skates pretty much a done deal but would this be a recovery or tow?
pretty good difference in the price if any one ever comes to pick it up you never know 672.gif

I am just wondering what every one thinks when would it become a recovery ?
miracle1 said:
Both of your mentioned examples would be considered regular tows here with circumstances,They'd pay a little higher( 25%-35%)then a vehicle that rolls on it's wheels but less then a recovery which here would be a accident call...Kenny
Kenny Miracle
''Miracles Do Happen Here''
Brian Bell said:
In your 2 examples ...if you said the 2nd one was a "recovery" would it have been a "recovery" if you would have been in a conventional tow truck?

Not sure where you are headed here, but I feel that any vehicle that you can back up to and winch onto the carrier from a paved roadway is a standard tow especially if you could have just backed a conventional wrecker up to it and wheel lifted it.  Now don't get me wrong if it's in the center median and I've got to pull out an extra 2ft (lol) of cable then it's recovery. 

Here is another scenario... You have a 2 or 3 vehicle MVA and two of the cars are head on and both are front wheel drives..... you show up in a rollback and back up to your vehicle and load it from the rear, at the same time the other tower shows up in a conventional and winches his car around so he can get to the front of his car.... Did he "recover" the vehicle?   emoticonconfused.gif
jrtowman said:
Here in SC any vehicle that is not able to drive away from the scene is a recovery because it is being recovered from the highway I drive (well did) a wrecker everyday and work accidents with it so just being clear a conventional wrecker can still tow in a recovered vehicle
Kyle Hodges - 704-913-1823
1Towman tubebronze.gif said:
Brian from what the LPSC says they would both be a tow and a recovery. myself personally I have just been charging the Tow but from now on I think I am going to rethink the situation . I was just wondering because I have been charging mostly tow no recovery but I was told that every one else was charging recovery on most all wrecks and by the Definition the the LSPC gives I been shorting myself 70 dollars on a lot of calls !
Westlake Towing said:
Tow- when you can back up to the vehicle, load, and go. Recovery- when you have to free spool the wire rope(s)
Brian Bell said:
To Quote Arsenio Hall..... " Things That Make You Go Hmmm"  Maybe I should re-think it myself ...lol..     I guess "hoisting" is what the wheel-lift does.  emoticonthumb.gif
gen4towman said:
We charge a no keys fee if we are left without keys and will charge extra labor if we get into needing our sidepuller or snatch block to load cars.


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Its funny that this is brought up again today.  Recently the PA State Police sent out new applications for towing in Troop J which is in Southeastern PA.   Their definitions are vague at best.   But they consider a recovery something that is overturned or in a deep ravine as they word it.  A tow is anything else, basically any hook and go accident etc.   In past years, we have always billed a disabled vehicle or a traffic stop as their tow rate.  Any crash/accident at the recovery rate.  I am now being told that is not accurate.

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Louisiana Public Service Commission Describes it as The use of air bag unit(s), winching, hoisting, up-righting, removing, or otherwise relocating a vehicle when the vehicle is found in such a location, state or position in which it could not remove itself from the location, state or position under the use of its own power, even if it were in complete operating condition. Rates for recovery include the time conducting actual recovery and not Stand-by or Tow time 



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That's a good question really. Personally i use the term recovery for any vehicle that is off the roadway, hung up, tangled or sunk and needs to be retrieved to a driveable or towable  position. a ppi or lei for instance that requires extra work or equipment to tow is termed as additional labor/equipment. I use different billing rates for each as well. 

Towing And Recovery is not just a job, It's a Lifestyle For only the Toughest Families.Stay Safe My Fellow Towers!!!!

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