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How did you get your start in towing?


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This archived topic was started on Tow411 is 2011by LSChicago

who now owns and operates LEDand Safety in River Grove, IL.

 

I started my business for a total of $1200 in 1992. $700 for a truck (a 1980 Chevy K30 4X4 pickup with a slide in boom sling only), $250 down for insurance, $48 for plates, some cards, invoices, ETC, and I was in business! 100% debt free then, but that didn't last long....

 

rotator60 said:

I started working at a gas station..Tommy's Exxon..in Gainesville in 1978..We had a Holmes 440 and a Cradle Snatcher..In 1979 I went to work at University Towing..Where I stayed until my retirement from the industry in May of 2010..Giving up my beloved Rotator..

 

1RANDY said:

Also started in a full service gas station back in 1981 with one weldbuilt on a one ton chevy truck.  Didn't need a lot of money to get started in those days, all the vehicles had real bumpers and made of real steel just sling it and go.  Insurance was cheap gas was around a buck a gallon, man the good old days!

 

BlackAutoload said:

Answered a random help wanted ad.
... Didnt know it would take over my life...

 

EKYtow55 said:

Worked with my day since I was ten years old in the body shop industery, after I graduated from high school in 1973, went to work at the local Chevrolet, Olds and Cadillac dealer and worked there till 1980 and went into the bodyshop business for myself, added towing and recovery in 1981 with a 74 Ford F350 with a 400 Holmes unit, still have that old unit sitting around inactive. Then I just began building my empire, I can remember towing cars back then for $15.00 and seems like I made a lot of money!!!
West Body Shop, Inc. - Axalta Coatings Systems

 

Cotton said:

Dad started as a body man and began driving the tow truck for the dealer when I was 5. I rode and helped hook up every chance I had starting when I was 7. In 1967 (I was 11) Dad started his own company. He stayed an hour behind all day the first day. At 18 I worked for someone else and I started working for him when I turned 19. In 1992, I bought it from him. As a note, the number on the door has not been published in 15 years and I still get over 150 calls a month on that line.

 

annettemcd said:

A.P. was working for a repair facility that never was very successful. A town of 600 is just too small to try to do enough auto repair to keep a business going, but there was some towing going on. He realized that there was actually more need of towing than for repairs. Many vehicles required the equipment, trained technicians, and access to parts that were much easier to find in the nearby city. Vehicles that do not, often required more work than a neighbor could be charged for or were constantly coming back for unrelated problems that were being linked by the owner to the original problem or the original work and thus they wanted the vehicle to be fixed at no additional charge. Towing was seen as a "cleaner" business. Do the tow. Get the vehicle to where it can be repaired properly. Get paid for the tow which can not be linked to future problems and can not be a "come-back" tow even if it is a come-back repair. The tow stands alone as a separate job.

Started in 1992 with a hand-made truck with a Hydro-Tow. Quickly purchased a used Ford with a Holmes boom and wheel-lift. Did many, many tows with dollies because of them being 4x4 vehicles. Finally were able to buy a good, new rollback in 2001.

We are still small potatoes, but we have a niche which we fill well.
sigannettemcd.gif
 
Rocky Mt Towman said:
In 1970 when I got out of the Navy, I came to Estes Park Co. where my folks had just purchased a home. After getting it ready for them to move in, I started working for a gas station, turning wrenches and driving the tow truck, a 1966 F350 with a Stringfellow wrecker body.
The owner wanted to sell, so I thought "What The Heck" I bought him out and 41 years later I'm still towing.
Can you say "It gets in your blood"

Bob
P S  In 1988 my wife switched from being a beautian to Tow Truck Operator. She is TRAA Level 3 and a WreckMaster 6/7 . I couldn't do it all these years without her!!!
 
Kirbys Towing said:
I rode in the wrecker with my dad since before I could walk. Learned how to run all the equipment while the other kids were playing video games. So I guess its in the blood and I'll be hookin' until the day I can't hook anymore! lol
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myerstowing said:
Well, I was born in a dirt tow lot. My daycare was playing in the dirt, and in old junk cars. Middle school I was answering phones and learning the ins and out of the towing industry. A few years later, I'm still here behind the scenes most of the time but I have a feeling for the rest of my life I will be involved in the Towing Industry.
 
Acestowing said:
My Dad got into the business 16 years ago, bought a 20 ton single axle, started from scratch, a few local companies folded or retired and he has kept the 1 truck busy for years himself, we have now got to the spot where either we need to slow down or grow. I've decided to run a heavy full time once we find a second Heavy. I've been around the truck since the day it pulled in the yard.
Bryce Weber - Aces Towing
WM 091409 Level 6/7
 
Renegade said:
The company that did our towing closed their doors. Wasn't sure that anyplace else in to were insured to haul our stuff so got our own trucks, took wreckmaster classes. Practiced and built up trucks for two years and started towing. We figured do it right the first time ...you get to keep it...
 
central4 said:
Was an account customer with Logan City Towing in '96, went through a quiet spell in my own business at the time (slashing and land clearing) so I asked them if they had a spare truck. They put me in an '85
Ford Trader 0811. When I first took the truck out of the yard the dashboard caught fire..
Limped truck back to the yard and jumped into an '83 Isuzu SBR with an 18' cantilever tilt body and a
slide in T bar for a second hitch.
 
StapleyTowin said:
Grandpa had body shop and 1 tow truck in the 50's-60's Dad sold his 1965 mustang in high school and put the money towards a mid 70's Ford 1 ton cab and chassis and built a wrecker on it, hauled scrap and took over the family bodyshop.. a couple different 1 tons wreckers and ramp bodied trucks came and went over the years...then had a louisville with a gasser kinda a mid sized truck homemade wrecker, everytime you looked at the Tach it would blow up LOL, I got alot of passenger seat time in that ole girl...next was a louisville with 3208 cat and a Holmes 600 that truck made money great working unit replaced that with a International S series and a Holmes 600 with 750 booms and air brakes right around the time everyone needed a underreach heavier suff stopped happening we were also running a F450 with a homemade tilt and load body eventually the international got parked until about 2004 we decided to S&!t or get off the pot and bought a new century 19' tilt bed and mounted on a 1990 low pro F700 chassis and opened us to the medium tilt and load world and put together our current 15ton wrecker, now operating an 2002 sterling tilt and load, the meduim wrecker and in the build process of a heavy. Like i said lots of passenger seat time in all of the trucks, drove the F450 tilt and load with my learners permit and the neighbour in the passenger seat so dad could be at the shop working, as i got older i got more interested in the industry did some wreckemaster training, and lots of studying post on Tow411 (actually came across tow411 by googling tow trucks for sale)...work out full time but rarely pass the chane to do tow call when ever possible, born into it, gets in your blood haha 
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quigma1 said:
Well before I even had a drivers license, waas still wet behind the ears as a very young teenager, I began working at a garage, moving vehicles around the property and junking out scrap cars, pulling motors and trans. Got my drivers license at 16 and was doing tow and road service calls for that shop in a 4 X 2 all wheel drive military style truck with a home made wrecker boom. No sling back then, just a flat steel plate and a rubber tire to protect the bumpers. Now thats towing? Years later began working for several other shops with trucks, till I finally got the nerve to start out on my own. Borrowed a few hundred from POP, and the one shop I was working at let me have their only truck to start out on, I paid them back over time. Shakey start for a few weeks, but the police towing took care of that.
 
PartTimer said:
Helped move my brother-in-law back to Kansas 2 1/2 years ago from South Carolina (that's another story entirely) and he was a heavy operator out there. He talked a nearby company into opening a location locally and he was thier only operator out of this location. He had kids from a previous marriage and every time he would have visitation he would get called out, so I told him if they would hire me part time I would cover for him when he had the kids. Keep trying to get out of it now that he has more help but I can't figure out how to get that rush of the wee hour calls out of my system though. Did have to cut back to As Needed-As Available status due to the wifes schedule changing.
 
abctowing said:
Started tow with Bob's towing in Calumet Park Il. in 1974. Established ABC Towing in Comstock Park Mi. in 1985.
 
Towjoe75 said:
I started out hauling scrap when I was 16 {around 1992} with a truck and trailer. I happened to become friends with a local towtruck operator {thats now my stepdad}who taught me the ins and outs. one of the big junkyards went out of business and the old man that I was hauling junk to bought me one of there old wreckers and financed me. still have it to a 1970 F350 with a hubbard. Funny I towed a car the other day and the guy told me he remebers when I started out with that truck and was amazed how much I have moved up to my 05 F650 quadcab with a 21' century
 
GregTowIt said:
I was one of my employers best customers with my 1968 SS396 ElCamino. I have worked on cars most of my life learning most of my knowledge from a father figure-Tom Cummins- who sadly passed away from Cancer a few years ago. One day, while looking for a job, I ran into Doug and he asked if I was working. I said no and he offered me a job and January of this year is 19 years with a couple breaks inbetween. It has been quite a ride and an incredible learning experience.
 
All Star Towing said:
I got into towing because I have a repair shop and when one of my customers had a car that needed towed would call a certin co. that also did repairs would pickup the car they would say they would do the tow for free if they could do the repair. That happened 3 times that I know of. So I bought my rollback. A friend of mine said sence you have the truck you should get on the rotation list. Got on with the rollback and found out I needed a wrecker so I bought the 02 F550. Been towing for about 10 months now and all is going well. Thanks to tow411.
 
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In 2011 I was tired of not making enough money at the sour shop I was working at, our tow guy offerd to sell me his truck in a few months when his new truck showed up. I bought it a 2000 c3500hd with a Vulcan 881. It had 385,000 miles $8500. Bought a year of insurance. Started doing motor clubs don’t do them anymore mostly just shop Towing and stuff from google. 

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