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Hiring drivers and how do you pay

Shantz Towing

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This topic was started on Tow411 in January of 2014:


Has anyone figured where to hire good drivers that are willing to work the hours and in the weather that we all do? And how do you pay? hourly,per call ?


Badbowtie1982 said:

My boss is a huge jeep guy. He has found a few people over the years from a local 4x4 web forum myself included. Of the drivers that work at my location id say 3/4 or more are jeep/4x4 guys.


Wreck85 said:

Two ways to get a good driver , train one ore steal one lol
But seriously we try and get old school long haul drivers, they can put the hours in and don't cause a lot of issues they are use to getting the load and taking care of business.


Shantztowing said:

I was thinking of the long haul route but small town limited pool to chose from,Had a full time driver quit been here 6yrs 3 part time 3 fulltime ,said he would stay if he had a day off through the week and didn't have to work nights on the weekends. He was the least senior driver I have and if anyone gets days and weekends off its me!!!!


Sootermec said:

The biggest problem we have at our company is that most applicants are just looking for a job. This is not just a job, it's a lifestyle. Someone has to be willing to make a complete lifestyle change to be a long term employee. Very few people are willing to give that kind of commitment anymore.


wreck85 said:

yeah what scooter said, and we pay salary, seems to work for long term, in the summer they get paid at some points to sit on there ass, but in the winter they work there asses off. Try posting adds in the filthy wheel, im sure there are a few truckers that wouldn't mind relocating to picton.


Shantz Towing said:

It is a lifestyle for sure, we also pay salary I know what my wages are and when they go to borrow money they have a steady income. Good idea wreck about the filthy wheel just hope I can get in and out fast enough so I don't catch anything. Little off topic/wrong post but I had problems a few years ago with Impact and I was using them as a backhaul they would promise the world and then change there mind. not sure if stapley still doing it for them but he was when I was(Impact Oshawa not Vars)


speedytow said:

Our labour force is the bottom of the barrel. 10$/hour clean abstract, G license. The whole world just wants a job. If we want a better labour force then we have to raise the barrier together as an industry and make it a way of life that pays well and offers good career opportunities. Making it a profession makes it a good life style that can afford people the days off and the employer support they should be getting.

The government is following the insurances lead on regulating us as frauds. Don't look for improved value for the tow truck operator there. They are busy telling government we already charge too much, so when the quota system is rolled out and businesses have to invest in quota just to put trucks on the street, there won't be a lot left to pay your drivers. You might just have to go and live your lifestyle as someone else's driver.

The idea of lowering prices to the insurances price point and standardizing the industry and improving the service at the same time makes no sense. The license will just hold you down rather than lift you up and improve things. The current pay point does not accurately reflect the risks taken and commitment made to do the job, so people just pass though it and don't stay in the industry. what government is doing will not fix that, it will just fix your price where insurance wants it and you will have to make due with that, and the ever rising costs of doing business every day.

I know I sound like a broken record, but Trade Certification will put money into the industry in the form of apprenticeship grants and tax incentives for you to hire and train career oriented people. You will help build a highly specialized and very important labour force.

If you are interested in improving this industry without the "help" of the insurance companies, then please go to www.ofit.ca and register your support for a real license and make towing a real profession instead of just a job people do. The commodity you are dealing in is the services of your operators; do you not want to sell the best quality product possible?

Insurance wants to "water down" your product so they can profit; they are currently running the show with government regulators, but we can change that by showing a willingness to improve our product to the benefit of the consumer. Price should be the last consideration. Its a vital service, quality should be #1.

The registration is free and it is for every tow truck operator in Ontario, so please encourage anyone who works a tow truck to register. Together we can make this industry a place where people will want to come and have a career.



wreck85 said:

Any employer that values there employee and there business doesn't see them as bottom of the barrel 10$ an hour ,clean abstract and a G license steve. That is a ridiculous statement! And look at it from this standpoint , anyone that does see it as that as an owner is a definite problem in this industry. I know you are routing and pressing for trade certification Steve,and I commend you for it , but every post ???? really??


expresstowing said:

I like to train new guys. Younger ones that are willing to learn and have motivation. Older drivers are stubborn in there ways and don't seem to do things my way! Which of course is the right way! LOL. And if you anticipate $10 per hour then your going to get a flunky that's going to cost you more than he makes you. I see it that if you can train them right then there doing it your way and you feel comfortable sending them out all the time. How many mechanics or plumbers or other trades people learned off there bosses and hands on is the way to be


towcats said:

I had to read and re-read this thread. It's my belief that the onus is on the employer to have good work and good equipment. In turn, he should pay decent wage. My entry level drivers earn 4K a month. My long term drivers earn a LOT more. You can't expect much from a ten-dollar-an-hour operator. Babysitters and Pizza delivery people earn more than that.
 We are our own worst enemies. We don't trust each other, and the Auto Clubs and Insurance Companies love it that way. We don't know our true costs. We base our rates on the guy down the street.  Good towing isn't cheap, and cheap towing isn't good. "free" kilometers? How many kilometers do your trucks run for free? Why do you hold onto the $44 hookup and $34 service Auto Club? You shouldn't start your truck for $44!! Let "Cheap Charlie" have the low ball rates. What are you afraid of?
 I read an interesting article about a sucsessful tow-er in Canada. He stated that he made NO profit until he kicked the low ball payers to the curb. He has app. 125 employees today, and is VERY profitable. I'll bet he pays his income tax, remits gst/pst, and has a nice health benefit plan--do you?


Orcas Tow r55_1559570275.gif said:

Every tow company owner needs to live this way. Unfortunately way too many people that start up tow companies without the forethought/business sense of sustainability. 


EdwardsTowing said:

What is the companies name???
and what article


towcats said:

I read the article in a Canadian Trucking magazine late last year. They interviewed the ceo of a large towing firm in Manitoba.


towdriver said:

Once you decide on what way you are paying then how often do you pay? Every week, every two weeks or ...?


towcats said:

We have tried everything in the last 33 years. What works for us is:  a mid month "advance" $1000 to $1500, then the rest on the last banking day before month end. We have a cut-off on the 26th. The cut-off helps the admin staff to have the entire cheque (I'm Canadian) finished with all deductions. The first month is hard on a new hire, but after that-it works best (for me). The biggest problem is: We (as tow-ers) tend to be poor money managers. A large mid-month tends to be spent on Red Bull (or the like), instead of bills and living expenses. 
If your employee can hold out for the entire month without an advance, they tend to get ahead sooner.


NMRotator said:

As an operator in this industry for 26 years now the challenge for us "Drivers" is to find a place of employment where the owner isnt a greedy jerk. Most want their employees to go the extra mile for the company and dont give the extra mile when the employee needs one. This is an amazing an awsome buisness but the funny thing is from my point of view is that todays owners want to skate by on the cheap when it comes to equipment and pay. What do you all expect? All any good employee wants is to feel like he/she is a valued member of a team, and to get paid what they are truly worth. Owners complain about dammage, but don't take the time to spend training employees properly. Just "hurry up and get them in a truck" then have the gall to complain when the new guy damages the truck or a towed vehicle. This job is a family as well as a way of life, if you want good employees..... treat them with respect and dignity..... NOT pices of meat!! Give them paid vacation even if its only 500.00 bucks for a week.... its something. Give them days off..... They need them too. and for gods sake spend the time and money to train them.... after all its only YOUR reputation they are potentialy going to make or break. If The Owner doesnt care.... neither will your employee....


rreschran r55_1559570275.gif said:

These comments are great posts that I believe lead to the industry's biggest problem ... driver retention. There's nothing to prohibit any owner from being that company that pays decent wages and doesn't stifle them.


@Speedytow @Express Towing @towcats @Orcas Tow @Edwards Towing @NM Rotator @rreschran

@Badbowtie1987 @Scootermec

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Until the mindset is adjusted and improved, this industry will rely on BOB bottom of the barrel to fill in the gaps. If you want people to be a professional, you have to treat them like a professional. And you have to stop running your operation like a brothel, worrying what the competition does and what they charge. You have to give people time off and benefits. You have to constantly be on the lookout for talent, and be willing to develop talent. 

This industry is it's own worst enemy. And has nobody else to blame. 

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