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Jill Silvers

AGERO SWOOP NSD QUEST first 90 days assessment

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So, they said buy a tow truck, they said, it'll be profitable they said.....

 

Well, we did, about 90 days ago we bought a tow truck and put it to work trying to carve out just club tows, and go for volume.  We could not have hired drivers and survive with out the clubs to lean on, and thats just a fact. 

 

Ive read all the horror stories about Agero.   Fact is, if you bill honestly and do your job the way you're supposed to they are hands down the leader for work.   If we had 2 trucks, we could run Agero jobs all day.  Are we under paid, yes, but under payed running 21 hours a day is better then getting top dollar and running 3 hours a day.   They get over on us from time to time, but that's experience.  I spend A LOT of time on hold, hand holding to be sure we get what we have coming thru the proper channels.  They are very difficult to be in contact with, and its a full time job just dealing with them.  They want you to communicate, but they are too cheap to hire enough people to effectively manage a territory.   

 

We use Swoop to dispatch.  Horrible company to work with, they have even less staffing, are impossible to get a hold of, their software has glitches that cost me money.  If I could use any other software i would.  They talk in circles, follow thru with nothing, and I pay them so I can get digital dispatch from NSD Quest and Swoop themselves.   

 

NSD took 2 months to get on with.  and it took a post on here to get it done.  Patrick, good guy.  I dont' even mess with my regional as she is not at the top of her game.  I go to Patrick, it gets done.  Downside to NSD...they offer no volume.  I could not survive on them while I could and can surviving w Agero, and NSD is filler.  their billing is time consuming.  Their calls are mostly, for us, either far to fetch and deliver, or just long deliveries, which loaded miles are great, but a 90 mile dead head is a 90 mile deadhead.  and i can't take my bread and butter calls.   

 

Quest sends us nearly nothing, maybe 1 or 2 calls a week.  Swoop, 1 or 2 calls a week, NSD 3-4 calls a week. Agero, 50-80 calls a week.  Swoop doesn't pay their bills, and have recently told them not to even dispatch to us anymore.  I was told that all Agero calls will go thru swoop and that going to towbook, I would start losing volume.  Not a chance i can take, but Swoop dispatch, tech support, live support and phone support is HORRIFIC. 

 

Were on with a couple other services, but they send us nothing.  Agero, while the list of bullshit is long, by far has the work.  They do make it impossible to be better though.  If you're honest about your eta, they hit you, if you tell them what they want to hear, they hit you.  Swoop dispatch sends out surveys and i get 90% returned, Agero sends out surveys, i have 14 responses out of 364 calls.  but they base our performance on this?  Strange.  there's no easy way to take your truck out of service for maintenance or breakage, you can do it, but it effects your performance non.   without us, they are just a call center with people that need help and no one to dispatch to.   That's my take on the first 90 days.   

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Thanks for your sharing your experience. Reps can make a huge difference. Patrick has done right by us in the past, mom has not needed to make that call once this year that I know!!!

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I wish you the best. My take, however, is that if I have to spend any time at all on the phone chasing even a dime then you do not get wholesale rates. In fact you pay higher than retail because my time chasing money is not free. Add to that the fact that if you are not making a profit on every call, or worse not breaking even, than 21 hours a day just makes you broke and tired faster. I would rather work the 3 hours a day to make the same money the club is paying for 21 hours and not have to spend another 21 hours chasing MY money. And running a truck constantly without pm servicing at low rates means that when the truck wears out prematurely from the constant abuse and no maintenance, there's no extra money in the bank to replace it. Ultimately it's your business, but I would think twice about running my tail off for a company that places no value what so ever on what you bring to the table. If someone else buys a truck tomorrow and under cuts you by a dollar is agero going to stick by you? Not a chance.

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Dave, while I do agree with you. I have found that it is difficult in some markets to hit the ground running and succeed without some Motor Club work in your profile. This is work that the established companies in those market have often shed. While more than half of all new towing companies fail within the first 3 years. Those who have a plan have more success even with the motor clubs in their mix. Starting out they may have as much as 80% of their business from Motor Clubs. While at the end of 3 years unless they are say AAA preferred and only conduct AAA service calls. The Motor Club portion of their business will have dropped to nearly 50%. If the company has chased their tail, I mean worked their tails off and make it past 3 years the road should make it possible to chose only profitable calls. Getting into any business is an investment, anyone that thinks they are going to show a serious profit or any profit the first year getting into the wrong industry. Those kind of start ups are rare, I know plenty of companies with 3 or more years that are still struggling to hold on even with fewer employees and no replacement trucks. The ability to maintain, add on or replace equipment after 3 years is key.

 

Also, congrats on Winning the TowMate TM-FLUX Wireless Tow Light this week.

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I agree with you on motor clubs, we've been with AAA for 70 years so far and a preferred provider since they unveiled the psp program. Agero, on the other hand, has a history of bring difficult to deal with and Jill said she spends a ton of time chasing payment. If we start new companies with the impression that running for a loss is not worth it and clubs that are hard to deal with pay accordingly the industry as a whole will benefit. We as an industry need to move away from the idea that working 21 hours a day at a loss is good and make sure every call we get is profitable. At the end of the day we as a whole have the power to ensure this, as we're the ones with the trucks not the clubs. 

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On 10/24/2019 at 6:22 PM, Jill Silvers said:

So, they said buy a tow truck, they said, it'll be profitable they said.....

 

Well, we did, about 90 days ago we bought a tow truck and put it to work trying to carve out just club tows, and go for volume.  We could not have hired drivers and survive with out the clubs to lean on, and thats just a fact. 

 

Ive read all the horror stories about Agero.   Fact is, if you bill honestly and do your job the way you're supposed to they are hands down the leader for work.   If we had 2 trucks, we could run Agero jobs all day.  Are we under paid, yes, but under payed running 21 hours a day is better then getting top dollar and running 3 hours a day.   They get over on us from time to time, but that's experience.  I spend A LOT of time on hold, hand holding to be sure we get what we have coming thru the proper channels.  They are very difficult to be in contact with, and its a full time job just dealing with them.  They want you to communicate, but they are too cheap to hire enough people to effectively manage a territory.   

 

We use Swoop to dispatch.  Horrible company to work with, they have even less staffing, are impossible to get a hold of, their software has glitches that cost me money.  If I could use any other software i would.  They talk in circles, follow thru with nothing, and I pay them so I can get digital dispatch from NSD Quest and Swoop themselves.   

 

NSD took 2 months to get on with.  and it took a post on here to get it done.  Patrick, good guy.  I dont' even mess with my regional as she is not at the top of her game.  I go to Patrick, it gets done.  Downside to NSD...they offer no volume.  I could not survive on them while I could and can surviving w Agero, and NSD is filler.  their billing is time consuming.  Their calls are mostly, for us, either far to fetch and deliver, or just long deliveries, which loaded miles are great, but a 90 mile dead head is a 90 mile deadhead.  and i can't take my bread and butter calls.   

 

Quest sends us nearly nothing, maybe 1 or 2 calls a week.  Swoop, 1 or 2 calls a week, NSD 3-4 calls a week. Agero, 50-80 calls a week.  Swoop doesn't pay their bills, and have recently told them not to even dispatch to us anymore.  I was told that all Agero calls will go thru swoop and that going to towbook, I would start losing volume.  Not a chance i can take, but Swoop dispatch, tech support, live support and phone support is HORRIFIC. 

 

Were on with a couple other services, but they send us nothing.  Agero, while the list of bullshit is long, by far has the work.  They do make it impossible to be better though.  If you're honest about your eta, they hit you, if you tell them what they want to hear, they hit you.  Swoop dispatch sends out surveys and i get 90% returned, Agero sends out surveys, i have 14 responses out of 364 calls.  but they base our performance on this?  Strange.  there's no easy way to take your truck out of service for maintenance or breakage, you can do it, but it effects your performance non.   without us, they are just a call center with people that need help and no one to dispatch to.   That's my take on the first 90 days.   

They told us that about Swoop. I tried them for a month but kept my towbook to be sure. Went back to towbook. Volume stayed the same. You need to switch. They need you just as much and they won’t risk forcing you to use swoop. 

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I work for all of these co,s cc up front or at drop off. Lower volume but never a problem with payment or Long time on phone. Use them as filler in between police tows. That’s where the real money is  if I didn’t have police towing I don’t think I would still be in business. I’d rather sit home and lose money than work hard and lose money   Buy the way, dispatch is extremely easy. The just send me an email with all the info. I can even resend it to my driver. Easy

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Well every situation is different in the Towing Business depending where you are located, I have been in business for nearly 40 years with Autobody Shop & Towing and the latter years the towing side has got much better, technology has been one of the biggest factors you can communicate easier with smartphones, digital dispatch etc. and being connected to the internet just like now learning things from others, hands down Agero is our biggest customer and don't have a lot of problems with them they pay us a decent rate which is a lot more than any other cash calls unless it's a Police Rotation Call which don't get that many anymore and really don't want to get into the dirty ways of Police Rotation.

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As others have said, motor club work can be a mixed bag, but also depends on where you're located (city/rural) and how many other tow companies are close to you. 

 

You NEED to have a well laid out plan in place, along with KNOWING AND UNDERSTANDING YOUR costs & expenses!

 

Also remember this important point:-> VOLUME DOES NOT ALWAYS = $$$....Unless that volume is at a RATE$$$ that also pays enough to cover all of your costs, plus leaves some profit margin!


 

 

~ I'm not an attorney, nor do I represent to be one. I provide my personal opinion and that on behalf of myself, my company and our operations.

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