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young buck learning.
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Discussion Starter #1
ive always liked the idea of owning my own tow truck, recentley been seriously considering trying it. just wondering if there are any guys on here who have done it or still do it? is it easy to get into, and eventually make a living doing it? i live in maryland on the eastern shore and there arent that many around that i see. but its alot of farm land around here but many of little towns around and delaware isnt far from me. looking for any input on this.
 

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I have some years under my belt in the towing biz, and there is a reason I'm not in the towing biz. First if you don't have experience don't even think about it because it is tooo easy to damage Joe Schmo's car leaving you liable for the damage. If you don't know what you're doing you can damage your truck as well. The other issues with towing is that you have to go through all the normal steps of starting a biz as well as the special stuff related to towing. You will need indoor and outdoor storage for impounds and repair of the trucks. Tow truck maintenance is very pricey.

Towing is one of those businesses that the government tells you what to charge and you have no say in it no matter how bad your costs get. If you want to make money you will need to get auto club contracts, they may pay crap but the volume make them worth it.

Now on the other hand repossessing cars I have never done, and I've seen a few guys running around here doing it with a single unmarked wrecker. Again though you will need to gain experience to avoid damaging cars.

If I was wanting to do a tow biz, I would buy one that is established over starting one from scratch. In the case of one with no experience, I would advise to buy an established biz with a very good manager and staff to learn from. If you are brave enough to start one up you need to work for a company for at least a few years so you can learn to operate the equipment and how the biz works.

Towing is very demanding, it is 24/7 and you must be married to the truck in order to make a living. Towing is lack of sleep, or waiting around. Towing is feast or famine. As a tow operator I made as much or more than a surgeon in one month, and less then a migrant worker the next. Even with the crap it is a very addicting, you should go and work for a company to sort of try it before you buy it type thing.

My credentials are AAA certified and Wreckmaster certified with many years experience hauling broken down wrecks and pulling out the exceptionally stuck while operating flatbeds, wreckers, and medium duty tow rigs.
 

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Ol'Blue pretty much hit the nail on the head. It certainly is extremely addictive (I've been out for 4 years now this time around) my last foray was driving heavy duty wreckers, but I've done it all in the past 20 years.

See ya in the ditch
 

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young buck learning.
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Discussion Starter #5
thanks guys... good information. in the last few years ive seen many of tow truck companys pop up where i use to live and they are never sitting, always have a vehicle hooked up. im only 19 but mature 19. i love driving and love hauling big trailers, and ive always liked the idea of driving a tow truck so i figured why not try to do my own thing, but i guess that isnt possible. the problem with working for a company around here is there arent that many and they always want a few years experience ( seems like thats with everything), no one around here wants to give us young guys a chance.
 

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heres a big question for you, all these companies that youve seen pop up, and always have trucks on the hook, do the companies last? Ive seen countless companies come and go. They come in thinking they will set the world on fire and price themselves right out of business in short time.
 

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young buck learning.
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Discussion Starter #7
well that i cant answer. a few that have started in the last few years that are local i still see around.
 

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Go talk to the owners or hiring managers of your local companies about what they look for in a trainee. Ask them about other forms of work experience that they would take in place of towing. When you do this, be perfectly clear to them that you aren't looking for a job, but are interested in the industry as a future occupation.
After I stopped driving and did the college thing I was a counselor that helped Veterans find services, education, and job training until my own wounds from war time service left me in the same situation I helped people get out of. This strategy usually works because employers get annoyed when you come in looking for a job when they aren't hiring, and you ask a bunch of questions. Usually they love their field though and would talk to someone not looking to get hired. See if you can make an appointment with them, that way they can clear their schedule for you, and there would be no inconvenience for them.

Good luck
 
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