Towing Business Idea
Wondering how to start a towing business? Getting started takes an investment of time and money, but the rewards may be well worth it.
There are two main types of towing. Consent towing is for the fellow whose car is stranded on the highway, and he needs to get to a repair shop. He’s happy to see you, and will gladly pay you to take his car to get fixed.
Then there’s non-consent towing, where you tow the car parked in front of the “Parking Only for MySmallBiz.com Customers” sign, or the car whose owner has exceeded her share of unpaid parking tickets. While the car owners may not be so happy to see you, business owners and the police will be.
How To Start A Towing Business – License Requirements
Many states require a different license for consent towing versus non-consent towing, so if you think you may do both, the non-consent towing license gives you more flexibility.
Experts in the field agree that the licensing process is often the most difficult part of establishing a towing business.
Check with your state, but depending on individual state’s regulations, you may need the following in order to get licensed:
- Bond (amount varies by state)
- List of all drivers who may use the tow truck
- Insurance for bodily injury, property damage and vehicle damage
- Inspection of all facilities and equipment
- Proof of good driving record
- Criminal background check
- Drug test results
- Worker’s compensation (for any employees you have)
Some tow truck operators work privately with individual businesses and property owners instead of with the public. In this capacity, they may not have to get a license, however, they may also have more difficulty getting the necessary liability insurance.
When learning how to start a towing business, you may consider joining a towing business franchise, instead of operating completely independently. As part of a franchise, you will receive assistance with developing and advertising your business, which may give you a jump-start on building clientele.
Starting Your Business
No matter whether you decide to work publicly or privately, consent or non-consent, you will need some essentials to get started. In addition to your tow truck, you’ll need additional towing accessories such as amber strobe lights, floodlights, flares and traffic cones, and roadside assistance equipment.
If you are working independently, you will need to have a safe place where you can store the towed vehicles. You’ll need someone available at that location to release the vehicles to the owners when they come to pay for them. You will also need to be available quickly, most of the time in order to perform a towing operation. A reliable cell phone and answering machine are essential.
Once you have the essentials, advertising your services is your next task. If you are a public service, advertise in the Yellow Pages and other city directories. Try to think of a catchy name and number that people will remember.
Give out flyers and magnets to service stations and mechanics. If you want to work with private companies, you can send business owners professional brochures, or visit them to pitch your service.
Be able to offer something different about your service – quick response time, for instance, to persuade businesses to give you a try.
Diligence is key when learning how to start a towing business. Care, customer service and hard work can help you pull together a successful towing operation.