7 Methods to Keep away from Predatory Towing Corporations


This publish is a part of a collection sponsored by IAT Insurance coverage Group.

Corporations that interact in disreputable towing — generally known as predatory towing — practices are preying on vehicles in areas recognized to have an elevated frequency of crashes. They could even use nefarious means to contribute to chance of an accident. That is the newest rip-off affecting lengthy haul and transferring and storage trucking.

Living proof: A driver lately incurred vital injury when trying to drive their tractor trailer below a Chicago bridge, whose “low bridge” signal had been suspiciously eliminated. As quickly because the accident occurred, an unsolicited tow truck appeared. Within the driver’s misery and haste to rectify the scenario as rapidly as potential, the motive force accepted towing companies and not using a quote. Quickly after, the transferring and storage firm obtained a invoice for the $75,000 towing, a service that ought to have value round $2,500.[1]

Whereas predatory towing scams like this and others are occurring across the nation and elevating considerations amongst fleets,[2] they’ve been notably outstanding in Chicago. A lot in order that Chicago’s Metropolis Council’s Committee on License and Client Safety handed an ordinance calling on the town to determine a license for tow truck operators to corral rogue tow truck drivers who rush to accident scenes, snare broken autos and maintain them hostage till rattled truckers pay exorbitant charges.[3]

7 Greatest practices for fleet carriers

Fleets and truckers should shield themselves in opposition to tow truck corporations that run unlawful or unethical operations. The next finest practices supply key steering to your fleet.

  1. Plan your routes. Don’t let your truckers wing it when they’re selecting up items or hauling a load. Correct route planning won’t solely guarantee security and enhance driving effectivity by avoiding each recognized and unknown hazards however will even incorporate breaks and assist decide one of the best route relying on what time of day a trucker is on the highway. Digital route planning instruments can be found to assist with this as nicely.[4]
  2. Be suspicious. Towing corporations standing by on the scene when an incident happens will not be the norm. Prepare your drivers to be looking out for scamming tow vehicles ready within the wings. Put together your drivers earlier than an accident takes place to alleviate pointless stress; inform them that they is probably not accountable for the underpass they only clipped if the low bridge signal was illegally eliminated, for instance. That data ought to assist them suppose extra clearly in these conditions.
  3. Name the police. Summon them to the scene and request an accident report. If this does occur to you or one in every of your drivers, ask native police on the scene for steering on choosing respected, native towing firm.
  4. Get it in writing. Ensure that the price of a tow is in writing — not open-ended — with all expenses clearly itemized. Keep away from verbal agreements in any respect prices. Signed paperwork with clear value pricing is important to defending the fleet from being scammed. Ask for the towing firm’s enterprise license and, if potential, affirm the data earlier than accepting any help.
  5. Have protocols in place for coping with accidents. This contains contacting managers and dispatchers straight away, calling the police and stopping drivers from signing or authorizing a tow with out administration approval. Offering drivers clear protocols beforehand considerably reduces the likelihood of constructing a mistake when a tow is required.
  6. Contemplate partnering with towing corporations. Establishing agreements with nationwide or native towing corporations the place your fleet frequents will help your group sidestep dishonest tow vehicles. With such agreements already in place, truckers can instantly contact these corporations, avoiding the necessity to supply one on the spot.
  7. Report back to native officers. In case your driver or fleet falls prey to a shady towing incident, attain out to native officers for help. Reporting all of those incidents will assist native jurisdictions take regulatory motion to stop this from occurring once more, as they did in Chicago.

Towing prices

Even with all these precautions in place, towing is pricey. Elements like the burden and measurement of the truck and the gap to be towed legitimately influence the value. Consequently, fleets also needs to not assume they’re coping with a nefarious towing firm if they’re taking a look at an costly quote.

Because of the rise in these eventualities, the American Transportation Analysis Institute is asking motor carriers and drivers to take part in information assortment on the influence of predatory towing. Discover the hyperlink to the brief survey right here.


Have a query on tips on how to mitigate threat? E-mail losscontroldirect@iatinsurance.com for an opportunity to see your query answered in a future weblog.

By Chris Parker

[1] Costhack “How A lot Does It Price To Tow A Semi-Truck?”

[2] American Trucking Associations “The American Trucking Affiliation, American Property Casualty Insurance coverage Affiliation, & the Coalition Towards Insurance coverage Fraud be a part of forces to sort out towing fraud throughout America,” April 5, 2021.

[3] Chicago Solar-Occasions “Aldermen endorse effort to corral ‘Wild West’ of rogue tow truck drivers,” Could 19, 2021.

[4] FreightWaves “Route planning device helps drivers overcome every day frustrations,” April 27, 2022.

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