Tow Professional

VOL4 ISS5 2015

Tow Professional is a comprehensive publication for the towing and recovery market. It is mailed directly to more than 29,000 decision makers including owners, presidents, CEO's and principals of towing companies throughout the United States.

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Page 25 of 67

I recently made a trip to the Florida Tow Show to gather Intel on a variety of topics that pertain to the towing industry. I was curious to see how tow operators were responding to the industry change, or if they even knew some of the changes that were taking place. The show appeared to be successful and vendors selling products went home happy. There was a golf tournament with great weather and a chance to make new friends, but let's look behind the surface of our industry and see what is really going on. State Regulation: Several years ago when I owned and operated a business in Texas there were laws passed that had a major effect on the industry. One association wrote a law requiring: 1. All tow operators be certified 2. All employees be drug tested 3. Criminal background checks on employees laws that are trying to be implemented every session. Not every association can afford a lobbyist so they are stuck with the laws that get passed for our industry. This just happened in Ohio where leg- islation passed laws that had a major effect on the industry in Ohio. The associ- ation was not aware of the laws and now has to live with the results. This will become the norm when other states start passing legislation effecting our industry. In Texas the two associations worked together during this legislation period to make sure there would be no surprises with new laws. Unfortunately this is the only time the two associations work together. Investors Taking Over It did not take long for outside investors to see the money that could be made in our industry. Outside operators are coming into cities with a suite cases full of money and offering deals that are I igh ful alk B y D a n M e s s i n a 24 TOW PROFESSIONAL | Volume 4 • Issue 5 | 4. Required certain size lettering on trucks 5. Required signs posted at your stor- age yard 6. Surface requirements at the stor- age had to meet certain standards There were financial penalties if you did not meet the requirements. These changes cost the tow company thousands of dollars in licensing their company, their employees, and their trucks. Not to mention the thousands of dollars in fines that was issued by the state for not meeting the standards of the law. Now let's fast forward seven years and see where we are now. Many companies sold their business or just closed the doors. It's tough for the tow company to constantly fighting with the state day in and day out over how to operate their business. The association I belong to hire a lobbyist to constantly watch the new

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