Well, well. My prediction has come to light.

The crackdown against “Predatory Towing” is happening.

Late last year, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), which is basically a mouthpiece for many of the trucking industry’s heavy hitters, released a report titled “Causes and Countermeasures of Predatory Towing.”

They then handed it off to powerful lobbyists in various state legislatures. The idea being to effect change in our industry.

And after some promises and pledges were made (along with some wining and dining, no doubt)…a few months later, we got this from overdriveonline.com.

(It’s kinda dry, so I wouldn’t blame you if you skimmed it)


Headline: Another state cracks down on predatory towing

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves on April 19 signed a bill into law that aims to cut down on predatory towing practices targeting commercial vehicles in the state. With the new law, Mississippi joins Maryland, Florida, and other states that have recently made similar efforts to rein in egregious rates and other predatory practices.

The new law establishes a Commercial Vehicle Towing Advisory Committee within the state’s Department of Public Safety’s Public Commercial Transportation Enforcement Division. That committee is charged with:

  • Establishing regulations and standards for the inclusion of a towing and recovery service on the tow list, including application procedures and minimum qualification requirements.
  • Establish statewide maximum towing and storage rates for nonconsensual tows, including those for private property.
  • Require towing and recovery services to ban the use of per-pound billing for nonconsensual towing.
  • Publish a Towing Service Standard Manual, with rules governing the use of towing and recovery services for nonconsensual towing of commercial vehicles.


Great!…Another Commercial Towing Advisory Committee that knows nothing about the towing industry.

Just what Mississippi needs, right?

I can just see Leathers, Boyle, and the rest of the trucking company magnates patting themselves on the back.

Sipping $300 dollar glasses of cognac and cracking jokes about taking candy from babies.

And don’t you go thinking this is over. They aren’t finished yet.

They’ve got many more States, issues, and politicians to buy, I mean tackle.

Look at the propaganda they pump out via influencers.

According to a report on LinkedIn. “…sometimes trucking companies are unable to choose a towing company on their own when they’re involved in an accident. This leaves them exposed and vulnerable out on the open road.”

What about public safety?

If your tractor-trailer is upside down and blocking four lanes of a busy interstate with ten tons of cargo strewn about, it’s not just YOUR problem.

It’s everyone’s problem.

Once the incident has occurred, the IDEA is to get the road cleared as quickly as possible.

It’s an emergency!


To decrease the likelihood of secondary accidents.

To save lives.

You know, distracted drivers watching YouTube on their iPhones, coming over a hill, and smashing into other cars.

…because those cars were waiting in backed-up traffic due to an accident ahead.

Yes, there are some bad actors in the towing industry.

There are bad actors in every industry.

So that doesn’t enter into the equation.

As I’ve always maintained, when States, Cities, and other Municipalities enact laws that dictate what towing companies can charge for their services, they are doing the traveling public a disservice.

It’s short-sighted at best, possibly negligent. But, I’ll be kind and use the term ignorant.

There’s a concept that synthesizes what I’m talking about.

It’s known by various names. I like the “Unattainable Triangle.”

And it’s basically this.


There are only three kinds of services.

Good – Cheap – Fast

But you can’t get all three at the same time.

You can pick any two.

If you want GOOD & CHEAP service, it won’t be FAST

If you want GOOD & FAST service, it won’t be CHEAP

If you want FAST & CHEAP service, it won’t be GOOD


Do you see what I’m getting at?

Of course, you might find an outlier who grinds for a short while.

But they’ll eventually burn out.

If you’re not making enough money to retain and motivate quality people, as well as maintain your trucks and purchase new when necessary while making a profit, what’s the point of being in business?

With all this being said, I’ll make another prediction.

As the trucking lobby’s plan continues to roll out and more politicians bow to their interests, smart towing company owners will migrate to customers who aren’t looking for CHEAP.

When the city demands you have three rotators, 24-hour availability, and 30–minute response times while dictating your rates, I predict some tow company owners will throw up deuces (or worse) and peace out.

And if these guys don’t get out of the business altogether, this will increase the supply of retail towing companies.

Unfortunately, the result will be that some of the small, one—or two-truck companies that aren’t marketing properly will give up the ghost and close their doors.


Because the larger, well-healed towing companies with money in the bank will begin to dial in their marketing.

They’ll target motorists who are sick of waiting for their Roadside Assistance Plan to find them a GOOD & CHEAP towing service.

They’ll target commercial trucking companies that understand that when a truck is down, it’s costing them money.

If you’re sick of waiting for the other shoe to drop in your area and want to dial in your marketing to hedge against this type of nonsense, get in touch.

Don Archer


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