Towing Company Handbook

How to Attract and Retain High Quality Tow Truck Operators

If you are like many in the towing industry you’ve probably had your fair share of challenges when it comes to attracting, hiring, and retaining quality tow truck operators.

If this sounds like you, the first thing you should know is… It’s not your fault. Due to number of economic and psychological factors, all industries that need quality drivers are experiencing similar challenges. And, when it comes to attracting quality individuals for the towing industry, it can be even more difficult.

That being said, sometimes all it takes are seemingly small gestures and behavioral shifts to become known as a “Best-In-Class Employer.”

Proper Implementation of Your Towing Company Handbook Will Help You Become A “Best-In-Class,” Employer.

Towing Company Handbook


You probably already know that there are a lot of  “Experts” on the internet who will tell you how to attract and retain quality people. They are more than willing to tell you what you should and shouldn’t do. Well, much of the information they’re providing has nothing to do with the challenges you face with the towing business.  And, the limited help that is out there, the stuff that is specific to the towing industry, can be a little difficult to implement.  And, most likely, this overload of misinformation is exactly what’s keeping you from finding and retaining the quality tow truck operators you need.

One way of attracting and retaining quality tow truck operators is to create a pleasing work environment. But if you’ve tried to do this before and failed you might believe that it’s simply not an attainable goal. Or worse yet, you may have questioned whether or not you are the problem.

I want to put your fears to rest. No matter how you perceive yourself when it comes to dealing with employees, you can do this. All you need is the right person to explain what’s necessary.

Many of you are working for the motor clubs, and, depending on the percentage of revenue they represent to your overall business, you may be operating on the thinnest of margins. Couple that with the fact that you must maintain rates that are in line with your competition, and it’s easy to see that it can be challenging to offer above average compensation to your people.  But, would you believe that money is not what attracts and retains employees for the long-haul? Yes…it’s true.

A study conducted by The Boston Consulting Group Surveyed over 200,000 employees worldwide. When they were asked what they valued most about their jobs this is what they said.

  1. Appreciation for the work that they do
  2. Good relationships with colleagues
  3. Good work-life balance
  4. Good relationships with superiors
  5. Company’s financial stability
  6. Learning and career development
  7. Job security
  8. Attractive fixed salary
  9. Interesting job content
  10. Company values

Can you believe that? Employees value appreciation for a job well done over the amount of money they receive. For most employees, money is number 8 on the list.

So, why am I telling you all this? What does any of this have to do with a towing company handbook and your ability to attract and retain quality tow truck operators?  I’m telling you this because employees need structure.

Look at that list. They want to be appreciated and have good relationships with other employees.  They want a good work-life balance, and on and on.  What they are crying out for is STRUCTURE.

We all need structure.

Developing quality relationships with your employees takes time, but when you have a solid foundation from which to work, a towing company handbook, these relationships have the ability to grow by leaps and bounds. But for a policy manual to work in this way, it must be properly implemented. Which means you may need to reorient your thinking.

What Kind Of Mindset Do You Have?

In Carol Dweck’s book “Mindset” she explains that there are two types of mindsets, a fixed mindset, and a growth mindset. A fixed mindset is one where people believe that their intelligence and talents are fixed traits. Rather than working to become better at what they do and learn new ways to overcome challenges, these people spend the bulk of their time documenting how right or how good they are. A person with a fixed mindset believes that talent alone creates success and that you are either born with it or you’re not.

But a growth mindset is one where people believe that most basic abilities can be developed through hard work and learning. Rather than allowing minor challenges to turn into major setbacks, growth-minded people revel in learning new ways to solve problems.  This creates a love of learning and sets them up for a lifetime of success.

A person with a fixed mindset might believe that as an employer, they’re good, that they don’t need to work on themselves. It’s the drivers that need the work. But if you reorient your thinking to a growth mindset you’ll be open to learning new skills and you’ll have a better chance at retaining quality tow truck operators.

If you reorient your thinking to a growth mindset you’ll be open to learning new skills and you’ll have a better chance at retaining quality tow truck operators.

The Chair Exercise

In a seminar I provide called, “Hiring And Retaining Quality Tow Truck Operators,” I like to use an exercise called “The Chair Exercise.” It helps attendees make a shift in their thinking.


We put three chairs in the middle of the room, and I ask for nine volunteers. We then divide the nine volunteers into three groups of three. I then hand each group an index card with various instructions on how to proceed.

The groups are instructed to wait until I say “Go,” before proceeding with the instructions on their card.  When I say “Stop,” they are supposed to stop.

They usually assume it’s a race.

What follows is mass confusion, and I usually have to say “Stop,” before a fight breaks out, here’s why.

  1. Group one’s index card instructs them to “Arrange the chairs into a circle.”
  2. Group two’s index card instructs them to “Put the chairs over by the door.”
  3. And Group three’s index card instructs them to “Sit in the chairs.”

While one group is attempting to sit in the chairs, another is trying to move them over by the door, and still another group is trying to arrange the chairs into a circle.

Imagine three groups of people working against each other based on assumptions.  Not once did I say that it was a race, not once did I say that they couldn’t communicate with the other groups.

The point of this exercise is to convey the idea that, if we openly communicate our needs and don’t assume our needs are in competition with the needs of others we can sometimes find a solution that will work for everyone.

This works for hiring and retaining drivers. When you communicate openly and don’t assume that your needs are any greater than the needs of your tow truck operators you’ll gain better cooperation.  Which will provide you the ability to grow stronger lasting employee/employer relationships.

When you don’t assume your needs are greater than the needs of your tow truck operators you’ll gain better cooperation…

Caring Makes All The Difference in the World

In the book “The Difference,” the author tells a story about an employee who left to go to work for another employer. The employee told his boss that the reason he was leaving was that it was his “Dream Job” to work for this fortune 500 company and that it was more money.

About 6 months later the employee came back begging for his old job. And at first, the boss was angry and let his ego get in the way. But after he calmed down the two got together and had a discussion.

When the boss asked why he wanted to come back, the employee said that he wasn’t treated the same in the other company as he was there. He said, “if I were to die no one from that company would even come to my funeral. And I know here, the whole company would show up.”

Of course, the boss was moved. So, he hugged him, gave him his job back, and welcomed him back into the fold.

This shows that when you genuinely care about your employees it gives you the ability to attract and retain quality people. But caring is much deeper than just asking how the family’s doing. You need to give your employees something more.

When you genuinely care about your employees it gives you the ability to attract and retain quality people.

How To Use A Towing Company Handbook To Retain Drivers

The Power of Purpose

When I was in my early 20’s I worked as a delivery driver, delivering pizzas. After I’d been there for about 3 months, I was asked to start training the new guys.
After the new-guys would watch some corporate training videos, I would then show them what the job consisted of.

I’d show them how to read the city map, how the city was laid out, and where the North and South blocks started and stopped. I would explain how to read the pizza tickets and show them the right way to take the pizzas out of the oven and put them in the boxes…Really everything that was required to deliver pizzas…or so I thought.

On one occasion I was training a new guy named David. David seemed to observe and listen to everything I’d said and shown him. But when it was time for him to go out on his Maiden Voyage and deliver his first pizza, he made one fatal error.

To keep the pizzas warm we would put them in an insulated pizza bag, you have all seen one of these. We would take the pizza out of the oven, place it in a cardboard pizza box, cut it up, then place it in one of these bags.  We would then flip the flap over the top and velcro it shut.  Then carry the pizza out to our car for delivery.

During training, the new-guys were required to ride along on many deliveries with me, and I would show them this process, probably 10 times.

Well on David’s first solo delivery he picked up the pizza box, slipped it into the pizza bag and then put the bag under his arm. He carried it like you would carry your school-books.

Well anyone who understands how gravity works knows that all the stuff, the cheese, pepperonis, pizza sauce and everything else that Was on that pizza just slid to one side.

Seeing this happen, I immediately tried to stop him but it was too late. The pizza was ruined.

Back then I thought David was just a knucklehead. Years later I realized that, even though David had seen how I carried the pizza many times, he didn’t do it the right way because he didn’t know why.

David didn’t know WHY I did it that way because I didn’t tell him why.

If I would have known back then to explain to David that, what the company wanted the customer to be WOWED in 3 areas.

  1. Customer Service
  2. Speedy Delivery
  3. And a Pizza that Both looked and tasted great

And that it was his responsibility to provide this wow-factor to them, it would have given him a reason why to carry the pizza properly.

And that incident probably wouldn’t have happened.

This applies to the towing business as well.

Provide Your Tow Truck Operators With a Sense of Purpose

When you provide your tow truck operators with a sense of purpose, it’s like an anchor that keeps them from drifting too far out to sea.

  • It guides them when they must endure irritated customers.
  • Harsh conditions
  • Being cut off in traffic
  • And helps them to understand why they need to keep their trucks clean.

When you provide your tow truck operators with a sense of purpose, it’s like an anchor that keeps them from drifting too far out to sea.

To be effective, when incorporating a towing company handbook into your business, you need to start with a strong sense of why you are in business. But it doesn’t stop there. You must then have the ability to articulate your sense of why in a way that motivates people.  Once you have that, then all you need is to know…

  • Where to look for quality applicants
  • How to write a job listing that attracts quality applicants
  • The most effective interview process that weeds out bad applicants
  • What to do to retain quality employees for the long haul

But it all starts with a foundation, a properly prepared towing company handbook.  One that’s specific to the towing industry. Otherwise, it does a disservice to you, your employees, and your customers.

No one knows better than you that the towing business has demands like no other industry. That’s why, with the input and support of HR Professionals and Employment Law Attorneys, this manual was created by towers specifically for towing company owners.

Towing Company Handbook Designed For Your Needs

Attract and Retain Quality Tow Truck Operators 

Towing Company Policies & Procedures Handbook Employee Manual Handbook image