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Agero to Launch 4th Annual Summer Hustle Program for Service Providers, Recognizing Exceptional Customer Service During High Volume Summer Months

Agero to Launch 4th Annual Summer Hustle Program for Service Providers

MEDFORD, Mass. – June 18, 2024 – Agero, the motor club providing powerful and user-friendly software and support for roadside assistance service providers, announced the launch of its Summer Hustle ‘24 program, “The Performance Series.” Now in its fourth year, Summer Hustle celebrates the dedication and hard work of service providers from across the country. Their efforts play a crucial role in helping Agero deliver high-quality, reliable tow and road services for its over 100 client programs, ensuring the greatest possible satisfaction for its customers.

The Summer Hustle program takes place over the summer months, during which increased road travel results in higher than normal service request volume. It presents an opportunity to acknowledge and incentivize service providers who continually go above and beyond in offering leading assistance services to drivers in their time of need. With a selection process heavily focused on quality and strict performance metrics focused on service compliance, Summer Hustle ‘24 aims to reward the highest-performing providers to date.

Summer Hustle ‘24 will operate for ten weeks from Sunday, June 30, through Saturday, Sept. 7. The program will award a total of $30,800 in monetary prizes, plus additional Summer Hustle swag, to 14 winners each week, based on weekly performance measurements. Agero will distribute $200 per winner per week, with special prizes of $300 during the Independence Day and Labor Day holiday weeks.

New this year, Agero will also award weekly bonus prizes to the East and West regional providers with the highest “Photo Capture” percentage, or the number of completed jobs verified with pictures, per Agero’s photo guidance. Photos not only help service providers verify service completion, but also bring significant benefits that include accelerating damage resolutions for customers and providers, clarifying confusion over damage liability, preventing false or fraudulent customer claims, and more.

Agero will spotlight the top performers via email every Friday, starting July 12. Summer Hustle ‘24 is open to all contracted tow and roadside assistance service providers. Contestants must be located and operate in the United States and District of Columbia and remain in good standing with Agero per contractual obligations in order to be eligible. Agero provides industry-leading technology, training, and support to towing and roadside service providers, empowering them to deliver outstanding customer service and grow their businesses. For more information on Agero Summer Hustle ‘24, including rules and eligibility, visit:

About Agero
Wherever drivers go, we’re leading the way. Agero’s mission is to reimagine the vehicle ownership experience through a powerful combination of passionate people and data-driven technology, strengthening our clients’ relationships with their customers. As the #1 B2B, white-label provider of digital driver assistance services, we’re pushing the industry in a new direction, taking manual processes, and redefining them as digital, transparent, and connected. This includes: an industry-leading dispatch management platform powered by Swoop; configurable, white-label roadside assistance; comprehensive accident management services; and a growing marketplace of services, discounts and support enabled by a robust partner ecosystem.

The company has over 150 million vehicle coverage points in partnership with leading automobile manufacturers, insurance carriers and many others. Managing one of the largest national networks of independent service providers, Agero responds to approximately 12 million service events annually. Agero, a member company of The Cross Country Group, is headquartered in Medford, Mass., with operations throughout North America. To learn more, visit

Chris Davis | Program Associate
Voxus PR

See You on the Next Podcast

Like clockwork every month I have authored an article in this magazine and without fail finish with this line, “See you on the next podcast.”  For some who do not know, this publication has a great podcast, and I am proud to be a part of it as your Co-Host on the Tow Professional’s, “On-the-Go podcast.

We are living in a content-driven world. If you have a smartphone, tablet, or computer, you can access our podcast without much effort. Your phone or tablet has an active podcasting app built right in, but if does not, it is a few clicks to add our podcast.

With a computer, you can type the word PODCAST into Google access, and the first few results will give you several choices.  The good thing is most podcasts are free.

If you want to up your towing game, you should listen to our Tow Professional podcast. Why, you ask.  Lots of our listeners are multitasking while driving, cleaning, or working at the office and other regulars listen while they are working out.

Since our podcasts are always archived, they can be heard anytime, day or night.  We feature industry experts like: Brian Ricker explaining safety and compliance, the great Tom Luciano and Bill Johnson, President of TRAA, gave a wonderful update of our industry. We have also had a guest attorney, Kelsey Eckert, discuss downtime claims and how to protect your bottom line. Matt Boileau from Parking Pass was a guest too, and here is one all of us need to hear and obviously repeat…Michelle Sukow, a former Tow Woman of the Year.  Now, that was a fantastic podcast which everyone could learn from Michelle.

One of the most listened to podcasts was Richard GUTTMAN, from Jerr-Dan.  I am happy to report that Richard is a product specialist who works with Jerr-Dan.  That podcast was informative and also archived.

And of course, we had to have my friends from Auto-Data Direct on the podcast. This is a great company. Frank Toms and Matt Harvey did a stellar job explaining all the ends and outs of Auto-Data Direct. Their founder, Jim Taylor, is a first-class human being who stands for the flag and kneels at the foot of the cross. He is a great guy.

Speaking of great guys, how about Dalan Zartman, from Energy Security Agencies. There are so many great guests on our podcast every week, and you can hear Perry Beatty, Karrie Fogs from the North Carolina Two Show or my dear friend, Wes Wilburn, Founder of American Towing and Recovering Institute. Wes also has a great podcast, but he came on our podcast and did an excellent job for our listeners. It is one of the most listened to podcasts, along with our friend, Bruce Zinder, from the Midwest Regional Tow Show, the most family-friendly show of the year.

Folks, our podcasts are stacking up, and there are almost one hundred podcasts for you to listen to right now. They are all extremely good, and some of course are even better.  My favorite was Griffen and Griffen, a tow company from Columbus, Georgia. Next was Jim Shellhaas’s Innovative Approach to Parking Management. That was an informative podcast.

I know each of you have a favorite podcast. Some will tell me it is Dan Messina. Let me know which one you really like and particularly if you are an association. Also, please let Darian Weaver, the real host of the show, know which podcast you prefer. Darian is also the President and Publisher of this publication.

Please let us know news about your state association that needs broadcasting, things like upcoming shows or key information about this wonderful industry. We would be incredibly happy to address it on the next podcast as well.

This podcast has grown because so many of you have told your friends about what is happening on this podcast.  You can catch us on Spotify, iTunes, Pandora, Stitcher, iHeart Media, Amazon or wherever you get your podcasts.

I started this article by saying that I am so proud of being the Co-host of the show. I love it when people at the Florida Tow Show stop me and say that they love the podcast, and that Darian and I do an excellent job.   Importantly, most people listen because it is family friendly. You can listen to it in your car even with your children listening because there is no cussing, and we do end each podcast with a short prayer for our readers, listeners, vendors and for everyone working the white line.

I love this podcast and know you will too. Tell your friends about this informative podcast.  As always, I will see you on the next podcast.

Future Drivers

I remember when I got into towing I knew nothing about the towing industry.  Our business was private property towing, which again, I knew nothing about.  I had 5 trucks and 8 drivers and I watched them daily fight over trucks.  My trucks were old so they all wanted the trucks that would run.  I actually had drivers that would sabotage the trucks so they knew when they started their shift they knew they had a truck to get into.

Then I had dispatchers that were getting gifts from drivers in exchange for call in tows.  At this point I was wondering what I got myself into.  My experience in management I learned to form my own opinion and evaluate people based on my experience with them and don’t believe everything you were told.

I was running this company 30 years ago, so the driver of today is different.  The first thing I wanted to do is learn as much as possible about my employees.  I have always preached that your employees are your biggest asset, and I wanted nothing but the best.  Knowing your employees would be a key to building a successful business.  I asked each employee to fill out a questioner about the following based on a scale of one to ten with ten being good:

  1. How do you rate your job performance?
  2. How do you rate your job knowledge?
  3. How do you rate your attitude?
  4. How do you rate the moral of the company?
  5. How do you rate management?

Here is what I learned from their answers:

  1. If they had a attitude about the questions, I could correct it without making it an issue.
  2. I could see if I had a management problem.
  3. They all thought their performance was outstanding.
  4. They all thought they knew everything needed to perform the job.
  5. I learned about the moral of the company and what I had to do to make it better.

In today’s world I would not even be allowed to ask your employees these types of questions.  I talked to tower in Minnesota who told me his drivers come in when they want and go home when they want.  One driver has purple hair and it hard to put someone like that in front of their customers.  They expect breaks and salary increases in a timely manner.  With employees like this it is hard to successfully run the company.

When I first got into towing I learned quickly that all towers have tattoos.  I don’t have a problem with them, but I knew what I wanted my employees to look like.  I would go to Sam’s or Home Depot and find some one I thought would fit into my company.  I’d approach them and offer them an opportunity for a exciting career.  These people went through a screening process that I would not have to do.  I could offer them a salary increase, and their appearance was good enough to put them in front of my customers.  I screened 5, 2 of them were hired. I trained them way I wanted them to tow and they turned out to be good employees.

Once I had the staff I had to figure out how to keep them.  They knew they were constantly under review, so they worked hard to do their best.  Here are a few incentives I offered to keep them happy:

  1. Raises – You can always make someone happy with money.
  2. Bonuses – extra money if they tow a required number of cars.
  3. Truck Preference – Drivers love their trucks. If they were exceptional, I would let them pick out their own truck and buy it for them.
  4. I offered schedule preferences
  5. Extra equipment like tools, chains, or go-jacks.
  6. Time off, I encouraged them to spend time with their families.
  7. Lunch, movie tickets, and envelope pulls. I had 35 employees, and I would put 50 envelopes on the wall.  Each envelope had money in it.  All employees drew an envelope, so they all got something.
  8. Training and certification testing
  9. Acknowledgement in from of all their peers.
  • Finally, a good old pat on the back to let them know you acknowledge their performance.

Finding employees in todays world is difficult.  You have to be politicly correct about everything.

  1. Run classified ads in newspapers if you can find a newspaper
  2. Job fairs – This is unorthodox for the towing industry
  3. Recruiting agencies – This could cost money
  4. Networking – You can’t network because that person is looking for
  5. Social media, or websites. Again, this cost money and its hard for owners to use these methods.
  6. Mobil apps can be helpful if you know how to find the right app.
  7. Employee referrals always works, but drivers will not recommend anyone better than them.

Find drivers for the next ten years will be hard.  There will be no family members to leave your company to.  Employees of the future are always on the phone and are not used to the steps required to a car, or hand equipment necessary to perform a tow.  I run two companies and I always have trouble finding good employees.  They want maximum dollars, they want to work from home, and they want to work their hours.

I would love to open up a trade school for blue collar workers and teach them the towing industry.  We have many good programs out there that could be used to teach future drivers, and plenty of experienced drivers that could teach hands-on when required.  Associations could get together and set up a nice program they benefits all tow companies.  Go to the national association and ask them to get involved.

Idle Time No More: Understanding and Mitigating Procrastination in Towing

Procrastination is a challenge faced by professionals in every industry, and towing is no exception. I am the absolute worst procrastinator when it comes to many things (just ask my publishing editor). It’s like I’ve got a PhD in putting certain things off until later. I cannot stand it when others procrastinate, but somehow, when it’s me, I just turn a blind eye and pretend it’s not happening. Hypocrisy at its finest, right? Sorry, Darian. This article is about digging deeper into why procrastination is so pervasive in the towing industry, what factors create a perfect storm for procrastination to thrive, and how we can navigate the road ahead to remove that obstacle.

Why is procrastination so particularly rampant in the towing industry? It is due to the high-pressure, unpredictable nature of the work. Towing professionals often face irregular hours, unexpected emergency calls, dealing with the thin white line, and the constant need to be on alert, which can lead to feelings of overwhelm and stress. I guess I didn’t really rock your world with that info, did I? This environment makes it easy to delay tasks that do not seem immediately critical, especially when the urgent demands of the job are ever-present. Additionally, the lack of structured schedules and clear priorities can contribute to disorganization, making it challenging to stay on top of administrative tasks, maintenance, and other essential duties. Any light bulbs going off yet? The fear of making mistakes under pressure can also cause individuals to put off tasks, further exacerbating the cycle of procrastination. Does any of this sound familiar?? In the fast-paced, unpredictable world of towing, procrastination can have significant consequences, affecting everything from customer satisfaction to operational efficiency. Understanding the roots of procrastination and implementing strategies to combat it can lead to better performance and a more successful towing business.

The Impact of Procrastination in Towing

  1. Customer Dissatisfaction
  • Delays in responding to towing requests can result in unhappy customers, negative reviews, and loss of Prompt and reliable service is crucial in this industry, where customers often find themselves in stressful situations.

2.    Operational Inefficiency

  • Procrastination can lead to missed opportunities, disorganized schedules, and inefficient use of resources. When tasks are delayed, the ripple effect can disrupt the entire workflow, causing bottlenecks and reducing overall productivity.

3.    Employee Morale

  • A culture of procrastination can negatively impact employee morale. When team members consistently delay tasks, it creates a stressful environment, increases workloads, and can lead to burnout.

4.    Home Life

  • Pushing off going home, getting to other events late or missing time with our family because we feel that work must get done now creates a vicious cycle of stress and When we consistently choose work over family time, it breeds frustration and bitterness among loved ones who feel neglected. This resentment seeps into our home life, escalating tensions and adding more stress to our already burdened shoulders.

Understanding the Roots of Procrastination

  1. Overwhelm and Stress
    • The unpredictable nature of towing can be overwhelming. The constant need to be on call, coupled with the pressure to deliver excellent service, can lead to stress-induced procrastination.

2.    Lack of Clear Priorities

  • Without clear priorities, it is easy to become bogged down with less important tasks, pushing critical ones to the back burner. This lack of focus can stem from poor time management or unclear objectives.

3.    Fear of Failure

  • In some cases, procrastination is driven by a fear of The fear of not meeting expectations can cause individuals to delay starting tasks, hoping to avoid potential mistakes.

Strategies to Combat Procrastination

  1. Set Clear Priorities and Goals
    • Establishing clear priorities and setting specific, achievable goals can help focus efforts on what matters Breaking down large tasks into smaller, manageable steps can make them less daunting and easier to tackle.

2.    Implement Time Management Techniques

  • Adopting time management techniques such as the Pomodoro Technique, time blocking, or the Eisenhower Matrix can help structure the workday and reduce procrastination. These methods encourage a disciplined approach to handling tasks.

3.    Foster a Supportive Work Environment

  • Creating a supportive and collaborative work environment can help reduce Encouraging open communication, offering regular feedback, and providing the necessary resources and training can empower employees to take the initiative and stay on track.

4.    Address Stress and Overwhelm

  • Providing stress management resources, promoting work-life balance, and offering support during high-pressure times can help reduce the overwhelm that leads to procrastination.

Encouraging regular breaks and self-care practices can also improve focus and productivity.

5.    Use Technology to Streamline Operations

  • Leveraging technology to automate routine tasks, manage schedules, and track progress can reduce the administrative burden and free up time for more critical Tools such as CRM systems, dispatch software, and mobile apps can enhance efficiency and minimize delays.

Procrastination in the towing industry is not just a minor inconvenience—it can have serious repercussions for customer satisfaction, operational efficiency, employee morale, and your work-life blend. By understanding the underlying causes of procrastination and implementing targeted strategies to combat it, towing businesses can improve their responsiveness, streamline operations, and create a more positive and productive work environment.

Condor Motorcycle Loader for Flatbeds

Volume 13 Issue 4 - Industry News - Condor Motorcycle Loader for Flatbeds

Anywhere and by anyone, the CONDOR Motorcycle Loader for Flat Beds is great at quickly and easily loading a motorcycle onto the back of a carrier. This versatile loader works on pavement, concrete, dirt, sand and gravel. This makes it easy to load a motorcycle no matter where you’re at. On top of that, it can be loaded with only one person. As a result, it’s a quick and safe solution to loading motorcycles. You can pick one up at Item #: CD-MTR.

RimSling Extreme Synthetic Soft Shackle

Upgrade to RimSling’s Extreme Synthetic Soft Shackle

Soft, synthetic shackles from RimSling are easier to use than traditional metal shackles. They are lighter, cleaner and simpler to open and close.  They won’t scratch surfaces, and the best part is there are no metal parts to rust and no threads to corrode and seize. Available in two colors and 10 sizes, RimSling’s Extreme Synthetic Soft Shackle features a 3/4-length braided protective guard. This upgrade extends the life of your soft shackle by preventing cuts and abrasions. Free yourself from metal shackles at Order Item# SS-SOFT-SHACKLE.

SafeAll Driveline Pro

Take a load off with SafeAll’s Driveline Pro.

Let SafeAll’s Driveline Pro do the heavy lifting the next time you need to remove a commercial truck’s driveshaft and secure it for towing. The tool’s hanger bar and cinch straps will save your back from lifting the heavy driveline out of the way and loading it into your tow truck. Secured to the truck’s frame, this lightweight system will prevent unnecessary injury from a falling driveshaft by cradling it during removal from the yoke. It is also a great tool for truck mechanics in the shop when servicing a rear differential or driveline. No tools required for installation. Order Item # DLP100 at

ITI Heavy Duty Ramp Stand

Improve underreach clearance with ITI’s Heavy Duty Ramp Stand.

ITI’s new Heavy Duty Ramp Stand is a safer alternative to wood cribbing when setting up a front tow on commercial trucks and buses. The concave platform cradles the steer tires and raises the front axle nearly three inches to eliminate the need for a double pick. Simply winch the front tires onto the 36”L stand and then extend your underreach and forks under the front axle. Like all ITI products, this 8-lb. stand is made from lightweight plastic material and is resistant to oil, moisture and rot. Order Item# ITHDRS at

Warrior’s RV Hydraulic Winches

Volume 13 Issue 4 - Industry News - Warrior’s RV Hydraulic Winches WW_10RVSHY

Introducing our RV Series hydraulic winches, meticulously engineered to meet the stringent SAEJ-706 standard, ensuring quality and performance. With a robust Drum to Rope Ratio of 10:1, these winches deliver optimal efficiency, providing the power you need for challenging commercial and industrial applications.

Safety is our priority, and as such the Wire Rope boasts a 2:1 Safety Factor, whilst the Rope Fixing feature guarantees a robust 2.5 times rated load capacity offering an additional layer of reliability in demanding scenarios. Equipped with a Hydraulic Full Load Holding Brake, these winches provide precise control, enhancing safety and operational stability during load handling.

The RV Series is available in a range of capacities, spanning from 10,000lbs to 18,000lbs, ensuring that there’s a perfect fit for your specific needs. Whether you’re dealing with intense industrial tasks or demanding commercial projects, our hydraulic winches offer the reliability and strength required to get the job done efficiently.

Choose the RV Series for a hydraulic winch that not only meets industry standards but exceeds expectations in durability, safety, and performance, making it the ideal solution for your toughest applications.

National Safety Month: Raising Measures And Laws Awareness

Volume 13 Issue 4 - Industry News - Traxero

By Laura Dolan, Senior Content Marketing Manager | TRAXERO

For towers and roadside assistance professionals, safety isn’t just something they think about for one month out of the year.  It’s a state of mind that they should have all year long. At the end of the day, every day, they just want to make it home to see their families. And many of their decisions revolve around safety.

Despite their essential services, tow operators face significant risks while working on busy roadsides. To mitigate these dangers, a combination of safety measures and enforced laws has been established, of which many may not be aware. These provisions aim to protect towing and roadside assistance professionals, increasing the probability they can perform their duties without undue risk, 24/7/365.

Safety Measures

  1. High-Visibility Apparel: One of the fundamental safety measures is the requirement for towers and roadside assistance professionals to wear high-visibility clothing. These garments, typically bright orange or yellow with reflective strips, make workers easily noticeable to oncoming traffic, even in low-light conditions. This simple yet effective measure significantly reduces the risk of accidents.
  2. Proper Training: Comprehensive training programs are crucial. These programs educate workers on safe practices, such as the correct placement of safety cones, flares, and warning triangles. Training also covers the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and proper procedures for working in various weather conditions and at different times of day.
  3. Vehicle Lighting and Signage: Assistance vehicles are often equipped with bright, flashing lights to alert drivers to their presence. Additionally, these vehicles usually have clear signage indicating a roadside service is in progress. These visual alerts are crucial in prompting drivers to slow down and proceed with caution.

“In terms of safety, it depends on states’ regulations. Some states allow red and blue lights for towers; for others, only amber,” said Devon Banks, Director of Emergency Roadside Services and Private Fleets for HAAS Alert. “But overall, there is definitely always a focus on the safety of the people working on the roadways, all the way from DOT down to private fleets like tow operators.”

  1. Communication Tools: Modern technology has introduced advanced communication tools that significantly enhance safety. GPS devices, two-way radios, and mobile apps allow for constant communication between the roadside professional and their dispatch center. This connectivity ensures that help can be quickly dispatched in case of an emergency.

Enforced Laws

  1. Move Over Laws: Many jurisdictions have enacted “Move Over” laws. These laws require drivers to change lanes or slow down when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle, including tow trucks and roadside assistance vehicles. The rationale behind these laws is to create a safer space for workers operating on the roadside. Violations of Move Over laws can result in hefty fines and points on the driver’s license.

“The Slow Down and Move Over Law is enforced in all 50 states with different variations on the rules. For example, how much you need to slow down and when exactly you need to move over creates confusion among drivers,” said Banks. “Specifically for the towing industry, people don’t see the work that they do on the side of the road. They don’t really realize how they’re keeping the economy moving, so it’s a really good time just to be appreciative of the work they do and remind your friends and family who are in the motoring public to slow down, move over, and pay attention.” 

  1. Speed Limits In Work Zones: Sometimes tow operators have to report to work zones in the incidence of a cleanup job. In areas where roadside assistance is being provided, temporary speed limits are often enforced. These reduced speed limits are clearly posted and aim to protect both the workers and drivers by minimizing the risk of high-speed collisions.

“In terms of calling attention to National Safety Awareness Month, we’d like to take this as an opportunity to help promote safety within the general motoring public, because they often have a lot on their mind and they’re driving around distracted without even realizing it, and can sometimes just forget the basics,” Banks explained.

  1. Work Zone Safety Regulations: Specific regulations govern the setup of work zones where roadside assistance is provided. These regulations dictate the placement of cones, signs, and barriers to ensure the area is safe for both the workers and passing motorists. Compliance with these regulations is mandatory and is enforced by local and state authorities.
  2. Liability Laws: To further protect towers and roadside assistance professionals, liability laws have been put in place. These laws hold drivers accountable for any harm caused to workers due to negligence or failure to adhere to safety protocols. This legal framework ensures that there are consequences for reckless behavior, thereby encouraging safer driving practices around towing and roadside assistance operations.

In Closing

For owners and operators in the towing industry, it’s of utmost importance to stay diligent and encourage their staff to adopt and learn about new safety measures, products, and technologies. This way, tow companies ensure they equip all their vehicles with the latest and greatest safety gadgets.

 “In terms of safety in the towing industry, it’s always going to be changing and evolving and growing,” said Banks. “What worked 10 and 20 years ago isn’t going to work today, and what works today might not work 10 or 20 years from now. So, we need to also evolve as an industry to cater to the motoring public who’s using the roads.”

Come Experience the TRAXERO Difference

We at TRAXERO are not only advocates for raising National Safety Month awareness, but we also understand the liability and danger involved with the unpredictability of the towing industry.

While we can’t prevent the tragedies that occur on the roadways, the least we can do is bring the industry’s most essential and updated towing software solutions together. These include, but are not limited to digital dispatching and telematics, which contribute to the improved efficiency and communication necessary to ensure everyone is able to do their jobs as safely as possible.

Our reliable support team also responds quickly and is always here to help you get set up and partner with you to answer any questions about how it all works going forward. You never have to go it alone.

To learn more about how you can start using TRAXERO’s tools to start improving your towing business, visit or call us at 1-800-428-4715.

Midwest Regional Tow Show

Volume 13 Issue 4 - Industry News - TRAO


This will be a new event for us this year on Thursday evening of the show. (September 12, 2024)

Join us at 5:30 pm at an event to celebrate the lives of Towers who have passed on before us. (Anyone that has passed of natural causes or in the line of duty.) We will have a parade, food, and games to celebrate their lives and the time they invested in our great Industry. We encourage you to participate in this parade with tow trucks leading the way and personal vehicles to follow.

Please make up poster boards or banners with the names of those that you want to remember, and we will parade those names from Robert’s Centre, through the town of Wilmington and back.

I will reach out to the Police, Fire and EMS as well as news media to gain support. Once we get back to the Robert’s Centre, we will have pork, sides, drinks, and games, such as cornhole, etc…. Let’s celebrate these lives with honor!!

We would love to see you there Sept 12th Wilmington, Ohio at the Campground next to Robert’s Centre.

Tow Community Pays Tribute To Keagan Spencer

Volume 13 Issue 4 - Industry News - Tow Community Pays Tribute To Keagan Spencer

Family and friends of 25-year-old Keagan Spencer honored his life Saturday night, filling a parking lot with tow trucks in Hastings, Michigan.

Spencer was killed after he was hit by a car earlier in the day while trying to help a dog running loose on the highway. His vehicle was parked in the median.

Matthew Spencer said his son Keagan was at work and driving his tow truck when he pulled over.

“All he was doing was going to work today, and he’s not going home to his family,” Spencer said.

Family and loved ones said Spencer was a great friend, someone they could always count on.

“It didn’t matter what you needed,” said Blake Garver, a close friend. “What the circumstances were, what the situation was, if you called him. He would drop anything to help anybody.”

Spencer’s father, who owns Legacy Automotive and Towing, said becoming a tow truck driver was always in his son’s future.

“Keagan was a third-generation tower,” Spencer said. “My dad was a tower, myself, and Keagan were in a tow truck from the moment he was born… he just got this in his blood.”

Saturday afternoon, Spencer brought along his one-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Nora, along for a ride.

“Keagan packed her bag, got her bottles around, had her all set up through that car seat in the in the tow truck and they headed out,” his mother said.

Matt added, “He would always honk his horns. He was big into air horns, you know? I shot him a text. I go, ‘Was that you that just honked?'”

Source: and

How One Woman Found Her Dream Job in Asset Recovery

Volume 13 Issue 4 - Industry News - How One Woman Found Her Dream Job in Asset Recovery

By Matthew C. Fueston

Matthew C. Fueston is a writer and editor in the B2B space and has been writing for almost 15 years about “big iron” equipment and the men and women who rely on it. From towing and recovery, to construction, mining, and oil and water drill rigs, he puts the story of the real people in the field first and foremost. He may be reached at

When Brittany Packard pulls up in her Ford F-450 fitted with a Jerr-Dan MPL-NGS integrated wrecker and jumps down from the cab, she knows that she is not what bystanders expected to see. In her own words, she is a “little bitty 5-foot 4-inch single mom of two that weighs maybe 125 pounds soaking wet.”  But when it comes to recoveries, none of those things matter. She’s more than capable of doing the job.

Packard works for National Asset Recovery of Denver, North Carolina. Her story, by itself, is fascinating and inspirational. But more importantly for the industry, her story opens a window into the next generation of towing and recovery operators. It is safe to say that if one is not part of that new generation, one needs to understand that generation better—and this is especially true of owners and managers.

Brittany’s Story

Packard has worked in the asset recovery business for about four years now, but her desire to be in the cab goes back a lot further.

“My childhood dream was to be a repossession agent,” she said. “At least as far back as I can remember, I’ve been around people in this line of work. First it was my brother and his friends, and then later on, some of my own friends were in the recovery and towing business. I rode along with them. I got to see the job up close, and I knew that I wanted to do it myself.”

She finally got the chance to work for a recovery company, starting her career in a spotter car, also known as a camera car. Cameras in the car linked to a License Plate Recognition (LPR) system scan every plate they pass, searching for plates of vehicles that are scheduled for recovery. If such a plate is recognized by the LPR, it sends a notification to the recovery company, and the company then dispatches a truck to make the retrieval.

Packard knew that her job in the camera car was an important step in her training, but she wanted to repossess vehicles, not just locate them. As she says, “I wanted to pick them up put them down.”

However, she was told that a career behind the wheel of an actual recovery truck was out of the question. The job was just too physically demanding and too dangerous for a woman.

After a break for COVID, Packard applied for the position of recovery agent at every repossession company she could think of, but no one seemed to be interested. Finally, she went to work for National Asset Recovery in March of 2021. Again, she started in a camera car. She still wanted to drive the repossession truck, but she admits that all the earlier rejection had discouraged her.

She recalls her feelings at the time. “I just kind of shut down my desire to do the job I’d always wanted to do. I felt like, hey, nobody’s gonna give me that opportunity because I’m a female. As bad as it sounds, I would just have to get used to it. I just gave up that hope. I’m a single mom with two kids, I have to take whatever job is available.”

But when she began to make friends at NAR, and they heard about her dream to drive the truck, they asked if she’d ever broached the subject with management. She told them she didn’t want to get her hopes up and then be rejected. Again. But her new friends informed her that NAR had had a female in a truck a few years previously, and she had turned out to be a top performer.

“I told them—shut up! For real?”

Yes, for real.

“So, I went to the manager and told him that driving a snatch truck was my dream job. He wasn’t sure at first that I was serious, but on the other hand, he didn’t take that much convincing. For him, the question wasn’t whether I was male or female, it was, can I do the job?”

Marcus Potter, the owner of NAR, remembers it this way: “Frankly, I’m of the opinion that if you can do the job, you can do the job. If you can’t, you can’t. There are some physical challenges around the job of driving a tow truck, picking up dollies, crawling under vehicles and so on. So, we ran her through a battery of tests, and she was physically able to do those jobs. There were some skills she needed to improve, like any person new to a position, but I couldn’t see one reason why we shouldn’t give her a chance to prove herself. I think I can say that philosophy has worked for me. Right now, we have a fleet of 16 repossession trucks and four rollbacks, and three of the trucks used for recoveries have female drivers.”

Packard herself remembers a few very interesting practical details of that process.

“He told me, okay let’s see what you can do. Let’s go out here and get the dollies off the truck. He showed me how to get them off the truck, which for the most part I already knew how to do, just not at a professional level. And so, I took them off the truck and I struggled a little bit because like I say, I’m not what you’d call a big person.”

After she proved to her boss that she could physically do the job, he gave her some advice. “Go home,” he said, “but on your way home I want you to go to Walmart and pick up some 25-pound dumbbells. I want you to do curls every night until we start training.”

Packard wanted to increase her strength, as she knew it would be an asset in her new role, so she did as Potter suggested. She started her new strength-training regimen that same night. “That was in March,” she remembers, “and I think I was on the camera car for two months. After that I trained for a month and then by the end of June, I was in a truck on my own.”

Packard was not only in a truck doing the job she loved, but she also found herself in a truck that significantly enhanced her job satisfaction. “That Jerr-Dan MPL-NGS, that’s my baby. She came to me brand new,” Packard said. “I will not drive anything else. The job is hard enough and the equipment can make it easier or harder. My truck is easy for an operator of any size to use. That obviously means a lot to me. The smooth operation and great design of the Jerr-Dan bed is something else I really like. And the remote is very easy to use and handle, it’s not clumsy like some I’ve had to use.”

Potter buys his trucks from Atlanta Wrecker Sales of Chesnee, South Carolina. Packard sings the praises of the distributor for their response time when she needs parts or components. She also likes to accessorize her wrecker with pink whenever she can. Atlanta Wrecker Sales has responded with pink straps and other accessories whenever possible. “They are just a pleasure to work with,” Packard says.

Packard couldn’t be happier with her dream job. She works in an industry that provides the flexibility she craved as a single mom. She is provided with state-of-the-art equipment that she uses each day. In her private life, she had always driven cars and SUVs for personal transportation, even though she’d always wanted a pick-up truck of her own. Her new job made it possible for her to buy her first truck, a 2015 Nissan Titan. To top it all off, she was able to buy a new house for her family of three in December of 2022.

She is frank in her assessment of her employer. “Literally, if it wasn’t for Marcus none of this would have been possible at all. He wasn’t scared to give me the opportunity to succeed.”

Potter has his own thoughts about Packard’s progress and success.

“Brittany was a sponge, just trying to absorb everything. And she was smart enough to see the potential of the industry from a monetary standpoint. She really wanted to learn and had a great work ethic—still does. She had the ability to do the job and she is just such a go-getter. Once she got her feet wet, got some training under her belt and started doing the job, she became a top producer.”

“I admit that I am ecstatic about her success and that I was able to give her an opportunity but make no mistake about it. She is the one who did the work. So, she’s the one who gets all the credit.”

No Two Days the Same

Like many of her peers, Packard loves the variety and challenges of every workday. No two days are the same. And there are some people, like Packard, who struggle when faced with monotony.

“I might be at an apartment complex looking for a 2014 Chevy Malibu, and while I’m there my camera may get a hit on a 2017 F-150 that’s also on the list,” she said, describing a typical day. “And then I look at my map and see that my next pick-up is a jet ski a few miles away, and then a little bitty 50 cc dirt bike way out in the boonies. And when I get out to repo the little dirt bike, the woman in the house has to wheel it out of the kitchen.”

Packard is based out of a garage pretty much on the NC/SC state line and does recoveries in both Carolinas. She has city and rural territory to cover, and some of the rural areas are very remote.

“We have some places in remote areas where people meet you in their driveway with a shotgun regardless of your reason for being there. There are definitely areas that I won’t visit after dark, for safety reasons—no repo is worth your life. But sure, I’ve had a gun pulled on me. I’ve had a debtor put their hands on me.”

One important tool that helps Packard feel safer is the network of cameras she has in and on her truck, some pointed in the cab, others pointing out at various angles. And she is looking forward to the addition of body cameras soon. It is true that people act differently when they know that their actions and words are being recorded and are available for law enforcement review at any time.

But she will be the first to say that de-escalation is always her best tool for dealing with the high emotions that her very presence can cause. She is grateful to her trainer for his patience and advice in this area.

“He’s not working with us now, but he was my mentor in the field when I was in training,” Packard says. “I’m sure he’s why I’m still alive. He taught me that it’s all in how you de-escalate the situation. You have got to be able to use your words effectively and not lose your own cool. But there’s more to it than just staying calm yourself. You need to try to say the right thing for a certain situation. Sometimes you’ll say, ‘it’s okay, calm down,’ and that’s going to be the worst thing you can say to that person. They may be the type that shoots right back with ‘don’t tell me to calm down!’’

“I try to just talk with them in a mild, soothing voice. You know, ‘let’s discuss this. Let’s talk about it.’ I might say ‘the vehicle’s not going to be gone forever. There are options to get the vehicle back once you make a plan with the lienholder. Let’s talk about it. I’m not gonna rush off, you know? Go ahead and get some clothes on, it’s cold out here. We’ll talk about it.’ And once they see that you’re not some horrible, evil person and that you’re just there to do your job, most of the time, people cool down.”

“There is that 10% of humanity who will never be reasonable, of course. I had an elderly gentleman start yelling at me that he was a retired police officer who knew his rights and said that what I was doing was completely illegal. I just told him, ‘No, sir, everything that I’m doing is legal.’ In those situations, I have to apply a lesson that I’ve learned from my own life experience. And that is that you must have some steel and firmness underneath whatever you say, so they know they can’t just bulldoze over you.”

“But most of the time, even the feisty ones will cool down at the end, and a lot of times I have people apologize for getting so mad. They will even thank me for my patience with them, and for helping to calm them down.”

Packard also credits the extra training she and her co-workers have received, thanks to NAR and Potter’s focus on training and professionalism, from RecoveryMasters in Memphis, Tennessee. The training includes analysis of standard practices and safety, as well as legal guidelines particular to their own states.

What’s Next?

Albert Schweitzer, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952, once said “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” For her part, Packard certainly achieved happiness first—once she was given the opportunity to work in her chosen field. Hard work in that field led to the professional success she enjoys now.

Given that Packard is only 33 years old, she has a wide-open window to continue working hard, surprising bystanders every time she jumps down out of her pink trimmed Jerr-Dan wrecker. If the recent past is any guide, she will continue to reap the rewards of success and happiness.


Volume 13 Issue 4 - Industry News - Hino

LAS VEGAS, NV – Today at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo, Hino Trucks proudly announced they are the exclusive distributor for Tern, a dedicated zero-emission truck brand along with their inaugural truck model, the RC8, a groundbreaking battery electric Class 8 tractor tailored for the U.S. market.

The Tern RC8 is built on Hino’s proven XL Series 4×2 chassis and integrates Hexagon Purus’ cutting-edge zero-emission technology. The RC8 boasts innovative features including proprietary battery systems, auxiliary modules, and power modules. The vehicle leverages a U.S.-assembled Hino chassis, Dana’s Zero-8 e-Axle for optimum efficiency, and battery cells supplied and manufactured by Panasonic Energy initially in Japan, before transitioning to De Soto, Kansas from 2026 onwards, ensuring reliability, American sourcing and top-tier performance.

Tern trucks will be exclusively available through select qualifying dealers comprising the Tern dealer network, leveraging Hino Trucks’ infrastructure ensuring total support. Serial production for the Tern RC8 is scheduled for late 2024.

This launch aligns with California’s Advanced Clean Fleets regulation, offering fleets a compelling option to decarbonize their fleet, particularly in target applications like metro-regional routes, food & beverage logistics and similar routes where the tight turning radius and popular 4×2 chassis provide practical benefits.

Glenn Ellis, President and CEO of Hino Trucks, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership: “Our collaboration with Hexagon Purus introduces a highly reliable Class 8, 4×2 tractor option into the electric truck market, catering to a wide range of applications. We are excited to be the exclusive distributor for Tern with an initial distribution focus in California, where fleet electrification is imperative.”

Rodney Shaffer, Vice President of National Accounts and Zero Emission Vehicles of Hino Trucks added: “We are eager to work with Tern dealers to build a strong sales distribution and service support network for customers of this exciting and innovative new product.”

Key features of the Tern RC8 include:

  • A 100% battery-electric platform with an industry-leading short wheelbase of 165 inches
  • A gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 68,000 lbs.
  • Dual Hexagon Purus Gen3 269 kWh battery packs in a 750-volt, 538kWh configuration, providing substantial power and range for most duty cycles
  • Recharge rate of 241 kW, allowing 80 percent charge in a little under 2 hours
  • Peak/continuous horsepower of 680hp/494hp

Morten Holum, CEO of Hexagon Purus highlighted the practicality and performance of the Tern RC8: “Tern RC8 delivers the comfort, reliability and safety that drivers and fleets want, and it’s purpose-built to be a practical truck for operators integrating zero-emission trucks into their fleets.” The introduction of the Tern brand signifies a transformative step for both companies and the commercial trucking industry, driving towards a zero-emission future without compromising on power or performance.

 About Hino Trucks: Hino Trucks, a Toyota Group Company, manufactures, distributes, and services a lineup of Class 4-8 commercial trucks in the United States. Hino Trucks has a product lineup that offers fully connected vehicles with a low total cost of ownership, unmatched reliability, maneuverability, and the most comprehensive bundle of standard features in the market. Hino continues to lead the industry toward a more sustainable future with its evolving electric vehicle lineup. Headquartered in Novi, Michigan, Hino has a nationwide network of dealers committed to achieving excellence in the ultimate ownership experience. Learn more about Hino Trucks at or follow us on Facebook, Linkedin, X, and YouTube.

 About Tern

Tern is a new zero-emission Class 8 truck nameplate born in collaboration between Hexagon Purus, a world leading manufacturer of zero-emission mobility and infrastructure solutions, and Hino Trucks, a Toyota Group Company. Tern is specifically focused on electrifying practical commercial vehicle applications that yield the most significant benefits to drivers while minimizing or eliminating operational adaptations required by our fleet customers. Learn more at and follow @terntrucks on LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

 About Hexagon Purus ASA

Hexagon Purus enables zero emission mobility for a cleaner energy future. The company is a world leading provider of hydrogen Type 4 high-pressure cylinders and systems, battery systems and vehicle integration solutions for fuel cell electric and battery electric vehicles. Hexagon Purus’ products are used in a variety of applications including light, medium and heavy-duty vehicles, buses, ground storage, distribution, refueling, maritime, rail and aerospace. Learn more at and follow @HexagonPurus on LinkedIn and X.

For more information, please contact:

Mark Brakeall
Director of Marketing, Dealer Operations, and Connected Vehicle
Hino Motors Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Hiring the right employees for the job!

Volume 13 Issue 4 - Industry News - Custer Products

Job opportunities seem to be available at every turn, at least that’s what we see in Ohio.   Being able to employ the right people, who will stay with the company can be challenging.   Custer Products has been blessed to be able to accomplish both.  We have a committed crew of adults who perform manufacturing tasks that help us meet our customers’ needs.   We value all our employees and what they contribute to Custer Products.  Each one has a gift or talent that they are willing to share, and they all work together as a team.

Since the early days of the business, owner Brad Custer, has offered employment to adults with disabilities.  While working with all the state and county requirements, Custer invited several agencies to be a part of the work environment at his warehouse.  These partnerships have continued for 30 plus years.  These wonderful folks are such an important part of our “family”.

Throughout the years, the job responsibilities have varied with different products and our “Custer Crew” embraces every one of these changes and challenges.  They learn about the new part and what it takes to make that item complete and ready to ship.   They always make sure the work they produce is quality work, which is something to be proud of every day.

We have a saying at Custer Products, “If you aren’t proud of it, don’t ship it”.   There are 3 banners located throughout the warehouse that reinforce this policy.  One employee, told me, “I read that banner all the time and follow it.” 

Sometimes, the crew manufactures part of our LED tow lights, and sometimes they are packaging other lighting products. Did you know that the HF18-PHD lights have been ranked in the top 5 products sold by Custer Products for over 15 years?  These safety flashers are exclusively a “Lite It” product and are received at the warehouse with no magnets.  Our Crew attaches the strong magnets and then packages the light into a clam shell. Then, they label and box up the lights into cases which are ready for shipping.  These heavy-duty packaged lights are sold by the pallets at Custer and the Crew produces each and every one of them.  They are, by far, better than anything on the market that is similar because of the extra effort it takes to make them.

No matter what day of the week it is, or the time of year it is, you can depend on this group to be here!  They travel together every day back and forth to work.  They have a job coach, from Weaver Industries, who instructs them and helps determine their work load for the day or week.   She oversees the product packaging, manufacturing, and the assembling of kits.  She is an important part of the team.  She ultimately keeps our crew safe and working.  We wouldn’t be able to do it without her.  Thanks Jessica!  By the way, Jessica has 21 grandchildren.

The member of the Custer Crew who has worked for Custer Products the longest is Ed G.  He joined us in 2005.  We call him Eddy around here since there are 2 men named Ed.  He assembles tow lights and is a key part of that product line.  His job performance is outstanding!  We appreciate him and all he does!  One of Eddy’s favorite hobbies outside of work is fishing.  He has caught some pretty big catfish over the years, and we love to hear his fishing stories.

Another gentleman named Ed S., has been a part of our team since we moved to our location in Massillon, OH.  He does so many extra duties around the warehouse, like emptying the trash, moving heavy boxes, and he makes sure there is fresh coffee made for everyone.  He will do anything you ask and learns very quickly. He loves wearing Star Wars shirts and collecting anything Star Wars.  We are glad Ed joined our company.   Thanks for all the extra things you do!

One of the sweetest ladies you will ever meet is Robin.  She works very hard for Custer as a part of the Custer Crew.   She makes kits, packages, and also manages everyone’s birthdays.  She makes sure each employee has a hand-signed personal birthday card.  She may have been here the shortest amount of time, but she fits in as if she has been here for decades.  We appreciate all her hard work and for taking on extra duties.  Robin likes to read vampire books.  She has many nieces and nephews and enjoys spending time with the kids.

There have been dozens of “Custer Crew” members in 30 years of business.  All of them have brought something special to Custer Products.   Many have moved on to other job opportunities but leave us with great memories of their time here.

Custer Products donates to many charities and is involved in several community events like the “Massillon Fun Fest”, where we provide safety information and safety products for the community.   We also collect items for “A Community Christmas in Stark County”, which could include monetary donations, personal items and hygiene, or Toys for Tots.   Brad Custer is also a member of the Massillon Lions Club and is helping to provide eye exams for children plus many other projects that help the community.   It is this selfless attitude of giving to others that makes Custer Products a unique and great place to work.  It is the ability to reach out to others, to offer employment to adults with disabilities, and to provide a safe environment with a “part of the family” attitude that sets Brad Custer and his employees apart from others.

Maybe your company can find a group of employees, like we have, that can become an integral part of your success.  It is most rewarding to open your heart to others, and watch your company grow.

Share the Stress

Volume 13 Issue 4 - Insightful Talk - Share the Stress

I was thinking the other day, I’m currently in a business that I started just after I sold my tow company.  Being 76 years old, I’ve wondered what kind of shape health-wise I would be in if I sold all my businesses and retired.  My wife and I have owned our own businesses for over 30 years. We had our ups and downs, but there were rewards that came with it.  As a business owner here are a few things that can create stress for you:

  1. Financial Pressures – Managing your cash flow so you can cover all your expenses and show a profit,
  2. Time Management – As the owner you wear many hats, some of which you may not have a lot of experience. You must find time for your customers, your employees and most of all, your wife.
  3. Employee management – When I ran my business I always worried about my employees. Your employees run your business, so you must find good employees, and believe me, in today’s world, that can be difficult.  Once you have them, you must train them. There are many positions which will need training to cover the responsibilities of the job they will be doing.
  4. Customer Satisfaction – Your business needs to make sure you are meeting the customer expectations and handling complaints when there are problems.
  5. Your competition – As you know towing is a tough business, and you need to be ready for change when your competition makes changes to meet customer needs.
  6. Compliance – There are always regulatory changes taking place in our industry. Your state association tries to stay on top of the changes, but you can bet there will always be regulatory changes that you will have to address.
  7. Decision making – There are many issues you will have to address and decide how to handle the issue. It could be employee issues, customer issues, or truck issues, all of which will require different ways to address the issues.
  8. The unknown – There will always be the unexpected problem that hits you at the worse time, but it will need your attention.

As I faced these kinds of problems, what effect did they have on my health?  I knew I needed an outlet to get away from the day-to-day problems, so I took up golf.  I was never very good at it, but it got me out of the office and away from all the stress.  I was fortunate that I had a good manager that could take care of the business when I was absent.  After 30 years in the business, I must take pills that address blood pressure and any heart issues.  They’re part of getting old, and I’m sure lots of people take the same pills that are not in towing.  When you have stress from the business, it can sneak up on you and create issues you are not ready to address.  There are ways to relieve some of the stress by using your employees. As I mentioned, I had a good manager, and when he was in charge, he would tell our 35 employees that they were not to call me for anything.  I’m sure he took care of some problems that I was unaware of, and to this day, I still don’t know some of the major issues he handled.

When I was on the training circuit at trade shows, I talked about a tow company’s number one asset, “Their Employees.”   I told them they could go out on the floor and buy trucks, software, and other stuff that supported their business, but the only thing that made them different than their competitor was the employees.

When I got into towing, I knew nothing about the towing business or the industry.  Using my business 101 principle, I surrounded myself with people smarter than me. If I did not have the right person, I would go out and find them.  I was lucky and only needed one additional person.  I used dispatchers, drivers, and other employees as needed.

If you think about it, your employees are a direct line to your customer.  I educated them on how I wanted them to deal with our customers.  They loved their new roles because it made them feel needed and a part of the company.  Why are good employees important?

  1. Productivity and Efficiency – When you have skilled employees, they will perform their job more effectively leading to an increase in productivity.
  2. Quality – Skilled employees will produce a high quality of work which helps maintain the company’s reputation, which provides customer satisfaction.
  3. Innovation – Trained employees bring fresh new ideas and perspectives and better ways to perform their job. This allowed my company to stay competitive in the industry.
  4. Customer Satisfaction – Employees who provide excellent service will enhance the customer experience. Good customer service leads to customer loyalty and tells others about your service.
  5. Team Environment – Good employees create a good work environment, and everyone will contribute more to your success.
  6. Reduce Turnover – I ran my company for 7 years with 35 employees and lost only one employee. All my competitors’ employees want to come and work for me.  This was attributed to a good working environment created by my employees. As you know a lot of stress is created by your employees.  With a good working environment, you have less stress.
  7. Company Growth – When I started the business, I had no customers and 1 truck. Seven years later, I had over 1,000 customers, 17 trucks and 35 employees.  This again was because of my employees’ contributions and dedication.

When I taught a class in Baltimore, afterwards an owner told me that his drivers hated him, and he hated his drivers.  I told him to sell his trucks and open a pizza joint.  A little taken back by my boldness, I continued that he needed to value his employees and build a relationship with them.  I also told him he must take the first step because he is the owner.

Creating a good working environment can relieve 50% of your stress in the business.  I wrote a book that can help you address your problems.  It sells for $25.  Send me an e-mail, and I will send you a copy. (

Want to Have a Successful Trade Show Booth?

Volume 13 Issue 4 - Fuel 4 Thought - Want to Have a Successful Trade Show Booth

I have witnessed some very successful trade show booths but have also seen some unsuccessful ones too.  Certainly, there are differences between them, so let’s discuss what those are so you can be better prepared for your next trade show booth.

Recently, I went to a trade show and the show manager admitted, “We should give a class on how to be successful at a trade show.” His statement was brow-raising, but I followed with, “Why?”  He had a person take a booth that did nothing to attract people to his booth but then complained it was useless to go. So, being the fixer that I am, I took it upon myself to go by that booth.

Yes, he had two people in that booth. That’s a good sign. So, take 1st base.  Both had sunglasses on while they were indoors, and they weren’t wearing any company signage on their shirts.  It’s a foul ball, and they’ve committed Strike 1. They sat behind their table without looking people in the face after approaching their booth.  They had meniscal handouts.  Strike 2.  The lady was talking on her cellphone and wasn’t wearing comfortable shoes.  High heels look great in certain settings, but at trade shows? Always wear the most comfortable shoes.  Doesn’t matter if they’re tennis shoes, because you are on your feet constantly at a trade show.   To make matters worse, this booth didn’t speak to me first.  I had to start the conversation myself.  Strike 3 and you’re out!  It’s so hard to come back from a strike out at a trade show.  You’ve got to WOW each person you see after that.

Ask yourself these questions.  What process does your company use to attract trade show attendees to your booth? What’s your lead in question to have conversation with them?  What’s your final comment when they’re leaving your booth?

Now back to that trade show booth.  This ill-prepared guy in the booth started in on his memorized sales pitch without asking me one question.  He never took off his sunglasses.  He sat there while I was standing and wasn’t looking up.  I know because I was looking down at him.  At that moment, the lady got off her phone and said, “What state are you from?”  Oh, a question.  There weren’t any handouts to give me and certainly not any trade show giveaways, like pens or pads.  They did not tie into the theme of the trade show either.  So, this leads me to believe that they had no clue as to their business’ theme.  They weren’t prepared.

I wanted to tell these two, clueless people to “get out into the hallway in front of your table.”  Meet the attendee up front.  Listen intently to them first and see what your firm has that could help them. When they say what their problem is, don’t stop them in the middle of their sentence.  Listen, be approachable but be a diagnostician.

One trade show had a treasure hunt theme.  I came dressed as Captain Hook.  I have given out candy bars and Reese’s Peanut Butter cups just to tie into the theme created by the show.  Be prepared to answer questions and give helpful tips to anyone that comes by the booth.

At another trade show, a booth mailed out 4 thousand keys ahead of time.  Attendees were told to come by the booth to see if their key unlocked the treasure chest of rewards.  Then, at another one, people came to try their luck at winning their giveaway by using any four-digit code.  The line was 5 to 10 minutes long throughout the day because everyone hoped their combination would work.  They used birthdates and anniversary dates continuously.  They would try 3 or 4 times, hoping it would work.  By the time they finished, we had time to talk to them about sales training back at their dealership.  The giveaway was unlocked at the end of the show in front of 700 people. The opening code was 7654.

Other helpful tips:  Dress right, smile and act like you are having fun.  Be there early each morning and be the last to leave at night.  Give away food or drinks, like at the Florida Tow Show.  That booth was always packed.

As I stated before, always have two people in your booth.  Here’s why.  When I first started with Uniroyal, my wife and I worked at the booth together.  I have had neighbors help me too when she couldn’t help.  Thank God, my neighbor wore my size, because I already had a shirt for him to wear.  He would make small talk until I could jump into the conversation and introduce myself as the Uniroyal rep.   I rented a tiger costume and always brought it to the trade show.  I used it in my booth to help explain the “Tiger Paw” Tires promotion.  People loved it.

Today, I’m the Tow Doctor.  I wear my doctor outfit, sign books, and pass out bookmarks.  But when you come by to say hi, I too have a smile on my face and am always glad to see you.  When they leave my booth, I say, “It is better to be seen than to be viewed.”  Let that sink in a little.  It’s catchy, but true.

Come by the Tow Professional booth anytime, at any show, whether in Florida, North Carolina, or Midwest Tow Show. Darian Weaver the Publisher, and CEO of the Podcast will be happy to give you a free copy of the most recent magazine published by Tow Professional magazine.  You will hear us talk about this great industry because we are passionate about it.

See you at the next Tow Show, and I will see you on our next podcast.

Revving Up for Spring: Recovering from a Dead Winter in the Towing Industry

Winter is traditionally a challenging time for those in the towing industry. Treacherous weather conditions, long hours, and high demand for services make it a true test of resilience. However, this year presented a different kind of challenge altogether. Instead of battling the elements, many towing industry workers were faced with a winter drought – a period of little work and financial uncertainty. In this article, we will explore strategies for recovering from a winter in the towing industry when the usual challenges are replaced by a lack of demand and the need to make ends meet and using that to get ready for the spring season ahead of us. What happens when Mother Nature decides to take a break, leaving tow truck operators and company owners twiddling their thumbs? Do not fret! Here are seven strategies you can utilize to get through it and come out stronger.

Diversify Services: During slow periods, it is essential to diversify the services offered by towing companies. This might involve expanding into roadside assistance, vehicle recovery, or even transportation services for non-emergency purposes. By broadening the range of services, towing companies can attract different clientele and maintain a steady stream of income even when traditional towing jobs are scarce. It does not matter whether it is something that compliments the industry or something completely outside the realm of the towing industry.

Establish Contracts and Partnerships: Building long-term contracts with businesses, municipalities, or insurance companies can provide a reliable source of income during slow periods. Additionally, forging partnerships with auto repair shops, car dealerships, or rental agencies can lead to regular referrals and steady work throughout the winter months.  Don’t forget to take care of your current customers with appreciations and a face-to-face thank you.

Focus on Preventative Maintenance: While towing jobs may be few and far between during a winter drought, there is still plenty of work to be done behind the scenes. Encourage your team to focus on preventative maintenance tasks, such as inspecting and servicing equipment, maintaining vehicles, and upgrading technology systems. Investing time and resources into these areas will ensure that your operation is running smoothly and efficiently when demand picks up again.

Reduce Overhead Costs: During lean times, it is crucial to minimize overhead costs wherever possible. Evaluate expenses such as fuel, equipment maintenance, and administrative fees to identify areas where savings can be made. Negotiating better rates with suppliers, optimizing route planning to reduce fuel consumption, and streamlining administrative processes can all contribute to cost savings that help weather the financial downturn.

Payroll is usually a company’s biggest expense and reducing payroll costs can be a key strategy for weathering the financial downturn. One approach is to implement flexible scheduling, allowing employees to work reduced hours or take unpaid leave during lulls in demand. Additionally, cross-training employees to perform multiple roles within the company can optimize staffing levels and reduce the need for additional hires. Open communication with employees about the financial challenges facing the company can also foster a sense of teamwork and understanding, encouraging voluntary reductions in hours or temporary salary adjustments. By adopting these measures thoughtfully and transparently, towing companies can effectively manage payroll costs while maintaining employee morale during slow periods.

Explore Alternative Revenue Streams: Innovative thinking can lead to new revenue streams that supplement traditional towing services. Consider offering storage facilities for vehicles, selling used parts or scrap metal, or providing training courses for aspiring tow truck drivers. By diversifying income sources, towing companies can create multiple streams of revenue that help cushion the impact of a winter drought.

Utilize Technology: Technology can be a powerful tool for navigating a winter drought in the towing industry. Invest in software solutions that streamline operations, improve dispatching efficiency, and enhance customer service. Embracing digital platforms for marketing and communication can also help towing companies reach new customers and stay connected with existing clients during slow periods.

Futuristic Planning: While it is essential to focus on surviving the current drought, it is equally important to plan. Use this time to reassess business strategies, set goals for growth and expansion, and invest in training and development for your team. By adopting a proactive mindset and looking ahead to brighter days, towing industry workers can emerge from the winter drought stronger and more resilient than ever before.

Surviving a winter in the towing industry is always challenging, but this year presented a unique set of circumstances. Instead of battling the elements, many towing companies were facing a winter drought characterized by little work and financial uncertainty. Even though the winter season may have been uneventful for many in the towing industry, it is crucial to recognize the opportunities it presents to prepare for the spring season ahead. By implementing strategies to navigate the slow winter months, such as diversifying services, establishing contracts, and reducing overhead costs, towing companies can position themselves for success when demand inevitably picks up with the arrival of warmer weather and more traffic on the roadways. Utilizing this time to focus on these strategies can give the towing business a head start in the competitive spring season. By learning from the challenges of winter and proactively preparing for the future, the towing industry can set themselves up for growth and prosperity in the months to come.