It Isn’t Easy 

What do you say to your husband when he comes home from work one day and says he wants to start his own tow company?  We had two little ones at home and although I was working part-time at a bank, I was still worried about so many things, like how were we going to pay our home mortgage, and what exactly did we need to start a business?

I put my trust in my husband as I knew he was a hard worker and taking a leap of faith, we leased a two-bay service station, took out a second mortgage to fill the gas tanks, put $1,000.00 in a business bank account and hired the mechanic who was working at the station.  

I soon found out we needed a lawyer, insurance agent, banker and accountant.  We, also, found out we needed guidance with the day-to-day operations of owning a towing business and so we joined the Wisconsin Towing Association and the Towing & Recovery Association of America.  

We have never regretted joining these two associations.  The information and updates regarding the towing and recovery industry have been invaluable; especially with legislative issues.  For myself, joining WTRAA, The Women of The Towing & Recovery Association of America was the best decision I ever made.  I finally found other tow ladies who totally understood what it is like for a woman in the towing industry.

The members of the Wisconsin Towing Association have become my towing family. Some may be our competitors, but they are, also, our colleagues.  Having a small towing company, you soon find out you can’t service your customers in a timely manner if they were broken down in other parts of the state.  Networking with other WTA members has been invaluable.

Both my husband and I became actively involved with TRAA and the Wisc. Towing Association and myself with WTRAA.  While it was a struggle at times to find the money and the time to get away from the shop to attend meetings, we are so thankful our employees stepped up to cover for us.  It was important to stay involved in these associations as issues facing the towing industry ultimately affected our company.

I was recently asked if I knew then what I knew now, would I have started a towing business.  I had to think on that for a minute as the challenges in running a 24/7/365 towing and recovery business are many.

I guess for me, the most important thing I would change would be to insist on more family time.  My husband missed out on so many of the children’s activities along with many family events.  The business is important, but so is family.  I feel both the kids and I missed out and sacrificed a lot, too.

When you believe in something, you help to make it better.  I just “do what I do”.  When I was awarded the WTRAA 2003 Tow Woman of the Year Award and inducted into the Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame Class of 2018, I was truly humbled with these honors.  I, know, too, that I could not do what I do without the support of my husband, family, employees, friends, community and towing family.

Headaches, worries, anxiety, lack of sleep and not being appreciated are just some of the challenges of being a woman in this industry.  Having the many friendships and support from other tow ladies and my towing family has certainly helped me through many of those challenges.   It took me a while, but I have learned to say “no” and to make time for “me”.

I probably quit work once a week, drank too much coffee, and indulged in too much chocolate to help me get through, but I really don’t think I would ever have said “no” to my husband wanting to start a towing business.  It isn’t easy, but that’s life in towing.