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Not Much Has Changed

May 26th, 2017 | By | Category: Geri Roskopf's Blog

The Wisconsin Towing Association is celebrating 50 years this year. On June 7, 1967, ten towers from across the state gathered at an informational meeting to form a temporary board of directors. They called the new association the Wisconsin Towing Service Operators Association.

They sent a letter to operators of towing and wrecking services in Wisconsin stating; “Are you satisfied with your present business? Are you interested in protecting your investment? Are you anxious to work with you fellow operators in IMPROVING the conditions in the towing service industry?  IF YOU ARE:  then you will be anxious to attend a SPECIAL MEETING scheduled as follows…”

The founding members felt the need for a united approach to the problems facing the industry, to improve their conditions and public image and to eliminate abuse within the industry. The association was also formed to promote greater safety on the streets and highways by the motoring public and commercial vehicle operators. They wanted the association to be the leader and voice for all Wisconsin towing service operators.

It’s amazing to me that 50 years later, towers are still facing the same challenges. The towing and recovery industry has come a long way, but boy, the problems towers faced in 1967 are still being faced in 2017.

No matter what you read or hear about today with regard to our industry, the theme is pretty much the same: the image of the towing and recovery industry is still very stereotyped and negative — no respect, owners not knowing the costs of doing business and understanding business management, increased insurance premiums and equipment and not adjusting rates to offset these costs, motor clubs and their pricing structure, lack of trained and knowledgeable tow operators and no unity in the industry and not enough towers joining and supporting their state and national associations.

If we want things to change in our industry, we need to think like the 10 towers who met 50 years ago — and unite.

As one tower stated, “Thinking about it, if we were trained, licensed, certified and had standards to be held accountable to, maybe the other problems would not be problems.”