I feel towers
are uniquely qualified to provide a
detailed vehicle inspection on behalf of the dealership.
Car being picked up by Carvana.
outside the box to step in and solve for all parties involved. A word of caution, this type of work is legally much different than traditional towing and will require operating authority and possibly increased insurance coverage. Towers enjoy a few exceptions from DOT compliance, mostly administrative, when only towing wrecked or disabled vehicles that are not applicable to traditional truck transportation. These types of moves, even when local, are most likely interstate commerce because of the nationwide source of the vehicles being delivered and as such will require a US DOT and MC number. Even when they are not interstate commerce many states also have operating authority requirements, typically administered through their Public Utilities Commission or a similar Agency, that will apply. 22 • January 2021 | Towman.com
Photo by Andrea Wynn
Special registrations must be considered as wrecker or tow truck plates may not allow for transport work. On hook insurance as it is called in the towing industry is similar to but not always the same as cargo insurance. Check with your insurance agent prior to beginning these types of services to make sure you have the proper coverage for auto transport work. An area that is often overlooked when doing auto transport work is the need to drive the vehicle to or from the truck to pickup or drop off at auction lots, dealerships or customer locations. This places a different exposure on your insurance, one that typical garage keepers or on-hook policies will not cover. In the internet age there are dozens of online load boards to find even more auto transport work. Once reserved for the general freight world load boards
such as Super Dispatch, Central Dispatch, Ready Logistics, Cars Arrive and Reindeer have now become commonplace in the auto transport industry. This is both a blessing and a curse, blessing for the ease of access to work, curse for the damage it has done to the rates. Don’t expect your retail tow rates for this type of work as it is typically wholesale rates. That said, the door to door or expedited service is worth a premium and should be on par with a typical retail tow rate. Once your tow service has the appropriate operating authority and insurance I suggest you sign up with one or more auto transport load boards to look for other work in and around the areas you will service for your local dealership clients. There is no reason why you couldn’t transport two vehicles at the same time with a well equipped and properly spec’d rollback. The best part of this type of work is predictability. Auto auctions have their sale on the same day each week so you can gauge when you will see a uptick in inbound or outbound units at