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post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-17-2003, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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What\'s the hassle with driving a rollback?

Looks like I'm considering a career change. This is a BIG maybe. Quite accidentally, I have the option of getting into the towing/hauling business.

I was just wanting some experience people talking to me. I know there has to be a lot that I haven't looked into yet, but the idea is there.... and I'm somewhat interested in getting out of my cubicle.

Any suggestions, or comments?

thanks in advance,
Drew
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 09-17-2003, 08:18 PM
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Re: What\'s the hassle with driving a rollback?

i considered this myself and still may look further. i think the biggest deal is insurance cost. and equipment is expensive. You will have to be on call 24-7.
post #3 of (permalink) Old 09-17-2003, 08:19 PM
 
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Re: What\'s the hassle with driving a rollback?

Thing I have come to see about driving is that either a person can drive with a little instruction, or he/she will just never get it. I can't tell you how many people I have thrown into a dump truck or flat bed or such, and they just *DON'T* grasp how to drive something other than their daily commuter. I myself like to drive truck; I would never want to do it as a career though. A couple 4-5 hours a day and I am itching to get back behind the stupid end of a shovel.....

I guess it kinda boils down to what experience *you* have, and how tired you are with what you are doing now. All this stems from me driving old stuff too, the few brand new kenworths I have driven have been VERY pleasant....

Oh, and in this town, tow truck drivers don't go out after dark without friends or weapons.... :-)
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 09-18-2003, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What\'s the hassle with driving a rollback?

I'm no so worried about the actual driving of the truck, more along the lines of the BUSINESS of towing. I've hauled plenty of cars, with trailers, box vans, trailers. I don't see a problem there.

But the business scares me. Just because I'm clueless about it. I've thought about the hours, and at first I'm sure it would be 24/7. But I would hope that a separate phone line would help me restrict my available hours.

I guess I was just fishing, to hear some horror stories. Maybe I don't wanna get involved at all....
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 09-18-2003, 06:59 PM
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Re: What\'s the hassle with driving a rollback?

My best friend has a towing business. He has one wrecker and thats it. He does damn good for himself. Lots of cash money that can get stashed away. But insurance is kicking him in the ass big time. He pays almost 10,000 a year for just his one truck. But remember we are in New Jersey. If you plan to tow for a city or state, you will probably have to have a storage yard. Hours suck, at first you will have to be on call 24/7 to get by. Once you can hook up with enough shops, then you can start shutting the phone off or just overprice the tow, and if you get the tow you just made a good buck, and if you dont get well you didnt want to go out anyway. If you plan to do mostly breakdowns and inner city towing a wrecker with a wheel lift is were it is at. If you plan to do wrecks and long distance tows, a roll back is much better. But with a rollback you cant pull up to a car in a parking lot and pull it on. You have to push it yourself and then drag it on. So both trucks have the advantages and disadvantages. I do run it wrecker from time to time, if he goes away for a day or two. But in the last 5 years i doubt he has left me the keys 10 days total. It took him about two years to get to where he is now and i guess he has been doing it for 5 or 6 years. One more thing to remember. When you go into a shop trying to get there buisness, you will probably undercut what the shop is paying now. So will the next guy that comes along. So you have to be good at what you do and have the cars there fast. The shops always ad money to the tow for making a phone call to you. If you have any questions give me a email or PM. I pretty much now my buddies buisness inside and out.

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 09-18-2003, 07:35 PM
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Re: What\'s the hassle with driving a rollback?

Since i do auto body repair I get to drive a rollback all the time. Its a Chevy 18ft (I think). Theres not much to it. Just swing wide and the turning radius...well...sucks. Im not sure how much insurance is right off hand but its not cheap. You also will have to pay an extra cost and get a special license to be able to run the lights on top. I wouldnt want to drive all day but its up to you.
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