If you cracked open a dictionary and looked up the word ”towlife” you might see a picture of V&M Towing and Recovery owners Valerie and Mark. Determined to create a company they could be proud of, they began learning all they could about the industry and the process to becoming certified operators. When a friend educated them on the nuances of owning a towing business, Mark and Valerie were convinced the towing industry was where they belonged.
Once they began receiving on-the-job training, the co-owners decided it was time to pull the trigger, so they purchased their first company tow truck in 2003. “So after I completed a few months of training, I purchased my own truck and watched the instructional videos that came with it. I joined motor clubs and app based platforms in order to get more jobs,” says Mark. Today he owns 8 trucks.
Mark says the company, which mainly specializes in heavy duty work, has made a name for itself. He credits his company’s growth to his openness to try new things. “I started taking HONK jobs in order to keep the work flowing. What I like about HONK is when we do our heavy duty jobs, we don’t have to worry about not picking up the HONK calls. We’re able to pick HONK jobs based our availability.”
Another factor for the success of V&M Towing can be tied directly to the way Mark and Valerie train their operators. “I’ve been an owner in this business for 17 years now. I’ve learned that my responsibilities don’t end with Valerie and I, they include my operators and their families too. With that understanding, I realized I also have a responsibility to make sure my employees make it home safely.”
Mark says all his operators go through a 30 day training period regardless of their background. When it comes down to it, there are 3 metrics by which his operators are rated; customer service, skill level, and individual safety compliance and practices. “We have to know who’s fit and who’s not fit to do this job. I mean, the goal is to have no mess ups, no mistakes if we can help it.”
Through the duration of the training period, each operator will undergo safety training via online video courses. They will then transition to field safety training and are monitored periodically. Valerie, who handles the heavy duty jobs, also serves as their quality assurance officer for the company.
“Every now and then, especially for our newer hires, Valerie will go out and watch how they handle a job. She’s checking to make sure they are adhering to their safety training, treating the customers well, and executing the job with precision.”
Mark and Valerie go above and beyond to ensure operators at V&M are working for one of the most safety conscious organizations in the industry. As the company handles a majority of heavy duty and shop to shop incident recovery tows, they are presented daily with the reminders of why they work so hard to create and continually improve on uniform safety practices.
Today, the duo are more committed than ever to seeing their company and operators thrive. As Valerie works to complete her Masters in Business Administration to improve their operating capacity, they are planning to expand V&M Towing and Recovery to include a location in Orlando, FL. “We’re happy and excited to get down there and open up shop. Since HONK is nationwide, the app will be a good resource for us to lay a foundation in the area.”
HONK is ecstatic to be a small part of V&M Towing and Recovery’s growth story and look forward to their expansion in the Orlando area.
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