The Towing & Roadside Industry Survey Results Are In

2022 is a new year and will hopefully be a prosperous one for all tow businesses out there! We wanted to share some interesting results from our recent tow industry survey to give you some insights into what your fellow tow business owners are experiencing. 

Results from a nationwide survey of 582 towing and roadside providers

The survey found that almost 2 in 10 tow providers had more work than they could handle, over 7 in 10 prioritize jobs based on location (how close they are to each job), and roughly 5 in 10 are hiring and intending to purchase additional tow trucks in 2022. We’re excited to see these results as they are positive signs of economic recovery and the long-awaited return of pre-pandemic motorists driving patterns. All of which are great for the towing and roadside industry.  

Let’s take a deeper look at some of the results

22% of tow providers had more work than they could handle causing them to turn away jobs when pressed with multiple jobs coming in at the same time

Starting in the summer of 2021, most Americans returned to roads en masse, lockdown restrictions were eased and schools and offices opened back up causing the demand for roadside assistance to increase. Traditional motor clubs struggled to meet the demands of their clients as traffic returned to pre-pandemic service levels. HONK’s Partner Network of tow providers had success in maintaining key performance indicators like high Net Promoter Scores (NPS) and low Estimated Time of Arrivals (ETAs) throughout the last year and a half. About 22% of tow providers stated they had more work than they could handle leading to some unexpected delays and longer wait times for services. 

73% of tow providers prioritize jobs when pressed with multiple jobs

When tow providers have multiple jobs at the same time, they prioritize jobs based on specific criteria and their #1 is based on location (38%). Tow providers want more towing and roadside jobs that are closer to their available trucks, reducing en-route travel times and fuel expenses for optimized truck utilization. These are jobs that are 30 minutes or less in drive time. Prioritizing jobs based on location makes the most business sense for tow providers so they can accommodate more customers per day, improve truck efficiencies, and lower overhead costs. In fact, most insurers are now opting to work with roadside assistance program providers who utilize location-based dispatching over traditional territory-based to take advantage of higher tow provider performance and 55% shorter wait times for their customers. Additionally, the survey showed that most tow providers also factor in the source of each job when prioritizing jobs, with direct calls from motorists and jobs from HONK as their top two choices.

46% of tow providers are hiring and intend to purchase additional trucks

Tow providers want to grow their businesses. The survey found that 46% of tow providers are currently hiring and intend to purchase additional tow trucks in 2022 because of the higher demand for their services. In 2021, HONK aggressively increased tow provider recruitment and expanded its portfolio of services to include vehicle transport tows for automotive retailers, growing revenue over 50% from pre-pandemic levels and anticipating double-digit growth again in 2022.

“Tow providers join HONK to grow their businesses,” said Matt Bijur, Chief Operating Officer at HONK. “Our proprietary dispatch algorithm finds and sends the closest provider available for each job, keeping most of their drive times to under 30 minutes or less, resulting in quicker ETAs, happier customers, and most important for our providers, improved efficiencies and reduced costs. Prioritizing jobs based on location enables providers to do more in a shorter amount of time, bringing in more revenue per day for their businesses.”

Want to see all the survey results? 

  • 22% of tow providers had more work than they can handle in Q3 & Q4 of 2021, which caused some delays and longer wait times for motorists 
  • 73% of tow providers when pressed with multiple jobs at the same time, prioritized jobs based on specific criteria: 
    • 1. Location (38%)
    • 2. How lucrative a job could be (28%)
    • 3. Availability of equipment (24%)
    • 4. Contractual obligations (21%)
    • 5. Time of day (20%)
  • Of that 73% of tow providers who prioritize jobs when pressed with multiple jobs, they also consider the source of where each job comes from. This is how they rank and prioritize jobs based on source:
    • 1. Direct calls from motorists
    • 2. Jobs from HONK
    • 3. Contracts with police and highway
    • 4. Contacts with local businesses
    • 5. Motor clubs & other roadside providers
  • 46% of tow providers are currently hiring
  • 62% say it is difficult to hire and retain employees
  • 46% intend to purchase 1 or 2 additional tow trucks in 2022
  • 25% stated that they were able to increase the number of trucks in use during 2021
  • 19% stated that they had to decrease their fleet size in 2021
  • 34% of tow providers joined various motor clubs during the pandemic to pick up additional jobs
  • Only 2% stated they had to close their business during the pandemic 
“We’re excited that our tow provider network is continuing to grow each year,” said Corey Brundage, CEO and Founder at HONK. “We manage numerous towing and roadside assistance programs for top insurance carriers, fleet management companies, and vehicle transport logistics for automotive retailers. Our curated network of professional, high-performing tow providers is a key element of our success.”

Read the press release now

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