I love my life and I’m so proud of the business my team and I have built. But I’ll tell you something: Running a business in the towing industry is not for the faint of heart. I experience the highest of highs and the lowest of lows throughout each year. Towing is an intense, action-packed, and sometimes dangerous industry. I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but I can’t pretend that running a towing business is easy!

Today, I’m talking about the realities of running a business in the towing industry.

The Towing Industry Isn’t Easy

Listen, the towing industry is 24/7. Working around the clock can be challenging and tiring, but it’s also very rewarding and exciting! My guys work really hard in the coldest temps and on the hottest days. They aren’t just out there on icy roads or in the sweltering heat, though. In March and April, we’re getting ready for construction season and getting vehicles ready for customers. My team does preventative maintenance for them in addition to roadside work.

I work really, really hard to help my team recoup during slower periods (when they happen, that is). I make sure they get the downtime they need so they can decompress from the stress of a 24/7 job. 

It’s important to me that everyone stays safe at work, too. Running a business in the towing industry means facing the reality of just how dangerous the roads can be. My guys are working on the roadside where other motorists potentially aren’t paying attention, and they’re handling large commercial vehicles. On top of that, they’re doing it in inclement weather. Extreme heat. Extreme cold. They have to be aware of cars sliding on ice, slipping and falling as they work, and drinking enough water. The job is no joke.

Then, there’s the pressure to get motorists, our customers, back on the road. They’re stuck and off their schedule, in work where time is of the essence and every mile counts: Time is money. Sometimes, drivers are agitated and crabby, and depending on road conditions and how busy we are, they have to wait for help. A lot of times, my team has to diffuse the situation, calm people down, and be upfront about what we can do for them. They go above and beyond and stay in contact with customers to give them the best customer service we can. They do an amazing job.

Michelle Sukow taking ownership of her businesses made 2020 a great year for her.

Running a Business in the Towing Industry = Safety First

Safety is everything in this business, and I’ve made a point to improve safety standards for towers everywhere. 

I’ve made sure training and safety certification is always available to my team so they’re in the know on how to protect themselves and our customers. After each recovery, we do an accident review. Everyone who worked on the scene talks about what they did well and what they could have done differently. It’s when we learn about opportunities to be more efficient and talk productively about how to improve. 

Every month we send out a safety newsletter for our team to read, so they know what’s expected and what they need to do to stay safe. We supply them with the approved reflective gear for the road conditions, and every year, we give them a boot credit so they can get the footwear they need to protect them from falls. 

We supply all the equipment they need to work in the best environment possible, and all of that  limits their roadside exposure. Anything we can do to limit their time on the side of the road is a win for both of us.

It’s More Than a Job, It’s a Lifestyle

When it comes to running a business in the towing industry, one of my biggest priorities is taking care of my team. That means more than prioritizing their safety on the road, but thinking about them as whole people. Working in this industry calls for support and understanding from their families and loved ones. My guys miss a lot of special events, they’re not around as much during busy times, and it’s tough to plan ahead with their time. Things can change in 5 minutes. I mean, they can change in 5 seconds sometimes! We deal with the unexpected all the time.

That’s why I do my best to think of my team’s lives and try to help them stay healthy mentally. If they’re not happy, it affects every area of their life. Stress at home and at work isn’t good for anyone. There needs to be balance.

Michelle Sukow has worked hard to make changes for better safety in the towing industry.

Company Culture is Key

My business’ success isn’t just about what happens on the road. It starts within the walls of this shop, with the people who make it all happen. We’ve worked hard to build a positive company culture this year. We work as a team. We help each other, and we have each other’s backs. Everyone wants this to be a place we all do well and are happy. I’m so proud of what we accomplish together.

What are the toughest and most rewarding aspects of working in your industry? What challenges you and excites you about your work? Leave me a comment or send me an email at Michelle@MichelleSukow.com!

Live your best life,