This is an interview with Tim Baumgartner about his tow truck company.
WHAT CATEGORIES OF EQUIPMENT DOES YOUR TOW TRUCK COMPANY HAVE?
We have vehicles for regular roadside assistance that includes flatbeds. In fact, our total fleet of tow trucks numbers 45 and includes a variety of vehicles including those with heavy duty towing capacity. In that category, we have heavy wreckers and rotators and a variety of other specialty vehicles. Also, and this is important, we also do water recoveries. We have all the equipment for any type of recovery where a vehicle is in water. That includes one-mile continuous run cable so we can get the cars out of the river when no other company can do the job.
DOES YOUR COMPANY HANDLE TRUCK TOWING AS WELL AS CAR TOWING?
When you pick up a car for a tow, there’s a lot that goes into it. You need to know how to secure each type of vehicle as some have frames and many of the new ones are unibodies. You need to know how to avoid damage as some vehicles have low clearance and then you need a ramp or use boards. Moving the car from point a to point b means you have to know some things, but its a lot less complicated then heavy duty towing.
With heavy duty towing you get into truck weight differences. You have to hook up the airline supply and transmission linkages. You have to understand big rig brakes and you have to know if it makes sense to move the tractor and the trailer as one unit, or break it up. It just depends. We know how to handle all the nuances and complexity of heavy duty towing.
DOES YOUR TOW TRUCK COMPANY HAVE A DRESS CODE?
We not only have a dress code, but our dress code helps with safety for my team and the person who is calling. Let me explain. State Law here in Oregon states that when you are outside working on a vehicle alongside the road, you have to have reflective gear. What I found over many, many years ago is that I need to make it easy for my guys to be safe.
So, we designed and purchased company uniforms that are 100 percent safe and compliant with the safety laws here in the State of Oregon. Every one of my guys has seven different uniforms for every day of the week and just to make sure we don’t have an issue, we even handle the cleaning. When guys come to work they know they have a clean, safe uniform waiting for them And also, our uniforms are OSHA compliant.
HOW IS YOUR TOW TRUCK COMPANY ABLE TO HANDLE RV’S?
We have a low boy that stretches out to 50 feet long in the middle and which means we can handle even the biggest RV’s. No other tow truck company in the area can handle these vehicles. Maybe you have 45 foot motor homes, a 45 foot RV, or a 40-foot fifth wheels …maybe a travel trailer. We can handle any type of recreational vehicle. In fact, all the motor clubs including AAA send us all the rv tows. When they call us sometimes the unit is disabled mechanically, sometimes the RV has a broken axle. All kinds of things can go wrong. We really like helping out with these folks that local to Eugene or just traveling through the area. It’s a beautiful area here and we try to help them have the best time they can. We’ll bring their RV in, being extra careful. You have to know what you are doing with these vehicles.
DOES YOUR TOW TRUCK SERVICE HANDLE ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE?
Yes, we handle over 50% of the roadside assistance calls here in the Eugene area. Let me tell you about what typically happens. If the car we are going to tow is in a parking lot or, or something else like that is, it’s no real big. We handle the ump starts or refuels right there. But if it’s alongside of a freeway or at a belt lane, side road or anything else like that looks dangerous then we’ll send out a second truck for traffic control to cover them while they are doing the job. We also tend to take a look at the situation, pick up the vehicle and take it somewhere else that is less dangerous. Major highways are just bad places to stop. They just aren’t safe.
Let me also talk about how we handle transporting you once you call. We had a woman call last week. She had a doctor’s appointment for her special needs son. Her car broke down and she called us. She would have been late. We picked them both up and dropped them at the doctor’s office and then delivered the car to the dealership for repairs. We try to go the extra mile to help out.
HOW QUICKLY CAN YOUR TOW COMPANY GET TO ME?
We average about 30 minutes, which is something we are proud of. We honor our time commitments. Every once in a while we get real busy. Since we have 45 trucks we have a lot of capacity so it’s pretty rare. If it’s going to take quite a while or something else like that, then we tell the people right up front it’s going to be an hour or it’s going to be an hour and a half before we get you. We just lay it on the line and let them make that decision
HOW IS YOUR TOW TRUCK COMPANY DIFFERENT THAN OTHER TOW SERVICE COMPANIES IN THE AREA?
What you might not realize is that we are the chosen towing company for all five (5) law enforcement departments in the area. We are the only one. They work with us because they know our guys are all really experienced (over 10 years). They know we never have a problem and can handle any situation. Also, we are the only towing company in the area that is US DOT certified. When there is a criminal investigation around a vehicle we get the call. Our fleet of 45 trucks also means we can handle absolutely anything. We have all the equipment. We equipment for any type of RV or semi. We have equipment for we’ve got a command center and everything else. We have a big, specialized recovery truck. We have an all-wheel drive military style tow truck. We have an all wheel drive, military rotator truck.