Large survey shows one impact of motorists' return to roadways: 1 in 5 tow providers turning down work

Feb. 1, 2022
As traffic patterns return to pre-pandemic levels, tow operators are taking measures to accommodate the rapidly growing volume of work

HONK Technologies, the industry-leading digital roadside assistance and vehicle transport platform company, today released results from a nationwide survey of 582 towing and roadside providers. The survey indicates that tow providers are feeling the effects of motorists returning to the roadways as public health measures have loosened. 

More than one in five (22%) report having to turn down work, and the additional volume is driving almost half (46%) to consider buying new trucks and hiring additional employees. These moves indicate that tow providers are paying attention to signs of economic recovery and looking to get ahead of the long-awaited return to pre-pandemic motorist driving patterns. 

Starting in the summer of 2021, Americans returned to roads en masse, lockdown restrictions eased and schools and offices opened back up, causing driving miles and demand for roadside assistance to increase. While traditional motor clubs struggled to meet the demands of their clients as traffic returned to pre-pandemic levels, HONK Technologies has maintained key performance indicators, including high Net Promoter Scores (NPS) and low Estimated Time of Arrivals (ETAs) throughout the last year and a half. 

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 the same percentage are intending 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.   

73% of tow providers prioritize their jobs, and the No. 1 criteria is location

Tow providers want towing and roadside jobs that are closer to their available operators and trucks. Prioritizing jobs based on location enables providers to accommodate more customers per day and improve truck efficiencies, reducing overhead costs. 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. 

“These findings show that tow providers are responding to the return of demand for roadside assistance so they can accommodate the additional volume,” said Matt Bijur, Chief Operating Officer at HONK. “And beyond hiring additional staff and purchasing new trucks, efficiency is a big part of scaling up. Tow providers prefer to take the closest jobs because that creates quicker ETAs, happier customers, more jobs per truck per day, and lower overhead costs.”

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