Arrow Chemical Products owner Nanci Wallace was shocked when she got the call that one of her drivers had wrecked and that the truck exploded. She was relieved when she learned the driver was not injured.
The next shock came when Wallace went to retrieve the tow bill from Boulevard and Trumbull in Detroit, Michigan. When an employee told Wallace what she owed, she couldn’t believe her ears– her bill was $26,000.
In December, one of Wallace’s trucks jackknifed, careened into the median, exploded and burned. Boulevard and Trumbull towing company, which has a towing contract with the Michigan State Police and exclusive rights to many of the roads and highways in and around Detroit, was called to tow away the truck and clean up the mess that was left behind.
As Wallace reviewed the itemized bill, she found some questionable charges. The towing company had charged for 4 hours of service, even though the accident occurred at 2:00 p.m. and the roadway was cleared and reopened by 4:00 p.m.
In addition, Wallace was charged $2,250 for a street sweeper and $1,200 for a hazmat manager.
“The only street sweeper my guys saw was a gentleman pushing a broom,” Wallace explained. “There was nothing hazardous on the truck. It was water-based concrete cleaners.”
While the bill angers Wallace, what really irks her is that the towing company has a monopoly on the highway and can charge anything the company wishes. If you wreck and your vehicle needs to be towed away, you can’t call in an alternate company, Wallace said.
“And I think that the State of Michigan should be ashamed that they’re allowing this to go on,” Wallace said.
Drivers, do you think it’s fair for towing companies to have exclusive contracts with the state?