The now-infamous A-1’s Towing in Memphis is just one of many predatory towing companies targeting truckers, a recent study by the American Transportation Research Institute shows.
The ATRI report analyzed towing invoices from 2021, 2022, and 2023, and determined that 82.7% of trucking companies experienced excessive rates from towing companies, and 81.8% experienced unwarranted extra service charges. Many of the carriers surveyed also disclosed additional issues with towing companies, such as delayed truck and cargo release or access, truck seizure without cause, and unauthorized tows reported as consensual.
“Trucking companies doing business in Arkansas are often faced with the conundrum of overpaying for services provided or disappointing their customers and disrupting the supply chain,” Shannon Newton, president of the Arkansas Trucking Association, said to Arkansas Money and Politics. “The vulnerability of a company when they need services and the lack of accountability for providers leads to excessive, unexpected costs to trucking companies.”
The ATRI has included strategies that trucking companies can use to identify, deal with, or stay away from predatory towing practices on page 37 of the report.
“In the face of inflation, fuel prices and other rising expenses, the cost of operating a trucking company is at an all-time high. These unpredictable and unfair towing rates are unnecessarily contributing to those costs,” Newton said. “People are going to continue to need goods and trucks are going to continue to deliver them, which means these excessive towing fees are going to be passed along to consumers. Ensuring fair towing practices benefits carriers, shippers and consumers alike.”