Death Valley Towing’s stand-alone business is growing exponentially. The company’s team of seven drivers and five light-duty vehicles offer 24-hour aid to stranded motorists and support property managers, law enforcement, local garages, insurance companies and auto clubs. Today, the business uses some of the best and most progressive equipment and systems in the industry, demands excellence and professional performance from its employees, and prides itself on treating its customers right and with total transparency.
When Lauren and Lee Richardson bought Death Valley Towing four years ago they took on a 33-year-old business with ancient business practices. The tower operated out of a small, humble office in Seneca South Carolina. There was no technology. Drivers took pictures of towed vehicles with a physical camera and were dispatched and managed using clipboards and three-part forms.
“It was easy to lose information. Easy for drivers to pull a fast one. Easy for people whose cars were towed to challenge you. We looked at this messy, dark ages business and said, ‘there has to be a better way,’” says Lauren.
A user of Omadi for three years, Death Valley invested in Webfleet for fleet tracking this year. “There’s nothing more disconcerting than looking at the map and seeing your driver in the middle of the lake when he should be on the road,” chuckles Lauren. In addition to installing Webfleet, she also agreed to pilot a new integration with HAAS Alert Safety Cloud, which broadcasts a ‘slow down move over’ alert to surrounding vehicles when a tower stops on the side of the road. On-the-job fatality risks in the tow truck industry are nearly 15X greater than other industries with one tower killed every six days according to the AAA.
The decision to use the Webfleet/HAAS integration hit home for Lauren and Lee only a few days later, with the news of the death of a fellow tower. He was killed by a hit and run driver. “It got very real. This product can help to ensure this doesn’t happen to anyone else,” says Lauren.
The combination of Omadi, Webfleet and HAAS Alert has improved Death Valley’s transparency and service.
“With Webfleet I’m able to see my driver pulling up alongside a vehicle on the side of the road. I can see him pulling into the driveway. That’s a different level of service than most people are accustomed to from towing companies,” says Lauren.
She’s also able to provide breakthrough service to her property management clients. “Using Webfleet I can provide photo evidence documenting a parking infraction. I have data to show we have patrolled the lot. Clients can even log in to see what’s been towed, where the driver is located, and when PTO is engaged.”
Webfleet has also improved their policing relationships. Says Lauren, “We can tell them precisely where our driver is, and provide an accurate ETA to the scene. It’s cut down on the number of phone calls back and forth.”
Finally, Lauren can keep an eye on her drivers while empowering them to be more efficient and safer based on their performance behind the wheel. “It’s a small town. Our reputation matters. Webfleet allows me to monitor our drivers’ speed and aggressive driving to enable issues to be immediately addressed. And I can be assured they are out on the roads patrolling and not heading to the lake to fish.”