ATRI Looking to Collect Data on the Impact of Predatory Towing in Trucking Industry


The nonprofit research organization American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) recently issued a news release calling for motor carriers and drivers to complete a survey so it can analyze the impact of predatory towing in the trucking sector.

The survey asks drivers and motor carriers about the most common types of predatory towing, what fees or delays they consider predatory, and in which states they have encountered predatory towing. Participants will also be asked to answer more detailed questions about the frequency of towing, which will allow ATRI to quantify the frequency and operational impact of each type of predatory event. According to ATRI, all information gathered will be kept strictly confidential.

“Recognizing its persistent negative impact on the industry, ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee identified the need to better understand this problem as a top research priority earlier this year,” the news release stated.

What Is Predatory Towing?

While most towing companies operate with integrity and legally, some don’t. Predatory towing is any incident where a tow truck provider grossly overcharges, illegally seizes, damages by using inappropriate equipment, or refuses to release a truck and/or cargo.

A predatory towing company, for example, will move in on an accident and tow a truck without consent. Bills issued by predatory towing companies are artificially inflated, with some truckers being charged for equipment that was never present at the accident scene. The costs can range between thousands and tens of thousands of dollars, which can significantly affect insurance premiums for owner-operators and larger carriers.

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