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How Do Towing Companies Get on Police Rotation? All Your Questions, Answered

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    There’s no question about it—you’re having one heck of a bad day.  

    You just experienced your first rollover accident, and now your baby—that’s right, the same car you’ve spent the best years of your life slaving at a thankless nine-to-five to pay off—is lying in a ditch on the side of the road.

    And it’s totaled…as in it ain’t goin’ nowhere. 

    Thankfully, you’re okay. A little shaken, but no serious injuries; no one else is hurt, either, and you’ve followed the ten crucial steps to handle a car accident. 

    The officer on-scene approaches you and asks if you have a preferred towing company in mind to haul away the wrecked car.

    “That’s the last thing in the world I’m worried about,” you think. So you inform the officer that you don’t. 

    That’s where the police rotation comes in. The officer’s got you covered: he sends in a request for a no-preference towing service, and in a matter of minutes a big, beautiful wrecker shows up on the scene. 

    Maybe it’s the just concussion talking—but things are starting to look up. 

    How Do Towing Companies Get on Police Rotation? All Your Questions, Answered 1

    Police Rotation: How It Works

    Have you ever wondered how a wrecker ends up so quickly at the scene of an accident? It always seems to appear as if by magic, ready to clear damaged vehicles from the roadway. 

    The truth is, tow trucks are a critical element of the nation’s highway ecosystem. Leaving a wrecked vehicle on the road leads to traffic congestion and dangerous rubbernecking, which in turn increases the likelihood of secondary accidents. 

    Your commute is bad enough…no one needs the aggravation of secondary accidents. 

    So how does police rotation work to streamline the removal of car wrecks and keep the nation’s highways running smoothly? 

    Well, it’s basically a pool of authorized towing companies registered with the local police department. The on-scene police officer contacts the emergency dispatcher to request a tow and the dispatcher calls up the next registered towing service on the rotation list. 

    Simple as that. 

    By using the wrecker rotation list, law enforcement agencies and city personnel can keep the chaos and confusion of an accident scene to a bare minimum.

    And using an alphabetized and impartial list of wrecking companies means tow truckers no longer have to cruise around listening to police scanners, waiting to descend on an accident scene like a flock of vultures.  

    It also helps reduce the chances of further accidents—which, given the number of traffic fatalities DC has already experienced this year, is something we can all celebrate.  

    How Do Towing Companies Get on Police Rotation? All Your Questions, Answered 2
    How Do Towing Companies Get on Police Rotation? All Your Questions, Answered 3

    Getting On The List

    So how does police rotation work for towing companies?

    Basically, a towing company is required to register with the police department of the city or cities where it wishes to operate. Most police departments or city government websites maintain a page with contact and registration information for joining the rotation. 

    Usually, the towing service has to be within the city limits, or within a certain stipulated radius; also, there’s probably going to be a fee involved. We are dealing with the government, after all. 

    Most departments also have some basic requirements for towing companies wishing to join the rotation list. For example: 

    • Business license and proof of insurance.
    • Ability to pass an inspection.
    • Possession of basic onboard equipment, such as a first aid kit, reflective triangles or cones, fire extinguisher, etc. 

    Of course, it’s up to the tow truck operator to be available and to respond when the call comes in. If the operator is already engaged, or otherwise occupied, the dispatcher will simply call up the next authorized provider on the list. Meanwhile, the unavailable tow operator is bumped to the bottom of the rotation.

    And if the operator does respond to a dispatcher’s call, but doesn’t show up at the scene in a timely fashion…well, that’s just his tough luck, and he might find himself out of the police rotation altogether. 

    How Do Towing Companies Get on Police Rotation? All Your Questions, Answered 4

    Just Don’t Have An Accident—But If You Do…

    Okay, so you’ve learned just about everything there is to know about how the police rotation works. 

    This is all well and good for tow truck operators, you think, but what do I care? 

    Honestly, it matters because rather than relying on the luck of the draw in the police rotation, you might want to have the name of a reliable towing company on hand when the officer approaches you about getting your car towed. 

    Perform your due diligence, conduct a little research, and make sure your towing company meets the four necessary criteria for any towing service that’s worth its salt. 

    Here’s the bottom line: put down the phone, stay safe on the road, obey all traffic laws, and just don’t have an accident. But we all know that even the safest driver in the world can have a run of rotten luck, and when the unavoidable happens, you need to be prepared.  

    Hey, the last thing you want to worry about when you’re in a major accident is who you’re going to call to get your car towed. 

    How Do Towing Companies Get on Police Rotation? All Your Questions, Answered 5

    Need A Tow?

    So why don’t you make your life easier, and keep the number for Geyer’s Towing & Transport on hand, just in case you ever find yourself in this kind of situation. We have 24/7 emergency support, and we deliver only the finest service. 

    We’re the friendly Joes who know how to tow, and our “Wreckmaster Certified” recovery specialists will get your baby off the road and back to the shop, so you can get back to your life.  

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