A LETTER FROM CTTA PRESIDENT: CA Tow Ops & Coronavirus

Dear Tow Operator/ERS Responder:

The California Tow Truck Association has felt it necessary to provide you with a communication regarding the current and on-going Covid-19 virus pandemic.  On Thursday March 19, 2020, Governor Newsom ordered a state wide shelter in place directive effective March 20, 2020.  The executive order mandates that all citizens of the state of California remain at their homes until further notice.  There are 16 exemptions for those who are considered “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers”.  As tow operators or road service responders you are considered an essential service under the “Transportation Systems” heading.  It is the wish of the state to have people continue to access their vehicles to carry out essential functions such as procuring food and caring for others.  You may be asked to modify your business practices in the future to accommodate the crisis.

It is our recommendation to follow all of the governmental recommendations regarding hygiene and social distancing.  In addition to these measures one should consider the following:

  • Consider wearing latex protective gear on your hands in addition to regular work gloves
  • Wipe down any surfaces you are about to touch
  • After you touch a surface wipe it down for the safety of others
  • Pay special attention to surfaces such as door handles, steering wheels, turn signals or other high frequency touch areas within any vehicle. Don’t forget key pads and writing utensils such a pens and pencils
  • It would be a good idea to create a policy with the governmental recommendations and socialize the policy with your employees and customers. Your customers have a right to know what precautions you are aware of and that you are taking action to assure them you are doing your very best fight against this pandemic

You can access more information about your classification at the following web site: http://covid19.ca.gov/img/Executive-Order-N-33-20.pdf

As usual you will be called upon to provide valuable and lifesaving services to the general motoring public.  Please do so safely.  As your the acting CTTA president I am proud our industry and those who own, operate and make it happen out on the road.

 

 

 

 

Quinn Piening, CTTA President

CTTA TO HONOR 6TH CLASS OF RICH CHAPPEL INDUSTRY LEADERS

Awards to be presented at the CTTA Industry Leaders & Awards Night during the American Towman ShowPlace in Las Vegas on Friday, May 15, 2020

Sacramento, CA • As the California Tow Truck Association celebrates over 50 years of protecting the towing industry, it is proud to announce the 2020 slate of inductees to its Rich Chappel Industry Leaders Hall. The following people have been selected to receive this prestigious honor due to their positive influence on the towing industry, without thought of recognition:

  • Bill Robertson, Bill & Wag’s
  • Rob Storelee, RA Storelee Insurance Agency
  • Randy Levitt, American Tow
  • Bob Matson, Elk Garage
  • Terry Jordan, Dietz Towing

These towing professionals have spent their lives making significant contributions to the industry with unblemished and outstanding character. Our Board of Directors and the CTTA Foundation are elated to honor them for their years of hard work and service at the 6th annual Industry Leaders & Awards Night in Las Vegas this May 15th, 2020. CTTA will also be giving out awards to our Chapter of the Year, Member of the Year, and those who have made significant achievements in our Training & Education program. Throughout the evening, event attendees will also have the chance to bid on exclusive towing items during our exciting Auction! We hope you’ll join us on Friday, May 15th in Las Vegas, NV at the Westgate Hotel & Resort to celebrate the accomplishments of these individuals, as well as over 50 years of CTTA’s commitment to protecting the California towing industry. Visit ctta.com/leaders to see photos from past years and learn more.

Registration is now open for the American Towman ShowPlace at atshowplace.com, so register and reserve your Industry Leaders & Awards Night tickets today!

Interested in sponsoring this event? Click Here

CHP ADOPTS CHANGES TO HOURS-OF-SERVICE REGS FOR CALIFORNIA TOW TRUCK OPERATORS

Sacramento, CA • January 8, 2020

After years of working closely with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) on the changes, the California Tow Truck Association (CTTA) is proud to report that revisions to California’s hours-of-service regulations for California tow truck operators have been finalized and will take effect on April 1, 2020. Given the unworkability of existing hours-of-service rules for the tow industry – whose workload is unpredictable by nature – CTTA’s Towing Regulatory Oversight Council (T-ROC) worked exhaustively to help craft amendments that address the unique working conditions of
the tow industry without jeopardizing motorist safety. The T-ROC brought these proposed changes to the CTTA Board for approval before the CHP ultimately completed the lengthy
legal process required to enact regulatory amendments.

Specific to “tow truck operators,” the following provisions were added to California’s hours-of service regulations found in Title 13, California Code of Regulations, section 1212, paragraph (q):

  • Tow truck drivers will be allowed to use the 16 hour “on-duty” time non-consecutively, similar to farm products drivers. It will not be limited to a 24-hour period, rather whenever a tow truck driver first hits 12 hours of non-consecutive driving time or 16 hours of nonconsecutive on-duty time, he or she would need to take 10 hours off-duty. Previously the “on-duty” time kept running once a driver began his or her shift. This increased flexibility will help address the unpredictable nature of the tow industry.
  • The exemption will apply when driving all light- and heavy-duty tow trucks “as defined in Section 615(a) CVC, equipped with at least one permanently mounted and operational boom, winch, under-lift device, or other equipment designed, used, or maintained for the purpose of lifting, carrying, securing or towing a disabled vehicle.” It will also not have any geographic or line of business limitations – it will apply equally across the industry, regardless of how the tow was initiated or by whom. Equal application to all towers was critical for the T-ROC. It will not apply when driving a Haz Mat truck, or truck-tractor, any motor truck used to tow a trailer (defined in section 34500(e)), or any other vehicle not equipped as described above.
  • It includes the following two “tracking” requirements:
    • Drivers using this exception shall complete a driver’s record of duty status pursuant to section 1213 for each 24 hour period while using the exception and for the seven 24-hour periods immediately following the use of the exception.
    • The employing motor carrier of any driver shall report all incidents to the CHP within 15 calendar days. An “incident” would include any injury to a driver, public, emergency response personnel, or other party at the scene, directly attributable to the driver that results in lost time beyond the employee’s work shift or medical treatment beyond first aid, or damage to any property exceeding $500.

The final adopted regulatory text is available on the CHP’s Regulatory Actions website at: https://www.chp.ca.gov/news-alerts/regulatory-actions

CTTA thanks the T-ROC for its tireless dedication to this issue. Addressing hours-of-service workability issues was a priority for the T-ROC from day one of its inception in 2013. While not a quick, nor easy process, it demonstrates the tow industry’s ability to progress when united, thoughtful, and persistent. Please direct any questions or comments to ctta@ctta.com

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CLICK HERE to download a .pdf of this release

Recent CTTA Legislative & Regulatory Victories

CTTA’s legislative program is designed to protect and advance the interests of professional towing companies at the California State Capitol.  Thanks to the dedication of CTTA’s Towing Regulatory Oversight Council (T-ROC), with help from its legislative advocates Ellison Wilson Advocacy and other stakeholders including the Emergency Road Service Coalition of America (ERSCA), CTTA has proudly achieved the following legislative and regulatory victories over recent years:

  • Changes to Hours-of-Service Regulations for Tow Truck Operators were the result of years of collaborative discussions with state regulators to address the unique working conditions of the tow industry – whose workload is unpredictable by nature – without jeopardizing motorist safety.  In order to increase flexibility for tow companies, amendments were ultimately adopted to allow tow truck operators to use the 16-hour “on-duty” time non-consecutively.
  • AB 2825 (Jones-Sawyer) would have required towing companies to provide free oral and written translation services to non-English speakers, and would also have applied the burdensome, and expensive requirements that currently apply to debt collectors to “at the counter” tow company transactions.  CTTA worked closely with the author and Legislature to explain the workability problems with the bill, as well as the negative financial consequences it would have on our small businesses, and ultimately the bill was killed before it made it to the Governor’s desk.
  • AB 1222 (Bloom) would have authorized every city and county in the state to regulate and tax any tower that simply drove through its jurisdiction, which would have been economically disastrous to towing companies throughout the state.  CTTA had its entire membership directly contact Assemblymember Bloom and other members of the Legislature, which successfully persuaded him to remove the offensive provision and work with CTTA on a reasonable bill that minimized the impact on professional towers.
  • AB 2392 (Santiago) was introduced by the insurance industry to reduce perceived “unreasonable” fees in the towing industry.  After months of negotiations between the tow industry, insurance representatives, and other stakeholders, the bill was amended to minimize the negative repercussions and ultimate tied “reasonable” rates to those authorized by law enforcement or comparable rates charged by other towing companies in the same locale.
  • AB 873 (Jones) would have subjected towing companies to regulation by the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) if they did so much as change a vehicle’s battery.  In order to avoid more unnecessary governmental regulation on the towing industry, CTTA successfully argued alongside fellow stakeholders for a complete exemption from BAR for all towers performing roadside service that have a valid Motor Carrier Permit and are in the BIT Program.
  • AB 306 (Lowenthal) was formulated and sponsored by CTTA to increase safety on California’s roadways and level the playing field by requiring any business that contracts with a tow company to obtain proof of a valid motor carrier permit (MCP) before allowing the tower to retrieve vehicles from or deliver vehicles to its premises.
  • AB 198 (Frazier) legally allowed tow truck drivers to use the center median or right shoulder upon the direction of a peace officer.  Supported by CTTA, AB 198 allowed tow trucks to more rapidly render assistance to disabled vehicles or debris obstructing a roadway, as well as facilitating the free flow of traffic, thus reducing the number of secondary crashes.
  • AB 2586 (Gatto) included an unreasonable provision that would have required towers to provide free towing and storage to owners of stolen vehicles.  After intense lobbying from the tow industry, the author agreed to remove this offensive towing provision from his bill due to the unjustified negative impact this provision would have had on the small businesses in the tow industry.

Learn More:

CTTA, ERSCA & JerrDan Corporation to Provide Complimentary Beginner Training

Company owners purchasing new tow trucks from JerrDan will receive free online tow operator training

The California Tow Truck Association (CTTA) and the Emergency Road Service Coalition of America (ERSCA) are proud to announce a new partnership with JerrDan™ Corporation. This new partnership will provide two complimentary codes to redeem for seats in Intro To Towing, an online course for new towing hires/beginners, for each tow truck purchased from JerrDan™.
Intro To Towing is a web and video based course covering the following areas of tow operator employment: Safety, Professionalism, Service Calls, Tow Truck Anatomy, and Basic Towing Procedure. Created and produced by CTTA & ERSCA, the course is designed as a solution to towing companies hiring new operators, only to have them leave the company after the intensity of hands-on certification training. Prospective towing operators who take the Intro To Towing course come away with a deep understanding of the work and professionalism to be expected from them; towing companies are then able to better retain high quality drivers.

CTTA President Quinn Piening & ERSCA President Craig Baker are incredibly grateful to JerrDan Corporation for unlocking the ability to spread essential tow operator training across the country. “JerrDan stepping forward to help provide this training to towing company employees is essential to both CTTA and ERSCA’s mission of furthering professionalism and service to the motoring public. We thank JerrDan for their incredible support,” said Quinn Piening.

Learn more about Intro To Towing: go.ctta.com/intro
Learn more about JerrDan™ Corporation: jerrdan.com