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ATRI conducts predatory towing survey

Nov. 29, 2022
The trucking research organization is seeking information about what kinds of trouble carriers most often have with towing companies, and how frequently.

The American Transportation Research Institute is asking motor carriers and drivers to participate in a new ATRI survey on the impact of predatory towing in the trucking industry.

Predatory towing is any incident in which a tow truck operator egregiously overcharges, illegally seizes, damages by use of improper equipment, or withholds release of a truck or cargo. ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee called this a “persistent negative impact on the industry” in a press release.  The committee identified the need to better understand this problem as a top research priority earlier this year.

See also: Fuel prices, parking top trucking industry's biggest concerns

The 14-question survey asks fleets to share which types of predatory towing they deal with most frequently, what fees or delays they consider predatory, and in which states they have encountered predatory tows. It also seeks participants for another round of more detailed data collection that will allow ATRI to quantify the frequency and operational impact of each type of predatory event. All data collected will be kept completely confidential, ATRI states in the press release.

“We all know that predatory towing is an issue, yet until now, there has been no robust analysis on how, when, and where it happens or the impact of legislation designed to regulate these predatory practices,” said Shawn R. Brown, Cargo Transporters VP of safety and chair of Atri’s Research Advisory Committee. “By participating in ATRI’s data-driven research, carriers will be helping to answer these questions and outline solutions.”

Motor carriers and drivers can access the survey online.

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