How Do Tow Truck Drivers Get Paid?

Many people have wondered how tow truck drivers are paid. In most cases, they are not paid by the hour but receive a commission for each tow they complete. Although this can be lucrative, it can also be dangerous due to dealing with angry or intoxicated customers and working in traffic. 

To become a tow truck driver, one must obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL), find a company willing to hire them, complete training, and earn money. It is essential to stay safe while working as a tow truck driver.


How Much Do Local Tow Truck Drivers Make?

Local tow truck drivers earn an average of $42,789 per year or $20.57 per hour, according to This figure is based on national standards and may vary in specific localities. While the range of salaries is within the average, the bottom 10% of earners earn roughly $29,000 a year, and the top 10% earn $61,000 or more. It’s good to know that tow truck drivers are fairly compensated for their hard work providing vital service to our community.

How Do Tow Truck Companies Make Money?

Tow truck companies typically charge a flat fee for the tow, a mileage fee, and a storage fee. The flat fee is typically around $75, while the mileage fee is usually $2-$4 per mile. The storage fee is typical $20-$35 per day, and some companies charge an after-hours fee of $50-$100. To make money, tow truck companies need to have a high volume of customers and be efficient in their operations to keep costs low. Companies that can provide high-quality service at a competitive price will be the most successful in making money.

Can You Make a Lot of Money With a Tow Truck?

Tow truck drivers charge $75 to $125 for services rendered, according to On average, a call lasts about 30 minutes, meaning a driver can tow two to three cars per hour and earn $150 to $375 per hour. 

In a 12-hour day, that’s $1,800 to $4,500 in earnings. While this is an estimate, some days may be slower than others, and costs such as gas and truck maintenance must be subtracted from profits. However, a tow truck business can be pretty profitable.

How to Grow Your Towing Business

Growing a towing business can be challenging, but following these six principles will help ensure success.

Grow Gradually: Avoid expanding too quickly, which can cause financial strain and other problems.

Hire Experienced Drivers: Hiring experienced drivers will help ensure customer satisfaction and smooth operations.

Strive to Be Claims-Free: Aim to have no vehicle accidents or damage.

Build Up Your Business Slowly: Wait to set your sights on a big tow contract. Building your business gradually will increase your chances of success.

Pay Your Insurance Bill on Time: Ensure you pay your bill promptly to avoid future issues.

Keep a Clean Loss History: Avoid significant accidents or incidents that could lead to a business shutdown.

By following these tips, you will be on the path to growing a successful towing business.

How to Become a Roadside Assistance Contractor

To become a roadside assistance contractor, follow these steps:

  • Visit the nearest AAA office to your towing company and fill out an application.
  • Bring copies of your permits, licenses, and insurance policies.
  • AAA will review your application and contact you for additional information if needed.
  • Once approved, you can start providing roadside assistance services to AAA members.

How Tow Trucks Work

Tow trucks use strong metal brackets fitted between the wheels of the disabled car, securely attached to the tow truck with pins. The strength of the tow truck parts allows it to successfully tow a vehicle much heavier than itself.


Tow truck drivers are essential in keeping our roads safe and making a good income. However, the job comes with risks. Research the requirements and responsibilities before pursuing a career in tow truck driving. Being aware of these risks and taking necessary precautions is crucial for success.

About the author, Laurence Perkins

Laurence Perkins is the passionate car enthusiast behind the blog My Auto Machine. With over a decade of experience in the automotive industry, Perkins has knowledge and experience with a wide range of car makes and models. His particular interests lie in performance and modification, and his blog covers these topics in-depth. In addition to his own blog, Perkins is a respected voice in the automotive community and writes for various automotive publications. His insights and opinions on cars are highly sought-after.