How To Become A Tow Truck Driver

Have you ever thought about being a tow truck driver? The job can be challenging as tow truck drivers must be on duty 24 hours a day and work long shifts. The job is physically demanding and requires dealing with stress, responding to emergencies, and handling dangerous situations.


Qualifications to Become a Tow Truck Driver

To become a tow truck driver, you must meet several requirements, including age and license requirements, maintaining a clean driving record, passing a background check, drug screening, physical ability test, and vision exam. Additionally, you must obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) before starting your career as a tow truck driver.

Where are the Highest Paid Tow Truck Drivers Found

While the average hourly wage for tow truck drivers in the United States is $16.04, the pay rates vary significantly from city to city. For example, tow truck drivers in San Diego, California, make an average of $23.71 per hour. In contrast, those in Houston, Texas, earn an average of $22.62 per hour. Larger cities with higher living costs typically offer higher wages, and experienced tow truck drivers or those with specialized training can earn more.

Profitability of a Tow Truck Business

The profitability of a tow truck business depends on the location of the business. However, most tow truck business owners earn between $30,000 and $40,000 in annual profits. The main expenses for a tow truck business include the cost of the tow truck itself, fuel, maintenance, and insurance. Tow truck businesses typically require a minimum of two trucks to be profitable, as one truck is usually in use. At the same time, the other is being repaired or refueled.

What are Tow Truck Drivers Called

Tow truck drivers who offer vehicle-related repair and hauling services to non-commercial and commercial vehicle drivers, police, municipalities, and even other tow truckers are called tow truckers. They are specially trained in the operation of a tow truck. They are responsible for the safety of the vehicles they tow and the people they work with. Tow truckers also respond to emergency calls for service and assist stranded motorists, making them an essential part of the transportation industry.

License Requirements to Tow

To tow a trailer with a manual vehicle, you must take and pass the B+E driving test. The same applies if you want to tow a trailer with an automatic vehicle. Suppose you have an existing manual Category B license. In that case, you can only tow a trailer with an automatic transmission if you take the B+E driving test in an automatic vehicle. However, you may want to tow a trailer with a manual transmission. In that case, you must retake the B+E driving test in a manual vehicle, as your license will only be limited to automatic vehicles.

Qualities of a Good Tow Truck Driver

A great tow truck driver is responsible, courteous, and follows safety requirements while treating the vehicle carefully. They should have knowledge and experience in towing all types of vehicles safely and professionally. Communication skills are also essential to explain the towing process, answer questions, and providing updates on the vehicle’s status. Additionally, they should be punctual, understanding that time is critical when towing a vehicle.

Do Truckers Only Get Paid Per Mile?

Truck drivers are typically paid based on travel distance rather than working time. This payment method varies depending on years of experience, location, and the company they work for. 

Payment per Mile 

Truck drivers are commonly paid a set rate per mile they drive. This rate can range from $0.30 to $0.60 per mile, based on factors like the driver’s experience, location, and employer. For instance, a driver with ten years of experience driving in the Northeast region for Company B may be paid $0.60 per mile, while a driver with five years of experience operating in the Midwest region for Company A might be paid $0.50 per mile.

Daily Earnings 

On average, a trucker drives 125 to 200 miles daily, earning around $250 per day before expenses. However, it’s essential to note that truckers must be paid for the time they spend loading or unloading cargo. As a result, they must plan their routes efficiently to ensure they maximize their time.


Being a tow truck driver may be easier than one might think. With research and the appropriate licenses, almost anyone can become a tow truck driver. Becoming a great tow truck driver requires experience, responsibility, professionalism, clear communication skills, and punctuality. If you possess these attributes, you have what it takes to be an exceptional tow truck driver.

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.