The process, requirements, and responsibilities vary greatly from state to state and sometimes town to town. This causes a blanket solution to be fairly impossible to provide but there are certain steps you can take to help your cause.
First, identify who actually regulates the towing rotation. It may not be who you expect. While some rotations are maintained by the sheriff or police chief others are controlled by the city council, county commissioners, and some are a mixture of both by way of some type of board. A lot of the time these boards have members from different area departments, government reps, and in a lot of cases (if you’re lucky) a member of the towing community. You also sometimes see your local 911 and a local citizen having a seat. Figure this out so you don’t waste time barking up the wrong tree.
Understand that a tower rarely has a right to be on a towing rotation. Approach this subject humbly and professionally. Ask questions, don’t claim to know this and that. If there is one thing people in a position of authority hate, it is for someone to tell them what they have to or should do something. It’s not a good place to start the conversation.
Once you identify who you need to approach you can come up with a plan to address them. This might be as simple as requesting a thirty-minute meeting with someone at the police department or attending a county commissioner meeting and requesting to speak publicly during the meeting. This typically involves arriving a few minutes early and filling out a speaker request form. Be prepared to make your case quickly. A lot of public comments are limited between three to five minutes.
Be very calculated, know your info, don’t mention other towers. You are not there to convince the other party that the other towers shouldn’t be on the list, you are there to convince them that you should be on the list. Present yourself as a local business that contributes to the local economy. Mention how many families depend on you for their living, not just the number of employees you have. Know your history, how long, where, have you grown, are you a resident in that municipality, do you own commercial property in that municipality? Make sure they know these things. Know your liability coverage, offer to add them as additionally insured on that policy to help them feel all warm and fuzzy. Are your drivers certified, let them know. Mention that all of your employees wear required safety equipment. Have you attended TIMS Training or SHRP2. Make sure they know this too.
There are no magic bullets to get on rotation and there is always the chance that despite your best efforts you won’t… for now. Sometimes it comes down to good old-fashioned relationship building and that may take some time. Attend local meetings, shake hands, don’t be pushy. Does the department in question hold events such as an annual car show or Shop with a Cop at Christmas? If so, be present, consider donating to the cause. Most importantly, present yourself as a true professional. Stand out above the crowd and never criticize another tower.