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Author Topic: Berlin Area and Wrecker Operator Jobs?  (Read 5577 times)

JDouglasFisher

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Berlin Area and Wrecker Operator Jobs?
« on: September 25, 2007, 02:20 AM NHFT »

Hello folks,

I am very new to the FSP and the idea of taking back my liberties and freedoms. I have lived in New Jersey most my life (with a year spent in Beautiful Northwest Pennsylvania) but I cannot handle NJ anymore. I decided to start planning a move to the Berlin, NH area.

I have read mixed opinions about the town, but I kinda like the old world grunginess of the town (reminds me of how Johnnsonburg, Ridgeway, Bradford, Warren, et-al, looked in NW-PA)

Anyway, I posted on the FSP forum about Wrecker Operator jobs up that way, and it was highly suggested that I come here because there are more locals.

I plan on having my own towing business one day, but I would like to work for someone else for a while so I can learn the lay of the land so to speak. (plus it would give me a chance to get familiar with the towing laws and regulations in NH, and become accustomed to the police departments protocols regarding towing of vehicles upon their request.)

So, I am asking for a few things..

1.) I am in need a liason I can talk to about general topics of interest in the Berlin Area

2.) I am in need of a liason in regards to the towing industry in NH in general. Being in the North Country would be beneficial but not necessary in this regard.

I am an 11 year veteran from behind the wheel, and I can recite most laws regarding such in NJ, but NH is "Free" as compared to the over taxed, over regulated, corrupt state of NJ.

I have unlimited long distance on my home phone, so I can make the phone calls when appropriate.

Thanks in advance for all the help and advice, meanwhile I am going to snoop here some more, and start thinking of an exit strategy for leaving the "Garbage State" where there is a "Rainbow in every puddle...."

Fisher
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JDouglasFisher

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Re: Berlin Area and Wrecker Operator Jobs?
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2007, 12:57 AM NHFT »

the sound of crickets...
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Pat K

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Re: Berlin Area and Wrecker Operator Jobs?
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2007, 01:15 AM NHFT »

Hi JDF and welcome.

I don't think there are a lot of folks
here with a great deal of Northern NH
knowledge.

We don't have a lot of people up there yet.

Though KB might post as he is interested in living
up north and has been doing research and dreaming.
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KBCraig

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Re: Berlin Area and Wrecker Operator Jobs?
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2007, 03:02 AM NHFT »

Sorry, JDF... I started to reply to your first post, then realized it was way too late, and I'd had a bit toooo much Scotch to write coherently (not that that's stopped me in the past, but I wanted to give you accurate info).

So... with the proviso that I don't yet live in NH, I will speculate that the police-driven business model you're accustomed to in NJ isn't really at play in NH. Sure, there are police calls for service for towing when there's a wreck, or the occasional case where a jerk officer insists on impounding a vehicle for an expired registration or safety sticker.

The pace of life in the North Country is very different from NJ. I am pretty sure there are no full-time wrecker operators. Towing is a sideline of garages/mechanics. It's not like Houston, which has designated "no breakdown zones", where a stranded motorist who pulls safely onto the shoulder will be towed by the next wrecker cruising the highway (and the competition is thick!).

I would suggest that you read the Berlin Daily Sun daily (because they don't archive):
http://www.berlindailysun.com
Read the classifieds, and read the police logs (published every day) for an idea of typical activity.

Also read the Lancaster Herald and Colebrook Chronicle, published weekly on Fridays:
http://www.colebrookchronicle.com/lh.pdf
http://www.colebrookchronicle.com/cc.pdf

Sorry, but they're both in (large!) PDF format, with no archives. But they have great photos every week, and give you a good idea of life in Coös County, complete with police reports of accidents, plus classifieds.

The other papers, such as the Berlin Reporter and Coös County Democrat require subscriptions to read their content. Horrible business model, but that's on them.

Wish I could offer you more. Perhaps FSP member Steven Villee (who lives in Berlin) could be more helpful. He's not a frequent visitor, but he is a member of the FSP forum.

Welcome to the Underground, and good luck with your move!

Kevin
« Last Edit: September 27, 2007, 03:06 AM NHFT by KBCraig »
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Lloyd Danforth

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Re: Berlin Area and Wrecker Operator Jobs?
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2007, 07:31 AM NHFT »

Hi JD.

Steve Villie is an early mover and lives in Berlin.  He is a nice guy.  I don't think he reads this forum often.  Email him at:

      svillee@ncia.net
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Kat Kanning

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Re: Berlin Area and Wrecker Operator Jobs?
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2007, 09:47 AM NHFT »

Welcome JD :)
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JDouglasFisher

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Re: Berlin Area and Wrecker Operator Jobs?
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2007, 03:41 AM NHFT »

Thanks to Dreepa for sending me over here, and thank the rest of you...

OK folks, I'll admit, I have a dream. The problem is in order to realize the dream here in NJ, it costs well over a million dollars, and it might not even be worth it if our Governor Corzine signs S-2759 into law in a couple weeks. This dosen't include all the other problems here involving the crooked politicians, an ever increasing non-english speaking population, increasing taxes, brutal use of eminent domain, failure of the government to follow its own laws, etc. etc. etc.

I've had it with NJ.

As simple as it sounds, all I want is a small gas station with 3 bays, 5 tow trucks, and modest impound lot. I am looking to bring back customer service in a way which none of us have seen in the past 20 years. I am aware that in NH you pump your own gas, but I think having a service station with an attendant who actually pumped it for you, washed your windows, and checked your oil (upon request) would be a success.

Granted, I am no mechanic, but I am working on a business plan and started assembling my team. The mechanic I use now is a good friend of mine (and so are his brothers and sisters) and he seemed interested in the idea of being his own boss in 2 years, and relocating to NH as well. (what fun is it to be an activist for liberty if you can't bring your friends, right?)

As for the towing arm of the business, I deffinately enjoy what I do. It dosen't bother me one bit if I am running police calls, or owner requested calls, I just like what I do. If I actually succeed in Berlin, do I want to be on the rotation list for police towing? Absolutely. Do I want the Berlin P.D. going on ticket writing blitzes in an effort to snag as many impounds as possible, no.

Greed is not a trait that I wish to acquire.

I did reach out to the New Hampshire Towing Assoc. and am expecting a reply from them.

Berlin is a beautiful town with alot of potential. Unfortunately, as of right now, it seems somewhat depressed. I'd expect with the Federal Prison being built up there soon, some of that will change, (atleast thats what I have been told) but someone has to be there to lead by example, and show others that there is a brighter future for the town.

I want to be part of that. 

Crazy? yeah, somewhat. You'd have to be if you wanted to drive a wrecker 12 hours a day. hehehe. But I am an Aquarius, so Zodiacally its in the stars for me.

And yes, when I am 80 years old, I'll still be driving a wrecker (cause old tow truck drivers never die, they just fade away)

I'll have to keep shaking trees and see what apples fall from them, thats all.

Again, thanks

Fisher
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Lloyd Danforth

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Re: Berlin Area and Wrecker Operator Jobs?
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2007, 07:53 AM NHFT »

Depending on the federal prison to realize your dream is parasitic
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J’raxis 270145

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Re: Berlin Area and Wrecker Operator Jobs?
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2007, 12:57 PM NHFT »

Depending on the federal prison to realize your dream is parasitic

…And the impound lot he wants to make part of this business. :o
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JDouglasFisher

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Re: Berlin Area and Wrecker Operator Jobs?
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2007, 10:58 PM NHFT »

Depending on the federal prison to realize your dream is parasitic

Parasitic? Sounds more like smart business to me. You go to where the population is...

Realize, with the federal prison being there, there will be more people traveling to and from the area, which means more cars, which means more of them will break down and need a tow... (and this dosen't include the federal contract for towing of the government vehicles, which will also break down....)

Parasitic? Please, that makes me sound like a predator, another character trait which I rather steer clear from...

As for the Impound lot (I am not sure what was meant by the comment, but I'll clarify myself). Understand, there are times when the police department will want the vehicle seized for some reason. Unlike NJ where they have well over 2 dozen good reasons, I personally can only think of 5 that are truly legitimate.

But in either case, wether it be a theft recovered vehicle, a wrecked vehicle in which the occupants went to the hospital, a narcotics arrest (I'm talking like 10 K Coke in the trunk, not a dime bag), Illegally Parked, or perhaps Driving While Under the Influence (D.W.I., D.U.I.), in all cases, both the police and the owners of the vehicle would prefer it to be in a fenced in, protected lot, so as to prevent the average joe schmoe from being able to walk down the street and steal your $1,000 car stereo for instance.

Look, I am not a prick, but in the same token, I am going into the business to make money. (Money by the way, which can continue to support causes such as the FSP for instance) Not all tow truck companies are crooked, where they gouge the hell out of you financially with 20 different hidden charges, rape your car for anything and everything of value, and go forth at night "preditory towing" of parking lots in an attempt to make a quick buck.

I also don't care for reposession work either.  (I'll elaborate on why another time)

But for the 5 reasons listed above, I'll hit them off one by one, and support my reasoning.

1.) Theft Recovery. Ok, your vehicle was just stolen 48 hours ago. Lets say you live in Rochester. Now, Berlin PD somehow comes across this vehicle (regardless if it was abandoned or during a routine traffic stop). The ignition is blown out, perhaps the lock cylinder for the passenger door as well, or worse yet a window was smashed. Granted, most of your valuables are probably gone (usually money, radio, ipod, etc.) but some other items which are personally important to YOU are still in the vehicle (could be a Car Seat, perhaps some clothes, college books, who knows.) Point here is this vehicle should be secured in a fenced in lot to protect it from other vandals and opportunists from searching through your car once again for anything else they deem has value. Plus, in cases where the integrity of the cabin area has been compromised, the inside of the vehicle needs to be protected from the outside elements. All it takes is an inch of rain getting into your car, and you'll NEVER get the moldy smell out of it...

2.) Wreck. Just because NH dosen't require insurance, other states do, and there is a possibility that someone from NH has collision on their insurance as well. Insurance Companies like having wrecked vehicles in secured lots for various reasons (too numerous to list). But thats not my only reason. Lets just suppose for our argument that the driver of the vehicle who wrecked his car, went on the bus (ambulance) to go to the hospital for his injuries. Now, there are no other people related to this vehicle there. What am I supposed to do? Tell the cop sorry, since I don't know where the owner of the car wants it towed, I need to leave it in the intersection? Come on, lets be realistic. Also, in cases where the driver was a fatality, (sorry to be morbid, but it does happen) most times the surviving family members are already deeply burdened with sorrow making funeral arrangements and the sorts. The LAST THING they want to look at is the wreckage sitting in their driveway every morning.

3.) Narcotics Arrest. Fact is the police departments all across the nation do make arrests and seize vehicles for trafficking Narcotics. I'll be the first to stand up for those who want to legalize pot. On the other hand though, for the neighborhood pusher who is letting Heroin and Cocaine loose on the streets, usually cut with rat poison and other shit, and then allowing it to be pushed on elementary school kids, yeah, call me a prick, but I have a problem with that. I am not sure if NH seizes these vehicles as evidence in their cases, but in NJ they do. Either which way, if your a drug dealer trying to push that crap on my kid, I have no regrets towing your car when you get busted for trafficking.

4.) Illegally Parked. I'm not one to go hang out with meter maids waiting for the timer to hit 0, on the other hand though, if someone deliberately parks in front of your driveway, preventing you from access/egress from your property, you do have the right to have it removed. In most cases just the sight of the tow truck in front of the car (along with a police cruiser) usually alarms the owner enough to move it (thus allowing me an exit from having to tow it) but there are some circumstances that the vehicle owner is out of sight/out of mind and the vehicle needs to be removed. Another thing that may be a problem up that way (I know its a BIG PROBLEM in NJ) is non handicapped people parking in spaces designated for Handicapped Parking only. My mother was HC. She eventually stopped shopping because no matter where she went, she couldn't get a parking spot close to the stores. I would take her myself, drop her off at the door, then park in a normal spot. (and do the reverse when we left.) Look, if your that inconsiderate of other people that you selfishly park in such a designated spot, knowing you NOT Handicapped, your car should be towed, and the police departments usually have no problems with writing the tickets either.

5.) And finally, we will touch on Drunk Driving. I know this one personally because while I was impounding another vehicle once on the side of the highway (unregistered, uninsured, unlicensed) I was struck by a drunk driver in another vehicle. (Not that the flashing lights of both the police car and the tow truck weren't enough of a warning, the fact that I was wearing an ANSI Class 3 vest was of no help either apparently) and I was struck by the vehicles passenger side fender and mirror. Luckily, I wasn't killed, but my back still reminds me every morning of the incident. (This incident resulted in a police chase going through 3 towns before the driver pulled over, who claimed she never saw any of us, nor realized that she hit someone. The fact that she lost her passenger side mirror wasn't a clue either...)

Look, I am all for people going out and having a good time if they wish. Just be responsible about it. Theres no need to be a hero and try and impress your ego and your friends after a hard night of drinking by attempting to drive home. Call a sober friend, call a cab, your parents, a tow truck, whatever, just don't drive. In the past 10 years I have seen way to many innocent people dead as a result of a drunk driver who happened to live.

Again, I am not sure how DWI is handled in NH, but here in NJ they impound the vehicle under NJS 39:4-50 with a MANDATORY 12 Hour hold known as "Johns Law". (this was after an incident where a drunk driver was arrested, released 2 hours later, retrieved his vehicle from the impound, and then killed someone because he was still inebriated...) I have no problems with the idea of towing the vehicle and the driver home if the police are cool with it.

We used to have T.O.W.E.D. in NJ (Towing Operators Working to Eliminate Drunk driving) which was a well intentioned program where if you were too drunk to drive, but didn't feel comfortable leaving your vehicle in the parking lot of a bar, could arrange to have it towed (and yourself too) for a bit of a discounted rate back to your house. Unfortunately however, this program wasn't really allowed to grow to maturity and it fell by the wayside. (I'm guessing here that Greed overtook Charity in this sense in NJ, how sad) but it would really be something which I would deffinately like to see implemented, even if I was the only company in NH offering the service.

I apologize if I seem a bit touchy about my profession, but I do take it very seriously, and it really burns my ass when I see the unprofessional stereotypical tow truck driver make horrible impressions on people through their various methods. I do believe in getting paid for what you do, but I don't believe in playing number games in an effort to squeeze every single penny out of someone either. Towing cars is an honest way to make a buck, unfortunately, like in all other industries, there are many who like to take advantage of those in need.


Fisher.
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JDouglasFisher

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Re: Berlin Area and Wrecker Operator Jobs?
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2007, 09:26 PM NHFT »

It is a natural tendacy to despise someone who tows an "illegally" parked vehicle and requires $90 to have it released.

Unfortunately, people do stupid things sometimes, and instead of accepting responsibility for being stupid, they get mad and think that the police and the towing company are out to get them. Most cops I know only write tickets for illegally parked (unless they are blocking an active driveway or their parking prohibits the smooth flow of traffic..) All I can say is, don't park illegally, and your car won't be towed.

Fisher

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svillee

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Re: Berlin Area and Wrecker Operator Jobs?
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2007, 09:29 PM NHFT »

Hi JDF,

I actually do read this forum occasionally, but I somehow missed this post.

A couple of firms you should talk to:

Lowe's Garage & Cabins - (603) 466-3950: In addition to having the main (only?) general store in the town of Randolph (just south and west of Berlin), these guys have a big tow truck, I believe the largest in the area.  They towed my first pickup truck a few years back when I wrecked it.  Not sure who called them, but it must have been either the police or the snow plow operator who found me.

P & L Auto Parts - (603) 752-1040: These guys do auto salvage.  They bought what was left of my first pickup truck.  They would surely know the ins and outs of the local towing market.

Good luck!
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nhdiesel

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Re: Berlin Area and Wrecker Operator Jobs?
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2008, 06:41 PM NHFT »

Hi, New member here, and just wanted to jump in my my opinions of the Berlin area. I used to live in southern N.H. and moved up here several years ago, which was a HUGE mistake. I'll only touch on the things that directly relate to your questions.

The biggest problem with this area is that there is NO MONEY. Unemployment is extremely high, and those who do have jobs get paid very little. Since you are asking about towing, you must know at least a little about mechanics. I'm an experienced mechanic with a degree in Automotive Technology, several ASE certifications, including being a Master Engine Machinist, and experience at a dealership. I now work at a small shop in Berlin, for great people. Unfortunately, last year I made $11k for the year. Thats actually more than I made as a technician at the local dealership, and is more than any other shop I applied to offered me.

You can count on any job in this area paying 1/2 to 1/4 what the same job would pay in any other part of the state. This applies to towing jobs as well. Nobody has any money, so you can't charge much for towing. When you do get jobs, its quite common to not get paid, or have the person pay you in installments. For a tow that you would make $100 or more for in N.J., expect $30 to $40 up here.

Next up is the wear and tear on the equipment. Our roads are HORRIBLE, and you will beat your truck to death up here. Expect it to rust out VERY quickly because of the huge quantities of salt that are used in the winter, fast wear of tires from the bad roads, and broken springs from the rough roads.

The owner of a well known Berlin towing company and repair shop closed up his shop and took a job at Lowe's Building Supply, and now makes much more than he did with his shop.

Jim
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Pat McCotter

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Re: Berlin Area and Wrecker Operator Jobs?
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2008, 06:49 PM NHFT »

Hi nhdiesel and welcome to the underground!

Have you done anything with veg oil conversions on diesel vehicles?
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nhdiesel

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Re: Berlin Area and Wrecker Operator Jobs?
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2008, 07:03 PM NHFT »

I'd like to, but there isn't enough oil to be found up here. Not many restaurants, and the few that are here, the waste is spoken for. I could get a little, but not enough to make it worthwhile. I did do a diesel conversion to our 2000 Durango though, which got 31mpg on the last trip we did. Worse tankful was 27mpg running winter mixed diesel and long morning warmups. Compare that to the 14-15 mpg it got with the gas V-8. Engine is the Cummins 4bt, the 4 cyl. little brother of the one Dodge puts in it's pickups. I also used a Dodge truck 5-speed transmission. My wife loves it, especially when it comes time to pay for the fuel! Diesel costs a little more than gas, but at double the mileage, diesel would have to be well over $7 a gallon right now before we lose money.

I also have a Dodge Cummins that gets 22+ mpg (4x4 3/4 ton), and I want to put a small diesel into one of my Cherokees.

Jim

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