Private Property Impound: What To Know And How To Get Started
March 23, 2023
So, you want to get into the business of private property impounding? It can become a lucrative side of your towing company, but there is much more to private property impound.
“Private property impounding is very cutthroat. It’s not like cash calls. The competition is high because you’re out to get as many properties as you can,” Mike Meyer, Software Engineer at TRAXERO said. “Not only do you have to have a good way of finding cars, but you may also have to convince properties like apartments that towing cars off their lots is worth the time. Many times, they may be hesitant to tow cars.”
Mike has seen it all. Fifteen years ago, he took a night job as a backup tow truck driver and never looked back. Today, he works for the TRAXERO team and has a passion for software’s growing role in the towing business. Technology aside, though, he continues to be excited by opportunities to get behind the wheel.
“To this day, towing is a great adrenaline rush for me. I still tow every other week,” he said. “It was something that I got into and enjoy.”
We’ll break down the private property impound world and how software is streamlining the process like never before.
What Is Private Property Impounding?
As Mike said, private property impounding—commonly abbreviated as PPI— is cutthroat and competitive, but what goes into running an impound service? Let’s start with the basics. This specialized field of towing is created by those who unlawfully park their vehicles. The impoundment laws, rules, and regulations behind private property impounding vary by state, county, and municipality. So, it’s important to do proper research first to make sure you understand when and where you can tow.
“Private property impounding is different than, say, repossessions because people will know their vehicles are up for repossession,” Mike said. “Nine out of 10 people won’t know they’re getting towed through PPI. It can be dangerous since altercations are common with those who don’t want their cars towed.”
Consequently, Mike says liability is a significant factor in private property impounding that towers need to take into consideration on top of car impound laws. When dealing with angry individuals, there is always a chance they’ll try and claim their car was damaged en route to the impound lot.
“Taking pictures and noting any existing damage before towing is a big thing,” he said. “If someone is angry that you’re towing their car, don’t be surprised if they try and get their money back by claiming you damaged their vehicle.”
Once you’ve decided to pursue private property impounding, Mike says the next step would be to put together a dedicated team to find vehicles and property to tow away. You may also sign a private property impound contract with a police department or business to handle all of their towing needs.
How TRAXERO Is Changing The Game
The PPI world can be time-consuming, to say the least. As a result, towers like Mike need ways to simplify their day-to-day operations. Using pen and paper, especially in the PPI world, can cause many headaches. Now part of TRAXERO’s software suite of solutions, Omadi provides an all-in-one tool.
“There is so much that goes into a towing business. Software organizes everything,” Mike said. “Instead of digging through paperwork for hours, you can get whatever information you need quickly. I was able to customize Omadi to my needs.”
On top of the easy organization, TRAXERO boasts a wide range of benefits for users to enjoy. Mike says towers can input hours into the app where drivers cannot tow. If an apartment complex restricts towing from the hours of midnight to 7 AM, for example, drivers would receive a notification from the app if they attempted to tow a vehicle within those hours.
“Omadi also does vehicle recognition, which is very helpful. Through pictures I upload, I can get the vehicle’s make, model, and color,” Mike said. “If I’m able to get the license plate in my photo as well, I can even get the state, year, and VIN of the vehicle as well. This can help prevent the risk of entering wrong vehicle information.”
Digital signatures are another major feature of TRAXERO’s software. If you’re a tower in Nevada, Mike says Omadi is the only software that is approved in the state for digital signatures.
Software’s role in the PPI industry does not stop there, though. TowSpec, powered by Beacon Software by TRAXERO, gives towers a resource to browse by manufacturer and car model to learn about which truck is suitable for which car, tow limits, and even the proper tie down and jacking points. Especially for those new to the industry, TowSpec can relieve a lot of the stress that comes with each job.
In the image above, we looked up a 2005 Chevrolet Impala and walked through the results with Mike.
“What the tow limits are saying is if you tow the car from the rear and you put the car in neutral, you can go 55 miles per hour for up to 500 miles. If you pick it up from the front, you can go unlimited miles per hour for unlimited miles,” he said. “Because they don’t make the car in a manual, that’s why you see ‘N/A’. The blue circles indicate where you would hook the car and the green squares indicate where you would jack the car from.”
Although TRAXERO’s software can be a game changer for towers across the country, Mike stressed the importance of proper training before stepping behind the wheel of a truck.
“Learning how to tow cars is not something that comes overnight. There are so many different factors towers need to consider—from the type of truck you’re using to the type of car you’re towing,” he said. “You can’t just hook up and drive away. Understanding how to tow before getting behind the wheel is a big thing.”
What is private property impound?
Private property impound deals with the towing of illegally or improperly parked vehicles at the request of the lot’s owner.
What technology is out there for private property impounds?
TRAXERO’s suite of industry-leading software is perfect for towers looking to streamline their day-to-day work in the PPI industry.