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Affiliated and Members of Southwest Tow Operators

The End is Coming!

Currently – for 2014, the last day for individuals to sign up for Health Insurance in the Marketplace is March 31st for a May 1, 2014 effective date. If you do not have Health Insurance by then – You will be subject to a penalty of either 1% of your gross income or $95 whichever is greater.

If you have not signed up- Because you think your congressional representative will replace it – Rethink – 4,000,000 people have already signed up – And your congressional representative voted for it.

If you have not signed up –Because you are not sure how it affects you – Then find out by calling, faxing, or emailing – I will be delighted to assist you!

There is no deadline for groups. Groups offer its employees varied plans – For example, the owner may desire a Gold or Platinum Plan, which is expensive – and offer a Silver Plan to its employees because the employer must pay half of the least expensive plan selected. To help small groups pay for Health Insurance the government is offering tax credits for companies with less than 26 employees.

Bernie Goldman, Health Insurance Specialists. 214-348-8016

New Technology Changes that effect the Towing Industry

South West Tow Operators Association asked that I write an editorial for the association website. However, rather than write about VTS Systems management software, I think it more important to help inform Texas towers and SWTOWOP members about the next wave of technology changes that will both directly or indirectly effect the towing industry.

I recently wrote the article for Tow Professional magazine, it informs the reader about what is needed for tomorrow’s internet or “cloud based” technology. However, before you give up on your reliable PC based management software, there is much to consider.

Not all internet connections or software applications (Apps) are created equal; make sure your internet connection is reliable and capable of providing the bandwidth required for tomorrow’s business demands. In addition, are you ready to give up control of your company data to an unknown cloud warehouse server? Internet security is also a very important consideration, recent attacks on Target and Macy’s should make us all cautious.

Read more: New Technology Changes that effect the Towing Industry

USDOT’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Clearinghouse Rule Cleared by OMB

A new federal mandated rule that would implement a national driver database detailing drivers' history of failed or refused drug and alcohol tests has been approved by the White House's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on January 27.

It now awaits final publication in the Federal Register where it would be published as a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM). We expect the NPRM to be published by mid-February and we will be providing members and clients an analysis of the proposed rule. This is just one of many steps that began about 15 years ago.

The motor carrier industry has asked for such a program since random drug testing truck drivers went into effect in 1980 for larger carriers and 1995 for all other carriers and owner-operators.

The main road block to the adoption of this clearinghouse database has been organized labor (Teamsters) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that have almost single-handily kept the program at bay all these years. The ACLU is also opposed to hair follicle testing, claiming that hair shape, size, formation, etc., varies by race, sex, age, position on the scalp, hair color and texture, specifically noting that dark hair is more likely to test positive for a drug and additionally African-Americans are more likely to test positive than Caucasians.

The rule would establish a database of commercial drivers of vehicles in excess of 26,000 lbs. that have failed or refused to take a mandated DOT drug or alcohol test. The rule will also require motor carrier employers to upload and review such information during an interview or the hiring process.

There is a fatal flaw in this program as it is administered today, which allows drivers to jump from company to company or even more disturbingly, become an owner-operator and then jump from consortium to consortium allowing them to always stay ahead of the program's intent. This clearinghouse will hopefully put an end to this problem.

AADT , Rudy Navarrete

Happy New Year – It’s Back to Business

With the New Year in full swing we want to remind all of our clients to start watching your mail for "Random Notices" you must be prepared year-round to receive these notices as, that's the intent behind the program's definition of "random." Please note that each Notification has instructions on what should be done. Here are a few helpful suggestions to make your drivers' collection quick and easy:

1. When you see that the driver selected is no longer employed by you or out on extended leave call or email (your rep) us to report this.

2. When you notify the driver of his selection please make sure to also let them know what type of test(s) they have been selected for. For example: Driver XYZ Selection for a Drug and BAT (breath alcohol test).

3. Hand driver/employee the Form 111 (passport) and pre-printed Federal Custody and Control Forms (DOT only) if you have them available. If you do not have a pre-printed CCF form the majority of our collection sites carry our Federal Custody and Control Forms except for LabCorp.

4. Find a collection site in your area by going to AADT website: and enter your zip code. You will be given a printable listing by distance from your zip and important details about the collection site such as the hours of operation and whether they offer both drug and alcohol testing. There is in fact a feature on the website that only searches sites that offer both tests closest to your zip.

5. It may be worth calling the site to make an appointment to expedite a collection.

6. Make sure to advise the driver/employee that they must return the Employer Copy of the CCF forms that are given to them at the time of the collection. Please fill out the test notification and return it via fax or email scanned image to AADT.

7. If they bring back the DONOR copy, then make a copy for your files, and return the DONOR copies to DONOR. Try to get the Employer copy if you can.

AADT , Rudy Navarrete

Wreckmaster Training

wreckmaster-flyer march14

Contact Info

  • Southwest Tow Operators
  • 660 N Central Expressway, Suite 230
  • Plano, Texas 75074
  • Toll Free: (866) 320-9300

Important Messages

I hope you like the new look! We have updated the documents (requires a login to view). The store is starting to take shape, check it out!