The Road Ahead for the Saskatchewan Towing and Recovery Industry

From securing rate increases to developing a Master Service Agreement with the provincial insurer, the RRAS continues to support and promote the Saskatchewan towing and recovery industry.

Brad Stratychuk, president of the Roadside Responders Association of Saskatchewan (RRAS)

The RRAS is coming off a successful 2022 with numerous accomplishments, including the Saskatchewan Tow Show and securing a steady membership. While there is always a lot to do and things to improve, we continue to meet with industry stakeholders over Zoom and learn from each other as we go. One of the important tasks last year was securing a rate increase from our provincial insurer. We received a substantial increase in the fall, and we locked in regular increases over the next three years. A floating fuel surcharge was a welcome additional item to keep our focus off negotiations during volatile price increases. This will allow us time to continue to work on our 2023 plans.

One of the more immediate agenda items is to get a long overdue rate adjustment to the vehicle impound program. Rates are legislated, and we hope to accomplish this by the time this article is printed. VIP tows are a very important piece of legislation and law enforcement, but sadly consultation with industry has been lacking, so the RRAS has been trying to change that. We continue to build the provincial rate guide for insurance towing with items and definitions as they arise, such as adding “tilt trailer service” as a recognized recovery tool.

The RRAS has been working in conjunction with Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) in developing a Master Service Agreement (MSA) for over a year now, as we were asked to help design and write an agreement with fair expectations—manageable and equitable for both parties. One of the main benefits is to know that any company doing insurance work has met all of the same criteria in the documentation of items. This includes insurance coverage, workers compensation coverage, a form of training, and safety compliance. With staff shortages in every industry, we are adding a late payment fee for when there is no fault on the tower for delayed payments. There is nothing worse than spending time that we do not have chasing down payments and explaining invoicing, which is one of the reasons for designing a rate guide with definitions.

The RRAS is also planning our annual Slow Down, Move Over (SDMO) awareness evening with all of our great members throughout the province, and they are working very hard to set this up in their respective areas. Dates will be confirmed, as our usual date of March 7 can be weather dependant.

In other activities, we hope to get our regular Blue Lights and Burger events fired up again this summer and have the “Spirit Ride” tour the province again. Many thanks again to John and his team at Action Towing in Lloydminster for the design and build of this tribute to roadside workers in every industry.

Last year, the RRAS worked with the Motor Safety Association (MSA) and developed an online Tow Truck Operator Safety course. We look forward to continued involvement in 2023 and to feedback from members and non-members who participate in the class.

In closing, we continue to promote our industry as a stable career choice, to support each other through the challenges of remaining viable, and to deal with staff shortages. We will share ideas of how to deal with items such as the new requirements for electronic logging devices (ELD), and we will offer ideas to help workers achieve a better work/life balance. It is important that we continue to build camaraderie in the towing and recovery industry. Together, we will accomplish a lot, whereas alone, we will accomplish nothing.