What started as a small towing business has expanded to 3 locations

Published 3:54 pm Thursday, September 28, 2023

Big things are happening at T&W Towing, as what started out as a pickup, one wrecker and one full-time employee six years ago now has 19 trucks, nine full-time employees and three locations.

Dustin Tramm, general manager at T&W Towing, described the business as a locally-owned towing company with a focus on taking care of the community and being the largest towing business within the county.

“We saw a local need for a locally-owned business that wanted to be long-term in the community, and we expanded well-beyond what we thought we were going to,” he said.

Email newsletter signup

Originally serving Freeborn County, T&W now serves Worth and Steele counties as well. It also does work in Faribault County.

According to Tramm, what made the company successful was their estimated time of arrivals, pricing and giving back to the community.

“Our goal that we’ve always had is to have the fastest [estimated time of arrival] of anybody in the area and provide the best service,” he said. “That means taking care of our customers, having clean trucks inside and show up with trained operators.

“Most towing companies don’t have legitimately trained operators,” he said, adding every member of the towing team had certified training and not just in-house training. That included training in Traffic Incident Management Safety, along with training in all of their equipment.

Besides their location on Sorensen Road in Albert Lea, the company recently opened a location at 2090 Central Ave. in Northwood and is scheduled to open a shop in Owatonna.

“We’ve seen an increased number of calls to both locations, which was what prompted us to look into moving a shop there,” he said, adding there were few providers in Owatonna, which in turn led to looking to expand, especially with longer ETAs that — from what he was told — were never met. With Northwood, the company was receiving a lot of light-duty calls. Light-duty work includes cars, while heavy-duty involved semi-tractors.

The company performs car tows, semi tows, roadside assistance for heavy-duty trucks, helping with tractor trailer rollovers, helping with stuck farm equipment, off-road recovery, long-distance towing and hazmat clean-up. They’ll also haul equipment, including over-sized loads.

The company recently bought a pick up items, which he said would turn a four-hour job into a 30-minute project. They also have a rotator.

“It’s similar to a crane and a heavy-duty wrecker combined into one,” he said.

They also operate specialized equipment for off-road recovery, including an off-road winch box, which he described as an attachment for the front of a skid loader. And they have a truck specifically designed for off-road use.

Tramm said in an average year the company receives 3,000 to 4,000 calls. And with the new Owatonna location they expect that number to increase another 1,000 to 1,500 calls yearly. The Northwood location has received 800 to 900 calls in the year it has been open.

“We never expected to be anywhere near where we’re at right now,” he said. “More than half the equipment that we’ve got when we originally started was nothing more than a pipe-dream.”

He attributed that success to the company’s efforts in giving back to the area and supporting local businesses when possible.

The company also provides health care (including dental and vision), short-term disability benefits, life insurance and vacation pay, among other perks.

Teanna Wiertzema has worked as a bookkeeper/office manager since the company was founded.

“We’re pretty much like one big family here,” she said. “We spend so much time together so we all pretty much get along.”

In the future, the business would potentially like to add one more location, one to two more rotators and hire three to six more employees.

T&W Towing can be reached at 507-473-2999 (Albert Lea), 641-552-1396 (Northwood) or 507-456-8858 (Owatonna).

To show their appreciation, T&W Towing held a customer appreciation event Sept. 21 with games and food.