Company math towing equals $70,000 bill for truck owner

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Shocked, bewildered, furious. Those words probably aren’t yet strong enough to capture the reaction many trucking companies have when in need of a cable in certain states, such as Wyoming.

Wyoming is among the states with a lack of towing regulations. Expensive towing bills are not uncommon.

Late last year, Diesel Tow Cards and Repair in Rawlins, Wyo., was contacted by the Wyoming Highway Patrol to tow a semitruck, owned by Blue Line Distribution from Ontario, Canada.

Blue Line owner Tom Della Maestra said there was no collision or rollover, and the truck slid off the road due to high winds and black ice. Photos Della Maestra provided show that there was no visible damage to the truck or its load.

Blue Line Distribution was charged over $70,000 for towing their semitruck in Wyoming that slid off the road in December. (Courtesy of Blue Line Distribution)

As a result of the work, the towing company brought Blue Line an invoice for over $70,000, finding that the truck was damaged and the load was compromised, citing inclement weather.

Della Maestra negotiated the bill up to $50,000. However, he was required to pay in T-cheks that day or the bill would increase. He says the towing company refused to accept a credit card.

Invoice for towing card towing for Blue Line distribution
A bill for a trailer that took some four hours, according to Blue Line distribution owner Tom Della Maestra, totaled more than $70,000. (Courtesy of Blue Line Distribution)

Since Dec. 11 the date of the original bill, Della Maestra has not only had conversations arguing over this bill with tow cards, but also with the Wyoming Highway Patrol, Carbon County Sheriff’s Office and Wyoming Department of Transport, among others.

As part of those conversations, Della Maestra demanded a $45,000 refund after several other towing companies informed him the job should have cost more than $5,000.

Blue Line has filed an official state complaint form with the Wyoming Highway Patrol about towing charges, but the state’s response has not been promising.

Rodney Miears, the Wyoming Highway Patrol towing and recovery program coordinator, said the reimbursement should be resolved with tow cards, according to email correspondence between Della Maestra and Miears.

The lack of state regulation leaves Della Maestra few more avenues for redress.

“They’ve had several complaints about this business, but they continue to let them operate in their state,” Della Maestra said. “There is a state where towing is not regulated, and I have not been giving any legitimate reason or explanation for these charges. I keep climbing the ladder, but I’m not going anywhere.

To make matters more difficult is the inability to obtain legal representation. Blue Line has repeatedly been rejected by lawyers, Della Maestra said.

At this point, Blue Line isn’t too confident about a refund, but Della Maestra says they won’t go away quietly.

“You leave a business like this piece in your backyard and you know they tear people apart,” Della Maestra said. “Every truck that comes through this state is going to get screwed up if they happen to need a trailer. Every time I go back, I go to another lawyer. We’re kind of out of options. We won’t be so quiet, we’ve got it all on social media and we’ve done everything we can to get our story out there.”

Tow Cards denied Landline’s request for comment.

Unfortunately, such conflicts are not uncommon. Overloaded tows allegedly occur regularly all over the country. The Independent Owner-Operator Drivers Association has worked for years to fight for fair towing and to protect truckers from egregious loads. LL


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