Rotation Tow Program

Green Vintage Tow Truck

The California Highway Patrol developed the Rotation Tow Program to:

  • Facilitate the safe, efficient and rapid removal of disabled vehicles or vehicles involved in collisions from highways served by the CHP.

  • Tow vehicles in a manner that is convenient and user-friendly to the motoring public.

  • Ensure the safety of the motoring public, the officers of the CHP and tow truck operators. 

The Department coordinates the public's and the Department's tow services, and integrates the ability of the tow community to provide service through the Tow Service Agreement (TSA). The standards established by the TSA are met by maintaining an open line of communication with the tow industry, and by recognizing the officers' obligations in the performance of their duties relative to vehicle towing. This allows the Rotation Tow Program to respond to changes to maintain the high safety and service levels of the program. The CHP's long-term goal is to maintain efficient and responsive tow service.

Tow Service Agreement

 

California Vehicle Code Section 2424 allows the Commissioner of the CHP to enter into agreements with providers of towing, emergency road, and storage services. These agreements are drafted with the assistance and cooperation of members of the Department, the towing industry, and the general public. The CHP's TSA allows members of the towing industry to participate in a rotational tow list to equitably distribute service calls from the public through CHP officers. The purpose of the TSA is to meet the needs of the public, the towing industry, and the Department.

The objective is to ensure the public receives ethical and fair business practices on the part of private towing companies utilized by the CHP.

The TSA provides tow operators with clear and concise requirements for acceptance and continued service to the Department. The agreement ensures statewide consistency in the interpretation and enforcement of its terms and conditions. The TSA also ensures that tow operators used by the Department are competent to respond to calls with minimal time delays.

 

 

CHP 234A Rotation Tow Listing Application Rev. 3-15https://www.chp.ca.gov/ResearchAndPlanningSectionSite/Documents/Chp234A.pdfCHP 234A Rotation Tow Listing Application Rev. 3-15Rotation Tow Program Forms
CHP 234B Tow Truck Inspection Guide Rev. 3-15https://www.chp.ca.gov/ResearchAndPlanningSectionSite/Documents/Chp234B.pdfCHP 234B Tow Truck Inspection Guide Rev. 3-15Rotation Tow Program Forms
CHP 234F Tow Operator/Driver Information Rev. 2-13https://www.chp.ca.gov/ResearchAndPlanningSectionSite/Documents/Chp234F.pdfCHP 234F Tow Operator/Driver Information Rev. 2-13Rotation Tow Program Forms
2016-2017 TSA Effective July 1, 2016https://www.chp.ca.gov/ResearchAndPlanningSectionSite/Documents/16_17_TSA.pdf2016-2017 TSA Effective July 1, 2016Tow Service Agreements
2017-2018 TSA Effective July 1, 2017https://www.chp.ca.gov/ResearchAndPlanningSectionSite/Documents/17_18_TSA.pdf2017-2018 TSA Effective July 1, 2017Tow Service Agreements
2015-2016 TSA Effective July 1, 2015https://www.chp.ca.gov/ResearchAndPlanningSectionSite/Documents/15_16_TSA.pdf2015-2016 TSA Effective July 1, 2015Tow Service Agreements

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

Are Areas required to honor inspections by other CHP Areas?Are Areas required to honor inspections by other CHP Areas?<p>​​No. All tow trucks shall be inspected by the Area in which they are designated to provide service. </p>
Are rotation tow drivers required to attend tow driver training?Are rotation tow drivers required to attend tow driver training?<p>​​Yes. Rotation tow drivers are required to have completed a tow truck driver training program from a Tow Service Agreement Advisory Committee (TSAAC) approved training program within the last five (5) years. All drivers, whose training documentation is over five (5) years, shall submit current proof of training documentation only from a TSAAC-approved program. </p>
Are tow operators required to accept checks and/or bank cards?Are tow operators required to accept checks and/or bank cards?<p>​​No. Tow operators are not required to accept checks but are required by law to accept a valid bank card.</p>
Can a scene manager call for a rotation tow company that is not at the top of the rotation tow list if the company possesses the necessary resources to clear a hazard as expeditiously as possible?Can a scene manager call for a rotation tow company that is not at the top of the rotation tow list if the company possesses the necessary resources to clear a hazard as expeditiously as possible?<p>​​Yes. In such an instance, the tow company selected would be the next tow company on the list with the necessary resources to provide the required service.</p>
Can the California Highway Patrol restrict the number of tow companies within a tow district?Can the California Highway Patrol restrict the number of tow companies within a tow district?<p>​​No. However, an Area commander may realign a tow district or create additional tow districts to better manage the growing number of tow companies within each tow district.</p>
Do the time lines for hearings and appeals described in the Code of Civil Procedure supersede the time lines within a Tow Service Agreement (TSA)?Do the time lines for hearings and appeals described in the Code of Civil Procedure supersede the time lines within a Tow Service Agreement (TSA)?<p>​​No. CVC Section 2424, states that the Department shall confer with the towing industry, as necessary, to reach agreements mutually beneficial to the public, the towing industry, and the Department. The time lines are described within the TSA.</p>
Do the tow district boundary lines have to be the same for each class of tow truck?Do the tow district boundary lines have to be the same for each class of tow truck?<p>​​No. Area commanders may elect to create different physical boundaries for each class of tow truck to better utilize the resources (number of tow trucks) available within a given area.</p>
How is the Tow Service Agreement (TSA) cancelled?How is the Tow Service Agreement (TSA) cancelled?<p>​​The operator must provide written notification to the CHP.</p>
How long must a tow operator maintain business records?How long must a tow operator maintain business records?<p>​​Two years plus the current term.</p>
If a previously terminated company applies for rotation is the Area required to accept the application?If a previously terminated company applies for rotation is the Area required to accept the application?<p>​​If a terminated operator's business is sold and the Area commander is convinced the terminated operator has no financial interest or involvement in the business, the Area commander has the discretion to accept or deny the new operator's application.</p>
If a submitted rate is found to be excessive may a tow operator re-submit?If a submitted rate is found to be excessive may a tow operator re-submit?<p>​​Yes, the operator is allowed to re-submit one time.</p>
If a tow company's insurance policy is canceled, will the Tow Service Agreement (TSA) be nullified?If a tow company's insurance policy is canceled, will the Tow Service Agreement (TSA) be nullified?<p>​​Yes. The operator will be removed from the rotation list and may be subject to an additional suspension for failure to notify the CHP prior to the policy cancellation.</p>
If an operator is suspended from rotation, may the operator continue to perform evidence tow duties?If an operator is suspended from rotation, may the operator continue to perform evidence tow duties?<p>​​Yes, the rotation tow program and the evidence contract are separate.</p>
Is it a violation of the agreement when a tow driver is unable to properly release a vehicle after hours?Is it a violation of the agreement when a tow driver is unable to properly release a vehicle after hours?<p>​​Yes, employees shall be trained to conduct transactions regarding towing/storage and the release of vehicles and property.</p>
Is it acceptable for a tow operator to provide a copy of the insurance policy?Is it acceptable for a tow operator to provide a copy of the insurance policy?<p>​​No. Only a certificate of insurance is accepted.</p>
Is it mandatory for a tow operator to attend the annual meeting?Is it mandatory for a tow operator to attend the annual meeting?<p>​​Yes. New applicants and operators presently on rotation are required to attend.</p>
May a "B, C, or D" class tow truck maintain a place on a lighter rotation list?May a "B, C, or D" class tow truck maintain a place on a lighter rotation list?<p>​​Yes, if the vehicle is equipped with the proper equipment for the lighter rotation list.</p>
May a tow company with one flatbed tow truck maintain a place on rotation?May a tow company with one flatbed tow truck maintain a place on rotation?<p>​​No. The company shall have a tow vehicle equipped with a boom, wheel lift and recovery capabilities meeting the specifications contained in the TSA. The flatbed is an additional unit.</p>
May a tow operator attach a lien to personal property in or on a vehicle?May a tow operator attach a lien to personal property in or on a vehicle?<p>​​No. All personal property shall be released upon demand to the registered owner or agent without charge during normal business hours.</p>
May a tow operator have access to an investigation?May a tow operator have access to an investigation?<p>​​Yes, a sanitized copy.</p>
May a tow operator provide service in more than one CHP Area?May a tow operator provide service in more than one CHP Area?<p>​​Yes, with the approval of both Area commanders and the Division commander's concurrence.</p>
May an Area make exceptions to the criminal disqualification guidelines?May an Area make exceptions to the criminal disqualification guidelines?<p>​​Yes, however, it is on a case by case basis, only if the individual can demonstrate they are not a threat to public safety and not a liability to the Department.</p>
May an Area run a criminal history on a tow operator/driver to check or verify information provided on the CHP 234F, Tow Operator/Driver Information sheet?May an Area run a criminal history on a tow operator/driver to check or verify information provided on the CHP 234F, Tow Operator/Driver Information sheet?<p>​​Yes, All those applying to participate in the Rotation Tow Program shall have their fingerprints submitted to the Department of Justice in order to verify information provided on the CHP 234F, Tow Operator/Driver Information, form.</p>
May an Area take action on a violation of the Tow Service Agreement (TSA) which occurred while performing a non-CHP call?May an Area take action on a violation of the Tow Service Agreement (TSA) which occurred while performing a non-CHP call?<p>​​No, unless the operator, and/or employee/employees are involved in felonious activity, acts of moral turpitude, or misdemeanor crimes which would cause a person to fear for his/her safety. Any action taken must have the concurrence of Division.</p>
Must an Area honor disciplinary action taken in another Area?Must an Area honor disciplinary action taken in another Area?<p>​​Yes.</p>
Should the Area/and or tow operator tape a proceeding?Should the Area/and or tow operator tape a proceeding?<p>​​Yes, the Area should and the operator may.</p>
What is an example of collusion?What is an example of collusion?<p>​​Conspiracy by any operator to establish artificially high rates.</p>
When a rotation tow company owner has a question regarding the Tow Service Agreement (TSA) who should they contact?When a rotation tow company owner has a question regarding the Tow Service Agreement (TSA) who should they contact?<p>​​The owner should contact the rotation tow officer at their respective CHP Area office they are providing service for.</p>
When may a gate fee be assessed?When may a gate fee be assessed?<p>​​Outside posted business hours, after 6 p.m. on business days, weekends and holidays. Normal business hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.</p>
When may a tow operator begin tow charges?When may a tow operator begin tow charges?<p>​​Chargeable time begins at the place of business or the point of dispatch, whichever is closer.</p>
When may the CHP inspect tow trucks?When may the CHP inspect tow trucks?<p>​​The Area must hold an inspection once a year but may inspect unannounced during business hours. Additionally, all new tow trucks are required to be inspected prior to use in the Rotation Tow Program.</p>
Where does the California Highway Patrol (CHP) obtain the authority to enter into agreements with the towing industry? Where does the California Highway Patrol (CHP) obtain the authority to enter into agreements with the towing industry? <p>​​Section 2424 of the California Vehicle Code (CVC) allows the Commissioner of the CHP to enter into agreements with members of the towing and emergency road service providers.</p><p>Area commanders are acting as facilitators for the Commissioner of the CHP when they administer rotation tow programs within their respective Areas. </p>
Who determines maximum response times for an Area?Who determines maximum response times for an Area?<p>​​The Area commander.</p>
Who investigates a tow complaint from an incident which occurred out of the parent Area?Who investigates a tow complaint from an incident which occurred out of the parent Area?<p>​​The parent Area.</p>
Why can't the CHP enter into a low bid contract system which would allow the Department to limit the number of tow service and emergency road service providers to a manageable number?Why can't the CHP enter into a low bid contract system which would allow the Department to limit the number of tow service and emergency road service providers to a manageable number?<p>​​CVC Section 2424 states the CHP shall enter into agreements which are mutually beneficial to the public, the towing industry, and the Department. The tow industry's position is: A low bid system would restrict the number of towing and emergency road service providers used by the CHP. This policy would not be beneficial to the tow industry and would be in violation of CVC 2424.</p>

 

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