Wrecker wars

Published 2:56 pm Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Not all companies see rotation the same


By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


Wrecker service is an assistance one needs when one is down on their luck such as involved in a wreck or broken down on the side of the road.

Local law enforcement uses a rotation list for the next company to call when in need of such services. Some companies are not happy with the policy in place and asked the City of Orange to consider reevaluating guidelines used.

“There are only five wrecker services here,” Michael Hogg of S.E.T.x Towing Recovery & Transport said. “I have a problem with 14 wreckers on rotation when there are only five wreckers here. I am asking you to rewrite the ordinance to be fair for every company to have one spot.”

Hogg said it is affecting other wrecker services as well.

A representative of Car Wars also requested the city to look into the situation.

“I want you to look at this injustice,” He said. “One company with nine different names. There is plenty of business for all of us.”

Steve Quibobaux of Bridge City Wrecker said the problem was not just at the city level but also with the county.

“Bridge City is working on it and I believe it will change,” Quibobaux said. “Right now it is monopolized. Make it fair for smaller companies or they will keep getting smaller.”

Robbie Rider of Gilbeaux’s said the views are not exactly accurate.

“This is not the first time a request was made asking for a change,” Rider said. “The policy was changed in the 90s.”

Gilbeaux’s started 37 years ago with one wrecker and has grown over the years.

While the trucks may say Gilbeaux’s, many are actually working under other names.

“Back in the 90s the city made the rotation with one slot on the rotation,” Rider said. “We paid the fee for a D.B.A, the state permit and own 14 different wrecker services,” Rider said.

Each services is also required to pay a permit fee to the city to operate within that specific city limits. In Pinehurst, the wrecker permit fee is $150 with a $35 fee for each additional truck.

Each service is also required to have wrecker insurance specific to that company which can average $4,500 a year per company.

“We did not start on the top,” Rider added. “We work 24/7, Christmas. You have to start somewhere.”