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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Meet Your Merchant: Towing company expands to Carson

By BRIAN DUGGAN / Nevada Appeal

April, 28 2011 11:20 am

Meet Your Merchant: Towing company expands to Carson

Nevada Appeal

Susan Zinser, Dave Walters and William Hague

In her adult life, Susan Zinser can remember just one job when she didn't work with her husband.

“We've always worked together,” Zinser said. “Even when we were dating.”                                      

Zinser and her late husband, Don, who died in 2009, met while working at an oxygen supply company — he ran the trucks and she worked in the office. Over the years they wound up opening used-car dealerships, insurance salvage pools and wrecking yards together throughout Northern Nevada.

In 1991, they founded D & S Tow, Inc., which opened a Carson City location in March.

“My husband is the D and I'm the S,” said Zinser, 45, who still runs the nearly 20-year-old business from its Reno headquarters.

“When I lost my ‘D,' we had to keep going,” she said. “So we did.”

The towing company includes 10 light-duty trucks that serve the region and 13 employees. Three of the trucks — painted red, white or blue — will be based in Carson City.

“We do jump starts and lock-outs, tire changes, towing,” Zinser said. “We just bought a new service truck from Carson City Toyota about 10 days ago.”

Zinser said the business runs in snow or shine.

“Winter time is our busy time, there's more accidents on the road because conditions are a little more treacherous,” she said. “We're the people that can't be late to work because of snow. We are the people who have to be to work first.”

Half of the business comes from calls from local police stations, now including the Carson City Sheriff's Office. That means they'll tow away cars after an accident for the months they're contracted.

Besides hiring a good accountant or attorney, Zinser said she's learned a thing or two about running a business over the years.

“You need to let your people do their job rather than micro-manage every move they make,” she said. “I have to leave them alone to do it.”

She also hopes to see the business continue to grow.

“Obviously I want to grow, but I want to grow honestly,” said Zinser, whose company sponsors Little League teams and participates in events like National Pay It Forward Day, which is today. “I want to grow respectfully and I want to be a part of my community that I've lived in all my life.”

Perhaps the most important lesson, Zinser said, is the value of customer service.

“Ultimately, that's all you have to sell,” she said. “Anybody can drive a tow truck.”




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