TOTEM TOWING was founded in 1973 by Neil Clarke. Neil purchased one tow truck to service his three Service Stations in the Victoria area. Other garages in the area were also calling Totem to service their towing needs. After a year went by, the towing demands from his and other garages warranted the purchase of a second truck.
In 1976, the first expansion opportunity presented itself to Neil; the owner of Tolmie Towing was offered a job with the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia. Working for the Corporation and owning a towing company put the owner in a conflict of interest position, so he was faced with having to sell. With a motivated seller, Neil could not resist the opportunity to expand his towing business and purchased Tolmie Towing immediately.
For a time Neil ran his business as Tolmie-Totem Towing. The three T’s inspired the new company name of “Triple T Developments Ltd., dba Totem Towing”.
Besides running a number of Service Stations, in 1989 Neil’s company had grown to a fleet of twelve trucks. This was the year for another injection of trucks to the fleet. The owner of Autocraft Collision and Colwood Sooke Towing decided to sell off the towing portion of his business. Triple T Developments Ltd purchased the fleet of four tow trucks.
In 1990, Neil promoted Dan Bird to manage the towing divisions of his company. For the next several years, Triple T Developments Ltd would run two divisions; Totem Towing in Greater Victoria and Colwood Sooke Towing in the Western Communities, serving all the municipalities from Victoria to Sooke and the Malahat. 1990 was also the year the Totem Towing fleet took on a new paint scheme to give us a more distinct and recognizable brand.
With the upgrade of the Trans Canada Highway, linking Victoria and Colwood, the travel time between the communities was greatly reduced. By 1999, Totem Towing and Colwood Sooke Towing were so intertwined; the decision was made to merge the two divisions into one.
By the year 2000, Totem Towing had grown to a fleet of fifteen tow trucks and three service vehicles, one motorcycle trailer, and one tandem equipment trailer. Totem was the largest contractor for the British Columbia Automobile Association, serving the Greater Victoria area exclusively for 27 years.
In 2000, the owners Neil Clarke, Judy Clarke and Dan Bird employed a staff of thirty-two professional drivers and dispatchers, who responded to approximately 50,000 customer calls annually. Our team is dedicated to servicing and towing customers in need, and have always had a policy of NOT doing private impounds.
We believe strongly in professionalism, teamwork, and doing the job right the first time. To remind us of this every day, we post our motto on all our tow trucks “Doing it Right!”
BELMONT TOWING JOINS THE TEAM IN 2002!
THE NEW CENTURY brought major growth to the Western Communities; now known as the “Westshore”. The new highway to the Westshore is fast filling up with traffic, making it increasingly difficult to quickly move between the two regions of Greater Victoria during the rush hours.
In 2002, the owner of Belmont Collision (1975) Ltd. decided to concentrate on what they do best, collision and automotive repairs. He approached us with an offer to sell off the towing portion of his business. On May 1, 2002, Triple T Developments Ltd. seized the opportunity to expand their fleet in the fast growing area and purchased Belmont Towing.
This acquisition brought our company to a fleet of 23 trucks and trailers, and a professional staff of 21 drivers, 10 office & dispatch staff, and a full time mechanic to keep the fleet on the road 24 hour a day.
2003 BROUGHT ANOTHER GROWTH OPPORTUNITY FOR TOTEM TOWING!
As was the case in 1989 with Colwood Sooke Towing and in 2002 with Belmont Collision, now in 2003 the owners of Audy Auto Body & Towing decided to sell off the towing portion of their business and concentrate on their body shop business. We feel very fortunate to have been approached by all of these owners and could not resist the opportunity to increase our fleet and further improve the service to all communities in the Greater Victoria area.
Flying two flags was difficult enough and now that we had three divisions to deal with, we knew we had to act quickly to minimize the confusion for our customers. In order to simplify our accounting processes and eliminate the confusion for our staff and most importantly our customers, we decided to merge all the divisions and run under one flag, “Totem Towing”.
In order to maintain a high service level in all areas, Totem Towing was split into two divisions. The Westshore division mainly services from View Royal to the Malahat and Sooke and all points between. This division responded to all the RCMP calls in the Westshore area.
The Victoria division continues to service the rest of the Greater Victoria area. This division is the exclusive tower for the Saanich Police and Oak Bay Police Departments. The vehicles towed for these Police Detachments are stored at 3333 Tennyson Ave.
In 2005, our company had grown to a team of forty-six full-time and part-time staff, with a fleet of 28 trucks and trailers. In order to better service the Westshore, we have 8 drivers who reside and service that area 24 hour a day. The rest of the fleet primarily services the urban part of Greater Victoria. Although this is the primary structure, all trucks will go where they are needed to provide the best customer service possible.
In 2011, the Westshore RCMP made a decision to put their towing services out for tender. Although Totem Towing did not win the bid to tow vehicles that the RCMP are responsible for, we still respond to any customer request for towing from an accident scene or Motor Vehicle Act infraction, as long as the police are not securing the vehicle for investigation. As our competitors have justly pointed out in the past, you have the right to call whoever you like, as long as they can respond in a reasonable time frame. Our large fleet of trucks allows us to provide fast and efficient service to all areas in VICTORIA and the WESTSHORE.
TOTEM TOWING CELEBRATES 40th ANNIVERSARY!
2013 marked the 40th year that Totem Towing has been servicing the Greater Victoria area. With the economy taking a hard hit in the past few years, Totem Towing has met the challenges. Totem still maintains a staff of 35 professionals and 30 tow trucks & trailers.
“We are very proud and honored to be Victoria’s #1 choice for towing services in the VICTORIA and WESTSHORE communities. We will continue to work hard to provide a professional service that is unmatched by our competitors.”