Angela Hale said she often gets strange looks when she drives her company’s tow truck up to a scene of an accident or rescue call.
People just aren’t accustomed to seeing a female driver, she said.
Hale is a co-owner and manager of Hale’s Towing Service, a family owned business in Rocky Mount that handles a wide range of towing and assistance calls for insurance companies and local businesses.
“We work for local dealerships and garages,” she said. “They call with people and refer us to people.”
There have been instances when being a woman in her field has helped put a customer going through a stressful situation at ease, she said.
“It helps me deal with some customers, especially female customers,” she said. “If they are in a wreck, they can relate to me a little better than a man.”
Her father, Collin Hale, co-owns the business. He was a farmer in Halifax County before deciding to get out of that business in 2002.
“I became an old man,” he said. “Young people are in farming. You don’t need to be a 60-year-old man farming because farming is the hardest work in the world. If you start farming, anything else you are going to do is like a vacation.”
In 2002, the family opened Hale’s 561 Service Center, a service station off exit 160 on Interstate 95. The Hales noticed the need for a good towing service, and that’s where the towing business was born.
“There were so many people breaking down in the area,” Angela Hale said.
For the first few years, they operated the towing service out of the station. Today, the service has six trucks and a company headquarters at 2550 N. Wesleyan Blvd.
Q: What products or services do you provide?
A: Collin Hale: All kinds of small and medium towing services, lock outs, tire changes, jump starts. We’re a family owned company.
I had farmed all my life. I had a farm with tobacco, peanuts, cotton, corn, hogs and cows. It was in Halifax County around Enfield. I retired from farming and started this in 2002.
All insurance companies – Geico, Farm Bureau, Allstate – every one of them has towing on their insurance. We work for them. All your insurance companies offer towing insurance. It is so cheap you’d be a fool not to have it.
We work for insurance companies. Whatever insurance company you are with, they cover you for jump starts, tire changes, lock outs, towing and all that.
Angela Hale: We provide towing and light road service.
Q: Who are your key leaders?
A: Co-owner Collin Hale, co-owner and manager Angela Hale, drivers Andy Hale and Fred Hale.
Q: How many people do you employ?
Q: What is your business philosophy?
A: Collin Hale: To treat everyone like you want to be treated.
Angela Hale: Basically to help every customer the best we can, to do the best job we can for everyone.
Q: What makes your business unique?
A: Collin Hale: We just try and give people the best service we can. We try and treat people just like they we want to be treated.
Angela Hale: That we have a woman tow truck operator.
Q: How has your business grown?
A: Collin Hale: We’ve stayed pretty busy. We work for all the insurance companies, every one of them. Anyone who has car insurance we do their towing.
Angela Hale: It’s grown, I guess, because we do most all motor clubs but not AAA. We don’t do them, and we work for some of the local businesses. I guess having good customer service skills. Customers want to come back. Just providing a good customer service has helped our company grow.
Q: What kind of growth do you expect in the coming years?
A: Collin Hale: We’d like to see in the coming years the business continue to grow like it has been growing, staying busy like we are now.
Angela Hale: Me personally, I’d like to get into towing the 18-wheelers and transporting equipment. That’s just me personally. My father is not interested in that.