Dustin Tapp officially opened Central Iowa Towing and Recovery in April of this year, but he’s been preparing for the venture his entire adult life.
"There’s definitely demand for good service in Story County," said Tapp. "I hope when people need to call someone, they can call us instead of calling Ames."
After working at Butch’s Amoco in Ames for several years, Tapp, 28, opened a hauling business in 2012 and decided to move into towing this spring. The 2006 Nevada graduate wanted to offer a tow service with fast response times, based in Nevada.
With the purchase of two trucks in the last three months, Central Iowa Towing and Recovery is already growing by word of mouth. The business carries a $1 million insurance policy, which Tapp says is significantly more than the state requires for his type of enterprise. He is proud to say that he has yet to file an insurance claim. Custom hauling of customers’ prized possessions, like sports cars, has taught Tapp the importance of safety on the road, and he does all he can to help motorists get through a situation that no one enjoys.
"We know it’s never a good day when you have to call for a tow," said Tapp. "So we try to make it as easy as possible."
While Tapp enjoys helping his customers, he says it is taxing to be on the road for long hours and in every kind of weather imaginable. In July alone, he has already traveled to the Twin Cities area twice and to Lincoln, Neb., to tow area owners’ cars back to central Iowa, driving to as far away as Texas in the past. Tapp lives with his wife Erica, 26, a fellow Nevada High School graduate who currently serves as unofficial accountant in addition to working at a Huxley child care center, and their two sons - Gage, 7, and Jace, 2.
Tapp has built relationships with many body shops in the area over his years at Butch’s and is now making more auto repair shops and insurance companies aware of his services. Tapp and two drivers, Ryan Schlichte and Rusty Garland, currently use Tapp’s acreage west of Nevada as a base of operations. However, Tapp would like to move his business into town, so he could look at possible expansion.
"It would be great to be right in Nevada," said Tapp. "One day I’d like to have an auto repair business with the towing. I’ve had the support of this community, so I would like to offer a valuable service."