Mike Scott and Pete Fuerst
Mike Scott and Pete Fuerst

IITR History

The idea of a nationally standardized training program for the towing industry came about in 1988 when Walter Lock of the Ernest Holmes Company brought forth the concept of the International Institute of Towing and Recovery (IITR). A small group of industry experts and trainers developed the initial program over a two-year period. The program has been continually guided through the years by a widely diverse group of industry leaders, educators and trainers.

The initial course offering was a self-paced, self-study program delivered under the auspices of the University of Georgia Continuing Education Program. In 2003, the University informed IITR that they would no longer be supporting self-study programs such as the IITR course. At the same time, there was increased interest from auto clubs and towing associations to move toward more formalized instructor-led training. The IITR, in partnership with the California State Automobile Association (CSAA), produced the current instructor-led PowerPoint presentation, Instructor Guide and Student Study Guide.

In 2004, while remaining a completely independent educational entity, an agreement brought the IITR under the umbrella of the Towing & Recovery Association of America (TRAA) Education Foundation. One of IITR's goals is to contribute to further standardization of educational and training practices for the towing and recovery industry. IITR has now moved beyond its original self-study program and developed a completely revised and updated instructor-led PowerPoint presentation for the training of light-duty towing and recovery operators. The related training plan includes a strong hands-on component. In addition, the Self-Study Guide has also been completely revised and updated, and a Supervisor's Guide has been created to facilitate small-group instruction.

At this point the IITR has accomplished the following goals:

  1. We have developed a web site IITROnline.
  2. We have completed the Instructor Led Program.
  3. We have completed an IITR Self Study Guide.
  4. We have completed a Supervisor's Guide for use with the Self Study Guide.

These are huge accomplishments, and we are pleased with our progress to date. IITR and its other industry contributors continue the tasks of content development and materials revisions as well as development of related manuals and CDs for both instructor-led classes and self-paced study. Course materials are periodically reviewed and updated to stay current with improvements in equipment and technology, and to ensure that both courses reflect industry standards and practices, towing-industry manufacturer's recommendations and are consistent with local, state and federal regulations.

IITR has been able to develop and maintain an industry standard for quality education in the towing industry by capitalizing on the strengths of its many industry partners, from towing and recovery professionals across the country, to AAA and its affiliated clubs, towing equipment manufacturers and other educational entities. This collaborative working model ensures an unbiased approach to industry education that others cannot match.