The Week's Features
Accused of towing vehicles of service members, company plans on paying them back
Reminders to drivers for staying safe around schools
A collection of superbly decorated tow trucks from LW’s Towing
Trail King says the TKSA is now the fastest (61 seconds) sliding axle available
67 year-old Chris Denio was arrested for threatening an employee of an auto repossession company with a rifle and shooting out two tires
Events
Cleveland, OH.
June 17-19, 2021
San Antonio, TX.
Aug. 5-7, 2021
Las Vegas, NV.
Sept. 15-17, 2021
Baltimore, MD.
Nov. 11-14, 2021
American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in Towing September 23 - September 29, 2020

Woman Sentenced to Prison after Car Crash Kills Tow Truck Operator and Passenger

Andre-A Edwards was sentenced to 10 – 30 years in prison for 2nd degree murder, two years after being charged with 19 felonies related to a car crash that killed a tow truck operator and passenger.

Edwards, who had a record of DUI’s and suspended licenses, was driving a black Ford Explorer that crashed into the back of a school bus that was being serviced on I-94 outside of Ann Arbor, Mi. Alcohol and THC were found in her system following an autopsy.

The bus was unoccupied, but the tow truck driver attending to the bus, Nader Chehadi, 42, of Ypsilanti, was at the rear of the bus when the crash occurred and was pronounced dead at the scene. One of Edwards’ passengers, Antoinette Butler, 28, of Ypsilanti, also died days later. Her three children were also passengers endangered by her actions.

District Court Judge Elizabeth Pollard Hines, who presided over the case, stated, “She did not intend to kill anyone, but she did act in blatant disregard for the safety of others which makes a charge of second-degree murder appropriate.”

https://www.mlive.com/


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Tower Pays for Violating Service Members Civil Relief Act

ASAP Towing and Storage of Jacksonville, Fl., was accused by the Justice Department of illegally towing and auctioning off vehicles belonging to service members. Consequently, the company has decided to pay back those members in compensation and fines totaling over $100,000. The company maintains that it was hard to know those vehicles belonged to service members and that their actions were inadvertent. Read the story in this week’s Tow News.
http://towindustryweek.com/#news
Towing Reality TV Stars Explain Their Mission Behind Filming
Hit Series Year-After-Year

Impaled in Jersey

1 d66aeby Jim “Buck” Sorrenti

On August 21, 2020 Nick’s Towing Service Inc. of Rutherford, NJ was called by the Rutherford, NJ Police Department to respond to an accident to recover a vehicle impaled under a semi-trailer.

Nick Testa Sr, the owner of Nick’s Towing, responded with two of his experienced operators: John Ely, one of his long-time managers, who went out with their 2013 Peterbilt with a Century 1140 40-ton rotator and operator Brian Fitter, who went out with their 2013 Hino with a Century 21-foot steel bed.

“Upon our arrival the Rutherford Police had done an excellent job in setting up a safety work zone to allow us to position our rotator where we needed it and to work the scene safely,” stated Nick. “We also found that the Rutherford Fire Department and the Rutherford EMS had just removed the two injured women from the vehicle.”

When the women were safely on their way to the hospital, the operators began the recovery of the impaled black Toyota Camry from under the trailer, setting up their rotator and rigging the trailer with two half inch chains.

John said, “When the trailer was rigged, we connected the two wire ropes from the rotator to the chains and lifted and rotated the trailer off of the vehicle. By then Brian had positioned the Hino flatbed so that the vehicle could be winched out from under the trailer.”

Skates and a snatch block were used to load the Camry and then it was strapped down and sent on its way back to Nick’s storage facility.

Nick informed, “When we were completed we broke down our rigging and moved the rotator off of the highway. The semi tractor and trailer was unbelievably able to continue on its way because it sustained no damage.”

The driver, who was with her mom, was a young lady on her drivers permit. She drifted off to the shoulder, making a hard left turn under the right rear tandem of the semi. Nick informed, “A few days later the mom and dad came to our facility and said that the daughter was in generally good health with a mild concussion.”

____________

Company owner and president Nicholas “Nick” F. Testa Sr. founded Nick’s Towing Service in Rutherford, NJ, in 1972. Under his leadership NTS has become nationally recognized as one of the most respected road service companies in the country. NTS provides towing, recovery and transportation services with an extensive fleet of more than 30 pieces of equipment serving 48 states.

Nick, TRAA certified, was given the 2014 Towman of the Year award by the Garden State Towmans’ Association and was inducted into the Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame in 2016. As an industry leader, he also speaks at towing conferences around the country to educate other towers in successful business practices.

General Manager John Ely, who is TRAA certified, began with the company in 1985. He is responsible for the dispatch operations and also manages the national towing accounts. Operator Brian Fitter, WreckMaster and TRAA certified, has been with NTS since 2009. As the Assistant to the President he is Nick’s go to person.

Show Yours @ TIW
Do you have a recovery to share with TIW readers? Send some pics and info to our Field Editor Jim “Buck” Sorrenti at jimchaos69@yahoo.com; your story may even be selected for print in American Towman magazine!
By Don Lomax
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Have you diversified into any new revenue streams to cope with the pandemic?
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Editor: Charles Duke
Managing Editor: Brendan Dooley
Media Director: William Burwell
ATTV Editor & Anchor: Emily Oz
Advertising Sales (800-732-3869):
Dennie Ortiz x213, Ellen Rosengart x203,
William Burwell x208, Peggy Calabrese x202
Content Management: Henri Calitri
Site Progr., Graphics & Video: Ryan Oser
Wrecks + Recovery Editor: Jim "Buck" Sorrenti
Operations Editor: Randall C. Resch
Tow Business Editor: Brian J. Riker
Tow Illustrated Editor: George L. Nitti
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September 23 - September 29, 2020
15 year-old Zach White, with his restored wrecker

Teen Restores Wrecker

In Bay County, Fla., 15-year-old Zach White completely redid an old wrecker given to him by his parents, making it his own.

The unit was originally bought and sold by the family but later bought back and given to Zach as a gift.

White, who’s family own’s White’s Gulf County Wrecker Service, LLC, has been working on the project for 7 months, redoing the interior and exterior, including the engine repairs.

He said, “It was all beat up when I got it. The truck, the whole interior was messed up. I just had to fix all of it, order new stuff, send it to shops, get it repainted and all that. It’s worth it. Yup, it’s a beautiful truck now.”

He credits his dad for teaching him, as he watched him around the shop over the years.

Since he is only 15, he is waiting until he gets his driver’s license and plans to drive his wrecker to school and help out his dad’s company.

Source: https://www.mypanhandle.com
On the Hook with John Borowski - 4
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September 23 - September 29, 2020

Florida Tow Company Paying [b]Back Servicemen

ASAP Towing and Storage of Jacksonville, Fl., has agreed to pay back servicemen for vehicles they illegally towed and auctioned off from 2013 to 2020.

After prosecutors from the U.S. Justice Dept. showed that ASAP violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, the company agreed to pay a $20,000 fine and pay up to $99,500 to compensate the service members whose vehicles were sold while they were away.

In one case, Lt. Zane Berry, a Navy Lieutenant, said that in 2018 his car was towed from his apartment complex for having a flat tire while he was deployed.

Berry said, the company stated, “We sold it because you never responded and we’re allowed to do that.”

Vince Serrano, who is the co-owner of ASAP towing, said the company didn’t knowingly sell a running vehicle that belonged to military members.

He said, “The process to identify an owner being in the military is not as easy as it sounds. We get a name when we run the vin #. We don’t get social security #'s, or some states don’t show drivers license #. We go through the vehicle and attempt to identify if owner is military or not. Our process has been updated and we have created a training program so that each employee will check for any possibility that owner is in the military.”

https://www.news4jax.com/

9th Season of Highway [b]Thru Hell Debuts

The hit reality TV show Highway Thru Hell is back for a 9th season, premiering Sept 14 on the Discovery channel. The show, which features tow truck drivers braving treacherous conditions, will feature 18 new episodes on Monday nights, at 7 p.m.

The first episode starts off with ‘Dead Man’s Curve’ where operators face the first snowstorm of the season dealing with a ‘torn-up semi on a dangerous corner.’

The show, rated number one on the Discovery channel gave rise to two spin-off programs – Heavy Rescue: 401 and Mud Mountain Haulers.

Man Arrested for Assaulting [b]Repo Company

On Tuesday, 67 year old Christopher Denio was arrested by Bennington, Vt. Police after he allegedly threatened an employee of an auto repossession company with a rifle and shot out two tires of a company tow truck.

According to police dispatch, the repo men from Location Services, of Burnt Hills, N.Y. claimed that Denio tried to drive an SUV off the lift. Soon after, he obtained a rifle from a residence. When he returned, they stated that the barrel of the rifle was making contact with the driver side window while they were sitting inside the wrecker.

Denio then shot the driver side tire and passenger side tire, deflating each, telling the victims to "drop the SUV or I'll shoot you."

Denio was released on court-ordered conditions to appear in Vermont Superior Court Criminal Division to answer to charges of aggravated assault with deadly weapon, criminal threatening, unlawful mischief; reckless endangerment; persons prohibited from possessing firearms, and aiming a gun at another person.

https://www.benningtonbanner.com/

Michigan Tow Truck Driver [b]Injured in Hit-and-Run

Michigan tow truck driver David Salomon of Lavish Towing was badly injured in a hit and run incident after trying to tow a vehicle. He suffered a head injury and a broken foot.

Lavish Tow owner Lavish Williams stated, “I got a strange voice over the 2-way radio from a lady who was hysterical. She was pretty much saying, ‘Your driver just got hit on the freeway.’”

Salomon’s partner Juhnn’e Bailey said, “I heard the crash and when I turned around, his legs were in the air.”

Salomon said, “I don’t think I’m supposed to be here. I was up about at least 8 feet in the sky. Came back down and I don’t remember nothing else after that.”

https://www.clickondetroit.com/

Slow Down Move-Over

The Central Minnesota Tow Truck Drivers held their sixth annual “Slow Down Move Over” campaign Tuesday evening with around 30 tow trucks and other emergency vehicles turning up at the event. The campaign seeks to bring awareness of the dangers tow truck drivers face on America's roads as they work to tow vehicles off of roadways.

According to event organizer Sherree Loft, "We're doing the event to remind people that just because we're tow trucks, they still need to move over."

Minnesota's Move Over Law calls for drivers to keep one full lane away from stopped emergency vehicles with flashing lights activated, or reduce speed if unable to safely move over a lane. These vehicles include ambulance, fire, law enforcement, maintenance, construction and tow trucks.

Faith Wilson, who runs Ed's Service Center in Willmar, said she and Butler keep putting on this event and hoping people finally start to pay attention, especially when they see lights flashing when driving.

https://www.wctrib.com/

Tow Company Returns $32K [b]Found in Totaled Car

A tow truck company in Ephrata, Pa., returned over 32,000 of cash that was found in a totaled vehicle.

Mark Steffy, the owner of Steffy’s Towing, said he found the wet and moldy money while he was preparing to scrap the car that they had received from another company.

His wife Alicia added that they hadn't searched it earlier because they don't go into a car until the salvage process is complete and "the state actually declares the car and its contents ours." That way, she said, if the owner turns up during the process, "they’ll find everything in their car exactly the way they left it."

The owner of the car, which was totaled in October, said he reported the money missing in April, after searching the car himself and only finding his wife’s empty purse.

Source: https://lancasteronline.com/
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September 23 - September 29, 2020

Impaled in Jersey

1 d66aeby Jim “Buck” Sorrenti

On August 21, 2020 Nick’s Towing Service Inc. of Rutherford, NJ was called by the Rutherford, NJ Police Department to respond to an accident to recover a vehicle impaled under a semi-trailer.

Nick Testa Sr, the owner of Nick’s Towing, responded with two of his experienced operators: John Ely, one of his long-time managers, who went out with their 2013 Peterbilt with a Century 1140 40-ton rotator and operator Brian Fitter, who went out with their 2013 Hino with a Century 21-foot steel bed.

“Upon our arrival the Rutherford Police had done an excellent job in setting up a safety work zone to allow us to position our rotator where we needed it and to work the scene safely,” stated Nick. “We also found that the Rutherford Fire Department and the Rutherford EMS had just removed the two injured women from the vehicle.”

When the women were safely on their way to the hospital, the operators began the recovery of the impaled black Toyota Camry from under the trailer, setting up their rotator and rigging the trailer with two half inch chains.

John said, “When the trailer was rigged, we connected the two wire ropes from the rotator to the chains and lifted and rotated the trailer off of the vehicle. By then Brian had positioned the Hino flatbed so that the vehicle could be winched out from under the trailer.”

Skates and a snatch block were used to load the Camry and then it was strapped down and sent on its way back to Nick’s storage facility.

Nick informed, “When we were completed we broke down our rigging and moved the rotator off of the highway. The semi tractor and trailer was unbelievably able to continue on its way because it sustained no damage.”

The driver, who was with her mom, was a young lady on her drivers permit. She drifted off to the shoulder, making a hard left turn under the right rear tandem of the semi. Nick informed, “A few days later the mom and dad came to our facility and said that the daughter was in generally good health with a mild concussion.”

____________

Company owner and president Nicholas “Nick” F. Testa Sr. founded Nick’s Towing Service in Rutherford, NJ, in 1972. Under his leadership NTS has become nationally recognized as one of the most respected road service companies in the country. NTS provides towing, recovery and transportation services with an extensive fleet of more than 30 pieces of equipment serving 48 states.

Nick, TRAA certified, was given the 2014 Towman of the Year award by the Garden State Towmans’ Association and was inducted into the Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame in 2016. As an industry leader, he also speaks at towing conferences around the country to educate other towers in successful business practices.

General Manager John Ely, who is TRAA certified, began with the company in 1985. He is responsible for the dispatch operations and also manages the national towing accounts. Operator Brian Fitter, WreckMaster and TRAA certified, has been with NTS since 2009. As the Assistant to the President he is Nick’s go to person.

Show Yours @ TIW
Do you have a recovery to share with TIW readers? Send some pics and info to our Field Editor Jim “Buck” Sorrenti at jimchaos69@yahoo.com; your story may even be selected for print in American Towman magazine!

Chickens Across the Road

1 886ceby Jim “Buck” Sorrenti

Q: Why were the dead chickens across the road?

A: So Mike Woolard of Woolard's Automotive Towing and Transport could recover the load.

On Aug 14th, 2020 at 6:00 p.m., Woolard's Automotive & Transport of Washington, NC received a call from the North Carolina State Highway Patrol informing them of a commercial motor vehicle accident that was loaded with dead chickens.

Owner Mike Woolard said, “They were casualties of the heat from the previous week. The trailer didn't make the curve, breaking off and going into the ditch. Just in time for supper.”

Mike was dispatched in a 2015 Kenworth with a Century 1150 50-ton rotator. Also dispatched were Mason Vick in a 2019 Kenworth with a Century 4024 single axle 20-ton unit, Steven Vanstaalduinen in a 2015 Kenworth road tractor pulling a 2016 Landoll and Tracey Shaw, in an Emergency Response Trailer (ERT).

Upon arriving to the scene, the tow operators found the unit stretched completely across the roadway. The tractor was nose down in a large canal ditch, the trailer twisted and the tub flipped all the way around backwards.

“This was a trailer that looked like a dump trailer, but with no dumping cylinders. The trailer was still ¾ full of dead chickens and the remaining dead chickens were spread out on the ground,” Mike explained. “The trailer tub was still connected on the left side rear corner of the trailer, which had the trailer suspension twisted and in a bind. This needed to cut apart so the units could separate.”

Mike staged the Century 1150 rotator and the crew rigged two 2-part lines to the rear of the trailer tub to lift and hold while the Century 4024 was single lined to the trailers chassis to hold back from springing forward.

Using a chop saw and a gas cutting torch from their ERT unit, the tub was cut loose from the chassis. The Century 1150 rotator then was rigged to lift the tub and swing over to the opposite side of the road and set clear to remove the truck and trailer from the canal.

Once done, they re-positioned rotator to winch the truck and trailer unit back out of the canal. When the cab unit was clear of the canal, the Century 4024 winched the front of the unit around and straight into roadway. There the truck and trailer were prepped for tow back to Woolard’s shop.

“The rotator was then reset to lift the trailer tub, still loaded to about three quarters with dead chickens, onto our Kenworth/ Landoll combination. All was secured down and hauled back to our Washington, NC storage lot,” explained Mike. “The company where the chickens came from said they would clean up the remaining chickens on the side of the road. They had a front-end loader and truck to transport them.”

Mike jested, “Disclaimer: NO live chickens were hurt in the making of this recovery.”

------------

About: Donnie Woolard started Woolard's Automotive Towing and Transport, located in Washington, NC, in 1976. Today, it is family owned and operated by Donnie’s son Mike and Mike’s wife Janet. Mike has worked in the business his entire life, taking it over in 2003.

Woolard’s provides 24-hour accident recovery and cleanup, 24-hour towing, and a diesel truck repair center with an 8-bay service garage. They have an assortment of trailers capable of hauling any equipment (forklifts, dozers, cranes, etc) and can obtain any necessary permits. They have a well-trained staff of operators and mechanics with a fleet of heavy- and medium-duty wreckers that can tow and/or recover any size vehicle. They also offer towing and hauling services for both local and long-distance projects and provide escorts for over-sized loads.

Show Yours @ TIW
Do you have a recovery to share with TIW readers? Send some pics and info to our Field Editor Jim “Buck” Sorrenti at jimchaos69@yahoo.com; your story may even be selected for print in American Towman magazine!

Hello Dolly: A Dump Trailer Lift & Shift

1 d5792By Jim “Buck” Sorrenti

On June 3rd, 2020 Pearce Truck & Auto LLC of Martin, Tn., was called to recover and transport a burnt up dump trailer, which was loaded with 50,000 pounds of powered clay.

Joe Pearce, one of the owners of Pearce Truck & Auto LLC, informed, “It ran over a tire section and dragged it under the rear axle thus causing the fire. With the frame being compromised by the hinge, the trucking company decided to call on us to move the trailer. It was in the Crossville, Tennessee, area. It was transported back to the home terminal and there we dumped the load out.”

To transport the burnt up dump trailer they first placed a tandem trailer axle dolly under the frontward section to support the weight, knowing that the load was too much for the landing gear to hold for the length of time that it would be transported.

Joe explained, “My brother Michael used our Unit 21 (Big Red), a 2004 Challenger 9909 70-ton rotator mounted on a 2004 Peterbilt 378 sleeper, to raise the front of the trailer and place the dolly when loading it on our Landoll 660B heavy haul unit."

The dolly belongs to Steve Sedberry, the owner and driving force behind Buddy's Wrecker Service located in Union City, TN. Joe has worked with Steve on several jobs over the years sharing experience and equipment when needed.

Michael went on to pick up a customer once they had the dump trailer safely loaded and tied down for transport while Joe met up with his Landoll driver, Jason Jeffries, at the home terminal to raise the trailer and assist in unloading it. Joe used Unit 25, his 1060 Century 5 winch rotator mounted on a Kenworth T800 chassis.

Once the dump trailer was unloaded Joe rigged it so he could take it off of his Landoll trailer.

“The rig was a kingpin attachment and I was using a 1/2" grade 100 chain off of it attached to a line from my 1060,” explained Joe. “The trailer was unloaded at that point so I wasn’t lifting much weight. Using the 1060 I shifted the dump trailer off of the Landoll rolling it off on its rear axle and the axle dolly.”

Joe stated, “Our customer was highly impressed by the way we were able to move the loaded trailer without any trouble.”

Not all jobs are technically complicated, but having the right equipment and know-how makes all the difference no matter what the situation.

*****

Pearce Truck & Auto LLC is a family owned and operated repair and towing business based in Martin, Tennessee. Eddie Pearce started towing in 1967 and worked side by side with his wife, Judy, and sons Joe and Michael for decades until he passed away in September 2016. In 2017 Judy, Joe, and Michael formed a partnership with the company and became Pearce Truck and Auto LLC. Judy handles the dispatching and accounting, while Joe and Michael do what they do best and deal with the heavy loads. Judy, Joe and Mike recently opened a second location of Pearce Truck and Auto LLC on Hwy 641S in Holladay, TN. That is where Unit 25 is located.

Show Yours @ TIW
Do you have a recovery to share with TIW readers? Send some pics and info to our Field Editor Jim “Buck” Sorrenti at jimchaos69@yahoo.com; your story may even be selected for print in American Towman magazine!



MIDWESTERN – Nacogdoches, TX
$500
(pop. 34,047)

SOUTHERN – Lake City, FL
$250
(pop. 12,099)

EASTERN - King George, VA
$145
(pop. 4,457)

WESTERN - Brentwood, CA
$276.25
(pop. 53,673)

Heavy-Duty nonconsensual tow rates as provided by Police Towers of America.
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September 23 - September 29, 2020

Back to School Road Safety

RoadSafety2 c2853By Brian J. Riker

Across the country, students return to school in what is anything but a typical back to school season. With the effects of COVID-19 turning our educational system upside down, drivers must be extra cautious this fall.

I expect many school bus routes to be reworked, times changed and more buses added throughout the day as districts across the country attempt to social distance their students with mixed approaches of online and in-person classes. As with everything 2020, expect the unexpected this year and do not think the road ahead will be clear because of the previous year’s bus schedule!

School bus stopping laws vary across the nation. Be aware of the potential for a stopped bus around every corner, especially early morning and late afternoon.

If in doubt, stop!

It is unsafe and usually illegal to overtake (pass) a stopped school bus from the rear, and never advisable to pass a stopped school bus on the right. In many states you are also required to stop for a school bus displaying flashing red lights when approaching from the opposite direction unless there is a non-mountable curb separating the traffic lanes.

Be particularly aware near school zones, parks, fields and other places children gather. For the first few weeks after returning to school they are still adjusting to the new schedule, maybe a new building or classmates and are more absentminded than usual. This leads to unpredictable behaviors and the tendency to dart into traffic increases in the afternoons when they are fooling around to release the pent-up energy from spending the day in a classroom.

If you do not already do so, now is the time to implement a mandatory “circle check” each time you prepare to move a vehicle - even in your own yard. Children are fascinated by trucks and machinery of all shapes and sizes and can get into some incredible places.

You may wonder why every time a utility truck parks somewhere the driver places a traffic cone at the corner of their truck, some even place cones to the front and rear. This is to remind them to complete a 360⁰ circle check of their rig before moving it. This simple yet effective behavior has allowed them to find children hiding in or on the equipment, some even under the truck.

Imagine if you moved your truck with a child under it.

Lastly, with fall comes a change in daylight hours and weather. Adjust your trip planning to account for driving slower during non-daylight hours and the delays caused by school traffic.

Classifying a Late-Night Enemy: 10 Tips for Staying Safe at Night

chicago d2f5bBy Randall C. Resch

A west coast tow operator was recently a victim of violent street attack in one of those wrong-place, wrong-time scenarios. It seems that some inner-city thugs were looking for a free cell phone and awaited the arrival of someone not expecting to be attacked. It didn’t take long for a lone wrecker operator to pull into a convenient store’s parking lot.

As the tower exited the safety of the wrecker’s interior with phone in-hand, he was struck in the face with some kind of stick. Hours later, he awoke in an emergency room bed, face split open, wallet missing and liberated from his phone. Add insult to injury, the wrecker was found days later missing most of its towing equipment.

Violent interactions against tow operators and tow personnel are becoming increasingly more frequent. In another like-type situation, an east coast tow operator just off-loaded his carrier in the company’s tow yard when he was blindsided (inside the yard) by three unidentified males. Two males attacked the tower while the other liberated the car from the tow yard. His injuries were minimal as they only were after the vehicle.

The fact is that bad guys are far more likely to commit cowardly, criminal acts at night. Because they use darkness to their advantage, there are fewer persons out to intervene or act as witnesses. Because it’s thought that towers carry lots of cash, they fall into that “victim pool” like taxi drivers and convenience store clerks.

There are plenty of violent interactions that necessitate this quick reminder in how-to stay safe especially when working night-shift hours.

1) Be aware of surroundings. Always know where you are or if you’re headed into a bad area of town. Victims get attacked anywhere, not necessarily, “on the wrong-side of the tracks.” Knowing your surroundings means having an escape route.

2) Be alert: Criminals are opportunists looking for moments when attack seems easiest for them. Be aware of the actions of others and avoid being distracted, surrounded or cornered.

3) Carry a flashlight. Because it’s dark, you’ll need a flashlight, right? In the event someone attacks you, a well-directed, three-cell Kel-light, aimed at a bad-guy’s kneecaps creates a justifiable response to their attack.

4) Keep dispatch informed. Let dispatch know what you’re doing. If you’re the small company with no dispatcher, at least jot down the time and license plate when dealing with customers.

5) Move quickly with purpose. Complete tasks without haste; don’t dally. Stay in-lighted areas if possible.

6) Close and lock the gate behind you. Once arrived at the yard, before all other tasks take place, close and lock the gate securely to avoid someone liberating their vehicle or committing robbery or assault on you as their intended victim.

7) Lock the truck. Even for a moment, lock the truck and take the keys with you. Don’t leave the truck at-idle and unoccupied while you’re inside the store.

8) Don’t flash cash. Bad guys think towers carry lots of cash. When paying for items or fuel, don’t flash wallet contents for fear others are watching.

9) Follow gut feelings. Every person has an innate “early warning” sensation telling them something’s not right. If your early warnings tell you something’s amiss, step back, re-evaluate, or, remove yourself from the perceived danger.

9) Keep your phone with you. Take your cellphone with you because it’s your ultimate lifeline if something happens to you. When carrying a cellphone openly, bad guys see you have the phone ready for taking. Carry it in a holster or put it in your pocket.

Although working at night has its concerns, these techniques are easily practiced and should be part of your routine.

The bottom-line: “you shouldn’t be a victim if ya’ don’t look like a victim.”

Suicide Prevention Awareness

worldsuicidepreventionday 3d308By Brian Riker

Today I would like to call awareness to the Take 5 to Save Lives initiative which asks each of us to take five minutes from our daily routine on or before September 10th to help spread the message about suicide prevention and ways to get help. According to their website https://www.take5tosavelives.org/ suicide takes more lives than war and murder combined. In 2018, there were an estimated 1.4 Million suicide attempts in the United States (last year data is available for) with 48,344 of them being successful.

Americans die by suicide at nearly double the rate of homicide in most states with middle-aged white males the most likely victims. Females tend to think about suicide more often but do not follow thru as often as males. Even more troubling is that 7.4% of American youth in grades 9-12 have reported at least one attempt at suicide according to the most recent Youth Risk Behaviors Survey published in 2017.

Towers are not immune from the effects of depression, long work hours, disrupted family life and post traumatic stress disorder from routinely responding to severe crashes involving fatalities among other tragic events.

Although there are no accurate statistics for towers specifically it is worth mentioning that fire fighters and law enforcement personnel have a suicide rate that is nearly double the general population due to the stress of the job.

Please take the time to recognize the most basic indicators of someone contemplating suicide such as a sudden change in behavior showing reckless tendencies, giving away prized possessions or talking about feelings of hopelessness or despair with no way out. If you see anyone exhibiting these signs please talk to them and seek help for them by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or texting HELLO to 741741. Help is available anonymously and free of charge 24/7 for both people thinking of suicide themselves or those trying to help someone else.

The 5 steps to suicide prevention are:

• Learn the Signs. It only takes five minutes to become familiar with the most common signs of suicidal thoughts or behaviors.
• Know How to Help. You should not be afraid to ask your friend or family member if they need help or be afraid to seek help for them if they are uncooperative.
• Practice Self Care. Your own mental health is important to your overall well being.
• Reach Out. Help and recovery is possible, so if you or someone you know needs help please ask.
• Spread the Word. Take the pledge to tell 5 people about World Suicide Prevention Day.

I encourage everyone to learn more about suicide so that the stigma of suicidal thoughts goes away and more people are willing to speak openly about their mental health conditions. In the mean time as a fellow business owner I encourage you to contact Take 5 to Save Lives and partner with them to promote suicide awareness this, and every, month.
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September 23 - September 29, 2020

Checkered Fleet Shines with Professionalism

fleet1 ec0ceBy George L. Nitti

When it comes to operating a beautiful fleet of trucks, LW’s Towing, based out of Frisco, TX, a suburb north of Dallas, offers a stellar line-up of checkered patterned, vibrantly colored, diversified trucks. Owner Larry Haynie states, “I started in this business when I was 17 years old and wanted to put professionalism in the towing industry.”

Haynie compares his company’s professionalism to a Niemann Marcus rather than a Walmart. “We’re not the cheapest but we are the most professional, providing top shelf service.” Haynie’s impeccably clean trucks are part of the basic ingredient.

Breathtaking to behold, the meticulous fleet is mostly a mix of Kenworth’s and Peterbilt’s, purchased through Ted and Conway Kerico of Texas Wrecker Sales with their unique graphic design by David Moon. These trucks, many of which have won awards at various tow shows, are distinguished by their signature brand consisting of a large wave and a two checkered colored pattern, each with their own unique colors.

Haynie’s personal truck is a checkered yellow and silver Heavy Duty 05’ Peterbilt with a Century 35 ton rotator. He said, “Have you ever seen Trick My Truck? In the TV show they steal the rigs of lucky truck drivers and customize them. Well that’s what it was like when I received this truck from Texas Wrecker Services. It was a total surprise. They did everything.”

Their pink checkered tribute truck was also a surprise. An 07’ Kenworth T3 with a Vulcan right approach – for cars like Corvettes - won Best of Show in the Texas Tow Show, in part for an idea that came to fruition when Haynie was asked to put one name of a breast cancer victim on their truck. “We ended up with a list of names of over 200 friends of family members that we ghost faded over the checkered patterns. The money we raise goes to the Susan B. Koman Foundation.”

Recently, Haynie purchased their first light duty vehicle, an award winning blue and pale yellow checkered 2014 Dodge 4500 Cummings with a Vulcan 810. “Since all of my trucks are medium to heavy duty, we couldn’t get into parking garages. Now we use this one every day. We should have bought it 5 years ago.”

Other vibrant colors in their checkered fleet include a green and yellow heavy duty flat bed, an orange and yellow medium duty wrecker, a red and yellow medium duty flatbed and their military tribute truck, a checkered camouflaged wrapped O7’ Kenworth T300 with a Vulcan 1500 series.

“The 07’ model was the first truck I ever wrapped,” said Haynie. “The rest are custom painted.”

Brag @ TIW! Should your truck be featured here? Send a few pics and your contact information to the editor at bdooley@towman.com. You might even be selected to go in print, too, in American Towman magazine!

Hodgepodge Modern Design

n a4ccaBy George L. Nitti

In their 20th year of operation, Imperial Towing of Melbourne, Florida, just south of the space shuttle, has seen their graphics evolve over the years. Starting off with a basic design, the company has supplanted simplicity with a more elaborate scheme, incorporating a variety of designs into one dynamic graphic, found across several of their units.

On the company’s fully loaded 2017 black Dodge 5500 with a Century Wheel Lift, the evolution of their graphics comes into focus.

Owner Sam Roig, who grew up on the rough and tumble streets of Chicago, said, “You will find a hodge podge on this partial wrap - checkerboard patterns, flames, and expanded metal with round circles under the name of our company.”

What is particularly interesting about the graphic is its diversity of colors, including shades of purple, along with coral, yellow, silver, black and white, perfectly complementing and enhancing its black background.

As a whole, it projects a semi-abstract quality that falls into the realm of modern design.

The “Imperial” name stands out on each side of the unit, written large.

“It’s all reflective,” Roig said. “It really pops at nighttime.”

According to Roig, the company name originated from his early days growing up in Chicago.

He said, “I was a gang banger during the late 80’s and 90’s. We used to hang out with imperial gangsters. They don’t call it “Chirac” for nothing. When I moved to Florida in the late 90’s, I took the “Imperial” name with me.”

Adding to the unit’s mystique are the heavily tinted windows.

“It’s Florida, man,” Roig said. “It’s hot. It keeps the AC working well.”

The company has grown its business to 14 units, while forming a sister company called Rachel’s Towing.

Modest, Roig added, “We’re doing pretty good.”

Brag @ TIW! Should your truck be featured here? Send a few pics and your contact information to the editor at bdooley@towman.com. You might even be selected to go in print, too, in American Towman magazine!

A Touch of the Old School

Buck1 81bd1One hallmark of excellence in graphic design is showcased by details. Although a bright colored truck with stand-out complementary colors is an asset to any fleet, finer qualities of design help bring a tow truck from good to great.

This is the case with the fleet of units owned by Buckler’s Towing Service out of Hyannis and Cape Cod, MA. The bright colors of their fleet, red and yellow, are as eye catching as any fire truck, but are made even more compelling with the fine details found across their units.

A case in point is their 2016 Peterbilt 389 with a Vulcan V703, a 35 ton wrecker.

The graphic design was the brainchild of Cranberry Signcraft, located approximately 45 minutes from the company. First, the pinstriping and scrollwork on the unit is superb, elevating its design with the use of a simple yet effective technique that projects an image of sophistication and class.

According to owner Nathan Buckler, “The pinstriping and scrollwork are all hand painted, as is the logo. The artist uses a machine to cut the 22 carot gold, which is then adhered to the truck. You don’t see much of that, anywhere. We try to keep the touch of the old school.”

The “old school” look is further exemplified in the fine logo design that has been meticulously crafted on the side doors. Several key features stand-out, including a flowing green ribbon, a calligraphy like letter B with gold leafing, the 3D perspective of the lettering, with green shadowing, and the crest, within which all of these details are encased.

The name of the company, which arcs on each of the side doors, also stands-out for its unique lettering, gold leafing and 3D perspective. The repetitive use of the company name is also accentuated in other areas of the unit, such as the boom and the back of the wrecker.

The detail does not end there, as we find an intricate design with even the truck number, 161, that ties together several themes already mentioned. In addition, a commemorative logo, similar to the company logo, adds a 55 year anniversary stamp on the hood.

Buckler said, “We do a commemorative stamp every five years to mark the founding of our company, which has been going since the late 1950’s.”

The best part of the design, however, is what is not seen – it’s durability. Buckler said, “Cranberry Signcraft uses the best material. Their work lasts.”

Brag @ TIW!
Should your truck be featured here? Send a few pics and your contact information to the editor at bdooley@towman.com. You might even be selected to go in print, too, in American Towman magazine!
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September 23 - September 29, 2020

Sliding Axle

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Trail King's 2020 update to the Sliding Axle includes features and options customers want and need. Trail King says the TKSA is now the fastest (61 seconds) sliding axle available, with added more corrosion resistance, simplified maintenance, and 100% remote control of the unit. Engineered for speed, the Trail King Hydraulic Sliding Axle is not only fast, but easy to use. Time is money, and this trailer will save customers both! www.trailking.com

All-New G2 Winches

warnG2 80b40Warn Industries all-new G2 planetary line offers hydraulic, electric, and Severe-Duty options, and 9,000, 12,000, 15,000, and 18,000 lb. capacities for a variety of applications. The Series G2 winches include redesigned drum supports that are thicker and resist breakage. The all-new architecture also makes the clutch mount (with 90° clutch handle option) exceedingly stout and less prone to damage. Electric models have a new two-coil contactor with excellent sealing for exceptional reliability. All models wear protective finishes that guard against corrosion for years. 

Series G2 winches are IP68 and IP69K waterproof ensuring a long service life. The revised three-stage planetary gear train delivers fast, quiet, and dependable pulling power with up to a 65% reduction in noise and vibration for a better user experience. The ball-bearing design and extreme low-temperature lubricants let the drum turn easily, even in the coldest weather. 


More configurable than ever, the Series G2 winches, whether hydraulic, electric, or severe duty, can be built the way businesses need for maximum performance.

Patriot Pry Wedge

unnamed b6f6dNext Generation Tool Company proudly introduces the Patriot Pry Wedge. This new streamlined Wedge is multi-functional.  Use the Patriot Pry Wedge to easily create space to insert an Air Wedge while protecting the vehicle with the innovative rubber pivot. The Pry Wedge separates the door from the frame and does not damage weather stripping.  Flip it over and the Patriot can be used as a conventional wedge, with a removable handle that provides extra leverage if needed.   

www.nextgentool.com
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September 23 - September 29, 2020
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September 23 - September 29, 2020

Man Arrested for Assaulting [b]Repo Company

On Tuesday, 67 year old Christopher Denio was arrested by Bennington, Vt. Police after he allegedly threatened an employee of an auto repossession company with a rifle and shot out two tires of a company tow truck.

According to police dispatch, the repo men from Location Services, of Burnt Hills, N.Y. claimed that Denio tried to drive an SUV off the lift. Soon after, he obtained a rifle from a residence. When he returned, they stated that the barrel of the rifle was making contact with the driver side window while they were sitting inside the wrecker.

Denio then shot the driver side tire and passenger side tire, deflating each, telling the victims to "drop the SUV or I'll shoot you."

Denio was released on court-ordered conditions to appear in Vermont Superior Court Criminal Division to answer to charges of aggravated assault with deadly weapon, criminal threatening, unlawful mischief; reckless endangerment; persons prohibited from possessing firearms, and aiming a gun at another person.

https://www.benningtonbanner.com/

Repo Company gets [b]Slapped with Pandemic Lawsuit

When a repossession company tried to take a car from a woman in Los Banos, Ca., not only did they leave empty handed but were later smacked with a lawsuit.

According to the suit, Jennifer Mata says two men from Four Star Recovery entered her property through a locked gate on May 22 to repossess her car, demanding she turn over her car keys.

Under state law, repossession agents cannot “breach the peace” to retrieve a vehicle, such as entering fenced-in areas or closed garages.

After she contacted the police, the police told the men they had to leave the property without the car.

In addition to unlawful entry and the emotional distress from the incident, Mata is suing for the cost of sanitizing her car, as one of the men was not wearing a protective mask or gloves upon entry to her car.

https://gvwire.com/

NH man Arrested for [b]Wielding Gun at Repo Driver

Steven Allison of Manchester, New Hampshire was arrested for wielding a gun at a tow driver after the driver tried to repossess his truck on Sunday evening, 8/23.

The tow driver reported that when he pulled up to the vehicle to tow it, Allison came outside and started yelling at him.

According to a police report, Allison allegedly pointed a gun directly at the driver and verbally threatened his partner.

The police showed up, arresting Allison and charging him with two counts of criminal threatening.

https://whdh.com/

Repo Man on Top 10 List of Best Comedies

The Criterion Collection, an American home video distribution company which focuses on licensing "important classic and contemporary films," puts Repo Man on its top 10 list of best comedies.

The film, directed by Alex Cox, follows a vehicle repossession man played by Harry Dean Stanton who recruits a renegade punk rocker (Emilio Estevez) as the two cross paths with a strange car that might have ties to alien life and outer space.

Situations involving repossessions will elicit laughs in addition to the sharp, clever dialogue.

With the off-beat characters, punk rock songs, and the subtle message of consumerism, “Repo Man still stands the test of time as one of the all-time great comedies.”

Other comedies on the list include the classic The Great Dictator and cult film The Breakfast Club.

https://screenrant.com/
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