The Week's Features
They’ll cost one Oregon towman $42,000 each to get rid of them
Do you have the certifications required for commercial use?
Law imposes new disclosure requirements on auto lenders
Design was quite different from what was expected
Cleaners for mud, engines and glass available in spray cans
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In his seminar, “Avoiding Job-Related Health Hazards ,” Troy Auto Care Owner Don K. Hudson will present a power point presentation and lead a discussion on the dangers of blood borne pathogens, being stuck with sharp objects and the crisis of being exposed to Fentanyl while doing a job. Join Hudson for this important session taking place at the American Towman Exposition, November 16, at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Maryland.
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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingOctober 17 - October 23, 2018
Former tow operator Chris Moore coordinated the stop for the Spirit Ride in Decatur, Illinois, Oct. 10. Moore was injured on I-72 on Feb. 19, 2017. Image - Jim Bowling Photos, Decatur (Illinois) Herald & Review.

Spirit Ride Stops at [b]Progress City USA

Nearly two years have passed since Chris Moore was struck by a car while working on I-72 in Illinois. Despite hardships, Moore has worked to become a vocal advocate for road safety.

Moore said the Spirit Ride not only aims to encourage drivers to follow Move Over laws when driving, but also honors tow truck operators and first responders who have been killed in the line of duty.

"The public needs to understand that first responders are people," he said. "They have a job, they go to work and they want to go home. To me, this (event) is acknowledging them and saying 'Thank you for what you are.' "

Moore teamed up with Billingsley Service Center and Towing, where he worked before the crash, and Richard's Towing to coordinate the Spirit Ride's stop in Decatur.

The Spirit Ride will roam the roads of Ohio and Pennsylvania next week, making stops at the following locations: Quality Towing & Equipment Moving; West Chester, Ohio (Oct. 17); World Truck Towing and Pine Tree Towing in Columbus, Ohio (Oct. 18); Valley Towing; Lucas, Ohio (Oct. 19); Akron Coach Towing; Akron, Ohio (Oct. 20); C&C Towing; Hubbard, Ohio (Oct. 23); McGann & Chester Towing & Recovery; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Oct. 24); and Gombach Towing; Claridge, Pennsylvania, (Oct. 25)

Source:, AT staff.

ESTRA to Host [b]Move Over Day

The Empire State Towing and Recovery Association and AAA Hudson Valley will host a public awareness event on National Move Over Day, Oct. 20, at the Taft Furniture parking lot in Albany, New York, starting at 10 a.m.

The event will feature a reception where attendees will be able to interact with drivers and specialty vehicles. It will conclude with a procession of first responders, tow trucks and maintenance vehicles that will travel throughout the surrounding area. Contact ESTRA at 888-853-7872 for more details.

Source: ESTRA.

Abandoned Homes are a Headache

There are currently 15 old, broken down or otherwise uninhabitable motor homes parked at Charley Richmond's two-acre tow yard in Springfield, Oregon. It will cost Richmond $42,000 to get rid of them.

That's because the disposal and labor rates for dealing with bio-hazards—such as bodily fluids, hypodermic needles and asbestos—come at a high price. And it all comes out of Richmond's pocket and those of other tow company owners like him.

"We've had to go to our clients and say, 'Hey, we love our contracts and the work, but financially, this is where we're at. You guys are drowning us with these motorhomes and these problems,' " said Richmond.

Richmond is working on a proposal to the city of Springfield to ask for help through a possible voucher system or other reimbursement program to help offset the costs private tow company owners are having to pay to dispose of a community problem.

"I'm in support of some sort of voucher process," McKee said, so tow companies "don't end up having to bear the financial burden when they are doing us a public service."

Oregon Tow Truck Association past-President Jason Shaner said the association is working with the Oregon Department of Justice and Oregon State Police, "and many other concerned groups on this massive problem and hopes to soon have a solution in the works."

"It's obviously a big issue," Richmond said. "Ninety percent of these are dilapidated, not safe, no insurance, not roadworthy. And people are leaving these all over the place. Private property owners don't want them in their parking lots because of the hazards — they're leaking, there is sewage. So we get stuck with them. ... "


High Point to Start Towing Junk Cars

High Point, North Carolina, will start towing away junk cars from private properties Jan. 1, 2019. Abandoned cars are not allowed to sit at residences in the city limits.

The city council passed an ordinance in 2017, allowing the city to tow abandoned cars from residences.

"It would be in violation of city ordinance if it's partially dismantled or wrecked, does not display a current license tag, cannot be self-propelled," said Lori Loosemore, High Point code enforcement manager.

The city is in the process of hiring a tow company.


Author Looks at Highway Deaths

Jesse Sensibar spent most of his working life as a towman and said the job was "constantly surrounded by sudden, tragic loss of life."

"In my career in towing, you become the keeper of the physical space sometimes in which people die," he said. "You go out on a fatality accident, and you end up with the vehicle, the literal space in which ... somebody or more than one somebody ... has lost their life. In addition, you also see some pretty awful things, some things that are hard to forget, perhaps impossible to forget."

Often at the locations of the accidents, Sensibar would later see makeshift shrines and memorials pop up with images, objects and stories attached to them, connections to people lost.

"They weren't just these weird distractions on the road. I mean to some people they're just a distraction, and to other people, they're kind of folk art," said Sensibar. "But to me, they really came to have kind of a profound meaning."

In 2005 he began documenting the shrines, posting photos and short descriptions of them on Facebook. Along with a collection of 10 short stories and non-fiction vignettes, Sensibar compiled the posts in his first book, "Blood in the Asphalt: Prayers from the Highway."

In the book Sensibar doesn't necessarily give these shrines a second life so much as simply a nod to their existence, an "I see you" to the lives lost along the highway. He wears the weight of the things he's seen and the deaths he's been involved in.

"I've seen things and have been involved in things that won't ever leave me," said Sensibar. "And I think part of it is about trying to attach some meaning to it and some value to it and part of it is about trying to make some peace with it in my own mind."


STA Academy: [b]Watch Out for Deer!

In a press release from the Statewide Towing Association Academy, the number of deer-related vehicle accidents are soaring, and swerving to avoid hitting a deer is the culprit in many accidents.

According to information the academy cites from Claims Journal, if your truck swerves to avoid a deer and strikes an oncoming vehicle or even has a single-vehicle accident that precipitates a secondary accident, your company could be held liable.

The safest and most prudent course of action when faced with a deer is to slow down as much as possible and let your vehicle strike the deer. Do not swerve, the STA Academy advised. They also suggest establishing training and a company policy to address the issue.

Source: STA.
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