The Week's Features
Ceremony honored first responders in Washington, D.C.
Kids say, “Mommy and daddy look at that truck!”
Fire wipes out one of Arizona’s Gila Valley oldest buildings
Hot Shot says its product cleans, lubricates entire oil system
Rotators retrieve heavily-damaged dirt truck
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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingDecember 06 - December 12, 2017
U.S. Dept. of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao addressed towmen and other first responders at the National Traffic Incident Response Awareness Week ceremony in Washington, D.C., Nov. 16. Image -

Chao: DOT ‘Strongly Supports’ Law

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said that the U.S. Department of Transportation "strongly supports Move Over Laws in every state, as well as D.C. and Puerto Rico," in her remarks at the recent National Traffic Incident Response Awareness Week ceremony in Washington, D.C.

The ceremony, which took place November 16, was the keynote event during a week that recognized the importance of the nation's first responders and their work.

In her address, Chao cited that, as of November, 300,000 first responders nationwide have completed Traffic Incident Management Responder Training. "In addition to this training," she said, "the Move Over laws help protect first responders while on duty."

"As you know too well, your work can be dangerous," Chao said. "One of the leading causes of death and injury for emergency responders is being struck by vehicles while working alongside highways. That is also unacceptable.

"Traffic Incident Management Responder Training can help reduce that risk by focusing on quickly clearing a scene and preventing additional crashes."

She also recalled that the entire country witnessed the bravery of first responders earlier this year, when a major commuter bridge in Atlanta collapsed in a fiery accident.

"First responders rushed to the scene to clear the area before the bridge collapsed-- in rush hour no less—get the public out of harm's way, and put out the fire," Chao said. "It was a difficult and dangerous job, but the quick thinking and immediate action of the first responders prevented what could have been a terrible tragedy. Not a single life was lost. It was a tremendous achievement!"


Towman Works with IDOT for Change

Two years ago a driver for Shaner's Towing in Springfield, Illinois, was killed working roadside.

"I was there in twelve minutes from the time I got the call, so I got to see everything. He was still in the middle of the interstate. He was laying in the center lane," said Shane McDermitch, owner of Shaner's Towing.

McDermith said that phone call was something he never wants again.
Since then, he's teamed up with IDOT and now provides safety training to tow truck drivers throughout the state.

"People are just not slowing down, paying attention, they're texting. ... Trying to teach and trying to pray ... that all of our tow brothers and all of our sisters and all of our first responders always keep an eye on traffic when we're out on the interstate or any road," he said.


Worldwide Offers ‘Count’s Kustoms’ Packages

Worldwide Equipment Sales is offering exclusive Count's Kustoms Packages on its towing equipment.

The Las Vegas, Nevada, car and chopper custom-build shop Count's Kustoms, known from its popular reality TV show "Counting Cars" on the History Channel, entered into an exclusive agreement to offer a limited number of customization packages on several models of Jerr-Dan carriers and self-loaders supplied by Worldwide Equipment.

The first unit, a 2017 Ram 5500 with a Jerr-Dan 20' steel carrier, was recently delivered to their Vegas garage to begin its customization.

The finished unit will be on display at both the 2018 American Towman ShowPlace-Las Vegas (May 9-11) and be available for sale at the 2018 American Towman Exposition in Baltimore (Nov. 16-18).


Tow Company at Odds with Police

A towing company is accusing Norwalk, Connecticut, police of going too far by forcibly removing a car it towed.

Phone videos showed police using bolt cutters to open a gate at Fedor Auto Body in South Norwalk on the night of Nov. 25 to retrieve the towed car for its owner.

In the video, police accuse Fedor of price gouging—charging the car's owners an extra $150 on top of the $88 base fee. The company says the car owner paid none of it.

State DMV regulations allow for extra frees in specific circumstances, which the tow company says it met. A DMV spokesman says local police have the same authority as the DMV for enforcing statutes and regulations regarding towing.

One question in the case involves the timeline. The shop says it towed the car Nov. 24 after the supermarket had closed, but the bill says it was Nov. 25—while the store was still open.

Norwalk's police chief is personally investigating the incident.


Smart Recognized by Who's Who

Judy M. Smart, owner and president of Roadrunner Towing and Recovery in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has been recognized by Continental Who's Who as a Pinnacle Lifetime Member in the field of Transportation.

Smart's late husband, James, founded Roadrunner Towing and Recovery in 1969; she took over the business after his death in 2001. Having grown substantially under her leadership, Roadrunner has expanded into a successful fleet of 15 trucks and includes a newly opened second location.

Smart is a member of the Louisiana Motor Transport Association and the National Association of Professional Women, which recognized her as a member of the VIP Woman of the Year Circle. She dedicated the honor in loving memory of her husband.


Tow Building, Lot Lost to Fire

One of the oldest buildings in Arizona's Gila Valley is gone, following a Thanksgiving morning fire.

The Nutcracker Towing in Pima, Arizona, building and almost all the contents of its storage lot were destroyed in a fire Pima Police say they are treating as a possible arson.

Pima Police and Fire were called out to the blaze at about 2:30 a.m. Thanksgiving morning and found the building fully engulfed. The fire was contained at about 6:30 a.m.

The building and many of the vehicles were a total loss.

"It was a neat, old, old building. This was one of the older buildings in Pima," said Pima Police Chief Diane Cauthen. "They had antique stuff in the storage up front that was just amazing."

Nutcracker's tow trucks were not lost in the fire and were back at work Thanksgiving Day.

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