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But New York State towmen vow to continue fight
The severity of the damage made this a difficult recovery
Company name starts the creative process for graphics company
New Justice Gorsuch renders first opinion in ruling
IQV20 kits designed to provide versatility
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August 17-19, 2017
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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingJune 21 - June 27, 2017

City, State
Sheridan, IN
(Pop. 2,665)
Eastsound, WA
(Pop. 4,500)
Blackwood, NJ
(Pop. 4,545)
Byron, GA
(Pop. 2,887)
Light-Duty nonconsensual tow rates as provided by Police Towers of America.

Is Good Enough Good Enough

2 71fd1By Don G. Archer

We heat our home with propane gas. The local gas company drops by and fills our tank a couple times per year. The process is simple: the truck driver pulls into the driveway and runs a 4' hose to the tank. He then lifts the round metal helmet that covers the gauge and fill nozzle, secures the hose to the nozzle and begins pumping in the gas. Once completed, he removes the hose and closes the helmet thus protecting the gauge and fill nozzle from the harsh elements.

Recently, a bush that had grown up next to the tank encroached too far into the tank's space. When the last driver attempted to close the helmet over the gauge, a small limb prevented it from latching properly.

About two months later during a snowstorm, I noticed the obstruction. I removed the 1/2"-diameter limb and secured the helmet properly. Later that week I grabbed my pruning shears and remedied the problem for good.

While I understand that pruning the bush is my responsibility, I want to make one, seemingly small point about the driver's behavior and my interpretation of it. It would have been just as easy for him to take two seconds more and move the limb to the side, so that he could properly secure the latch ... but he failed to do it. It may have been a passive-aggressive attempt to get me to trim the bush or it could have been because he just didn't care.

When given the opportunity to respond to a questionnaire, leave a review or make a choice about future purchases, customers may not remember all the good things you did for them; but you can bet they'll remember if you didn't care.

As an employer how do you get your employees to care?

You already know that for your business to grow and thrive you need to impress upon your employees the need to provide exceptional customer service. When on the phone you want smiling, empathetic voices talking to your customers, not grouchy, detached people who would rather be texting or looking at Facebook. At the point of sale, such as roadside or at one of the local repair shops, you want tucked-in shirts and clean-shaven faces—not renegades who do their own thing when you're not watching.

If you're like most of us, you've made many attempts to inject caring into your employees but have missed the mark—many times. After doing so you've indulged in excuses to make yourself feel better. The reason you can't find or nurture exceptional, caring employees is because "these young kids just don't care anymore," or "their parents must have spoiled them."

The truth is caring starts at the top.

The real reason why employers have a hard time finding quality employees is because we're not looking for individuals we can bring into the fold. We've been jaded so many times by what we term as bad seeds so we hold employees at arm's length. Rather than being full of potential, we see them as future ex-employees.

Think about when you are with your friends. You talk about stuff that not only matters to you, but you also listen to what matters to them and you truly care about how they are doing in their lives. In the role of employer we fail to care as much, even though we spend more time with our employees than with our friends.

If the propane delivery driver felt that his employer truly cared about him and his life, maybe he would care more about the people he serves. In turn, those people would remain loyal customers, helping the company to grow. This is neither a transactional, or reciprocal relationship, it's a caring relationship; it starts at the top.

American Towman Field Editor-Midwest Don G. Archer is also a multi-published author, educator and speaker helping others to build and start successful towing businesses around the country at Don and his wife, Brenda, formerly owned and operated Broadway Wrecker in Jefferson City, Mo. E-mail him direct at

Do You See the Light?

Flare 0 9d3b7By Randall C. Resch

Part of tow operator survival says that training isn't necessarily the key issue why towers are being killed, but how tow company owners and towers themselves approach survival and safety with blindfolded eyes. It wasn't until I was struck while outside my tow truck on a recovery during an El Nino rainstorm that I gained a mentality of tow operator survival. I guess pain sometimes is a powerful motivator.

In light of several tow operators killed on dark rural highways, many towmen feel that more should be done to eliminate them. However, adding streetlights to millions of miles of darkened stretches of America's highways will never happen.

Since data proves that a high-percentage of tow operator crashes and fatalities happen during night hours, brightly identifying the scene with flares make most sense and is very simple to deploy. What fascinates me is flares are hardly, if ever, used. Making the excuse that it takes too long to set up or they're too expensive is crap reasoning as far as I'm concerned. The investment in a case of flares is chump-change vs. losing a driver.

While I like the idea of having a blocker truck on-scene, look at the history of having either a blocker truck or other police vehicle on-scene. Somehow, distracted motorists continuously crash into the blocker truck or police vehicles.

Let these lessons lead us to a smarter way of defending our actions other than doing nothing at all.

You're not going to eliminate distracted or intoxicated drivers, but a proactive stance may save your company's hide somewhere down the road. If you look at the majority of tow operator fatalities, there are a gigantic number of reported fatalities where NO flares, cones or traffic controls were present. This isn't rocket science, but it requires a change in survival mentality.

At the very minimum, do something to illuminate your presence and STOP THINKING that the motoring public is going to move over for you. Flares, cones, ANSI III vests, blocker trucks, colored lightbars, police on-scene—they're nothing more than a false sense of security. Why should you trust your lives to nothing more than a placebo to distracted motorists?

I honestly don't understand a tow company owner that says, "It's gonna cost me more dollars to staff that tow truck with extra flares,"—but isn't that something owners should be doing in the first place to save lives? Owners, aren't you responsible to provide all necessary safety equipment to protect the wellbeing of your employees?

What safety-specific directions do you mandate that you're tow operators follow? Should you not be directing and leading your operators to smarter techniques and methods? I believe you owe your tow operators the ability to go home safely to their families every single night; not die in some unfortunate accident on some dark rural highway. Even going as far as wearing a $15 red, strobe LED light provides some additional level of safety beyond nothing at all.

I'm convinced that towers across America don't prepare themselves to take on a defensive state-of-mind, and they settle with a, "Ho-hum, it's never happened to me before," attitude. If you're not aware of what's going on in the towing and recovery industry, we ARE under fire from America's motorists ... and it's a battle that we're certainly losing.

Randall Resch is American Towman's and Tow Industry Week's Operations Editor, a former California police officer, tow business owner and retired civilian off-road instructor for Navy Special Warfare. Randall is an approved instructor for towers serving the California Highway Patrol's rotation contract. His course is approved by the California law enforcement community. He has written over 500 industry-related articles for print and on-line, and is a member of the International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame.
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