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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingOctober 18 - October 24, 2017

Gradall in the Ditch

0 f61ffBy Jim "Buck" Sorrenti

Jae's Towing & Recovery is a family owned and operated business based in Heath, Ohio, started by Jae Jones in 1992. His son Nick is the operations manager and rotator operator for the family business.

On Jan. 27, 2017, Jae's was called to handle a Gradall excavator recovery. This Gradall was a highway-wheeled excavator with hydraulic telescopic boom and a total weight of between 41,000 lbs. and 44,000-lbs.

"The Gradall was trying to get over to avoid a collision with a car passing by," Nick said. "After a heavy rain, the ground was very soft. He got over too far and just getting off the side he got sucked right into the ditch.

"He attempted to drive out of the ditch, but was unsuccessful and ended up ramping a driveway, knocking out the steer axle along with its front suspension and one rear tire. No injuries were sustained."

Nick responded in his 2016 Kenworth T880/Century 1150 50-ton rotator. When he arrived, he found the Gradall was up against a tree and still in the ditch under phone and cable lines.

"To keep from damaging the yard any further and to stay off of the Gradall boom, I decided to use my eliminator bridal to grab the nose of the Gradall and allow myself to be around and over the boom to lift it up," Nick said.

Nick also hooked his DP 50,000-lbs. drag winch down low to pull the nose back to the roadway as he lifted and swung the unit.

"Once on the asphalt, I winched it another five to six feet forward so I could hook to it for transport," Nick said. "Once hooked for transport, I towed the unit back to the Highway Department's building so they could fix their crashed unit. It was a tight squeeze under the phone and cable lines, but the Century 1150 got it done."

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Do you have a recovery to share with TIW readers? Send some pics and info to our Field Editor Jim "Buck" Sorrenti at; your story may even be selected for print in American Towman magazine!
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