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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingJanuary 17 - January 23, 2018

Dump Dilemma in Jersey

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by Jim "Buck" Sorrenti

Nick's Towing Service in Rutherford, N.J., was founded by Nicholas Testa in 1972 and now runs 30 pieces of equipment serving 48 states.

In January 2016, Nick's was called by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to recover a dump truck body on the New Jersey Turnpike.

"The gentleman driving what's left of this dump truck made the unfortunate error of leaving the dump body up after leaving a construction zone he was working in on the New Jersey Turnpike," Testa said. "The dump body struck the overpass sign and knocked the body clear off the truck and onto the highway upside down.

"The nose of the truck came up when the body hit the steel sign," he said. "When the body broke off and the chassis slammed back down, it pushed the driver into the steering wheel cracking his ribs; but he was able to drive the damaged cab and chassis to the shoulder."

Testa arrived in his 2007 Peterbilt/Century 1075 75-ton rotator. General Manager John Ely was in Nick's Volvo sleeper hauling a Landoll trailer to recover the dump body. Operator Artie Robert was in their emergency response van and operator Adam Lagarra drove out in their Peterbilt with a Challenger 35-ton wrecker.

When the dump body was knocked off of the chassis, it landed half in the slow lane and half in the shoulder. A construction company bucket loader on scene had pushed it to the shoulder to free-up the slow lane.

Testa staged the Century 75-ton rotator in the dirt alongside of the dump body that was still lying upside down and now in the shoulder lane. He ran two cable lines from the rotator to the sides of the dump body. With the rigging complete, the 'tator lifted one end of the dump body while the Landoll trailer backed under it. It was loaded and strapped down.

The tailgate had been knocked completely off the dump body when it ran into the steel overpass sign and was lying in the road. Nick's crew rigged it with a strap hooked to a line from the rotator and it was lifted onto the Landoll trailer bed as well.

While 35-ton was hooking up the dump truck cab and chassis, they ran a line to the body through a snatch block to bend the piston down to a safe height for transport.

"The last problem," Testa said, "was that the piston was stuck in the air close to 16-feet high and we wanted to get it down before transporting it back to our yard. After we loaded it up, we drove the Landoll into a police U-turn turnaround to press the piston down. We used the rotator boom to bend the piston down to a safe height for transport and re-secured it."

They transported the dump truck cab, chassis and the dump body back to their storage facility where they were offloaded and secured until the insurance company could send an adjuster.

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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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