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

Overpass Smash

0 81bf3By Jim "Buck" Sorrenti

William "Bill" R. Rempfer Sr. and his wife, Cheryl, opened DeFalco's Automotive and Towing in Chatham, New Jersey, in 1994. In 2007, Bill and Cheryl moved to Surfside Beach, South Carolina, where they built their second successful location of DeFalco's Automotive. Bill passed away last November, but Cheryl and sons Bill Jr. and Adam carry on the family business

On July 28, DeFalco's received a call from the New Jersey State Police Somerville Barracks to respond to a dump truck that hit the overpass with his box up.

"They told us it was a big mess, but no injuries," Adam said.

DeFalco's sent operator Joseph Giacomaro in a 2016 Ford F-550/16-ton Chevron Renegade to assess the scene with the state police, DOT, and fire personnel.

"He surveyed the scene and found a severely damaged 'MT' dump truck with the front axle pushed back, its left front wheel ripped off, the dump body up in air, the body lift cylinder torn off the mounts and bent, with oil and fluids leaking," Adam said.

"It was facing the wrong way while against the jersey barrier closing all travel lanes of traffic eastbound," he said. "Joe immediately took control of the scene and dispatched out the necessary manpower and equipment to handle the job."

DeFalco's dispatched their veteran Level 3 Heavy Recovery Specialist Kenny Reinhardt; Adam in a 2017 Kenworth/40-ton NRC slider; Bill Jr. in their 2017 Kenworth/50-ton NRC sliding rotator; operator Tony Bolden in their 2016 International/Chevron 21' flatbed; and Greg Hoeker, who assisted with the rigging and clean up.

"We determined that the easiest way to handle this recovery was to first cut the damaged lift cylinder from the dump body and then winch the truck around so as to open up at least two lanes for traffic to flow by slowly," Adam said.

The NRC slider was used to winch the truck around and into only the left lane. Once there, the NRC rotator was backed into place and the boom was raised and rotated over the dump body. The body was then lifted back onto the chassis rails of the truck. Straps were run over the entire body and secured to the frame rails.

While this was being done, other members of the team manually released the maxi brakes, drained the remaining oil from the crankcase and secured all loose items on the truck.

With the 50-ton NRC sliding rotator, Bill Jr. towed the severely damaged dump truck from the scene.

"My dad would be extremely proud of us," Adam said.

Show Yours @ TIW
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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