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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingOctober 17 - October 23, 2018

Tough Pull from a Tight Spot

0 b74a6by Jim "Buck" Sorrenti

Advanced Towing & Recovery, in Honolulu, Hawaii, was founded in 2002. Company owner Kenneth Tom has three employees, all are trained and certified professionals with credentials from WreckMaster, TRAA and the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators.

On Oct. 1, Advanced was called to recover a loaded mixer that had rolled over on a house the day before. A third concrete truck was backing into the job site when the retaining rock wall failed. The mixer rolled over onto an adjacent house.

Another tow company first got called out to recover the mixer and ended up cutting the truck in half. They called a crane company who went out to assess the situation and then the crane company called Advanced.

"This was my 2 a.m. wake-up call on Sunday morning," said operations manager Al Pico. "The first tow company tried to recover it by cutting the truck in half behind the cab and couldn't remove the rear section. It was a 2016 model. Fifteen hours later, they threw in the towel and we got the call."

"I went out to survey the scene and almost was going to turn down the job because it wasn't our account," Tom said. "The overturned cement mixer was loaded with nine yards of concrete ... 36,000 pounds in the drum. The crane company was unable to provide a solution, so at that point I figured what the heck, they have no options, let's get it done."

After his site walks were completed, he called in and Advanced dispatched their equipment.

"I dispatched our 2004 Kenworth T800 with an NRC 50/65 Sliding Rotator, (a) 2008 NRC 60/60 HIM, and a 2012 F-350 service truck," Tom said. "Myself, Operations Manager Al Pico, Jimmy Bloomer, and Shane Fujiwara were the recovery team. Jimmy drove the 50/65 to the scene and helped rig. Al drove the HIM to the scene. Shane and I brought the service truck."

"I took the pictures," Fujiwara said. "I also helped rig, set up and break down the gear. I get called out on these interesting jobs."

"It was a tough pull," Tom said. "It was loaded (which) made it heavy, plus (we) couldn't really get a good angle on it due to the proximity of neighboring houses, driveways, etc., which made it all the more difficult to get it up the slope.

"Plus, the drum was over center and laying on the wall of the house. The house actually stopped it from sliding further down. The house was already damaged and possibly shifted because the occupants saw interior cracking. We damaged the roof eave during the recovery, but that was explained on my survey and walk through."

Tom primarily ran the HIM and then switched to the 50/65 when they re-rigged to support the drum and move the casualty further out into the street. Pico then took the HIM controls for the final drag. Tom took back the HIM controls for the uprighting maneuver.

"Basically I rigged to 'push' it out with the drag winch," Tom said, "(tried to) get it steered uphill with the auxiliary winches (with) one main and the other main supporting the drum.

"I have an awesome team. Our team came up with a solid plan, we rigged it and recovered it as planned. Seven hours later and it was out! Great job Al Pico, Jimmy Bloomer and Shane Fujiwara!"

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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