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Mixer Mayhem

0 7816eBy Jim "Buck" Sorrenti

Doug Estes first established his business in 1978 as Doug's Exxon, operating out of a two-bay garage with one wrecker. His son Kevin joined the business in 1994, and Doug's Towing & Recovery was born. The company acquired a local towing service in 2006 and now has more than 40 units on the road every day. The Elizabethtown, Kentucky, outfit now is among the state's largest tow companies.

"On April 5, 2018, we received a call to recover a concrete mixer that had rolled over at the bottom of a hill, loaded with eight yards of concrete," said dispatcher Kaylee Simmons. "The incident happened ... about an hour's drive from our Elizabethtown location.

"The residence where this happened," she said, "is right on Nolin Lake property, so the roads are very narrow and down steep hills. The driveway was at a 70-percent grade. The manager of the concrete company called us to respond to the incident."

Kevin and shop manager Matt Corey responded with a 2008 Peterbilt 389/Century 1075 rotator and a 2001 Kenworth T600/Century 7035 SP.

"Because of the excess rain we have had, the manager asked that we respond on Friday April 6 to try and let the ground dry some," Simmons said. "In that time, the eight yards of concrete ... had hardened.

Combining the weight of the concrete and the mixer, Doug's was looking at a load of more than 50,000 lbs.

Kevin and Corey arrived on scene and first assessed the Hazmat situation. Luckily no oil or diesel fuel was spilled in the accident. They then assessed the damage done to the truck which was minimal, and began rigging.

They staged the Century 7035 SP at the top of the hill and used the side puller winches to ease the Century 1075 rotator down the 70-percent grade driveway.

"The hill was very steep, Kevin said, "with only a newly poured gravel driveway for the 75-ton rotator to dig into. The truck was rolled facing downhill, with all the concrete settled in the barrel, so we were working with all the resistance in the world to say the least."

Once the rotator was set in place, they used all five of its winches to upright the concrete mixer and adjust it in a forward position to come up the hill. The 7035 hooked to the mixer and held it steady as the rotator began to winch it up the hill.

"We were able to recover this concrete mixer with the Century 7035 holding onto the rotator to keep it from sliding down the hill," Kevin said.

The casualty was hooked onto the 1075 and towed to the concrete company located in Leitchfield, about 45 minutes from Doug's location in Elizabethtown.

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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