The Week's Features
New series focused on individuals in the state’s towing industry
Company produces new towing transporter
Virginia repo agent receiving outpouring of support
Company’s “billboard and image” roams the expansive West
Self-built carrier gets one from 150’ down a hill
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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingJanuary 17 - January 23, 2018

Markings of a Classic

0 5d586By George L. Nitti

Chester's Heavy Duty Towing and Recovery, a third-generation owned company based in Port Washington, N.Y., prides itself as being "old school."

"This is where it all started," manager Vinnie Brower said. "We've been in business since 1926, starting out as a highway garage when Jimmy Chester founded it. At first he was the only one around. He came over from Italy, changing his name from 'Chesteria.' Then his son Bob took it over followed by his daughter and son-in-law, Tara Chester and Robert Hehn."

The first company in the area to have a hydraulic heavy-duty wrecker, Chester's "old school" roots are reflected in several of their custom-painted units, one of which is a 1991 International 2674/25-ton NRC. It has all of the markings of a classic.

A key distinguishing "classic" attribute is the unit's unique flat front grill and hot rod-like hood.

"It was custom made, more or less," Brower said. "We are tow truck guys. We take pride in our style. It's the kind of thing we like to do. It's our niche. That's why on our other trucks we have tributes to 9/11 and our colors are red, white and blue."


The International model has been a long-standing loyalty as well.

Brower said, "All of our trucks come from Syosset Trucks which is an International distributor. Back in the day the International was able to take a beating. They have good durability."

The fact that the truck is hand-painted also projects more of that "classic" feel.

"A good friend hand-painted it. We haven't gotten into wraps maybe because we're an older company," Brower said.

The classic paint scheme in red, white and blue is punctuated by the company name in gold, shadowed with a dark tone. Running along the bottom sides of the unit are flames with a symbolic tow chain.

The most surprising feature, however, is found on the back of the unit, where a creative outburst of coloring and design smacks you to attention.

Brower said, "You have to see it to believe it."

Brag @ TIW! Should your truck be featured here? Send a few pics and your contact information to the editor at bdooley@towman.com. You might even be selected to go in print, too, in American Towman magazine!
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The Bandit

0 d58c6By George L. Nitti

In the cowboy country of Idaho, don't be surprised to find outlaws and bandits still running the roads.
At Hendrickson's Recovery Team of Idaho Falls, Idaho, the company prides itself on making themselves "wanted," clearly advertising who they are and creating a memorable impression.

Their latest acquisition is called "The Bandit," a Freightliner with a Century 5130 body, purchased from Wasatch Truck Equipment of Salt Lake City, Utah. Once delivered and lettered in reflective vinyl, The Bandit was running the roads, including a 650-mile trek to Las Vegas, where it won the American Towman Cup for Best of Show at last year's American Towman ShowPlace.

"We thought it was a good truck to represent Idaho," said co-owner James Hendrickson. "There are a lot of cowboys here. We have two other trucks like 'The Bandit.' One is called 'The Outlaw,' the other, 'Bandito.' "

Living in the expansive Wild West where ranching is a way of life for many, the company is often recovering vehicles from the wide open spaces of Montana, Wyoming and Utah.

Hendrickson said, "We've got 30,000 miles on the 'Bandit' and it's not even a year old."

The central image of a bandit is found on the cab of the unit: a notorious looking fellow with a Fu Manchu-like mustache wearing a cowboy hat.

"The design was created by the very talented David Stratton of I.F. Signs of Idaho Falls," Hendrickson said.

What helps make the unit memorable are the understated olive green and yellow flames that blend perfectly with the image of the bandit while complementing the unit's black background and white lettering.

The oversized lettering on the side stands out in square fonts and flourishing strokes.

Hendrickson said, "We were going for something bold and big."

On the boom is "Towing the line since '69," representing the nearly 50 years in business when James' father Ron started the company.

"It's a billboard and our image," Hendrickson said. "All our trucks get washed at least once a week. I want people to ride in a truck I'd want my family hopping into."

Brag @ TIW! Should your truck be featured here? Send a few pics and your contact information to the editor at bdooley@towman.com . You might even be selected to go in print, too, in American Towman magazine!
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