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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingAugust 23 - August 29, 2017

Distinct Classic from the '70s

0 975ddBy George L. Nitti

There is something that we love and appreciate about old trucks. At Stovall's in Fayetteville, Tenn., owner Bill Stovall has made it a practice to keep many of his purchased units since the founding of the company in 1968.

"We don't get rid of wreckers," he said. "I can't afford to trade them in every two or three years."

One of the units they've had for the duration is a 1973 Ford F-350 with a Century 402.

"My Dad, William David Stovall, drove it and I drove it. It's still a good truck."

This classic, amongst others they have in their fleet, has much to admire, beginning with the interesting paint scheme of dark red, poppy orange, black, yellow/gold and white.

"All of our trucks are custom painted with high quality paint and then clear-coated, waxed, cleaned and taken care of," Stovall said. "Custom paint lasts about 20 years, whereas a wrap may only give you five years."

The Stovall logo on the side door is eye-catching in an Old English font with gold leaf lettering against a black background.

"Not many people use that style of lettering, which is another reason why it stands out," he said. "People know who we are. Your tow truck is an advertising billboard. Ours promotes both our wrecker service and our body shop."

Like all advertising, slogans aid promotion. One slogan found on the back of the unit plugs their wrecker business: "Our business is picking up." The other slogan found on the front of the hood plugs their body shop: "U Wreck and We Fix 'Em."

Stovall said, "In a small town like rural Fayetteville, with a population of 10,000, it is hard to survive with one business."

In this age of disposable goods, longevity has value.

"And I figure it's got another 20 good years left," Stovall emphatically said.

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The Confidence-Builder

0 fe596By George L. Nitti

These days it is not common to find a 97,500-lbs., 85-ton rotator rambling on the road. That's partly due to the fact that after a couple of years in production, Jerr-Dan discontinued making these models with their demand diminishing due to laws regulating weight and size of trucks.

However, in Massachusetts, that was not an issue. Big Wheel Towing of East Freetown acquired their 2009 Kenworth T-800/Jerr-Dan 85-ton rotator despite those scalability issues.

"There are only a few out there," said owner Bob Fouquette, "We do a lot of front-loaded work, such as cement and rubbish trucks. It's so powerful you don't even know they are there."

With its 600-hp Cummings engine, its 18-speed transmission and five axles, the power is unparalleled.

Fouquette said, "It's a beautiful truck. It's a real confidence-builder."

The unit is one of 35 in their fleet that showcases an all-yellow background, clearly an attention grabber.

"When I first started the company 37 years ago," Fouquette said, "our first truck was a Sunbeam bread truck, which was yellow and green. So I decided that our next truck would only use one color – yellow."

What is also distinguishable is the large, reflective gold leaf decal that spans across each side of the rotator.

The company has its units wrapped, using a company out of Connecticut.

Fouquette said that the origins of the company name dates back to the company's early years, when Fouqette was renting space from Big Wheel Trucking Co., which folded its business not long into his lease.

"The company had a car dealer's license that I was also using," he said. "When they went out of business, I applied for a new one, but was informed that the locale only issued one per year. Thus, I bought the company out and started operating under their name."

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