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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingJune 21 - June 27, 2017

Wrecker with Western Aura

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By George L. Nitti

If you look at some tow trucks long enough, you may make all kinds of associations. A&D Towing's 50-ton wrecker reminds me of a stagecoach pulled by a powerful team of horses.

A&D, located in Jersey City and Little Ferry, N.J., has been around since the early '70s, when owner Don Francis started working with his father and then later added his first tow truck sometime around '79 or '80.

"I sold my '76 Cadillac Coupe Deville for $2,800," Francis said, "and bought a tow truck with the money. My father was in the gas station business and I started towing with him, doing motor clubs."

Perhaps it's the classic Peterbilt design that gives this truck, a 2010 Peterbilt with a Vulcan V-100 50-ton integrated, its Western aura.

"Its three-stage boom is not typical," said Francis' son Ryan. "I use it to do recovery work in a tight spot. It's a great truck if you need extra reach."

The graphic design on this unit, like the others in their fleet, stands out for its excellence and uniformity.

"This truck was custom painted and lettered by Carcraft Truck Works in Staten Island," said Ryan.

Several areas of this unit are noteworthy, such as how well the graphic work is integrated, creating interesting contrast from colors to lettering.

The primary colors of the truck itself, red, yellow and robin blue, all hand-painted and then clear-coated. On top of those primary colors sit the large superb logo, consisting of modern lettering and a much different color schematic: a gradation of browns, chrome and blues. They integrate and blend well with the primary colors of the truck.

"Our logo A&D is meant to look like chrome. It was an old-school way of painting chrome," said Ryan.

Of primary consideration for the company is that their simple and clear lettering can be seen while they are driving 65 mph on the road.

"Our big thing," said Ryan, "is that less is more. We don't want anything on the truck that will detract from that objective."

On the boom are the words: "We Tow the Line."

"That was an expression my father used back in the day," said Ryan.

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