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

Dinosaurs of the Past

0 7f51cBy George Nitti

Not many tow companies have the distinction of being in business since 1921, like Battelini's Transport and Towing in Landisville, N.J.

Starting out as a one-bay facility with one tow truck under owner Alesio Battelini during the William G. Harding presidency, they have grown their enterprise, reinventing themselves along the way. Today, they are focused on transport, medium- and heavy-duty towing, and distributing for NRC.

"We got out of the light-duty business a couple of years ago," said Albert Battelini, the third-generation tower who, along with his brother Anthony, took over the reins of the company from their father, Dominick (who is still around to help oversee things at 87). "It just wasn't profitable anymore due to the competition in this area."

They still have a vestige of their earlier light-duty towing era, a 1956 Reo tow truck.

"We used it from 1960 to 1986, and we restored it in '88," said Battelini.

In the mid-'50s, Reo was in its heyday. Distinguishing features on their all-green wrecker included the truck maker's name written in red lettering on the grille, along with its make and model, "Gold Comet 220." It features a Detroit Diesel Series 71 V-6 engine, and the scripted name "Battelini's" on the wrecker's body.

"My father built the body here in our shop," said Battelini. "It has an extendable boom, and the boom powers up and down with an electric motor. It also has 30,000-pound winch."

On the truck there is also a silhouetted brontosaurus; it's a symbol from their past when they were incorporated as a Sinclair Gas Station, whose image and colors they've adopted through the years.

"Back then, Sinclair gave us the green paint to use for our trucks. Now everything is vinyl decal work, but we've kept their colors," said Battelini. "We've also kept their company symbol, the dinosaur."

The Reo was the second classic tow truck they've restored over the years.

"We did a restoration on an earlier 1940 unit. It was a Ford with a Manley hand-crank unit that we used through 1972," said Battelini. That truck was entered in American Towman's first wrecker pageant in Baltimore in 1990.

The towing industry has advanced light years since those dinosaur days, but we have these classics around to remind us.

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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!

'The Beast'

0 be873George L. Nitti

Coming up with a strong company name to help brand it is key when establishing a business. For Margie Linville, co-owner of Revelation Diesel Repair & Towing in Rosner, N.M., their company name was changed in 2013 in part because of her connection to the Book of Revelation in the Bible.

"The Book of Revelation," said Linville, "shows the ending of all the pain and suffering in the world and the beginning of what we can't begin to imagine. As a tow company, you meet a lot of distressed people. They look to you for help. We even have a place for people to stay on our lot. With some of our customers, you form a bond."

The company name is written large, spanning across the flame-themed unit of their black 2005 Peterbilt 387/50-ton Bro Wrecker.

"It's the first wheel lift assembly on a heavy duty," said Joe, Margie's husband. "We've been told there were only 10 made. We operate it each and every day without ever a problem. It was made by a man named Hans from Sweden who now lives in Florida."

The flames are another standout feature, covering the unit and helping to add to the Revelation theme. Although some find it suggestive of hell and damnation, Margie said that was not the intention.

"I love flames," she said. "They are very catchy. Flames are about purification. Gold is heated at extremely high temperatures to bring out impurities. In God's sight we are all gold nuggets being purified."

The extended cab adds distinction; on the front end of the unit is its name, "The Beast."

Linville said, "The Beast is biblical in that it is representative of power and destruction. That power is subservient to the One in control, God, who is greater."

Brag @ TIW!
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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