The Week's Features
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August 17-19, 2017
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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingJune 21 - June 27, 2017

Techno Green Machine

0 6bf31By George L. Nitti

At last year's Tow Industry Week during the American Towman ShowPlace-Las Vegas, one of the tow trucks that garnered recognition was Phoenix Metro Towing's 2000 International 940i/Century 7035 with a RXP 850 Side-Puller. The green wrecker is wrapped in tribal flames and contains sections of techno gadgetry.

"We started out wanting the truck to look like Optimus Prime from the movie 'Transformers,' but ended up deviating from that concept, instead making it look like a powerful machine," said Owner Shawn McGregor.

The old school gadgets that are integrated across the truck as part of its design, like push buttons at the front of the truck, the two light gauges and barometer on the tunnel box, the jet turbos on the back, along with the funky techno imagery on the body, are easily mistaken for the real thing. Upon closer inspection, one realizes it is merely an artist's rendering of these devices that makes them appear so true to life.

"When we first bought it, it was all orange. We gutted and refurbished it with graphic designer Paul Sabastian of Brand Smith spending three months working on this wrap. It's really been worth it though, as the truck gets so much attention wherever we take it," McGregor said.

Outside of winning Best in Show at the American Towman Cup pageant in Las Vegas, it has received other awards, been utilized in commercials by Rigid Off Road Lighting, and is frequently a participant in First Responder and other special events throughout the area.

Enjoying the publicity, McGregor said he has further plans for the unit, one of which is to continue evolving its machine-like persona.

"I put a lot of money on these trucks and we're not done with this one. The interior is being done all over as we are embedding frames to go along with the wrapped dash and bright green steering wheel. You've got to see it."

Treating it like many of the high-end and collectible vehicles he helps transport, like the original Bat Mobile, Jeff Gordon's race car, and even the hearse that carried JFK's body from Washington, D.C. to Air Force One, it is no wonder that McGregor doesn't allow anyone else to drive his truck, pampering his baby so it doesn't get damaged or scratched up.

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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!

Creative Rundown, Rusted-Out Wrap

0 359faBy George L. Nitti

When it comes to creativity, sometimes a great idea is hard to come by. This was the case for Bruce Johnson, owner of Johnson's Heavy Towing in Flagstaff, Ariz., when trying to find the perfect graphic design for his 2017 Kenworth T880/Century 5130.

It took awhile for him to find the direction he wanted to go.

"A couple of years ago, I was introduced to wraps at one of the tow shows I attended," Johnson said. "A wrap really appealed to me as I saw that they can put a nice finish on a truck for a lot less than custom paint.

"When I bought the truck, I wanted to put a fancy wrap on it, but was never really satisfied with the designs I was seeing. So I left our truck unwrapped for almost a year."

He had some ideas about things he liked, such as old rat rods he had seen on his way home from work. Then he started working with a graphic designer that he found online who helped channel this artistic vision.

Another source of inspiration was the famous and historic Route 66, a tourist destination where one will find special events, hot rod shows, vintage vehicles and old shutdown truck stops along the way.

There is something unique in the rundown and rusted-out; in this special wrap, that vision is captured. The core background is of a vintage truck in patina covered in rivets. The metal of the unit appears as rusting and in some places cut out, and flaking terribly.

On the side of the unit, the washed-out company name is written in aqua wedged between an old antique arrow sign.

"This is one of those vehicles you need to see up close," Johnson said. "That way you can see the burned-out and smoking light bulbs of the sign. The details are great."

The driver of the truck, Joseph "Jody" Cowsert, concurred about the slow process it took for the design to come together.

"Johnson wanted something unique and different," Cowsert said.

Cowsert also played a creative role in the design process, contributing the copper plating found on the grill, the shields on the exhaust, the wheel simulators and the bezels that go around the lights.

"[Johnson] called me one day and told me were going to offset in copper. With the copper plating it adds a whole lot more to it," Cowsert said.

"Every time we take it anywhere, there are 30 to 50 people taking pictures of it," Johnson proudly said.

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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