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

Fostering Patriotism at Home

0 d1094By George L. Nitti

Two years ago, Carl's Towing bought J&B Towing, located in Kalama, Wash. As part of the acquisition, the company's tow trucks were thrown into the deal.

One very special truck received from the acquisition was a patriotic-themed 2001 Ford F-650/Jerr-Dan Cougar. Beautifully arrayed in the stars and stripes, the unit serves as a reminder to American values.

According to manager Debbie Bourdage, this tow truck is a source of much pride.

"We absolutely love it," she said. "We're a patriotic company. We love our community and we love showing the truck. There is not one of our guys who drives it who is not proud to drive it."

What Debbie loves about it is that it is dramatic, easily catching your attention.

"It doesn't look like it's manufactured. It doesn't need to be shined up. You can see it a mile away."

Part of the beauty of this design is that it was painted by hand, showcasing the artist's abilities. It integrates the stars on the hood with the stripes on the side in bright red, white and blue colors.

"People love it," Bourdage said. "Kids love it. It makes people feel at ease, because it is patriotic."

One of the patriotic elements that the company prides itself on is being treated well by their employer, a hallmark of Carl DeSpain's business vision 50 years ago when the company originated as a Texaco station. After he died in 2008, sons Mike and Greg took over the company and followed in their father's footsteps, promoting a positive climate for their employees to thrive and survive in.

Bourdage said, "I work for an amazing company. Carl, when he was still alive, treated me like one of his own children. He was a very kind soul—he did everything the right way. He showed us how to be the good guy.

"In our industry," she said, "we are frowned upon—but he had an amazing reputation. I now work for his sons, who took over the business before he passed. They have the same mentality as their father. Good guys to work for. I can't imagine working anywhere else."

Bourdage said, "Carl was patriotic and community-oriented. He supported the community in any way he could. We are well-respected by law enforcement and pretty much the entire community."

Fostering patriotism begins at home, where the community resides.

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 Airbrush Touch

0 0c2d7By George L. Nitti

John Riccio, owner of Max Custom Truck Lettering in Huntington, N.Y., has been putting his personal touch on tow trucks since 1970, with his airbrushing and custom paint skills.

"I'm holding out and don't want to do wraps at this stage in my life," Riccio said. "Vinyl is tough on the body. I have fun painting. It's therapeutic."

It's his customers who keep him in business, those who don't want "a clean sheet of vinyl" to wash and wax; but would rather have the "real deal."

"People really appreciate good custom work."

Tip Top Autobody, located in New Hyde, is one such recipient who has maintained their loyalty to Riccio. They used him to airbrush flames on their units including their newest one, a 2015 Kenworth T370/Jerr-Dan 25-ton wrecker.

According to owner Pat Fanning, Riccio's work is well known in the area.

"He's always painted flames for us," said Fanning. "I've liked the look of motorcycle flames, and went with his design on our trucks. To me, wraps are not as classy. Airbrushing gives it more of an authentic look."

The orange-infused flames at the front of the truck flow along the Jerr-Dan body's bright red background.

"I really like the new aluminum body of the Jerr-Dan. They have come a long way," Fanning said. "They are well-built and don't give you the corrosion problem, and you can easily transfer the body to another truck."

The name of the company, Tip Top, is airbrushed large in a clean, modern style with a complementary color scheme of chrome-silver accentuated with a blue shadow. Just under the company name is "Autobody."

Fanning said, "Although we have five tow trucks, our primary business is auto body and we wanted to advertise that."

At the back of the unit is white pinstriping, adding that special personal touch from Riccio.

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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