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Tow Expo Dallas' winning trucks are highlighted
Towman Scott Shover is being called "a guardian angel"
Redi-Letters' lighted signs easily mount on wreckers
Suspending auto repos of clients impacted by Hurricane Harvey
Or, do government controls actually work?
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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingSeptember 20 - September 26, 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!

Here Comes the Bull

By George L. Nitti

In Fontana, California, Toro Towing has built up a large presence, due in part to the high demand for towing services that stems from heavy congestion in the region.

"Fontana is called the 'City of Trucks,' " said Toro owner Juaquin Conchas. "In a one-mile radius, there are 20 dealerships."

High demand alone, however, is not enough to sustain or grow a business. It takes a tough owner like Conchas to guide the ship with a sense of direction and perhaps a streak of stubbornness.

He admits that he has such a streak.

"When I want something, I'm going to get it," Conchas said.

Thus "Toro," which means bull, is a fitting name for the company that Conchas started from scratch 15 years ago.

The bull serves as its logo, where it's strength stands out on all of their units, such as their 2014 Peterbilt 388/Century 40-ton rotator.

"People take pictures of it all of the time," Conchas said, "When I helped design the graphics, I wanted it to be seen from a distance."

He said that was a big reason for the red, white, black and silver color scheme he chose for the company colors.

The red and black colors naturally pop against the unit's white background. They serve as the primary formations that streak and zigzag across the unit's side, adding an abstract dimension that underpins the fury-enflamed, nostril-flaring, teeth-bearing portraiture of the bull.

The metallic silver that accentuates the truck's backside helps to showcase the company name and phone number.

There is no problem seeing these graphics from a distance, including the boom, which reinforces the company name.

The unit, rewrapped because of damage, was picked up at the American Towman ShowPlace and Exposition a few years back, one of several that Conchas has purchased.

"We have three more on the way," he said. "I work as hard as I do because I don't want to lose what I have. I want to keep on growing."

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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