The Week's Features
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

Fighting Back with The Dragonator

0 da319By George Nitti

At the Wisconsin Tow Show on Father's Day weekend, Prairie Land Towing's 2008 Kenworth T800/Century 1075 caught the eye with its bold multicolored dragon enveloping the truck from front to back and top to bottom.

Although it was purchased in 2008 from Zips of New Hampton, Iowa, its graphics were recently redone just in time for the show.

Todd Menzel, who owns the company with his brother Tim and mother, Jeanne, said, "Over the last few years we have been wrapping our trucks differently. We have our own graphics company, Menzel Signs and Graphics, so we do everything in-house."

The colorful dragon on a rotator, aptly called the "Dragonator," is a departure from the company's graphics of the past when the image of a bulldog pervaded their trucks. The change is part of the company's ongoing strategy to promote its growth. Since taking over the company from their father, who started it in 1984 and passed away in 1993, the family has grown the business from two trucks to more than 100, opening up six locations, with its primary headquarters in Sun Prairie, Wis.

"I've been in a growth pattern my whole life," said Menzel, "by procuring government and city contracts and adding good employees, some of whom have been with us since the beginning. You can't build the business by yourself. People build the business by driving it in the right direction.

"You also have to be willing to change," he said. "We have iPads on all of our equipment, have been paperless since 2011, and have become more efficient and quicker."

When asked if the dragon served as a symbol, Menzel responded, "It doesn't necessarily tie-in; but you want to fight back when the industry beats you down. It's a tough business. It's one of the hardest industries to survive because it's very demanding. So maybe the dragon is a metaphor that we will fight back when cornered. Good towing companies will fight back. In the words of Doc (D.J.) Harrington: 'Tough times never last. Tough people do.' "

Regardless of the dragon's larger meanings, one thing remains firmly rooted. It's a memorial, on all of their trucks, that states: "In Loving Memory of Dad."

No doubt Dad was looking down proudly during the Father's Day weekend show.

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Making a 'Bold' Statement

0 58c4bBy George L. Nitti

"It is terrifying to see cars whizzing by on the interstate and getting close to hitting our tow trucks," said Maggie Ramos, co-owner of Sunshine Towing of Miami, Florida. "It's truly frightening. So many towers are getting hurt and killed."

That's why Maggie and her husband, Alex, dedicated their 2016 Freightliner/Chevron 16-ton to bringing greater awareness to the Move Over law.

Sending a bold message, the unit stands out both in style and purpose.

First are the striking yellow and orange colors that pop out, giving accent to the main message: Move Over.

Adding further flavor to the design is the gray background that includes a pattern that Ramos describes as "coming out of the street, almost like pavement."

When she and her husband started the company in 1992, they sat around their living room considering a name for their company and settled on Sunshine Towing. The name led to a design that incorporated those hot, eye-catching colors of yellow and orange that can only be synonymous with the sun.

The orange and yellow lines cascade down from the front end of the unit, sweeping across its side and flowing to the central message of "Move Over." Another sweeping arrow points to the words, "It's the Law," written in white.

The wrap, executed by Kauffs Signs and Banners of Palm Beach, Florida, is easy for all to read and see.

"It's a head-turner," Ramos said. "It only has 4,000 miles on it. We use it for special events and specialty calls. One of the events that we help sponsor is called 'Towers with a Heart,' a yearly golf tournament in May that raises money to bring awareness and educate the public about the law, in part through creating more signage with the message on the interstate."

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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