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Homemade wrecker promotes pride of ownership
Dual operating box, other features standout on new carrier
Author of book on towman highway memorials up for Viola Award
Tractor-trailer with an 80,000-lbs. concrete beam rolled-over
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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingJanuary 16 - January 22, 2019
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Hot 'Tator

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By George L. Nitti

With locations in Hampton and Chesapeake, Virginia, Tidewater Express has been working on a makeover of its fleet, changing up their graphics to realistic flames.

Fleet Operations Manager Billy Kaplan, who credits COO Jaime Hobbs with the revamping of equipment and graphics, said, "The modernization helps bring in new customers while attracting new employees. Our new employees love the look of the trucks. We give them rollbacks. Since they will be driving them, it also gives them pride."

Their 2018 Peterbilt 389/Century 1150 rotator exemplifies the company's shift to a newer style, where the flames cover a good portion of the chassis and extend half way across the back of the unit.

The wrap, executed by AG Wraps in Chesapeake, also includes ocean life in its bluish-gray background.

"This theme fits in as we are right on the edge of the Chesapeake Bay. There is lots of water and marine life," Kaplan said.

Complementing the colorful flames, the gray boom boldly states, "Size Matters."

"That slogan applies because, in reality, we have the larger trucks that can get the job done. Size does matter," said Kaplan.

Another important element to the company is a green hook found just outside the equipment boxes along the unit's side.

"The color of the hook is the same color of the equipment and rigging of the truck," Kaplan said. "If we have several trucks on scene, each with different colored painted hooks, it allows for quicker clearance. With seven or eight guys on scene, it makes it easier for them to identify where the equipment goes."

The company name can't be missed, written in a large all-white lettering with a black shadow that extends across the entire unit.

The company's original equipment was painted, but they have now gone to wraps.

"The wraps are working," Kaplan said. "Paint tends to fade. We keep them in shape by waxing them monthly. When a section needs to be replaced, it is easy to print out and rewrap."

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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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