Friday, August 31, 2007
Thumb's Up to AAA of Northern California for offering free towing to drivers who have had too much to drink over the Labor Day weekend, no AAA membership required. Read the Vallejo Times-Herald story here. ***Sorry. The story has been removed from their website.***
Thumb's Down to the IL man who was arrested for running over a tow truck driver in February. According to the Portage Daily Register story, the man was ruled mentally unfit to stand trial. The unnamed tow truck driver did survive, though both his legs were fractured and his right leg was amputated below the knee. Read the article by Todd Krysiak here.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Check out this boat that came off the trailer and landed on the truck that was towing it. Anyone know what FL towing company is pictured?
Here's a story of a volunteer tow truck driver going above and beyond from the the waterlogged Midwest. It was posted on a blog called "Family History" and used with permission.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
As many of you are probably aware (some of you probably all too keenly!), here in the Midwestern U.S., last week brought severe storms and flooding. We were fortunate in that other than a sleepless night, we didn’t sustain any damage. Many of our neighbors weren’t so lucky. This morning I found an interesting flood rescue story in my e-mail. It came from our local police chief through a neighborhood watch mailing list and he’s given me permission to reprint it along with the photographs.
…Many strange flood stories have emerged, I just have to share one with you. On Saturday afternoon, I had just finished a twelve hour day that started with the Calumet River levy being breached close to the new Cabela’s store. At three p.m., I was up on the I-80/94 Ramp over Indianapolis Boulevard surveying the damage. The boulevard was closed off so it was quiet and peaceful up there, no cars.
Three females and a male were walking up the ramp and stopped to speak with me. They stated that they had left their car in the parking lot of the Amerihost Hotel overnight and they wanted to go back and retrieve it. I asked them if it was a black Chevrolet Equinox and they said yes. Early in the day we had State Auto and Towing remove forty-six cars from the Amerihost parking lot and I knew there was only one car left. A black Equinox with water up to the windows.
When I told them that there car was still in the lot but filled with water, the girls (in their early twenties) began crying hysterically. They then told me something I had never heard before–”Our deceased father is in the back seat of the car.”
I had to do a double take, and asked them again what they were talking about. One of the girls stated that their father had recently passed away, and one of the last things he did was buy the Chevy for his oldest daughter. When he died, they had him cremated and his ashes were in an urn, in the flooded back seat of the car.
I called State Auto on my radio and they sent out a tow truck. Donald Kalina, who is our Chief of Emergency Management (a volunteer unpaid position) was the tow driver that responded. He attempted to get back to the Chevy in his tow truck, but because of the high water, he was unable to get close enough to the car for extraction. When he was advised that the girls’ father’s remains were in the backseat of the vehicle, Don offered to wade into the chest-deep, sewage-filled water, to retrieve the urn.
The girls were incredibly relieved and thankful for Don’s selfless act. If anyone ever tells you that there are very few heroes left in the world, please pass on this story…
Chief Brian Miller
....the birds have to use potholders to pull the worms out of the ground.
....the trees are whistling for the dogs.
....the best parking place is determined by shade instead of distance.
....hot water comes from both taps.
....you can make sun tea instantly.
....you learn that a seat belt buckle makes a pretty good branding iron.
....the temperature drops below 95 F (35 C) and you feel a little chilly.
....you discover that in August it only takes two fingers to steer your truck.
....you discover that you can get sunburned through your truck window.
.... you actually burn your hand opening the truck door.
....you break into a sweat the instant you step outside at 7:30 A.M.
....your biggest bicycle-wreck fear is: "What if I get knocked out and end up lying on the pavement and cook to death?"
....you realize that asphalt has a liquid stage.
....the potatoes cook underground, so all you have to do is pull one out and add butter.
....the cows are giving evaporated milk.
....farmers are feeding their chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying boiled eggs.
Thanks to my bro, Bo, for sending this to me!
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
(some of my regular reading material...)
Seems that the Naval Research Laboratory is working on a robotic "tow truck" to retrieve broken down satellites for repair or salvage and also to clear orbits for safety by removing "derelict spacecraft or space debris" to a junkyard orbit. Read it here.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Saturday, August 25, 2007
It features Bud Gruber of Bald Eagle Towing of Marco Island and J.T. Corzo of B&B Towing of East Naples. Bald Eagle Towing's got a nice website at www.baldeagletow.com. Be sure to check out the recovery photos - especially the one of the helicopter recovery.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Bays was profiled in our July '07 issue of Towing & Recovery Footnotes, too, on page 20 of Section 1. Read the story by TRF writer, Andrea Evans, here.
Five events have been scheduled:
May 2-4 in
July 11-13 in
September 5-7 in
October 17-19 in
Tow Institute is operated by towPartners and is sponsored by Jerr-Dan Corporation, Sprint Nextel Corporation and Aramark Uniform Services.
Classes are open to towing operators, business owners, managers, office staff and any others interested in the towing industry. Instructors include Rick Chron, John Borowski, Michele Godwin, Jeb Blount, Grant MacQuilkan, and Jeffrey Godwin.
The class registration fee is $595 per student. If there are three or more students registering, the fee is reduced to $500 per student. The class fee covers classes, workshops, handouts, breakfast, lunch and evening receptions.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Angela Roper, owner of TIPTOW of Georgetown, TX, has been named as the 2007 Tow Woman of the Year by the Women of the Towing and Recovery Association of America or WTRAA. Roper, a TRAA Nationally Certified Level 1 Towing and Recovery, is currently serving as the WTRAA’s Secretary and was elected as the TRAA’s Third Vice-President this year.
Roper also serves on the TRAA’s Education Foundation Board and is the chairperson for the new TRAA Safety video committee. She is a member of the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum Survivor Fund committee and has served on the WTRAA’s scholarship committee for several years.
Working with other towing professionals, Roper helped to form the Towing Education Council or TEC this year. The TEC was created to educate and prepare towers throughout the country for certification and the first class begins in September at the
I came across some nice pictures of this 1931 International equipped with a Manley hand crank on Tow411.net. It's owned by Dennis Lynch of A&A Towing in Reno, NV. According to Dennis in his post, it has the original engine and transmission. "It's all there right down to the split wheel rims. And it came with the work order to install the Manley hand crank in 1936. As well as the original title on the chassis from 1931." He was trying to get an assessment on its value.
I emailed Dennis to ask his permission to post a picture here and to see if he had come up with a dollar value on it. He replied that, based on the responses, that it was difficult to put a number on it, but probably in the $25-$30,000 range. (Thanks, Dennis!)
See his original posts with two other pictures of the wrecker here.
West Virginia Tow Truck Driver and Police Officers Risk Lives, Rescue Man. Don Atkinson of Ace Garage and Wheeling, WV police officers went to the assistance of a man trapped in a burning vehicle. Disregarding the risks to their own safety, the five men stayed with the accident victim and protected him from the flames as best they could until firefighters arrived to put out the blaze and extricated the badly-injured man. Read The Intelligencer report here.
California Tow Truck Drivers Honored for Saving Police Officer's Life. Earlier this month, the California Highway Patrol awarded certificates of commendation to tow truck drivers Leon Vires and Michael Winter. The two towers came to the assistance of Officer Mike Remmel after he was struck by a car on the highway in January 2006. Remmel lost both legs as a result of the incident, but is still working for the CHP. Read the full story from MyMotherLode.com here.
What's up with some people? Tow Tater, the 1951 International boom truck that inspired "Mater" in the 2006 Pixar animated movie Cars, was vandalized at its Route 66 gas station in Galena, KS earlier this month. Read the Route 66 News post here.
Association News from Southwest Tow Operators, Statewide Towing Association of MA, Ontario Recovery Group
Statewide Towing Association of Massachusetts: William Johnson, president of the Statewide Towing Association of Massachusetts, was interviewed for a BostonNOW story recently. Tow operators are requesting that the MA Department of Public Utilities allow a fuel surcharge to be added to the regulated price of non-consensual tows. Read the full story here.
Gotta love the bit of editorializing that the writer, Christopher Loh, does here: "A fuel surcharge could increase already-expensive prices for tows that occur when a car is left in an area where is not allowed to be parked."
Ontario Recovery Group: Doug Nelson, Executive Director for the Ontario Recovery Group, was interviewed by Today's Trucking, a website for Canada's trucking industry. Nelson's been busy promoting respect for the industry and providing towing tips for truckers. Way to go, Doug!
"At the Canadian Fleet Management Seminar (CFMS) in Toronto this past spring -- as he will in the presence of anyone who will listen -- Nelson offered truckers advice on how to minimize the costs of towing and recovery.
He has prepared guidelines for trucking companies who want to ensure their fleets get towed efficiently and most cost-effectively. And the tips range from things you can do when you're actually spec'ing your vehicles to business practices that will ensure prompt and professional service when the time to tow arrives."
The Miller Family Foundation has gifted $50,000 gift to the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum or ITRHFM. The check was presented by the foundation’s representative, Will Miller, to George Connolly, the ITRHFM chairperson, in August. The funds will be used for the bronze plaques on the Wall of the Fallen Memorial that display the names of individuals in the towing and recovery industry who have lost their lives in the line of service and ongoing maintenance of the Wall.
Miller stated, "I believe it is important that these brave individuals who lost their lives be honored and remembered for their sacrifices. I also hope it helps to increase public awareness to the dangers towing operators face on a daily basis."
Connolly said, "We thank the Miller Family Foundation for their generous and ongoing support of of both the ITRHFM and the Wall of the Fallen. The Wall of the Fallen has had an impact on many of the families and friends who have lost a loved one, providing some comfort in knowing the industry remembered and shares in their grief."
The unveiling of the first set of names on the memorial was held in September, a year after the Wall itself was dedicated. For more information on the ITRHFM and the Wall, visit www.internationaltowingmuseum.org or call 423-267-3132.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Thanks to salesman Mark Hinchman of East Coast Truck and Trailer Sales of Portsmouth, VA for inviting yours truly to their first Show and Shine Open House on Saturday, August 18! Great fun and congrats to the winners in the show! East Coast will be posting their own pictures at their website www.ectts.com - check 'em out! Here are some that I took:
West Service Center's pedal car tow truck got three-year old Sam Copeland's vote!
This is Rob's 20th year in business and he took home a total of four trophies for his entries on Saturday. He and his crew also raised a total of $1,135 in a 50/50 raffle. Half of that - $567.50 - will be donated to the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum's Survivor Fund. Way to go, Rob!
Below, this beauty took first place in the Wrecker/Rollback Division and belongs to Kyle's Towing of Staunton, VA. It's a 2004 Duramax C4500 with 175,000 miles and a pearlized paint job. "It actually works every day," said manager Doug Snyder who brought it down for the show. Doug has been in the towing industry for 25 years.
Here's Doug with detailer Corey Wood. They put four to six hours a week into keeping things in tiptop condition.
Friday, August 10, 2007
I wonder if anyone out there has actually towed the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile? Send me a picture if you have!!!
Check out this story from the Chicago Sun-Times titled "What a weenie" about the hotdog-on-wheels and its brush with the law!
No tow truck needed here...
Thursday, August 9, 2007
The guardian of the 21-year old tow truck driver whose truck was caught in the steam pipe explosion at the end of July in
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
However, I had to do a double-take on the comments by Scott County chief deputy Tom Beardslee at the end of the story. Someone should have prepared his statement, too.
"The driver had never met Davis and could not explain why she would shoot at him, Beardslee said.
'This is just an indication of how a seemingly innocuous incident can escalate into a deadly encounter without warning, and for no apparent reason,' said Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter in a prepared statement.
Police say they believe Davis may have been intoxicated at the time. Police said she refused to take a breathalyzer test.
It's possible she had a car repossessed in the past, Beardslee said.
'People don't usually shoot at wrecker drivers for no reason,' he said."
Read the full story here.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
From the CNNMoney.com report:
"'We are pleased with the results of the 2007 second quarter which saw us maintain historically high production levels, reinvest in our business and improve our overall financial strength," stated Jeffrey I. Badgley, President and Co-CEO of the Company. "During the previous year, we increased production levels to fulfill numerous large orders we received during the past several quarters. During the second quarter, we completed work on the orders for 62 small wreckers for the military and 80 small wreckers for a major municipality, as well as on the orders for the city of New York and DataPath. We also paid down the remainder of the Company's junior debt and in July successfully renewed and amended our senior credit facility, reducing our interest rate on borrowed funds going forward."
Mr. Badgley added, "We continued to work on modernizing our heavy-duty wrecker facility, which remains on schedule for completion this year. Our recently completed small wrecker facility has been performing well, and we look forward to the efficiency, customer service and product quality enhancements that these projects will bring going forward. We were also pleased with our Florida trade show in May, where we demonstrated new products that generated positive feedback from the industry.'"
Read the full story here.
Saturday, August 4, 2007
Here's the full story from WSOC-TV 9.
Friday, August 3, 2007
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Read the full story by Chauncey Alcorn of the Sandusky Register here.
Click here to learn more about the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum and the Wall of the Fallen and/or to make a donation.
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