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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

IL Tow Truck Drivers Want To Set Record

In light of a recent slew of negative press about tow truck operators in IL, especially the Chicago area, Pat Winer of Worldwide Equipment is organizing a Toys for Tot drive and world record attempt on Nov. 9. Click here to read a recent story in Footnotes by our writer Andrea Evans on the towing issues in Chicago.

Click here for a PDF document on the parade.

Here's the story on the Nov. 9 event from the Southtown Star.

A group of tow truck operators is trying to make Christmas special for thousands of boys and girls this year while attempting to set a world record in the process.

They're also hoping the goodwill effort will help improve their industry's reputation, which has been tarnished by tow operators who were charging customers exorbitant fees and holding cars for ransom.

More than 400 tow truck operators and their rigs are expected to form a continuous convoy that will wind its way from the Empress Casino in Joliet to Toyota Park in Bridgeview on Nov. 9.

The trucks will begin lining up about 5 a.m. outside the Empress Casino.

Each of the trucks is expected to be filled with toys for the Toys for Tots program.

Organizer Pat Winer, owner of Worldwide Equipment in Rockdale, said he hopes the event becomes an annual occurrence.

"The idea is to collect as many toys as we can and fill as many trucks as we can for deserving boys and girls," Winer said.

He said the group still is looking for donations of toys, especially for children younger than 4 and between 12 and 18.

Winer said sports equipment is always a hit with the older kids.

He said the Guinness Book of World Records has determined the longest continuous tow truck line (a minimum of two miles long and not interrupted by other vehicles) was 83 trucks in Wenatchee, Wash., in 2004.

In September, a convoy of 292 tow trucks attempted to break the record in New York City.

Winer said the results on whether the record was broken will be known in a few months.

"We're trying for 400 to 500 trucks," he said. "We've gone to all the towing agencies and tow trade shows and invited whomever we could.

"And we've been working the phones," Winer said. "The only thing standing in our way of making this a huge success will be snow. That could be a problem."

For more information or to make a financial or toy donation, call Winer at (630) 878-9837.

Jim Hook can be reached at jhook@southtownstar.com or (708) 633-5961.

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