The men at Doc's have towed a boatload of vehicles over the 50 years the company has been in business. It started in 1959 when Leon Ginn, who had a Texaco station in Salinas, bought out the original Doc's.
"He had a truck with a blown engine and a vision," said Clifton Ginn, the second generation to run the company, which also has offices in Salinas and Los Banos. It was Clifton who brought Doc's Towing and Transport to the Mountain Area about three years ago.
He said, with tongue in cheek, "being the great outdoorsman that I am, I came to Bass Lake to do some camping and fell in love with the area."
Through "a friend of a friend of a friend," he found out that a local company was for sale, so he bought it, AAA contract and all.
The Oakhurst operation is huge, the third largest AAA territory in the state: it runs from Highway 41 at Road 200 to Yosemite to Highway 49 at the county line to Mammoth Pools and down in to Raymond.
So when AAA members call for emergency service in that territory, Doc's responds.
The local headquarters is on Highway 41 just before the Houndstooth Inn sign and is known for its waterfall out front. Out back, the trucks (with their rabbit logo and snazzy flame-decorated paint jobs) are ready and waiting. "We can tow everything from the smallest car to the largest truck," Ginn said, "there's nothing we can't do."
Doc's even does mobile battery testing and replacement.
The Oakhurst has eight full-time and one part-time driver, all of them certified by a company called WreckMaster that does training for the profession. In turn, Doc's is certified to do training for other companies, law enforcement and fire agencies on the best way to right propane trucks.
When a call comes in, Clifton said, he makes a judgment on sending out the appropriate truck and driver whether it's a jump start or a car over a cliff. He also goes out on calls.
When asked why the company has lasted so long, he said the reason is customer service and great employees. He has employees who have been with him for 20 years -- unusual in the business that takes its toll on families because of the 24/7 nature of the job.
Ginn said customer-appreciation events are in the planning stages to celebrate 50 years in business.
Doc's Towing and Transport, Oakhurst, (559) 683-7676 or (800) 449 DOCS.