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Friday, March 26, 2010

Nice Profile on NJ Tower Brian "Hawk" Hawkins of Hawk's Towing

I had the pleasure of meeting Hawk at the Baltimore Tow Show a couple years ago. Here's a profile on him in The Trentonian (click on the link for the video):
I bought my first truck when I was 17, the day after I graduated high school. I always knew this is what I wanted to do. My dad had his own tractor trailer for 30 years, and my grandfather was a diesel mechanic for years. So as soon as I was out of school, I went right to work.

So you’ve always been interested in trucks? Do you remember your first toy truck?

I most certainly do. It was a dump truck — and this is when toys were real toys: The thing probably weighed as much as me. I was 4 or 5 years old, and I wouldn’t part with it for anything.

Do you still have it?

My oldest brother has it. I’ll let him think he got one over on me.

You do more than just tow ... your trucks are customized, and you enter them in shows and contests ...

It’s a hobby. Everyone has a hobby, and mine is customizing and building cars and trucks. I’ve always been like this, always had my hands in everything when I was a kid, by my dad’s side the whole time. I’ve been competing in truck shows for 18 years, with plenty of first-place finishes.

Grew up around here?

On Flock Road in Hamilton, and my mom’s and dad’s families both grew up in Trenton. I’ve been around here my whole life. I like it. It’s small enough that everybody knows everybody, but big enough to get around.

About the towing ...

Yeah, you get your irate people. But look at it this way: Who would you rather have tow your car, me or someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing? And I’ve gotten offers over the years from people who don’t want me to tow their car. Cookies, jewelry — and stuff you probably can’t print in the paper.

But it’s more than that ...

I love helping people out. You feel bad, especially when people do some crazy stuff with their vehicles. I remember one call, down in Pemberton, where they said the car was stuck in the driveway. Well, I get there, and I don’t see a car in the driveway. I look up, and all I see is wood all over the place. The car was in the living room. I literally had to walk in the front door and into the living room to see the car ... also, I remember a big flood in ’94, ’95 ... I was on Arctic Parkway, up to my chest in water, getting six cars out. Next thing I know, a guy in a Porsche pulls around, about to make a left, and we told him he couldn’t do it. Well, he went in, the water went up to his roof, he jumps out, and the car is floating away. Yep. We towed him out, too.

You enjoy this stuff ...

There’s nothing I can’t do. When you call me, consider the job done. We also have a repair and body shop. I love what I do.

Do you have kids?

Five boys (ages 3 to 15). Our house is chaos. They are all boys, that’s for sure. My oldest son is here all the time, and I believe he’ll step right into it. I want all of them to step in one day.

What will you do if they take things over?

I’ll step back and just build some more trucks.

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