Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Don't Miss Oktowberfest 2010!

Oktowberfest 2010
A New England Towing Event
Holiday Inn Select
Woburn, MA
October 1-3, 2010

We are looking forward to a record crowd in 2010 to help us celebrate Oktowberfest and the 40th Anniversary of the Statewide Towing Association! This is a wonderful location, easily accessible from all of New England, right off Rte. 128, close to Boston and New Hampshire. The Holiday Inn Select-Woburn is a show location with a hotel, restaurant and lounge onsite. Parking won’t be a problem; we have secured ample parking to accommodate our guests at the Showcase Cinema adjacent to the hotel. Need more to do? Historic Boston, Concord and Lexington are only a short ride for those who want to round out their trip.

We will still have the events you look forward to and many more!

DJ Harrington – “The Tow Doctor”
Thursday Night Famous Pub Run
Fri Night Meet & Greet sponsored by Ricky’s Sales & Service
Friday Night Light Show Contest sponsored by Federal Signal & MHQ
“New” Kids Karnival & Rotator Challenge sponsored by Big Wheel Truck Sales
Tow Truck Beauty Contest sponsored by Coady’s Garage & Towing
Sat Night 40th Anniversary Gala sponsored by AAA Clubs of MA; co-sponsored by Allstate Roadside Services and Coady’s Garage & Towing - Limited seating, tickets $20 pp
Saturday Breakfast sponsored by NRC
Sunday Breakfast sponsored by Jerr-Dan

Hospitality sponsored by Miller Industries
Sunday Morning Tow Truck Procession to benefit Shriners Hospital
WreckMaster Mini Clinics – Saturday & Sunday
Live Demos with Tom Luciano on Saturday

Live “Real Deal” Demos sponsored by Statewide Towing Academy
“Old Iron” Vintage Wreckers on Display 
See the Latest in New Equipment & Accessories
Hotel reservations 781.935.8760 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              781.935.8760      end_of_the_skype_highlighting (Code: Statewide Towing Assoc) or visit www.statewidetowing.org for event info, schedules and hotel online link.
508.303.6699 ● office@statewidetowing.org ●www.statewidetowing.org

IL Security Guard Accused of Shooting at Tow Truck

Here's the story from the Chicago Breaking News Center:
A 65-year-old store security guard shot at a tow truck as his car was about to be repossessed, officials say.
MUG-Holmes,-Ikethis.jpgIke D. Holmes was working at an Aldi food store in the 5600 block of West Fillmore Street on Aug. 27 when a tow truck arrived at about 7 a.m. to repossess his car, police said.
Holmes argued with the two men in the tow truck, then took out a gun and shot one of the truck's tires, police said.
Holmes, of the 2100 block of West 119 Street, was charged with felony aggravated discharge of a weapon, misdemeanor criminal damage to property, failing to register a fire arm and two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, police said.
-- Carlos Sadovi

Friday, August 27, 2010

AR Tower Loses Load, Which Hits Fire Truck

OOOOPS! Here's the story from www.firehouse.com:
Posted: Thu, 08/26/2010 - 10:15am
Updated: Thu, 08/26/2010 - 10:15am
A car rolled into a Jonesboro fire truck yesterday afternoon after it became unhitched from a tow truck, according to KAIT-TV.
Crews were at the scene of a crash on Harrisburg Road when the tow truck operator lost the car, which rolled back and hit the apparatus.
Minimal damage was done to the fire truck and no firefighters were injured, according to the report.
The tow truck operator loaded the car back up following the incident.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Upcoming Tow Shows & Demos

Sept 23-26
Midwest Regional
Tow Show
Great Wolf Lodge
Mason, OH

Sept 24-25
NC Tow Show
T&R Professionals of NC
Big Boys Truck Stop
I-95, Exit 105
Selma, NC
Oct 1-2
VA Tow Expo
VA Assoc. of Towing
& Recovery Operators
Fisherville, VA

Oct 3
VA Tow Expo
Sunday Drag Race
VA Motor Sports Park
Petersburg, VA

Oct 2-4
Oktowberfest 2010
Statewide Towing Assoc.
Holiday Inn Select
Woburn, MA

Oct 22-23
New Southern Regional
Towing Convention
Cox Convention Center
Oklahoma City, OK

Nov 19-21
American Towman
2010 Exposition
Baltimore Convention Center
Baltimore, MD

Mar 16-20
TRAA Legislative &
Leadership Conference
Plus: Board/Business Meeting
Crystal City Marriott
Arlington, VA

Good Deed Of The Day In South Africa

Round of applause to the members of the United Towing Association who volunteered at Helen Joseph Hospital during an employee strike. Here's the story from Eyewitness News:
A group of tow truck drivers have spent Thursday morning volunteering at the Helen Joseph Hospital in Westdene.
The medical facility has been one of the hardest hit by the public servants strike.
The United Towing Association has called on both government and the unions to return to the negotiating table and find a speedy solution to the dispute.
The drivers body’s Mosai Mapisa said, “We decided to go and help by cleaning, moving furniture, collecting [and] changing linen,” he said.

Footnotes' Digital Edition for September Is Out!

Your September 2010 digital edition of Towing and Recovery Footnotes is now available. Simply click here to instantly begin reading the issue, or click on the features below to read specific articles.

    * Fighting words from our top business writer, who says the economy for small- and medium-size businesses is showing signs of improving. He shares with towing company owners and managers eight ways to capitalize on a possible upward swing in business fortunes. Page 1

    * Some big recovery blunders are frankly discussed and analyzed by our long-time "Recovery Notes" columnist, veteran towman Bill Jackson. He writes in his always-engaging way about the overturned locomotive, the downed bomber, the bridge incident, and other recoveries that didn't turn out quite like he'd planned. What would you have done differently? Page 8

    *Planning to sell your business? Here are the pros and cons that will help you make the best choices that will get the best results when that time comes. Advice on when and when not to sell and how and how not to do it, all outlined here with sound business advice. Page 22

    * Historic automotive firsts are revealed, including the first car accident, the first speeding arrest, the first car radio, air-conditioning, automatic transmission, and other fun auto firsts. Don’t miss these fascinating facts about your favorite vehicle to tow. Page 14

Also in this issue: New and improved equipment in Gear Mart; a chance to win $200 worth of Ford and Chevy Master Key Sets from Pierce Sales; our Lost Towers & Tow Heroes; the latest Tow Shows; and great new Combo Advertising Deals that will increase your product visibility at our new specially discounted rates.

If you cannot click on any of the links above, please copy and paste this URL into your web browser:

September 2010 Issue: http://www.flashedition.com/publication?i=45227

We hope you enjoy the September issue of Towing and Recovery Footnotes!

Bill Candler

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Congrats To Ken's Towing Of WA

Here's the story from the Redmond Reporter:
Redmond Reporter Reporter

Aug 24 2010, 2:17 PM ·

Ron "Bubba" Peters, a manager at Ken's Towing in Redmond and his co-worker, truck driver Kyle Drew, were kings of the road at the annual Northwest Tow Expo in Ferndale Aug. 20-21.
Hosted by the Towing and Recovery Association of Washington, the event featured tow truck beauty contests and other competitions.
"This year's best of show winner went to Ken's large class C tow truck, which has been lovingly restored to new condition," said Mike Walcker, director of the Towing and Recovery Association of Washington. "There were over 250 participants at this year's event and we had around 40 trucks of all types in the beauty contest."
Peters said Ken's Towing has entered the competition many times but this was the first time they won "best of show."
Their truck, named Major, also won second place for "working class truck, heavy duty" and first place as the "people's choice for all trucks." Ken's Towing took home a large trophy and two plaques, plus bragging rights.
"It's a pride thing in our industry," Peters explained. "We like to say we're the best and we can back it up. Kyle Drew worked on the truck for over a month, waxing, polishing and cleaning, getting the truck ready for the show. He did a fantastic job!"
Tow truck operators probably don't get much attention or appreciation, except when our cars break down or get stuck in a ditch. We asked Peters about the best or worst parts of his job.
"Helping people at the lowest point they can be," is satisfying, said Peters. "How many accidents are you in, in your life? Not often, so it is nice to help people in a bad situation. Towing is a 24-hour-a day, seven days a week job and we are needed in the middle of the night and it can be a bit difficult. Remember the two buses that were hanging over the freeway two years ago in Seattle? The big snow storm? I was there with Major and pulled the buses from falling onto the freeway. ... The truck is a work horse and we use it a lot."
A few more fun facts about Major, provided by Peters: This 1997 Peterbilt 378 was special-ordered and picked up directly from the Miller factory in Tennessee and was finished locally by Petersen Northwest.
"Nealy 15 years later and with 140,000 miles, it continues to be the pride of the fleet" at Ken's Towing, said Peters.
Major has a Cummins N14 motor with 460 horsepower, an Eaton 15-speed transmission with deep reduction rear ends and fully locking axles. It is equipped with a Century 1040 unit rated at 40 tons and a first generation SDU (super-duty underlift) rated for 24,000 pounds. Major is also equipped with all available accessories and has telescoping work lights, acetylene torches and a Honda generator for prolonged night time recovery work.
Ken's Towing is located at 7730 185th Ave. NE in Redmond. For more information, call begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (425) 883-1400      end_of_the_skype_highlighting. For information about the Towing and Recovery Association of Washington, visit www.towingandrecovery.org.(425) 883-1400

Monday, August 23, 2010

Man Accused Of Tying Up SC Wrecker Service Employee

Here's the story from WIS News 10:
NEWBERRY COUNTY, SC (WIS) - A man Newberry County deputies say tied up an employee at a wrecker service while trying to get his car back is in custody.
According to Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster, Jason Randolph Morris, 25, wrecked his car on Interstate 26 Thursday night and had his car was towed.
Foster says Morris showed up at Louis's Wrecker Service around 4:00a.m. to get his car, but an employee there told him it was too early morning to get his car.
Foster says the two got into an argument then Morris tied up the employee and took off in his car.
Morris is being charged with first degree burglary, kidnapping, carjacking and grand larceny.

Don't Miss Oktowberfest & the 40th Anniversary of MA's Statewide Towing Association!

Oktowberfest 2010
A New England Towing Event
Holiday Inn Select
Woburn, MA
October 1-3, 2010

We are looking forward to a record crowd in 2010 to help us celebrate Oktowberfest and the 40th Anniversary of the Statewide Towing Association! This is a wonderful location, easily accessible from all of New England, right off Rte. 128, close to Boston and New Hampshire. The Holiday Inn Select-Woburn is a show location with a hotel, restaurant and lounge onsite. Parking won’t be a problem; we have secured ample parking to accommodate our guests at the Showcase Cinema adjacent to the hotel. Need more to do? Historic Boston, Concord and Lexington are only a short ride for those who want to round out their trip.

We will still have the events you look forward to and many more!

DJ Harrington – “The Tow Doctor”
Thursday Night Famous Pub Run
Fri Night Meet & Greet sponsored by Ricky’s Sales & Service
Friday Night Light Show Contest sponsored by Federal Signal & MHQ
“New” Kids Karnival & Rotator Challenge sponsored by Big Wheel Truck Sales
Tow Truck Beauty Contest sponsored by Coady’s Garage & Towing
Sat Night 40th Anniversary Gala – co-sponsored by AAA Southern NE, Allstate Roadside Services & Coady’s Garage & Towing - Limited seating, tickets $20 pp
Hospitality sponsored by Miller Industries
Saturday & Sunday Breakfast sponsored by NRC
Sunday Morning Tow Truck Procession to benefit Shriners Hospital
“Old Iron” Vintage Wreckers on Display
 WreckMaster Mini Clinics – Saturday & Sunday
Live “Real Deal” Demos sponsored by Statewide Towing Academy
See the Latest in New Equipment & Accessories

Hotel reservations 781.935.8760 (Code: Statewide Towing Assoc) or visit www.statewidetowing.org for event info, schedules and hotel online link.
508.303.6699 ● office@statewidetowing.org ●www.statewidetowing.org

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Don't Miss Oktowberfest & the 40th Anniversary of MA's Statewide Towing Association!

Oktowberfest 2010
A New England Towing Event
Holiday Inn Select
Woburn, MA
October 1-3, 2010

We are looking forward to a record crowd in 2010 to help us celebrate Oktowberfest and the 40th Anniversary of the Statewide Towing Association! This is a wonderful location, easily accessible from all of New England, right off Rte. 128, close to Boston and New Hampshire. The Holiday Inn Select-Woburn is a show location with a hotel, restaurant and lounge onsite. Parking won’t be a problem; we have secured ample parking to accommodate our guests at the Showcase Cinema adjacent to the hotel. Need more to do? Historic Boston, Concord and Lexington are only a short ride for those who want to round out their trip.

We will still have the events you look forward to and many more!

DJ Harrington – “The Tow Doctor”
Thursday Night Famous Pub Run
Fri Night Meet & Greet sponsored by Ricky’s Sales & Service
Friday Night Light Show Contest sponsored by Federal Signal & MHQ
“New” Kids Karnival & Rotator Challenge sponsored by Big Wheel Truck Sales
Tow Truck Beauty Contest sponsored by Coady’s Garage & Towing
Sat Night 40th Anniversary Gala – co-sponsored by AAA Southern NE, Allstate Roadside Services & Coady’s Garage & Towing - Limited seating, tickets $20 pp
Hospitality sponsored by Miller Industries
Saturday & Sunday Breakfast sponsored by NRC
Sunday Morning Tow Truck Procession to benefit Shriners Hospital
“Old Iron” Vintage Wreckers on Display
WreckMaster Mini Clinics – Saturday & SundayLive “Real Deal” Demos sponsored by Statewide Towing Academy
See the Latest in New Equipment & Accessories

Hotel reservations 781.935.8760 (Code: Statewide Towing Assoc) or visit www.statewidetowing.org for event info, schedules and hotel online link.
508.303.6699 ● office@statewidetowing.org ●www.statewidetowing.org

Way Cool Pedal Tow Trucks

Check out this YouTube video on Dan Czar's trucks!

Miller Industries Website Launches Video Package

Designed for all those towing professionals who missed the Florida or Reno Tow Show, or for those who've never had a glimpse inside the Miller Industries factories to see how a carrier is built, or even those who've yet to experience the action at the racetrack with the Miller Race Recovery Team.

Click here to check it out.

Recoveries Are Like A Box of Chocolates...

From the smelly (three hours with a trash truck) to the suspenseful (semi loaded with bees), wrecker drivers do it all!
NJ Trash Truck:
Members of the Fair Lawn Rescue Squad help tow truck drivers on Deboer Avenue in Glen Rock on Aug. 13. Three-heavy-duty tow trucks toiled for four hours to remove the garbage truck. The truck crashed through a guard rail and fell to the bottom of the hill. The driver was not injured.
Buy this photo

NC Bee Truck
RALEIGH, N.C., Aug. 18 (UPI) -- A North Carolina sheriff's deputy whose patrol car was swarmed by 50,000 honeybees was rescued after he called 911, authorities say.
Deputy Brandon Jenkins stopped to help a disabled tractor-trailer carrying honeybees near Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, the Raleigh News & Observer reported.
"About 60 or so boxes of bees had fallen off the truck," said sheriff's spokeswoman Phyllis Stephens.
Jenkins, with the help of the truck's driver and a tow truck driver, put the boxes back on the truck as the bees continued to swarm.
The truck driver told Jenkins the bees would follow the truck as it was towed away -- but the insects didn't cooperate.
As Jenkins returned to his patrol car the bees swarmed it, trapping the deputy inside.
Jenkins called 911 and waited.
The dispatcher called the state Department of Agriculture, which sent out Jennifer Keller from North Carolina State University.
Charles Heatherly, past president of the North Carolina Beekeepers Association, who lives nearby, also arrived to help the bee-trapped deputy.
"I've never seen that before, spread all over the car," Heatherly said.
Keller and Heatherly used smoke to calm the bees and collected them in a box.
A relieved Jenkins exited his patrol car unscathed and unstung.

Sad News From AR

Our condolences to the family and acquaintances of this unnamed AR tow truck driver who died in a fiery crash on Aug. 18. Here's the story from www.KATV.com:
A man is dead after an accident on I-30 that blocked all eastbound traffic for nearly four hours Wednesday.
Arkansas State Police tell us the wrecker was heading westbound around 4:30 p.m. when the driver lost control.  After crossing the median, he collided with an oncoming semi- truck.
Both vehicles were engulfed in flames.
Sgt. Jeff Crow of the Arkansas State Police called it one of the worst wrecks he had ever seen.
"It was pretty bad.  I've seen a lot of wrecks out here; this is probably one of the worst.  As far as damage and carnage, this was pretty bad."
Police confirm that the driver of the wrecker was killed in the accident.  They believe the driver of the semi suffered minor injuries.
No names have been released yet.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

From Across The Pond: With A Sit-Down Stand, A Briton Kicks The Boot

Here's the story from The New York Times:
LONDON — In the land of the embattled motorist, Haroon Zafaryab emerged on Tuesday as the people’s champion, a sort of Steven Slater of the roadways.

For years, more than 2,000 private clamping companies have waged a war against drivers parking illegally on private land.
Mr. Zafaryab, 27, defied a tow-truck team by sitting in his car for 30 hours, eventually running up more than $6,000 in parking fines, as towing company officials, supporters of Mr. Zafaryab and police officers gathered in the delivery area behind a shopping plaza where he had started it all by parking for two hours in a restricted zone.

Eventually, with the popular hubbub rising, the towing company relented, after plastering Mr. Zafaryab’s windshield with more than 40 tickets, and settled for a $160 fine. But the episode, which occurred last Wednesday, had reverberations far beyond the showdown at the Plaza Parade in the London neighborhood of Wembley, where Mr. Zafaryab parked to visit a nearby mosque for his noon prayers — then decided to make a stand, as he put it, for “the little man.”

On Tuesday, the British government announced that it would introduce legislation in the fall banning private companies from clamping — the British term for what Americans know as “booting” — or towing any vehicle parked on private land, and limiting the companies to a regulated system of parking tickets.

Henceforth, only the police, or companies authorized by local councils, will have the power to authorize use of a boot, and only in public places, except where a parked vehicle was a safety hazard or blocked access to a hospital or other essential site.

For years, more than 2,000 private clamping companies have waged a war against drivers parking illegally on private land, lying in wait in areas known for their lack of approved parking areas, immobilizing offending vehicles, then demanding hundreds of dollars in cash to release them. A common tactic has been to post “no parking” signs in oblique spots, often with lettering that can only be read close up, in what drivers’ organizations have said has amounted to entrapment.

Those organizations have identified the clamping industry, which has boasted of revenues exceeding $1.5 billion a year, as Public Enemy No. 1 in a nation where car owners face some of the world’s highest gasoline prices (about $7 a gallon), plus punitive levels of tax and insurance.

The government made no reference in its announcement to Mr. Zafaryab. But Prime Minister David Cameron, three months in office, faces an uphill battle to sustain popular backing for some of the sharpest cuts in public spending in living memory. With 33 million vehicles registered in Britain, moving against the clamping companies after the Wembley dispute may have been too tempting an opportunity to miss.

Mr. Zafaryab told reporters he took a stand against the tow-truck team when they resorted to “scaremongering tactics,” demanding immediate payment of a $570 fine to remove the clamp from his wheel, then clamping all four wheels and plastering his windshield with a new ticket every 30 minutes.

“The amount they wanted me to pay is half my monthly wages,” he said. “It was ridiculous.” When word reached mosque officials, they shuttled food to the site through the night and the following day before the clamping company relented. “Everyone was shaking my hand,” Mr. Zafaryab said. “The little man won against the clampers.”

Lynne Featherstone, a minister in the Home Office, responsible for law and order, told the BBC that the government was “committed to ending the menace of rogue, private-sector wheel-clampers once and for all.”

The transport minister, Norman Baker, said “cowboy clampers” had “ample opportunity to mend their ways, but the cases of bullying and extortion persisted.” Edmund King, president of the Automobile Association, with 15 million members, said the private clampers had been engaging in “legalized mugging.”

But Nick Jones, a manager at the Citywatch Enforcement company, which was involved in the confrontation with Mr. Zafaryab, said it had no apology to make. “He ignored perfectly clear signs and parked illegally,” he said. “If people parked legally all the time, we’d be out of a job.”

Ravi Somaiya contributed reporting.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: August 18, 2010

An earlier version of this article gave an incorrect figure for the fines Haroon Zafaryab received. They totaled over $6,000, not $5,560.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

TRAA To Introduce New Insurance Program For Members

Here's an excerpt from National Towing News, the newspaper of the TRAA:
TRAA's new program includes:
  • Large selection of health insurance plans and companies
  • Dental, Life Insurance, Disability, Cancer, Accident, Critical Illness, Vision and Long-term Care Insurance
  • Consumer information about the various types of health plans (PPOs, HSAs, HMOs) including pros and cons of each type of plan
  • For those with employees, the program provides guidance on employer-sponsored health care plans, including contribution rules, participation requirements, COBRA, HIPAA and more
  • Information to help towers understand and manage specific medical conditions and health issues
  • Valuable information on wellness, prevention and disease management
  • Resources for the uninsured and those with uninsurable medical conditions

Unfortunately, most national associations, including TRAA, are not able to offer true group coverage for their members due to legal restrictions. Although federal legislation allowing association group plans has been proposed in Congress many times, it has never made it through the legislative process for approval. Until such law passes, we must work within the state-controlled regulatory framework that governs personal and small business health insurance. Each state is responsible for regulating its own insurance markets, and the result is that plan availability, rates and underwriting rules vary greatly from state to state. Therefore, our health insurance varies in availability, rates and underwriting from state to state.

Worldwide Insurance Services, Inc., a national independent broker, in business since 1989 and representing more than 50 insurance companies, administers the TRAA program.

Learn more by clicking here.

New "Swap Meet" Online Parts Site: Ahwooga

Here's the press release:
Ahwooga!  It's the car horn battle cry made famous in 1927 with Ford's Model A, a sound that's endured through the decades.  Now, a new Ahwooga (http://www.ahwooga.com) battle cry has emerged with the launch of an upstart online swap meet site.  Ahwooga.com has grown in seven short months to offer more than 100,000 new and used auto, truck, motorcycle, boat and airplane parts, as well as tools and technical manuals from a wide variety of sellers.  The site is also a hub for vintage and restored car buffs who sell, or are in search of, rare or difficult to source parts.

Founders Joe Chirco and Don Wiggins, auto industry veterans and car buffs, conspired to turn sites like EBay and Amazon on their heads. Their combined strengths translated into a site that offers e-commerce and classified advertising with no "big Internet guy" intervention.

"Each seller manages his or her own 'store,'" says Wiggins. "Contact information is listed so buyers can call or email sellers for more facts and photos.  The transaction can be completed between the two parties on the
phone or, for those who prefer using the web, on our secure site.  You cannot find this friendly interaction on other similar sites."

Ahwooga.com does not dictate payment or shipping methods. It's all up to the seller.  "Unlike other sites, the seller doesn't pay a transaction fee to Ahwooga," Wiggins added.  The site also offers visitors the following
-    Online and offline support
-    Import tool and bulk uploading
-    No final sales fees
-    Open Communication Between Buyer & Sellers
-    Various memberships levels

Chirco, who began selling auto parts in swap meets on the West Coast during the '70s, is satisfied that the site has reduced the endless hours and headaches commonly associated with sourcing quality auto parts.  For example, a buyer in search of someone who specializes in 1968-1972 Chevy Nova parts can search for and locate those sellers on the site.  A conversation can then take place to determine if the part is exactly to
specification, and if so, complete the transaction immediately on the site or over the phone.

Chirco and Wiggins say in recognition of a tough economy, they created a business model that allows sellers to keep the money they make. Membership plans are straightforward: non-members pay $1 per listing. Members can choose a variety of plans that begin at $25 for 75 listings to upwards of $250 for up to 5,000 listings.

Not in the mood to buy or sell?  Chirco and Wiggins invite car buffs to come to the site, sit back and enjoy the ride. "We offer a wish list for buyers to identify and organize what they need and what they might want to purchase later, "Wiggins says. "It's all done in the spirit of the original 'Model A: make it easier for people to connect and do business with one another."

Visit Ahwooga.com at SEMA booth #23078 in Hod Rod Alley.  For more information, visit www.ahwooga.com, email ahwooga@gmail.com, call (520) 261-0044 or follow on twitter @ahwooga and on Facebook at http://bit.ly/bqeaDs.

About ahwooga.com
Ahwooga.com (www.ahwooga.com) was conceived by automotive industry veteran Joe Chirco and business executive Don Wiggins. Together with a team of experts from all sectors of transportation, the team launched the site with one objective: facilitate the buying and selling of auto and other transportation parts, tools and manuals in one seamless site that allows for direct communication and ecommerce transactions. The site is also a hub for vintage and restored car buffs that sell, or are in search of, rare or difficult to source parts. For more fun, contests and quick facts, check out Ahwooga.com on Facebook and Twitter.  

New Jerr-Dan Distributor in AZ: Sanderson Truck Equipment

Here's the press release:
Jerr-Dan Corporation, an Oshkosh Corporation [NYSE: OSK] company and a leading manufacturer of towing and recovery equipment, is pleased to welcome Sanderson Truck Equipment as the most recent addition to the Jerr-Dan distributor network covering the state of Arizona.

Sanderson Truck Equipment is a division of the Sanderson Automotive Group, a family owned company located in Glendale Arizona. Founded in 1955, Sanderson Truck Equipment is located on an easily accessible 63 acre complex on Grand Avenue. The complex features a state of the art 87,000 square foot, 67 bay service and installation facility that is equipped to install new Jerr-Dan equipment, as well as service and repair all makes and models of towing equipment. As full service Ford Truck Dealership, Sanderson also offers service and repairs on all makes and models of trucks.

“Sanderson Truck Equipment is committed to providing the Arizona towing and recovery community a level of service and product availability previously not seen in the area,” said Jeff Barbour, Jerr-Dan director of marketing and channel management. “They have committed to maintaining a large selection of turn-key work ready units on a variety of chassis for immediate delivery. In addition they have put together a team of experienced, dedicated, and knowledgeable industry professionals that are ready to hit the ground running. We are delighted with our association with such a fine organization and look forward to working hand in hand with the Sanderson team to support our customers throughout the region.”

AutoTrader.com's New Roadmap To Car Shopping Success

Here's the press release:
Designed specifically for women, the new AutoTrader.com Roadmap to Car Shopping Success, developed with Courtney Hansen, host of Spike TV’s “Powerblock” and author of The Garage Girl’s Guide to Everything You Need to Know About Your Car, makes it easy for women to approach the car shopping experience with certainty, regardless of how car-savvy they are.

Created as a how-to guide for car shopping and buying, the AutoTrader.com Roadmap to Car Shopping Success, provides women with all the inside tips, insights and information they need to help find the right vehicle for their lifestyle, budget and needs. A recent survey from found that approximately one in four women find shopping for a vehicle “stressful,” compared to only 15% of men. Furthermore, while nearly half of men feel “certain and confident” when visiting car dealerships, only one in four women feel the same way. But according to Hansen, shopping for a car can be a fun and rewarding experience, despite any lack of automotive know-how. Courtney Hansen first attained popularity and a devoted worldwide following as the gorgeous, spunky co-host of TLC’s hit car makeover show “Overhaulin’” where she worked with automotive design legend, Chip Foose, transforming a viewer’s scrappy ride into an ultimate show car in one week. The show continues to air across the world on TLC & Discovery. Soon after she co-hosted two other TLC specials, “Rides: Biggest Spenders” and “Million Dollar Motors.”

Some of Hansen’s tips from the AutoTrader.com Roadmap to Car Shopping Success include:

Researching and Planning

·         Determine what vehicle features – like passenger seating, storage capacity, fuel costs, and part replacement – are essential your lifestyle.

·         Compare vehicles, research prices, look at videos and photos, and access local inventory on sites like AutoTrader.com. Bring this research to the dealer or seller.

 Visiting a Dealership or Private Seller

·         Ask questions to show that you’re prepared and knowledgeable.

    * Get up and take a walk if you ever feel uncomfortable.

 Test Driving and Inspection

·         Bring a friend to the test drive and to help you fully examine the body, interior and engine.

    * Conduct a thorough visual inspection after the test drive.

Considerations and Precautions

    * Get a CARFAX history report before buying any pre-owned vehicle, based on the vehicle’s Vehicle Identification Number.
    * Review government and insurance company crash test ratings for any vehicle you’re considering.


·         Go to the dealership armed with the best interest rate that you can locate on your own.

    * When negotiating a monthly payment, focus on the actual price of the car.

·         Ask the dealer or seller to explain how the cost breaks down and get it in writing.

 For more information and tips, please check out www.AutoTrader.com/roadmap.

New Private Property Tow Caps In TX

Here's the press release from Southwest Tow Operators. Looks like working with legislators does prove to be good thing some of the time!
In 2009, the Texas legislature mandated that the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) set maximum fees for private property tows.  Southwest Tow Operators has been working with TDLR and Morningside Research and Consulting for the last year to assist in setting fair rate caps.  Members were asked to provide financial data and to participate in two different focus groups.  After the Morningside report was issued, the Towing, Storage, and Booting Advisory Board met and voted on rate caps to recommend to the TDLR Commissioners.  Those recommendations were then published for public comment for thirty days.  The Advisory Board reconvened on August 3rd to review public comments and hear public testimony and made final recommendations to the TDLR Commissioners.
After listening to public testimony, TDLR Commissioners voted on Monday, August 9th to set the final private property tow fee caps.  Effective September 1st, they are as follows:
Light duty tow: $250, drop fee: $125
Medium duty tow: $350, drop fee: $175
Heavy duty tow: $450 (per unit), drop fee: $225 (per unit)
Commissioners also voted to require tow operators to accept credit cards as payment for drop fees.
The new tow fee caps only apply to private property tows and do not supersede any local rate caps.  If a city or county has regulated the fees, the State caps do not apply and towers must abide by the local regulations. The exception to this is that the tow operator may not charge a private property fee over the new caps, even if the city or county regulated rates exceed these new caps.
Many Southwest Tow Operator members made multiple trips to the State Capital to testify on the expenses incurred providing this service to private properties.  Commissioners stated that the industry testimony definitely resulted in higher fees than they originally thought justified with just reading the study.
“Southwest Tow Operators is very happy with the fee caps TDLR has implemented.  We feel that the guidelines will allow tow operators in unregulated areas to cover their expenses and still prevent any abuse of the general public.  We think the public will be well-protected now with the caps in place statewide and with strict TDLR enforcement.  We would like to thank the members that spent so much time in Austin working on this.  We would also like to thank the members that provided their financial data to Morningside.  Without this data and testimony, the rate caps could have been set too low.  We think it truly made a difference in the caps that were set.  Towers all over Texas should thank these individuals for helping in this effort.”   Joann Messina, Legislative Chair

Jerr-Dan's New SLP-6 Series Of Low-Profile Carriers

Here's the press release:
Jerr-Dan Corporation, an Oshkosh Corporation [NYSE: OSK] company and a leading manufacturer of towing and recovery equipment, recently introduced its new XLP-6® series of low profile carriers. The new series of carrier products is in response to the demand from today’s professional towing and recovery operator for a high quality, low profile, and lower load angle carrier.

“Our customers asked us to build a premium carrier that provided an enhanced payload, a lower deck height, and a superior load angle,” said Joel Amsley, Jerr-Dan Corporation senior vice president. “We started with the key components of our very successful 6 Ton Premium model and incorporated a number of innovations that allowed us to lower the deck height and improve the load angle without sacrificing strength or reliability. We are delighted with the final product.”

The XLP-6® series is available with 21-foot and 22-foot steel and aluminum decks, including the dual angle “Shark” models. The XLP-6® models all include a low profile sub-frame that lowers the deck height to approximately 8 ¾-inches above the frame rail and provides greatly improved load angles. When installed on a chassis with a 32-inch deck height, a “conventional” deck produces a load angle of 10.5 degrees, while a dual angle deck has a load angle of only 8 degrees.

All XLP-6® models have a 12,000lb deck capacity and can be equipped with a new 3,500lb wheel-lift. In addition the XLP-6® utilizes the innovative features that you’ve come to expect from Jerr-Dan like industry leading nylon carrier tracking system for hoses and wiring harness, No-Lube™ pivot joints and slide pads, and automotive type weather resistant wiring harness.

Equally impressive, the XLP-6® delivers all of the features and enhanced performance without requiring significant chassis modifications. Since all components are above or outside the frame rails there is no need to relocate suspension components or chassis cross members. The XLP-6® is suitable for air ride or spring ride chassis; however for optimum load angles an air ride chassis with a dump valve should be used.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Dangerous Duty in MI

Here's the story from Mlive.com:
BRIDGEPORT TWP. — A tow truck driver escaped injury by scrambling over a highway median moments before a car crashed into the rear of his truck and a police patrol car Saturday on Interstate 75 in Bridgeport Township.

The Gobeyn’s Towing driver, whose name was not released, jumped to safety after spotting a 1992 Honda heading toward him about 9:45 a.m. near the Baker overpass, said state police Sgt. Gregory D. Proudfoot of the Bridgeport Post.

The Honda driver, 19-year-old Amanda Mullen of Taylor, and her passenger, a child whom police did not name, were injured and trapped inside the wreckage, Proudfoot said.

Firefighters from Bridgeport and Buena Vista townships used cutting tools to free them.

Doctors at St. Mary’s of Michigan hospital were treating Mullen for back and neck injuries.

She was in fair condition today, police said.

Additional information about the child was not available.

Trooper Jack Neveau, who was inside the patrol car when it was struck, assisted Mullen and the child despite suffering back and arm injuries, Proudfoot said.

Doctors at Covenant Medical Center treated and released Neveau.

Proudfoot said the patrol car was a fully-marked unit and its emergency lights were operating at the time of the collision.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Beached Shark Towed Away In NC

Here's the story from WECT News 6:

CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WECT) - A late night beach visitor to Carolina Beach got the attention of police and a local tow truck company. Some people are upset that not enough was done to try and save the shark.
An 8 foot Sand Tiger Shark washed ashore on Carolina Beach around 11:30 Monday night. 
Police were on the scene for crowd control only. They did not call for an expert from the aquarium to come and get the shark. Instead, they called a tow truck to come pick it up.
15-year-old Evan Pye said he and several others tried to save the shark, but it kept turning on its back. He also told us that police were yelling at him and others to stay away.
Paul Barrington, with the aquarium at Fort Fisher, says it's likely the shark was going to die even if an aquarium official were to come out to the beach. He says once a shark has beached itself, it only takes about ten minutes before the shark dies. According to Pye, the shark was still alive, even when a tow truck transported the fish to the town's maintenance yard.
Barrington believes the shark was suffering from trauma around its mouth. It's likely the shark was reeled in recently by a fisherman, and after the fight, it lost all of its energy.

It Takes Three...

Here's why you should never ask "What else can go wrong?"! The story is from www.wxyz.com in Lexington, MI:

Two YouTube videos are showing exactly what can go wrong when you try and launch a boat.They were recorded about a month ago at a boat ramp near Lexington, Michigan in Sanilac County. Both show the efforts to pull an SUV from the waters of Lake Huron using tow trucks.
Somehow, during the effort, the first tow truck starts rolling, and almost falls off the side of the ramp. That tow truck is then pulled back onto dry land and another is brought in to pull the SUV free. However, the tow truck also starts rolling and almost ends up in the drink.

IL Tow Truck Driver's Family Settles For $1.5 Million

Here's the story from the News Tribune:
The family of a tow truck driver killed in a 2008 crash has settled a wrongful death lawsuit with a trucker and his employer for $1.5 million.
Marie Waite had sued driver Mark D. Boehm of Spring Valley and Double D Express for the accident that killed her son, 49-year-old William B. Waite, on June 23, 2008. Monday, Marie Waite settled.
William Waite died while he and Christian Henninger were assisting a broken down tractor-trailer on Interstate 80, 3½ miles east of Utica. They were struck from behind by an eastbound semi driven by Boehm, according to the lawsuit filed in 2009.
Henninger survived the crash and filed a separate lawsuit against Boehm and Double D. He settled in June for $3 million.
Plaintiff’s attorney Stephen D. Phillips of Chicago said the Waite family opted to settle rather than pursue a judgment that could have bankrupted Double D and worsened the area’s unemployment.
“Rather than insisting on receiving full compensation for the Waites’ business losses and potentially cause Double D Express to cease operations, the Waites chose to accept $1.5 million to settle their claim,” Phillips said. “It is extremely important to the Waites, lifetime residents of the Illinois Valley, not to jeopardize the continued viability of Double D Express Inc. and the jobs of the employees of the company.
“The unselfish decision by the Waites was made in spite of the fact that their own 49-year-old business ceased operations because of the death of William Waite Jr. and the unwise decisions made by certain people at Double D Express in not buying adequate liability insurance.”
Joseph Skryd, attorney for Boehm and Double D, disputed Phillips’ characterization of Double D’s insurance coverage. Illinois law requires $1 million in coverage, and Double D in fact had $4 million in coverage, he said.

Beacon Funding Corporation Joins PTROI and CTTA

Here's the press release:
CHICAGO, Aug. 11-- Beacon Funding has recently become an Associate Member of both the Professional Towing and Recovery Association of Illinois (PTROI) and the California Tow Truck Association (CTTA). As members of these towing associations, Beacon agrees to uphold high standards of honor and integrity, promote fellowship, and strive to be a premier provider of equipment financing solutions to towing and recovery specialists.
In the past decade, Beacon Funding has provided equipment financing services to an ever-increasing number of tow truck operators and dealers in the states of Illinois and California. Beacon Funding joined the PTROI and CTTA because of each association's strong tradition and quality membership.
"We remain confident that both the PTROI and CTTA have much to offer Beacon and will help our organization to learn more about the businesses we serve and the issues affecting the tow industry," stated Vice President of Sales and Marketing Toby McDonough. "Our participation in these associations is a great opportunity for us to gain perspective that will allow us to expand our creative equipment financing products and vendor partnership programs."
Beacon Funding will be attending the 30th Anniversary Professional Towing and Recovery Association of Illinois Trade Show and Convention, August 13 and 14, 2010.
For the past 20 years, Beacon Funding Corporation has been providing equipment financing solutions to all types of organizations, new and established, throughout a variety of industries in the United States and Canada. For more information, please visit http://www.beaconfunding.com.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

AutoReturn Wins 5-Year Contract Extension With San Francisco

Here's info from the release:
AutoReturn,the leader in the new field of towing management and logistics, announced that its five-year contract extension for managing the
municipal towing operations has been approved by the City of San Francisco.

Citing a night and day change, Supervisors last week approved a new contract for AutoReturn after crediting the company with transforming a
historically difficult process into an efficient and professional service that has improved every facet of the city’s towing operations.
Read more here...

Medical Info We Can ALL Use!

Learn Sarver Heart Center's Continuous Chest Compression CPR

Every three days, more Americans die from sudden cardiac arrest than the number who died in the 9-11 attacks. You can lessen this recurring loss by learning Continuous Chest Compression CPR, a hands-only CPR method that doubles a person’s chance of surviving cardiac arrest. It’s easy and does not require mouth-to-mouth contact, making it more likely bystanders will try to help, and it was developed at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.
"This video is worth sharing," said Gordon A. Ewy, MD, director of the UA Sarver Heart Center and one of the research pioneers who developed this method.
Click here to watch the video.

Safe & Efficient Transportation Act Introduced, Represents Significant Step for Truck Weight Reform, Safer Highways

Here's the press release from the Coalition for Transportation Productivity:

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Aug. 5, 2010) – The Coalition for Transportation Productivity (CTP), a group of more than 160 shippers and allied associations dedicated to responsibly increasing federal weight limits on interstate highways, today applauded Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) for introducing the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act, S. 3705, in the U.S. Senate.  To read the joint statement from Sens. Crapo, Collins and Kohl, visit http://crapo.senate.gov/.

Like identical companion legislation now pending in the House of Representatives, the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act would permit state DOTs to raise interstate weight limits within their states to 97,000 pounds for trucks equipped with six axles instead of five. Without making the truck any larger, the additional axle maintains safety specifications, including stopping capability and current weight per tire. The Safe and Efficient Transportation Act would safely make the shipment of heavier cargo more efficient, as many trucks meet the current 80,000-pound federal weight limit with significant space in their rigs. Under the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act, shippers could safely utilize extra cargo space and reduce truck loads, fuel, emissions and vehicle miles traveled for each ton of freight shipped.

“With freight increases in the forecast, the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act would make roads safer, greener and more efficient – both now and in the future,” said CTP Executive Director John Runyan. “The American Trucking Associations estimates that the trucking industry will haul 30 percent more tonnage in 2021 than it does today. If current weight restrictions remain the same, that means our economy will require 18 percent more trucks on the road driving 27 percent more miles than they do now. The Safe and Efficient Transportation Act would ease the burden on our roads by adjusting weight limits to safely reduce the number of trucks required to ship a given amount of goods.”

 “The truck weight reform outlined in the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act is not a new concept,” Runyan added. “The UK raised its gross vehicle weight limit to 97,000 pounds for six-axle vehicles in 2001 and has experienced exactly what we need in the U.S. More freight has been shipped, yet vehicle miles traveled have leveled off and fatal truck-related accident rates have declined by 35 percent. Additionally, the Wisconsin DOT found that a law like the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act would have prevented 90 truck-related accidents on Wisconsin roads during 2006.”

The Safe and Efficient Transportation Act, H.R. 1799, was originally introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Michael Michaud (D-ME) and Jean Schmidt (R-OH). It currently has 54 cosponsors.

About the Coalition for Transportation Productivity
The Coalition for Transportation Productivity (CTP) is a coalition of more than 160 shippers and allied associations dedicated to addressing the safety, economic and environmental challenges facing our nation’s freight transportation network through carefully crafted truck weight reform. For more information, visit www.transportationproductivity.org.

Farewell, Friend

Our condolences to the family and acquaintances of Veldon Nuttall, who passed away on July 28. Nuttall founded Nuttall Towing in Safford, AZ with his father in the late 1940s. His son, Floyd, runs the business today.
Here's the obituary:
Veldon James Nuttall was born 12 August 1921 in Pima, Graham, Arizona to James Floyd Nuttall and Alice Jane (Bryce) Nuttall. He was the third of five children. Veldon lived his entire life in the Gila Valley, residing on the same city block in Safford for more than 70 years. He passed away at his home July 28, 2010 in Safford, Graham, Arizona.

After graduating from Safford High School, Veldon worked various jobs until he voluntarily joined the U.S. Army to serve his country in World War II. While home on leave, he married his sweetheart, Elena Marvine Brewer, on June 7, 1943. Five days later he was deployed for 28 months to the Pacific theater, leaving his sweetheart behind to patiently wait for his return. Shortly after Veldon’s return from the military, they were sealed for time and all eternity on November 4, 1945 in the Mesa Arizona Temple. On June 7, 2010 they celebrated their 67th anniversary.

In about 1948, Veldon and his father were the original founders of Nuttall’s Towing which is still being operated today by Veldon’s son. In addition to operating his towing business, he worked at the Safford Post Office, retiring in 1981. He served as a Safford City Councilman from 1976 to 1981. Important to Veldon was his membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints where he served over 25 years as a ward clerk for many different bishops. He and his wife, Marvine, faithfully served for 2 ½ years as temple workers in the Mesa Arizona Temple.

Veldon will be remembered for his quick wit and good sense of humor. His close friends were always uplifted by his joking and kidding around. Many people knew him as the “Big Nutt”. He never knew a stranger and was always willing to help others.

He was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers, two sisters, and one grandson.

Veldon is survived by his wife, Marvine; four children--Jane (Robert) Huffenberger, James (Tamra) Nuttall, Floyd (Doni) Nuttall, and Marvin (DawnNell) Nuttall; twelve grandchildren; three great grandchildren; 1 sister, Nancy; and numerous nephews and nieces.

Funeral services will be conducted Wednesday, August 4, 2010, at 11:00 am in the Solomon LDS Chapel, with viewing beginning at 9:00 am. Interment will be in the Safford Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please contribute to a local charity of your choosing to benefit the local community.

Miller Industries Adds New Distributors

Here's the Miller press release:
Miller Industries is pleased to announce the addition of five new experienced distributors to our already extensive network. The recently added distributors include the following:

.    Todd Equipment, Inc., Phoenix, AZ
.    Wreckers, LTD, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
.    Matheny Motors, Woodbridge, VA, and Parkersburg, WV
.    McCandless International Trucks, Inc., North Las Vegas, NV
.    Hedinger's Equipment, Inc., Greensburg, IN

"We have always felt that our distributor network is one of our strongest assets," stated Miller Industries President and Co-CEO Jeff Badgley. "We can build the world's finest towing and recovery equipment but it's essential to have top-notch distributors to provide sales and service to towing companies nationwide.

"The five recently added distributors who will be handling Miller Industries' top brands of equipment are a perfect fit with our existing network. These distributors come to Miller with a proven track record and are highly experienced in the towing and recovery industry, having handled other lines of equipment in the past. We at Miller Industries welcome them as the newest members of our family."

For more information about Miller Industries or our distributor network,please visit our website at www.millerind.com

Miller Industries Celebrates Success Of U.S., Canadian Sales Training

Here's the press release from Miller:
Miller Industries is proud to congratulate its U.S. and Canadian distributors' sales people who recently completed training at the 2010 Miller Industries Sales Summit. The successful event was held at Miller Industries' Chattanooga, Tennessee, campus with close to 100 sales professionals in attendance.

"We at Miller Industries believe that it is essential for our distributors'sales people to help towers make informed decisions when buying the equipment that we manufacture," said Miller Industries Vice President of Marketing Randy Olson. "What better way to do that than to provide the salesforce with this knowledge right here at the Miller Industries headquarters?"

The two-day intensive training included providing detailed information on recent chassis and emissions changes, weight distribution, as well as equipment options. The sales summit also focused on educating the salespeople on the construction, features and benefits of Miller Industries' lines of carriers and light-, medium- and heavy-duty towing and recovery units.

With the constantly changing technology available to the development of both the chassis and equipment, Miller Industries strives to provide highly trained and well-educated sales professionals at the distributor level to assist towers in making the proper choices when purchasing new equipment. This sales summit was one of the ways that Miller Industries achieves that goal.

For more information about Miller Industries, please visit our website at www.millerind.com.

Monday, August 9, 2010

US Marshals Haul FL Towing Company's Trucks Away

Here's the story from www.tampabay.com:
ST. PETERSBURG — A towing company embroiled in controversy after it towed the vehicles of several fans outside Tropicana Field had its own tow trucks taken Friday by the U.S. Marshals Service.
The three Apex Towing trucks were seized as part of a civil action relating to a lawsuit against the company by a former employee, the Marshals Service said.
Vinny Cassara, 43, a former Apex Towing employee, filed a lawsuit against Apex in November 2008, saying he wasn't getting paid overtime, despite working more than 40 hours a week, according to court records.
A jury ruled on July 15 that Apex owed Cassara a judgment of $24,616 in unpaid overtime, liquidated damages and attorney's fees.
Cassara never got the money, so he enlisted the help of the Marshals Service to take the trucks, said Ron Lindbak, a deputy U.S. marshal in Tampa.
The vehicles were then given to Cassara, who took photos to celebrate the event.
"Tables turned for impound company," he said.
Cassara said he went to the owner of Apex, Philip DeCelles, and tried to work out a payment plan but DeCelles, 42, refused.
Instead, DeCelles offered to give him some junk cars that Cassara could sell on his own.
"I'm not a car salesman … so the Marshals gave the okay and I hooked up his trucks," Cassara said.
He said he's still willing to deal with DeCelles and give him back his trucks as long as he gets his money.
Neither DeCelles nor company officials could be reached Friday for comment.
The company was part of a controversy in April after it towed vehicles out of a lot that was meant for residents of an apartment building. Someone had covered up "no parking" signs and then took money from multiple patrons.
Apex Towing had a contract with the apartment owner and towed five cars.
Police said the company wasn't involved in the scheme, but that didn't stop the ire of citizens and St. Petersburg City Council member Wengay Newton, who pushed for an ordinance to require parking attendants to wear photos IDs.
A few days later, DeCelles was charged with scheming to defraud in April after police say he misrepresented himself as the owner of another towing company and then towed a vehicle.
DeCelles has denied the charge and said he had authority to tow the vehicle.

Sad News From TX

Our condolences to the family and acquaintances of TX tower Rogelio Flores, who died on Friday following a crash with a drunk driver. Here's the story from 39 News:

HOUSTON - An update about a wrecker driver who died after being hit by a drunk driver on Friday. Investigators told 39 News that Rogelio Flores was headed to tow a car, which was driven by a suspected drunken driver. On the way there, a car cut off Flores causing him to veer off the road and into two utility poles.

On Saturday, police charged 25-year-old Rogelio Villalobos with intoxication manslaughter in connection with the death of Rogelio Flores. The accident took place in Northeast Harris County on Jensen Drive near Laura Koppe Road around 1 a.m. on Friday.

39 News spoke with a Houston tow truck driver who knew Flores.

Gomez Gonzalo is no stranger to dangerous situations. A few months ago, Gonzalo was traveling to an accident scene to tow a vehicle. But as Gonzalo was leaving that accident scene, something terrible happened.

"I got hit by another vehicle," said Gonzalo, who moved from Los Angeles to Houston to work for Fast Tow Wrecker Services as a driver.

Gonzalo said a police officer backed up and accidentally ran over his leg.

"The more time you spend on the freeway, the more chances you may get seriously hurt from another vehicle. That's what happened to me," said Gonzalo.

What happened to Gonzalo is an example of the dangers tow truck drivers encounter each day. Gonzalo met Rogelio Flores while working in the field. So when Gonzalo learned about what happened on Friday, his heart just sank.

"It's just [like it happened to] one of us," Gonzalo said concerning the friendships tow truck drivers develop. "It could have been me. It could have been my brother [or] my Dad, you know."

Flores was known for always being careful on the roads. He worked in the tow truck business for over 20 years.

"I mean, he was a good guy. He was a family man. He has a brother [and] he looks out for his brother," Mohammed Yousef, who was Flores' employer for five years, said. "He has a wife. He's a hard working guy. It's a shame to see him go."

Investigators say Rogelio Villalobos is the man responsible for causing Flores' truck to flip over on Friday. Villalobos has been charged with intoxication manslaughter.

"Everybody seems to think that wrecker drivers are the bad people out here until they really need a wrecker," said Yousef.

"Our purpose as the drivers is to save another life," said Gonzalo. "Putting our own lives at risk."

As Gonzalo kneels down to pay his respects to Flores at the accident scene, he still can't believe the way Flores passed away.

"It was somebody's father. He's somebody's friend. Rest in peace," said Gonzalo.

The Flores family told 39 News they need help paying for funeral expenses. If you would like to donate to the Rogelio Flores family fund, stop by any Chase bank.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Tow Truck Drivers Say Houston Guidelines Encourage Reckless Competition

Here's the story from www.kens5.com:
HOUSTON—Tow truck operators spoke out Friday, hours after a deadly crash that claimed the life of a wrecker driver in northeast Houston.

The accidents occurred around 1 o’clock Friday morning in the 8900 block of Jensen Drive. Witnesses told police two wrecker drivers were racing when one of them collided with a car and struck a poll.

“It’s not a surprise to see this happen,” said Wilfredo Dejesus, who has been operating a wrecker for the last six years. “It’s a jungle out there, a concrete jungle.”

The man who died had been operating a tow truck for more than 20 years.

“You might make it home or you might not,” added Dejesus, who blamed the rules adopted by city council for creating what he called a climate that rewards reckless behavior.

Those rules guarantee that only the first two wreckers on scene will receive any money.

“Guys are fighting with one another and pulling out knives. It’s all about getting that dollar,” said Dejesus.

 A few years ago, city leaders established strict guidelines regulating tow truck operators on freeways, but not city streets.

Jeanette Rash, the vice president of the Towing and Recovery Association of America, said she has spent years lobbying city hall for safer standards.

“This shouldn’t have happened and I wonder if there was more I could have done,” she said.

Rash believes the city should consider allowing four wrecker drivers at each accident scene.

“I’m hoping we can go back to the table and fix this now,” she added.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

New IL Law To Protect Car, Truck Drivers From Wreck Chasers

Here's the Land Line Mag story:
A new law in Illinois is intended to stop feeding frenzies by tow truck drivers at wrecks.
Tow truck owners and operators in Illinois have been allowed to solicit damaged and disabled vehicles along the roadside, whether they are four-wheelers or large trucks.
Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law a bill prohibiting tow truck operators from stopping at the scene of an accident unless law enforcement, or the owner or operator of the vehicle, has contacted them. HB4860 took effect immediately.
“This law helps protect the rights of Illinois’ motorists and will improve safety on our roads,” Quinn stated. “We must do everything we can to keep our drivers safe, especially when they find themselves in a vulnerable situation.”
Rep. John D’Amico, D-Chicago, said the new law protecting car and truck drivers addresses a big problem with wreck chasers.
“They are taking advantage of people in a bad situation. This way the tow truck driver on the scene was called by the person or the police officer. You’re going to know where your car is, and you’re going to know how much it’s going to cost,” D’Amico told Land Line Now on Sirius XM. “It’s just one more layer of protection for people on the road.”

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

And The Winner Is...

Its official! We have this month's Facebook winner and we are going coast to coast and South to North! Last month, our winner was from Southern CA; this month, the winner is from CT. Congratulations to Ahmad Pasha with Skyline Recovery for winning the LED Visor from Pierce Sales!!!

More chances to win coming up soon! Check out Towing & Recovery Footnotes on Facebook today!

Tuesday Trucking Tomfoolery :)

Here's a story from the Toronto Sun that's still got me laughing!
A Kitchener truck driver is facing a careless driving charge but on the bright side, his tooth doesn’t hurt anymore.
Lambton County OPP say they stopped a big rig driver doing some driving dentistry along Hwy. 402 on Wednesday.
Const. John Reurink told the Sun Saturday it’s the first time he’s ever heard of a driver being pulled over performing dental surgery.
“I’ve never heard of this sort of thing occurring before,” Reurink said, adding he has stopped drivers doing their make-up, reading a map or talking on a cellphone. “Somebody doing an amateur tooth pulling? That’s a first.”
Reurink said it all started June 30 when an officer was on Hwy. 402 in Warwick Township, near Sarnia, and a passing driver pointed him to a tractor trailer being driven “all over the road.”
The officer found the eastbound rig and pulled it over.
Cops determined the 58-year-old driver was driving so poorly because he was trying to pull out a tooth while he was driving.
“The driver was very forthright with the officer,” Reurink said.
The amateur dentist of a driver had rigged a string around his hurting tooth and then tied the other end to the roof of the cab, police said.
“One good bump and the tooth should come out,” police explained.
Turns out the “one good bump” likely did come along at some point.
“The evidence of his efforts were nearby,” Reurink said.
When the driver was stopped the officer found a bloody tooth and a string lying next to him.
Strangely, police say the road down that way isn’t that bumpy and was recently resurfaced.
“He may have been better off on a sideroad,” Reurink said.
Police won’t be releasing the driver’s name because he’s charged under the Highway Traffic Act, not the Criminal Code, and they figure he’d be “continuously bombarded” by media trying to talk to him about his stunt - which would likely be more of a headache than a toothache.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Philadelphia Tow Truck Driver Shot, Critically Injured

It does not appear that this shooting is related to the "tow wars" shooting earlier in the month. Keeping this unnamed tower in our thoughts. Here's the story from CBS 3:
Philadelphia police are searching for a gunman who shot a tow truck driver in the back multiple times in the Kensington neighborhood.

According to sources, the tow tuck driver was cleaning his vehicle near the intersection of Front and Silver Streets when he was shot from behind.

Neighbors of the victim tell Eyewitness News the driver lives in the area and witnessed a black male running down the street after the shooting.

Police say the victim, who is an employee of "Straight Up" Towing and was not on-call at the time of the shooting, was spotted on the ground by two Good Samaritans who picked him up from the ground and transported him to Episcopal Hospital.

The driver has since been transferred to Temple University Hospital where he is listed in extremely critical condition.

Police have not released the victim's name at this time and also have stated they do not believe this incident is the result of any "towing wars" altercation.

On July 22, a Philadelphia tow truck driver was shot and properties connected to an ongoing tow truck rivalry were riddled by gunfire and set on fire.

This incident remains under investigation.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

SC Tow Truck Driver Injured, Driver Of Other Vehicle Killed In Head On Crash

Here's the story from FOX Carolina:
Officials said an early-morning crash left one man dead and another injured on Saturday.Troopers said the crash occurred on Highway 29 near Bible Brook Road at about 5 a.m.According to investigators, 24-year-old Tereso Diaz, of North Caroilna, lost control of his car and crossed the center line, crashing head-on into a tow truck that was in the process of hooking up another car.Police said Diaz's car rolled onto the tow truck driver, but the extent of his injuries is not known. He was taken to a nearby hospital.Diaz was pronounced dead at the scene, troopers said.