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Thursday, September 30, 2010

San Antonio To Host Tow Expo Int'l. in May

Here's the press release:
San Antonio to Host Tow Expo Int'l May 12-14, 2011

September 24, 2010 - San Antonio, the city popular for its historic Alamo and unique River Walk, will once again play host to Tow Expo International 2011, according to Henri "Doc" Calitri, president of A.T. Expo, Inc.

The show will be housed in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center from May 12-14. San Antonio was the show site from 2006-2008 before the show moved to Houston the last two years.

"We are very excited to go back to San Antonio," said Tommy Anderson, show manager. "The exhibitors we surveyed were overwhelmingly in favor of bringing the show back to San Antonio. It has proven to be very popular for both vendors and attendees."

"The River Walk is literally outside the door of our host hotel Marriott River Walk ($159/night) and within two blocks of the La Quinta ($129/night), our second choice hotel. The convention center is a stop on the River Walk and across the street from the Marriott. Anyone can enjoy the flavor of the city and its attractions within a few minutes of leaving their hotel room," Anderson added. "You can pick from dozens of restaurants along the River Walk promenade and have a great time."

Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions Re-launching trucktires.com

Here's the press release:
Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions (BBTS), a division of Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, is re-launching trucktires.com, a Web site providing solutions and advice to help fleet customers increase tire life and reduce cost per mile.
“No two fleets are absolutely identical. That‟s why BBTS offers an extensive list of programs, services and products that can be used to help fleets customize solutions that are right for their business. One customer may want information on tire maintenance, the next may have tire operating costs that are out of line – each fleet may require a unique solution,” said Bill Block, Manager, Branding & Advertising, BBTS. “Trucktires.com is a portal to these resources, offering information and guidance for BBTS dealers and fleets of all sizes.
“The Toolbox page is structured to help fleets keep their businesses running smoothly, offering tools and services for fleet management, buying programs, tire performance analysis, training and education – as well as useful tips for reducing tire and maintenance costs,” continued Block. “For answers to specific tire problems, BBTS customers can e-mail a question to the „Tire Doctor‟ who will reply with a personalized response.”
The new site also serves as a portal to the Bridgestone, Bandag, Firestone and Dayton Web sites, where visitors can find precisely the right tire and retread products, locate the nearest dealer and access Emergency Road Service.
Fleet customers can also check load/inflation tables, watch tire care videos and link to trucking industry and government Web sites.
Tour the new BBTS Web site at www.trucktires.com.

October's Digital Edition Is Out!

Your October 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.
  • Drivers In Danger is a warning to operators to be alert for road rage and other potential violence, particularly toward repo men and private property towers. One towman survived multiple bullet wounds, but just barely. "Stay safe out there" has special meaning for towers. Page 12
  • Pothole People. What are they? They are the bad hires that can hurt or even ruin your business. This is a cautionary tale to remind owner/operators of the potential liability arising from new employees with questionable pasts, particularly drivers who go out to cause accidents or other problems. Vet applicants thoroughly and avoid problems later. Page 10
  • Tire Tech. Two articles relating to tire safety and inflation techniques will help you at your next purchase, always a big expense. Here are ways to save on wear and tear and protect your equipment bottom line with the best wheels to help you keep on truckin'! Page 15 and Page 16
  • Hurting At Work? The Tow Doctor knows what's good and bad for you and here she gives you insights into the causes and cures of those pains and strains that our hard-working professionals are subject to, what with all the lifting and tugging required on the job. Page 19
Also in this issue: A chance to win a $200 Custer wireless lightbar kit from Pierce Sales; photos of a rare little English tow truck; new products from Jerr-Dan and Miller; and even a couple of jokes as well. And don't hesitate to ask about our combo print/online advertising deals that will increase your product visibility at a great savings over the usual rates.
If you cannot click on any of the links above, please copy and paste this URL into your web browser:

October 2010 Issue: http://www.flashedition.com/publication?i=47461

Updated: Tow Shows & Demos!

Shows, Training & Demos

Publicize your tow show, big recovery demo, training class, or repo event. Send your information by email: bcandler@dominionenterprises.com; fax: 757-233-7047; or mail: Bill Candler, Towing & Recovery Footnotes, Dominion Enterprises, 150 Granby St., Norfolk VA 23510.

Oct 22-23
New Southern Regional
Towing Convention
Cox Convention Center
Oklahoma City, OK
405-319-1724
www.ttsa.org

Nov 19-21
American Towman
2010 Exposition
Baltimore Convention Center
Baltimore, MD
800-723-3869
www.towshow.com

2011
Mar 16-20
TRAA Legislative &
Leadership Conference
Plus: Board/Business Meeting
Crystal City Marriott
Arlington, VA
  www.towserver.net
800-728-0136

May 12-14
A.T. Tow Expo
International
Gonzalez
Convention Center
San Antonio, TX
www.towshow.com
800-732-3869

Drivers Ignoring WI's "Move Over" Law

Hopefully, the story will bring some attention to the problem! Here's the northwestern.com article:
Sean Klessig of Fond du Lac gets nervous every time he hooks up a disabled vehicle on the side of the road as traffic whizzes by on Highway 41.

And when people do not obey the state’s 2001 Move Over Law, the man with 14 years of towing experience thinks of a deadly statistic that is growing across the country.

"I read articles in towing magazines on how a driver was struck and killed on the side of the highway while doing his job because someone didn’t obey traffic laws," said Klessig of Whealon Towing. "I’m glad I’ve never had to experience that at the towing companies I’ve worked with. I just have a feeling it is going to happen. I don’t want to be in a funeral procession because of an idiotic driver."

A lot of local publicity was given to the law in 2003 when Fond du Lac County Highway Department worker Dennis Roeseler was killed on Highway 41 while working within a highway work zone. Two Winnebago County highway workers were killed in March 2006 while working on Highway 41 shoulder repairs.

Authorities say it is an all too common occurrence for vehicles to speed past highway workers doing road maintenance.

The Move Over Law requires drivers to shift lanes or slow down to provide a "safety zone" for a squad car, ambulance, fire truck, tow truck or highway maintenance vehicle that is stopped on the side of a road with its warning lights flashing, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

"On 41 you sometimes cannot move over. You have to slow down to a reasonable, safe speed," said Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Dean Will. "… What is reasonable is at the discretion of the officer. In a 65 mph zone, a reasonable speed could be between 30 and 40."

A first violation of the law will cost drivers $175.30 and three demerit points on a driver’s license. A second offense within one year will knock off an additional three points and cost $213.10, said Will.

On Sept. 18, Klessig saw a violation that he found disturbing as he was retrieving a vehicle on Highway 41, north of Military Road.

Update: Woman Charged With Vehicular Homicide In Death of WA Tow Truck Driver

Here's the Seattle Times story:
Seattle Times staff reporter
A Seattle woman, who authorities say struck and killed a tow-truck driver after she swerved across five lanes of traffic while on Interstate 5 early Friday morning, was charged Wednesday with vehicular homicide and hit and run.
Shavelle Lewis was driving with a suspended license when she struck and killed William Padilla, 51, at 1:26 a.m., said charging documents filed in King County Superior Court. Padilla was kneeling on the ground next to a disabled vehicle on the entrance ramp from Spokane Street to southbound I-5 when he was struck.
After the crash, Lewis did a U-turn and drove away, charging papers said. Troopers found Lewis and her 31-year-old passenger nearby, charging papers said.
Troopers said that Lewis smelled of alcohol and had watery, bloodshot eyes, charging papers said. Lewis told investigators that she had a glass of wine that night. Results of a blood-alcohol draw are still being evaluated by the state crime lab, the charging papers said.
Senior Deputy Prosecutor Amy Freedheim said in charging documents that Lewis has convictions for prostitution, hit and run and drug crimes, and has been sought on 14 arrest warrants since 2008. Two days before the collision she was arrested on warrants, and was released from custody the day before the crash, Freedheim said.
Lewis was arrested on Friday, but after the State Patrol failed to submit the necessary court paperwork by the deadline set by state statute she was released on Tuesday. A judge on Wednesday issued an arrest warrant.
Freedheim is asking that Lewis be held on $150,000 bail once she is rearrested.
Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report.

Sad News From OK

Our condolences to the family and acquaintances of 24-year-old Michael Cummisky, a driver for Storey Wrecker. He was killed after his wrecker was hit on the side of the road early Wednesday (9/29) morning. Here's the story from www.newson6.com:

NOBLE COUNTY, OKLAHOMA -- A Broken Arrow man has died after the wrecker he was sitting in on the shoulder of I-35 in Noble County was struck by another truck early Wednesday morning.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says 24-year-old Michael Cummisky was the driver of a 1995 Kenworth wrecker which was parked on the shoulder when a southbound semi hit the wrecker shortly after 2 a.m.  
Troopers say the semi left the roadway striking the wrecker in the rear.
Cummisky was flown by medical helicopter to an Oklahoma City hospital, where he was pronounced dead almost 10 hours after the accident.
Cummisky had been a driver for Storey Wrecker in Tulsa for about 2 years, according to Kristin Capeheart, who handles public relations for the company. 
Cummisky drove one of the company's largest wreckers, Capeheart said.  He had hauled a piece of oilfield equipment for a company in Kansas and was on his way home when the wreck happened.  Capeheart said Storey's large wreckers sometimes answer calls far from home because few wrecker companies operate such large equipment.
Capeheart said Cummisky had a blow out and was sitting on the shoulder as he waited for a tire service company to come replace the bad tire.
Capeheart said Cummisky was a very well-liked young man who was married and had two young children. 
The driver of the semi, 40-year-old Eddie Wyatt of Kaufman, Texas was taken to an Enid hospital where he was treated and released.
An investigation into the crash continues.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sad News From WA

Our condolences go the family and acquaintances of 51-year-old William Padilla of Seattle who was killed by a drunk driver on the side of the road on Friday, Sept. 24th. Padilla worked for GT Towing. Here's the story from KOMO News:
SEATTLE - State troopers arrested a woman who they say struck and killed a tow truck driver on Interstate 5 in Seattle early Friday morning.

Officials said the 51-year-old tow truck driver was on the ramp from Spokane Street to southbound I-5 working on a vehicle damaged in an earlier crash when he was hit about 1:15 a.m.

William Padilla, who worked for GT Towing in Seattle, was kneeling down at the front of the disabled car when a man driving an SUV in the HOV lane lost control and drove across all southbound lanes before hitting the tow truck operator.

"We had DOT at the scene doing traffic control... so it was a pretty safe scene," Washington State Patrol Trooper Trisena John said.

"But, still, this person for some reason cut across all lanes and ended up hitting this tow truck driver even though there was plenty of traffic control and plenty of lights to notify approaching traffic that there was a collision scene ahead."

Padilla, of Burien, died at the scene.

Investigators said the woman driving the SUV sped off but was captured minutes later at the bottom of the Michigan Street off ramp.

The driver and another person who was in the car at the time of the crash were arrested and booked into the King County Jail. Officials said both were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Dangerous Duty In MS

We hope this unnamed tow truck driver recovers quickly! Here's the story from WLBT TV:
JACKSON, MS (WLBT) – Jackson police have arrested the motorist who they say struck a tow truck driver working an accident scene.
J.P.D. Officer Colendula Green said shortly after two a.m. Sunday morning the unidentified tow truck operator was working on a disabled vehicle on south Gallatin Street, near the Pilot Travel Center.
Green said officers were on the scene when a woman driving a green Chevrolet Silverado hit two cars before colliding into the man who was removing a vehicle from a previous accident.
The wrecker operator suffered two broken legs and was transported to a local hospital.
The driver, whose name has not been released, fled the scene but was soon caught.
She is charged with dui and is being held at the Hinds County Detention Center.

Gun, Bullet Testimony Upsets Family of Slain NY Tow Truck Company Owner

Our thoughts are with the Marcinak family as they endure the trial of John Marcinak's shooter. Marcinak, a 49-year-old father of three, owned Garrison Garage in Garrison, NY. He was killed on Jan. 1, 2009 outside of his business. Here's the story from The Journal News on www.lohud.com:

CARMEL — The projected images of a slain tow truck driver and the multiple gunshot wounds that killed him brought some among his family and friends to tears.

The photos were shown Monday in the murder trial of Anthony Grigoroff in Putnam County Court.

Dr. Benjamin Bristol, a pathologist with the Westchester County Medical Examiner's Office, testified that the bullet that struck John Marcinak's abdomen was fired from close range, the muzzle of the gun perhaps touching his clothing, judging by tell-tale marks on the surrounding skin.

Bristol performed the Jan. 1, 2009, autopsy on Marcinak, the 49-year-old father of three killed outside his Route 9 business, Garrison Garage.

"You can see the black soot very deep in the wound, again indicating to us that this was at very close range," Bristol told Assistant District Attorney Lisa Ortolano.

Grigoroff, 19, a resident of Lake Peekskill, is charged with second-degree murder, second-degree burglary and second-degree criminal possession, felonies.

Jurors examined sketches and Styrofoam busts illustrating the trajectory of the bullets that struck Marcinak's head, left eye and torso.

Bristol testified that the two head wounds were probably consistent with the victim being shot while lying on the ground by someone standing over him. Unlike the head wounds, the shot to his stomach was likely fired from in front, Bristol said.

Earlier, Sgt. Dennis Lyons, a state police firearms expert, testified that the same gun, a .44-caliber revolver, could have fired the three bullets. At least one, possibly all three, were hollow-point slugs, Lyons said.

The prosecution replayed Grigoroff's May 1, 2009, videotaped confession, in which he recounted how he; his twin brother, Erick; and Byron Mountain, 26, planned the crime, and how Mountain shot Marcinak during the botched burglary.

Erick Grigoroff and Mountain are being held on unrelated charges and have not been charged in the case.

Dangerous Duty In OR

Here's the story from Fox News 12:
A tow truck driver hooking up a car to his rig on Highway 26 was struck and injured by a car Sunday afternoon, fire officials said.Portland firefighters said the car’s driver lost control as the vehicle spun out on wet pavement and crashed into the tow truck driver just west of the Vista Ridge Tunnel.The tow truck driver survived and is recovering at a Portland hospital. His name was not released.The car’s driver stayed at the scene of the wreck and cooperated with the investigation.

Sad News From PA

Our condolences to the family and acquaintances of 30-year-old Ray Santiago, a Philadelphia tow truck driver who was run over by a rival at a gas station early Sunday, Sept. 26. Here's the AP story:
Philly tow truck driver charged with killing rival
PHILADELPHIA — Turf wars among tow truck drivers are nothing new in Philadelphia, but they have turned unusually violent — and now deadly — in 2010.
A territory feud apparently led one driver to repeatedly run over over a rival with his truck at a gas station early Sunday, killing him, police said.
Ray Santiago's death comes months after authorities charged another tow-truck driver with shooting a competitor at an accident scene. Both firms involved in that case were then vandalized, one with a barrage of bullets and the other with a fire that tore through 13 vehicles.
"It runs in cycles, but 2010 has been the most violent year I've seen in almost a quarter century," said lawyer William J. Brennan, who has defended several tow operators charged in on-the-job scrapes. "Maybe it's the economy. Maybe people are getting desperate."
Glen McDaniel, 25, of Philadelphia was being held without bail on murder, drunken-driving and other charges in Santiago's death. It was not clear if he has an attorney.
Philadelphia police try to rotate tow jobs among a list of approved operators, but they don't do so if a tow truck beats officers to a crash scene. That leaves rivals racing dangerously through narrow city streets to claim jobs before police give them away, critics say.
That cutthroat competition explains why TV producers seized on Philadelphia for an upcoming TLC network show called "Wreck Chasers," which is following several drivers with an unidentified firm for a series set to start next month.
The city was chosen because of the unusual and competitive nature of its towing businesses, the show's executive producer, Jim Kowats, told The Associated Press earlier this month. A TLC spokeswoman did not immediately return a message Monday.
Santiago, 30, may have been involved in a towing-related film project, but police did not know if it was the TLC program, Lt. Frank Vanore said. And no filming was under way when the fatal argument erupted, said Vanore, a police spokesman.
City Councilman Jim Kenney wants oversight of the industry moved from police to the Philadelphia Parking Authority. The authority has dispatchers and impound lots available, and could eliminate the dubious practice of drivers getting cash from auto-body shops to bring in wrecked cars, Kenney said.
In July, police charged Jose LaTorre Jr. of J & Sons Autobody with shooting a Mystical Towing driver in the thigh as they argued at a crash scene. LaTorre had gotten there first, but was trying to claim the customer from his Cadillac Escalade. The Mystical tow driver therefore considered the client fair game.
"With wreck chasers, whoever's got a truck and some guts, and a connection with a body shop, wins," Brennan said.
He had defended Santiago on unrelated drug charges in 2008, and recalled his client as a family man, with a wife and children.
Police believe Santiago had an underlying feud with McDaniel over their respective territories, although there was no accident in progress when they met up Sunday just before 3 a.m. at a North Philadelphia gas station. They ran into each other as a bar let out across the street.
They may have argued over a woman at the scene, but police believe they mostly fought over their turf.
"I don't think it was about a specific tow, like we've seen (at issue) in the past. This is more like, 'You're in my area. What are you doing down here?'" Vanore said.

Monday, September 27, 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 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 (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, September 23, 2010

IN Woman Causes Wreck After Car Was Repo'ed

Here's the story from the Herald Argus:
A woman caused a crash with a tow truck that was driving off with her car, which was being repossessed.

According to police, 32-year-old Barbara Sweeney of South Bend was at a Fish Lake home September 16 when she was approached by a man who asked her to sign paperwork for him to repossess her car.

She refused to sign the documents so the man began driving off with the 2000 Saturn.

Police said Sweeney took off after the tow truck in another vehicle westbound on county Road 200 South.

After about a two-mile chase, police said the woman passed the tow truck and veered back in front of it, then slammed on her brakes, which caused both vehicles to collide.

Police said Sweeney and the tow truck driver, Dennis Jones, 48, of Elkhart, both complained of pain over their entire bodies.

United Road Towing Launches UR Vehicle Management Solutions

Here's the press release:
United Road Towing, the industry leader in towing, impound management, vehicle disposal, and motorist assistance solutions, has announced the creation of a new service offering to address specific financial and operational challenges facing municipalities across the country. The new offering is called UR Vehicle Management Solutions (UR VMS) and focuses on delivering exceptional service, absolute transparency and substantial savings or increased revenue for municipalities. UR VMS has already made significant improvements to towing and vehicle management programs in major municipalities throughout the United States including Chicago, Phoenix, and San Antonio. UR VMS has been able to draw on these experiences to develop proprietary methodologies, customized software and innovative technologies to gain a true advantage in providing an efficient and transparent environment for towing and vehicle management programs.
Ryan Davids, Vice President of Business Development, said, "We've successfully infused logistical technologies into our existing partnerships with municipalities and law enforcement to create a completely transparent environment. Our customized software solutions have produced measurable results in a variety of areas that have long been a challenge for municipalities."
Jerry Corcoran, Chief Executive Officer and President of United Road Towing, added, "During these difficult economic times, we are excited about the launch of UR Vehicle Management Solutions. United Road Towing and now UR VMS have proven successful not only in privatizing municipal programs but also turning these programs into significant profit centers to relieve the burden on tax payers."
Municipalities interested in more information about UR Vehicle Management Solutions should call or email the company at:
UR Vehicle Management Solutions
www.urvms.com

Phone: (877) 684‐4440
Fax: (708) 390‐2222
rdavids@urvms.com
About UR Vehicle Management Solutions
United Road Towing, Inc. (doing business as UR Vehicle Management Solutions) is the leader in towing and vehicle management solutions serving municipalities throughout the United States from Los Angeles to the State of Massachusetts. On an annual basis, UR VMS dispatches approximately 500,000 tows as well as manages over 300,000 impounds and sells over 60,000 abandoned vehicles.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Nice Profile on PA Towing Hall of Famer

Jim Schlier with one of his company's largest towing and recover trucks at the Tannersville center of Schlier's Towing. He started a home-based business in 1975, and now owns a towing company with 50 trucks, 46 employees and six locations.
Here's the story from the Pocono Record:
By Wayne Witkowski
Jim Schlier started his towing business with his parents at a small garage at their Reeders home shortly after graduating from Pocono Mountain High School in 1975, never realizing then that it would grow to 50 trucks at six locations and 46 employees.

"I had a body shop and we needed to get (cars from) accidents. One fed the other," said Schlier.

On Saturday, he was one of eight 2010 inductees in the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame in Chatanooga, Tenn., the only inductee this year from Pennsylvania.

"It's quite an honor," said Schlier, who also is a member of the museum. "It's probably a little overwhelming. I look at people I've known and admired who were inducted 15 years ago."

An original founder and lifetime member of the Pennsylvania Towing Association who served as its first president in 1987, Schlier is a lifetime member. He operates locations in Tannersville, Stroudsburg, Gouldsboro, White Haven, Hickory Run and Lehighton. He operates a light-, medium- and heavy-duty towing and recovery company, utilizing 60 pieces of equipment in 24-hour service.

Schlier also does auto and truck repairs and says his is the only company in the region that uses air cushions to lift overturned tankers.

The hall of fame, which had its first induction in 1986, each year recognizes those "who have made a difference," not only in business but in their community and in people's lives. His company has sponsored many Little League teams and he has volunteered helping the Pocono Township Fire Company fundraisers. He was named Citizen of the Year by the Tannersville Lions in 2006.

Schlier is the fourth inductee from the Keystone State, joining Harold Wheeler, Charlie Beard and Pat Herring.

"Without good employees and customers, it doesn't matter. We've had a lot of good customers over the years," said Schlier proudly.

And repeat car owners and truckers need servicing, Schlier said, as his business on the truck side remains solid since a major trucking hub in Bartonsville was closed.

"With PennDOT's stringent rules, there are less truck repairs because equipment is not as old as it used to be," he said. "It has to be in good condition. You may see some truckers or companies two times a year, but it's every year for 20 years."

Certainly, towing is a major part of his business and is not without its quirks.

He has been involved with removing many disabled vehicles from crashes, some of them fatal that included one recently at Schafers Schoolhouse Road in Stroudsburg. With certification in hazardous materials, he recovered a rollover tanker that spilled ammonia hydroxide in Wind Gap a few years ago.

He also remembers his company helping remove the body of an obese man from his home for the funeral.

"He must've weighed around 1,000 pounds, poor guy," recalled Schlier. "Firemen had to cut out his home so we could take him."

Schlier's reach goes well beyond northeast Pennsylvania. He recalls making frequent trips to New England to bring back disabled trucks when Roadway had a terminal in the area. "We'd go up there all the time," he said.

Schlier also remembers a double-decker bus stranded in Phillipsburg, N.J., that his company transported to El Paso, Texas, about 20 years ago.

The busiest time of the year?

"When it's either very hot or very cold, when there are a lot of people in the Poconos, " he said, referring to the summer tourism and winter ski seasons. "But even the icy roads are not as bad as the summer. Sometimes even we can't get out when it's really bad for a tow."

But the economy also pushed Schlier into re-evaluating and rightsizing his business, which at one time in recent years had as many as nine locations.

Certainly, when he arrives on the scene, he is a welcome sight to some people looking for help.

"People are at their worst when dealing with us: accidents, arrests, (stranded on) vacation, breakdown. People are not happy when you get there," he said.

Along with the excitement of his induction, his wife, Linda, has heard from CNN, which is scheduling a mid-October visit to the Candle Shoppe of the Poconos in Swiftwater that she owns for a shoot of its museum and haunted house. Earlier, the store was featured on a segment of "The Haunted" on cable television network Animal Planet as being haunted by monkeys — allegedly past victims of medical experiments.
Schlier's Towing and Recovery can be reached at 570-629-0293.

NJ's Logan's Towing Celebrates 60th With New Truck

A new Peterbilt all-wheel-drive heavy-duty towing rotating wrecker has joined the fleet of vehicles at George Logan’s Towing in North Brunswick. The vehicle can lift 100- ton vehicles in the event of heavy-duty tows or serious accidents. JENNIFER AMATO
Congratulations from all of us at Towing & Recovery Footnotes! Here's the story from the Sentinel:
NORTH BRUNSWICK — To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the longest running business in North Brunswick, George Logan’s Towing purchased one of the largest heavy-duty towing rotating wreckers available in the country.

“The Iron Emperor” is an all-wheeldrive Peterbilt from Elkhart, Ind., which serves to lift large vehicles weighing up to 100 tons in the event of heavy-duty tows or serious accidents. Its boom goes up an extra two lengths to extend and rotate to lift vehicles that may be in hard-to-reach locations.

“We get called to a lot of really bad stuff that has a lot of weight on it,” George Logan II said.

George Logan Towing was established on Jan. 7, 1950, on Route 130. George Logan II runs the business with sons George III, Richard and Ronald, who are all trained to operate the huge new truck. There is a staff of employees who operate the other 35 tow trucks, carriers, heavy-duty wreckers and flatbeds that are used in accidents in Middlesex, Monmouth, Somerset and Hunterdon counties.

George Logan II comes in every morning at 6 a.m. to start working, emulating the work ethic his father and uncle had in the industry. Because of the 24/7 service provided, George Logan II and George Logan III agreed that some days are difficult, especially when they have to respond to scenes such as a pedestrian getting killed, a schoolteacher being pinned under a tractortrailer or bad crashes at the North Brunswick circle.

“It’s just the kind of business we’re in,” George Logan II said.

“You never know if it’s going to be family or friends [at a crash scene]; that’s the hard part,” George Logan III said.

Another milestone George Logan II celebrated this year was his 60th wedding anniversary with his wife, Rosemarie. Besides their three sons, they have twin daughters, Lori and Lynn.

George Logan II is an honorary life member of several police departments, fire departments and rescue squads.

He received the Order of Towman from American Towman Magazine in 2009, a Maltese cross with a unique towing icon sculpted inside, for his dedication to his profession and for service to the community.

“I’ve always been treated nice here. They like me. They’ve treated me with respect,” George Logan II said of his time working in his hometown.

“It’s been a long life,” George Logan II said with a smile.

Contact Jennifer Amato at

jamato@gmnews.com.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sad News From NC

Our condolences to the family and acquaintances of 59-year-old Clay Malloy, Sr., the owner of Clay's Wrecker Service in Greenville, NC. He was found dead on Saturday, Sept. 18, at his business. Here's the latest story from www.witn.com:

Greenville Police say they have recovered a car they believed was involved in the suspicious death at Clay's Wrecker Service.
Clay Malloy, Sr. was discovered in the back of Clay's Wrecker Service early Saturday morning. His family says they believe he was murdered. Police are so far calling the death "suspicious."
Police said Tuesday morning they recovered the car involved in Malloy's death. The vehicle was described to detectives as a white Buick with red doors. Police say this vehicle was seen speeding away from the incident with heavy damage to the front end.
Police continue to wait on the autopsy report from the Medical Examiner before announcing what killed Malloy. The Medical Examiner is waiting for more test results.
Greenville Police urge anyone with information on the case to call police at at 252-329-4809 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              252-329-4809      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or Pitt/Greenville Crimestoppers at 252-758-7777 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              252-758-7777      end_of_the_skype_highlighting. You can also text “PITTGV” to 274637.

Previous Story

A cause of death is pending for the owner of a wrecker service who was found dead at his business Saturday morning.
Clay Malloy, Sr. was discovered in the back of Clay's Wrecker Service early Saturday morning.
While family members say the 59-year-old Malloy was murdered, Greenville police say they are still investigating the man's death.
The Pitt County Medical Examiner's Office says they are awaiting results of tests before releasing a cause of death.

Previous Story
Greenville Police are investigating a death at Clay's Wrecker Service in Greenville.
Cpl. Kip Gaskins tells WITN that Greenville police responded to a call around 6 a.m. Saturday morning. He says a family member found 59 year old Walter Clayton Malloy Sr., owner of Clay's Wrecker Service, in the back of the business outside.
The business is located at 2016 Chestnut St.
No word yet on what led to Malloy's death. Gaskins says police are still investigating.
Many family members and friends gathered at the business Saturday afternoon and told WITN it was shocking to hear of Malloy's death and that he was a good person that will be greatly missed.

Monday, September 20, 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 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 (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

Friday, September 17, 2010

TX Scam Alert

Posted by Southwest Tow Operators:
This is another letter Many Towers in Texas have received in their accounts. Please look at the format of this email and recognize it if it is sent to you. There are others that are very similar to this one in circulation. 
Please do not respond to or contact these folks, they will only target you further.

Jess Horton
Executive Director
Southwest Tow Operators

Hello Owner/Manager,
   i am contacting you as a towing company, my name is Joseph Lami, i should have called you but i am hearing impaired that is why i am contacting you via email.

I want to tow some vehicles precisely 6 cars   which i am sending in from North Carolina by air and in need your services for this so that i can have my shipper send them from NC to the nearest airport to you.

also i want you to know that they are all Honda Accord 07, 3 black and 3 wine colour, so you are to store the vehicles for 3 days also i want you to know that i will be paying  with my credit card i will have you run my card for the approximate costs  which i need you to give me then i make up the balance when i come to finally pick up after three days from ur location so i will be very happy if you can get back to me with the name of closest airport to your location..and the total cost to tow six vehicle and store them for 3 days.

So please get back to me as soon as possible. Tha
nks

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cross Country Introduces Automatic Location Spotting

Here's the press release:

Cross Country Automotive Services Introduces Automatic Location Spotting

New service offers pinpoint location for emergency towing and roadside services

MEDFORD, Mass., Sept. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Cross Country Automotive Services (Cross Country), a leading provider of driver and vehicle assistance services in North America, announced today it has implemented Automated Location Spotting™, which provides precise location data of stranded customers requesting roadside assistance – enabling Cross Country to provide motorists with needed help faster and more reliably.

Cross Country has partnered with TechnoCom Corporation™ (TechnoCom), a leading provider of turnkey enterprise location solutions, to enable this valuable service.

Utilizing real-time caller location data obtained automatically from either landline telephones or mobile telephones through the TechnoCom Location Platform™, Automated Location Spotting allows Cross Country to precisely locate the address of a disabled vehicle and immediately convey the location information to the responding emergency service provider, such as a tow truck or other responder.

"Location is the most critical data in a roadside assistance call," explained Charlie Cavolina, Cross Country senior vice president of Service Delivery. "With Automatic Location Spotting, we have made a significant investment in our proprietary systems to obtain precise location information through one of the most accurate methods available in the marketplace.  The new service highlights our commitment to and continuous focus on improving the services we offer our clients and their customers through advanced technology."

"Cross Country's innovative leadership in roadside assistance services exemplifies how consumers can be better served by the intelligent delivery of our advanced location services, full privacy controls and extensive platform capabilities," said TechnoCom President Masoud Motamedi.

About Cross Country

For nearly 40 years, Cross Country Automotive Services has been a pioneer and thought leader in creating and delivering technology enabled service solutions for the auto and insurance industries.

Cross Country's innovative, privately labeled customer relationship management programs connect, inform and assist drivers while building brand loyalty.  Cross Country leverages emerging technologies, data and application integration, and multi-modal experiences to deepen customer relationships at critical customer touch points. Its customized solutions include accident scene and vehicle release management programs, comprehensive roadside assistance plans and connected vehicle solutions (telematics) through its ATX Group division.

Foreign and domestic automakers with greater than 90% of U.S. domestic sales, as well as more than 30 of the largest automobile insurance carriers utilize Cross Country's expertise to engage with more than 76 million of their customers.  Cross Country Automotive Services is a member of the Cross Country Group, one of the largest privately held providers of customer service programs in North America.  For more information, visit www.crosscountry-auto.com.

About TechnoCom

TechnoCom Corporation is a leading provider of products and services that enable enterprises to efficiently deliver location services. TechnoCom location solutions reduce operating and capital costs, deliver superior levels of service, increase productivity and rapidly enable new revenue streams. The company's TechnoCom Location Platform and LocationAssurance Manager® allow efficient implementation of wireless location solutions and empower customers with continuous, automated oversight into location service performance.

Founded in 1995 and privately held, TechnoCom has been selected by Deloitte as one of the 50 fastest growing technology companies in Los Angeles for four consecutive years. TechnoCom's customers include AT&T, Cricket, Cross Country, Openwave, Sprint Nextel, TELUS, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, Bell and Telus. For more information about TechnoCom, please visit www.technocom-wireless.com.

LocationAssurance Manager is a registered trademarks and the TechnoCom logo, TechnoCom Corporation and TechnoCom Location Platform are trademarks of TechnoCom Corporation.

SOURCE Cross Country Automotive Services
Back to top

RELATED LINKS
http://www.crosscountry-auto.com
http://www.technocom-wireless.com

Good Deed of the Day in PA

Round of applause to the unnamed PA tow truck driver who followed this football player after the player was involved in a hit-and-run with a pedestrian. Here's the story from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

The University of Pittsburgh yesterday suspended a football player who is accused of driving drunk, striking a pedestrian in the South Side and leaving the scene.

Pitt football coach Dave Wannstedt said Jason Anthony Douglas, 19, a redshirt freshman from Opa-locka, Fla., is suspended indefinitely from team activities. Douglas, who faces a preliminary court hearing Thursday, could not be reached for comment, and it wasn't clear whether he had an attorney. Pitt officials declined further comment.

Pittsburgh police charged Douglas with causing an accident resulting in serious injury, aggravated assault, drunken-driving and underage drinking in the incident just before 2 a.m. Sunday at East Carson and 22nd streets.

Police said Douglas stumbled from his car and nearly fell when officers confronted him.

"Hey, I play for Pitt football. ... Please don't arrest me," Douglas told officers, according to a criminal complaint.

A third-string tailback and kick returner for the Panthers, Douglas was released on $500 bond.

According to a criminal complaint:

A witness told officers performing DUI checkpoints that he saw a silver Pontiac sedan with a missing driver's-side headlight heading inbound on East Carson after striking a man later identified as Christopher Paul, no age available.

Paul was hospitalized in UPMC Mercy, Uptown, with head injuries. His condition was not available yesterday. His relatives declined comment.

A tow truck driver with McGann and Chester caught up with the sedan near 18th Street and followed it until the driver parked on Sarah Street, where arriving police officers ordered the driver out of the car.

Police said the driver, identified as Douglas, smelled strongly of alcohol, and officers had to help him stand.

A man who declined to be identified said that he witnessed the arrest and that Douglas fell repeatedly and appeared highly intoxicated.

Police said a breath test registered his blood alcohol content at 0.178 percent, more than twice the legal limit in Pennsylvania for a driver older than 21.

Douglas rushed for eight yards and averaged 17 yards on three kickoff returns this season.

Everyday WA Tow Hero

Kudos to the Seattle tow truck driver, who only identified himself as James, (and his stepson and daughter-in-law), who stepped up immediately to help this business owner! Here's the story from the Seattle Post Intelligencer:

It was about 3 a.m. on August 8 when Dean Silverstone arrived at Golden Oldies, the music store he's run for decades. The mural on the building's west wall -- one he designed to show five decades in music painted by local graffiti artists -- had a more-than-six-foot hole just below Elvis.

"We found Abba with ZZ Top," Silverstone said of the records destroyed that morning.

About 2:30 a.m., police say an SUV hit a car and lost control on Northeast 45th Street near Second Avenue Northeast. When it plowed into Silverstone's shop, it destroyed more than 3,000 records, 2,000 CDs, hundreds of cassettes and 8-track tapes.

Silverstone said investigators told him the driver was texting before he hit the car and lost control. The driver's SUV came to rest about 25 feet into the store -- at the punk section.

"It was heartbreaking," said Silverstone, who estimates the store -- dubbed "one of the best sources" for finding old records by U.S. News and World Report -- has an inventory of more than 3 million records.

The store reopened after about a week of repairs. But the relatively quick turnaround wouldn't have been possible without help from the community, Silverstone said.

It started within hours of the crash. Silverstone, in an emotional state, had no idea how to repair the hole in his building and asked the cops for advice. The tow truck driver heard his plight.

"I felt really bad for this guy," the driver said Monday. "This was his livelihood and nobody should be in that situation, especially in this economy."

So the tow truck driver, who wanted to be identified by his first name James, called his stepson. He and his wife also came to help.

The driver, who used to work construction, called a buddy who checked out the building, built in 1916. A support beam had been ripped out, but the men determined it wasn't the load bearing part of the wall. They replaced it with a 4-by-4 and put plywood over the massive hole.

The tow truck driver and his stepson -- who stood watch on the store when others went to get supplies -- worked outside, while the driver's daughter-in-law helped Silverstone and co-worker Howard Hooper pick up broken records.

Growing up in the Holly Park neighborhood of Seattle, James said his parents taught him to help people when he had the chance. He said what he and his family did shouldn't bring special attention.

"They went above and beyond the call of duty," Silverstone said. "I really would have been lost without the three of them."

The next day, staff from neighboring Dick's Drive-In brought over burgers and shakes. Another neighbor grabbed his Shop-Vac and joined the cleanup. Other customers helped move tables down from upstairs storage.

"Everybody in the neighborhood came to lend a hand," said Silverstone, a Garfield High and University of Washington graduate. "It really made me feel happy to be in the Wallingford neighborhood."

The 22-year-old driver who allegedly crashed into the building was initially ticketed for unsafe passing. But court records show the citation was later canceled, after the Seattle Police Department asked the Seattle Municipal Court to cancel it. It was unclear why.

A Seattle police spokesman did not have details on why the letter was sent.

Silverstone doesn't have documents showing exactly how much he paid for the records he lost, which is one reason he can't recover the full value of them. But sooner or later, he expects to get a portion of what was lost financially.

"But that won't replace the hole in our hearts and in our spirits," Silverstone said.

What has helped him and Hooper get through it is the kindness from neighbors and customers who have been coming in for years.

Silverstone he wants people to know he's still open, but mostly wants Golden Oldies to be known as a store where four-legged friends are welcome. Next to the door, he has free dog treats for those who stop by.

"The only catch is when a dog comes in, I've got to be introduced," Silverstone said, holding a calendar showing his two black labs, Hector Dos and Eddie. "There's no entry without an introduction."

Casey McNerthney can be reached at 206-448-8220 or caseymcnerthney@seattlepi.com. Follow Casey on Twitter at twitter.com/mcnerthney.

New Website For High Performance Accessories

Here's the info from the press release:
Auto Agenda is an exciting new website developed for High Performance Accessories for Modern American Muscle Cars, as well as Classic Cars and Trucks. The Arizona based auto supplier prides itself on its innovations in the field of product design for serious fans and auto enthusiasts.


The goal and mission is to provide superior technology and products at a fraction of the industry cost with a dedication to innovative practices, extensive research, and customer satisfaction. Exciting subcategories split
up by car feature some of the most exciting and greatest car models around like Camaro, Mustang, Corvette, Challenger, Charger, Magnum, 300C, Firebird, GTO, and Viper!


There are Cold Air Intake, Headers, Tuners, Body Components, Air Induction, Body components, Braking, Chasis & Suspension, Drivetrain, Engine, Exhaust,

New Pics From Recovery of 18-Wheeler in TX Bayou


We posted a story about  this in late July, but now we have addition pics of the recovery sent to us by Tony & Brothers!

Here's another news story, too:
18-wheeler crashes into bayou
By T.J. Aulds
The Daily News
Published July 29, 2010

TEXAS CITY — It took emergency crews more than five hours and the coordination of six city, state and federal agencies, two utility companies and an environmental clean up crew to pull an 18-wheeler from a bayou Wednesday.

The used-grease hauling tanker crashed through a guardrail and splashed into Bayou Pierre on Texas City’s west side at about 8:30 a.m.

It wasn’t pulled from the muck and water until about 2:15 p.m. The crash backed up traffic on the expressway and knocked out phone and electric service for businesses in the immediate area.

Police said the tanker was headed west on Emmett F. Lowry Expressway when the driver lost control of the rig as he transitioned from the main road to an expressway detour to the feeder road.

Traffic on the expressway is being diverted to the feeder for the next year as state road crews construct an overpass for Willow Street.

Somehow, the driver lost control of his truck, and it crashed through a guard rail in the 4300 block of the expressway, barreled through the front lawn of the Gulf Coast Center’s Connect Transportation and ended up partially submerged in the bayou.

The driver pulled himself from the truck cab and swam to shore just as Gulf Coast Center employees Carolyn Rose and Tom Writer were prepared to dive in. He had minor injuries and was treated at Mainland Medical Center after the crash.

Police said the unidentified driver was cited for failure to control the speed of his truck.

The truck is owned by Liquid Environmental Solutions. The company specializes in hauling grease from restaurants, large kitchens, industrial sites and auto shops.

The truck’s cargo tank was empty, but officials worried the truck’s fuel tanks would spill diesel into the bayou while it was pulled from the water. The U.S. Coast Guard took command of the scene and ordered the truck had to stay put until oil booms were put in the water to catch any leaks or spillage.

There was a small oil slick that came from the residual diesel and oil from the truck’s engine.

It took several hours for Houston-based Milstead Environmental to get the proper equipment and crews to the wreck scene. Once the booms were in place, Tony and Brothers Wrecker used two heavy load trucks to pull the tanker and the truck cab from the muck.

Once under way, it took less than an hour for Tony Socias Jr.’s crew to get the truck back to dry land.

Liquid Environmental Solutions will be responsible for paying for the cleanup, city officials said.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the Texas General Land Office Oil Spill Response Crew, the Texas Department of Transportation, the Texas City Fire and Police departments and the city’s public works department responded to the wreck. Crews from Texas-New Mexico Power and AT&T also came to the scene to restore power and phone service.

The crash was the first since traffic on the expressway was diverted for the bridge construction. James Hollis, the head of Connect Transit, expressed concern two months ago that the area could be dangerous for drivers if motorists didn’t slow down when making the exit from the main lanes to the feeder.

That transition takes place just a few yards from the Gulf Coast Center’s main entrance.

Hollis said he had hoped state road officials had posted flashing lights and additional speed limit signs at the location to prevent a wreck like Wednesday’s.


also video on you tube at ''big rig crashes into texas city bayou''

Monday, September 13, 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 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 (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

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

And The Winner Is...

Congratulations to Scott Ferebee of Ferebee Enterprises on the Eastern Shore of VA! He was our August giveaway winner and received the Wheel Simulators from Pierce Sales!

Want to be a winner, too? Sign up to be a part of our mailing list by the end of September and you could win a Master Key Set from Pierce Sales! Click here to sign up and enter!
Ford Key Set from Pierce Sales


New CT Tow Truck Law Will Affect Businesses, Tow Boss Says

Here's the story from www.thehour.com:
A new law designed to protect consumers from under-qualified tow truck operators goes into effect Oct. 1 and one local man says the legislation may force his towing company and other businesses like it to fold.

Jon Velez, who has operates Norwalk Towing, LLC -- a small company with two tow trucks and a total of three employees, said the stringent requirements brought on by the law will cost family-owned businesses tens of thousands of dollars.

"I've got 12-to-15 garages that I tow for," said Velez. "I depend on them and they depend on me. Not only do they depend on me, their families depend on me."

The law, which was unanimously passed in the state legislature and was signed into law by Gov. M. Jodi Rell on June 5, strengthens the equipment and license plate requirement for businesses that tow vehicles.

Tow truck companies will now be required to have their tow trucks registered with wrecker plates, whereas they were only required to have commercial plates prior to the law's enactment. The plates cost $125 and do not need to be renewed but the applicant must be a licensed automobile dealer or repairer.

"These lobbyists keep saying: 'It's only $125,'" Velez said. "It's not like going to the store and getting a quart of milk."

Velez does not own a repair shop, as required by the law, but he is contracted to tow vehicles to repair shops in Norwalk and Westport. He is also contracted by various auto clubs who have roadside-assistance programs -- such as Geico -- and companies such as AT&T.

Phil Terentino, who works for Norwalk Towing, pointed out that many local garages do not own tow trucks and the law will also affect those businesses.

"If you own a garage but don't own your own truck, who are you going to call?" said Terentino.

Joe Miano, president of the Towing and Recovery Professionals of Connecticut -- an association of towing companies -- lobbied for the law and he said it gives consumers peace of mine. He said the law is a way to weed out "backyard" or "gypsy" operations who undercut their competitors by using unlicensed drivers and underinsured vehicles.

Allen Fedor, owner of the Norwalk-based repair shop and towing company Fedor's Autobody, said he pays a high insurance premium and makes sure his workers are qualified but businesses cut prices by up to two-thirds by not doing so.

He said his company trucks are covered should one of the trucks damage the car it is towing but "gypsy" towers do not have such insurance coverage.

Velez is also highly insured and he and Terentino have all the licensing requirements needed to operate a tow truck. He has approached repair shop owners to see if he could tow for the shop but the owners are afraid of the liability that comes with operating a tow truck company.

With his options running out, Velez -- who is admittedly behind in his taxes -- fears his house will be foreclosed upon and he will not be able to pay for his son to go to college.

Velez questions why so many politicians who claim to be interested in creating and securing jobs in the state would unanimously pass a bill that will kill family-owned businesses.

"I don't think they put me out on purpose," he said. "They just didn't read the bill."

Philly's "Wreck Chasers" Coming To TV Soon

Here's the story from The Daily Journal:
PHILADELPHIA -- The mean streets of the City of Brotherly Love are once again coming to television.

"Wreck Chasers," a reality show about the city's notoriously aggressive tow truck drivers, is shooting and is slated to premiere in late October on TLC.

Production crews are following several drivers with one unidentified Philadelphia towing company, often on nights and weekends when more crashes occur, as they try to beat the competition to wrecks. Filming started in May and is expected to continue until sometime in October, said Jim Kowats, the show's executive producer.

"They're very colorful, they're larger than life, they're very Philly," he said of the show's soon-to-be stars. The city was chosen because of the unusual and competitive nature of its towing businesses, he said.

It's the second series focusing on the daily difficulties for Philadelphia drivers. "Parking Wars," in its third season on the A&E cable network, features Philadelphia Parking Authority employees as they write tickets, clamp yellow locking "boots" to traffic scofflaws' car wheels, take plenty of flak from furious drivers and generally deal with the chaos that comes with trying to park in Philadelphia.

"Wreck Chasers" comes amid renewed scrutiny over Philadelphia's long-criticized tow truck drivers, who police and lawmakers say combatively compete for business as soon as an accident comes across their scanners.

Rival companies getting to a crash simultaneously can resort to blows, or worse.

A driver from J & Son's Towing is accused of shooting a competitor from Mystical Complete Auto Service in the thigh on July 19 because he thought his rival was trying to swoop in on a job, police said. Two days later, 13 cars on the J & Son's lot were torched and Mystical's offices were riddled with six bullets.

TLC had contacted city officials about shooting "Wreck Chasers" weeks earlier, said Sharon Pinkenson of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office.

Kowats said the crew profiled in the show are "dedicated, likable" people who view their work removing wrecks and clearing accident scenes as providing a service that the city doesn't.

They do take it seriously. They're passionate about what they do," he said.

"They see what the ambulance drivers see, what the cops see, the injuries, the fatalities. There's a lot of emotions involved."

Philadelphia's attempts to tame its anarchic wreck chasers have failed to stop the free-for-all.

Two years ago, the city began requiring police to rotate towing jobs among 96 tow companies.

Wreck chasers skirt the system, however, by monitoring police radio and even beating officers to crashes.

After the July shooting, police began using laptop computers in cruisers instead of police radio to report accidents.

Now they believe some of the towing companies are instead monitoring Fire Department radio calls for rescue units being dispatched to crashes.

Councilman Jim Kenney has called for a suspension of the rotation system while the city reviews the licensing status of the 96 companies, including the two involved in what he called a "Wild West shootout."

Numerous complaints or violations have been lodged against 19 companies on the list, Kenney has said, while others are not properly licensed or simply changed names after losing their licenses.

Some wreck chasers also have been accused of signing up unwitting drivers to contracts that commit them to expensive repairs.

NC To Cover Tow Truck Drivers Under "Move Over" Law

Round of applause! Here's the story from www.ENCtoday.com:
Starting Dec. 1, North Carolina will expand its “Move Over” law to include service trucks driven by electric-utility workers responding to outages or other emergencies.


The law also includes wreckers and other vehicles on the scene of an emergency.


The current law, which was enacted in 2002, requires motorists passing an emergency-service vehicle — such as an ambulance, fire truck, or police car — that is operating a warning signal to move their vehicles into a nearby lane or reduce speed if they are unable to move over.


Failure to move over can create a safety hazard for the workers and can result in a fine for the driver of the vehicle.


A violation of the law can result in a $250 fine. The fine is doubled it someone is injured or property is damaged.


Officials for Progress Energy said crews already follow strict safety guidelines when working near roads.


Even with the precautions, the crews have still been part of incidents in recent years involving public vehicles striking stopped utility trucks.


“Our crews often work in hazardous conditions along roads to repair power poles and lines and restore service to the people who depend on us,” said Lloyd Yates, president and CEO of Progress Energy Carolinas. “Expanding the Move Over law to include them and their important work is a welcome change and will provide increased safety.”


Sgt. G.S. Hemby of the N.C. Highway Patrol said more vehicles now fall under the laws’ protection.


“If a driver had to call a wrecker, that would be covered,” Hemby said. “Any vehicle called to the scene by a motorist or emergency personnel would be covered under the law if they have flashing auburn-colored lights.”

Monday, September 6, 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 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 (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