Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sad, sad news from CO

Our deepest condolences to the family and acquaintances of 35-year-old Allen Rose, a married father and Iraq war veteran who served multiple tours, who died Wednesday, Feb. 23. Rose, who co-owned J&J Towing was towing an illegally-parked SUV. A woman jumped into the SUV and drove off, catching Rose in the tow cable and dragging him to his death. She has not yet been caught. Here's the horrible story from ABC7News:

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- A man was killed Wednesday when he was dragged behind by a vehicle he was trying to tow.
Witnesses said the tow truck driver was in the process of towing an illegally parked SUV when the female owner of the vehicle jumped into the SUV and took off. Initial reports had said the woman jumped into the tow truck, but police corrected that to say she was driving the SUV.
Witnesses said the victim's leg was caught in a cable that snapped as the woman drove off.Witnesses said they ran after the woman to try to get her to stop.
The tow truck driver was dragged for more than a mile before his leg was torn from his torso.
The SUV was found parked in a nearby neighborhood and police were interviewing several persons of interest in the case.
KRDO-TV reported the victim had both of his legs severed as a result of the dragging incident.
His company, J&J Towing, identified the victim Wednesday night as Allen Rose, 35, a married father of two and an Iraq War veteran who served multiple tours. He was a co-owner of the towing company.
The incident started at the Hill Park Apartments in the 300 block of N. Murray Blvd. in Colorado Springs. Rose's body was found at Babcock Road and Platte Avenue.
Police said the crime scene stretched for 1.2 miles, containing blood and other evidence of the dragging.
Several streets in the area were closed through the evening rush hour while police documented evidence.

Monday, February 21, 2011

FMCSA's Proposed Rule on Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers' Hours-of-Service Gets Poor Review

Here's the statement from the Competitive Enterprise Institutes or CEI, which is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public interest group that studies the intersection of regulation, risk, and markets. For more about CEI, visit

Washington, D.C., February 18, 2011—The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has proposed a new Hours-of-Service (HOS) Rule for commercial motor vehicle drivers. The rule would increase restrictions on the number of hours that truckers and other commercial drivers can work. One proposed change currently being debated is a drop in the maximum driving hours within driving windows from 11 hours to 10.
Yesterday, CEI Land-use and Transportation Policy Analyst Marc Scribner submitted comments on the proposed HOS Rule, explaining why the proposed rule is costly, inefficient, and virtually unenforceable.
Scribner made the following points:
(1) According to FMCSA’s own data, the proposed hour restrictions will disproportionately affect self-employed commercial drivers, who are usually paid a per-mile rate, and who will face significantly increased costs by complying with the new HOS Rule.
(2) The FMCSA claims that the new rules will increase highway safety; however, scheduling practices in the trucking industry give drivers strong economic incentive to violate HOS limits. Intensifying HOS restrictions is thus hardly an efficient or effective means to improving traffic safety. The FMCSA could better achieve its goals by working with industry stakeholders to develop new schedule planning practices.
(3) As already noted, drivers already violate HOS limits, which are difficult to enforce. This is true even if the Agency were to mandate electronic on-board recorders, as has been proposed. Private arrangements between commercial drivers and their insurers would be far more enforceable as matters of private contract. However, burdensome public regulations like the HOS Rule are crowding out private solutions which might actually improve practices and standards in the trucking industry.
“[The FMCSA] does not properly establish the need for revised hours-of-service limitations proposed in the HOS Rule,” Scribner writes. “It has repeatedly obfuscated the core issue by relying on non-safety health impact benefits calculated under a dubious methodology to force a non-negative net benefit finding.”
“The Agency fails to understand its own institutional limitations and consider that private market regimes may provide solutions that result in superior safety and cost outcomes. Examining alternative private institutions that could better enhance highway safety and productivity should be made a priority by the Agency’s Office of Analysis, Research and Technology.”

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Shows, Training & Demos

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

Apr 9-10
New Hampshire
LD & MD Training
By David Lambert
Fillmore Industries
Loudon, NH
Apr 14-17
Florida Tow Show
International Expo
Hilton Hotel
Walt Disney World
Orlando, FL
May 12-14
A.T. Tow Expo

Convention Center
San Antonio, TX

May 14-15
New Hampshire
Tow & Trade Show
Hampton Beach St. Pk.

Jun 1-4
Western States
Tow Show
Silver Legacy Resort
Reno, NV

Jun 10-11
Iowa Tow Show
Iowa Speedway
Newton, Iowa

New Towing Association in OH

The newly-formed Professional Towers of Ohio had their first meeting on Feb. 10 at the Petro Truck Stop in Hubbard, OH, with 20 companies present. According to the press release, "the PTO is a non-profit organization formed by a group of towing professionals who intend to provide the general public with education about the towing industry. They encourage a friendly atmosphere to share knowledge and wisdom for anyone in, or related to the towing industry, large or small. They are dedicated to the enrichment and betterment of the towing industry."
For more information, or to join,  please call Mel or Jeff at (330) 829-2360.

More Congrats!

Round of applause to United Road Towing's Driver of the Year, Phillip Storey of West Nashville Wrecker Service, and URT's Support Person of the Year, Christine Rose of Export and Pat's towing in Boston! Here's the press release:

MOKENA, IL--(Marketwire - 02/15/11) - United Road Towing (URT), the industry leader in towing, impound management, vehicle disposal, and motorist assistance solutions, continued its commitment to its highly trained professionals by announcing the 2010 driver and support person of the year.
Phillip Storey from URT's Nashville operation, West Nashville Wrecker Service, was awarded driver of the year honors and Christine Rose from URT's Boston operation, Export and Pat's Towing, was awarded the support person of the year.
Phillip has been committed to redefining the towing experience at URT since 2005. In that time, he has mastered all levels of towing and has shared his expertise with his peers. His leadership and mentoring were on display in the spring of 2010 when over 5,500 tows were safely conducted in just 21 days to clear the Nashville metropolitan area after devastating floods hit the area.
Christine has been committed to redefining the towing experience at URT since 2008. Through her leadership in human resources, she has sought and overseen the hiring of only the most passionate, service-minded professionals. She has also eliminated the proverbial billing hassles for municipalities and customers by ensuring transparent accounting processes.
URT honors both the driver and support person of the year annually. They are given an all expense paid vacation with their significant other or spouse and are the guests of honor at URT's annual leadership conference.
Jerry Corcoran, Chief Executive Officer and President of United Road Towing, stated, "At URT, we find, create, and develop leaders at all levels. Our leaders share our dream of redefining towing and the towing experience for all our customers. We recognize and encourage leadership at all levels as well as build teams with talented and motivated leaders. It's imperative that we recognize our employees' accomplishments and commitment. Both Phillip and Christine have embodied this vision in their performance in 2010 and they deserve to be recognized."
About United Road Towing, Inc. 
United Road Towing, Inc. is the leader in towing, recovery, impound, and vehicle management solutions in both the private and public sectors. Through an extensive portfolio of local and regional brands, the Company dispatches approximately 500,000 tows, manages over 300,000 impounds and sells over 60,000 vehicles annually across the United States. The Company markets its service offering to the public sector via its UR Vehicle Management Solutions brand. UR Vehicle Management Solutions is the leading provider in optimizing, developing and managing municipal towing programs from Los Angeles to the State of Massachusetts.

The Company currently operates out of 12 major markets and is headquartered in Mokena, IL.


Here's the press release:

FRANKLIN, Tennessee (February 1, 2011) – A local towing services company, Akins Towing Services LLC, was recently awarded the Geico 2010 Certificate of Excellence for Outstanding Customer Service.
In response to winning the Geico award, owner Stacy Vivrette said, “We are honored to be recognized for our performance and commitment to great service. I’m delighted to have been able to meet the expectations of our customers and community. We are committed to providing the very best customer service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week here in Williamson County.” Stacy also added that Akins Towing is also a member of the Better Business Bureau and the only towing services company in the Franklin Tennessee area to have that distinction.
Akins Towing is a family-owned business, located in Franklin and servicing Williamson County and the surrounding area around the clock 7 days a week. The Vivrettes have been a local employer since 2006, employing a staff of DOT certified drivers. They have recently added an 8 ton wench truck that allows for towing in more complex situations. Akins Towing specializes in emergency roadside assistance, including not only towing, but changing flat tires, hauling off junk cars, jump starts and car lockout help.
For more information about towing services or about Akins Towing, please call their offices at 615-794-4757, or go to their websites at 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sad News From CA

Our condolences to the family and acquaintances of this as-yet unnamed 27-year-old CA tow truck driver who died Monday evening, Feb. 7, after he was hit by a box van on the side of the road. Here's the story from the Sacramento Bee:
A tow truck driver from Auburn was killed Monday evening when a box van struck a bus on Highway 50, officials said. The 27-year-old victim was assisting the private bus that had run out of gas near an exit in El Dorado Hills, said Officer Jasper Begay of the California Highway Patrol.
Begay said the driver of the 1962 school bus had bought the vehicle to rebuild it into an RV for his personal use when it became disabled on westbound Highway 50 near the Latrobe Road exit.
The bus driver waited for about an hour on the right shoulder for the tow truck driver. Shortly before 6:30 p.m., the tow truck driver was operating the levers at the left rear of the truck after he had attached the bus when the box van drifted onto the right shoulder, Begay said.
The white van struck the bus in the rear and demolished the left side of it before hitting the tow truck operator, killing him instantly, Begay said.
The van driver, a 41-year-old Pollock Pines man, suffered moderate injuries and the bus driver suffered minor injuries, Begay said. Both men were taken to UC Davis Medical Center. Names of those involved in the crash were not immediately released.
Begay said officers are investigating what caused the van driver to drive onto the right shoulder.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Wes Wilburn's Training Schedule

Wes Wilburn’s
Training Schedule

2 Day: Med & Heavy Duty, April 9-10, Fayetteville, NC
2 Day: Light & Med Duty, May 14-15, Kansas City, MO
1 Day: Advanced Light Duty, May 18, Denver, CO
2 Hr: Hybrid Awareness, May 19, Denver, CO
2 Day: Heavy Duty, May 19-21, Denver, CO
2 Day: Light & Heavy, Jun 4-5, Des Moines, IA
2 Day: Med & Heavy, Jun 11-12, Imperial, MO
2 Day: Light & Med , Jun 25-26, Franklin, NC
2 Day: Rotator & Heavy Rigging, Jul 16-17, Cochranton, PA
Contact Wes Wilburn Consulting, PO Box 007, Wade, NC 28395;; 910-486-8928

Sad News From NJ

Our condolences to the family and acquaintances of 47-year-old Thomas Serinese of Coppa's Towing. He died Jan. 12 in a horrible accident. Here's the story from My FOX New York:

NORTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) - Police say a worker clearing snow from a flatbed tow truck at a central New Jersey towing business was killed when the truck's bed was lowered by a co-worker, pinning the victim beneath it.
Police told the Home News Tribune of East Brunswick that 47-year-old Thomas Serinese of Burlington was pronounced dead at the scene Wednesday morning.
Police say Serinese and another employee at Coppa's Towing in North Brunswick had raised the flatbed so snow would slide off. The other worker hit the controls to lower the flatbed, not noticing that Serinese apparently had bent over the truck's chassis on the opposite side. He was crushed between the flatbed and the truck's large toolbox.

Out In The Cold In NY

Here's the story from FOX23 News:

New York's “Move Over Law” took effect on New Year's Day, forcing drivers to switch lanes when they see emergency vehicles on the side of the road.
However, the legislation doesn't include hazard vehicles, like tow trucks and DOT trucks, even though tow truck operators spend most of every workday helping people on the side of the roads.
The distance from them to the cars whizzing by is the same distance as for emergency responders, leaving towers wondering why all lives aren't valued equally out on the roadways.
“It’s very dangerous out there,” explained Tom Brennan who owns T & T Towing in Cohoes.
With their backs to speeding traffic and their focus on the task at hand, tow truck operators face dangerous conditions everyday. “When they whiz by at 60 or 70 miles per hour they're literally moving your vehicle and the vehicle you're working on,” Brennan said.
For Brennan and workers like him, it is still legal for drivers to speed by sometimes just inches away.
“I have felt mirrors brush my back and I’ll tell you at 60 miles per hour, when they don't slow down and don't give you any room, that's a little disconcerting,” explained Peter Cary who owns Capital District Towing.
“Tow truck operators, although I determine them as heroic, they don't come to the same level as police and fire in people’s perception,” explained Attorney Peter O’Connell who is a lobbyist for the Empire State Towing and Recovery Association.
O’Connell says they've been working since 2003 to get legislation passed that includes tow trucks.
Now that the law is passed for emergency responders, O’Connell is meeting with legislators this week to try again with a separate bill. “The life of a tow truck operator or a DOT worker is less important than police or firemen,” O’Connell asked. “That's a bad message to be sending.”
Brennan and Cary are frustrated to be left out of the current “Move Over Law.” “We're there to clean up the mess, we're equally at risk of being injured,” Cary said.
Nearly 300 towers have been killed in roadside accidents across the country.
Brennan and Cary, both with more than 20 years experience, are hopeful a new law will give them some breathing room. 
“My wife and my kids worry about me I’m sure,” Brennan said.
Cary agrees. “Give us the opportunity to go home safe at the end of the day.”
To personalize the new legislation, lobbyists are discussing naming it the “Kyle Parker Bill” in honor of a tower who was killed in a roadside accident back in 2003.

Everyday Tow Hero In NV

Here's the story from the Las Vegas Sun:

By Paul Takahashi (contact)
Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011 | 1:55 a.m.
When Tom Fay received a $25,000 check in December to fund construction of a teen lounge at the Green Valley Library, he was a little more than surprised.
“I was kind of shocked,” said Fay, executive director of Henderson Libraries. “People have donated $1,000, but it’s a rare occasion to get a donation like this in one large sum. It was very generous; it made for a great holiday.”
One might think a donation that large was from a community group or a corporation. In reality, the gift was from local philanthropist and business owner Robert "Bobby" Ellis.
The president and CEO of Snap Towing found out the Henderson Libraries had entered the Pepsi Refresh Challenge to compete against more than 1,000 community projects around the country for a $25,000 grant.
The money, if won, would help the Henderson Libraries create a Teen Lounge that would double the space available for teens to study and socialize at the Green Valley Library, 2797 N. Green Valley Parkway in Henderson.
“I just kind of figured in my own mind that the chances are nil that they are going to get that,” said Ellis, 68.
Despite efforts by the library to secure the funding, sure enough, Ellis was right. And without hesitation, Ellis said he was on the phone with Henderson Mayor Andy Hafen to discuss ways he could help.
“I said, ‘Heck, this is a great cause,” Ellis said. “It seems like the city is always pushing for these young kids to have a place to go… Kids are dropping out and not completing school. Maybe this will help keep the kids there, give them a place to study.”
That was the hope for Fay, who made the push for a teen center at the library since he saw youth attendance drop after age 14. However, facing a $2.4 million budget cut since the recession began, Fay said he was grasping at thin air until Ellis stepped up.
“It’s an interesting demographic in Green Valley. We have every socioeconomic status from those with low income to those on fixed income,” Fay said. “It’s a challenge for us to have the space and programming to fit the needs of the entire community.”
The new Teen Lounge will be partitioned from the rest of the library and have seating areas for teen events and gaming, quiet study, art, electronics, a video game library and a non-fiction book collection geared to teens. The teen room is in the design stages and is slated for completion in August 2011.
For Ellis, the new Teen Lounge is another way he’s giving back to the community. And he has been doing it in big amounts. For the last several years, Ellis and his wife, Sandy, have donated $50,000 to Nevada State College and $50,000 to Whitney Elementary School for scholarships, and to feed children breakfast and lunch. Ellis has donated more than $1 million to local schools and charities so far.
I just sold my business (B&E Auto Auctions) three years ago and thought I’d give a little back,” he said. “When I was growing up, we didn’t have a lot of money, but at least we had a roof over our heads. A lot of these kids, they have nothing.”
Ellis is sympathetic to his beneficiaries. The Rancho High School graduate dropped out of what's now UNLV soon after orientation.
He founded Snap Towing in 1971 with one tow truck. Five years later, he started B&E Auto Auctions on an eight-acre patch of land in Henderson.
w, Snap Towing boasts 20 towing trucks and B&E Auctions, which was sold to Insurance Auto Auctions in 2008, has grown to 40 acres.
Despite his success, Ellis said he knows those like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and even Robert Ellis are few and far between.
“I didn’t go very far in school,” he said. “My wife and I couldn’t help our son a lot when he went up to college. We helped him the best we could.
“Watching our grandkids grow up, we know that if you don’t have an education, it’s tough to get a job right now,” he continued. “The kids are the future to our next generation. If we don’t start getting them more education, we’re going to be lost.”