Thursday, July 21, 2011

The August Digital Edition Is Now Available!

Your August 2011 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.
  • A Life On The Road. Chuck Murphy sent us a story about his life as a towman. He covers many issues of interest to others who have shared a similar life, unsung and often unappreciated, but always out there in bad weather and good, working hard to help motorists and clear the highways for police and other responders. Page 1
  • Go Getters. Stuck with unclaimed cars on your lot? Debtors not paying you? Here's how to help yourself get what you are due, and failing that, how to work with collection agencies who will chase the money down for you. Page 10
  • Arrow Hits The Mark. Diane Richardson's husband tragically developed an illness that took him away from his beloved towing business. But this didn't stop Diane from taking over Arrow Wrecker Service to not only keep the doors open but put the company on the road to even higher success. Page 17
  • Bad Guys At Work. Tow trucks are being used to steal cars outright in some communities, further damaging the reputations of reputable towers. This article highlights the issue and serves as an industry alert to help stop these disreputable rogues.Page 22
  • The Advisor. The towPartners Advisor appears monthly in Footnotes. Advisor features advice in all areas of towing, from technical details to business operations. towPartners also offers towers the opportunity for great discounts from many equipment and service vendors. Page 13
Also in this issue: The schedule of upcoming tow shows; all the towing news that is fit to print in Short Hauls; our lost towers, and much more. Also, we offer great combo print/online advertising dealsthat will increase product visibility at a savings over the usual ad rates.
If you cannot click on any of the links above, please copy and paste this URL into your web browser:
August 2011 Issue:
We hope you enjoy the August issue of Towing & Recovery Footnotes.
Sincerely,Bill Candler 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

TomTom Makes Driving Safer for Fleets with Active Driver Feedback

Here's the press release:

TomTom Business Solutions, the division dedicated to commercial fleets, has announced the availability of Active Driver Feedback and WEBFLEET OptiDrive™; two new features focused at further increasing TomTom’s safety and efficiency benefits for businesses.
“The Active Driver Feedback functionality truly puts the driver center stage in the quest by businesses to improve safety and efficiency on the road, while the information available to fleet managers via OptiDrive helps ensure increased overall fleet efficiencies.”
Active Driver Feedback promotes safe driving by providing drivers immediate feedback on their driving performance via their TomTom PRO navigation devices. The new feature delivers prompts to the device screen when the driver is speeding, harshly steering or braking, and idling.
WEBFLEET OptiDrive™ gives business management an easy tool to help their drivers drive more safely and in an efficient way. WEBFLEET OptiDrive presents information in clear graphs and reports to fleet managers. The OptiDrive Indicator is a simple bar displaying variables such as speeding, idling and driving events. The OptiDrive Indicator can be tailored to the priorities of every business, simply by adjusting the relative weight of the variables.
“We believe that empowering drivers is a key success factor in promoting a safe driving policy,” said Michael Geffroy, Vice President of TomTom Business Solutions. “The Active Driver Feedback functionality truly puts the driver center stage in the quest by businesses to improve safety and efficiency on the road, while the information available to fleet managers via OptiDrive helps ensure increased overall fleet efficiencies.”
The new Active Driver Feedback feature and WEBFLEET OptiDrive will become available in Q3 2011. These offerings are part of the range of WORKsmart™ fleet management solutions. A subscription to TomTom WEBFLEET is required. Functionality differs per chosen hardware selection:
Active Driver Feedback requires a TomTom PRO navigation device
Idling, steering and breaking notifications require a TomTom LINK 300 in the vehicle
Speeding notifications are based on the map data on the PRO device
– END –
About TomTom
Founded in 1991, TomTom (AEX:TOM2) is the world’s leading supplier of in-car location and navigation products and services focused on providing all drivers with the world’s best navigation experience. Headquartered in Amsterdam, TomTom has over 3,500 employees and sells its products in over 40 countries.
Our products include portable navigation devices, in-dash infotainment systems, fleet management solutions, maps and real-time services, including the award winning TomTom HD Traffic.
For the world’s most up-to-date route planner, including live traffic information please visit
For further information, please visit
TomTom Business Solutions is a leading provider of fleet management solutions, and is recognized as the fastest growing Telematics Service Provider (TSP) for commercial fleets in Europe. TomTom Business Solutions is fully dedicated to commercial vehicle fleets and has been operating under the TomTom WORK brand for the past 5 years. TomTom Business Solutions’ WORKsmart fleet management solutions integrate navigation, dispatch and tracking through a combination of industry-leading hardware, software and maps.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Newly Reengineered Wheel Chock by Steadymate

Here's the press release:
SteadymateTM by Kinedyne®, industry leaders in Tie-Downs and Hardware for recreational vehicle securement, is proud to introduce their newly reengineered Wheel Chock which is designed for ease of use in transporting, maintaining and storing all types of motorcycles - from street to dirt, scooters to choppers and everything in between.

“We are always looking for new and innovative ways to improve our products and ultimately make them more user-friendly,” explains Larry Harrison, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Kinedyne Corporation. “We received such positive feedback from the first edition of the Steadymate Wheel Chock that it was only natural for us to release an enhanced model, allowing us to stay on top of our customers’ needs. This is another great example of our manufacturing capabilities.”

The latest edition of the Steadymate Wheel Chock features an upgraded Pivot Bracket and Upper Chock Bracket design that accommodates a wider variety of bikes and now accepts tire widths of 50 to 150 mm and diameters and from 12" to 26". Any type of bike tire - Tall, Short, Skinny, Fat - it fits them all. Another fantastic feature of the Wheel Chock is its portability, making it easier for users to transport it from the garage to the trailer without the need for permanent installation. This new design also provides for easier adjustability and more stability. The only thing left for riders to think about is where to travel on their next adventure!

Product Information:

·        Assembles easily in about 15 minutes in six simple steps.
·        No side braces or clamps removing all potential for damage to rims and tires often experienced by users of competitor’s Wheel Chocks.
·        New design keeps bike supported in an upright position allowing easy one-person tie-down operation -the weight of your bike locks it into place. No need for clamps or pinching, which can put unnecessary stress on the tire assembly.
·        An addition of two more rubber feet - for a total of ten - that makes the Wheel Chock even more stable when exiting and entering the chock with your bike.
·        Upgraded design replaces four short Hex Bolts with two long Hex Bolts on the Base Channel for quicker adjustability.

The enhancements on the new Wheel Chock have already received rave reviews from critics and customers from all across the industry. The use of the newly upgraded Steadymate Wheel Chock adds a high level of security to the transportation of motorcycles, but as always, Steadymate recommends that riders use the “4 x 45°” rule when securing bikes for transit – four tie-downs (two in the front and two in the rear), each placed on a 45° angle (top to bottom and front to back).

Driver In Tow Truck Driver's Death Pleads Not Guilty

Driver In Tow Truck Driver's Death Pleads Not Guilty
Here's the story:

Detra Farries has pleaded not guilty in the dragging death of Allen Rose.
Her not-guilty plea shocked members of the tow truck community.

"She terrorized a whole community...she terrorized a whole community with her actions," Ron Archuleta with Absolute Towing said.
Her trial has been set for November 7. The defense plans to file a motion for change of venue. The hearing for that will be held in September.
Farries has been charged with vehicular homicide, manslaughter, and leaving the scene of the accident, among other charges.
Investigators say Allen Rose was trying to tow Farries' SUV back in February when Farries jumped in and drove off.
Rose was dragged for more than a mile before he came loose from the SUV and landed in the street. He died a short time later.
A couple who saw the dragging happen decided to follow the SUV and called 911, eventually leading Colorado Springs Police to a spot where Farries pulled over.
They spoke exclusively with KKTV 11 News about the incident, saying God told them to keep following Detra's SUV that day.
"The police told us to stop pursuit, but we (were) like, we can't, we can't," said the woman.
Farries' bond has been reduced from $50,000 to $25,000. Her family tells 11 News that they are trying to get donations from the public to help her get out of jail.
"Even to bring it down to $25,000, that's a win for us, but it's still a hard situation for something of this nature," Farries' cousin Bruce Knight said. "I understand and really do grieve for the family on the other side of the situation, but there's a family on my side of this...we're grieving, we're going through a lot as well."
Knight tells 11 News that the family was expecting a bigger bond reduction.
Our 11 News crew in the courtroom says family and friends of Rose looked stunned at the court's decision to lower Farries' bond. They were too distraught to comment on the decision.

Nice Press in TN On McGovern's "Towing and the Law" Book

Here's the story from

When a wrecker rolls up to your car or truck, it usually means your vehicle is disabled, you've wrecked, the police are having it towed for a violation you have committed, or there's some other problem.
"Wrecker drivers are like insurance claims adjusters and lawyers. Nobody deals with them until something bad happens," according to lawyer Michael P. McGovern, a former wrecker operator.
McGovern made a lot of towing service calls while working during his high school and college years for his father, Ben McGovern, the former owner of Cedar Bluff Towing Service. Ben McGovern founded the company in the early 1970s and sold it in the late 1990s.
Michael McGovern's familiarity with the wrecker business had a direct bearing on his legal career. After he started practicing law in 1982, towing company operators would call him when they had a legal problem involving their towing business. "They didn't have to explain the idiosyncrasies of the business to me. I already knew," he said.
That later led to his being asked by the Towing and Recovery Association of America to serve as its general counsel. "They called one day and said, 'You're the only lawyer we've ever heard of who grew up in the towing business. Would you consider being our general counsel?' " He accepted and served for 13 years while continuing with his criminal and civil practice.
He is no longer general counsel, but through that affiliation, he developed a national reputation for doing legal work in the towing field. He still handles towing cases all over the country and has appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court twice in cases involving towing issues.
McGovern writes a monthly article on legal issues for the magazine "Tow Times," which has a circulation of about 40,000.
A collection of his articles was recently published in book form by T.T. Publications, Winter Springs, Fla. It's titled "Towing and the Law."
McGovern said he learned how to operate a tow truck by trial and error. "There was no training in those days. But today, there are sophisticated training schools that offer certification programs for tow truck operators at different levels - for car towing, big truck towing, water recoveries."
"When I started, you went to the scene, and if there was a car in a ditch, you figured it out yourself," he said. "You pulled a cable and hoped you hooked it to the car in the right place to get it out or roll it upright."
The work used to involve more physical labor than it does today, because all the equipment was manual. "Today, tow trucks have a lot of hydraulics and electronics," McGovern said.
Which is correct - wrecker or tow truck? McGovern said this is a running debate in the industry. " 'Wrecker' is primarily an antiquated term," he said. "'Wrecker' is predominantly a Southern term. Up North or out West, you're more likely to hear 'tow truck.' "
McGovern says the most important things he learned from being a tow truck driver are: "Don't drink and drive, and always wear your seat belt. I saw too many incidents where people were killed or seriously injured because somebody was drinking or not wearing their seat belt."
Don K. Ferguson, retired U.S. District Court chief deputy clerk, is a former News Sentinel city editor and a former member of Knoxville City Council. His postal address is P.O. Box 2121, Knoxville, TN 37901. His email address is

AAA Unveils North America’s First Roadside Assistance Truck Capable of Charging Electric Vehicles

Here's the press release:

AAA unveiled today North America’s first roadside assistance truck with the capability to charge electric vehicles. The motor club is able to come to the rescue of its members with ‘depleted’ electric vehicles and provide Level 2 and Level 3 charging on the roadside.
“AAA has been a leader in addressing the needs of motorists for more than a century, and the introduction of mobile electric vehicle charging continues that tradition,” said Marshall L. Doney, AAA Automotive Vice President. “As the electric vehicle market continues to emerge, AAA is ready to help alleviate some ‘range anxiety’ with the ability to provide a charge to electric vehicles on the roadside that gets drivers back on the go quickly.”
During a news conference at the Plug-In 2011 Conference & Exposition, AAA announced it initially will deploy the trucks with mobile electric vehicle charging capability in six metropolitan areas across the U.S. as a pilot program, including Portland (Ore.), Seattle, the San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles, Knoxville (Tenn.) and the Tampa Bay area. The phased rollout will begin later this summer and continue into the fall.
“While these six areas are part of the initial pilot program, we’ve had tremendous interest from AAA clubs across the country to offer this service to their members, and we anticipate expanding the program to additional areas in the months following initial deployment,” said John Nielsen, AAA Director of Auto Repair, Buying Services and Consumer Information during a news conference at Plug-In 2011.
Nielsen explained the pilot program will include AAA Roadside Assistance vehicles equipped with different technologies used to provide mobile charging capabilities to allow the motor club to evaluate multiple technologies in different environments around the country.
The AAA Roadside Assistance truck unveiled at Plug-In 2011 is powered by Green Charge Networks. It featured a removable lithium-ion battery pack for mobile charging. Other vehicles will be equipped with generators powered by alternative fuels and other power sources.
The truck is remarkably similar to AAA’s other light services vehicles — a noted difference to mobile charging vehicles recently unveiled in other countries. Officials demonstrated how the truck is equipped to allow AAA’s technicians to provide traditional AAA Roadside Assistance capabilities to all motorists, such as battery testing, jump starts and replacements, tire changes, fuel delivery and lockout service.
“AAA’s mobile electric vehicle charging is intended to be a service similar to what AAA has provided to motorists with gas-powered vehicles for nearly a century. When your vehicle runs out of fuel — whether it is traditional gasoline or electric ‘fuel’ — AAA can provide you with a limited amount to help you safely reach a location where you can fill up your tank or your battery,” explained Nielsen.
AAA will provide 10 to 15 minutes of charge time to members with discharged electric vehicles, which will allow the vehicle to drive three to 15 miles to a charging station where they can further charge their vehicle.
The first Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt were delivered to customers in December 2010, and manufacturers estimate production by year-end to be a combined 40,000 vehicles with an additional 145,000 planned for 2012. Current manufacturer projections have 1.2 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.
As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 52 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Wes Wilburn Recovery Course In VA

Wes Wilburn, nationally-recognized towing and recovery instructor (and contributing writer for Towing & Recovery Footnotes!), will be offering a two-day light and medium-duty recovery course in Norfolk, VA on July 30 and 31, in conjunction with the Virginia Wrecker Association.

Cost: $475 (VWA members save $25 per attendee)

For more information and registration forms, call George Mahone at 757-565-1422 or John Brinkley at 757-241-0190

Collision Management USA LP Forms New Company

Here's the press release:

Collision Management USA LP, an industry leader in towing and VSF management software, has announced that it has formed a new company under the Collision Management umbrella to manage its dispatch, towing, and storage lot software business. The new company will be known as VTS Systems and will be directly responsible for the development and distribution of the vehicle towing and storage (VTS) software applications, VTS Lite and VTS Classic.
The decision to launch the new company, VTS Systems was made to reflect the company's core business and distance ourselves from auto body repair. When asked, Nigel Pestell a senior partner with the firm said "when we began developing software some 15 years ago, it was our intention to service both the towing and storage lot industry and auto body repair business. However, our success in the tow management software business, limited our ability to service both markets effectively, and we chose to focus on the towing and VSF market. Our goal then, as today, is to earn our clients trust and provide them with a quality product of exceptional reliability, value, and provide the support they deserve. Investing in management software is a long-term commitment and the towing and VSF business is unique. No matter how reliable and easy to use your software might be, in an industry that serves the public 24/7, quick responses, personal service and effective solutions are a must."
Pestell continued, "VTS Systems will continue to collaborate with Auto Data Direct, a leader in electronic certified mail and the developer of multistate MVR access, which was fully integrated into VTS Lite and VTS Classic last September, creating a technological ‘first’ for the industry. Scheduled for introduction in the third quarter of 2011 will be fully automated access to the new federally mandated NMVTIS program reporting both junk and salvaged vehicles to the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System. This new monthly DOJ mandated reporting became effective for the VSF industry January 2011. More information on NMVTIS can be obtained by visiting or  
The towing and VSF industry is undergoing rapid technological change and both VTS Systems and Auto Data Direct are committed to maintain a leadership position in their collaborative products and services, reducing operational costs, and keeping our clients competitive."
A new website along with a software download of VTS Classic is now available online, and visitors to original Collision Management website will be automatically forwarded to VTS Systems, along with e-mails sent to

Sad News From MT

Our condolences to the family and acquaintances of Tom Craft, Sr., 80, who died June 18. Craft was the owner of Tom's Towing and a member of the Montana Towing Association.
Here's his obituary:

At noon on Saturday June 18, 2011, surrounded by his loving family, Thomas David Craft, Sr. passed peacefully away at Billings Clinic Hospital due to pneumonia and Parkinson’s disease.  He was 80 years old.
Tom was born in Fort Collins, CO on March 14 1931 to Torrance and Marie (Reichel) Craft.  He attended grade school and high school in Fort Collins.  On December 12, 1953 Tom married Delores “Dee” Beffert in Billings.
He joined the United States Navy on February 26, 1951 in Denver, CO.  Tom took basic training at the US Naval training center in San Diego, CA.  He served in the Korean War on the USS Lake Champlain (CVA 39) and the USS Bennington (CVA 20).  He was stationed in Jacksonville, FL with the Lake Champlain and at the Brooklyn Navy Yards when on the Bennington.  Tom was honorably discharged from the Navy on February 5, 1955.
After the Navy, Tom went to work for Henry and Minnie Frank of Laurel.  In 1958 he went to work at Owen’s Texaco in Billings on 19th and Grand.  In 1969 he opened Tom’s 76 at 15th and Grand.  In 1972 he bought his first wrecker, “Little Dee.”  He worked with the Police department, Sheriff’s department and the Highway Patrol.  He found his niche in life working with law enforcement and in the wrecker business.  In 1979 he moved to 8th and Broadwater and became Tom’s Exxon and had three wreckers.  In 1989 he moved to 8th and Central and became Tom’s Conoco.  In 1998 he left the service station business and became Tom’s Repair and Wrecker service at 341 Orchard.  He closed his business and retired four years ago.  In 2008, Tom was awarded a plaque from the Montana Towing Association “for his many years of service to the Industry and the Public.”
Tom’s hobbies included his business, wreckers, collecting old John Deere tractors, and sheep.  He LOVED his sheep!!  He had sheep for over 30 years, and they were the fattest sheep in the county!  He was written up several times in the Billings Gazette for his sheep and his great love of old tractors.  Dee always said, “Tom was born a hundred years too late.”
Every year, Tom would plant corn with the old John Deere tractors and equipment he had collected.  The grandsons were the pickers and the sellers, and they would sell corn on the corner of the business until they got to high school.  People would come from all over the city and county for his corn.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Richard, in-laws Walter and Amelia Beffert and special nephew Steven Hoban.
Tom is survived by his wife Dee; son Tom (Tammy) Craft, Jr; daughter Vicki (Evan) Brink, all of Billings; grandsons Jason (Lora) Craft of Camas, WA, Joshua (Heather) Craft , J.W. (Candina) Craft, Dustin and Matthew Bayman all of Billings; great-grandchildren Jillian, Garrett, Madison, Taya, Jaden, Kyliee, Ju-Ju, Alexc and Piper.  He is also survived by his brother Gilbert Craft of Ballantine; brother-in-laws Francis (Betty) Beffert of Everett, WA , Curt Beffert of Marysville, WA, Darrell Beffert of Portland, OR; sister-in-law Donna (Larry) Hoban; several nieces, nephews and lots of cousins.
The family would like to thank Dr. Dennis Regan for his compassionate care of Tom and the family.
Visitation will be held from 3:00-7:00 pm on Thursday June 23, 2011 at Cremation & Funeral Gallery.  Funeral services will be held at 2:00 pm on Friday June 24, 2011 at Cremation & Funeral Gallery.
Memorials may be sent to First United Methodist Church, Billings Health and Rehab, or the charity of your choice.
Arrangements are by Cremation & Funeral Gallery. 

A procession of wreckers follows a hearse carrying Tom Craft Sr., owner of Tom's Towing, during his funeral Friday afternoon. The procession was making it's way west on Central Ave. from Funeral Cremation Gallery to Sunset Memorial Gardens. Read more by clicking here.

Sad News From FL

Jonathan Roig (photo from the story by
Our condolences to the family and acquaintances of 24-year-old Jonathan Roig, who was killed on June 24 when the RV he was unloading rolled backwards and pinned him. Roig worked for Hughes Towing and Recovery Company of Orlando.
Here's the story from Central Florida News 13:

A bizarre accident has claimed the life of a tow truck driver in Orange County.
Deputies say Jonathan Roig was delivering an RV to a business on North Orange Blossom Trail to be repaired.
But investigators said when Roig was unloading it, the RV rolled backwards and pinned the 24-year-old against a parking curb.
A worker later found Roig, but emergency crews pronounced him dead at the scene.
Deputies said Roig worked for the Hughes Towing and Recovery Company, in Orlando.

Towing & Recovery Coverage Now Available With Crump

Here's the press release:

Five Star Specialty Programs, a division of Crump Insurance Services, Inc., and part of Crump Group, Inc., the nation's largest insurance wholesaler, today announced another opportunity as a result of the appointment with Canal Insurance Company. Towing and Recovery coverage, designed to meet the needs of the professional towing and repossession industries, is now available through Five Star and Crump Insurance Services. Agents and brokers now have access to a seasoned staff of professionals who have more than 20 years experience in the trucking and transportation industry.
The Five Star Towing and Recovery segment includes a number of coverages such as auto liability, physical damage, general liability, and on-hook cargo coverage. Eligible classes include recovery specialists and repossessors. Other coverages of special interest to this class include garagekeepers, personal effects and drive away coverage.   According to David J. Firstenberg, President and Chief Executive Officer of Canal Insurance Company, "Partnering with Five Star provides another level of expertise to agents and brokers writing Towing & Recovery business. Five Star's expertise in the industry allows for quick turnaround to agent inquiries – making it easier for agents and brokers to write these coverages."
The Towing and Recovery program with Five Star is underwritten in-house allowing more flexibility and faster turnaround. According to David Tooley, President of Five Star Specialty Programs, "partnering with Canal in the transportation business provides the perfect solution for the agents and brokers working with us. They have access to in-depth experience in the industry plus solid financial backing."
Five Star works with licensed and insured retail property and casualty agents and brokers.  Those seeking more information regarding the Canal facilities, or any of Five Star Specialty Programs products and services can visit or contact the marketing department, at or 877.247.9772.
About Crump Insurance Services and Five Star Specialty Programs
Crump Insurance Services, Inc. (Crump P&C) is a division of Crump Group, Inc., the nation's largest insurance wholesaler.  Crump Insurance Services includes Crump wholesale brokerage locations across the U.S. and in Bermuda, Five Star Specialty Programs, Five Star Professional Programs, Target Insurance Services, and Hanleigh Insurance. Additional information on these companies is available at Acting as a program administrator for numerous P&C carriers, Five Star Specialty Programs develops and provides specialty underwriting for commercial insurance programs. More information specifically on 5Star is available at
About Canal Insurance Company
Established in 1939 and headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina, Canal Insurance Company is recognized in the industry as a stable, responsive and financially strong insurer of commercial transportation operations.  Rated A by A.M. Best, Canal underwrites in forty-four states and is represented by a network of independent general agents across the U.S.  For more information, please visit
SOURCE Crump Insurance Services, Inc.
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Sad News From OR

Our condolences to the family and acquaintances of 30-year-old Marissa Blondell-Hiatt of Veneta, OR, who worked as the office manager for Hiatt Towing.
Here's her obituary:

VENETA — The funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 2, at West Lawn Memorial Park & Funeral Home in Eugene for Marissa Blondell-­Hiatt of Veneta, who died June 26 of cardiac arrhythmia. She was 30. Visitation will be at noon Saturday at the funeral home.
She was born June 26, 1981, in Roseburg.
She attended Lane Community College. She worked as the office manager for Hiatt Towing.
Survivors include her life partner of 13 years, Chris Hiatt; her parents, Curtis Blondell and Deborah Payne; two children, Shayla Hiatt and C.J. Blondell-Hiatt; three sisters, Angie Woodall of Hepner, Adriane Fryerith of Shelton, Wash., and Rebecca Gram-Denley of Yoncalla; and three brothers, Travis Blondell, Jeremey Blondell and Manuel Penalver, all of Wolf Creek.
Arrangements by Lane Memorial Gardens & Funeral Home in Eugene.

Nice Press In IN

Here's the story from

Jim Poe started his business in 1973 on a part-time basis from the back of a pickup truck.
"I was working for a car dealership at the time, and started running road service," said Poe, the owner of Jim's Garage in Lafayette, which provides 24-hour emergency road service and towing, jump-starting of vehicles, lock-out service and tire service.
Nearly 40 years later, the family business -- his wife and two of their children also work there -- has expanded to 25 employees and 25 vehicles that include big wreckers, flatbeds and other tow trucks.
J&T Recovery Inc., which was added about six years ago, primarily does vehicle repossession work.
It's a career that keeps Poe and his employees on the move -- days, nights and weekends.
"You can't be in this business from 8 to 5. Vehicles break down all the time," he said.
Occupation: Small business owner.
Business name: Jim's Garage Inc. and J&T Recovery Inc.
What you do: "We do repos and recovery work, including semi recovery," Poe said. "We do dealership hauling and work with almost every guest card or motor club on the market today. We do a lot of towing for people that don't have club service. We provide road service for tractor-trailers and then we can tow them. We get called to all kinds of accidents."
What you used to do: Poe worked for a number of local car dealerships, including a stint as service manager at Twin City Dodge.
A typical day: "I'm in here at 8 a.m., opening up. Depending on what runs through the day ... we're on call 24 hours a day."
Why you started the business: "Because I wanted to work for myself, like everybody."
What's new: "A few years ago they came out with a fully hydraulic wrecker. You don't even have to get out of the truck. You just push buttons. It's quite a bit different than what it was when we started out."
Latest accomplishment: "We opened J&T Recovery. Every day I work, and there's more work."
Biggest sacrifice you've made for the business: "In the beginning when we started everything, you were on call. It was day and night, 24 hours. You had to go when there was after-school stuff and the kids were little ones. But if you want something to work, you've got to work at it."
What you've learned: "We learn something new every day. No two calls are the same. People who tell you they know it all don't know it all."
Best business advice received: "Do your job right the first time. Take care of your customers."
Best advice you can offer: "Regardless of what business you're going to go into, do your best every day. Get up the next day and do your best again."
Moment you knew you'd made it: "I don't know that you ever make it. Nobody knows it all. You get up the next day and keep on going."
Others say: "It's a tough job. Those guys come out when we call them or when the public calls them for assistance, 24 hours a day," Sgt. Kim Riley with the Indiana State Police in West Lafayette said about Poe and other employees at Jim's Garage. "It's not a lot of fun to be out there in the blowing snow or 2 feet of water."
Getting in touch: Jim's Garage Inc. is at 1770 N. Ninth St. in Lafayette. The website is, and the phone number is (765) 447-2626
J&T Recovery Inc. is at 2400 N. Ninth St. in Lafayette. The website is, and the phone number is (765) 742-5289