Friday, August 26, 2011

New Product: Bailey's Scotch & Snatch

Here's the press release:
The Bailey’s Scotch & Snatch is designed for light duty applications with front and/or rear mounted winches.  It was developed for the towing industry and is easily adapted for personal and recreational recoveries.  Newer trucks made with composite or aluminum bodies with no anchor points, here's your solution.  It uses no chains or anchor points while improving stability during recovery on any surface type.  It is a compact design for easy storage; folds to 14.5" x 12.75" x 4.5" with 1 pin making it very easy to use.  The Scotch & Snatch has corrosion resistant zinc plating and doubles as a wheel chock.  It’s made in the USA, start to finish.  It allows you to use your truck to its fullest potential, doing more with less.  There is an optional tire strap kit available for soft ground and/or larger tires. Manufactured by Bailey’s Towing Accessories, Inc.  Patent Pending

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Great Tow Biz Story From NC

She taught dad to read and write, he taught her the tow truck business | taught, dad, business - Gaston Gazette:

Tammy Maltba was 9 years old when her dad put her in a wrecker, propped a pillow behind her so she could reach the clutch and started teaching his little girl to drive.

Her father, Tommy’s Wrecker founder Tommy Morgan, would point out a junk car and have her pull that old Ford close.

“See if you can hook it,” Maltba remembers her dad coaxing.

So she did, and then spent the whole afternoon practicing the art of backing a wrecker, car in tow, up and down the driveway.

Tommy’s Wrecker is celebrating its 40th year in business this year. The shop on East Franklin Boulevard is only miles from the gravel lot in Ranlo where Maltba picked up her first tow. The company itself is a world away from the fledgling startup Morgan established at 17, building his first tow truck from a used pickup and an old-timey boom he mounted in the bed.

‘Mom, dad, best friend’

Morgan was 55 when he died in 2009, the victim of liver disease. In his lifetime, he nurtured the small company into a business with seven trucks and seven full-time employees, including Maltba.

He began, his daughter says, by working three jobs. Her dad worked mornings at Pharr Yarns, picked Maltba up from school, and then went in for his shift at a body shop.

Morgan also raised his daughter, alone.

And he raised her in the wrecker business. Around the same time she learned to drive the tow truck, Maltba started acting as dispatcher after school.

She’d take a call about a tow and get him on the radio, which in the early 1980s was a foot-and-a-half-tall piece of equipment they called a moose beater.

Once Tommy’s Wrecker got successful enough that the business needed a checking account, father and daughter went to the bank together to set it up.

A teenage Maltba took care of the billing and balancing, writing the checks and signing Morgan’s name.

Her father, she says, didn’t read or write well in those days so it was up to her to help.

She also helped Morgan correct that. He taught himself over the years, studying with his daughter when she would bring home spelling words and English assignments.

They did it all together, from expanding the business — Maltba was picking up tows before she had a driver’s license and training other drivers at 16 — to furthering their education.

“He was my mom, my dad, my best friend and my business partner,” Maltba says, a rare instance when she doesn’t refer to her late father in the present tense.

A photo of Morgan hangs across from her desk at the shop, where she can see and talk to him when she’s stumped. It helps, she says.

‘The kind of man he was’

Morgan made an impression on lots of others, too. He was known for setting up payment plans for elderly customers who needed a tow but couldn’t afford it, Maltba says.

Morgan spent more than a week in McAdenville after Hurricane Hugo blew through, using his wrecker to pull trees off houses and out of roads.

On snow days, he kept two crock pots full of vegetable stew simmering for his staff.

Jeff Clark, a Gastonia Police sergeant as well as friend and customer of Tommy’s, says Morgan made a name for himself being professional and generous.

“There’s probably no telling how many times he went and towed somebody who couldn’t pay him,” he said. “We’d tell him he couldn’t run a business like that … but that was the kind of man he was.”

Clark always called Morgan when he needed a tow. Now, he says, he always calls Maltba.

A woman in a man’s truck

She’s the only female wrecker driver Clark has ever come across, but he never worries about the job she’ll do.

Clark has heard the other drivers call her for instructions on tricky assignments and heard Maltba walk them through the steps like the veteran she is.

Not that everyone has that much confidence in a female in her position.

Maltba took over administrative duties when she finished high school but she’s always responded to calls when things get busy.

People still look twice when she’s on the road in one of the wreckers.

Once, in the early days, she had a man turn down her help, saying he was going to need her dad instead.

Maltba shrugged it off and called her father so they could switch jobs. While her father was alive, she says she was too certain in her abilities to let someone else’s doubt get to her.

Her confidence, she says, grew out of his confidence.

“My dad never worried. He’d say, ‘I’d put her up against any of these guys. … That’s how I stay tough. He believed in me. He believed I could do anything.”

‘Daddy did this’

Tommy’s Wrecker is still a family business.

Maltba’s husband, Lake Maltba, works there, as does their son, 17-year-old Cody, who can drive a truck but is too young to respond to wrecks under today’s rules.

Daughter Morgan, at 7, likes to answer phones, take directions and pass on jobs to drivers.

Those calls are relentless. Maltba forwards them to her cellphone and answers 24 hours a day, at home, in the grocery store, on the lake.

When people ask, however, she still tells them it’s her dad’s business.

Customers get confused and refer to Tammy’s Wrecker sometimes. Or they ask if she’s going to rename the shop.

“I tell them my daddy did this,” she says. “This is his dream. We’re just living it out.”

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Everyday Tow Hero & Police Hero In FL

WSVN-TV - Officer, tow truck driver help rescue baby: Kudos to these unnamed Good Samaritans!

KENDALL, Fla. (WSVN) -- A pair of Good Samaritans are being hailed heroes after rescuing a baby from a locked car.
The incident occurred Monday afternoon in the parking lot of a CVS along Kendall Drive and Southwest 97th Avenue. Police said a woman accidentally locked her baby inside her car.
A police officer and a tow truck driver, who were in the area, used a "slim-jim" to unlock the vehicle in a matter of minutes.
7Sky Force captured the scene as the Good Samaritans provided a quick save and reunited the mom and baby.

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Dangerous Duty In WI

Aaron Menzer, Green Bay, seriously hurt in head-on collision with tow truck in Howard | Green Bay Press Gazette |

A Green Bay man was injured seriously Wednesday morning [July 28] when his car collided head-on with a tow truck in Howard. Deputies ticketed him on a charge of operating under the influence.

Aaron Menzer, 24, was southbound on Riverview Drive just south of Velp Avenue in a Ford Focus when he crossed the center line and hit the tow truck about 8:55 a.m., the Brown County Sheriff's Department said.

Menzer suffered serious injuries, but they did not appear life-threatening, said Sheriff's Lt. Keith Barth.

Howard firefighters freed Menzer from the car.

The car sustained major front-end damage. The tow truck had minor front-end damage. The truck is owned by Kozloski Towing of Howard. Driver David Kozloski, 59, of Howard was examined at a hospital and released.

Kozloski was en route to another accident to tow a vehicle when the crash occurred, Barth said.

— Charles Davis/Press-Gazette

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Had One Too Many? Hero Towing to the Rescue - Plainfield, IL Patch

Had One Too Many? Hero Towing to the Rescue - Plainfield, IL Patch:

Owner Larry Chason started a service in which he gives rides to impaired drivers and tows their cars home for $35.
By Robyn Monaghan Email the author July 28, 2011 Print&nbps;2 Comments
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Larry Chason has heard that time heals all wounds.

“But I’ve found one time can’t heal,” said the owner of Plainfield’s Hero Towing and Rescue in Plainfield.

Chason lost his wife and 7-year-old son Johnathan nearly 20
years ago in a collision with a drunk driver. The wounds might not have healed, but Chason has found a tow truck therapy that soothes his grief.

When he opened his own company last year, Chason came up with the "Last Call Special." For $35, he’ll tow you and your car home from a party or bar.

The offer is good for revelers in Plainfield, Joliet, Crest Hill, Shorewood and Romeoville, and he’ll drive two people up to 10 miles from the scene of the party. For people in other towns who need a safe ride home, he charges about half the price of a regular tow, plus $5.

“It’s my way of helping to see that no other parent goes through what I had to go through,” he said.

He has several customers who call him “when they crack their
first beer,” Chason said. They let him know when to have the truck waiting for them at the curb.

The name “Hero Towing” stems from another of Chason’s
children. When his daughter Fantasia was about 4 years old, she starting asking questions.

"Where is daddy?" she wanted to know, and "why is he always gone?"

Her mother, Jonquil, told her daddy was a tow truck driver. He was rescuing people whose cars stopped working.

"So daddy is a superhero like Spiderman?" the girl asked.

"Yes,” Jonquil told her. “Daddy is a tow guy and all tow guys are superheroes."

To get a safe ride home, call 815-254-0143.

Dangerous Duty In NC

Recovery expected by tow operator who sustained electric shock | expected, vanceboro, operator - Sun Journal:

VANCEBORO — A tow truck operator thrown to the ground from the bed of a loaded pickup by electric shock by a drooping power line on U.S. 17 near Antioch Road is recovering in Pitt County Memorial Hospital.

Joey Ipock, 26, of Ipock’s Parts and Service on N.C. 43 west of Vanceboro, was working with his father Frankie Ipock to remove a wrecked pickup truck from the roadside about 8 p.m. Saturday [July 30] when the accident occurred.

“He expects to make a full recovery,” Trooper C.W. Lawrance said Sunday shortly after talking with Ipock. “He had an entrance wound in his hand and an exit wound in his chest and was airlifted to Pitt.”

“He’s got some burns but he’s going to be alright,” said Jerry Ipock, who also works at the family business and is Joey’s uncle.

The incident itself, however, was jolting to those present, which included Lawrance, a Progress Energy employee, and the Ipocks, including Joey Ipock’s wife, who was in the tow truck cab.

“There was a loud bang, like a lightning strike, a few sparks, and I saw Mr. Ipock fall from the vehicle into the ditch,” said Lawrance, who was there to investigate a 6:10 p.m. accident where a pickup hit the pole.

“Progress Energy was already on the scene and told them the wire was live when they arrived,” he said.

“The father and son were there and pulled the truck onto the shoulder of the road,” he said. “They got there with a rollback wrecker and loaded the vehicle, power lines were hanging down a little bit, about the height of a tractor trailer, maybe four or five feet lower than the normal. The line wasn’t on the ground sparking or anything.”

Lawrance said the wrecker operators had picked up some strewn vehicle debris. He said Joey Ipock was in the back of the loaded pickup handling the debris, putting some aluminum piece in. Lawrance said Ipock tossed one piece of aluminum which touched the power line.

“An electric shock went through him and knocked him onto the ground,” Lawrance said.

Rescue workers from Little Swift Creek returned to the scene they had left about an hour before to assist Ipock.

In the earlier accident, Ricky Baker, 56, of Bridge Road in Vanceboro, had crossed the left center line in his pickup, hit a pole, and continued on, coming to a stop after striking some nearby trees, Lawrance said.

Baker was sent to CarolinaEast for treatment of injuries sustained in the wreck. He was also charged with driving while impaired.

Sue Book can be reached at 252-635-5665 or

Sad News From CO

LODD, Colorado, Arvada, tow, truck, driver, killed, hit, and, run: "Colorado Tow Truck Driver Killed in Hit-and-Run
Monday, August 01, 2011

A tow truck driver was killed in Arvada early Sunday after being struck by a hit-and-run driver. According to Arvada Police, Alan Dilley, a 41-year-old Connolly's Tow Truck driver, was helping emergency workers outside of a vehicle that needed to be towed. Just after 1:30 a.m., near the intersection of 58th Avenue and Wadsworth Boulevard, police say Dilley was hit by a Nissan Rogue. "

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UPDATED: Tow Truck Driver's Name Released in Hit-and-Run Accident - Glen Burnie, MD Patch

Our condolences to the family and acquaintances of 38-year-old James Schreiber, Jr., who was struck and killed on the side of the road in MD yesterday. Schreiber of Pasadena was working for the Baltimore-based Ted's Towing Service when a hit-and-run driver took his life.

UPDATED: Tow Truck Driver's Name Released in Hit-and-Run Accident - Glen Burnie, MD Patch:

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sad News From KY

Our condolences to the family and acquaintances of longtime tower Paul Andrews Burrows of Burrows Garage and Wrecker Service. Here is the note we received from Scott Burrows:

It is with sadness that the Burrows Family announces the passing of Paul Andrew Burrows. Paul represented the third generation to lead Burrows Garage and Wrecker Service of Sligo, KY. His life has been filled with an abundance of successes that are evident in the legacy that remains today. His passion for helping others thrives within those that follow in his footsteps. Paul was born February 24, 1924 to Lottie and Jesse “Snooks” Burrows of Sligo, KY. He served in World War II and received a Purple Heart. His accomplishments throughout a lifetime of service to the trucking and towing industry are evident in the countless relationships Paul created while serving his fellow man with great skill and hard work. TRAK awarded Paul the “Million Mile Tower” award. He was the oldest living TRAA Level 3 Certified Operator. He was a lifelong member of the Sligo Baptist Church. The sadness that we feel fades in the brilliance of the memories we share of a man of great honor, strength and faith. In memory of a great man

The arrangements for visitation and his funeral are as follows:
Visitation will be at Ransdell Funeral Home in Bedford, KY 40006 on Wednesday 8/17 from 5pm - 8pm, Thursday 8/18 from 2pm - 8pm, Friday 8/19 from 11am - 1pm. The funeral service will be at Sligo Baptist Church on Friday at 2pm. He will be laid to rest at the Sligo Cemetery following the funeral service. A procession including delegations from the Towing community is being arranged to escort Paul from the funeral home in Bedford to the church in Sligo. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Suspect In CO Tower's Dragging Death Bonds Out of Jail

Here's the story:

11 News has learned that Detra Farries, suspect in the death of tow truck driver Allen Rose, has bonded out of jail.
Farries had been held in the Criminal Justice Center on a $25,000 bond. She had been expected in court Friday, but her court appearance has been canceled. Farries bonded out Wednesday.

Rose's co-worker at J&J Towing told 11 News that the news Farries is out is disappointing.
In February, Rose was killed when police say Farries drove off in her SUV as it was in the process of being towed, dragging Rose for more than a mile through the streets of Colorado Springs. Rose eventually came loose from the SUV and landed in the street, dying a short time later.
11 News interviewed exclusively the couple who called 911. The couple followed the SUV, and eventually led police to a spot where Farries pulled over.
Earlier this month, Farries pleaded not guilty to Rose's death, shocking the tow truck community.
"She terrorized a whole community...she terrorized a whole community with her actions," Ron Archuleta with Absolute Towing said.
Farries' bond was reduced from $50,000 to $25,000, a decision that stunned family and friends of Rose. Farries' family members told 11 News that they were going to try to get donations from the public to bond her out of jail.
Farries' bondsman spoke with 11 News, saying he believes in the justice system, and he doubts she'll try and run. Farries has bonded out before, and ended up back in jail after violating the terms of her bond.
The trial has been set for November 7. The defense plans to file a motion for change in venue; that hearing will be held in September.

Video of Stolen Tow Truck Recovery

This was recovered in May, but video was posted recently.

Everyday Tow Hero In OK!

Here's the story:

By Wendy Burton
Phoenix Staff Writer
A woman who volunteered to take in two horses found with jutting ribs said people must have no idea what it costs to keep a horse.
“They think, ‘Oh, I’d like to have a horse. How cool,’” said Glenda Dagenhart, officer manager at Morgan Towing and Recovery. “But have no thought on what it costs to feed and care for a horse.”
Two sick horses, and a dead horse were found in a pen at about 7th and Kalamazoo streets Friday evening.
The small enclosure did have shade and a tank for water — but the tank was bone dry.
The ground was mostly dirt and scrub and there was no hay in sight.
Animal Control Officer Nita Pearce said the dead horse most likely died from lack of water.
“When it’s 106 degrees out and there’s no water, no grass at all, it’s no wonder it died,” Pearce said.
Morgan Towing and Recovery was called to pick up the sick animals. A towing company is typically called to pick up rescued livestock, Dagenhart said.
Dagenhart has been taking in rescued horses for a few years. But caring for malnourished horses is something she does only as a service to the city and county.
Dagenhart can’t take in horses people simply don’t want anymore because of the expense involved, she said.
And the chances of the horse owner showing up to claim the two picked up Friday is slim, she said.
The landowner told police he does not own the horses and does not know who is responsible for them, Pearce said.
Without an owner to pony up the fees for towing the horses, shelter and feed, Dagenhart loses money.
“A horse eats 18 hours a day, and you have to feed horses every day,” Dagenhart said. “These had no grass whatsoever, no food, no water — no nothing.”
A horse has to have hay, some kind of roughage and water, she said, unlike cattle that only get fed in the winter and fend for themselves during the summer.
The extreme heat the area is experiencing makes horse-ownership even more demanding.
“My water tank usually lasts a week and I’m filling it up every other day,” Dagenhart said. “And hay is pretty expensive right now.”
The two mares that Dagenhart took in Friday are doing much better already.
The sorrel mare had sores and cuts all over her body and her ribs were sharply defined. The bay mare was in a little better shape, Dagenhart said.
Both horses need to be wormed and have their hooves trimmed, in addition to extra feed to help them gain weight.
She estimated the mares to be about 3 years old, and said they could each stand to gain a couple hundred pounds.
Dagenhart has taken in several horses over the last few years, she said, though usually during the bitter cold of winter.
She boards the horses taken by animal control, and if they are not claimed, she has to find a new home for them or sell them.
“Right now, though, you could take these mares to the sale barn and only get $25 a piece for them,” Dagenhart said. “But I think they’ll both make nice horses for someone someday.”
Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or

'Move Over' For TX Towers Goes Into Effect In September

Here's the story:
Starting in September, drivers will have to be on the lookout for tow trucks on state roadways.
A new law taking effect in September requires you to change lanes and put a lane between your car and a tow truck on the shoulder.
Five tow truck operators have been killed on the job in Texas this year, prompting lawmakers to add tow trucks to the "move-over" law.
If you can't put a lane between you and a tow truck driver, the law requires you to slow down to 20 miles per hour below the posted speed limit.
This is welcome news for tow truck drivers like David Smallwood,  whose had his share of close calls.
"I've been clipped by a couple cars with their mirrors, they don't even slow down they just go as fast as they want to go," says Smallwood.
Ronnie Herrera owns a Vidor towing company and says his drivers are often in vulnerable situations on the highway.
"You may be doing wrenching, you may be standing on the side of the road , if it's an 18-wheeler, you have to be underneath it," says Herrera.
The dangers tow truck drivers face each time they pull over were more real than ever for Smallwood, who once felt compelled to call his family to say his goodbyes before freeing a car from a tanker truck.
"I actually called my wife and kids and told them that I loved them," says Smallwood.
Stories like this are what prompted lawmakers to add the level of protection for these workers, who come to the rescue when drivers break down or have a wreck.

ITRHFM To Host Chevy Fireball Run In September

Here's the story:

The Chevrolet Fireball Run Adventurally will roll through Chattanooga's International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame & Museum in September.
The public is welcome to meet teams as they arrive Sept. 28 between 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.
Fireball Run rally teams are competing in the world's largest board game, and the United States is the game board. Teams from all over the country must solve clues and accomplish missions to navigate the country and score.

Everyday Tow Hero In SC

Here's the story:

Spartanburg, SC -- A tow truck driver and a radio station can be thanked for helping officers find a 13-year-old girl from Alamance County who was reported missing two days earlier.
Alexandria Brooke Cagle was found traveling Wednesday with Tyler Ross Cole, 18, along I-85 South in Spartanburg County, SC. Authorities were looking for them after Cagle was reported missing when she left home with Cole Monday morning. Investigators said they met online a few weeks earlier and Cole drove down from West Virginia where he lives.
Tow truck driver Beano Francis said he was listening to a radio station Tuesday when he heard the description of Cole's car. The next day, Francis was driving on I-85 when he saw a car matching the same description.
"Snap, soon as that car passed me, I mean he was right beside me, soon as he got beside me, I looked and I was like, that's the description. But when he passed me, and I saw West Virginia license plates, I thought this could be what I heard yesterday," Francis explained.
He continued to follow the car while he called deputies.
"I felt sure that was it. I would have followed him to Kalamazoo til they got there," said Francis, who wasn't suppose to be taking the trip on I-85 Wednesday, but he was filling in for someone else.
Cole is facing charges of felony kidnapping, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and felonious larceny. 

Sad News From CO

Here's the story:

GOLDEN, Colo. -- A Lakewood man faces a first-degree murder charge for allegedly crashing an SUV into a tow truck driver at an accident scene early Sunday morning.
Zacharia Dobler, 28, was in court Wednesday where he was formally charged with murder, vehicular homicide, motor vehicle theft, leaving the scene of an accident and driving under the influence.
Authorities say Dobler was driving intoxicated in a Nissan Rogue when he struck 41-year-old Alan Dilley, who was in the process of hooking up a vehicle for towing near the intersection of 58th and Wadsworth Blvd.
Dilley was transported to a local hospital and pronounced dead.
Dobler was pulled over minutes later in the area of 64th and Wadsworth Boulevard.
Court records show Dobler has three previous convictions for driving while intoxicated, among other criminal counts.
Prosecutors say he was ordered to use an ignition interlock device, or a car breathalyzer, on his personal vehicle, but was instead driving another car on the morning of the crash.
He is being held without bond.