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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

2011 Hall of Fame Inductees Announced By ITRHF

Congrats!


March 28, 2011/CHATTANOOGA, TN – Five outstanding industry leaders have been selected for induction into the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame as the Class of 2011.
Heather A. Llewellyn (Nova Scotia, Canada), John D. “Doug” McLendon (Sanford, FL), Donald J. Mesaros (Loveland, OH), EilĂ­s M. Murray (Wicklow, Ireland), and Timothy J. Vibert (Unionville, CT) were nominated by members of the International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum for their many contributions to the towing and recovery industry, their families and their communities.
“Each year, the inductees share common strengths which have led to their nomination into this prestigious group,” says Rolfe Johnson, President of the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum.
“This year’s inductees share a dedication to their state and local towing organizations as well as the national towing and recovery community.”
Hall of Fame members will be recognized at an induction ceremony to be held at 6 p.m. on September 17th, 2011 at the DoubleTree Hotel of Chattanooga. A full weekend of activities will be held to celebrate this year’s inductees. For more information on the induction ceremony, or to order tickets, call Cheryl Mish at 423-267-3132.
The International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame & Museum is the only one in the world for the Towing Industry.  It was opened September 22, 1995.  There are 18 antique tow trucks on display along with memorabilia from the industry.  Chattanooga, Tennessee was the chosen site for the museum as Ernest Holmes, Co. built the first wreckers there in the early 1900’s.  The museum is currently located at 3315 Broad St., Chattanooga, TN.  37408.
Inductee Timothy J. Vibert of Unionville, CT

All-New towSearch

Here's the press release:

towPartners announced in early March that it has
launched an all-new towSearch. New upgrades to the service improve user
experience and increase the benefits provided to towPartners members.

The popular towSearch service (www.towsearch.com) has been updated with a
refined and more user friendly interface. Users can now access more
information about member capabilities and services including information
about which members are law enforcement approved, accept credit cards, are
part of an association, and have insurance on file. Users will also have
access to a brand new towSearch mobile application in the near future. This
mobile application will allow users to easily access information about local
towing and roadside assistance companies from anywhere.

Along with being able to share more information about their company,
towPartners members will also benefit from the opportunity to place their
company information in special banner ads reserved for top-tier members.
Furthermore, towSearch is now powering the search for various other towing
search services and offering private label search solutions to others in
order to drive more exposure for the members of towPartners. Kami Rogers,
Product Manager for towSearch said, "towSearch has become a valuable
resource for both users and our member companies. We are continually
striving to improve this product as we work for the industry. towPartners
has the most powerful network in the towing industry with the most accurate
data available and these new upgrades to towSearch, along with the soon to
launch mobile application, continue to improve user access to that network."

towSearch is the nation's leading towing and road service provider locator
tool with thousands of companies currently listed. Member updates are
received daily at towPartners and the results of these updates keep the
system accurate and make it a reliable resource for information on local
towing and road service providers for individuals and commercial fleet
customers across the United States. 

Everyday Tow Hero In WA!

Round of applause to Dick's Towing driver Nick Costerisan for jumping in to put out this fire at an espresso stand before it spread! Here's the story from KING 5 News:

EVERETT, Wash. -- Police say a serial arsonist has targeted two espresso stands in the last two days in south Everett.
The first fire happened at Juice and Java Espresso on the 8000 block on Broadway Ave just after midnight Sunday. The fire was set inside the stand, which is now charred and covered in soot.
The second happened late Monday night at Bean Me Up Espresso on the 6500 block of Evergreen Way. Tow truck driver Nick Costerisan who works for Dick's Towing was passing the stand when he saw it on fire. He grabbed the fire extinguisher in the cab of his truck and put the fire out before it spread.
The stand's owner, Sharon Knowles, calls him a hero.
Police say witnesses saw a person of interest seen running from the scene. They describe him to be a white male in his teens wearing black clothing.
Sgt. Robert Goetz with Everett Police says both fires were started the same way, but declined to make the details public. 
 

Everyday Tow Hero In Canada!

Kudos to City Wide Towing driver Burt Trihart for saving the day for this stranded motorist and her baby daughter :) Here's the story from the Calgary Sun:

He may not have been wearing tights or driving a tricked-out black car with giant fins, but Burt Trithart is a bona fide superhero to Sarah Simms.
Broken down on the QEII near Airdrie with her five-month-old baby Isabell in the back seat, Simms, 25, sat stuck for 30 minutes last Tuesday morning with cars whizzing by on both sides until Trithart, a driver with City Wide Towing, swooped in to save the day.
“I was in the slow lane because I wanted to merge into Airdrie and my car just died,” said Simms.
After calling her boyfriend and dad for help, Simms sat waiting and said she was shocked by the vitriol shown to her by other drivers.
“A truck pulled up and they unrolled their window so I thought they might have a suggestion because I don’t know about cars,” she said.
“But they just said ‘move your (expletive) car you stupid (expletive),’ so I started bawling my eyes out.”
It was about 10 minutes later that Trithart stopped to make sure everything was OK.
“He said ‘let me pull you off the road,’ then saw I had (Isabell) and he was appalled nobody stopped,” said Simms.
Trithart is a father himself who said he’s had his own car troubles and sat hoping, for the sake of his kids, someone would stop to help sooner rather than later.
He said the new mom seemed stressed and distraught, and when he saw the baby he knew he couldn’t leave her.
“Seeing her daughter definitely tugged at the heart strings,” he said.
“My priority was to make sure her and her daughter were safe; I figured ‘I have the equipment and machinery with me to make sure no one hits her.”
Simms said she was concerned about the cost of having her car towed to her parents’ home in Airdrie, but Trithart told her the ride was on the house.
When Simm’s 1990 Chevrolet Cavalier arrived her parents, her dad soon discovered it had simply overheated.
And after being accosted by several angry drivers, Simms said Trithart restored her faith in humanity.
“In a period of 15 minutes I went from feeling utterly hopeless and having zero faith in the Calgary population to having it completely restored,” she said.

Monday, March 28, 2011

New Edition of "24/7 On Call"

AutoReturn In The News

Here's the story from CBS 5 San Francisco:

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) – If you’ve ever been towed for parking illegally in the city of San Francisco, you know how it feels to get hit with that $450 bill. But it can get a lot worse than that.
It happened to Jeff Moses from Monterey, in town for a business meeting. He admitted he didn’t move his car in time. “We all make mistakes,” he said.
So he paid his fines, but when he picked up his Mercedes: “It started making a funny noise. I thought it was the muffler,” he said. So he immediately filed a damage report with AutoReturn, the city’s tow contractor which operates the impound lot.
But when the noise got worse he took it to two different mechanics. “They told me the engine shifted and the engine seals were broken and the only way that can happen on a car like this was to have (it) dropped,” he said.
The estimate came in at over $1,000. So Moses filed a claim with the city, which was promptly denied. Then he filed a claim with AutoReturn, and that, too, was denied. “They just deny my claim, they just continue to deny my claim,” he said.So who is responsible in cases like this? Even though the city is ordering the tows, it said it’s not liable, as spelled out clearly in the towing contract.  AutoReturn said it’s not liable, either, because it doesn’t actually do the towing and doesn’t even have tow trucks.
AutoReturn subcontracts to more than a dozen local towers, who are the ones who ultimately have to pay if they’re found at fault.
“We basically are like a judge between the person whose car has been towed and the tow company,” explained Sam Singer, spokesperson for AutoReturn. Singer said the company’s claims manager is that judge, deciding whether a claim is legitimate or not.
“This past year there were approximately 800 claims that were made,” said Singer.  That’s compared to the more than 60,000 cars towed. Out of those claims, more than 150 – about 18 percent- were paid out, according to Singer.
So are 80% of the claims bogus?  “Many times, when we show them the process they realize that the damage they were claiming could not have been caused by the tower,” said Singer.
Singer claims a number of people who file complaints change their mind once they are shown how their car was towed.
So what about Moses’ claim? “He has not submitted any proof to us that was verifiable. If I were being charitable, this gentleman’s claim is illegitimate,” said Singer.  “If I were being very forthright, I would tell you it’s fraudulent. The car couldn’t have been dropped.”
But according to the two mechanics, AutoReturn never called either of them to discuss their findings, or actually looked at the car.  The San Francisco Police Department told CBS 5 sometimes towed cars do get dropped.
”There were no safety devices attached to that vehicle whatsoever,” said Sgt. Bill Rossi after looking at CBS 5 video of cars being towed.   Sgt. Rossi and his partner Sgt. John Haggett oversee the city’s towing system.
“It’s a very strong possibility that if the road conditions were bad and they were to hit a bump that that vehicle would completely dislodge from the tow truck,” said Rossi. Every tow that you have showed me here the vehicles were not properly strapped to the tow truck.”
Their conclusion: “I think the tow truck drivers are rushing their tows. They want it to get returned as quickly as possible.” Moses believes that rush to tow caused the damage to his car, which conked out for good outside CBS 5 studios during the interview for this story.
Moses filed a lawsuit against AutoReturn in small claims court and was waiting on a ruling.
Meanwhile, towing complaints overall are down since AutoReturn took over the San Francisco’s towing contract from the former tower, City Tow.

Flatbeds May Be Way To Go To Tow Electric Vehicles

Here's the story from AutoBlogGreen.com:

Towing a vehicle, especially one that's powered by batteries and driven by an electric motor, can, if done incorrectly, be destructive. Recently, one of Frito-Lay's electric Smith Newton delivery trucks was towed for a parking violation and, according to Green Car Advisor, was reclaimed by Frito Lay employees who arrived with a flatbed tow truck. Well, as GCA's Robert Calem points out, it's unusual to witness an impounded vehicle towed, rather than driven, off the lot.
This oddity drove GCA to dig deeper and reach out to Bryan Hansel, chief executive officer of Smith Electric Vehicles, for an explanation. The Newton has no transmission connecting its electric motor to the rear drive wheels. Furthermore, the Newton is not equipped with a "neutral" selector to disengage the wheels from the motor. Therefore, towing the Newton with its rear wheels on the ground would force the electric motor to spin. However, since the delivery truck's liquid cooling system is inactive when the vehicle is off, excessive heat could build up and destroy the motor.
Hansel told GCA that the proper way to tow a Newton is to either drop the driveshaft, which connects the electric motor to the rear wheels, or to lift it from behind with the front wheels on the ground. Obviously, tow truck drivers are unlikely to spend half an hour pulling a driveshaft, so Hansel simply advises that Newtons either be hauled away on a flatbed or not towed at all.
Many battery-powered vehicles, including the Nissan Leaf and Ford Transit Connect, are engineered in such a way as to eliminate potential towing issues. However, the use of flatbed tow trucks nearly guarantees that hauling away a plug-in vehicle will not be a motor-destroying event.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sad News From MN

Our condolences to the family and acquaintances of 75-year-old Leonard L. Ayde of Lino Lakes, MN, who was the owner of Lens Towing. He passed away on Feb. 17. Here's his obituary:



Date of Birth:  March 18, 1935
Date of Death:  February 17, 2011
Len Ayde, age 75 of Lino Lakes passed away peacefully surrounded by family on February 17, 2011.
He is welcomed to Heaven by, parents, Lawrence and Clara; sisters, Dorothy (Greg) Bemlott, Harriet Ayde, Lorraine (Fred) Perrier, Hazel (Gordon) Ecker, Ruth (Wilfred) Whitman, Virginia (Art) Borek. Len is survived by loving wife, Mary with whom she shared 57 wonderful years; 12 children, Kathleen (Gary) Gullikson, Susan (Charlie) Tubman, Leonard Jr.(Claudine) Ayde,  Jeffrey Ayde,  Joseph Ayde, Thomas (Linda) Ayde,  Marilyn (Howard) Nelson,  Steven Ayde,  Robert (Kirsten) Ayde, Richard Ayde,  Annette (Dan) Winberg, Clara (Brett) Lucking; 36 Grandchildren & 26 Great Grandchildren.
 Owner of Lake Sanitation Inc. and Len's Towing - Member of NLCC, BCA, MSRA, NSRA, Winnehaha's and WIT.
A very special Thank you to all the Staff at Fairview Hospice and Minnesota Oncology.
Celebration Of Len's Life
 Celebration of Len's life will be held at ST. GENEVIEVE CHURCH, 7087 Goiffon Road, Centerville, Tuesday February 22, 2011 10:00 AM. A gathering of friends and family will be 1 hour prior to the service. Spring burial in St. Genevieve's Cemetery.
 In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the  family.


It's A Classic

A tire's lifesaver! Here's the press release:

The most under-used gas mileage saver
Gas prices continue to skyrocket. That means you need to take every opportunity to combat the inflation. One major step one can take to reduce high gas mileage is to ensure proper tire pressure. Bell Automotive’s classic brass tire gauge gives driver’s an old school style and a rugged dependability.
When air pressure is too low it causes unnecessary drag on your car and cause your wheels to have to work harder to get you down the road. When tire’s air pressure is too high, the car may be soaring down the freeway, but with a greater chance of swerving off the road due to a blown out tire, or merely balding the tires at a much higher rate. A tire gauge will permit you to save money on tires and at the pump.
Your father always had one, two or maybe 20 tire gauges hanging around the garage. That is because every driver requires a durable and accurate tire gauge to properly inflate the occasional flat tire, to complete the monthly check up or to fight against absurd gas prices.
This tire gauge has a brass construction and measures five to 60 PSI. A bleeder valve allows the operator to easily adjust air pressure. The tire gauge is branded under its original Victor or Monkey Grip name. So give a new tire gauge a home in your toolbox, glove compartment or emergency truck kit. It may save a tire’s life.

Learn more at www.bellautomotive.net. 

Kenworth MD Trucks News


Here's the press release:
Kenworth Medium Duty Trucks Add Factory-Installed Front Frame Brackets for Winch Bumper
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., March 8, 2011 – Kenworth Truck Company will add durable, factory-installed, front frame brackets for easy winch bumper installation on Kenworth T270 and T370 trucks. The announcement was made in conjunction with The Work Truck Show this week in Indianapolis.

The Kenworth front frame bracket package will provide strength for downward loads as great as 8,500 lbs. for a boom rest or cab guard, and up to 16,000 lbs. in the upward direction for outriggers. This frame package can help reduce customer upfit cost, and is compatible with popular bumpers used by winch customers.

“Kenworth’s new front frame bracket package especially targets utility and municipal customers that choose to operate Kenworth medium duty winch trucks,” said Doug Powell, Kenworth medium duty marketing manager. “With this product addition, we’ve standardized and simplified the installation of specialty bumpers commonly used in the fire and emergency vehicle markets.  This package will further enhance the value of our T270 and T370 4x4 models introduced in 2010.”

Kenworth’s quality medium duty products, combined with excellent dealer support, contributed to Kenworth receiving the 2010 J.D. Power and Associates award for “Highest in Customer Satisfaction for Medium Duty Truck Dealer Service.”*

Kenworth Truck Company is the manufacturer of The World’s Best(R) heavy and medium duty trucks. Kenworth is an industry leader in providing fuel-saving technology solutions that help increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. The company’s dedication to the green fleet includes aerodynamic trucks, compressed and liquefied natural gas trucks, and medium duty diesel-electric hybrids. Kenworth is the only truck manufacturer to receive the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Excellence award in recognition of its environmentally friendly products. Kenworth’s Internet home page is at www.kenworth.com. Kenworth. A PACCAR Company.
#

*Kenworth received the highest numerical score for medium-duty truck dealer service in the proprietary J.D. Power and Associates 2010 Medium Duty Truck Customer Satisfaction Study(SM). Study based on responses from 1,258 respondents measuring 8 manufacturers. Survey was of primary maintainers and owner operators and measures overall service quality of new (2009 model year) medium-duty (Class 5, 6, and 7) trucks (2009 model year).  Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of consumers surveyed in June-August 2010. Your experiences may vary.  Visit jdpower.com

Sad News From TX

Our condolences to the family and acquaintances of 79-year-old Louis R. "Dic" Rich, who owned Dick's Garage and Wrecker Service in Adrian, TX, for 46 years. He died on March 18. Here's his obituary:

ADRIAN -Louis R. "Dick" Rich, 79, died Friday, March 18, 2011.
Graveside service will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in Memorial Park Cemetery in Vega with the Rev. Dee Slocum officiating. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors of Vega.
On Sept. 8, 1931, in Hunter, Mo., John Fleming and Alice Ballinger Rich celebrated the birth of a son, Louis Richard, second to the youngest of nine children. Dick grew to manhood and served three years in the Korean War, where he received the Purple Heart medal. Returning from service, he settled in Adrian, where he owned and operated Dick's Garage and Wrecker Service for 46 years.
He married his beautiful redhead, Joyce Marie Tucker, and life blessed them with three children. Dick was a member of the Vega Masonic Lodge No. 899. He enjoyed traveling to see his siblings, children and grandchildren, "just seeing the country." He traveled from this world March 18, 2011.
Celebrating his life is his wife, Joyce; children, Steve and Carla Rich of Plano, Dale and Tammy Rich of Adrian, Todd and Tonda White of Vici, Okla.; grandchildren, Tara and Steve Andrea of Woodward, Okla., Ti White of Las Cruces, N.M., and Tialyn White of Warr Acres, Okla.; great-grandson, Preston Andrea; a sister, Erma Cloyd of Fresno, Calif.; a brother, Alexander Rich of San Diego; numerous nieces, nephews; special friends, Boudro and Hector; and many friends.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be to First Baptist Church, 701 Walnut St., Adrian, TX 79001.
Sign the online guest book at www.boxwellbrothers.com.

Sad News From WI

Our condolences to the family and acquaintances of Stuart D. Hegna of Cameron, WI. The longtime owner of Stu's Standard and Towing died on March 17 at the age of 78. Here's his obituary:

Stuart D. Hegna, 78, Cameron, Wis., died Thursday, March 17, 2011, at Luther Hospital, Eau Claire.
He was born Nov. 8, 1932, to Milo and Josephine (Papineau) Hegna at Cameron, where he was a lifelong resident. He graduated from Chetek High School in 1951 and operated Stu's Standard and Towing, Cameron, for 50 years. He was also a consultant at Cameron Car Corner with his son Mike for the past 17 years.
Surviving are sons Wayne of Cumberland and Mike (Lori) of Cameron; daughters Debbie (W.G.) Bible of Cameron, Patty Boortz of Rice Lake and Nyree (Tyler) Hoff of Eau Claire; grandchildren Ben Hegna, Kristi Howery, Brad and Jodi Hauck, Ashley Bible, Joel Hegna, Danielle Boortz, Zach and Autumn Hegna and Dylan and Jylian Hoff; six great-grandchildren; as well as many other relatives and friends.
Stu was preceded in death by his parents and a sister Beverly Krans.
Services were held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 22, from Rausch-Lundeen Funeral Home, Cameron, with Rev. Jerry Bernecker officiating.
Visitation was held 4-8 p.m. Monday and an hour prior to services Tuesday at the funeral home.

TomTom and Beacon Software News

Here's the press release:

Concord, MA – TomTom, the world’s leading provider of location and navigation solutions, and Beacon Software, a comprehensive towing management solutions supplier, have partnered to help towing fleet operators improve efficiency, reduce costs and increase control of drivers and equipment. The integration of TomTom WORKsmart™ fleet management solutions and Beacon Software towing applications enables live driver location updates and more accurate arrival time estimates.
“TomTom and Beacon Software are solving the perennial problem for towing companies of matching customers to the closest drivers and getting those trucks routed quickly and efficiently to the right locations,” said Michael Geffroy, vice president of sales, North America, TomTom Business Solutions.
WORKsmart™ is TomTom’s ready to use fleet management solution and an innovative way for improving the management of all types of commercial fleets. It offers customers a choice of industry leading solutions combined with a high quality professional service.  Beacon Software enables towing companies to view and dispatch all jobs and trucks on a map in real-time with color-coded icons that show the status and required truck for each call.
“The combination of TomTom and Beacon Software takes the guesswork out of arrival times for towing companies,” said Todd Althouse, president, Beacon Software.
By leveraging WORKsmart, Beacon Software solutions directly dispatch calls to the TomTom device in an operator’s truck and automatically calculate the most efficient routes based on historical traffic patterns and real-time traffic information.  Operators receive turn-by-turn directions to customer locations, while the device automatically provides continuous arrival time and job completion updates to their dispatch control center.
Henry’s Wrecker Service in Washington, DC integrated TomTom fleet management system and Beacon mapping software to reduce costs and increase productivity. “Our dispatchers are just like air traffic controllers now,” said Fred Scheler, president and CEO, Henry’s Wrecker Service. “With two 46-inch flat-screen TVs in dispatch, we can very easily see the location of customers and drivers, so our dispatchers can assign the closest truck and give the customer an accurate estimate for arrival. By travelling fewer miles to each call, we have saved $40,000 per month in fuel costs and our drivers can get to more calls every day.”
About TomTom N.V.
Founded in 1991, TomTom (AEX:TOM2) is the world’s leading supplier of location and navigation products and services focused on providing all drivers with the world’s best navigation experience. Headquartered in Amsterdam, TomTom has 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 www.routes.tomtom.com.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

PA Coroner Rules Tow-Truck Death A Homocide

Here's the story from the Citizen's Voice:

A woman's death during a AAA tow truck call earlier this week in Plains Township has been ruled a homicide by the Luzerne County Coroner's Office.
Meanwhile, AAA Mid-Atlantic on Wednesday suspended the company, Herbert's Towing in Wilkes-Barre, that it dispatched to assist 55-year-old Denise Polinchak for a vehicle problem in the parking lot of the Social Security Administration building.
The company said Herbert's was suspended for a previous, unrelated matter pertaining to background and driving record checks for employees.
Police said Polinchak died from injuries she sustained when a tow truck driver for Herbert's reversed her vehicle and struck her with an open door around 6 p.m. Monday. The tow truck driver, Robert Wickham, 55, of Dallas, was arrested for the suspicion of driving under the influence after "police detected signs of alcohol impairment," police said.
Polinchak died Tuesday from multiple traumatic injuries and her death was ruled homicide, said Luzerne County Chief Deputy Coroner William Lisman.
"AAA Mid-Atlantic is saddened by the circumstances surrounding the accident and expresses sincere condolences to the family of Ms. Denise Polinchak on their loss," said AAA spokeswoman Jana Tidwell. "Since all facts are not yet available, we will not speculate on the details of this tragic accident. We will be cooperating with any law-enforcement investigations and will await their findings before commenting further on the accident."
The organization said it suspended Herbert's Towing from providing AAA service due to a "possible breach" of the company's independent contractor agreement due to a matter not related to the fatal incident.
Herbert's has had a 30-year affiliation with AAA and averages approximately 500 calls for service each month for AAA, the organization said. Officials for AAA said 80 percent of AAA members requesting assistance said they were "totally satisfied" in their experience with Herbert's.
Police said Polinchak was critically injured shortly after she called AAA for help with her vehicle.
Investigators say Wickham was attempting to reverse the woman's vehicle from a parking stall when Polinchak was struck by an open driver's side door. Polinchak sustained critical injuries and died a day later in Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Plains Township, police said.
Tidwell confirmed that AAA Mid-Atlantic received a call on March 7 at 4:50 p.m. from Polinchak for assistance and AAA subsequently dispatched Herbert's towing. Herbert's is one of several AAA independent contractors in Luzerne County, Tidwell said.
Tidwell said that once accepted as an independent contractor for AAA, each contractor must annually certify they have conducted background checks for felony and misdemeanor convictions going back 25 years, as well as annual motor vehicle and driving records checks for all drivers providing roadside assistance to AAA members.
Herbert's most recently submitted certification on January 19, 2011, stating that it was in full compliance with those and other contractual requirements, Tidwell said.
As a matter of course, AAA Mid-Atlantic terminates any independent contractor that fails to meet their contractual obligations, she said.
In Wednesday's edition, The Citizens' Voice reported that the fatal incident in Plains Township was the second run-in a Herbert's Towing driver had with Plains Township police in recent weeks. On Feb. 28, an officer observed a Herbert's tow-truck traveling on East Carey Street without any rear tail lights illuminated and the officer stopped the vehicle because he couldn't see the registration plate.
A records check of the driver, Donald Mosley, 40, of Wilkes-Barre, indicated that his driver's license was suspended and the Luzerne County Sheriff's Department had a warrant for his arrest for failure to appear in court on several theft cases, according to Plains police.
Police also noted Herbert's recently purchased the tow-truck, but never registered the title with the state.
Mosley was jailed and the tow-truck was towed from the scene, police said.
Officials for Herbert's declined comment when a reporter visited the Kidder Street business on Wednesday.
Polinchak's obituary appears today on page 27.
bkalinowski@citizensvoice.com, 570-821-2055





Rouse Joins Beacon Funding Team

Here's the press release:

CHICAGO, IL (MMD Newswire) March 10, 2011 -- Beacon Funding announces the addition of David Rouse, formerly Senior Project Manager at Dynamic Towing Equipment, to its tow/work truck equipment financing team as a Business Development Consultant.
David brings over 15 years of tow truck industry experience to Beacon Funding. His diversified background includes tow truck sales, dealership operation, project management and truck equipment manufacturing.
"We are excited about adding David to the Beacon Funding team. David's extensive industry knowledge and long-standing relationships combined with Beacon's tow and work truck equipment niche focus should provide a great opportunity for the businesses with which he works," states Vice President of Sales and Marketing Toby McDonough.
Based in Warsaw, North Carolina, David's primary responsibility will be to assist Beacon in developing new relationships with tow/work truck dealerships and clients.
David Rouse will be attending the Allied Finance Adjusters Convention in St. Louis, Missouri April 13-15, 2011, the 2011 Florida Tow Show in Orlando, FloridaApril 16-17, 2011, and the Tow Expo in San Antonio, Texas May 12-14, 2011.
ABOUT BEACON FUNDING CORPORATION
For the past 21 years, Beacon Funding Corporation has been providing equipment financing solutions to all types of organizations, new and established, throughout a variety of industries in the United States and Canada. For more information please visit http://www.beaconfunding.com.

Dangerous Duty: FL Repo Man Takes Bullet For Wife, Car

Here's the story from NBC Miami:

The life of a repo man is always intense, but it nearly turned deadly for a Miami agent who was just doing his job.
Police say an armed man started shooting at a tow truck driver when he realized his Infiniti M-35 was being repossessed Wednesday night in Hialeah.
The victim, identified by police as 28-year-old William Delvalle suffered bullet wounds to his torso and was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital in serious condition.
Police say Delvalle took the bullet for his wife, who was driving the tow truck as it was driving away from the shooting suspect.
Police said the alleged gunman, Vladimir Perez Niebla, 35, has been charged with two counts of attempted murder.
The shooting happened just before 10 p.m. in the area of Palm Ave. and 23rd St.
Delvalle had already hitched the car up to the tow truck and was driving off when Niebla gave chase on foot. Niebla was able to catch up to the tow truck and get inside his car to pull out his semi-automatic pistol.
He then fired several shots at the truck. Delvalle, sensing his wife was in mortal danger, pulled her into the passenger seat and jumped behind the wheel. That's when a bullet hit him in the back, police said.
Niebla told police he shot several times in the air to "scare" the repossession agent into letting him keep his car.

Chilly Recovery in WI

A crew from Dive and Ice Wrecker service of Oshkosh uses ropes and pulleys Sunday to lift Dan Groeschel’s vehicle from the bottom of Lake Winnebago onto the ice offshore from Pipe. The vehicle sank in 16 feet of water. Read the whole story here.

Tow Truck Parade Honors NH Tower

Our condolences to the family and acquaintances of Russell Drew, Sr. of Tilton, NH. He passed away on March 9. Drew owned Russell Drew's Wrecker Service and Salvage Yard in Tilton, NH and was a member of the NH Towing Association for more than 40 years. Here's the story from WMUR 9:

TILTON, N.H. -- Tow truck drivers from all around the state gathered in Tilton on Sunday to remember a friend who died suddenly last Wednesday.
Russell Drew Sr. was 82 years old. He was a veteran and two-time Citizen of the Year.
Drew Sr. operated his own wrecker service and salvage yard, and made friends with truck drivers all across New England.
"Couldn't ask for a better guy; knowledgable, friendly. An all around good guy," said one friend.
"Anyone who knows anything about towing around New England knows Russell, and once they heard he passed it was just the thing to do," said another.
Drew Sr.'s family was honored by the dozens of drivers who drove around town in unison.
"This parade today leaves me speechless, it's great," said his grandson.

Sad News From Canada

Our condolences to the family and acquaintances of Harold Hammond, owner of Hammond Towing, who died on Mar. 13 after his pickup truck was hit. Here's the story from the Langley Advance:

The driver of a pickup truck sent flying off the Langley Bypass died in hospital Sunday, two days after the crash.
Harold Hammond, of Hammond Towing, was at the wheel of the blue pickup truck heading east near the 20500 block of the bypass.
Langley police say a large white delivery van apparently made an illegal left hand turn, striking the pickup and sending both cars spinning.
Hammond’s pickup flew into the ditch on the south side of the road, near a car dealership.
Both vehicles spun and flew off after the crash. The white van shed parts across dozens of feet of the roadway before coming to rest in the middle of the Bypass.
He and his passenger were taken to Royal Columbian Hospital for treatment. The driver of the white van was not seriously injured.
Witness Tressa Japp, who is a first aid instructor from Boston Bar, was the first person on the scene to offer aid to the men in the pickup.
The passenger in particular was in bad shape, Japp thought. His head had apparently hit the windshield – a bloody mark remained there – and his knee was injured.
“The passenger was in and out [of consciousness],” Japp said. “He could hardly even sit up.”
Shortly after the crash, the police said they believed both men were in serious but stable condition.
The Bypass was closed shortly after 9 a.m. for several hours so crash reconstruction teams could comb over the scene to determine what happened.
Both vehicles have been seized for mechanical inspections. Langley Traffic Services are now investigating, and charges are possible, said Cpl. Holly Marks.

STO 2nd Annual Chili Cookoff!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Dangerous Duty in VA

Here's the story from NBC12:

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A tow truck driver nearly lost his life while on the job after he was sideswiped by another driver who didn't stop. The hit and run happened on Interstate 95 just south of 895 in Chesterfield.
Barry Best has a massive bruise on his lower back, but has since returned to work, even taking jobs on the interstate again. The hit and run driver is still on the run.
Best's wife turned to Craigslist for help and even offered a reward.
Best could've easily been killed. A huge bruise on his back is a painful reminder.
"Felt like I'd been hit by a baseball bat," said Best.
Best was on-call early Saturday. Two men needed a tow to Petersburg.
"I was at least six to eight feet on the other side of the white line," said Best.
He was about to load up their car when the father of two said his life flashed before his eyes.
"I was standing pretty much like this when I saw the car coming towards me at an angle and about that time is when I squeezed up like that, and it still clipped me right there," said Best.
Best said he heard and felt the car's side mirror shatter against his back. Neither Best nor the men he was helping got a good look at the car. He thinks it was a dark colored Honda Accord.
"They should have at least stopped to see if I was okay," said Best.
Last year, the DMV tracked 243 crashes statewide involving tow truck drivers. One was killed, 20 others hurt.
Tow truck drivers are now protected under Virginia's move over slow down law. State lawmakers expanded it last year to include amber flashing lights. Best said his were on. He was also wearing a bright safety vest.
"It's very, very easy to see at night," said Best.
Best's wife posted an ad on Craigslist, but only one other person besides me responded, asking if he was okay.
"That kind of makes us wonder if this person knows something about it," said Best.
State police are investigating. If you have information that could help solve the case, give them a call. The vehicle involved will have damage to the front passenger side mirror. 

Towing Tirade In MI

Here's the news story from 9&10 News (click on the link to watch the video):

Police in Mecosta County say a woman threw a massive tantrum Monday afternoon when she saw her towing bill.
They say she did more than $3,000 worth of damage over a $225 bill. Deputies say the woman attacked an employee at Weeks Towing in Morley and then pulled a baseball bat off the wall smashing everything in sight.
The employee waiting on the woman says she shattered windows, knocked holes in the walls, and destroyed a computer.
9 and 10's Kyle Mitchell and Photojournalist Corey Petee have more on the attack and how it was all caught on tape.