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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Got Video? It Might Earn You Some $$


Here's some info sent in by TruTV:

TOP 20 MOST SHOCKING
PRODUCES TOW TRUCK MADNESS FOR SEASON 5!

There’s no business like tow business! As drivers, you know every call can lead you into a hotbed of freakish behavior. From the furious deadbeat targeted for a repo, to the drunk driver who still doesn’t know why his car’s split in two, you can never tell what you’re going to find. That’s why having cameras – in your vehicles and in your yards – is such a slam dunk.

Now, thanks to truTV, those cameras don’t just watch your back – they can earn you some cool cash! This is your chance to showcase your company’s drivers and the bizarre world they inhabit. Did your cameras catch the businessman going ballistic over his illegally-parked Lexus? The rubbernecker who turned an accident scene into a demolition derby? Or the irate customer who stormed into your business? Then you can be part of the hottest reality show on television –TOP 20 MOST SHOCKING!

EARN $$$ FOR YOUR VIDEO! BE ON TV!

TOP 20 MOST SHOCKING is the wildest, most action-packed hour of caught-on-tape footage on the air. Whether it’s the outrageous rampages of Hotheads From Hell, or the unbelievable antics of Biggest Boozers, no other show can match our raw take on the unexpected. And now, we’re ready to deliver our eye-opening look at the job that always comes with a hitch: TOW TRUCK MADNESS!

We’re tracking down the craziest footage from across the country and around the globe of tow trucking lunacy as experienced by the pros! Forget watching others on Operation Repo. Now you can be in the spotlight as the star of our show!

What we’re looking for:

Car Owners Wielding Weapons
Vehicles Falling Off The Truck
Tow Trucks Rammed By Negligent Drivers
Customers Who Think Their Car’s Disabled When It’s Not
Employees Being Chased By Vengeful Drivers

Or any other situation that leaves you hoisting your jaw off the ground!

TOP 20 MOST SHOCKING has consistently topped the ratings, thanks to fans like you sending in the hottest videos out there today. And we’ll pony up to keep delivering the goods! To send in your video, just contact clips@nashentertainment.com, 323-468-4600, or upload footage directly to http://upload.nashentertainment.com.  

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hino Trucks 338 Model Named '11 MD Commercial Truck of the Year

Glenn Ellis - VP of Marketing & Dealer Operations, Sumio Fukaya - President and CEO, Bob McDowell - Sr. VP Sales & Customer Support
Here's part of the press release:

Novi, Michigan – Hino Trucks 338 model took home the 2011 Medium Duty Commercial Truck of the Year award. The 2011 award marks the second year in a row that the American Truck Dealers (ATD) division of the NADA has bestowed this honor on Hino after its 268 model received the same accolade in 2010.
The trucks were judged on innovation, design, fuel economy, driver and owner satisfaction, ease of maintenance and safety. “We congratulate Hino Motors Sales U.S.A. and all of the nominees for participating in this year’s ATD Commercial Truck of the Year competition,” said Dick Witcher, ATD convention chairman. “The award competition, which honors the top medium- and heavy-duty trucks sold in the United States, continues to grow. We look forward to hosting the competition next year during the convention in Las Vegas.” The judging panel consists of journalists from leading truck publications in North America.
“We are honored and thrilled to have won the ATD Medium Duty truck of the Year Award for the second consecutive year,” said Sumio Fukaya, President and CEO of Hino Trucks. “We strive to make the world a better place to live by helping people and goods get where they need to go - safely, economically and with environmental responsibility - while focusing on sustainable development. It brings us great satisfaction to see that our efforts are meeting the expectation of the industry."
The 33,000 lb. GVW, 2012MY Hino 338 model features Hino’s signature J08E series 8-liter diesel engine producing 260 hp and 660 lb-ft of torque that has become the premier choice for many vocations such as beverage delivery, municipalities, construction, utilities, petroleum/gas delivery and waste/recycling. In addition to a 13% improvement in engine torque, Hino’s 338 model provides class 7 vocational fleets the advantages of an industry-leading 5-year/250,000 mile warranty and the only conventional medium duty EPA10 engine certified at the mandated level.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

OR Tow Operator Injured

We hope Matt Stuart of Retriever Towing recovers quickly! Here's the story from KGW.com:
PORTLAND -- A tow truck operator was injured after he was hit by a man who was trying to illegally retrieve his car from a tow yard Tuesday night, police said.
"We'd really like to have some help from the public in finding this guy," said Gary Coe, owner of Retriever Towing.
Once caught, the suspect will be charged with vehicular assault. The suspect's vehicle was described as a black Subaru Outback Impreza.  It has a California license plate 5TIC397.
It happened at approximately 5 p.m. at Retriever Towing's property in NW Portland.  Coe said the man showed up to get his car after it was towed from a parking lot near MLK and Washington earlier in the day.
"He asked how much the car was," said employee Chris Jones.  "I explained it to him how much it was."
Jones said the man realized he was short about $20.  He then darted onto the lot and jumped in his car.
Surveillance photos: Suspect in impound lot
"He proceeded to go ahead, rev up his engine and start his car, and went towards the gate," said Jones.
Jones tried to stop the man.  He was joined by his co-worker, Matt Stuart.
"Eventually I was able to get out of his way as he went through our gate," said Jones.  "Matt was pinned between the car and the gate and he fell backwards and hit his head on the asphalt behind him."
Jones said the man raced off the lot and drove away as Stuart laid on the ground, bleeding from his head.
Photos: Injured tow truck operator
"It was pretty disturbing to see my co-worker looking up at me with a glossy-eyed look in his face and seeing the blood underneath his head."
"There's no sense in getting foul," said Coe.  "I just hope we can find the person and bring him to justice."
Fortunately, Stuart will be okay.  He was released from Good Samaritan Hospital at around 8 p.m. and is at home recovering.
Stuart told KGW Wednesday that he is sore but thankful to be alive. He said he was anxious for the man who hit him to be captured.
Anyone with information that may help investigators was urged to call Portland police.

Sad News From WI

Our condolences to the family and acquaintances of tow truck driver Dan Bobholz of Bobholz Trucking, Inc.,  who died Tuesday, April 19, after being struck by two vehicles while he was working on the side of the road. Here's the story from WSIN.com:

ALLENTON, Wis. -- There's new information about the tow truck operator who was killed as a result of trecherous road conditions near West Bend on Tuesday
It's a sad situation," said Bill Rate of Bob's Main Street Auto & Towing.
Tow truck owner and operator Bill Rate looked over a vehicle that may have struck and killed his friend and associate Tuesday in Allenton.
"My heart and condolences go out to the family and everything for the tragedy that happened yesterday," Rate said.
Dan Bobholz, of Allenton, responded to a call around 2:30 p.m. The weather was bad.
Investigators at the scene said that a Jeep traveling southbound on Highway 41 sideswiped a legally parked Washington County Sheriff's Office squad that was doing traffic direction on the right shoulder for Bobholz Towing while Bobholz removed a runoff vehicle from the right ditch.
After the Jeep sideswiped the Washington Cunty squad, it started to spin and struck Bobholz while he was on foot loading the runoff vehicle onto his wrecker.
Bobholz was then pushed into his wrecker and, as the Jeep rotated away, he fell into a traffic lane of Highway 41 where he was then run over by a semi tractor-trailer traveling past the scene.
Tow truck operators said this is their worst fear every time they go out.
"We have the lights. We have the reflective gear. We have all the equipment that we need out there, watching our backs at all times, but in a condition like this, people are just not paying attention," Rate said.
Rate said he was just north of the crash picking up a car about an hour before it happened. He said people were driving way too fast, and he and his other operators are lucky they didn't get hit.
It's a reminder of how dangerous traveling during bad weather can be and a reminder to all motorists to slow down and yield to respect.
The State Patrol said it appeared that icy roads and excessive speed might have contributed to that fatal crash.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Beacon Funding Corporation Announces New Hire for Tow/Work Truck Equipment Financing

Beacon Funding Corporation Announces New Hire for Tow/Work Truck Equipment Financing
Here's the press release:

Todd Chase brings over 18 years of tow truck industry experience to Beacon Funding. His diversified background includes tow equipment/supply sales, tow operations, towing & recovery training and customer relations and support. Todd is also a lead trainer for the Statewide Towing Academy and a Director of the Statewide Towing Association(of Massachusetts).
Per Toby McDonough, Vice President of Beacon's Sales & Marketing, "Todd has already proven to be an excellent addition to our team. His extensive knowledge of all aspects of the work truck marketplace coupled with Beacon's niche truck financing expertise has proven invaluable to his equipment vendor and business owner relationships."
Based in Newburyport, Massachusetts, Todd's primary responsibility will be to assist Beacon in developing new relationships with tow/work truck dealerships and clients.
Todd Chase will be attending the 2011 Florida Tow Show in Orlando, FloridaApril 14-17, 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.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sad News From IA

Our condolences to the family and acquaintances of Larry Wickersham, who ran I-80 Towing in Altoona, IA, for many years. He passed away on February 21, 2011 in Colfax, IA, after a long and valiant battle with cancer. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

"Towing and the Law" Book Now Available

Dangerous Duty In NE

Here's the story from KETV News 7:

OMAHA, Neb. -- Police said no one was hurt, but two tow truck operators were threatened at gunpoint early Friday morning in midtown Omaha.Investigators said the incident took place near 38th and Farnam streets around 3:45 a.m.As the two operators were loading a car onto the flatbed of their tow truck, three men confronted them, police said. The owner of the car and the owner's boyfriend argued they didn't have enough money to pay the towing fee and then pulled out a gun and threatened the truck operators, according to investigators. Bullet holes found in tow truck's windshield.Police said to two towing company employees went to another tow truck to leave and the man with the gun fired multiple times into the cab of the first tow truck.Officers said, as they arrived, they spotted someone tossing a gun as he ran off. They recovered the weapon and then took Kenneth Hatch, 24, into custody. Hatch is now facing charges of possession of a stolen firearm and terroristic threats, investigators said.Officers said they were given permission to search the apartment where the men came from and found another stolen handgun and some marijuana. Investigators said Kyle Hauder, 22, is facing charges of possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana and for an unrelated misdemeanor warrant.

Kenworth Truck Company News

Here's the press release:

LOUISVILLE, Ky., March 30, 2011– Kenworth Truck Company announced that it will offer its first 6x6 configuration for the Kenworth T370 medium duty model.“Kenworth is further expanding its reach into key medium duty markets by providing quality, durable and high-performance Kenworth T370s in a 6x6 configuration for the first time,” said Preston Feight, Kenworth chief engineer. “This new offering will benefit operators running utility service, construction, oilfield service and boom trucks, in addition to municipal applications, such as fire and emergency vehicles. Customers get a great medium duty truck for applications which require a heavier front axle and tandem rear axle to get the job done.”The Kenworth T370 6x6 features a factory-installed front drive axle available in ratings ranging from 10,000 lbs. to 16,000 lbs. The 6x6 will be equipped with a 40,000 lb. rated rear suspension. Initially, the Chalmers series 854-40 suspension will be offered, followed by the addition of the Hendrickson PRIMAAX(R) EX rear air suspension later this year. T370 6x6 customers can choose either the PACCAR PX-6 or PACCAR PX-8 engine. The addition of Kenworth’s new 6x6 configuration builds upon the 4x4 configuration introduced for the T270 and T370 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

New Ranger SST-CommLink MDT With Credit Card Processing

Here's the press release:

New from Ranger SST - CommLink MDT™ -  Now With Credit Card ProcessingExtend and integrate your dispatch process with drivers in the field.  Send detailed call information and receive status updates back from drivers, along with vehicle information and any "Extras"  that were delivered.  Send account-specific pricing parameters with the call and the CommLink MDT™ calculates the charges for the driver and processes the customer's credit card!  All information from the driver automatically updates the dispatch screen and accounting records (in DispatchDirect™).  No Voice Traffic To Manage - you only need the radio for back-up.  Driver interface is a Mentor Ranger MDT unit that  includes  fixed-in-vehicle GPS with antenna.  Enables visual dispatch (drag and drop) from the map (MapTrack™) - shows truck location, truck type, truck availability, and proximity to an incoming call.   See www.RangerSST.com for more information, or call 440.498.1495.  

Here's part of the press release:

Novi, Michigan – Hino Trucks announces “HINO INSIGHT” – the most advanced, tailored, comprehensive web-based location and telematics solution in the medium-duty commercial truck market. Hino‟s solution provides innovative GPS-based, remote fleet management capabilities to fleet operations of all sizes – driving efficiencies, safety, security, customer satisfaction and green initiatives.Hino Trucks and their industry-leading telematics technology partner, WebTech Wireless®, have invested more than two years and over a million miles of real world testing to develop the ultimate, value-added, versatile fleet management solution. INSIGHT is more than a basic telematics package, it is a complete solution including a mix of premium and Hino exclusive services ranging from, route tracking, geofencing, advanced vehicle administration, and planned maintenance management to real-time critical Hino proprietary diagnostics alerts, custom fleet performance dashboard reporting, and remote door unlock telemetry. Additionally, Hino INSIGHT units come standard with a free 1-year service subscription plan and a 2-year Hino OEM full product warranty.

New Lowboys From Landoll

Here's the press release:

Landoll Corporation is pleased to announce an all new line of heavy haul detachable lowboy trailers. The 800 Series has two primary models. The 835 is a 35-ton – with two or three axles; the 855 is a 55-ton – with three or four axles. This new construction series of hydraulic non-ground bearing detachables have loaded deck heights down to 17.75” and deck lengths up to 32’. 
The 800 Series of construction trailers have an impressive list of standard equipment that includes four (4) 100,000-lb. high tensile steel beams and 4S2M ABS with spring brakes on all axles. The 12’5” long gooseneck comes standard with two King Pin settings, 108” by 90” and seven ride height settings. These trailers will be equipped with 12” swing out extensions, a recessed boom trough, a recessed bucket trough in the lower deck and dropped wheel bolsters. Landoll will also include its standard zinc rich powder primer with a choice of six standard powder color top coats or optional hot dip galvanizing is available for the ultimate in rust protection.The 855 will be on display at the Florida Tow Show April 14-17, 2011 – Booth #881

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sad News From TX

Our condolences to the family and acquaintances of 24-year-old Christian Gutierrez who died on Mar. 31 as he was moving a wrecked vehicle on the side of the highway. He was killed by a UPS 18-wheeler. Gutierrez worked for Coby's Auto and Wrecker Service. Here's the story from the Victoria Advocate:

Christian Gutierrez rarely got a day off from his job at Coby's Auto and Wrecker Service.
To maximize their time together, his girlfriend, Maria Cahue, and her 2-year-old daughter, Andrea, would ride in the wrecker with him, Cahue said.
"That's how we spent our time together, up until that same night," Cahue said Saturday.
Cahue, 19, said she had just returned home from responding to a call with her 24-year-old boyfriend when he was called to another wreck near Refugio.
Gutierrez, 24, was struck and killed by a UPS tractor-trailer while loading a vehicle at that wreck.
The crash that killed Gutierrez remains under investigation by the Department of Public Safety.
The couple's one year anniversary was Friday.
On Saturday, Cahue was in Laredo with Gutierrez's family, preparing for his funeral.
Cahue said the family did not want to talk publicly about Gutierrez.
With nine siblings, Gutierrez was a family man, she said.
"Anything for me and my daughter. He always put us first," Cahue said.
Over the phone, Andrea could be heard calling for her mother.
"She asks for him," Cahue said. "She thinks he's working."
Gutierrez moved to Victoria almost a year ago to be with his girlfriend and her daughter, Cahue said.
That was after his service as a Marine in Iraq.
"He was a three-time combat veteran. He went overseas more than once," Cahue said. "He liked serving his country."
Gutierrez received several military honors, including the Marine Corp. Good Conduct Medal, the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with one Star, the Iraq Campaign Medal with one Campaign Star, the National Defense Service Medal and the Rifle Expert Badge, according to his obituary.
He also enlisted in the Marine Corp. Reserve.
Cahue said on a rare day off, Gutierrez would still be putting others before himself, most likely taking Andrea out to have fun.
"We love him. There was not one person that he did not touch, that did not like him," Cahue said. "He was just very loving."

Related story:  http://www.kristv.com/news/tow-truck-driver-struck-and-killed-on-highway-77/

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Everyday Tow Hero Honored In L.A.

Here's the story from EGP News:

Justice Served Through Bravery of Local CitizensDistrict Attorney Steve Cooley honors Los Angeles area residents who were instrumental in putting criminals in jail.By EGP News ReportLos Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley on Friday recognized four everyday citizens who acted courageously under extraordinary and stressful circumstances to bring criminals to justice.Among them was a man who came to the rescue of a woman getting beaten on an Echo Park sidewalk, a Boyle Heights man who bravely came forward to identify the shooter in a gang murder case, a nine-year-old Los Angeles girl who provided eye-witness testimony in a drug murder case, and a Los Angeles tow-truck driver whose persistence put a group of armed gunmen behind bars.Cooley presented the four with the Courageous Citizen Award during a luncheon held by the Los Angeles Rotary Club on April 1.While driving in Echo Park in January 2010, honoree Robert Mark, 60, saw a man kicking and punching a woman in the face as she lay on a sidewalk trying to block the blows. Mark reacted to this scene by stopping his car, getting out of his car, and charging the assailant, who fled.Soon the assailant, who turned out to be the victim’s ex-boyfriend, returned, but Mark stood in the man’s way, until the attacker retreated for good. The defendant was captured, convicted of assault with a deadly weapon and is awaiting sentencing.In April 2008, honoree Jesus Delgadillo, 28, of Los Angeles, witnessed the murder of a former gang member in his Boyle Heights neighborhood. The victim, a former gang member who had turned his life around, was shot dead during a verbal confrontationWhile other witnesses were unwilling, Delgadillo came forward to testify in court on what he saw. He was able to identify the shooter, who was ultimately convicted of murder and sentenced to 40 years to life in prison.Despite her young age, honoree Chynna Hunt, 9, of Los Angeles, proved a poised and effective witness. She gave testimony about a man shooting to death another man after a September 2008 drug deal. The defendant in the case was convicted of murder and sentenced to 40 years to life in prison.
Tow truck driver Joseph Mosesean, 52, was honored for giving chase to a group of gunmen he witness fleeing the scene in December 2008.Mosean was stopped at a traffic light west of downtown Los Angeles, when he saw a group of armed suspects in a station wagon fire at a second car, killing the driver. When the gunmen attempted to flee, Mosesean jumped into action, following closely behind and relaying critical details to his company’s dispatch operator, who notified police.Mosesean tailed them for more than a mile before a Los Angeles Police Department helicopter joined the pursuit. The three suspects tried to flee on foot, but all were captured, and later each convicted of murder and sentenced to 50 years to life in state prison.

CCMC News

Here's the press release:

CROSS COUNTRY AUTOMOTIVE SERVICES EARNS GLOBAL SUPPLIER AWARD FROM FORD MOTOR COMPANY FOR ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE SERVICES
MEDFORD, MASS, March 22, 2011 – Cross Country Automotive Services (Cross Country), a leading provider of driver and vehicle assistance services in North America, has been selected by Ford Motor Company as a recipient of a 2010 World Excellence Award, the company's highest recognition for its suppliers globally.
Ford honored Cross Country with a Gold World Excellence Award for attaining a superior level of excellence in the management and execution of its roadside assistance program. The Gold award is the highest level of the recognition by Ford for service.  
“Cross Country is proud to be recognized for its contribution toward Ford’s highest standards of customer services,” said Michael Saxton, chief executive officer for Cross Country. “We share Ford’s total commitment to excellence in technology, quality and cost efficiency, and appreciate being entrusted to provide a wide range of roadside assistance services that add value to the company’s innovative vehicles.”
A total of 15 suppliers received Gold World Excellence Awards; Ford selected 47 total World Excellence Award honorees from 16 different countries for aligning themselves with the values and operating practices of Ford.

About Cross CountryFor nearly 40 years, Cross Country Automotive Services has been a pioneer and thought leader in creating and delivering technology-enabled service solutions for the auto and insurance industries.  Cross Country manages roadside assistance programs in the U.S. on behalf of global automobile manufacturers and U.S. insurance carriers, providing solutions for the nearly six million roadside service events experienced by their consumers each year.  In addition, Cross Country provides accident scene management, vehicle release management and total loss screening services for insurance carriers, and customer care services and connected vehicle services for a number of automotive manufacturers. For more information, visit www.crosscountry-auto.com.  

Friday, April 1, 2011

TX Passes Tow Truck "Move Over" Law!

Round of applause! Here's the story from WTAW News Talk 1620:

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) _ Motorists could face new penalties for passing tow trucks on the highway unless they slowed down or changed lanes.Without any debate, the Texas House unanimously approved legislation Wednesday adding tow trucks to the law requiring motorists to move over or slow down when passing law enforcement or emergency vehicles, such as police cars or ambulances. The tow trucks would have to have their emergency lights flashing.Motorists who violate the law would face a fine of up to $200 — akin to a speeding ticket — or more if the violation causes an accident and causes property or bodily damage.Advocates say the bill, pushed by towing interests, is needed to protect tow truck operators who routinely work in extremely dangerous conditions on Texas highways.