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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingJuly 01 - July 07, 2015

John Borowski Joins AutoReturn

John Borowski has joined AutoReturn, the San Francisco-based dispatch company that police departments across the country have turned to for its municipal towing management and logistics. The former "Towman of the Year" has been appointed as the company's VP of Tow Industry Programs.

"I was a critic of AutoReturn in the past." Borowski said. "I had the same misperceptions about AutoReturn that some auto towers across the country had, but I took the time to investigate the company and I realized that our goals actually aligned. I've always believed that the service AutoReturn offers municipalties has real value.

"But what became apparent was the value AutoReturn offers the towing industry, which has in fact materialized in several U.S. cities. I told John Wicker we could achieve a lot for the industry by working together. Next thing I know, I was offered a position that would allow me to contribute to the health of this industry."

In his new role, Borowski will work to enhance the benefits of being a towing partner with AutoReturn.

"Inside AutoReturn I have the president's ear. I will continue to advocate for towers' interests and a strengthened position with their town authorities. What's best for the towing community is best for AutoReturn. Their interests are inseparable."

"You would be challenged to find someone with a more impressive and comprehensive background in the towing and automotive fields than John Borowski," said AutoReturn CEO John Wicker. "He's a legend in our industry and we feel privileged to have him on our team."

Borowski has an extensive history in the automotive, transportation, and emergency breakdown industries. Most recently, he served as Director of Municipal Contracts and Scene Supervisor for Hampshire Towing where he oversaw all facets and operations on major accident scenes including environmental cleanup.

Borowski currently serves on the board of the Statewide Towing Association of Massachusetts as its Past President, is a two-time American Towman Medal Recipient for heroism, and an inductee into the International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame. In the past two years he has been active in the founding of Police Towers of America, advocating progressive reform in police-tower relationships.

Company Regains [b]AAA Affiliation

A Huntington, W. Va., towing service licensed to tow for AAA was re-instated on June 22 after an investigation by the motor club.

Nicely's Towing's contract was temporarily suspended when the fuel tank on U.S. Army National Guard veteran Kevin Sloas' truck ruptured June 16 and he contacted AAA for service. What happened after that became a topic of debate that resulted in the tow service having its affiliation with AAA suspended pending the investigation.

"We got a call from AAA about a stranded motorist at CVS in Kenova," Roy Holley, general manager of Nicely's Towing, said. "We responded and asked him his location and how many riders would be in the truck, he told us one. He never mentioned anything about a dog and neither did AAA.

"Our driver told him we couldn't put the dog in the truck, but we could put it in the truck being towed or we could call a cab and pay for it. We also told him we could contact a family member to look after the dog."

Sloas claimed in a Facebook post and through other media outlets he was given one option only: putting the dog in the truck being towed with the windows up.

Sloas said he was diagnosed with PTSD after serving tours in Afghanistan in 2008 and 2009. The dog is a companion canine he received from an organization that provides service canines to military combat veterans suffering from the illness.

Holley said the tow truck driver called the office for instructions on how to proceed because of the company's no-dog policy.

Holley said he spoke with Sloas and informed him of the reason for Nicely's no-dog policy, citing past experiences and safety concerns.

"(S)ervice dogs are extremely protective of their owners and there was a concern that a movement by the driver in the cab of the truck could cause the dog to become aggressive if he thought the movement was toward Mr. Sloas," Holley said.

The policy was adopted, Holley said, after a driver hauled a man and his dog in the cab of the truck. Later, a woman whose car was being towed was in the cab and had a severe allergic reaction.

"She threatened to sue us and everything," Holley said.

The problem, however, is the Americans with Disabilities Act allows a service or companion dog to accompany its owner anywhere he or she goes.

A Facebook post that same day by Sloas quickly went viral.

AAA re-instated Nicely's after concluding its investigation.

"AAA East Central has completed its investigation of Nicely's Towing," the organization announced on Facebook. "Nicely's Towing has accepted responsibility for the incident, which caused one of our members great difficulty and was not in keeping with AAA's roadside assistance standard of service."

Roy Holley, general manager of Nicely's Towing, said the business can resume providing service to AAA members on a probationary basis.

According to AAA's announcement, the re-instatement of Nicely's affiliation with AAA is contingent on owner Daryl Nicely doing the following: publicly apologizing, admitting error in the handling of this roadside assistance event; training his drivers on the care and handling of service requests involving certified service animals; terminate the tow truck driver who ran the service call at issue; and schedule sensitivity training for all employees.

Source: www.herald-dispatch.com
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By Don Lomax

B/A Products' Yoke Alloy [b]Snatch Blocks

BA Snatch Blocks 3f4caB/A Products' Yoke Alloy Snatch Blocks feature closed die steel sheaves and are fatigued-rated and date-coded. The company said that the snatch blocks are 40% lighter than standard style snatch blocks and that they meet all requirements of ASME B30.26. Learn more about B/A Products' offerings at Tow Expo International, August 13-15, 2015, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas.
When you're out on the road, what are you most likely listening to?
Rock Music
Country Music
Hip-Hop/R&B Music
Talk Radio

It's Summer, [b]Have Some Fun

I've been a little "heavy" the last four weeks, so I'm going to lighten it up a little bit.

When was the last time you took in your favorite sport? I've yet to attend a ballgame this year, as work keeps me busy. (That, and ticket prices to see the 17-65 New York Knicks were downright cost prohibitive!) Hopefully, I'll get out to see my Mets before long.

It's important to do those things that "keep you loose." Why work so hard and not enjoy whatever fruits there are of your labor? Summer's a great time to do so.

Go out and grab some sunshine!
--Charles Duke
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Former Towman of the Year John Borowski has joined AutoReturn as its VP of Tow Industry Programs.
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