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The Week's Features
Georgia company only tows motorcycles
“Introduction to Towing & Safety” is designed to train new operators
Urges at least a 90-day halt to repos, foreclosures and evictions
Specially formulated for extreme temperatures, heavy loads, more
A job loaded with 7,000 lbs. of clothing gets handled
Events
Cleveland, OH.
Aug. 19-22, 2020
Las Vegas, NV.
Sept 9-12, 2020
San Antonio, TX.
Oct. 16-18, 2020
Baltimore, MD.
Nov. 19-22, 2020
Dates for Cleveland, Las Vegas, and San Antonio shows moved forward to August, September and October
American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in Towing March 16 - March 23, 2020

Resolvion Posts Skip-Tracing Presentation

Skip-trace and repossession management services provider Resolvion has posted a presentation on skip-tracing given by MasterQueue’s Bryan Geist.

Geist’s presentation was one of several given by repossession industry experts during the 2019 Innovations in Recovery Summit hosted by Resolvion last fall in Dallas.

Geist began his presentation recollecting tactics some collections agents might have used in the past, pretending to be just about anyone but a company representative in hopes of locating a vehicle.

“Obviously, that would not fly today,” Geist said. “If your staff attempted it now, they would be gone in a heartbeat.”

Resolvion posted Geist’s presentation online to help other industry participants who might not have attended last fall’s event.

“Effective skip-tracing is still a critical part of a successful repossession strategy,” Resolvion said. “However, the challenge is much different than it used to be.

“In the old days it was all about finding a new piece of information and acting effectively on it,” the company added. “Today, the amount of data is overwhelming and the challenge is to how to interpret the data in the most effective manner.”

Source: autoremarketing.com.


Click here to read more

AT Reschedules Three Shows; Calitri Makes Bold Forecast

The American Towman ShowPlace-Las Vegas is now September 9-12, The Towman Games is now August 19-22 in Cleveland, and TowXpo in San Antonio is moved to October 16-18, as the shows reposition time-wise beyond current shutdowns around the nation when commerce will have had the chance to open up again.

American Towman’s Steve Calitri made bold predictions in AT’s upcoming April issue, regarding the nation’s strategy to containing the Corona virus and the current shutdown of commerce. Some excerpts from the article:

One: The culture of capitalism and free enterprise in this country will blow harder than the forces of social engineering now at play shutting down the country.

Two: Americans will fight a government hell bent on removing all their freedoms.

Three: Existing drugs will be proven to successfully remove the worst viral symptoms, including death. This changes the ballgame and removes the primary reason for enforcing social distancing and strict quarantines.

Four: Cars will be back on the roads by May. Call volume for tow operations will begin to rise and be back strong by summer. For every tower who could not survive the shutdown will be a tower who profits from the culling of competition.

Five: American Towman will continue helping tow bosses and suppliers connect through its pages and events as sure as the mainstream media will be criticizing Trump for favoring the resuscitation of commerce over the advice of the social engineers.
"Call volume for tow operations will begin to rise and be back strong by summer."
RECOVERY ROUNDUP: By Way of Water in Washington State – Kitsap Towing Delivers
Don't Miss It!
American Towman Field Editor’s Terry Abejuela’s “Calculating Recovery Resistance” seminar will highlight techniques for calculating recovery resistances due to the recovery path surface and slope, as well as rolling resistance. Join Terry for his informative seminar during Tow Industry Week at the Westgate Paradise & Pavilion in Las Vegas, Nevada, Sept. 9-12, 2020. atshowplace.com

atshowplace.com

No One Left Behind

NEW b27e7By Randall C. Resch

The news is alive with recurring incidents where vehicles get towed to a tow facility only to discover an injured victim or a deceased body hours later or the next day.

This has the potential of happening anywhere.

It’s Pretty Common

As an accident investigator, EMT and tow operator, I've worked these crashes and seen that small-ish victims tend to get thrown to a vehicle’s floor upon impact. Wreckage and other factors like weather and darkness may hide the victim’s presence.

Modern vehicles are equipped with as many as 12 airbags. When smaller victims are tossed to the floorboards, between the seats or under dashboards, they may be obscured by compartment debris. There's always a possibility that someone isn’t found because they were hidden under draped air bags.

Where’d They Go?

Individuals sometimes aren’t discovered at the initial crash scene and ultimately get listed as “missing persons” with the local police. This was the case in December 2007 when a Tarzana, California, mom and son were in a vehicle that careened into a building. The Los Angeles Times reported that the son was transported by paramedics and the vehicle was towed in the usual manner. Initially, the family didn’t know mom and son were in a crash nor were they aware the son was transported to the hospital.

In the case of the lost son and mom, investigators traced dispatch logs, call center recordings and hospital records subsequently locating the son as a crash victim; but mom wasn’t found. Accordingly, the LAPD went to the Canoga Park tow yard where mom’s body was discovered inside the vehicle.

Unless an individual works in environments where death, rescue and body extrication are their vocation, the public doesn’t understand that once rescue is complete, there are additional steps that must be taken. In most cases, even if the individual was determined deceased, rescue and extrication typically comes first; the dead have to wait. The deceased ultimately requires a response from the Sheriff’s/Coroner’s Office to come to a scene, identify, record and transport the deceased.

Then, notification of the next of kin occurs.

Outside Looking In

Most first responders require a systematic check and vehicle walkaround that includes marking the vehicle's exterior to indicate the specific space was searched. Some procedures require that someone is tasked with making a final walkaround and inspection before a tow company loads or tows the casualties away.

Although tow trucks typically are last to handle on-scene clean up, it's important that tow operators take a quick look in interior spaces before loading flatbed carriers or dollies to ensure no one is left behind. Prior to departing, and with a gloved hand, push those deployed air bags out of the way to make a cursory look while being ready for the visual shock that an injured or deceased individual might still be in the car. 

Because there are many players in first response, finding all victims is a critical part and responsibility of recovery. The same holds true at accident scenes where vehicles roll over and victims not wearing seatbelts were thrown from their vehicles. Motorcycle accidents oftentimes result in riders being ejected into roadside ditches, brush and trees.

In all scenarios like these, liability is questioned when someone is found in a towed vehicle after the fact. Not that it’s just the towman’s responsibility, but it‘s something we towers can do if nothing less than for our own peace of mind.

Randall Resch is American Towman's and Tow Industry Week’s Operations Editor, a former California police officer, tow business owner and retired civilian off-road instructor for Navy Special Warfare. Randall is an approved instructor for towers serving the California Highway Patrol's rotation contract. His course is approved by the California law enforcement community. He has written over 500 industry-related articles for print and on-line, is a member of the International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame, and, a recipient of the 2017 Dave Jones Leadership Award.

Pandemic Strategies

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” —Socrates

Dealing with the current pandemic calls for the employment of some new strategies to stay in front of and top-of-mind with clients. Don’t just sit back waiting and hoping for the phone to ring; get your typing and dialing fingers in shape and reach out to people.

Facebook’s Business Resource Hub has a few good ideas. They suggest that you stay up to date by following credible, official sources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization and your local government health department so you can respond quickly to changes that could affect you or your customers. Proactively share important information with your customers using email, your website, Facebook page, Instagram or however you typically connect.

I know of one towing company that does that located in my state. Their staying connected has surely gone a long way to building a very successful business and has undoubtedly made them top-of-mind to customers should a situation calling for their services arise. Long before the pandemic, I received emails at least three times a week from this company; your company may want to use some of this time to begin such a public relations campaign. It really doesn’t take much.

Other suggestions that the Facebook Business Resource Hub offers are hosting online events (such as business-oriented webinars), prepare a customer service plan and provide a list of frequently asked questions that you can share with the industry.

You can still maintain—or build—success in these challenging times.

--Charles Duke

Century 5130

Century5130 fbdfaMiller Industries’ most popular heavy-duty integrated unit, the Century 5130 offers plenty of versatility with its 25-ton recovery boom and dual 25,000 lbs. winches. See this and other wreckers and carriers from Miller during the American Towman Exposition at the American Towman Show Place taking place at the Westgate Paradise & Pavilion in Las Vegas, Nevada, Sept. 10-11, 2020.

millerind.com
By Don Lomax
Click to enlarge


How does your company handle employee healthcare benefits?
We pay 100% of employee premiums
We pay a fraction of employee premiums
Our employees pay 100% of the premiums
Our company does not offer healthcare benefits
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Editor: Charles Duke
Managing Editor: Brendan Dooley
Media Director: William Burwell
ATTV Editor & Anchor: Emily Oz
Advertising Sales (800-732-3869):
Dennie Ortiz x213, Ellen Rosengart x203,
William Burwell x208, Peggy Calabrese x202
Content Management: Henri Calitri
Site Progr., Graphics & Video: Ryan Oser
ATTV Technical Production: OMG National
Wrecks + Recovery Editor: Jim "Buck" Sorrenti
Operations Editor: Randall C. Resch
Tow Business Editor: Brian J. Riker
Tow Illustrated Editor: George L. Nitti
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March 16 - March 23, 2020
The House on Friday passed the $2 trillion coronavirus economic stimulus bill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said ahead of the vote, “No bill is perfect, but we want to make sure that it at least comes part of the way to being sufficient." President Donald Trump has applauded the final product and said this week that he would sign the legislation. Images – Wikipedia.

House Passes $2 Trillion Coronavirus Stimulus Bill

The House on Friday passed the $2 trillion coronavirus economic stimulus bill. The legislation, which was passed unanimously by the Senate, provides relief for workers and businesses that have been devastated by the outbreak. "No bill is perfect, but we want to make sure that it at least comes part of the way to being sufficient," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said. President Donald Trump has applauded the final product — the largest economic relief package in modern U.S. history — and said this week that he would sign the legislation. The bill provides for: $350 billion to small businesses; $500 billion to corporations; and about $150 billion for state and local stimulus funds. Source: nbcnews.com.

AT Reschedules Cleveland, Las Vegas, San Antonio Shows

Due to the health crises challenging the nation, American Towman has rescheduled its tow shows in Cleveland, Ohio, Las Vegas, Nevada, and San Antonio, Texas. The Towman Games in Cleveland, Ohio, has been moved to Aug.19-22, 2020 (exhibit dates on Aug. 21-22). AT ShowPlace-Las Vegas has been moved to Sept. 9-12, 2020 (exhibit dates on Sept.10-11). TowXpo in San Antonio, Texas, has been rescheduled to Oct. 16-18, 2020(exhibit dates on Oct. 17-18). Finally, the American Towman Exposition returns to Baltimore, Maryland, this year, Nov. 19-22. With these new dates, American Towman looks forward to four successful shows in 2020. Source: American Towman.

Roadcheck Postponed as Pandemic Continues

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance announced Wednesday it will postpone the annual International Roadcheck inspection blitz, which was set for May 5-7, to later in the year. New dates for the enforcement campaign have not yet been decided. While Roadcheck has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, CVSA noted that roadside inspections and traffic enforcement will continue as normal. When it’s rescheduled, this year’s Roadcheck will focus on driver compliance, notably electronic logging devices and hours of service, but also medical cards, CDLs, seatbelt use and more. Inspectors also will do standard checks of lights, brakes and other equipment. Operation Safe Driver Week is still scheduled for July 12-18 and Brake Safety Week is still set for Aug. 23-29. Source: ccjdigital.com.


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March 16 - March 23, 2020
Scott, Nikki and Isaiah Ferguson of Crossroad’s Towing in Lexington, Kentucky, are running errands for people in need during the health crisis. Image - wkyt.com.

Family Tow Company [b]Helps Elderly, Sick

A Lexington, Kentucky, towing company is making life easier during this difficult time for the sick and the elderly in their community.

During a time when many elderly and immunocompromised people are quarantined, they are making it their mission to run errands for them. The Ferguson family, who own Crossroads Towing, is thrilled to have already helped people in their community out.

"Yesterday, we had one where we just went and picked up ice from Sonic for them because they can't leave the house," Nikki Ferguson said. "We do everything just like everyone else, you know. We do the gloves and it's going to take good people to make this happen," said husband Scott. "You've got to step outside your boundaries."

The Ferguson family is thrilled to have already helped people in their community out.

Source: wkyt.com.

CTTA March Training [b]Classes Postponed

The California Tow Truck Association has postponed three scheduled CTTA training classes between now and April 15.

The following scheduled Light Duty classes are affected: Fresno, March 21-22; Santa Rosa, March 28-29; and Azusa, March 28-29.

In light of the postponements, CTTA received confirmation from the California Highway Patrol that an extension of up to six months will be offered on all currently valid certificates that are affected by this cancellation.

In a press release, the association said it would address further extensions with CHP, if needed. The release also stated that the CTTA Board of Directors and staff will be working diligently to schedule replacement classes as soon as possible.

Affected enrollees in their Education Program have begun to be contacted, and the board will be taking either refund requests or postponement slots for when the classes are rescheduled.

Source: CTTA.

WreckMaster Offers Free [b]Online Course

WreckMaster has announced a new free online training course designed to train new operators or help those looking for a career change get started in the towing and recovery industry.

“Introduction to Towing & Safety” is designed to teach new operators the essential skills they are often left to learn on their own, giving them a solid base to begin their towing career. The course will instruct students on customer service, how to stay safe on scene, operate a car carrier and assess risk.

The course is available at the WreckMaster website.

Source: wreckmaster.com.

Towman Dies after [b]Hitting Disabled Car

A 36-year-old towman died March 22 after crashing into a disabled car on I-75 in Tampa, Florida, authorities said.

Jason Lee Everitt was driving a tow truck south on I-75 near the U.S. 301 overpass about 11 p.m. when he struck a 2006 Chevy Cobalt parked on the outside shoulder, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. After hitting the Chevy, the tow truck struck the guardrail and overturned down an embankment.

Everitt, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was thrown from the tow truck, troopers said. The truck came to rest on the grassy shoulder of U.S. 301. Everitt died at the scene.

The driver and passenger in the Chevy, 19-year-old Kiel Williams of North Port and 21-year-old Jacqueline Beech of Tampa, were not injured.

Everitt was a driver for Sunstate Wrecker Services and was on the way to help another motorist when the crash happened, said Sgt. Steve Gaskins, a spokesman for the Highway Patrol.

Source: tampabay.com.

Paccar Shutting Down Truck, [b]Engine Plants Worldwide

Paccar plans to suspend truck and engine production at its factories worldwide for more than two weeks due to the economic fallout from the global coronavirus pandemic, the company announced March 24.

Truck and engine production will be halted through April 6, 2020, but Paccar said in a release that it “will continue to provide aftermarket support to its customers who deliver essential infrastructure services to our communities.” The company plans to review future actions on a regular basis.

Paccar joins Navistar, who yesterday announced the suspension for two weeks production at its Springfield, Ohio plant, and Mack Trucks and Volvo Trucks North America who previously announced they were shutting down facilities in Macungie, Pennsylvania, Dublin, Virginia or Hagerstown, Maryland through March 27.

Source: ccjdigital.com.

Chicago Curtails Towing, [b]Ticketing, Booting

The city of Chicago, Illinois, will stop ticketing, booting and towing illegally parked vehicles except for public safety reasons through April 30 to give some measure of relief to residents whose jobs and paychecks have been impacted by the coronavirus.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot portrayed the temporary suspension of non-safety-related ticketing, booting and towing as the first installment on a broader relief plan aimed at small businesses and hourly employees hardest hit by the pandemic. 

“Now is the time to act. It’s the right thing to do,” said Lightfoot. “We know that cash flow is a significant issue and we want to make sure that we’re doing our part to really hear people, recognize what their daily struggles are, and use the levers of city government to help them rather than leave them reeling and potentially driving them into bankruptcy.”

Source: chicago.suntimes.com.
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March 16 - March 23, 2020

Road ‘Clothesed’

0 fa1ccBy Jim “Buck” Sorrenti

Bill’s Towing & Auto Service of St. Clairsville, Ohio, has provided road service, auto repairs, towing and recovery services in Belmont County and the Wheeling, West Virginia, metro area since 1981. Company founder and owner William “Bill” Coulson has added employees and equipment over the years including his sons Chad and Ty. Both have grown up in the family business they now co-own with their dad.

On March 20, 2020, Bill’s Towing was called by the Ohio State Highway Patrol and a customer to respond to a rollover on I-70 westbound in Belmont County. The rolled semi was loaded with 7,000 lbs. of clothing.

Ty responded with an awesome 60-ton five-axle they call “A Little Side Action,” a 2018 Peterbilt 389 tandem-steer with a 2018 Jerr-Dan 50/60 rotator. Chad responded with a 2019 Kenworth W990/60-ton Jerr-Dan rotator. Tony Albright responded with a 2017 International Lonestar/35-ton Jerr-Dan integrated. Daniel Ward responded with a 2019 Peterbilt 389 pulling their response trailer stocked with spill supplies and John Frank responded in a 2019 Peterbilt 389 to pull the casualty trailer from scene.

“Once we assessed the scene and saw the load had stayed in the trailer,” Ty said, “we decided to slide the whole unit back onto the roadway before uprighting it. First, we pumped the fuel tanks off before doing the recovery using one of our FlowStop vac pumps.”

A crew member cut the guardrail away from the unit so they would be able to slide it up onto the roadway. The two rotators were hooked onto the trailer portion around the dolly legs and rear axles of the trailer with 1/2” recovery chains. With the 35-ton hooked to the cab portion, they evenly slid the unit up the embankment and back onto the road.

“Once on the road, we separated the cab portion and uprighted it (and) separated it from the 35-ton and hooked it for tow back to our yard.”

The rotators then set up to roll the trailer.

“Using two 12”x16’ recovery straps on the pick lines and 1/2” chains to the landing gear and rear axle on the catch lines,” Ty said, “we rolled the trailer between the trucks and used catch lines to control the load.”

They righted the trailer loaded and it was then taken back to Bill’s shop for a load transfer.

Chad jested, “Nice easy job for a Friday!”

Show Yours @ TIW
Do you have a recovery to share with TIW readers? Send some pics and info to our Field Editor Jim “Buck” Sorrenti at jimchaos69@yahoo.com; your story may even be selected for print in American Towman magazine!

Kitty Stuck in a Hole

0 f5431By Jim “Buck” Sorrenti

On March 6 2020 Brad Mills from Active Towing in Ontario, Canada, called his buddy Rob Goodliffe, the owner of family-run Bob’s Towing in Guelph, and asked if he could assist in getting a 30-ton excavator out of a pond at a pit in Waterloo, Ontario.

“Brad sent some pictures and I headed out to assist,” Goodliffe said. “He was out there in his 2006 Western Star with a 40-ton NRC slider and I showed up with my 2001 Western Star with a 2011 Metro RTR 70-SL.”

The CAT excavator had been moving around and the bank gave way. Down into the pit it went with the operator turning the machine before it fully went over and upside down. The operator was unscathed, just a little shaken.

Mills and Goodliffe surveyed the situation and came up with a plan. Both heavies were put into place, and with the help of some of the crew on site, they began rigging.

“We took two lines from Brad's NRC,” Goodliffe informed, “hooked one line to the base of the CAT and one line to the top for support, holding it from rolling over as the arm lifted out of the mud at the bottom of the pond. Then we rigged the Metro rotator to the belly of the machine for the pull up the bank.

“Inch by inch we pulled the machine out of the water letting the suction release as we pulled.”

Once they got the CAT up and out of the water on to dry ground, the crew of the construction company went over the machine and checked the fluids. After finding that all was good they started the machine up and all was well.

“We pulled it up the embankment with the machine operator controlling the machine's bucket and releasing truck pressure. Once it was at the top our job was done,” stated Goodliffe. “They went over the machine there and it continued working and ready for the next day. Brad and I packed up our equipment and back out to the next job.”

The teamwork of two veteran operators using state-of-the-art equipment made for a successful recovery. Goodliffe's 2011 Metro RTR-70-SL and Active’s NRC 40-ton slider made easy work of this Kitty stuck in a hole.

Editor’s Note: Look for the this story in an upcoming issue of American Towman Magazine.

Show Yours @ TIW
Do you have a recovery to share with TIW readers? Send some pics and info to our Field Editor Jim “Buck” Sorrenti at jimchaos69@yahoo.com; your story may even be selected for print in American Towman magazine

Déjà Vu: Give Me A Brake ... Again

0 Deja Vu TIW 6 8f270By Jim “Buck” Sorrenti

Jess Jr.’s & Sons LLC is a family owned and operated professional collision repair shop that has been serving the Delmarva Peninsula for over 75 years and four generations. Brothers Jeff and Jed Hurley Sr own the business now and Jed Hurley Jr. works alongside his dad every day.

Repeat business from customers is a good thing in any industry and it is no different in the towing, recovery and transport industries. Such was the case when Jess Jr.’s & Sons received a call to remove and re-locate two big brake machines.

Shawn Bell, the owner of Kommercial Kitchens of Cambridge, Maryland, called Jess Jr.’s & Sons late February to remove a couple of brake machines from his old shop and place them in his new shop.

“We moved two of these big brake units for Shawn,” Jr. informed. “We moved the blue one first then we moved the green one two days later. The green one was the one dad put in there 20 years ago. Dad’s trying to find pictures of him setting it in there with the Century 40-ton rotator.”

This time around they responded with their unit JJR-4, a 2006 Peterbilt 379 with a Century 1060 60-ton rotator body.

They used heavy equipment hydraulic duck bill jacks to jack the brake up and get it on to heavy-duty dollies. They staged the rotator and rigged with Crosby shackles. Then they used the drag winch with a block low to the gate and made a low pull to keep the unit from toppling over. They had to winch out of the building to doorway opening to reach with the boom lines, then extended boom into into building. Rigged both wire ropes to the unit/brake and boomed in until out of the building.

Once the brake machine was out of the building it was set onto a heavy haul trailer and secured load to the deck.

“We were originally going to put the two brakes on our Landoll, but a welding and fabrication shop supplied a trailer for Shawn,” Jr. informed. “The trailer was a pindel hitch with three axles I believe rated at like 33,000 and pulled behind a pickup.”

“We offset it to one side to keep the gravity even on the trailer because of the gear drive position,” he continued. “It was then transported to Kommercial Kitchens newest location,” informed Jr. “We off-loaded the unit the way we placed it on the trailer, but took different measures to get it into the building since we were working with a really low door opening.”

Sr. said, “Had a great time working with my son Jr. Hurley getting these brakes out of some tight holes and loading them on the owners trailer to transport to the owners new shop with kinda the same size holes to go in. Déjà vu ... I actually loaded that old green Sturdy Bender 20 years ago with our Century 1040S rotator. Kinda good to see the oldest brake still in use with the newer ones working at the same place.”

Jr. was in the hospital as we communicated back and forth to get the info for this article. It’s been a VERY busy past few months for Jr.; as I was writing this he and his wife became the proud parents of a baby boy.

“My son was born on March 6, 2020. He is Jed Hurley the third,” Jr. proudly stated.

Editor’s Note: Look for more on this awesome JJR-4 rotator in an upcoming issue of American Towman Magazine.

Show Yours @ TIW
Do you have a recovery to share with TIW readers? Send some pics and info to our Field Editor Jim “Buck” Sorrenti at jimchaos69@yahoo.com; your story may even be selected for print in American Towman magazine
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NORTH - Plantsville, CT
$88
(pop. 10,387)

SOUTH - Beeville, TX
$175
(pop. 13,290)

MIDWEST - Lake Station, IN
$130
(pop. 12,572)

WEST - Centralia, WA
$178
(pop. 16,336)

Light-Duty nonconsensual tow rates as provided by Police Towers of America.
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March 16 - March 23, 2020

No One Left Behind

NEW b27e7By Randall C. Resch

The news is alive with recurring incidents where vehicles get towed to a tow facility only to discover an injured victim or a deceased body hours later or the next day.

This has the potential of happening anywhere.

It’s Pretty Common

As an accident investigator, EMT and tow operator, I've worked these crashes and seen that small-ish victims tend to get thrown to a vehicle’s floor upon impact. Wreckage and other factors like weather and darkness may hide the victim’s presence.

Modern vehicles are equipped with as many as 12 airbags. When smaller victims are tossed to the floorboards, between the seats or under dashboards, they may be obscured by compartment debris. There's always a possibility that someone isn’t found because they were hidden under draped air bags.

Where’d They Go?

Individuals sometimes aren’t discovered at the initial crash scene and ultimately get listed as “missing persons” with the local police. This was the case in December 2007 when a Tarzana, California, mom and son were in a vehicle that careened into a building. The Los Angeles Times reported that the son was transported by paramedics and the vehicle was towed in the usual manner. Initially, the family didn’t know mom and son were in a crash nor were they aware the son was transported to the hospital.

In the case of the lost son and mom, investigators traced dispatch logs, call center recordings and hospital records subsequently locating the son as a crash victim; but mom wasn’t found. Accordingly, the LAPD went to the Canoga Park tow yard where mom’s body was discovered inside the vehicle.

Unless an individual works in environments where death, rescue and body extrication are their vocation, the public doesn’t understand that once rescue is complete, there are additional steps that must be taken. In most cases, even if the individual was determined deceased, rescue and extrication typically comes first; the dead have to wait. The deceased ultimately requires a response from the Sheriff’s/Coroner’s Office to come to a scene, identify, record and transport the deceased.

Then, notification of the next of kin occurs.

Outside Looking In

Most first responders require a systematic check and vehicle walkaround that includes marking the vehicle's exterior to indicate the specific space was searched. Some procedures require that someone is tasked with making a final walkaround and inspection before a tow company loads or tows the casualties away.

Although tow trucks typically are last to handle on-scene clean up, it's important that tow operators take a quick look in interior spaces before loading flatbed carriers or dollies to ensure no one is left behind. Prior to departing, and with a gloved hand, push those deployed air bags out of the way to make a cursory look while being ready for the visual shock that an injured or deceased individual might still be in the car. 

Because there are many players in first response, finding all victims is a critical part and responsibility of recovery. The same holds true at accident scenes where vehicles roll over and victims not wearing seatbelts were thrown from their vehicles. Motorcycle accidents oftentimes result in riders being ejected into roadside ditches, brush and trees.

In all scenarios like these, liability is questioned when someone is found in a towed vehicle after the fact. Not that it’s just the towman’s responsibility, but it‘s something we towers can do if nothing less than for our own peace of mind.

Randall Resch is American Towman's and Tow Industry Week’s Operations Editor, a former California police officer, tow business owner and retired civilian off-road instructor for Navy Special Warfare. Randall is an approved instructor for towers serving the California Highway Patrol's rotation contract. His course is approved by the California law enforcement community. He has written over 500 industry-related articles for print and on-line, is a member of the International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame, and, a recipient of the 2017 Dave Jones Leadership Award.

TRAA Legislative Workshop Recap

TRAA.Legislative.Meeting 30987By Brian J. Riker

Despite the pandemonium that was setting in from the coronavirus, the Towing and Recovery Association of America’s Legislative Workshop held in Washington, D.C., March 11-13 was a huge success. The congressional members and their staff were very accommodating and accessible, even while being pulled away to deliberate and vote on virus issues.

My take away from this event was two-fold. First, TRAA has a national voice with a seat at the table on many very important conferences or committees across multiple federal agencies and is being asked to actively participate in more every day. Other disciplines such as fire, rescue, EMS and law enforcement are finally seeking our industry input and opinion on issues critical to our safety and success.

Secondly, towmen have a voice that is being received in Washington. Let’s work to keep this momentum going forward as now is the time to make a difference with so many folks sick and tired of the status quo.

I was pleased to see representatives from several state associations in attendance and actively participating; however it was the individual towman that made the most impact on the legislators. I am calling for towmen from all 50 states to attend next year. Just imagine the impact 50-plus towing professionals would have on Capitol Hill.

The key issues addressed this year were safety-related, with TRAA’s focus on safety for roadside operations. The injury and death in our industry is greater than it should be, and distracted driving is not going away anytime soon. TRAA and the workshop attendees spoke to more than 30 members of Congress and/or their staff on three key issues:

Support for a National Move Over effort to harmonize the 50 individual Move Over laws into one Federal standard. This would include mandatory educational efforts and opening the discussion for allowing towers to provide for their own safe work zones. This effort is currently being revised with bi-partisan support to include all roadside workers such as fire, police, EMS, mobile mechanics and DOT.

Technical corrections to the size and weight exemptions granted to the towing industry in the FAST Act of 2015. This would allow for towing combination and other heavy commercial vehicles off the highway in a more efficient manner to reduce the time and workers required to clear a disablement or crash.

Support for passage of the DRIVE Safe Act. This would allow qualified and properly trained 18-20 year old operators to engage in interstate commerce; an effort important to many vocational fleets, towing and road service operations. Interstate commerce is much more than long-haul trucking where a driver is away for days or weeks at a time. It can include intra-state or intra-town hauling if it is intended to cross a border.

TRAA has made it a key mission to monitor and address other legislation that may have a national impact on towing. As such, they have been actively monitoring and commenting on several other key pieces of legislation which they provided updates to the attendees. I will go into more detail on this and much more in the May 2020 issue of American Towman Magazine.

Brian J Riker is a third generation towman and President of Fleet Compliance Solutions, LLC and is a contributing writer to American Towman Magazine and Tow Industry Week. He specializes in helping non-traditional fleets such as towing, repossession, and construction companies navigate the complex world of Federal and State transportation regulatory compliance. With 25 years of experience in the ditch as a tow operator Brian truly understands the unique needs and challenges faced by towing companies today. He can be reached at: yourdotguy.com.

The Reality of COVID-19 and You

Unknown 3fdc4By Randall C. Resch

If the medical warnings surrounding COVID-19 (also known as coronavirus) haven’t gotten your attention yet, let this narrative serve as a word of caution.

COVID-19 is RNA or DNA that uses “hosts” to reproduce itself. We’re the hosts. It has potential to affect each and any of us. It’s not a matter of age, location or your individual status (though there are elevated health risks to the elderly and some individuals with other pre-existing conditions).

Owners need to be informed and react accordingly as this virus may ultimately affect your company’s day-to-day staffing. If an employee is sick, let them be sick at home to prevent a single employee spreading their illness company-wide. If you’re that small one-or-two truck owner, you may have to close down while you seek medical attention for yourself. COVID-19 isn’t something to ignore; the smart decision is to seek medical attention.

Based on OSHA’s guidelines, tow companies seem to fall within the “medium-risk level” when coming in contact with customers and the motoring public. Keep in mind that anybody—customer, driver, police officer, dispatcher—could be infected. This should create heightened awareness and personal diligence with frequent and thorough hand washing.

Current flu shots have no effect on COVID-19. It you have kids at home, that raises the hazards within your personal environment.

I recommend tow owners purchase 60-percent alcohol-based hand sanitizers for the tow facility and in tow trucks and carriers. Tow operators and facility employees are encouraged to aggressively and completely wash and sanitize their hands regularly while avoiding touching your eyes, face, nose and mouth (good luck on that one!)

There’s nothing wrong with wiping the seats and steering wheel of tow trucks on a routine basis; dispatchers, the same with keyboards and office desks.

At some point, I believe that tow company owners must dictate whether or not customers ride with their vehicles as a means to avoid contamination from persons who are displaying flu-like symptoms. I’m personally most cautious of big-city interactions; especially those having airports serving international cities.

Weathering the Storm
Remember that calm heads prevail and life goes on. The manner in which you view COVID-19 shouldn’t be different than approaching another virus of any sort. They all have an ability to cause extreme illness and death, especially in those with compromised immune systems.

Don’t hesitate to take immediate action if you feel you’re coming down with something. At the very least, call your local emergency room to speak to a medical professional for advice. If that calls for self-isolation (or self-quarantine), err on the side of caution and follow doctor’s orders.

If you go to the emergency room to get checked out, remember that the lobby may include a whole bunch of already infected people.

Recently, I got a flu-shot and immediately came down with a flu-like illness that took a week to shake. Here’s hoping that you don’t come down with anything; but if you do, I pray you have the God-given sense to take the important measures to care for yourself.

American Towman, Tow Industry Week and the author provide this information as a basis of information only, not to be construed as medical advice. The overwhelming majority of people getting coronavirus are mild cases, according to the Center for Disease Control and countless medical sources. According to the experts, people with compromised immune systems and those over sixty with respiratory afflictions are the group at greatest risk.
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March 16 - March 23, 2020

A Pride for Motorcycles

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By George L. Nitti

Speak to most towers and they will tell you they have a passion for what they do. Many would not trade their job for any other in the world. However, there is an even rarer breed of tower: one who strictly tows motorcycles because it’s their passion rather than cars or trucks.

Clyde Benefield, owner of Cycle Worthy Towing of Newnan, Georgia, has been in business for 11 years. He tows an average of 8-10 motorcycles a day within a 75-mile radius around Atlanta, Georgia.

His passion is partly revealed on a slogan on his 2013 3500 HD Chevrolet with an AmeriDeck bed. It states, “We Take Pride in your Ride.”

“The whole reason I got into the business,” Benefield said, “is because I worked in the motorcycle industry. That’s when I saw motorcycles on tow trucks and observed that [many] towers didn’t take good enough care of the bikes that were being transported on their flatbeds.”

It wasn’t until he was in a motorcycle accident that he became hooked on the idea of starting his own business.

He said, “When I saw my motorcycle on a wrecker and the way it was being handled, it bothered me. I found out that no one was doing motorcycle towing anywhere.”

Benefield acknowledged that for the first few years it was a struggle, as many of his new customers assumed he was going to show up with a flatbed in a business that is 65 percent to 70 percent referrals. But over time, he gained credibility as they realized he had a safer means of transporting their motorcycles on a specialized bed.

The name of the company is written large on the side of the unit in an imperfectly curved shape with the letter “C” elongated under the other letters.

“I battled with the name of the company for some time,” Benefield said. “Cycle Worthy was popping in my brain. I realized it’s worthy for your motorcycle to be taken care (of).”

Under the lettering, green and black flames fill out the background.

“It was originally orange, but people assumed Harley Davidson and I didn’t want to be suspected of bias,” he said. “So I decided to go with lime green, which stands out, especially at night with the reflective lettering.”

On the hood the number 13 stands out.

“The number 13 has a lot of meaning for me. I was born on the 13th. Thirteen is my lucky number. 2013 was the year I claimed my business. And the 13th letter of the alphabet is an M, for Motorcycle.”

When asked if he would consider towing cars, Benefield said, “No. My heart’s not in it. When I go to pick up a motorcycle, I can see the pleasure people have knowing that I’m taking care of their bike. That’s where my pride comes in.”

Brag @ TIW!
Should your truck be featured here? Send a few pics and your contact information to the editor at bdooley@towman.com. You might even be selected to go in print, too, in American Towman magazine

Hooked on Towing

0 705b4By George L. Nitti

On Pink Hookers Towing’s Instagram page, a catchy quote states: “Trust the next chapter because you are the author.”

Tow owner M.A. Johnson recently penned a new chapter in her life when she left her teaching job as a behavioral specialist to become her own boss, starting Pink Hookers Towing in New Castle, Delaware, in December, 2019.

“I have always been into cars,” she said. “A friend of mine owns a tow business and I did it once and got hooked.”

For her the allure was meeting new and different people and seeing all different kinds of cars.

Johnson said “I liked teaching but I love towing.”

As a new start-up, she operates one tow truck: a 2009 Dodge 4500 JerrDan MPL40.

“We went with the color pink,” Johnson said, “because we are an all-female towing company that supports breast cancer. We went with the name ‘Hookers’ because we hook up cars.”

On the side door, against a white background, the company name pops out in large, bright pink lettering written in a classy font.

Johnson said, “The lettering really stands out. Routh Signs of Greensboro, North Carolina sent us a couple of proofs and I picked the one I liked.”

Just under the company name is a tow chain that is hooked together, completing the logo.

The bottom side of the truck is done in pink with a swirling design that pulls together the pink lettering and white background as Instagram, Facebook and Youtube logos pop out.

An apropos slogan - “Towing for a Cure” - and hashtag #Girlpower are also found along the side.

Johnson stressed, “The main thing is that we are an all-female towing company. Girls can do it too.”

Brag @ TIW!
Should your truck be featured here? Send a few pics and your contact information to the editor at bdooley@towman.com. You might even be selected to go in print, too, in American Towman magazine

Sticking to the Road

0 70539233 2067661026666649 1520304086459613184 n b8b75By George L. Nitti

For Louis Bambauer, owner of Bambauer Towing of Orland, California, their tow trucks have been a mainstay on the road since 1975.

“I have always had a highway on my trucks,” Bambauer said. “We serve our local city and Interstate 5, a main thoroughfare from L.A. to Washington.”

Their 2017 Freightliner with a 21.5’ Chevron steel bed illustrates this with a curved highway that runs up from their doors and over the passenger cab.

“When we started out, we were hand-painting our trucks.” Bambauer said, “That’s an art and its fabulous to watch.”

But as times have changed and more tow bosses turn to vinyl and wraps due to cost efficiency, so did Bambauer.

He said, “Now we go with the computer, having gone away from the hand-painting. But we’ve stayed with the road. It looks kind of cool.”

Accenting the road is a lime-green periphery that blends nicely with the stand-out yellow that serves as the unit’s background color. It is further enhanced with lime-green lights that create a branding easily identifiable by their customers.

“I put it on there so that people could focus on it,” Bambauer said. “It adds some character.”

Another a key ingredient in the design mix is what Bambauer says is a “fancy off-road recovery type truck.”

“My logo is a cartoon 4-wheel truck,” he said. “From the old days we’ve made it more modern and increased its size, as it has developed over the last five years.”

Done in blue and white, the vinyl lettering of the company name is simple yet effective, standing out against the other two colors.

Also, a source of pride is the Chevron bed.

Bambauer said, “I spec’d the truck out and knew what I needed and I had some modifications made like adding a bunch more slots to suit our unusual loads.”

Brag @ TIW!
Should your truck be featured here? Send a few pics and your contact information to the editor at bdooley@towman.com. You might even be selected to go in print, too, in American Towman magazine
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March 16 - March 23, 2020

10W-30 Fleet Diesel Oil

product3.25.2020 f93a7Hot Shot’s Secret recently added a 10W-30 blend to its Green Diamond Fleet Full Synthetic Group III/Group IV engine oil line. Green Diamond Fleet is specially formulated for use in diesel-powered vehicles that experience extreme temperatures, heavy loads, stop-and-go operations or high airborne particulates. As a severe-duty diesel oil, it is a replacement for any CF-4, CJ-4, CI-4 and CI-4 Plus specification oil. Green Diamond Fleet 10W-30 is available in either a 1-gal. or 5-gal. container, as well as in bulk quantities.

hotshotsecret.com

Diamondlift Fits Variety of Shops

Diamond70LiverpoolNYSchoolbus 6edcfStertil-Koni’s inground telescopic piston Diamondlift delivers service shops options for a variety of situations, whether constructing a new facility, renovating a workshop, or faced with difficult building conditions Diamondlift is available in either cassette or frame versions that are customized to fit your facility; models come in two-, three- or four-piston verions with lifting capacities of up to 35,000 lbs. per piston.

stertil-koni.com

Century Masterack Storage System

Century Master Rack b1decCentury recently introduced its Masterack System for organizing the storage compartments on Century heavy-duty wreckers. When it comes to toolbox storage on your heavy-duty wrecker, organization equals productivity. Options include: bin system for airlines, tools etc.; optional hose racks on doors; absorbents container, with bucket and dispenser for eliminated spillage; chain buckets; slide-out trays that can go to either side of truck; driveshaft holder.

millerind.com
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March 16 - March 23, 2020
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March 16 - March 23, 2020
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is calling on financial and lending institutions to halt repossessions, foreclosures and evictions for at least 90 days. Image – ABC 15 Arizona.

Arizona AG Requests [b]Temporary Halt to Repos

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is calling on financial and lending institutions to provide temporary relief to customers.

Late last week, Brnovich sent a letter sent to more than 1,000 financial institutions that do business in Arizona, urging them to halt repossessions, foreclosures and evictions for at least 90 days.

In the letter, Brnovich acknowledges some financial institutions have already launched voluntary relief programs, but said Arizona needs a "consistent application of these amelioration efforts."

"We want to make sure we're doing everything we can so people have that security right now, that they know that even though we're in tough times, we're going to pull together and that especially economically, we don't want people to worried they're not going to have a roof over their head or they're going to lose their car," Brnovich said. "It's unconscionable."

Brnovich is also asking credit card companies and other lending institutions to waive late fees and default interest for late payments.

Source: azfamily.com.

Four Banks Halt Repossessions [b]During Pandemic

Tens of thousands of Americans are facing unemployment as the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect daily life for cities and towns across the U.S. 

Cable financial station CNBC rounded up a list of what many major banks are offering to do for Americans affected by the coronavirus crisis. Among those temporarily halting repossessions are:

Bank of America: Announced it would pause foreclosure sales, evictions and repossessions.

Fifth-Third Bank: Announced it would suspend any new repossession actions on vehicles for the next 60 days.

Huntington Bank: Will suspend any new repossession actions associated with vehicles, RVs or marine craft financed by Huntington through at least the end of March 2020.

Wells Fargo: Will suspend residential property foreclosure sales, evictions and involuntary auto repossessions.

Source: cnbc.com.

Second Arrest in [b]Pepper-Spray Incident

Masi Kingston, 28, is now the second person arrested and charged in the December assault of a car lot employee in Nashville, Tennessee.

Police say he and his boyfriend, Mandrekus North, participated in an assault on a car salesman just days before Christmas.

After a repossession, unable to handle the confrontation on his own, North left the car lot to come back with Kingston, who is alleged to have pepper-sprayed the victim before they both fled the scene. Kingston was identified via a lineup and is jailed with a hold from Hamblen County. 

An arrest warrant alleges that Kingston and North arrived at Michael’s Auto Sales in Nashville on Dec. 18, 2019, in an attempt to retrieve property from his previously repossessed car. Once at the car lot, North learned the vehicle had already been sold with his belongings inside. 

An affidavit details that North caused a scene at the business, but eventually left. A short time later, he returned to the Dickerson Pike business, along with Kingston. The couple entered the building, making yet another scene, demanding the property be returned. A warrant charges that Kingston then pepper-sprayed the victim, Farid Koushkbaghi, in the face, causing pain and discomfort. Kingston and North then fled the scene. 

https://freeatlast.com/ Source: scoopnashville.com.

ARA Postpones Convention [b]and NARS 2020

The American Recovery Association has postponed the ARA annual convention and NARS 2020. The 56th annual convention now will be held on Sept. 30, followed by NARS 2020 on Oct. 1-2.

NARS 2020 originally was scheduled for May 7-8 in Irving, Texas.

“We understand the unique obstacles business owners in our industry are currently facing during this time of change and consolidation,” ARA president Dave Kennedy said in the message. “Now more than ever, we know it’s important for the industry to unify forces, establish industry standards and address concerns.

“However, as the committee continued to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak over the past week, it became clear that we must take immediate action to protect the health and safety of our attendees,” Kennedy continued.

Source: autoremarketing.com
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