The Week's Features
Agency finds using four tie-downs for light vehicles sufficient
Johnson's Heavy Towing creates a novel idea for unit
Agent's work helps stop Georgia crime spree
Trailer is 54' when open, 32' 6" when retracted
Truck goes over an embankment and is recovered in Texas
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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingMay 15 - May 22, 2017
Towman Conor Larson was in the right place recently when a trooper waved him down to help secure an SUV dangling off I-5 in Seattle, Wash., May 13. Image:

Towman Helps Secure Dangling SUV

Conor Larson was running late in his tow truck when he came upon a frightening scene in downtown Seattle, Wash., May 13.

A trooper waved him down, saying an SUV was hanging off the edge of the interstate with the driver inside. Larson, a driver for 24 Hour Towing and Recovery, quickly made his way to the scene.

He hooked onto the SUV and secured it as a trooper pulled the driver out of a rear window.

"I really feel like God put me there," Larson said. "I'm just happy everyone got out alive and I was there to help out."

State Patrol said the SUV could have fallen from the interstate had Larson not acted so quickly. They also credit the trooper who waved him down.

That SUV driver went home with no injuries.

Larson finished up his work and made the long drive home to Grandview, where he is based, just happy he was running late at the moment he was needed most.

"But I'm no hero," he said. "I'm just a guy doing my job."


Waller Joins [b]Deep South Wrecker

Deep South Wrecker recently announced George Waller as its newest sales representative. Waller graduated from Georgia College State University with a B.A. in management.

He has 10 years of experience in medium- and heavy-duty commercial truck sales. Currently residing in Foley, Ala., Waller will be servicing the Florida panhandle, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana areas.


Drug Exposure Concerns Company

Last week, an East Liverpool, Ohio, policeman overdosed on the job after coming into contact with a few grains of Fentanyl. Now tow companies are wondering how vulnerable they are.

"The first thought into my mind is after EMS has left and police officers and you have had an OWI crash because of someone using. That tow truck driver may be at risk to an exposure to Fentanyl," said Davidson's Garage owner Cindy Davidson.

After realizing just how easy it is to overdose, Davidson called other companies.

"I've been calling out to other garages, making them aware of my concerns. They are all going, 'Oh, I never thought of that.' "

Finding out that people in her industry are not aware of the risks, Davidson took her concern to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. Her hope is that training and financial resources can be made available for tow truck drivers, mechanics and collision repair shops.

"We believe that he will be on board and that he will understand that we need help too. I anticipate to be honest that later I'll hear back from him," said Davidson.

She hasn't heard back yet, but wants her message to reach DeWine.

"Help me protect my employees. Help me save lives. We didn't ask for this and it's kind of being thrown on everybody," said Davidson.

She thinks that any service that deals with cars should have Narcan on hand in case a worker comes into contact with Fentanyl.


Ariz. Governor Signs Bill

The Arizona Professional Towing & Recovery Association announced that Gov. Doug Ducey signed HB 2159 into law May 2.

APTRA introduced the bill, which clearly defines proof of ownership, a release of liability at incident scenes and cleaned up the language for transfer of ownership. The association reported that there was additional language regarding abandoned vehicles that was added to the bill.

"It is a great win for towers," APTRA said in a statement. "Thank you to the legislative committee for their dedication to this process and to the lobbyist who worked diligently on this bill to get it passed."

Source: APTRA

FMCSA Grants IITR's Application

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced its decision to grant the International Institute of Towing and Recovery's application for an exemption from 49 CFR 393.112 to allow commercial vehicle operators to secure automobiles, light trucks and vans using a total of four tie-downs with two fixed and two adjustable chains under 49 CFR 393.128.

The Agency determined using four tie-downs to secure light vehicles will provide a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety provided by the regulation.

In its application, the IITR stated that the towing industry has long adopted a securement method for light vehicles whereby two non-adjustable tie-downs are attached to the rear of the vehicle and then two adjustable chains are used to secure the front of the vehicle.

As the front binder or ratchet is tightened, it pulls up the rear as well with a four-point securement.

IITR stated in its petition that this securement system will prevent any lateral, forward, rearward and vertical movement of the disabled vehicle as prescribed in 49 CFR 393.128 and that this four-point tie-down system exceeds the minimum requirements specified by FMCSA.

Peter Fuerst and the IITR thanked FMCSA and the office of Rep. Anna Eshoo for their assistance with this petition.


Trainer David Lambert Passes

The towing industry is saddened by the passing of North American Towing Academy president David Lambert. A longtime veteran of towing, Lambert died of a heart attack May 16. He was 68.

He was a Vietnam veteran, serving his country for 6-1/2 years as an Air Traffic Controller in the United States Air Force and another 6 years as a controller with the Federal Aviation Administration.

Lambert began towing in 1981. In 1986, he began a career as a road service technician in Florida and moved on to AAA national's road service department.

Lambert assisted in writing or editing several other tow operator training and certification programs including the University of Georgia's IITR Light-Duty and the Professional Wrecker Operators of Florida's Light/Medium-duty. He was the lead-instructor for PWOF's L/M program for 11 years.

Lambert was a regular seminar presenter at the American Towman Exposition and served as field editor for American Towman Magazine for four years. A small family ceremony is planned.

Source: AT staff.
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