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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingSeptember 19 - September 25, 2018
Missouri, received an Honorary Trooper Certificate from the Missouri State Highway Patrol for saving a man who was trapped underneath a car after a jack fell over. Image -

Towman Recognized for [b]Saving Trapped Man

A Diamond, Missouri, man was recently recognized for saving a man who was trapped underneath a car after a jack fell over.

Ron Riediger of Riediger Antique Auto & Towing received an Honorary Trooper Certificate from the Missouri State Highway Patrol for his quick response back in May.

Riediger heard about the incident over a scanner and responded immediately, using his own tow truck to lift the truck off of the trapped man, who escaped with minor injuries. Highway Patrol officials say he responded without being asked, and was nominated for performing "in an exemplary manner, and under dangerous conditions, to aid another person."

Riediger says he was shocked to receive an award for his actions, and just felt it was a natural response to help a fellow citizen in need. He even stayed while the man was getting checked out by EMT's to finish safely changing the tire for him.


City Council Targets Predatory Towing

The Boulder City (Colorado) Council wants to look at ways to curb so-called predatory towing they said targets lower-income residents, costing them hundreds of dollars or leaving them without a car.

Councilwoman Mary Young brought the idea forward after hearing of minority residents being "targeted" by towing companies at San Juan Del Centro Apartments. The city's mobile home parks are often singled out as well, she said.

"The stories I've heard is that tow trucks were coming in during the night, turning off their lights and just towing vehicles, (or) towing vehicles while people were pulling out there children to go somewhere," she said. "(Residents) were paying $300 to get cars out. One family lost their car."

Council will tentatively hear first reading of ordinance on the Oct. 16 consent agenda, with a public hearing to follow Nov. 8.


Lincoln Towing to Continue [b]Operating for Now

Lincoln Towing Service of Chicago, Illinois, can resume operating while it challenges a decision by state regulators to revoke its license, a Cook County judge ruled Sept. 17.

Circuit Judge Neil Cohen issued the order five days after the Illinois Commerce Commission pulled the firm's state license. Cohen said Lincoln was facing the "death penalty" if it remained closed during the appeals process.

Lincoln had to put up a $100,000 bond by Sept. 18, but it can begin towing cars immediately, Cohen said.

Cohen cautioned Lincoln to closely follow the law or the order would be rescinded and the firm shut down. In addition to putting up the bond, Lincoln must file its daily towing logs with the Illinois attorney general's office, which is representing the ICC in the appeal.

Lincoln Towing "is on the shortest leash possible," Cohen said.

"Although we are ... disappointed that the court is allowing Lincoln Towing to resume operations, we are encouraged that the court saw fit to place stringent conditions on Lincoln Towing that will remain in place during the pendency of the court proceeding," ICC spokeswoman Victoria Crawford said in an emailed statement.

The ICC voted unanimously Sept. 12 to revoke Lincoln Towing's state license in the wake of an investigation that found 831 alleged violations over an eight-month period.

Citing a preponderance of evidence showing Lincoln Towing "has not conducted its business with honesty and integrity," ICC Chairman Brien Sheahan issued the order requiring the firm to immediately cease all towing operations.


Arndt's to the Rescue

They told residents to evacuate—but one towman went towards the hurricane. "

"We did it last year for Hurricane Harvey," said Will Arndt, owner of Arndt's Recovery Solutions in Robesonia, Pennsylvania. "A couple of local companies went down to Houston, Texas, and we were down there for quite some time."

Arndt said that post-hurricane, things are much worse than working on a dangerous roadside.

"It's something you can't really describe; it's just you walk into it and you go to work. On an average day in Houston, we did about 8-12 cars."

Arndt's also brought much-needed water and food.


Myers, Smith Address [b]Interstate Council

Police Towers of America President Ron Myers and Eddie Smith, owner of Wrenches and Wreckers Heavy Towing and Recovery in Hagerstown, Maryland, and Martinsburg, West Virginia, recently addressed the Interstate Council of the Hagerstown/Eastern Panhandle Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Myers and Smith made the argument that the towing industry can clear wrecks quicker and safer, but doing more will mean investing more in training and equipment and working more closely with other first responders when responding to crashes.

"This is low-hanging fruit. ... The problem is it's not been given priority," Myers said.

The two said tow companies can employ modern equipment and techniques to help ease congestion, improve safety and reduce costs after wrecks, particularly those involving heavy trucks. They also touted Traffic Incident Management training.

Elizabeth Martineau-Dupuis, director of certification for the Towing and Recovery Association of America Inc., wrote in an email that the association's National Driver Certification Program was created with the encouragement and grant funding of the Federal Highway Administration in 1995 to be the national standard.

But the industry is not regulated at the federal level, she said.

"Each state, county, and/or municipality makes their own determination on which requirements, if any, exists for operators," she wrote.

She reported that there is "a growing movement across the country" to require firefighters, police officers, tow companies ambulance crews and others to participate in the National Traffic Incident Management Responder Training developed by the Federal Highway Administration.

"TRAA absolutely supports the initiative to mandate both National TIM Responder Training and professional certification as they both improve the quality of the recovery, facilitate quick clearance and increase safety for the motoring public and operators," she wrote.


Woodford Remembered with Procession

Area towmen in and around McCracken County, Kentucky, paid their respects to one of their own Friday with a fitting funeral procession.

Towman Dallas Ray Woodford Sr. passed away Sept. 9 of a heart attack. His casket was taken to the cemetery on the back of a tow truck, and other trucks made up the funeral procession to Woodlawn Memorial Gardens.

Drivers came from Paducah, Mayfield, Murray, Livingston County, and other places in western Kentucky to honor Woodford in the procession.

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