Program requirements, sizes and types, safety, and proper use of patterns for flares and cones that allows the towman to work effectively will be discussed in a very informative session, "Effective Use of Flares and Cones." Join American Towman Field Editor Terry Abejuela for this powerful Safety Conference intel at Tow Industry Week in Las Vegas, Nev., May 10-12 at the South Point Hotel & Casino.
Mike Corbin hammers away on what will become the ceremonial casket for the Spirit Ride.
Spirit Ride Casket Begun
Construction started on the ceremonial casket that will eventually make its way across the United States as part of the Spirit Ride, a joint venture between B/A Products and American Towman Magazine. A coterie of more than 200 towmen have agreed to be a part of the journey that aims to raise the motoring public's awareness of the Move Over laws.
The "Spirit Casket" will start its journey in Hawaii, then ship by ocean freighter to the West Coast this spring. It will be relayed from carrier to carrier across the country, passing through many towns and cities, drawing as much attention from national and local media as possible.
It will then make its long-awaited appearance in Baltimore, Md., in a procession past the Baltimore Convention Center and the city's Historic Harbor during this year's American Towman Exposition, Nov. 17-19.
Towing Contracts [b]Redone after Bribery
Lake County (Ill.) Commissioners said they are setting high standards for towing firms working in the future with the sheriff's department.
They recently voted to invite all towing firms in the county to apply for a contract and set rules for which ones would be eligible for serious consideration.
It comes three months after the U.S. Attorney filed bribery and fraud charges alleging Sheriff John Buncich chose towing firms to work with county police based on how much money they paid him in campaign contributions. Buncich is pleading not guilty and awaiting trial.
The Lake County Council last month passed an ordinance taking towing contracts away from the sheriff and restoring them to commissioners to award in the future.
Eligible towing firms "shall be reputable and in good standing with any and all regulatory agencies," open 24 hours per day and seven days a week, have been in been in business for at least five years, must have a business address in Lake County.
Eligible towing firms must make it their goal to respond to towing calls within 30 minutes, have enough marked towing trucks to be able to respond to three calls simultaneously, must have a secured storage lot and employees available to release towed or stored vehicles any day of the week.
New Dynamic Partner [b]in Florida
Dynamic Towing Equipment & Manufacturing partnered with Palmetto Ford of southern Florida to offer Dynamic towing equipment, service and parts for the southern Florida region.
Palmetto Ford, family owned and operated, recently celebrated 50 years in business. As a member of Ford's Business Preferred Network, the dealership specializes in all size commercial truck sales, leasing and servicing.
46 'Move Over' [b]Violators Stopped
Colorado State Patrol and Larimer County Sheriff's officers pulled over 46 vehicles on U.S. 287 that failed to move over for a stopped emergency vehicle flashing its lights on Feb. 16, according to LCSO Deputy Travis Martin.
The actions were part of a planned operation meant to educate drivers on the state's Move Over law.
Judging whether a driver reduces speed substantially enough for a stopped emergency vehicle is up to the individual officer, Martin said. There is no set margin of speed reduction guaranteed to protect drivers from a citation.
"For me, slowing to 40 miles per hour in a 55 is enough, but if someone is still going 60 in a 75, that's not safe enough," Martin said. Similar operations are planned for March and April.
The "Move Over" education operation was partly in response to the November death of Colorado State Trooper Cody Donahue, who was struck and killed by a driver that failed to move over for Donahue's stopped patrol vehicle, a press release said.
Similar operations meant to inform drivers of the need to move over are planned for March and April, Martin said.
More Oversight [b]Being Considered
The Gary (Ind.) Common Council is likely to approve an ordinance later this month that will create a body to oversee the five private companies currently used by the police department to tow vehicles.
Councilman Herb Smith advanced a pilot project plan for the creation of a body that would regulate the towing services for up to six months. The council would then revisit the towing issue to see what long-term policy changes may be needed.
A person whose car is towed is supposed to be charged a $140 fee, or $150 if a flatbed truck is used. A $160 fee is charged for motorcycle tows. Also, there are $50 fees for release of the vehicle and $30 per day storage fees.
But Smith said he has heard of instances of individual towing companies charging more for storage, and also cases where people tried to get their cars back — only to find the towing companies closed and even more storage fees accumulating.
Dozens Turn Out [b]for McGauley
Tow trucks and towmen recently memorialized Daniel McGauley Jr., 33, of Daniels Wrecker Sales and Universal Heavy Equipment and Truck Repair in Nesconset, N.Y. Dan was a heavy-duty tower for Universal and "was proud to serve his community driving a tow truck—the only job he ever wanted."
He is survived by his parents, Daniel Sr. and Margaret, five siblings and five nephews. McGauley loved family, friends, animals and his trucks; requested memorial donations be made to the ASPCA.