The Week's Features
Towman is alive today because of trooper's response
Forest green unit and red and yellow stripes oozes power
Mack dump gets stuck in the ditch
Kit uses B/A's patented Rollback Tie-Down System
South Carolina man arrested in repo
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Events
AT ShowPlace
Las Vegas, NV.
May 10-12, 2017
Tow Expo Dallas
Dallas, TX.
August 17-19, 2017
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Baltimore, MD.
Nov. 17-19, 2017
Don't Miss It!
The Management Conference at Tow Industry Week in Las Vegas will feature an in-depth look at the hiring process, recruiting the right employee for your business and the importance of developing a policy handbook. Multi-published author, educator and speaker Don G. Archer of TheTowAcademy.com. will share his best practices for hiring and the important things that a company policy handbook must have. Tow Industry Week will take place in Las Vegas, Nev., May 10-12 at the South Point Hotel & Casino.

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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingJanuary 18 - January 24, 2017

City, State
RATES
North:
New City, NY
$138
(Pop. 33,559)
South:
Panama City, FL
$87.50
(Pop. 36,484)
Midwest:
Danville, IL
$85
(Pop. 33,027)
West:
Monrovia, CA
$180
(Pop. 36,590)
Light-Duty nonconsensual tow rates as provided by Police Towers of America.
homediv

Prepared for any Contingency

jazz d6623By Don G. Archer

One of the biggest obstacles each of us deal with is our unwillingness to do things that on the surface may seem unpleasant, but will ultimately benefit us. We go to ridiculous lengths to avoid participating in these activities, while simultaneously placing our focus on things that do nothing to advance our business.

As towers we pride ourselves in our ability to prepare for any contingency. Our trucks are equipped with extra straps, plenty of chain, multiple pairs of gloves and a full tank of fuel. When the unexpected happens we want to be ready.

But I have to admit I've fallen.

Partly due to a misunderstanding of the facts, I found myself in over my head and out of my element.

It all started as an innocuous conversation with my wife, Brenda. I was working at my desk when she mentioned that a friend of hers had invited us to an event that was happening in a couple of weeks. Admittedly I was only half-listening, so while in work-mode I agreed.

As the day grew closer, I asked Brenda about the details of the event. This time she was too busy, so all I got was, "Her sons are playing." A clue as to some type of sporting event, I gleaned. I nodded my head and she went on her way.

A few days later I was able to extract more; time of day, and a general location.

Feeling sufficiently prepared, I waited for game day. But I would soon learn that I wasn't prepared at all.

The day of the event came and Brenda was engrossed in an unusual frenzy of activity, shopping, and a three-hour hair appointment; her preparation. All I had to do was pick out a shirt and I was ready.

The time finally came we headed out the door.

We were about an hour into our drive, when I learned that Brenda's friend, the one whose sons were playing, had twin 21-year old boys. They didn't play soccer—they were in a rock band. We were headed to a music festival out in the woods.

We've all been there. A desperate call from an underinsured motorist providing misleading information just to get you to come out and take a look at their smashed car. Upon arrival, you get out of your truck and trudge a thousand yards across a muddy field, then 300' up a once-swollen creek, to find a mangled car wedged beneath a fallen mighty oak. Short of waiting for the vehicle to rust, the only way that thing's coming out is lots of cash or calling out the National Guard.

You had no idea what you were in for and now you've wasted fuel and your time.

After a lengthy discussion about communication, we arrived and settled in, and the first thing I realized was, we should have brought chairs.

No seating was provided and everyone around us had those tailgate fold-out chairs. At a music festival consisting of six bands each playing an hour set, we were going to be standing for a long time.

Secondly I didn't bring any cash. It's 2016 and even guys who drive tow trucks accept credit and debit cards out on the roads. But not here. Entrance to the festival was free; but if you were going to eat or drink anything, you had to have cash. We were out in the woods—so no ATMs.

Frustrated, I tried to make the best of it. We met Brenda's friend and quickly struck up a conversation. Her husband owned his own business and we talked shop for a while. And as it turns out they had brought two extra chairs and a cooler full of drinks and food.

I was then introduced to their friends, one of which owned a dealership.

We talked for a while and made arrangements to talk again, about business.

Overall, we ended up having a great time.

What I'd expected to be a horrendous night in the woods with strangers turned out to be one of the best times of my life. I not only made new business connections—I made new friends.

Although it was a painful experience in the beginning, it did help me to grow. I came away with a better understanding of the value of relationships and making new connections.

American Towman Field Editor-Midwest Don G. Archer is also a multi-published author, educator and speaker helping others to build and start successful towing businesses around the country at TheTowAcademy.com. Don and his wife, Brenda, formerly owned and operated Broadway Wrecker in Jefferson City, Mo. E-mail him direct at don@thetowacademy.com.
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Twelve Life-Saving Obligations

workingthewhiteline aed04By Randall C. Resch

Towers are seemingly at war with distracted motorists; those who have no clue or inclination as to the dangers we face on a day-to-day basis. Yet we have an obligation to return home safely to our families, our companies and the communities we serve.

The towing and recovery industry demands that tow operators be knowledgeable and aware of hazards that are inherent to the job. Towers are responsible to know what standards of care exist, recognizing them and to do what it takes to apply them.

The following 12 training categories are life-saving "focus areas" every tow operator should attain. Training topics should include:

1. Traffic Incident Management Fundamentals and Terminology: TIM training offers free hands-on and web-based training on how to safely and properly execute roadside response specific to high-speed freeways.

2. Response and Approach: Employing vehicle code requirements for safe vehicle operations, lane placement, speed of travel, use of emergency lighting, legal use of shoulders, etc.

3. Vehicle Positioning: How tow trucks are parked or positioned is critical when towers are working outside of their vehicles.

4. Arrival Assessment: In an immediate sense, the tower is assessing the who, what, when, where, how and why considerations of any incident as it regards, "move it or work it."

5. On-Scene Safety: What considerations or best practices would make a tower's on-scene existence the safest for them, including paths of escape?

6. Command Responsibilities: Understanding the "big picture" of what's going on when working critical incidents and who is in-charge. Towers have on-scene responsibilities to identify an Incident Commander and react immediately and competently to the tasks at hand.

7. Traffic Management: The known study of dangers, lessons learned and cause and effect of traffic incidents; the study of clearing obstructions and restoring traffic to its original free-flowing state.

8. Special Circumstances: These are considerations by towers working outside the box. While some recovery techniques and methods may seem unorthodox to the norm, towers work with incident managers in order to get the job done.

9. Quick Clearance: The total goal of getting traffic moving again lessens the possibility of secondary impacts.

10. White-Line Safety: Especially for tow operators, it's a learned ability to consciously work away from traffic using tow truck controls and equipment items far from the white-line side.

11. Survival Tactics: A tow operator's learned ability to employ survival and on-scene operational tactics that allows them to work out of known danger areas.

12. Application of Techniques and Methods: The total and overall abilities to employ appropriate equipment, tow truck and recovery skill in meeting the quick-clearance objectives.

Working white-line danger zones is every tower's conscious decision. All the training in the world is negated by the reality that it's you who chooses to stand or work in harm's way. While there are times towers must move quickly through pinch zones or the white-line danger side, consciously and routinely standing there—especially at the traffic-side controls—is a recipe for disaster.

These categories are suggested as a basis of training for both on-highway responders and those serving the motoring public no matter where they travel.

I ask that you'll take a few minutes to self-evaluate and see if you have your mind right when it comes to understanding the dangers of the roadside. Never forget that this profession has the highest mortality rate that reaches far beyond other occupations.

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, and is a member of the International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame.
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