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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingJune 13 - June 19, 2018

Reefer Madness in Pa.

0 df524By Jim "Buck" Sorrenti

Janeway Towing of Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, was established in 1980. James H. Dougherty, Jr. is the president and CEO, and a member of the Towman Order.

On Aug. 3, 2017, at approximately 5:30 a.m., the Pennsylvania State Police Belmont Barracks called Janeway to handle a tractor-reefer trailer combo overturned on a ramp.

Janeway dispatched operator Rick Royles with their 2009 Kenworth T800/Century 1075 75-ton rotator and operator Brian Bowe in their 2007 Kenworth T800/Vulcan V-100 with XP850. Dougherty and operator Colin Stevenson drove out in his 2010 Ford F-550 recovery response unit with 2009 CarMate recovery trailer carrying Matjack jumbo air cushions and landing cushions. Operator Ricardo Lopez was dispatched as the scene assistant.

"The truck was loaded with milk, lemonade and iced tea," Dougherty said. "The box was in great shape, so we decided to air cushion it up."

The Janeway team staged the wreckers, set up the air-valve bank and placed the air cushions. The unit was lifted by the bags to gain clearance at the rear doorframe so that the starter bags could be placed to gain enough clearance for the jumbo cushions. Four jumbo cushions were placed along the left wall of the trailer where the load was concentrated.

"Once the air cushions were placed and inflated to gain clearance," Dougherty said, "the rotator was rigged via two lines to an endless loop that was attached to the landing gear leg via a 12-ton shackle and half-inch Grade 100 chain, and an eight-inch recovery strap was fashioned into a 'V' and attached to the slider rail via a 12-ton shackle. The front axle of the tractor was rigged to the V-100 and spiked to assist in uprighting the tractor."

The crew inflated and placed Matjack landing cushions at the tandems of the truck and trailer for the controlled descent.

The recovery was performed by inflating the air cushions to full capacity. The crew followed along to tension the lines rigged to the Century 1075 rotator, and the V-100 brought the front end of the tractor around.

Once the air cushions were fully inflated, the rotator took over and finished taking the truck through the arc and placing it into the landing cushions.

"The truck came to the ground softly and was prepped for towing, while the spill clean-up service was mitigating the spilled oil, fuel and milk," Dougherty said.

The unit was towed from the scene to Janeway's main facility in Conshohocken for DOT inspection and unloading. Once there, the company requested the load be transferred to an operable reefer trailer for transport back to their plant for disposal.

"The company did not want any liability of the product being sold to the general public due to the refrigeration unit being disabled and temperature not able to be monitored," Dougherty said. "Total time from call out to back at Janeway facility was 4.5 hours. Great job done by the guys on that hot sunny Thursday morning."

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Do you have a recovery to share with TIW readers? Send some pics and info to our Field Editor Jim "Buck" Sorrenti at; your story may even be selected for print in American Towman magazine!
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