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

Stellar Wrap Makes Unit Pop!

0 821baBy George L. Nitti

In July 2015, Autohaus Towing of Sherwood, Ore., brought their silver-based 2000 Kenworth W900/ Holmes DTU to wrap specialist PDX Wraps.

According to PDX Communication Liaison Alex Hanlon, "Wraps have really started to hit the mainstream. Today, it is insane what you can do. Your possibilities are endless."

Hanlon was referring to the wide variety of color films and reflective lettering that are available, the larger printing formats such as the 64"-wide printer, cutting-edge software and a new breed of graphic designers who have embraced new technology.

The red, white and black wraps created for Autohaus are stunning examples of cutting-edge technology.

"When they came to us they wanted something clean and sharp, industrial-like," Hanlon said.

Part of the design process drew on the taste of Autohaus owner Keith Fisher, who brought in some photos of muscle cars and old-school hot rods he's owned in the past.

"There's a scalloped effect we created at the front end of the Kenworth which pulls your eye towards it," Hanlon said, "just like in the sharp lines you will find on race cars."

In the powerful and gigantic diagonal logo of Autohaus on the sides of the unit, "the edges are beveled making it look 3-D," Hanlon said. "What also makes it unique is that we welded the 'T,' 'H,' and 'O' together. You are not going to miss it when towing a motor home. You can see the unit a mile away."

A brushed texture effect, reflective lettering around the logo and complementary colors also help this unit pop.

Visibility of graphics should be a key consideration for anyone wrapping their units.

"Small businesses are difficult to advertise," Scanlon said, "but your tow trucks can get thousands of impressions out on the road, multiplied by the number of trucks you have in your fleet. Over time, people will call because they have seen your truck and remember it."

Brag @ TIW!
Should your truck be featured here? Send a few pics and your contact information to the editor at bdooley@towman.com. You might even be selected to go in print, too, in American Towman magazine!
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Creative Rundown, Rusted-Out Wrap

0 359faBy George L. Nitti

When it comes to creativity, sometimes a great idea is hard to come by. This was the case for Bruce Johnson, owner of Johnson's Heavy Towing in Flagstaff, Ariz., when trying to find the perfect graphic design for his 2017 Kenworth T880/Century 5130.

It took awhile for him to find the direction he wanted to go.

"A couple of years ago, I was introduced to wraps at one of the tow shows I attended," Johnson said. "A wrap really appealed to me as I saw that they can put a nice finish on a truck for a lot less than custom paint.

"When I bought the truck, I wanted to put a fancy wrap on it, but was never really satisfied with the designs I was seeing. So I left our truck unwrapped for almost a year."

He had some ideas about things he liked, such as old rat rods he had seen on his way home from work. Then he started working with a graphic designer that he found online who helped channel this artistic vision.

Another source of inspiration was the famous and historic Route 66, a tourist destination where one will find special events, hot rod shows, vintage vehicles and old shutdown truck stops along the way.

There is something unique in the rundown and rusted-out; in this special wrap, that vision is captured. The core background is of a vintage truck in patina covered in rivets. The metal of the unit appears as rusting and in some places cut out, and flaking terribly.

On the side of the unit, the washed-out company name is written in aqua wedged between an old antique arrow sign.

"This is one of those vehicles you need to see up close," Johnson said. "That way you can see the burned-out and smoking light bulbs of the sign. The details are great."

The driver of the truck, Joseph "Jody" Cowsert, concurred about the slow process it took for the design to come together.

"Johnson wanted something unique and different," Cowsert said.

Cowsert also played a creative role in the design process, contributing the copper plating found on the grill, the shields on the exhaust, the wheel simulators and the bezels that go around the lights.

"[Johnson] called me one day and told me were going to offset in copper. With the copper plating it adds a whole lot more to it," Cowsert said.

"Every time we take it anywhere, there are 30 to 50 people taking pictures of it," Johnson proudly said.

Brag @ TIW! Should your truck be featured here? Send a few pics and your contact information to the editor at bdooley@towman.com. You might even be selected to go in print, too, in American Towman magazine!
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© 2017  Tow Industry Week/American Towman Media, Inc.