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Explosion of colors make rotator visually compelling
Sometimes it makes no sense to fight the obvious
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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingAugust 15 - August 21, 2018

Never Alone in 'Ghost Rider'


The name for the newest big rig at Mirage Recovery Services came to owner Sue Drawbaugh in a dream. Shortly after buying the 50-ton 2013 Kenworth T800 with Vulcan V-100 50-ton package, Sue had a dream about her late husband, Joey, who gave her this name: "Ghost Rider."

In 2009, Joey and his wife and two children were on vacation in Nebraska when the entire family was involved in a boating accident. Joey, the owner of Mirage, did not survive, and the rest of the family members were all injured.

"It was very sad ... we didn't know what was going to happen," said Mirage driver Donnie Winer. Sue focused on healing with her children—and then made the decision to keep Joey's business and run it on her own. The family faced many challenges, dealing with the loss of their father and husband, and running the business Joey had bought in 2000.

"Everyone worried that we'd go under," said Joey's daughter, Jennifer, who was 15 at the time of the accident.

The whole Mirage crew pulled together after the accident, forming a close-knit unit. Today, Jennifer, now 20, says the 24 employees at Mirage feel like family and the business like a second home for her and her brother Colton, 14. Winer agrees: "It's a family here. We love it. I wouldn't work anywhere else."

Sue Drawbaugh has transitioned well into the role of the owner of Mirage.

"My mom is the strongest woman I know," said Jennifer. "She stands her ground with the drivers and everyone she does business with."

The success of Mirage is due in large part to the dedication of its drivers and staff. "Sue decided to give it a run for us," said Winer. "In return, we work our butts off for her every day. ... I've been in towing since I was 11." He said his father owned a towing company and spent spring breaks and summers on the lot, "playing around with the trucks."

One day, Sue and Jennifer took Winer out to lunch. "They said, 'We got you a new truck'," said Winer. "It was such a surprise."

Jennifer said she and her mom had decided to give the truck to Winer because of the hard work and improvement he had shown since he got to Mirage. They left the graphics up to Winer, who knew straight away what he wanted.

"I'm a Harley-Davidson freak," said Winer, who owns a 1991 H-D Electra Glide Classic. "Everything I do is in orange and black." Sue approved the design and "Ghost Rider" now bears the company's name embedded in the distinctive outline of the Harley-Davidson logo.

Ghost Rider is the latest addition to Mirage's 19-truck fleet, which includes seven flatbeds, four light-duty wreckers, two medium-duty wreckers, five heavies and a Peterbilt low-boy trailer.

In Ghost Rider, Winer services the entire state of Colorado and has driven as far as Rapid City, S.D., where he picked up a stranded tractor. On the long rides, Winer says he's never alone.

"Joey is always sitting in my passenger seat," he said.

Full Palette

0 aef08By George L. Nitti

When Jonny May started Jonny's Towing and Recovery in Illinois in 2013, his intention was to establish a business that went above and beyond the call of duty. By building positive relationships and staying committed to his business, he has seen it grow and grow.

Today, with nine locations across the Chicagoland region, Jonny's Towing and Recovery has grown from one tow truck to 39 in only five years.

Part of the credit for the company's success is due to its visually compelling and imaginative graphics, exemplified by one of their standout units: a 2016 Peterbilt 567/Century 1140 RXP rotator.

"It was the best truck I ever bought and the most versatile," May said. "We use it on a daily basis. We wanted to have a visual impact with our trucks. I would describe them as exciting, cool, fun and dominating."

This unit stands out for all of those reasons. The company name takes center stage, in green in a large font on the front and back end.

A palette of explosive colors in yellow, orange, pink and more shades of green in diverse shapes reflect a modern style often seen in the industry. Thick lines, like beams, cascade in several directions. The purple fenders and hood add vibrancy.

According to May, kids love the truck because it includes Mike Wazowski, a favorite character from the animated movie "Monsters Inc."

"Kids love it and mothers take pictures of it all of the time," May said. "Our phone number sits under that graphic."

On top of the passenger side door, the company slogan states, "Get hooked on us."

With graphic design like this, how can one not get hooked?

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