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Tow Expo Dallas' winning trucks are highlighted
Towman Scott Shover is being called "a guardian angel"
Redi-Letters' lighted signs easily mount on wreckers
Suspending auto repos of clients impacted by Hurricane Harvey
Or, do government controls actually work?
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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingSeptember 13 - September 19, 2017

Towing for Autism

0 a3bf2By George L. Nitti

April is National Autism Awareness Month. One way towers and others in the industry have stepped up to the plate is by towing for this important cause, creating graphics that draw attention and promote the cause to the public at large.

Parker Towing & Recovery in Fort Wayne, Ind., recently dedicated their red 2006 International 4300/2014 Century 22' carrier to autism. A percentage of the proceeds goes directly to the Autism Society of Indiana, where they serve as a key sponsor of an annual autism walk held in the month of September.

"Owner Dan Parker has an autistic child in his family," said business manager Kathy Franks. "It's a cause that is near and dear to the hearts of our employees. At last year's walk, we revealed our truck."

Drawing particular interest are the colorful puzzle pieces. The puzzle piece itself has been a long-standing symbol of this disease. The pieces are arranged carefully in several locations on the unit, representing different sizes and colors.

On the truck's front end, the pieces extend along both sides of the under-hood running parallel to the doors, where they shoot up on the cab side.

The pieces are also skillfully assembled to form the name of the company on each of the doors and the tool box on the side of the bed, where underneath it states "Towing for a Cause."

The puzzle pieces take on a grander scope on the bed's bulkhead as the backdrop for the company name.

Finally, on the truck's hood, the largest puzzle piece sticks out. Shaped in the form of Indiana, it ties in to support the Autism Society of Indiana. The wrap was done by Total Performance of Fort Wayne, Franks said.

This truck represents the second truck in Parker's large fleet dedicated to an important cause; the other being breast cancer awareness.

Franks said, "We keep it local. We are particularly proud of our 'Towing for a Cause' trucks. We hope others will take an interest."

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Should your truck be featured here? Send a few pics and your contact information to the editor at You might even be selected to go in print, too, in American Towman magazine!

Sporting a Fleet of Vintage Iron

0 09874By George L. Nitti

Wayne Plunske, founder of Plunske's Garage in Wallingford, Conn., purchased this red and black 1941 Dodge Power Wagon/Holmes 440 in 1959.

Plunske, who passed away in 2015, started the business in 1949, leaving his two sons Dan and Jim to carry on his legacy of collecting and maintaining a fleet of vintage tow trucks that continue to be used.

"My father started the towing business to bring cars into the garage for repair," Jim said. "As the towing business grew, he saw that it had a life of its own and kept adding to the fleet. He was one of the first to own a flatbed in '73."

Regarding the '41 Dodge, he said, "In the days before power lifts, hand cranks were used to lift the vehicles onto the trucks. By '65, the cranks were replaced by an early Holmes unit, and then again replaced in 1990 with the 440 where an electric front winch was added.

"It's a show piece," he said. "We had it in a vintage truck show in Bethlehem, Connecticut, this weekend. We loaded it on the bed of another one of our vintage trucks from 1987 and drove it there. You don't see a lot of 76-year-old trucks running around anymore."

With a fleet of 42 trucks, more than 20 of them are classics, enhancing their image and setting them apart from their competition.

"People think it's cool," Jim said of their vintage trucks. "Anybody can buy a new truck. These trucks are well taken care of, like kids."

His father's favorite was a 1955 Ford F-250.

"It was a wreck-chaser because it had a 390 Thunderbird engine," Jim said. "Back in the day, the first tow truck on scene got the work."

A couple of other classic units in their fleet includes a WWII-vintage 1941 Diamond T used for hauling tractors, which has two axles on the back, and a 1958 International with a 40-ton Weld-Built Boom.

The company takes pride in keeping their fleet in tiptop shape.

"My father was a Navy man," Jim said. "If it didn't move, he painted it. He always liked things painted and clean."

Brag @ TIW! Should your truck be featured here? Send a few pics and your contact information to the editor at You might even be selected to go in print, too, in American Towman magazine!
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