The Week's Features
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?
Digital Edition
Click Here
Tow Expo Dallas
Dallas, TX.
August 17-19, 2017
AT Exposition
Baltimore, MD.
Nov. 17-19, 2017
AT ShowPlace
Las Vegas, NV.
May 9-11, 2018
Don't Miss It!
In his seminar, "Dispatching, GPS and Mapping Innovations," Todd Althouse of Beacon Software will take a look at how a dispatch office has changed in the last 20 years. He'll review modern tools available to dispatchers, such as GPS locations, PTO activity, computer-assisted dispatch for driver recommendations and much more to improve efficiencies. This Management Conference seminar will take place at the American Towman Exposition, November 17-19 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Maryland–register today!
Translate Language  
American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingSeptember 13 - September 19, 2017

The Airbrush Touch

0 0c2d7By George L. Nitti

John Riccio, owner of Max Custom Truck Lettering in Huntington, N.Y., has been putting his personal touch on tow trucks since 1970, with his airbrushing and custom paint skills.

"I'm holding out and don't want to do wraps at this stage in my life," Riccio said. "Vinyl is tough on the body. I have fun painting. It's therapeutic."

It's his customers who keep him in business, those who don't want "a clean sheet of vinyl" to wash and wax; but would rather have the "real deal."

"People really appreciate good custom work."

Tip Top Autobody, located in New Hyde, is one such recipient who has maintained their loyalty to Riccio. They used him to airbrush flames on their units including their newest one, a 2015 Kenworth T370/Jerr-Dan 25-ton wrecker.

According to owner Pat Fanning, Riccio's work is well known in the area.

"He's always painted flames for us," said Fanning. "I've liked the look of motorcycle flames, and went with his design on our trucks. To me, wraps are not as classy. Airbrushing gives it more of an authentic look."

The orange-infused flames at the front of the truck flow along the Jerr-Dan body's bright red background.

"I really like the new aluminum body of the Jerr-Dan. They have come a long way," Fanning said. "They are well-built and don't give you the corrosion problem, and you can easily transfer the body to another truck."

The name of the company, Tip Top, is airbrushed large in a clean, modern style with a complementary color scheme of chrome-silver accentuated with a blue shadow. Just under the company name is "Autobody."

Fanning said, "Although we have five tow trucks, our primary business is auto body and we wanted to advertise that."

At the back of the unit is white pinstriping, adding that special personal touch from Riccio.

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!

Preserving Towing History

0 b96c6By George L. Nitti

It's not unusual to find restored classic tow trucks in the towing industry, but it is rare to find a tow company that has collected and restored more than a dozen of the antiques.

"My father, Mark Storer, began collecting them 10 years after starting the company in 1988," said Jared Storer, VP of Airport Towing in Seattle and Burien, Washington. "He and my brother died in a plane crash in 2008. We've kept the collection as a tribute."

Among the seven vintage units they recently showcased at the Pacific Northwest Tow Show in Tacoma, their 1929 Ford Model AA with a Weaver 3-ton auto crane won first prize in the Best of Antique class, which comprised all units before 1966.

This Ford model came into style when the Model T became obsolete after 1925 and was upgraded to the more powerful Model AA. At the time, towing was a newer concept and Weaver's 3-ton crane was a competitor to Holmes.

"When we bought it, it was in decent shape," Storer said. "It used to be painted yellow. My father, after doing research, had the lettering done according to the time period."

Indeed, specific features of the lettering stand out, particularly because it draws on the vernacular of the day.

For example, the words "Day and Night Service" are written simply on a curved line, which today would be "24/7" service. On the back of the unit, "Affordable Towing" advertises what today would be lower rates and competitive pricing. On this piece of lettering, Ford's modern logo fills in to complete the design.

The phone number, written on the side of the unit, is also distinctive of the period with the first two numbers actually letters, common to telephone nomenclature back in the day.

Outside of entering their antique tow vehicles in tow shows, Airport's vintage class can be found appearing in local car shows and parades.

"I take pride in a well-run business," Storer said.

"These antique vehicles show our pride in the industry and interest in preserving history."

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!
Translate Page
Contact Us

WreckMaster President Justin Cruse said that the WreckMaster Convention will bring together towers from all over North America to provide a unique and beneficial opportunity to broaden knowledge.
© 2017  Tow Industry Week/American Towman Media, Inc.