The Week's Features
National organization meets with electric car maker at Towman show
Buddy's Wrecker Service in Tennessee retrieves an $800,000 plane
Consumers pay as much as 300% using cars as collateral
Truck was love at first sight for Larry's Towing
New product is a three-level flashlight with USB power port
Digital Edition
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Tow Expo Int'l
Dallas, TX.
August 4-6, 2016
AT Exposition
Baltimore, MD.
Nov. 18-20, 2016
AT ShowPlace
Las Vegas, NV.
May 10-12, 2017
Don't Miss It!
Performing recovery work safely and successfully requires an accurate assessment of the scene to determine the total amount of recovery resistance to be overcome. In his seminar Calculating Recovery Resistance American Towman Field Editor Terry Abejuela will highlight techniques integral to being efficient roadside. The information provided will be essential to avoid overloading equipment and ensuring that the recovery operation will be successful. This seminar will take place during Tow Expo International at the Arlington Convention Center in Arlington, Texas Aug. 4-6.
Tower Finds Girlfriend Dead
A Detroit, Mich., towman dispatched to the scene of a fatal car crash was in disbelief when he realized that his girlfriend was killed in the crash. Jerome Tarver, 37, recognized his girlfriend's Dodge Neon from behind the crime scene tape. When police realized he knew the victim, they wouldn't let him through and called a different tow company to haul away the wreckage. "It was like a dream. Nightmarish." Jerrica Hicks, 26, was killed after a pickup truck with an intoxicated driver crashed into her sedan at more than 100 miles an hour.
From the American Towman News Bureau
Towers Can Expect Busy Weekend
More cars on the road usually translates into more break-downs, more mishaps. According to the nation's largest auto club, there will be record traffic. AAA projects more than 38 million Americans will travel this Memorial Day weekend. That is the second-highest Memorial Day travel volume on record and the most since 2005. Spurred by the lowest gas prices in more than a decade, about 700,000 more people will travel compared to last year. The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 26 to Monday, May 30. "Americans are eagerly
awaiting the start of summer and are ready to travel in numbers not seen in more than a decade," said Marshall Doney, AAA President and CEO. Nearly 34 million (89 percent) holiday travelers will drive to their Memorial Day destinations, an increase of 2.1 percent over last year as a result of lower gas prices. Air travel is expected to increase 1.6 percent over last year, with 2.6 million Americans taking to the skies this Memorial Day. Travel by other modes of transportation, will fall 2.3 percent, to 1.6 million travelers. AAA NewsRoom
'Tow to Go' Reaches Nebraska
Local and national agencies will be ramping up efforts to keep drivers safe, including a campaign that's new to Nebraska. Sixty-five people have died on Nebraska highways this year; hoping to keep that number down, AAA and Budweiser are teaming up to bring their "Tow to Go" program to Nebraska for the first time. The service is intended to be used as a last resort, but affords an intoxicated person, and his or her car, a free lift by calling 855-286-9246. The Tow to Go program says it's kept 24,000 drunk drivers off the road since launching in Florida 18 years ago.
Towers Can Expect Busy Weekend
The second-highest Memorial Day travel volume on record
Tower Finds Girlfriend Dead in Crash
Towman dispatched to scene and recognizes car
'Tow to Go' Reaches Nebraska
Program to hamper tipsy driving expands in state
American Towman ShowPlace - Las Vegas

'Tow Tank' at [b]Tow Expo Int'l

You've likely seen or heard about "Shark Tank," the ABC television show where budding entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to a panel of investors. Now you'll have a chance to do the same with your ideas to improve towing and recovery.

"We want the towers that have ideas, inventions and business plans—but don't have the money or contacts or knowledge to get them going—to bring those ideas to the Tow Expo International," said Matt Manero, CEO of Commercial Fleet Financing.

Towers who enter their ideas into the Tow Tank will be heard and voted on by four judges, including Manero. As of press time, the first-place prize for winning over the Tow Tank judges was a minimum of $5,000 and one year of business advice from Bethany Williams, a global marketing, branding and small business expert.

You can submit your video entry at; 10 entries will advance to do a live pitch to the judges during Tow Expo International on Aug. 4-6 at the Arlington (Texas) Convention Center. For more information, call Sarah Burnett at 972-247-8447, Ext. 10.

Advantage Funding

Unknown 04b71Advantage Funding is one of the largest independent commercial transportation lenders in the U.S. They feature 24-hour approval on transactions up to $1 Million, special walk-away lease programs on heavy-duty equipment, direct financing with no extra fees and more. Come see what Advantage Funding has to offer you at Tow Show International, taking place at the Arlington Convention Center in Arlington, Texas Aug. 4-6.
By Don Lomax
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Another presidential election year is upon us. How do you see your views?

Winching a Car Down a Hill

Winchingdownhill b75d5By Don Archer

I was out of breath and running to help my little brother when my wife's hand slapped me in the face, waking me from my dream. The phone was ringing and she was telling me to GET UP!

I was on-call and it was the Highway Patrol needing a wrecker.

I jumped up, put on my uniform and boots, and headed out the door on a cold December night.

When I arrived, the Trooper pointed me in the direction of the crumpled Ford Focus. It was up an embankment about 30 feet, lodged between some trees.

My job that night was to winch a car—down a hill. Unless the plan was to just cut her loose and let her roll, it wasn't going to be easy. I first needed to dislodge it from the trees; then, without losing control, bring it down the hill and land it safely on the shoulder. The trick was keeping it from running me over or rolling out into traffic.

As I surveyed the casualty, I stepped back for a minute just out of sight of the patrolman and scratched my head ... I couldn't have him thinking I was stumped. As I stood there scheming for a solution, I was reminded of the dream I was having only moments earlier of a somewhat similar dilemma I'd been up against years ago.

I was 10 and my little brother Troy was in trouble with the neighborhood boys. He'd retreated to as high a spot as he could get up an old oak tree. I ran to the sound of his yelling and found Kevin, Marty and Darrel gathering wood and placing it at the base of the tree. Their plan was to smoke him out.

Being a year older than the oldest of the boys, my first inclination was to run up yelling and threatening to "Kill them all," but since Marty had his BB rifle I decided against it.

I suppose I could have just let them do what they were gonna do; but I was responsible for my little brother. Since I'd already seen and heard the commotion, I had a stake in whatever happened next.

I assessed my options. I could try and take the BB gun from Marty and scare them all away but where would that leave us tomorrow? I looked for another solution.

I tried reasoning with the kids; that didn't work. I tried bargaining, "We'll rebuild your club house." But each solution offered was just dismissed with a wave of their hands.

And just when they were convinced I was out of options, I lunged at Marty and knocked the BB gun out of his hands.

All eyes on me, the gun fell at our feet. I kicked it and jumped on it. Marty jumped on me and we scrambled for control. Right when I was about to wrench his prized Red Rider free, twisting it from his grimy little hands, they made a move I didn't expect.

One would pull on my arm while the other would yank on the gun. When nothing seemed to work, Kevin stood up, reared his foot back like he was going for a homerun in kickball and kicked me in the face.

That's the bad news.

The good news is all that blood and hollering scared the living daylights out of 'em, and they ran off. Troy didn't get smoked out and we didn't have to fight again the next day. Of course I had a bloody nose and a sore upper lip for a couple of days but sometimes going backwards works.

Back to the present. I noticed a sturdy oak tree almost 20 feet up from the wrecked Focus.

Could this be the solution I was looking for?

I walked it out, did a little math, added in a splash of geometry and decided it'd work. All that was left was the implementation. I snatch-blocked off the tree and used two winch lines, one pulling against the other. I first pulled the car backwards toward the tree and maneuvered it so that I had the control to not only dislodge the car, but also swing it free and slowly lower it to the shoulder, avoiding additional problems.

I thought I'd been stymied, but everything worked as planned and I walked away victoriously and gained a little something from the whole ordeal: a new perspective.

I couldn't immediately see the solution when I arrived. But the reason wasn't because it was too dark, or too cold or I was too tired. It was because I was stuck—I didn't want to see the bigger picture. I wanted to recover a vehicle that was wrecked down an embankment not up one.

Just like that day and this casualty, sometimes the best solution to a problem is something you can't plan for. You get lucky, and it simply appears.

Don G. Archer and his wife, Brenda, own and operate Broadway Wrecker in Jefferson City, MO. Don is also multi-published author, educator and speaker helping others to build and start successful towing businesses around the country at Want to learn more email him direct at

Ahead of the Curve

It's a good thing to see the towing industry take the initiative in partnering with car manufacturers to develop strategies for servicing their cars. Such was the case recently with TRAA, led by Bud Gruber, chairman of its motor club communications committee, in a meeting with electric car manufacturer Tesla at the recent American Towman ShowPlace in Las Vegas, Nev.

Liaisons such as this can only help the industry expand its horizons and become more professional in its approach to working roadside.

As Americans become more environmentally conscious and electric cars become more prominent over the coming years, it's important that the towing industry gets and stays ahead of the curve.
--Charles Duke
ATTV Oz Reports
Editor: Charles Duke
Managing Editor: Brendan Dooley
ATTV Editor & Anchor: Emily Oz
Advertising Sales: William Burwell
Content Management: Henri Calitri
Site Progr., Graphics & Video: Ryan Oser
ATTV Technical Production: OMG National
Wrecks + Recovery Editor: Jim "Buck" Sorrenti
Operations Editor: Randall C. Resch
Tow Business Editor: Don Archer
Tow Illustrated Editor: George L. Nitti
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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.
© 2016  Tow Industry Week/American Towman Media, Inc.