The Week's Features
Strategies and ideas to remain top-of-mind to customers
Three-day recovery called for the best of recovery strategies
A tow boom shuts down Junction City, Oregon, event
Product dissolves grease on multiple tools and surfaces
He's been stabbed, shoved and chased by a dog
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Taps at Spirit ceremony. Ride relays in Las Cruces, Santa Theresa, Carlsbad and will head to Abilene.
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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingJuly 10 - July 17, 2017

Jerr-Dan Expands Service

Jerr-Dan has expanded its Tow Support program by adding district service managers providing full regional coverage and carrying and stocking more parts in inventory. The enhanced approach to customer service is designed to support customers after the initial purchase, encompassing all aspects of customer service. "Tow Support is all about keeping our customers up and running in a faster more efficient way," said Mike VanAken, Director for Jerr-Dan Aftermarket Support. Source:
From the American Towman News Bureau

Tow Fees in the Books

Twice Liberty County, Texas, commissioners invited area tow companies to workshops to allow them to voice their concerns about the new rates; if they needed to be changed, commissioners were willing to do so. However, the towmen were no-shows. As a result, commissioners are assuming tow businesses in the area are satisfied with the rates and the coming enforcement. The new fees are $175 for a non-consent tow with $3.50 charged for every loaded mile. For accidents, the tow fee is $225 and $3.50 for every loaded mile. The county also established a new wrecker company policy that states that a new company will have to be in business for two years in the county before the possibility of being added to the rotation list. Source:

Fee Ordinance Approved in Ga.

The Woodstock (Georgia) City Council has approved an ordinance setting fees for tow companies wanting to tow unauthorized vehicles in the city. The ordinance provides for weight-determined fees limited to $150 to $750 for towing, and no storage fee for the first 24 hours and ranging from $15 to $50 a day thereafter. If the owner shows up before a vehicle is loaded, it must be released at no charge; if the vehicle is hooked, the company can charge up to $75 to release it. Source:
Tow Fees in the Books
New rates in Liberty Co., Texas, after towmen are no-shows to meetings
Jerr-Dan Expands Service
Tow Support adds managers, supplies and enhanced customer service
Fee Ordinance Approved in Ga.
New weight-determined fees take effect in Woodstock

Spirit Ride Gets to New Mexico

Albuquerque became one of more than 60 cities to have participated in the American Towman Spirit Ride July 19, which began in Massachusetts last month and will visit more than 250 cities by the end of 2018.

"The nicest part is that everyone has joined together and united as one," said participant Linda Unruh, the owner of All-Rite Towing & Repair in Tucumcari.

The event was very personal for Unruh. Her son, Bobby Unruh, was killed by an 18-wheeler on the side of I-40 in February during recovery work while getting a colleague out of harm's way. His death helped to push the Move Over or Slow Down for Hazard Lights Act into law, said Johnny R. Johnson, managing director of the New Mexico Trucking Association.

Michael Tavenner, owner of Tavenner's Towing & Recovery in Moriarty, hoped that people follow this new law so that his employees and others will be safe.

"We're always on the side of the road; my drivers are always on the side of the road," he said.

Tavenner and Unruh, along with an escort of emergency vehicles, transported the Spirit Casket into Albuquerque where a ceremony took place at Balloon Fiesta Park. At the end of the ceremony, Spirit was transported to Socorro and Truth Or Consequences, where Brian Klein and the Klein Motor Company and Greg Knittle of Knittle's Towing Service hosted additional ceremonies later in the day.

Unruh said she is looking forward to the opportunity the Spirit Ride presents to bring awareness to the issue of the Move Over law.

"My healing is to save others," Unruh said. "It's my journey to make something positive. I don't want anybody else to have to go through that."

Spirit Ride ceremonies will also take place this week in: Las Cruces and Santa Theresa, New Mexico (July 20); Carlsbad, New Mexico (July 21); and Abilene, Texas (July 22). Host companies include Luchini's Towing & Recovery and Action Towing (Las Cruces), Interstate Towing & Recovery (Carlsbad) and M&R Wrecker Recovery (Abilene)

Sources:, AT Staff.
OKC Tow Trucks Escort Spirit Casket
TV Coverage of Towman Spirit Ride • July 10 - July 17, 2017

Feeling Proud

It's a wonderful thing to see the pride that towmen around the country are showing with their participation in the Spirit Ride. I beam with every TV and newspaper report I see of ceremonies that have taken place.

To see tow companies—inspiring in their company uniforms standing shoulder-to-shoulder, while Mike Corbin, tow bosses, town officials and local first responders address the crowds assembled for each ceremony—it's a good feeling!

It shows what can truly be accomplished when the towing industry works together. Each ceremony and all of the media coverage is really driving home the message and the importance of the Move Over laws.

Towmen should really be proud that the public is beginning to its perception of the industry. As a result, the towman is gaining respect for the trained and knowledgeable professionals they are.
--Charles Duke

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
Editor: Charles Duke
Managing Editor: Brendan Dooley
ATTV Editor & Anchor: Emily Oz
Communications Manager: Helen Gutfreund
Field Editor: 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

Auto Data Direct

Auto Data Direct d4ab9Auto Data Direct's National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) Title Check offers corporate customers the information they need to locate the current state of title for a vehicle, check for stolen information and identify liens on a vehicle. The report is great for tow operators in possession of abandoned or out-of-state vehicles by providing necessary information to speed up the titling or notification process. Come see what other services Auto Data Direct provide at Tow Expo Dallas taking place at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine, Texas August 17-19, 2017.
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