The Week's Features
Report shows 76% of states posted rises exceeding 10%
Too many companies do nothing to prevent loss
Awarded money for 2013 police tow truck accident
In this age of disposable goods, longevity has value
Has lower approach angle over conventional carriers
Digital Edition
Click Here
AT Exposition
Baltimore, MD.
Nov. 18-20, 2016
AT ShowPlace
Las Vegas, NV.
May 10-12, 2017
Tow Expo Dallas
Dallas, TX.
August 17-19, 2017
Don't Miss It!
Les Cravens of Auto Data Direct will show attendees how to protect your business and comply with statutes and/or regulations in his seminar Protecting Your Business/Law Enforcement Networking. He will highlight the advantages of networking with law enforcement to create alliances and lay the groundwork for long-term relationships. Cravens' will present this seminar at the American Towman Exposition, November 18-20 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Md.
logotype logotype
Translate Language
American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingNovember 30 - December 06, 2016

Towmen Remember Comrade

As the family of Danny Ray Hand held a private memorial service Saturday, his co-workers and friends remembered him in their own way with a memorial ride in his honor. Dozens of drivers brought their wreckers to participate in a processional down I-275 where Hand was hit and killed Nov. 26 by a suspected drunk driver. "When you lose somebody, especially a coworker that happens to be like a family member to you, it's a big loss," said Michael Locantore, of Crockett's Towing where Hand worked. Source:
From the American Towman News Bureau
Widow Michelle Homkey holds award. image.

Homkey Honored Posthumously

Six people were honored for exceeding expectations to put their service above themselves in Montgomery County, N.Y., Thursday night. In a special recognition, towman Jamie Homkey received the "First Responder of the Year" award posthumously. Homkey, a tower from Canajoharie, lost his life Oct. 10 while he was responding to a disabled vehicle on the New York State Thruway. "Jamie was the type of member that every department hopes for and exhibited great loyalty to help the community," County Executive Matthew Ossenfort said. He added that Homkey's death has placed an emphasis on the Move Over law. Source:

Driverless Cars Towing at Plant

Nissan Motor Co. is testing self-driving cars at one of its plants in Japan that can tow vehicles on a trailer to the wharf for loading on transport ships. The Japanese automaker thinks the technology will, in the long run, save costs and boost efficiency. The tests also can add to knowledge needed to take such autonomous driving onto public roads. Nissan executive Haruhiko Yoshimura said the automaker hoped to use the technology throughout the Oppama plant by 2019, and in overseas plants in the future. Source:
Homkey Honored Posthumously
Late towman named “First Responder of the Year” in N.Y.
Towmen Remember Comrade
Dozens of Fla. towmen honor the late Danny Hand
Driverless Cars Towing at Plant
Nissan plant in Japan shows what new technology can do
American Towman Exposition XXVIII Gallery

Towmen Rain Praise on AT Expo

Not since the very first American Towman Exposition in 1989, when the show's success caught the industry by surprise, have so many attendees expressed their appreciation for the moment. In short, the Greatest Show of All Time lived up to its billing for thousands of tow business owners and the 250 exhibitors inside the Baltimore Convention Center this past weekend.

The highlights of the event are too many to list here, but here are a few standouts: the "100 Years" song performed at the Centennial Celebration saluting 100 years of towng; the sheer immensity of the show that took up the entire convention center for the first time in the show's 28 year run, from the exhibit hall, through the new Garage District to the American Wrecker Pageant that wowed the crowd; one military wrecker and one homemade light duty rotator representative of a most unique Pageant.

Towers came from all 50 states and some 21 nations. One American Towman Medal winner travelled from Australia to receive towing's most prestigious honor. Total attendance surpassed last year's all-time high by150 people, over 14,000 in all over the three day showing of exhibits.

Century 1150 & 1150R

century3456 25b33Century's 1150 features 360° of continuous boom rotation, a three-stage recovery boom, optional deck and turret mounted winches and field tested and proven SDU-4 underlift. The 1150 technology is also available in the Century 1150R that features a unique patented roller system that allows the boom to travel up to 60". Get a closer look at these and other Miller Industries products at the American Towman Exposition, Nov. 18-20, Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Md.
By Don Lomax
Click to enlarge
Key Reason to Attend Tow Show:
Seminars on Tow Co' Management
Scout tow equipment developments
Network with others in the towing trade
Purchase products & services
American Towman TV
Emily Oz Reports • November 30 - December 06, 2016

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

Thank You

We had another great weekend this year in Baltimore, Md., as American Towman Exposition XXVIII was enjoyed by one and all.

Many attendees approached our staff with expressions of gratitude for acknowledging the hard-working men and women who labor to keep our roads clear from accidents big and small.

One particular moment that meant a lot to me personally came from Lincoln (Ill.) Rural Fire Protection District Chief Chris Buse and Asst. Fire Chief Ryan Sheley. They traveled all the way to Baltimore to participate in the Towman Order ceremony, pinning new Captain Robert Gaston of RBC Towing & Recovery in Lincoln, Ill. Both Buse and Sheley stated how great it was that towmen got the recognition that they deserve from their often-underappreciated job they do.

I heard comments like that all weekend from towmen and guests alike, and each time it brought a smile to my face.

But, "it takes two to tango," and on behalf of American Towman magazine and Tow Industry Week, I would just like to thank the men and women of our fantastic industry for its support. It doesn't happen without you.
--Charles Duke
Editor: Charles Duke
Managing Editor: Brendan Dooley
ATTV Editor & Anchor: Emily Oz
Communications Manager: Helen Gutfreund
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
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.
© 2016  Tow Industry Week/American Towman Media, Inc.