The Week's Features
Topeka, Kan., company was left off rotation list
Designed to provide tilt from -23° up to 16°
Dolly and other powerful equipment get semi that struck pole
These days, sometimes less is more
Guilty of causing death of 35-year-old wife and mother
Digital Edition
Click Here
AT ShowPlace
Las Vegas, NV.
May 10-12, 2017
Tow Expo Dallas
Dallas, TX.
August 17-19, 2017
AT Exposition
Baltimore, MD.
Nov. 17-19, 2017
Don't Miss It!
Because Move-Over laws don't work, tow operators continue to be killed at an alarming rate. In his seminar, "Safety: Accidents-or Repeated Mistakes," American Towman Business editor examines at what NOT to do, the causes of fatalities, the importance of having regular safety meetings and calls for drastic change in the way we respond. It will take place as a part of the Safety Conference at Tow Industry Week in Las Vegas, Nev., May 10-12 at the South Point Hotel & Casino.
logotype logotype
Translate Language
American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingJanuary 25 - January 31, 2017

Bill Would Override County's Law

A bill being considered by the Virginia General Assembly would override Arlington County's new towing regulation changes. HB 1960 has a number of provisions that would only apply to Northern Virginia jurisdictions in the state's "Planning District 8," which includes Arlington. It would raise the base towing fee to $150 up to a maximum fee of $200; prohibit Arlington's new "real time authorization" requirement which requires businesses to authorize each individual tow; and require that the chair of a local towing advisory board be a licensed towing operator. Source:
From the American Towman News Bureau
credit: WCIA-TV

Chase on Illinois I-74

A man is in jail after police say he stole a tow truck and drove up and down I-74 in Illinois for hours until he was arrested. Robert Snook, of Danville, was charged with that and other crimes. The chase ended when the tow truck ran out of gas and the driver pulled over allowing deputies to make the arrest. "His car broke down on the highway. We got called out just to go pick him up," said Jim Hampton, owner of Tatman's Towing in Urbana. He says his driver then drove to a gas station and got out to refasten the car. "This guy hopped in the driver's seat and just took off," said Hampton. Hampton says he helped police find the truck using GPS. Source:

Hanging On

Video footage showed a motorcyclist rear-ending a vehicle on northbound I-5 in Tumwater, Wash., then hanging on for a ride atop the car's trunk. Bill's Towing and Recovery in Yelm posted the video this week on its Facebook page. When the car slowed down due to heavy traffic, the motorcyclist couldn't stop in time and slammed into the vehicle. He was then carried about a quarter-mile down the freeway. A trooper on the scene determined the crash was the motorcyclist's fault. Source:
Chase on Ill. Interstate
Man steals tow truck and leads police on wild chase
Bill Would Override County’s Law
Would override need for tows to be authorized
Hanging On
Wash. towman posts video of cyclist hanging on to car’s rear on I-5

APTO Holding Seminar on New Bill

The Association of Professional Towers–Ohio will conduct a seminar that will focus on the changes brought on by the recently passed HB 341 towing bill.

The bill soon will be law and dramatically impact how Ohio towing companies operate.

The seminar will cover many areas including: new regulations set forth by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, new towing and storage deductions, new violations that can cause towers to lose their business and more.

The seminar is scheduled for Feb. 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Berwick Manor in Columbus. Cost is $100 and includes a lunch buffet. All of the proceeds from this seminar will support the efforts of the Private Property Rate Committee. Register at


Tow Industries

TowIndustries de117Tow Industries is Southern California's longest operating tow truck center and tow truck dealer of new tow trucks and pre-owned recovery trucks and towing equipment. They are a Miller Industries distributor, offering Vulcan, Holmes, Challenger and Century tow trucks. They also feature a huge inventory of pre-owned tow trucks, wreckers, and car carriers. See what Tow Industries has to offer at the American Towman Show Place taking place at the South Point Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev. May 10-12, 2017.
By Don Lomax
Click to enlarge
I look forward to reading Tow Industry Week for:
Features (Tow Bus. & Opers., Tow Illus., Wrecks + Recovery)
News & Repo News
American Towman TV
New Products
American Towman TV
Emily Oz Reports • January 25 - January 31, 2017

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

Winds of Change

As the winds of change take place in our nation's capital this week, it might be a good time to reflect on what changes lie ahead for the towing industry over the next four years.

History has taught us that Republican administrations generally lean towards deregulation, so perhaps some of the current towing laws may change over time.

Research and development affecting the industry may or may not take a hit. What will happen as far as the prediction of driverless cars and how that will affect the towing industry is something that you will want to stay on top of. Attending the Futures Conference during Tow Industry Week in Las Vegas, Nev., May 10-12, may provide some answers for you.

The next four years will call for diligence and participation of members of the industry to remain aware of what is happening. If you haven't already, begin to build relationships to help fight whatever comes up that is deemed unfair to the industry.

Life is cyclical, be it business, politics, the economy or whatever else. Make sure you're in the know.
--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.
© 2017  Tow Industry Week/American Towman Media, Inc.