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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingMarch 29 - April 04, 2017

Abandoneds Filling Tow Lot

An Anchorage, Alaska, tow company says it's picking up an unusually high number of abandoned vehicles. "People are buying vehicles and they're not registering them in their names and they're abandoning them," said Star France with AK Towing. France said on average the company brings in six campers, motor homes or deserted vehicles daily. France says its lot is almost at capacity. "It used to be that you could take your car to the scrap yard and the scrap yard would pay you for the metal. They don't do that anymore," she said. Source: ktuu.com.
From the American Towman News Bureau
Sgt. Sirko, left, and Spc. Gardiner. Credit - 500th Military Intelligence Brigade.

Soldiers Save Towman's Life

Two soldiers from the 500th Military Intelligence Brigade in Hawaii are being recommended for Soldier's Medals for helping to save the life of a towman who had been hit by a vehicle. Sgt. Timothy Sirko went to pick up Spc. Tyler Gardiner on the morning of Feb. 23 because Gardiner had been rear-ended by another vehicle on Lyman Road and needed a ride. The towman had arrived at the scene. Suddenly, they heard tires squealing, a loud crash and the towman screaming. Gardiner and Sirko rushed to the towman, Valentino Tua, who had been hit by a passing vehicle. Sirko noticed Tua's legs were clearly broken. Dragging him to a patch of grass about 10 feet away, they applied pressure to stop the bleeding and kept him conscious until the ambulance arrived. Source: hawaiiarmyweekly.com.

Joanna Stanley Jones Passes

Joanna Stanley Jones, 55, passed away March 22 at her home. Jones and her husband, Dean, owned and operated Brunswick Towing and Auto Repair in Shallotte, N.C. She is survived by her mother, Jan Stanley, her husband, Dean, two children, Jennifer Faircloth and Bobby Dean Jones of Shallotte, three grandchildren, two brothers and a sister. Source: portcitydaily.com.
TODAY
Soldiers Save Towman’s Life
Heroic actions keep struck towman alive until ambulance arrived
Abandoneds Filling Tow Lot
Tow company says lot is almost at capacity due to abandoned vehicles
Joanna Stanley Jones Passes
North Carolinian tow woman was 55

Non-Profit Status Benefits Riders

Spirit Riders and Ride sponsors will benefit from the Spirit Ride's nonprofit status. The Ride is a project of American Towman Spirit Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. All financial supporters of the Ride, the Riders and the sponsors will be able to take a tax exemption on their contribution.

The Spirit Ride's project will promote public awareness of the Slow Down, Move Over laws and for towers to work safe. The stated general mission of American Towman Spirit Inc. is to promote highway safety among motorists, truckers, and first responders working the roadways, and to promote towing safety procedures.

The Spirit Ride will carry a custom-built and painted ceremonial casket that will be relayed across the country by more than 200 towing companies by car carrier. The casket was built upon a dolly designed to be winched easily upon a carrier bed. The casket will be introduced to the world in Las Vegas during Tow Industry Week on May 11 in a ceremony paying tribute to towers who were killed while working the roadways.
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American Towman TV • Emily Oz Reports • March 29 - April 04, 2017

'Relaxed, Not Taxed'

Inevitably, the personal crosses the professional life. How do you do your job professionally when you have so many things weighing on you; yet, like show business, "the show must go on?"

Finding a sympathetic ear is sometimes easier said than done. Besides, that "ear" is probably dealing with its own problems and can't take on yours at this time.

A friend who is a towman is currently dealing with issues of not only trying to keep his business afloat, but also dealing with some rough personal issues. He recently said to me, "Charlie, I could deal with a gory wreck right now with two or three fatalities better than (the personal problem) I'm going through right now."

Ouch.

I advised him that the most important thing that he could do immediately is to take a step back and find an outlet in a hobby or pastime that gives him pleasure. This will allow him to take a step back from the problems at hand. The mind functions best when it is "relaxed, not taxed;" clarity oftentimes surfaces.

For those who believe, prayer doesn't hurt either.

What are some of your coping methods? Send some suggestions to me at cduke@towman.com.
--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 www.TheTowAcademy.com. Want to learn more email him direct at don@thetowacademy.com.
Editor: Charles Duke
Managing Editor: Brendan Dooley
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JerrDanAlumXLP a17e9Worldwide Equipment Sales is Jerr-Dan's number one dealer distributor group, offering of new and used tow trucks, self-loaders, wreckers, flat beds, car carriers and equipment trailers. They also offer a full line of towing equipment, and serve California, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Central United States and beyond. See what offerings Worldwide has at the American Towman Show Place taking place at the South Point Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev. May 10-12, 2017.

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