The Week's Features
Three body manufacturers will give live demos in Las Vegas
Recovering over 50,000-lbs. from a 70-percent grade driveway
Markets Class 8 chassis in U.S. for first time
Tow company says contract was arbitrarily cancelled
SDR Towing has interesting design of decals on trucks
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May 9-11, 2018
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August 16-18, 2018
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In his seminar, “Using Technology to Reduce Liability,” Daniel Young of U.S. Fleet Tracking will illustrate how problems can be avoided with the proper technology. He will show what to look for in a vendor as it relates to GPS tracking and dash cams, reviewing the pros and cons of each and how proper research can help reduce liability and cost. This informative Management Conference seminar will occur during Tow Industry Week, May 9-12 at the South Point Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Register today!
Spirit stops at AAA headquarters and then relays to West Palm Beach as it Rides through Florida
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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingApril 18 - April 24, 2018

Jerr-Dan Hires Vargas Huerta

Jerr-Dan hired Francisco Javier Vargas Huerta as district sales manager for the Latin America region. Vargas Huerta, who has 30 years' experience in business and sales, will lead Jerr-Dan sales and aftermarket development initiatives for the region in his new role. His responsibilities will include assisting dealers with business management to assure market growth and customer satisfaction. "We are excited to welcome a professional of Vargas Huerta's caliber to the Jerr-Dan family," said Richard del Campo, Jerr-Dan VP/GM. Source:
From the American Towman News Bureau
Image - Kelsey Reichenberg,

Browder's Towing Breaks Ground

Browder's Towing and Service Center, a longstanding family business in Dinwiddie, Virginia, broke ground Thursday afternoon on a new facility that will provide additional space for its growing business. The new building will cover approximately 12,000-sq.-ft. of an 8-acre site, and will serve as headquarters for the 43-year-old company. "This business began with one wrecker and one employee. We now have 11 flatbeds, two medium-duty wreckers, one heavy-duty wrecker, two service vehicles and 17 employees," said Barbara Browder, VP. She added that the business "feels favored" as someday the Browders will be able to retire and leave a legacy for their children and grandchildren. Source:

Official Indicted in Corruption Probe

A former top Lake County (Indiana) Sheriff's Department official has been indicted for lying to the FBI during a public corruption investigation that led to the conviction of former Sheriff John Buncich. Former Deputy Chief Dan Murchek appeared Friday in U.S. District Court. His attorney said he signed a plea agreement and is expected to plead guilty. Murchek had planned to run for Lake County Sheriff, but authorities say he was recorded soliciting illegal campaign contributions from tow truck operators, including one who was an FBI informant. Source:
Browder's Towing Breaks Ground
New 12,000-sq.-ft. building will become headquarters
Jerr-Dan Hires Vargas Huerta
New district sales manager hired for the Latin America region
Official Indicted in Corruption Probe
Former deputy solicited illegal contributions from towers

Towmen Just Want to 'Get Back Home'

Owner-operators from several area towing companies plus representatives from businesses and government agencies whose personnel work on busy roadways and highways gathered in the parking lot of Excel Body Works in Jacksonville, North Carolina, on April 13 for the Spirit Ride ceremony.

Derek Smith came with an entourage from his family-owned business Smith's Auto Service.

"I was riding in a wrecker since I can remember," Smith said. "I wish people would pay more attention out on the road. We're just out there trying to help people get home safely and all we want to do is get back home, too."

Smith said working a traffic wreck is much safer than being alone on the side of the road with a disabled motorist.

"When you're at a wreck, you have all the law enforcement around with their blue lights on and people generally stop or slow down. When you're out by yourself with a stranded driver they don't pay you much attention," Smith said.

The Spirit Ride continues on its journey this week with one stop in South Carolina and rolls on to sunny Florida after that. Ceremonies will take place this week at: Towing Recovery Association of South Carolina (Aiken, South Carolina) and John's Towing (St. Augustine, Florida), April 18; AAA (Orlando), April 19; Sheehan's Towing (West Palm Beach) and Zuccala Wrecker Service (Boynton Beach), April 20; Emerald Transportation Corp. (Pompano Beach), April 21; and G&C Automotive & Towing (Bonita Springs) and J&W Towing (Lehigh Acres), April 24.

To see the complete 2018 Spirit Ride schedule, go to

Sources:; AT Staff.
Spirit Ride Update:
2018 Relay Begins in North Carolina
• April 18 - April 24, 2018

Be Aware. [b]Be Astute.

Seriously, how much do towmen look after their health? I'm not just talking about annual visits to the doctor for a yearly physical or a visit to take care of a sustained injury. I'm talking about health-related issues brought on by prolonged exposure and stress.

I bring this up because Tow Industry Week in Las Vegas will be addressing the latter in its Health, Safety and Wellness Conference. Three seminars dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, driver intoxication and exposure to Fentanyl and blood-borne pathogens will be the topics of discussion.

There will also be a two-hour certification course, "Reasonable Suspicion," that is designed to provide a safe, drug-free workplace for all tow business owners. That will cover the indicators of probable alcohol misuse and use of controlled substances. American Alliance Drug Testing of Upland, California, will conduct the course.

There are a lot of risks out there on the road. Some you see, such as semis barreling down the road at 80-plus miles per hour. Others are more passive and manifest themselves in ways that sneak up on you.

Be aware. The Health, Safety and Wellness Conference will assist you in being more astute. More information on the Conference and the "Reasonable Suspicion" course is available at

--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
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Wrecks + Recovery Editor: Jim "Buck" Sorrenti
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Tow Illustrated Editor: George L. Nitti

Dynamic's 755 Series

755 New 3bd9bDynamic's 755 Series offers a very capable 5,500-lbs. fully extended self-loading wheel lift that can be outfitted with frame forks and is tow rated at 8,000 lbs. The 755 is also equipped with a 60" one-piece steel body and a self-centering cross bar. With 8,000-lbs. planetary winches, it comes with a standard 4 year warranty. Come see all that Dynamic has to offer at the American Towman ShowPlace, May 9-11 at the South Point Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
By Don Lomax
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My business makes most of its money from:
law enforcement/gov’t contract towing
third-party dispatch/motor club towing
recovery and transport towing
private property towing
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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.
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