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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingFebruary 22 - February 28, 2017

RoadOne Towman Killed Roadside

A towman for RoadOne Towing was struck and killed in a hit-and-run in San Diego, Calif. He was killed by a driver suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, according to the California Highway Patrol. The towman stopped to help a disabled trash truck on the shoulder during the evening rush hour when he was fatally hit. The driver suspected in the hit-and-run was stopped by an off-duty officer a short time later and taken into custody. Source:
From the American Towman News Bureau
Bryan Caudill. Photo credit:

Potholes Keep Towmen Busy

Towers have been busy dealing with cars busted by potholes in Spokane, Wash. "They're about two feet deep and some of them are deeper," said Bryan Caudill of Frank's Towing. And they sure are keeping he and his other drivers busy. "We've been getting tons of calls with cars with flat tires, broken ball joints, broken tie rods; usually when you get one that hits a pothole it's usually two tires and not just one," he said. During heavy snow fall, Frank's and Inland Towing drivers respond to upwards of 30 calls per day. Caudill says this winter has been a challenge. " We've probably done a couple hundred already," he said. Source:

Diesel Pricing Flat

Diesel prices in the week ending February 20 continued the modest pricing changes seen so far this year. Following a seven-tenths of a cent increase, the U.S. average price for a gallon of on-highway diesel is now $2.572. Prices have remained within a 3-cent window throughout the year. The nation's most expensive diesel can be found in California at $2.966 per gallon, while the cheapest fuel can be found in the Gulf Coast at $2.433 per gallon. Source:
Potholes Keep Towmen Busy
One tower says he’s responded to “a couple hundred” this winter
RoadOne Towman Killed Roadside
Was assisting disabled truck when struck during evening rush
Diesel Pricing Flat
Highest prices found in California, lowest are in Gulf Coast region

Towman Fights [b]'Felon' Ban

Pulaski County (Ark.) Circuit Judge Chris Piazza urged a tower and Arkansas State Police to try to work out their differences on how the agency chooses wrecker services, while he decides over the next month whether to throw out the driver's lawsuit against the agency.

At issue is the legality of the state police practice of refusing to use wrecker drivers who have felony convictions.

The agency maintains that the prohibition is necessary to ensure the public's confidence in towers that troopers call to assist them.

Piazza questioned whether state police have imposed a regulation on wrecker drivers that's beyond what the law allows.

Police attorney Mary Claire McClaurin told the judge that state police are entitled to set standards for towers that troopers call to wreck sites.

She said the lawsuit should be thrown out because the police are protected by sovereign immunity.

Attorney Bob Newcomb, representing Steven James Gafner of Steve's Auto Center of Conway, said his client is entitled to sue because he's been harmed by the agency's rule.

Gafner sued the state police in September after the agency refused to put him on its rotation list for Faulkner County.

Gafner is asking the judge to order the state police to end the felon ban, to put Gafner on the rotation and to develop a procedure for considering driver applications on a case-by-case basis.

The prohibition of all felons, no matter how long ago they were convicted, violates Gafner's constitutional right to due process and contradicts Arkansas' policy on reforming felons, Newcomb said.

Steve's Auto meets all of the requirements set by the state Towing and Recovery Board, which regulates the industry.

Gafner, 47, has been a towman for 20 years and has worked for other police departments during that time, Newcomb said. His parole ended in 2005, the attorney said.

Powerbilt 50 Ton Integrated Wrecker
American Towman TV • Emily Oz Reports • February 22 - February 28, 2017

Vision: The Seed [b]of Creativity

Every aspect of this industry got started with a common trait: vision.

Someone had a vision to build the first tow truck. Someone realized that all jobs weren't the same and had the vision to build other versions of tow trucks, such as carriers and rotators.

Some had a vision to join towmen together to share and discuss common interests, thus organizations and associations were born.

Others wanted to do this line of work, but they needed to be taught how—someone had the vision to train future towers and training programs were created.

As it grew bigger and the need for information of and about the industry came to pass, some had the vision to create media such as magazines and, later, online publications.

Vision was on-hand when the need was felt to bring the entire industry together through education and a centralized marketplace—thus tow shows and expositions were born.

No matter the creation, it all blooms from a seed of vision.

What vision do you have? It might just be the seed you need to plant to cultivate something bigger and better in this world.
--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
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


Unknown cc4f6WreckMaster Inc. has trained over 30,000 individuals, the largest training organization in the world. They constructed an educational system to work in the interest of the public and vehicle Incident Management. WreckMaster's training consists of the newest methods of quick clearance and single lane recoveries, and has built a solid reputation as the towing industry's seal of excellence since 1991. Stop by their booth 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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