The Week's Features
Pulling a tractor from a creek from a compromised bridge isn’t easy
Proclamation issued as Spirit Ride rolls through Minnesota, Iowa
Fleet makeover attracts customers—and new employees
Experian report shows 60-day delinquencies remain flat
Wedge eliminates the need for extra tape or sleeves
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Las Vegas, NV.
May 9-11, 2018
Tow Expo Dallas
Dallas, TX.
August 16-18, 2018
AT Exposition
Baltimore, MD.
Nov. 16-18, 2018
Don't Miss It!
The AAA-Texas lockout session provides foundational training on lockout basics with a focus on damage prevention. Topics include; basic lockout guidelines, discussion of locking mechanisms, safety around airbags and key lockout techniques. The session will conclude with Q & A. The seminar will take place during Tow Expo-Dallas, August 16-18 at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. Register online today!
Turnout for ceremonies and processions strong in Colorado, Aurora to Colorado Springs
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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in Towing

Changes to Iowa's Law, July 1

On Monday, the Iowa State Patrol, Pottawattamie County Sheriff's Office, Council Bluffs Police and the Iowa Department of Transportation collaborated on a special enforcement of the Move Over law. Fifty-three drivers received $200 tickets for not following the law. Starting July 1, drivers must move over or at least drive under the posted speed limit for all vehicles with emergency lights activated. Tony Carr with Arrow Towing said he believes it should be common courtesy. "Just give them that space," said Carr. Source:
From the American Towman News Bureau

Simulation Training Highlights Towing

Several emergency workers in Missouri participated in a mock crash scene at Joplin's fire and police training facility. The experience was important for towman Shawn Meister, who has seen the bad and the ugly. "Our main corridor is (Interstate) 44 and it's kind of a Bermuda Triangle of wrecks," said Meister with M&M Wrecker. Instead of saying a tow truck is needed, emergency responders were reminded about the importance of telling towmen what type of lift is required before that driver arrives on scene. Meister said this type of intercommunication practice needs to be ongoing. "There are newer vehicles, there are heavier loads on the highways, different types of vehicles and trucks. In our area, there's just more traffic," said Meister. Source:

Spirit Ride Stops in Nebraska

Thursday, the Spirit Ride stopped in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. "It's (the) United States towing community coming together to make everybody aware of what's going on out there and to move over and give us room to work," said William Shammel, owner of Baas Towing of Hemingford. Nebraska's Move Over law went into effect in 2009. "It's come to where you used to be out there by yourself by your truck and now you have to have a second person or second unit," said Shammel. Source:
Simulation Training Highlights Towing
First responders urged to tell towmen more about type of scene
Changes to Iowa's Law, July 1
Iowa’s motorists will have to obey posted Move Over law speed limits
Spirit Ride Stops in Nebraska
“It’s (the) United States towing community coming together”

TDLR Workshop at Tow Expo-Dallas

A special two-hour workshop presented by the Texas Department of Licensing and Registration will convene August 17 at Tow Expo-Dallas at the Gaylord Texan Hotel & Resort in Grapevine, Texas.

Towmen are invited to join the TDLR towing team in covering and discussing recent updates to the notification requirements sent by vehicle storage facilities. The team will also answer any questions members of the industry may have. Learn how to come into, and stay in compliance with Texas towing/vehicle storage facility requirements.

Register online today for Tow Expo-Dallas at
Spirit Ride Update: Minnesota Declares June 13 Roadside Safety Day
• June 11 - June 18, 2018

Just Overgrown Pussycats

Towmen just have huge hearts. Yeah, I know: a lot of you try to maintain that rough, tough and gruff demeanor ... but when you dig deep, y'all are just overgrown pussycats, always willing to help those in need.

Where is this going?

Well, I was moved this week by the story of San Antonio towman Armando Colunga, who delivered pizzas to more than 50 starving undocumented immigrants found in the back of a semitrailer without food. He had heard the story on his local news, and it moved him to action

Personal politics aside, we're all human—and sometimes there's a tendency to forget that.

But is seems the towman never does, always willing to lend a helping hand.

That's why he's in the business he's in.

--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
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Steck's I-Bolt: [b]Universal Tow Eye

iBolt product-shot 6dd56Steck Manufacturing's I-Bolt: Universal Tow Eye is designed to allow towers, body shop technicians, and mechanics to safely load disabled foreign and some domestic vehicles on roll back wreckers and frame racks, without causing damage. The I-Bolt is designed to fit threaded holes having diameters of ½" up to 1 ¼". Its design provides a universal hook up solution for the 200+ vehicles identified in the Towing and Service Manual from AAA. See this and other offerings from Steck Mfg. at Tow Expo-Dallas, August 16-18, at the Gaylord Texan Convention Center and Resort in Grapevine, Texas.
By Don Lomax
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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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