American Towman Magazine - January 2022

Page 48

Tech Highlights

Frame forks are painted bright yellow so they can be quickly spotted when positioned under a heavy-duty chassis.

strength synthetic rope, rather than wire rope. Why the change? “Driver safety, to avoid a slingshot effect,” Adrien says. “If it breaks, it just falls down.” He also points out there’s reduced wear and tear on the operator, since synthetic rope is not as heavy when dragging it out 200 feet or more for a recovery. And it doesn’t develop any burrs like wire rope can, causing injuries. Elite’s conscientious approach applies to not only its equipment, but also customer service. Before joining the company Adrien had several years of experience in the restaurant business, plus managing “turnaround work” for repair of facility equipment at construction plants. This background was invaluable when he joined Elite back in 2006 as a light-duty driver, even though he had little knowledge of the towing industry. Elite’s founder and owner Robert Darschied showed him the ropes (literally), along with some handson training. Adrien worked his way up by attending several towing schools as well. Most of the training he and his other operators attend is the American Towing and Recovery Institute by Wes Wilburn. Adrien says he does a great job with both hands-on and classroom training. Looking back on his many years as a tower has helped him develop in 48 • January 2022 |

other ways. “I got my Class A CDL in 2008 and started to venture into the heavy-duty side of things,” he recalls. “After finally learning the business, I decided that I wanted to grow the business. I saw a need for a professional towing service in my area and one that was dedicated to customer service.” Robert, who’s now retired, preferred to let his recovery work do the talking for him, while Adrien says he’s more of a people person, and provides personal attention and followup with his customers. “I take pride in what we do,” he points out. “I teach the office staff how to answer phones, and transfer that out to the field as

Chassis: 2022 Peterbilt 389 Wrecker body: NRC CSR50 Rotator, 50 ton Engine: Cummins X15 with 18-speed transmission Equipment: Jerr-Dan 50-ton boom and wheel lift Built by: Toolbox layout and equipment by Elite Service Recovery & Towing well.” Besides keeping Elite’s equipment clean and presentable (immaculate, actually), he checks in with customers and takes extra steps to be both efficient and professional in his presentation. Today, Adrien’s wife Megan (Robert’s daughter) works alongside him as vice president of Elite. She also worked her way up, starting out as the company’s office manager. They met back in high school, and got married in 2006, and now are raising three kids. So the family that tows together, stays together.

Peterbilt’s cab is well appointed for both function and driver comfort, with a touch-screen monitor for phone calls, navigation, and several other options. A multitude of gauges display a wide range of engine and other mechanical readouts.