American Towman Magazine - June 2022 - Corrected

Page 24

For a lowered suspension, make sure your rig is equipped with extra ramps, preferably carpeted or wrapped to indicate a conscientious approach to handling an expensive vehicle.

In a nutshell, here are several practices to help gain that “Wow Factor.” Especially true to purist collectors and “concours fanatics”, J-Hook marks are sure to lower a vehicle’s score. While no two towers employ the same technique, specialty-car techniques should consist of: • Soft-Straps that won’t leave “chink marks” in control arms—no J-Hooks, no chains • Soft, eight-point tie-down, always • Avoid (bumper-pull) screw-in eyelets • Preventive ramping averts front/rear scrapes • For rollaway prevention, chock tires • Where needed, insert 48-inch or 60-inch 2x4s (preferably carpeted) to avoid rub, scratches or chain slap • When loading, turn the cable’s hook point down in order to avoid rubbing holes in the engine’s oil pan. (But be wary of snagging the end of the carrier’s deck.) • When in transport position, loosen the winch-line slightly to ease horizontal stretch to the vehicle • A kid’s pool-noodle or black foam pipe insulation, hung on the winch-line, prevents cable slap • Insert 4x4 rolled carpet squares 24 • June 2022 | Towman.com

where needed • Pad under the carrier’s tailboard to prevent pavement surface damages When moving about a vehicle’s exterior, don’t put hands on the paint. When closing doors; use a single, “pointed-finger” in the corner of the door glass. Wipe with a (clean) microfiber cloth as you go. Even if a car is some beat-up jalopy, go out of your way to keep surfaces spotless—especially when owners are watching. These tiny gestures create psychological reassurance and goodwill to stroke your customer’s ego. Work methodically, letting customers see how careful and fastidious you are. In doing so, you provide the visual experience dubbed the “the three Cs”: Competent, Calculated, and Caring.

CAUTIONS ABOUND

Since you don’t know a vehicle’s mechanical history, never try to start it. By not knowing past or present mechanical problems, starting a specialty vehicle may result in a carburetor backfire or electrical fire which could lead to total destruction. You’re there to transport it—not fix it! The calltaker should have pre-determined the reason for transport; that is, mechanical, load for show, sale transfers, etc.

While it’s not recommended to drive or coast specialty vehicles to accessible locations, use caution when driving flatbed carriers on ornamental concrete for fear of dripping oil, scratching pavement surfaces, or breaking through concrete. Be sure to position padding under the carrier’s tailboard to prevent surface scratches setting the carrier’s deck. Here are some examples that illustrate the points made above: Scenario One: An operator prepared to transport a vintage, ’47 Rolls Royce Silver Wraith. But it was a barn-find that hadn’t been driven for decades. The vehicle’s owner passed away and the son was on-scene. The owner’s son and the tower didn’t know that without its engine running, the brakes wouldn’t work. As the tower coasted the Rolls some 300 feet, it couldn’t be stopped, and crashed into the compound’s brick wall. Some $20,000 later, the operator was fired and the company lost a huge specialty account. Especially true with a “barn find” like this Rolls, when transporting a vehicle that is in some stage of restoration or lengthy storage, remove the car cover, and be sure engine-bay components, disconnected parts, bell-housings, transmissions, driveshafts and body-parts are all secured or removed.