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2018 Kenworth W-900 equipped with a Jerr-Dan 50/60 60-ton rotator and a 2018 Kenworth T-880 equipped with a NRC 5065 CSR 65-ton sliding rotator were used in this recovery.


ver get that sinking feeling? Gass Automotive sure did back on July 7, 2019 when the firm was called out at 4:30 pm to recover a tractor-trailer on Pelican Island in Galveston, Texas. Upon arrival the recovery team came upon a massive bow thruster on a trailer stuck in a muddy ditch.

For those unfamiliar with nautical terms, a bow thruster is a propulsion device located under the front of a ship that provides lateral (port and starboard) thrust, making the vessel more maneuverable. Nowadays ships have both bow and stern thrusters, which makes them independent of the tugboats for maneuvering in the port limits (if the port regulation does not make it compulsory to use tugboats). So what would it take to wrestle this huge item out of the mud? “We received a call for two 50ton wreckers,” recalled Tommy Gass, owner of Gass Automotive. “The truck and trailer had become stuck as the road gave out due to the location of the scene being 200 yards from Galveston Bay and the tide being high.” Tommy Gass responded to the scene with operators Eric Dierdorff, Rick Morris, Charlie Ruhl, Rockie Ziegler, Richard Hogue, John “Stranger” Dietz, Charlie Ruhl, Arnaldo Leija, Uriah Westmoreland and Austin Morris. This large crew of operators brought their 2018 Kenworth W-900 equipped with a JerrDan 50/60 60-ton rotator, a 2018 Kenworth T-880 equipped with Work the non-traffic side - Stay Safe! | November 2021 • 37