American Towman Magazine - November 2022

Page 1

AMERICAN TOWMAN EXPOSITION XXXIII NOV. 17–19, EXHIBITORS PAGE 40

The Road Calls

YOU’RE

HIRED! FINDING GOOD OPERATORS

Water

WRECK SALVAGING A SEAPLANE

ROADSIDE

SAFETY: LOAD IT OR MOVE IT?

COUNT’S KUSTOMS

CREATING A CLASSY CARRIER

TowIndustryWeek.com

NOVEMBER 2022 AmericanTowman.com

$10






Contents

Cover Feature

Volume 46 Issue 11

November 36

Water Wreck Salvaging a Seaplane by George L. Nitti

This complicated recovery required towing on both the water and land, trying to minimize further damage to the seaplane, and keep it balanced during the transport from a bridge. Photo courtesy of Milstead Automotive

2022 Departments 7

The Walkaround

10

News Share

12

Road Tools

13

Zoom In

14

Safety

20

Tow Boss

14

24

An American Towman

34

Ad Index

42

Classic Wrecker

54

Tow Manager

Load it or Move it?

60

Towman’s Market

20

62

Case Closed

64

My Baby

66

Lowdown

74

Adventures of A.T.

Features Roadside Safety: by Randall Resch

You’re Hired! Finding Good Towmen by Steve Mitchell

64

Count’s Kustoms

Creating a Classy Carrier by Steve Temple

6 • November 2022 | Towman.com

First on the scene since 1977



The Walkaround Planning Ahead The American Towman Exposition in Baltimore is right around the corner, November 16-18. Keep in mind that this year the exhibit hall will be open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday which leaves a wideopen Sunday for travel back home! Incidentally this same week is the Federal HighDennie Ortiz way Administration’s annual National Crash RePublisher sponder Week. This confluence presents the perfect occasion to come together in Baltimore and to promote the importance of safe and quick clearance, as well the Slow Down Move Over laws. Attending the AT Expo can reap you and your company many rewards. The better you plan your time during the show, the more you may achieve. For instance, recently I met a tower, Ronald Rousseau, from South Dakota at the AT ShowPlace Las Vegas who had a definite agenda. He said his goal at the show was to improve his business. Period. Ron had the entire list of exhibitors and was systematically marking off those that he had planned to see, as well as checking a secondary list of new suppliers with whom he wanted to introduce himself to learn about these new products. The tool Ron had in his hands was the Expo Info Program— a valuable resource to use onsite. It includes the event and conference schedule as well as a map of the exhibit floor with a full list of exhibitors, so you know exactly where to go to find who you are looking for. Not only had Ron come to meet with suppliers, he attended several seminars that proved to be extremely enlightening, giving him specific ideas and actionable items on how to improve his business. Then in his “free time” he took part in the many hospitality events that gave him a chance to gather with his fellow towers, glean insight and education the old fashioned way—by networking. This man had a strategy and he executed it with precision. Ron made the most of his tow show experience. Learn from Ron, make a big impact on your business at the AT Expo and join us for a few days that can help your business and the towing industry excel!

Importance of Show Followup Steve Temple Editor

While Dennie highlights the value of planning ahead for the American Towman Exposition, I have an additional recommendation. Having attended all sorts of automotive events over the years, I’ve learned one key lesson: be sure to followup on any contacts you make. While the show itself can be an exciting time, make the most of it in the aftermath. So many times I’ve asked a company or individual to send me info and photos of their products or vehicles, but I never hear anything further. So whether you’re a towman with an awesome truck for a My Baby or Classic Wrecker feature, or a company with products of interest to the towing industry, don’t forget to followup. We’d really like to hear back from you!

8 • November 2022 | Towman.com

Dennie Ortiz Steve Calitri Steve Temple Randall Resch Terry Abejuela David Kolman John Borowski Mark Lacek Brian Riker George Nitti Henri “Doc” Calitri

President Editor-In-Chief Editor Operations Editor Field Editor, West Chassis Editor Safety Editor Repo Run Editor Contributing Editor Contributing Editor Contributing Editor

Editorial Board Tommy Anderson Roy Carlson Debbie Collins Belinda Harris Bill Johnson Kurt Wilson

Dallas, Texas Saint Paul, Minn. Las Vegas, Nev. Greensboro, N.C. South Hadley, Mass. Creve Coeur, Ill.

American Towman Staff Art Director Advertising Sales Mgr. Senior Account Exec. Customer Service Subscription Manager Regional Advertising Sales iMarketing Manager ATTV Producer

Anne Ruzsilla Dennie Ortiz Ellen Rosengart Henri Calitri Patrice Gesner Peggy Calabrese Ryan Oser Emily Oz

American Towman Media Headquarters 2 Overlook Drive, Suite 5, Warwick, NY 10990 800-732-3869 or 845-986-4546

E-Mail: President Editor-In-Chief Editor Subscriptions AT’S Digital Edition AT’S Website AT’S Weekly ATTV

dortiz@towman.com scalitri@towman.com stemple@towman.com patrice@towman.com itowman.com americantowman.com towindustryweek.com americantowmantv.com

Copyright ©2022 American Towman Magazine is published 12 times a year by American Towman Media, Inc.

Subscription: Single Copy: $10 1 yr: $60 – 2 yrs: $110 International: $75 & $135

All material published through American Towman Media (AT), to include American Towman Magazine, iTowman.com and TowIndustryWeek.com, including advertisements, editorials, articles and all other content is published in good faith. However, AT accepts no liability for any errors or omissions, and does not endorse any companies, products or services that appear. AT does not test or review products submitted for inclusion in its publications. AT does not accept responsibility for the accuracy of content, warranties or claims made or implied by its advertisers. The views expressed are the authors’ alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of AT. The act of mailing or delivering a letter, email or article to AT shall constitute permission to publish that letter or article or any portion thereof. AT reserves the right to edit any and all material submitted. No part of the magazine or websites may be reproduced without prior written consent of AT. AT reserves the right to not publish advertisements that disparage competitors or call into question the integrity of a competitors product or service.



News Share Maryland Updates ‘Move Over’ Law A Maryland bill, which went into effect October 8, has added an update to its “Move Over” Law, requiring motorists to make a lane change when approaching all vehicles stopped on the side of roadways displaying hazard lights, flares or other caution signals, not just first responders and tow trucks. The original Move Over law that passed in 2010 only provided protection for emergency responders, law enforcement personnel, and CHART trucks who provide motorists roadside assistance. In 2014, the law was updated to include tow truck drivers as well. The most recent law is aimed at protecting law enforcement, emergency responders, and any motorist that needs to stop near travel lanes if they experience a roadside emergency. In recognition of the expansion, Governor Larry Hogan declared the month of October as Move Over Awareness Month. Source: mymcmedia.org kilgorenewsherald.com

GM Financial to Pay 3.5 Million for Illegal Repossessions GM Financial, GM’s finance arm, has agreed to pay $3.5 million to settle allegations that it breached U.S. federal law in violating the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act by illegally repossessing 71 vehicles and mishandling over 1,000 vehicle lease termination requests. GM Financial will pay $3.5 million to the affected servicemembers and a $65,480 civil penalty to the government. In addition, $10,000 will be paid directly to each of the 71 servicemembers who had their vehicles unlawfully repossessed. The department alleges that GM Financial has improperly denied lease termination requests, charged illegitimate early termination fees, and failed to provide timely refunds of lease amounts since 2015. Source: gmauthority.com

International Towing

Museum Honors Towers

On October 7 to 9, during Museum Weekend, the International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame & Museum in Chattanooga, Tennessee, honored towers throughout the industry, notably inducting 10 new members into its Hall of Fame and honoring 27 fallen tow operators from around the world. “This year’s inductees embody the museum’s international founding,” said Bill Gratzianna, president of the Chattanooga-based organization that represents the towing and recovery community. “We are honored to have inductees from four continents.” Individuals who were recognized for making substantial contributions to the towing and recovery industry and honored into the Hall of Fame: • • • • • • • • • •

10 • November 2022 | Towman.com

Bruce Davis, Davis Towing & Recovery Inc., Rushville, IN Henry Fenimore, B&F Towing Inc., Bear, DE Marci Gratzianna, O’Hare Towing Service, Downers Grove, IL

Luc Le Baron, Le Baron et Fils, Brunoy, France Sadaaki Nakamura, Jyonan Holding Corp., Koufu-shi, Yamanashi, Japan

Over 300 towing professionals have entered the Hall of Fame to date. In addition to honoring members of the tow community, 27 fallen tow operators from around the world were memorialized and added to the Wall of the Fallen in the museum’s 15th annual unveiling ceremony. In attendance were family and friends who stood before a large bronze statue of a driver lifting a mother and child from a nearly submerged car. The fallen memorialized included: Kelvin Alonzo Barr, Ross David Booker, Sharon Hilton Bullard, James Milton Creel, Spencer M. Hughes, Henry Alan Lichtwald, Emory G. Loggins III, Joseph Masterson, Irael M. Martinez, Gerry Dean McGee, David Meyer, Joseph L. Meyer, Raymond Lewis Mitchell, Christopher S. Moore, Dwain Monette Naftal, Jonathan R. Neesmith, Seth William Newton, Jak Gloria Pereira, Corey A. Reynolds, Kelvin Carlos Rodriguez, Christopher M. Russell, Patrick Ralph Sanford, Serafino “Finn” Savaglio, Phillip J.R. Smith, Jose A. Tirado, Robert A. Thornton, Donald E. Thyng.

Antonio Re, Nationwide Towing & Transport Pty. Ltd., Glen Iris, Victoria, Australia Charles Schmidt, C. Schmidt & Sons Inc., Roslyn, NY

Robert Van Lingen, Van Lingen Towing Inc., Torrance, CA Harumatsu Wada, Miller Japan Co. Ltd., Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan

Sherry White, Walt’s Mission Pass Towing, Fremont, CA

Ross Booker was honored and memorialized on the Wall of the Fallen at the International Tow Museum in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Ross was one of 27 tow operators from around the world added to the wall in 2022.


News Share

Pennsylvania Borough

Mandates Rotation System

In Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, the borough adopted an ordinance regulating the operations of tow companies. Under the ordinance, a rotational system will be in place that ensures all tow companies in the borough receive opportunities for assignments. The ordinance states that, “No person shall engage in towing from a scene of an accident or with respect to a disabled vehicle that is either impeding traffic or on the shoulder of a limited access highway” unless that person has been selected through the rotational system. The council, through this action, wants to eliminate any one company from getting all the business. The borough will compile a list of approved, licensed towing companies for the rotational list. To be included on the list, a towing company must submit an application on a form required by Shenandoah. The rotational list will be determined and maintained by the borough and the Shenandoah Police Department, with all assignments, “…made on an alternating basis and in accordance

The borough of Shenandoah added an ordinance regulating tow companies to a more equitable rotation system and accountability. with the level of service required for the transport,” according to the ordinance. In addition to the rotational list, the ordinance lays down a series of parameters designed to provide safeguards and controls for towing companies. “Such safeguards include identifying (on the application form) the company name, the name of the owners of the company, the owner’s date of birth, towing operator’s license of all persons operating tow trucks within the borough, a fee schedule of towing costs and proof of insurance,” noted borough solicitor James P. Amato. Source: yahoo.com

Connecticut Tow Companies Report Thefts Jay Pitchell, owner of Jay’s Auto Sales and Repair of Manchester, Connecticut, said that six tow trucks have been stolen in the area over a period of three to four weeks, which includes his white and yellow flatbed. A couple of suspects were caught on camera pulling into his lot in an alleged stolen vehicle, and then swapped it out for a tow truck parked in the lot. Pitchell noted the impact on his business: “The trucks make anywhere between $700 to $1500 a day, so it hurts business that way. It also hurts business if I don’t get my truck back. It’s over $90,000 to replace.” He speculates that these stolen tow trucks could be shipped out of country or are being used to steal other cars.

Work the non-traffic side - Stay Safe!

Jay’s Automotive and Repair reported a stolen tow truck, the sixth one claimed in the area over the last few weeks. Charlie’s Towing, also of Manchester, had a tow truck stolen, but it was recovered the following morning thanks to a GPS system wired into the truck. “We learned some lessons,” said Pitchell, “and changes will be made like hardwiring a GPS with cameras.” Source: youtube.com

New Hampshire Dogged by Car Parts Shortages New Hampshire vehicle owners and mechanics expressed frustration over the continuing shortage of automotive parts, which creates long wait times for repairs. “There’s parts delays on everything as far as brakes, exhaust, tires,” said John Lightbown, service manager for Toyota of Portsmouth. “Lightbulbs are easy to get, but the stuff we really need to get people out on the road is very difficult to get right now.” Key factors driving shortages are supply-chain issues brought on by the pandemic, factories shutting down, backed-up ports and transportation, and staffing issues. Alan Amici of the Center for Automotive Research notes “incremental improvement” yet sees continued shortages not just in semiconductors, but metal-stamped components and a whole variety of parts that feed the auto industry. Source: wmur.com

Repossession Ends in Death A tow truck driver shot and killed a man while his car was being repossessed on Sept. 21, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, The driver, whose name was not released, was trying to repossess a Chevy Malibu when confronted by the victim, 38-year-old Clarence King. According to reports, an altercation ensued between the victim and the shooter. A witness, who lives in the neighborhood, told a local news station that it “sounded like four shots. The tow truck driver was just standing over the body on the phone. He looked up, started looking around, started seeing multiple people coming up, and that’s when he started jumping up and down saying, ‘I think I just killed a man,’” another witness told local news station WSVN. Police are working with the Broward County State Attorney’s Office to determine whether charges will be filed against the tow truck driver. Source: patch.com

AmericanTowman.com | November 2022 • 11


Road Tools Galvanic Action Miller Industries Towing Equipment Inc. now offers a galvanized deck option for 12-Series and 16-Series steel car carriers. This new option provides lasting durability and corrosion resistance for the bed. When paired with the existing options for a galvanized subframe and pylon, it makes for a fully galvanized solution available for your next 12,000 lb. or 16,000 lb. rated car carrier. Th galvanized deck option is available for all new orders and existing orders that have not been scheduled for production. A galvanized carrier deck increases the overall weight of the unit so each one also receives heavier-duty main rails, side rails, and crossmember supports for added stability and

long life. Miller Industries already offers galvanized deck options for the company’s line of carriers ranging from 20,000 to 40,000 lbs. capacity. Adding the galvanized deck

option to the 12,000 lb. and 16,000 lb. carrier capacities completes Miller Industries offerings for weather-resistant galvanized decks across the entire lineup.

millerind.com

Phone Home

An ideal solution for small- and medium-sized businesses, this Affordable GPS Tracking system includes economical walkie-talkie style handsets, iOS, Android apps, and PC dispatch software. All of which provides for device location tracking, as well as light PC dispatch client software. Exclusive and only available from Peak PTT, the unit is a fully featured backend GPS tracking portal that provides 60-second position updates on K2 devices. From this portal, you can set an unlimited number of geo-fences, as well as receive SMS/Email alerts, and perform a host of other activities.

affordablegpstracking.com

Easy Access Looking for a complete yet compact lockout kit? Access Tools has created the innovative Master Technician Car Opening Set (#MTCOS). It’s designed to take up only half the space of a traditional set of lockout tools, yet without sacrificing the capability to perform any kind of car opening. This nine-piece kit includes the most important tools shops typically need to quickly open locked-out vehicles without any damage. These include the Glassman Wedge for frameless window vehicles. And the combination of the One Hand Jack tool and Super Air Wedge ensure you will never need to break the window glass again in an emergency situation. The Button Master tool allows for the opening of vehicles that use vertical lock buttons within seconds, causing zero damage to the vehicle and no possibility of injury to those inside the vehicle. With these tools in hand, plus the also included Snap-N-Lock Long Reach, no car will stay locked for long. Accompanying this set is a Quick Long Reach Manual and Quick Car Opening DVD, plus an Access Smart Light 2 for low-light openings, and a carrying case for easy storage.

CarOpeningTools.com

12 • November 2022 | Towman.com


Zoom In

Command Decision

on a Digital Message Board

Tow operators know all too well that distracted drivers are a serious hazard in your line of work, and law enforcement may not always be available to provide effective traffic control. But you can take safety matters into your own hands with a SafeAll Traffic Commander LED message board, offered through Zip’s AW Direct. This innovative message board not only warns traffic, it commands them to Slow Down and Move Over.

All for ensuring your safety and avoiding collisions. The highly visible traffic-alert system meets federal regulations for roadside signage, featuring 18-inch, amber-colored block letters brightly displayed against a contrasting black backdrop. So the message board is legible from as far away as 1,000 feet, giving drivers extra time to react and move over. An optic eye adjusts for brightness, keeping the sign visible in all light conditions.

safeallproducts.com

Work the non-traffic side - Stay Safe!

Each message board also emits a WiFi signal, and its secured operation can be controlled by the tow operator at the scene with a mobile device. Included are quick links for ten pre-loaded, four- and five-letter safety messages, including “Move Left” (or “Right”), “Slow Down” and many others. The digital sign board can be bolted to a light pylon on your wrecker or headache rack on your truck. The unit includes 20 feet of 12V power and ground wiring. Installation is simple and straightforward. The vibration-resistant Traffic Commander measures 62 x 26 inches, and serves as a three-in-one traffic advisor with a message board displaying four LED bricks in the upright position; a 16-bulb LED light bar in the stowed position; and sequential flashing LED arrows in the upright position. Powered by a single actuator, the board can be raised or lowered in less than three seconds, and an arrow indicator on the mobile device indicates its position. The patented 8 x 12-pixel LED bricks are weatherproof and ventilated to dissipate any heat. Weep holes drilled into the bottom of the black powder-coated aluminum frame allow any moisture to escape. Each LED brick can be replaced in the field if needed, and there is no polycarbonate shell to trap condensation that could cause fogging and discoloration. This all-in-one digital signboard is built to last. Each message board is made in the U.S.A. and is protected by a two-year warranty.

AmericanTowman.com | November 2022 • 13


Safety Towers must work away from the white-line side whenever possible.

Use the “peek-a-boo” technique whenever you’re on the traffic side of your tow truck.

Load It or Move It? Avoid Stepping Over the Line By Randall C. Resch

W

Operations Editor Randall C. Resch is a retired California police officer and veteran tow business owner, manager, consultant and trainer. He writes for TowIndustryWeek. com and American Towman, is a member of the International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame and recipient of the Dave Jones Leadership Award. Email Randy at rreschran@gmail.com.

hen faced with an unsafe, onhighway recovery, should a disabled or wrecked vehicle be moved to a safer location? The issue boils down to whether on-scene safety is the prime consideration, or if working to restore traffic flow is more important. It all depends on several key factors. In light of how several tow operators have been killed when DUI motorists drove around barriers, the question of “load it or move it” comes into play. The answer can be a debatable practice, and one one that might skirt safety meetings and after-action assessments. Because many towers don’t receive focused training regarding working on high-speed highways, the choice to load

14 • November 2022 | Towman.com

it or move it shouldn’t be overlooked, especially for carrier operators dispatched to on-highway scenarios. For towers attending the national Traffic Incident Management (TIM) Course, arrival assessment includes consideration of moving the recovery footprint to another area where recovery is worked in a different location. Doing so might re-open traffic flow, yet the potential for an errant vehicle entering the recovery site, or a DUI driver making their way around responder vehicles, still exists. Especially true to carrier operations, white-line safety hasn’t made its way to the industry’s mainstream. The root problem can’t always point blame on distracted drivers, but towards operators who oftentimes “unconsciously” place themselves in harm’s way. There’s a disregarded reality that roadside safety gets ignored or it’s not fully understood by operators working the highways. Hence the importance of training to avoid whiteline activity, along with not sending new operators to on-highway calls.

HEAD IN THE SAND

When operator strikes occur on city streets or multilane highways, incidents are typically reported as, “Pedestrian Accidents.” To the contrary, there’s always an identifiable, “secondary reason” as to why the strike occurred, and whether or not the actions of the motorist or “pedestrian” operator were preventable. Learning how to avoid a pedestrian strike has been a longstanding concern for tow operators. Yet sadly enough, a percentage of towers are blind to roadside safety. Recently an out-of-touch tow boss criticized a training course, stating that, “You shouldn’t waste valuable time teaching carrier recovery, but focus instead on Safe Working Load Limits.”



in the sand” mentality. The industry’s sad history demonstrates that towers aren’t focused on dangers close by when they go boots to-the-ground. All the strobes, amber lights, ANSII vests, cones, flares, signs, cops on scene, and even new phone/dash-app announcements may lead towers to a false sense of security. Towers must redefine how they approach onhighway safety.

PREVENTING PEDESTRIAN STRIKES

This tow operator is clearly in harm’s way, and not watching for oncoming traffic.

This comment ignores the fact that hundreds of operators are killed working white-line and shoulder incidents. And a larger percentage

16 • November 2022 | Towman.com

of those operators killed had nothing to do with working load limits. Not teaching carrier safety and recovery for on-highway operations is a “head

As one example, a dash-cam video showed a vehicle stopped for enforcement. The video (see www. towforce.net/topic/17346-load-itor-move-it/#comment-37687) was footage only, and didn’t show the vehicle’s driver or trooper. But it did show the trooper’s car parked in true traffic-stop position behind the vehicle and within the shoulder’s


width. (Note: A tow truck wasn’t involved in this incident.) To the right of the stopped vehicle’s location was a grassy area, minus a guardrail and no obstructions. In real-time, a Jeep drifted to the right, only to narrowly avoid impacting the cruiser’s forward side. Then the Jeep sideswiped the parked vehicle’s doors, and after impact, it weaved into the center median, narrowly avoiding a secondary impact. A pointed question: “Look how much more room this driver had to move over when stopped—if this traffic stop resulted in an arrest and you were on-scene, would you move the vehicle further to the side before loading, or would you load it where it sat?” The question speaks to a long list of operators killed working the white line. Shoulder strikes (as shown in the video) are a deadly hazard, regardless of where cars are positioned. Had an operator been entering the car to drive it forward, injury or death would have been certain. To do so is a practice that only increases potential of being struck.

responded to an on-highway assist, parking in front of the customer’s Corolla. The tower reportedly was seated in this car’s driver seat when an intoxicated motorist, driving a full-sized Toyota Tundra, slammed into the Corolla. The carrier’s deck hadn’t yet been tilted, so the impact violently pushed the Corolla forward and under the carrier’s deck, completely crushing the car. (A second wrecker was onscene in a blocker truck position, but the the DUI driver dodged it.)

Overall, a case in point illustrating why towers shouldn’t get into vehicles with the intent of driving onto carriers.

MOVE IT OVER

Granted, even with vehicles moved to wider locations, there's still always a potential of deadly strike. So work away from the whiteline side where you’re not exposed to approaching traffic when getting in or out. Additionally, use the TIMtaught, “peek-a-boo” technique

WINCH-ON VS DRIVE-ON?

There’s an ever-present debate that vehicle-delivery companies aren’t working safely in load procedures. The delivery industry is different than that of the tow and recovery, where delivery carriers may not be equipped with winch and cable. For our industry, a basic assumption is that flatbed carriers are equipped with winch capability to both load and off-load nonrunning or wrecked vehicles. Some operators drive onto a tilted carrier’s deck claiming speed as a reason, but is that a dangerous practice or not? The following example provides a practical perspective. In April 2013, a Houston operator Work the non-traffic side - Stay Safe!

AmericanTowman.com | November 2022 • 17


when entering and exiting the tow truck’s cab. For on-highway calls, train your carrier drivers to position the winch-line, locked and located at the passenger-side rear corner of the carrier’s deck. If additional cable is needed, the cable gets reversed out. It’s important that muscle memory replaces the deadly practice of working near dangerous approaching traffic. If a video captured an arrest, ignition keys are typically with the officer or in the

18 • November 2022 | Towman.com

car’s ignition. To limit my time spent on-scene, attach both J-hooks of a loading bridle to the passenger-side suspension, and winch the vehicle onto the deck without entering the car. Side-stacking cable is minimal, and the cable isn’t damaged. When using skates, the car remains in gear with the E-brake on. This activity is conducted from the non-traffic side and is afforded the protection of the carrier's mass. If the load location is dangerous, attach only the non-traffic side’s tie-down

straps and relocate the vehicle to the first ramp to complete tie-down. Like all tow situations, discuss your plan with the officer, letting him or her know what you’re doing. Ask them to follow behind as an escort with red and blue lights on until your carrier is up to speed.

WHY NOT DRAG IT?

Because safety always is a number-one priority, think carefully about moving an immovable casualty out of mainstream traffic. Considerations are dragging out of lanes and/or loading upside down on the carrier. While dragging is forever controversial, relocating a casualty should be part of a recovery plan to gain a higher level of safety. Dragging should only occur when: a) approved by the incident commander b) the officer on-scene or c) when safety demands such. Shoulder work is a game of speed and one that requires refining and practice. It’s important that towers remember distracted and intoxicated driving is an ongoing reality. They have zero-control over what motorists do and when distracted behaviors are present. If this industry ever hopes to see fewer incidents of operators killed, towers must work away from the white-line side whenever possible. Operator survival requires a dramatic culture change in how they view on-highway safety. Accordingly, stop blaming the motoring public, but develop a solid safety mindset that demonstrates a willingness to survive. Fact: The numbers of carrier operators hurt or killed will continue to stack up if something’s not drastically done. Experienced or not, if you’re not 100-percent aware that the highways are a dangerous place to work, you might be your own worst enemy!



Tow Boss

You’re Hired! An Innovative Way to Recruit Tow Operators By Steve Mitchell

Steve Mitchell’s first car had pedals, and he’s been filled with passion for four wheels ever since. He lives and breathes the car life as a technologist, transportation futurist, and writer while keeping up with the automotive industry’s whys, hows, and plans. You’ll also find him as an endurance athlete on the bike in SoCal, but you’ll know he’s thinking about cars.

W

ith the towing industry booming, many tow companies are finding it difficult to keep up with demand. One of the biggest challenges they face is finding enough qualified employees. For instance, as reported in a recent Business Insider article, one firm in California admitted that it’s taking up to three hours to rescue stranded motorists due to a staff shortage. “This is up from the 20 to 30 minutes it usually takes when the company is fully staffed,” noted Nadia Haddad, co-owner of Freeway Towing in Monterey Park. Before the pandemic, Freeway Towing had 70 employees, but now, with only 46, they’re struggling to fill its capacity for 100 operators. As Haddad's comments illustrate, according to a recent study by HONK, a provider of roadside assistance, towing companies have difficulty recruiting drivers with the necessary skills and experience. In addition, towing companies in rural areas find it even harder to attract qualified candidates. “It's a real challenge to find good employees,” stated one towing company owner. “We've had to get creative with our recruiting methods.” One method that some towing companies are using is offering sign-on bonuses and other incentives to attract drivers. Others have paid for workers to become “Class A” drivers. However, this can be expensive and may not always be successful. Another challenge facing towing companies is the high turnover rate of employees. Many firms report that drivers only stay with them for a year or two before moving to another company. This makes it challenging to keep up with the demand for services. “It's a constant battle to find and keep good employees,” observed one towing company owner. “But we're doing everything we can to meet the demand.”

20 • November 2022 | Towman.com

In the HONK survey, out of 582 operators, 22 percent had more work than they could handle, 46 percent are currently hiring, and over 62 percent say hiring and retaining employees is challenging. This inability to hire employees has caused 19 percent of those surveyed to decrease their fleet size, and turn down or prioritize hook ups. At best, it's caused long delays and wait times, damaging customer service ratings.

22%

More work than can be handled. Currently hiring.

46% 62%

Hiring is a challenge.

In a nationwide survey of 582 towing providers, 22% have more work than they can handle, 46% say they are currently hiring, and 62% say that hiring and retaining good employees is challenging.

Consequences of the Hiring Problem

Staff shortages Companies decrease fleet size Jobs turned down or prioritized Long wait times for customers Declining customer service ratings. This graphic summarizes the challenges to finding qualified tow operators.


WHY CAN'T TOWING COMPANIES FIND EMPLOYEES?

Even with all the online hiring sites now available, what’s the issue? It comes down to targeting. Sites like Indeed are designed to attract white-collar employees. Even Indeed acknowledges that there are “differences between blue-collar and white-collar” candidates, making it a challenge for tow companies to find prospects. Why are online hiring portals like Indeed, Monster, and ZipRecruiter a “hiring desert” for towing companies? Here are a few reasons prospective towers are not on white collar platforms: • Drivers don’t do resumes • The best drivers already have jobs • A limited selection of candidates • No geo-targeting • Every company is chasing the same employee

Work the non-traffic side - Stay Safe!

CNBC reports that rapid hiring and quitting will continue, so what is the solution to finding employees? Companies such as Whiterail Recruits have taken note of this thorny issue and are stepping up with a solution. What helped this one differ from white-collar job boards? “We recognized this problem and launched a new hiring platform that is exclusively blue collar,” explained Daniel Ostrov, Partner of Whiterail Recruits. “No resumes needed, and it allows towing companies to promote their jobs directly to the best drivers through geo-fence technology." That is, targeting the most qualified audience by simply providing virtual boundaries. So instead of a shotgun approach, Whiterail Recruits lets companies, “advertise their jobs using geo-fence advertising where they work, live and play.” And when the recruits respond, an automated chatbot (simulated conversation

AmericanTowman.com | November 2022 • 21


Both David and Daniel Ostrov helped attendees at the AT ShowPlace Las Vegas tow show learn how to find qualified tow operators.

with human users) and SMS (Short Messaging Service by text) take over. More important, Ostrov emphasizes, there’s no resume required. Why not? “Drivers, mechanics and other employees needed for the towing business don’t have time,” Ostrov noted. “Applying to jobs takes too long, so keeping it fast and simple is key. With our system, it takes less than a minute for the prospect to apply. And after that, the towing company has a direct line with that prospect.” Then how does a tow boss know if a prospect is well suited for the job?

22 • November 2022 | Towman.com

“The chatbot prequalifies for license status, experience, background checks, drug exams, and personal information,” Ostrov added.

HOW WELL DOES A DIFFERENT APPROACH WORK?

Ostrov provided a long list of recruiting successes and realworld examples. “We recently ran a campaign for TNT Wrecker in Beaumont, Texas,” he related. “They were looking for two heavy-duty drivers. It used to take them months to find drivers, but with Whiterail, in

only a month, TNT Wrecker received over 80 applications, six were hirable heavy drivers, and they hired two.” For companies like Freeway Towing in Monterey Park, something like this could go a long way towards meeting their need. Drivers are out there, Whiterail has uncovered a way for you to find them, even with a limited talent pool. As Freeway Towing co-owner Nadia Haddad pointed out, “What we do for a living is rewarding, it’s just that the competition is magnificent. It’s significantly more magnificent than me.” But, because of companies like Whiterail, the future of recruiting for her company and others are beginning to look a lot less competitive and a lot more successful. Despite the challenges of towing companies finding employees, there are solutions. Tow-truck drivers are out there if you know where and how to look. Technology solutions are making it easier than ever for companies to find the right drivers for their business, and continue providing quality service to their customers.



An American Towman

Detouring Into Towing and Staying Ahead of the Curve By Charles Duke American Towman Magazine Senior Editor Charles Duke has written and served as editor for trade, music and nonprofit publications. He also serves as the editor for AT’s online sister publications Tow Industry Week and Tow Industry Today.

Michael Bellreng, owner of Bellreng’s Towing & Automotive, Inc. in the Greater Buffalo New York area, considers himself a blessed man. Several times during our interview he introspectively stopped and asked, “Why me?” The business, now in its 18th year, handles light- and medium-duty towing and recovery, and opened an automotive repair facility in 2019. Towing is done out of its Tonawanda location, while the new facility in Amherst handles repairs. Both locations are AAA Approved Auto Care facilities. “I’m low-key,” Bellreng said. “With that being said, I don’t understand how I got here. I’ve worked a lot of my life away: at 12 or 13 years old, seven days a week in a pizzeria for eight, nine bucks an hour.” At the age of 17, he started college to study criminal justice.

MICHAEL BELLRENG Owner, Bellreng’s Towing & Automotive, Inc., Buffalo, New York.

24 • November 2022 | Towman.com

“I had to get a part-time job to pay for it,” Bellreng said. “I ended up getting a job driving a tow truck. It’s crazy to look back and see this progression, to where from 18 to 24, I worked for a company, seven days a week.” His boss suggested that he buy a tow truck. As he was back in college at the time and paying for his education, he didn’t feel that he was able to do so. But through “dumb luck,” Bellreng said, he took the chance and made the purchase. His start in the tow business was somewhat of a surprise. “I went to AAA on March 1, 2004,” Bellreng recalled. “They told me that they were going to do background checks and this and that. The senior vice president sees me leaving the building and asked others, ‘What’s Michael doing here?’. I get to the parking lot, get to a red light, thinking to myself, ‘Well, that was a failure.’ My phone rings. ‘Hey, can you start tonight?’.” Bellreng said the first two nights as an independent contractor he found himself going back-and-forth to his house during his overnight shift from 9:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. He would try to go home and get some sleep, but that didn’t work. On the third night he started to pack a pillow, a blanket and a cooler, driving out to his assigned AAA area where there was a parking lot and a miniature waterfall. When the calls came in, he would get up to work the job, then go back to the parking lot. “I did that for two years!” Bellreng exclaimed. “I slept in my truck for two years, looking back.” Bellreng said that for the first ten years of his business, things were, “Up and down. There were


a lot more lows than highs,” he admitted. But in 2014, Bellreng said his business had more “higher highs than lower lows.” Every year since then, he said, his business has attained new levels, placing him where he is today. One of the things Bellreng attributes to his level of success is the great team that he has surrounded himself with. “Between the towing, roadside and my technicians, we have about 20 ‘associates.’ I don’t like the word ‘employees,’ I try to block it out,” he stated. “Because we [meaning him and his wife Gina] didn’t have kids, I really tried from the beginning to create a family atmosphere with them. It’s really worked. A lot of us get together outside of work, and just hang out and get along. They’re the foundation of this company.” Aside from her regular job as a senior radiation therapist, Gina does the bookkeeping and other duties pertinent to the business on weekends. She is also the primary force behind Bellreng’s Towing’s social media presence on Facebook and the Internet. Bellreng feels that in the future it will be more difficult to find the next generation of towmen. Going to industry trade shows opened his eyes to other aspects of running his business: the importance of family that’s involved. Companies that started decades before have the

Work the non-traffic side - Stay Safe!

AmericanTowman.com | November 2022 • 25


Bellreng’s Towing & Automotive was one of the many towing companies that hosted the American Towman Spirit Ride initiative in 2017.

advantage of having future generations eventually taking over the business. “A lot of successful companies in this industry have a huge family support system,” Bellreng noted. “They have this amazing support system where the family built it over 10, 20 or 30 years. “For me, I didn’t have the kids,” he continued, “so I had to depend on building the right family team.” Bellreng said that to help foster that feeling of family, you’ve got to take care of your staff financially. He also feels that business diversification keeps the work interesting and is the wave of the future in the towing industry.

26 • November 2022 | Towman.com


GIVING BACK

In keeping with the “family feeling” that exudes from Michael Bellreng and his wife Gina, Bellreng Towing and Automotive is very much involved in giving back to the Greater Buffalo area. The past year has seen the company get involved in community efforts such as serving as a dropoff location for “Be a Blessing Buffalo,” presenting Buffalo’s annual Puppy Shower, sponsoring “Totally Sweet 716 Day” this past June, and more recently “Dogs Are People Too.” The latter is sponsored by Sweet Buffalo, a non-profit that organizes kindness and give-back campaigns, started by their close friend Kimberly LaRussa. Of particular interest to the Bellrengs is Sweet Buffalo’s pet advocacy, especially those efforts that concern dogs. Gina and Michael were hit with

Work the non-traffic side - Stay Safe!

tragedy this past year when they lost two dogs this year. “Gina and I have dealt with some unbelievable heartbreak with the loss of Cocobeans and Klaus unexpectedly this year,” Bellreng shared. “We have both decided that we will do everything and anything to help as many dogs as we can until the day comes when we are no longer able.” Today, they are proud “parents” of a third dog, Coconut, and they are currently fostering a fourth, Harper. “Helping dogs is a job that you never quite finish,” noted Bellreng. “When one dog meets their forever family, there is another one in desperate need of their own. Yesterday we witnessed first-hand the time and energy these volunteers and fosters invest to help save lives.”

AmericanTowman.com | November 2022 • 27


“Back in the day when I got involved, just being in the towing industry worked,” he pointed out. “I think those days are gone. Today, you’ve got to be multi-faceted; you can’t just do towing. You have to incorporate road service, such as mobile battery service or plug a tire, which is additional revenue.” The first of this year Bellreng’s operation branched out on the automotive repair side. Now the firm is into selling tires and rims and lift kits, and does mobile tire service where it comes to a customer’s house, office or store, and can get a set of four tires. “For me, it’s always trying to think what’s around the curve and how do we get there,” Bellreng continued, “What can we do that’s next, before having to decide, ‘I got to do it now’?” COVID changed his business model. The company has evolved from being heavily weighted towards towing to now placing more emphasis on automotive repair and road service. Bellreng sold several of his tow trucks and started buying more light service vehicles. “My fleet has somewhat flipped,” he observed. Currently, he estimates roughly 40 percent of his fleet consists of service trucks, along with light-, mediumduty and flatbed units. Bellreng considers roadside service is the most lucrative segment of the towing side of the business. It provides an added benefit to him with the potential of LITE-IT UP making a battery sale or a tire repair. WITH “Going forward, it’s going to be hard CUSTER PRODUCTS for people to do it like a one-man band,” he surmised. “A wise man said, ‘you don’t put all your eggs in one basket.’ We need multiple eggs in there; to that end, diversification is key. I’ve been blessed, myself; but I look around and I see other guys that struggle.” In summary, Bellreng answered his own question, “Why me?” posed at the beginning of this article. “I’ve never forgotten when I came from; and I’ve never forgotten how hard that journey was,” he shared. “What I’ve learned is I want to give everything I can to help the person next to me on their journey. If I can help one, or if I can help a thousand, I’m going to try. I might slip and fall…but I’m going to keep going, and I’ve learned that’s what makes me happy.”

www.custerproducts.com • 800-490-3158 28 • November 2022 | Towman.com



Supplier Scoop Fuel-cell EVs Match Diesel Performance

Kenworth and Toyota Motor North America say they have proven the capabilities of their jointly designed heavy-duty, Class 8 fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) as potential zero-emissions replacements for diesel-powered trucks. The companies tested the vehicles in operation in their Zero- and Near-Zero Emissions Freight Fa-

cilities (ZANZEFF) “Shore to Store” project at the Port of Los Angeles, in the Los Angeles basin, and in the Inland Empire. The primary goal was to “nearly match” the performance of diesel-powered drayage trucks while eliminating emissions to provide a sustainable solution in heavy-duty transportation. The baseline for the Toyota-Kenworth T680 FCEV truck—codenamed “Ocean”—was a 2017 diesel

engine operating about 200 miles a day. The T680 FCEV has a range of about 300-plus miles when fully loaded to 82,000 lbs. (GCWR). With no downtime between shifts for charging, and a short 15- to 20-minute fill time, the ten FCEVs tested could run multiple shifts a day and cover up to 400 to 500 miles, the companies said. Kenworth designed and built the Class 8 T680 FCEVs, while Toyota designed and built the powertrain’s fuel cell electric power system powered by hydrogen. The Ocean trucks reduced Greenhouse Gases (GHG) by 74.66 metric tons of CO2 per truck annually compared to the baseline diesel engine. “Having a successful demonstration of Toyota’s scaled fuel cell electric power supply with real-world operations for actual customers opens the door to even broader future deployment, as the use of hydrogen helps to eliminate CO2 from heavy-duty transport while offering a cleaner

30 • November 2022 | Towman.com



alternative that keeps the vehicles in service, a win for all parties,” said Andrew Lund, Toyota’s chief engineer for zero-emission advanced product planning. “The potential for this technology as a replacement for higher-emission powertrains is real and supports both regulatory and society initiatives to combat climate change while helping us achieve our own goals of carbon neutrality.” The program paves the way for further development and commercial opportunities for hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric transportation in California and beyond, the companies noted. “Through the Shore to Store project, we demonstrated how Toyota’s advanced zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell technology could be scaled and used in our Kenworth T680,” said Joe Adams, Kenworth chief engineer. “We clearly showed that hydrogen is a viable clean fuel capable of powering commercial transportation for customers, matching diesel performance in range and power, with quick refueling for minimal downtime and smooth, quiet operation.” With the completion of this project, the door is now open for the technology to be adopted more widely for use in other heavy-duty applications, including increasing use of heavy-duty trucks in commercial transportation. SUPPLIER SCOOP CONTINUED ON PAGE 46

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AD INDEX Access Tools .............................................39 Akins Body & Carrier Sales .......................47 All American Jerr-Dan...........N, S, M 67, W71 American Society for Asset Protection .......21 American Towman Expositions............. 40-41 Atlanta Wrecker Sales................................43 Austin Insurance..................................... N70 B/A Products .............................................23 Brown & Brown..........................................58 Chevron Commercial .................................59 Crouch’s Wrecker & Equipment Sales ........57 Custer Products.........................................28 Driverlocate.com........................................56 Dual-Tech Wreckers & Carriers...................34 East Coast Truck & Trailer Sales.............. N71 EdgeTech/Hooks......................................W68 Elizabeth Truck Center................................45 Environmental Chemical Solutions........... N73 EOS........................................................W68 G. Stone Commercial............................... N68 GSS Safety ..................................................3 Guniwheel .............................................. N72 Hale Trailer Brake & Wheel...................... N69 ICW Group Insurance..................................48 Int’l Towing & Rec. Hall of Fame & Mus......53 ITI Skates...................................................25

34 • November 2022 | Towman.com

November 2022

Jerr-Dan............................ Inside Front Cover Jump n Carry.............................................17 Kalyn Siebert.............................................27 Landoll Corp...............................................33 Len Zermenos.......................................... 4-5 Matheny Motors.........................................29 Matjack ....................................................32 McMahon Truck Center...........................M69 Metrocom..................................................27 Midwestern................................................46 MIller Industries...........................................9 Mobile Control Systems..............................63 North American Bancard............................35 Nottingham Insurance............................. N72 NRC Industries...........................................19 OMG Tow Marketing...................................49 On The Scene Supply.................................29 Online Impound Auctions............................55 Pacific General Insurance Agency............M68 Peak Wrecker Sales................................W69 PeakPTT....................................................46 Progressive Commercial Insurance.............16 PWOF.........................................................59 RC Industries.............................................38 Recovery Billing Unlimited..........................63 RimSling....................................................28

RP Recovery..............................................26 SafeAll.......................................................31 Santander Bank........................... Back Cover Santander Bank Merchant Services............44 Sea Crest Insurance Agency....................W67 ServiCase..................................................58 Smyrna Truck & Cargo...............................30 Speak Easy Communication.......................30 Talbert Manufacturing............................. N70 TDI Repair Facility......................................26 TEC Equipment..........................................22 Tow Industries........................................W70 Towbook............................ Inside Back Cover TowMate....................................................48 Trail King Industries...................................65 Traxero North America................................21 Urgently.....................................................52 Utility Trailer Sales Southeast Texas.........W69 Warn Industries............................................7 West End Service.......................................49 Will-Burt Company.....................................45 Winches Inc............................................W67 Wrecker Warehouse................................W70 XINSURANCE .......................................... N74 Zacklift International..................................25 Zip’s AW Direct...............................15,18, 32



Water Wreck Lift bags floated the seaplane so it could be maneuvered and secured with slings.

A Complicated Recovery of a Crashed Seaplane George L. Nitti has written for American Towman since 2009. He started out as a news writer and now writes a weekly feature on TowIndustryWeek.com, Tow Illustrated, which spotlights the tow truck graphics.

I

By George L. Nitti

n August of this year, a pilot flying a seaplane used for fighting forest fires dropped down for a water pickup on Lake Livingston, near Houston, Texas. But one of its pontoons struck a stump under the surface of the water, causing the plane to crash into the lake and sink. Fortunately, the pilot’s life was spared, but recovering the wrecked seaplane would require some extra efforts. The event triggered a three-day, around the clock operation involving police, fire, hazmat, a tow boat and wrecker company. Andrew Milstead, owner of Milstead Corporation, and Milstead’s hazmat company, Milstead HMR of Conroe, Texas, were summoned by an insurance company to coordinate the emergency response. They also had to contain a ruptured fuel tank

36 • November 2022 | Towman.com

leaking fuel and hydraulic fluid into the lake. “After setting our eyes on the situation, the first thing we did was to put an eightinch containment boom that goes slightly underwater, and encircle that around the aircraft,” said Thomas Wilson, Milstead HMR’s general manager. “Then we took a special pad, which repels water and soaks up hydrocarbons, and skimmed it around the contaminated area.” While Hazmat was working on cleanup, Tow Boat US, which was brought in by Milstead, worked on floating the plane and helping to move it ashore, over a mile in distance. The tower’s mobile unit included two boats, a Mako Center Console and a 25-foot pontoon equipped with underwater airbags, generators and compressors.


RECOVERY EQUIPMENT Seaplane - Boss 130 owned by Dauntless Air

A towman weighted the end of the wing (right), ensuring that the seaplane remained relatively level while being raised from the lake.

2019 Kenworth T880 Twin Steer, Century 1075 Rotator 16 ft. 42,000-pound Slings 24 Ft. Custom Built Pontoon Boat Mako Center Console Boat 224, 200hp Engine 6600 pound Subsalve USA underwater airbags 6500 Briggs Generator Ingersoll Rand 60-gallon, air compressor tank “The biggest challenge was the damage to the plane,” pointed out Michael Montgomery of Tow Boat US. “One of the wings was broken and stuck in the mud. When I went into the water, I discovered that the lift points weren’t going to work, so I had to do a lot of maneuvering of the lift bags to float and move it.” Originally the recovery team planned on taking the seaplane to a ramp on shore, near an RV park, but due to low water levels on the lake and a sandbar, they wisely changed their plan to using the bridge on highway 190, which spanned the lake. Hazmat then turned to Milstead Automotive and dispatched a rotator, where lead operator Chris Greenhaw would wait at the bridge with a 2019 Kenworth T880 Twin Steer Century 1075. Work the non-traffic side - Stay Safe!

Once brought onto the bridge, the plane then had to be transported to an RV park for dismantling.

“The bridge has a causeway,” Montgomery explained. “We towed it to where the bridge started and anchored it there, tying onto the wrecker until they were able to close the bridge.” After they staged it for several hours at that location, local authorities closed the bridge around 11:00 p.m., and Greenhaw moved the rotator to the bridge’s center, while Hazmat HMR and Tow Boat US brought the plane over. Then Greenhaw hauled it up and over the rail and chainlink fence. “We put a bridal on it and I just pulled it up,” Greenhaw said, Once brought onto the bridge, the plane then had to be transported to an RV park, without doing further damage. “We put a sling underneath,

RECOVERY PERSONNEL Milstead Corporation: Andrew Milstead,Owner

Milstead HMR (Hazmat): Thomas Wilson, General Manager Tow Boat US Lake Conroe and Montgomery Marine Towing and Salvage: Captain Michael Montgomery, Owner Captain Joshua Engleby Milstead Automotive/ Heavy Duty Wrecker: Lead Operator, Chris Greenhaw

right in front of the wings around the fuselage, and another sling through the cabin of the cockpit,”

AmericanTowman.com | November 2022 • 37


With the bridge closed by police, lifting the seaplane with the Century 1075 rotator required clearing not only the railing but also a tall chainlink fence.

Initially a shoreside recovery at a ramp was considered, but the water level was too low.

Note the eight-inch yellow boom (at left) for containing the fuel and hydraulic fluid spills.

Greenhaw said, “and drove it approximately one mile with it hanging on the back of the wrecker.” To keep the plane moving in a straight line with its 60-foot wingspan, Greenhaw secured the plane’s left wing with the deck winch and pulled it tight to the side of the boom. “By doing that, the wing is touching the side of the boom causing it not to sway back and forth,” he explained. Two guides walked alongside the plane, using ropes to keep the plane steady, as the rotator moved at a two-mph

38 • November 2022 | Towman.com

crawl towards the RV park. “It took us three full days to get that thing floated, everything right,” Wilson summed up. “And then get it to the bridge, crated and a mile and a half to a parking lot.” At the RV park, which the owners of the plane rented out for the whole week, the seaplane was dismantled and taken back to their hanger. The journey of a few miles ended the life of crashed seaplane, but everybody got home safely, thanks to all the individuals involved in recovering this water wreck.



NOVEMBER 16 - 19, 2022

BALTIMORE CONVENTION CENTER

EXHIBITOR ROSTER

Exhibitor Roster as of 10/18/22 *Supplier names in bold are display advertisers in this issue with their ad page number cross-referenced 360 Payments

Car-Part.com

ExxonMobil

International Trucks

5Star Specialty Programs

CardConnect

FCar Tech USA

J & R Products & Towing Accessories

AAA

Century

Federal Signal

JB Towing

Access Tools - pg. 39

Chevron

First Business Bank

Jerr-Dan - Inside Front Cover

Agero

Chevron Commercial - pg. 59

FirstNet, Built with AT&T

Joyride Autos

All American Jerr-Dan - pg. N,S,M 67, W71

Chevron/WEX Business Fuel Card

FleetNet America

Junk Car Buyer Academy USA

Alliance Funding Group

Collins Dollies

Flitz International, LTD

Kalyn Siebert - pg. 27

Allstate Roadside

Copart Trasnportation

FlowStop

Landoll Corporation - pg. 33

Amell Insurance Agency

Core Holistics

Frontline Agencies

Lift And Tow

American Petroleum Institute

Crouch’s Wrecker & Equip. Sales - p. 57

FULLBAY Repair Shop Software

Lift Marketing Group

American Safety & Supply

Curbside SOS

GEICO

Light Safe Apparel

American Towman Magazine

Custer Products - pg. 28

Guniwheel - pg.N72

Lighthouse Insurance Services

AmeriDeck

Custom Built MFG

Haas Alert

Lodar USA

Anchor Graphics

DewEze Mfg.

Hale Trailer Brake & Wheel - pg. N69

Lynch Truck Group

ARI-Hetra

DOT Tie Down

HD Trailers

Madison Capital

Ascentium Capital

DRIVE

Highway Angels

Marshall & Sterling Insurance

AT&T - The Wireless Experience

Driverlocate.com - pg. 56

Hino Trucks

Maryland Core

Atlanta Wrecker Sales - pg. 43

Dual-Tech Wreckers & Carriers - pg. 34

Holmes

Matheny Towing Equipment - pg. 29

Austin Insurance - pg. N70

Dynamic Towing Equip. & Mfg.

Honk Technologies

Matjack - pg. 32

Auto Data Direct

East Coast Truck & Trailer Sales - pg. N71

Hunter Engineering

MD Carrier Wrecker

Autogod

East Penn Truck Equipment

Huntington Bank

Menzel Technologies

Azuga, A Bridgestone Company

EdgeTec/Hooks - pg. W68

i Buy Remotes

Metro Tow Trucks

B/A Products - pg. 23

Emergency Responder Safety Institute

IAA

Metrocom - pg. 27

Bad Dog Tool

Emer. Rd Serv. Coalition of Am. / ERSCA

ICW Group Insurance - pg. 48

Miller Industries - pg. 9

Baremotion

Energy Security Agency

INA / Wreaths Across America

Mobile Battery Solutions, A Wrench Co.

Battelini Wrecker Sales

Enviromotive

Independent Auto Transp. Alliance / IATA

Mobile Road Service Solutions

BBSI

Environmental Chem. Solutions - pg.N73

Integrated Vehicle Leasing

Mobile Video Computing Solutions

Beacon Funding

Epulse

Intek Truck & Equipment Leasing/Financing

Myers Benner Corp.

Brown & Brown Insurance - pg. 58

Excel Sportswear

International Recovery Systems

Nation Safe Drivers (NSD)

40 • November 2022 | Towman.com


2022 SPONSORS National Automobile Club

ServiCase - pg. 58

National Interstate Insurance Company

Speak Easy Communication - pg. 30

National Recovery USA

Specialty Vehicle Equipment Funding Group

Nite Beam Products

Spill Tackle

Nottingham Insurance - pg. N72

Stamp Works

Novawinch USA

Steck Mfg. Co.

NRC Industries - pg. 19

Superwinch

NTTS Breakdown Directory

Talbert Manufacturing - pg. N70

OMG Tow Marketing - pg. 49

The Hilb Group

On Call GPS Video

Tiger Payment Solutions

On The Scene Supply - pg. 29

Time-Out Seated Massage Corner

One Team One Goal / SDMO Foundation

TJR Equipment

Online Impound Auctions - pg. 55

Tow Life

OnlineParkingPass.com

Towbook Mgmt. Soft. - Inside Back Cover

Paccar Winch

Tow-Buddy

ParkByPlate

Towing & Recovery Association of America

ParkingPermits of America (PPOA)

Towing.com

Parkva

TowingWebsites.com

Peak Auto Auctions

TowMate - pg. 48

Peddle

TowToolz

Penny Pockets

Trail King Industries - pg. 65

Phoenix USA

Transit Pros

Podium Corp.

Traxero North America - pg. 21

Pop - A - Lock

Truck Crane Solutions

Pruuvn

Tulsa Winch-dp Winch

Purpose Wrecker Sales

TW Products

QuakeLED

Two Way Radio Gear

Questx Towing Services

U-Haul International

Quick Cash for Remotes

UHS Hardware

R.P. Recovery - pg. 26

Urgently - pg. 52

R&A Insurance

US Fleet Tracking

Ramsey Winch Company

Verdant Commercial Capital

Ranger SST

Vulcan

Razor Wraps

Warn Industries - pg. 7

RC Industries - pg. 38

Webfleet

Recovery Title Solutions

Wellnex Group

Ricky’s Sales & Service

West End Service - pg.49

Roadside Protect

Whelen Engineering Co.

RoadSync

Whiterail

Robert Young’s NRC Sales & Service

Will-Burt - pg. 45

Rocket Auction

Worldwide

Royal Truck & Equipment

WreckMaster

RRCATS.com

Xpress-Pay

RRL Insurance

Ynot Services

Safety Vision

Zacklift International - pg. 25

Santander Bank - Back Cover

Zellner Insurance

Santander Merchant Services - pg.44

Zip’s AW Direct pg. 15, 18, 32

Events and Specialty Items

Sepson US

Work the non-traffic side - Stay Safe!

AmericanTowman.com | November 2022 • 41


Classic Wrecker

The Veteran A WWII Tow Truck Turned Civilian By Steve Temple Photos courtesy of Mike Lagomarsino

O

ld soldiers never die, as the saying goes. This salty ’42 Ford with a MarmonHerrington 4x4 conversion originally had a Snogo rotary blower, which has an interesting history. The truck was initially sent to England under the WWII Lend-Lease Act to clear the Royal Air Force’s runways. Back then this type of equipment

The engine is the truck’s original 100hp Flathead V8.

42 • November 2022 | Towman.com


was hard to come by. Even so, several snow removers were supplied to the Brits, and the smallest one (shown here) had a Snogo LTR mounted on a Ford 29T 1 1/2 ton chassis, powered by a 100hp, 239ci Flathead V8. When it returned stateside, along with scads of other military vehicles, local towns bought them up. Mike Lagomarsino came across this war-weary rig in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey in the early 1980s, which he purchased for $500. Mike has a long history as a mechanic and towing his customers’ cars. He started out at the age of 17 in 1972, working for MTC (Manhattan Towing Company). In 1976 he inherited his uncle’s shop, Legomarsino Auto Repair, and ran it until his retirement in 2001. Good thing he’s a veteran mechanic, because the Ford had a lot of battle scars. The engine was so badly waterseized that Mike had to hammer out the pistons and valves. That was a shame because the truck only had 565 miles on it. And this was just the beginning of a 5 1/2 year restoration. As luck would have it, Mike found a 1952 Ford with a Holmes 460 wrecker body, but it also was in rough shape, needing a total rebuild. The only parts he could save were the main crane, the boom ends and the angle iron on top of the side panels.

Work the non-traffic side - Stay Safe!

The wrecker body is a Holmes 460, restored from another truck.

AmericanTowman.com | November 2022 • 43


To reinforce his ’42 Ford, he doubled up the frame of the truck. And to replace the taillights he pulled a couple from a school bus with the word “Stop” on them. “Overall, it took many hours of work even with the help of friends,” he admits. “But it was certainly worth it.” One of Mike’s proudest moments was when the veteran Ford was selected to be on the cover of the 2004, 25th Anniversary Macungie Yearbook. The other was winning First place at the Antique Truck Low Drag Race in June of 1997. He ran a triple down shift, with a gear ratio of 6.67 to 1, a 2.5 to 1 transfer case and a 6.1 reducer. “After I put it in low-low-low, I was a shoe-in to win!” he laughs. While Mike does not use his aging truck for towing, it certainly can. “It's just fun to drive, and might I say a chore with its always- engaged four-wheel drive,” he adds. To date this veteran rig only has 2000 miles on it, and refuses to surrender to age.

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Note the “Wreck Less” motto on the front bumper.

Work the non-traffic side - Stay Safe!

AmericanTowman.com | November 2022 • 45


Supplier Scoop Video “Preferred Provider” Selected By AAA

Mobile Video Computing Solutions, LLC (MVCSOL) is now a AAA Preferred Supplier and added to the AAA Network of Savings. This collaboration with AAA helps facilitate an existing channel with T-Mobile, AAA’s official wireless partner, to supplement field sales for the US and Canada through their established national sales organization. MVCSOL Solution Features: •

46 • November 2022 | Towman.com

Integration of the tow, dispatching, insurance carrier, auto salvage and auto repair industries via IoT with a solution that can realize potential savings of over $6 Billion a year in the United States

A robust information collection system that includes video, in-vehicle data collection and monitoring within the Towing and First Responder’s space

Increasing value to other systems which provide safety, driver information, route and other mobility guidance and reporting

An officially certified service to sell and operate its products in the native T-Mobile telemetry environment which further enhances the exclusive and unique offering

“MVCSOL highly values our partnership with AAA as a AAA Preferred Provider,” stated Mike



Supplier Scoop Dunham, chairman of MVCSOL. “This relationship will promote the use of video cameras and vehicle-alert systems technology.” He pointed out that this new arrangement assists in increasing roadside safety, while reducing costs for many of the highest quality towing organizations in the industry across the USA and Canada. “AAA Preferred Suppliers Programs provide access to best-in- class products and services in the automotive industry through the Network of Savings,” noted Bob Huffman, director of the Automotive Preferred Supplier Program, AAA. “We are thrilled that MVCSOL has joined our Preferred Supplier team.” He added that MVCSOL offers various forms of technology which enhance safety and offer loss mitigation.” www.MVCSOL.com

Find us on Facebook Read more towing news at towman.com

48 • November 2022 | Towman.com


Work the non-traffic side - Stay Safe!

AmericanTowman.com | November 2022 • 49


AMERICAN TOWMAN CUP AT THE AMERICAN TOWMAN SHOWPLACE VEGAS VIBE ROCKS THE WRECKER PAGEANT

T

he American Towman ShowPlace bustled in Las Vegas this September, with towers from all over the West packing out the Westgate Resort & Convention Center. Along with more than 170 exhibitors showcasing their products and services, a slew of other events over a threeday period kept attendees engaged, educated, entertained, and well fed. “This year we saw great spectator turnout,” noted American Towman Magazine’s Editor Steve Temple. More than 3,500 towing professionals came, an increase of more than 22 percent from last year, and the largest in several years. “AT ShowPlace demonstrated how resilient the towing industry is and how important face-toface events are to owners of tow businesses,” said

Henri “Doc” Calitri, president of A.T. Expo Corp. “Exhibitors across the board expressed how engaging the audience was and sales were steady throughout the 2-day show.” As with all American Towman Expositions, the Wrecker Pageant is one of the main highlights of the event. So we’ve showing them off below, along with a few notable tow trucks that merit an Honorable Mention. Attendees at the awards ceremony were also excited to hear that American Towman ShowPlace in Las Vegas will be back in 2023 at the South Point Hotel and Exhibit Hall, May 17 and 18.

Light Duty

JAN’S VASQUEZ TOW TRUCK REPAIR & SUPPLY

SAN BERNARDINO, CA 2021 DODGE WITH CHEVRON 408

Carrier RANDALL’S TOWING FLORENCE, AZ 2022 FORD F750 WITH JERR-DAN CARRIER

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Medium

VELOCITY TOWING

CANYON COUNTRY, CA 2021 FREIGHTLINER WITH CENTURY 4024

HD Tandem

TOWING SOLUTIONS CHINO, CA 2021 KENWORTH WITH 5130 CENTURY

Rotator CHIMA’S TOW

SACRAMENTO, CA 2022 KENWORTH W990 WITH CENTURY 1050

Best of Show RAMOS TOWING

VASQUEZ TOW TRUCK REPAIR & SUPPLY SAN BERNARDINO, CA PETERBILT WITH HOLMES DTU

Work the non-traffic side - Stay Safe!

AmericanTowman.com | November 2022 • 51


Honorable Mentions:

SANDOVAL’S TOWING FONTANA, CA 2022 HINO L6 WITH A CENTURY 12-SERIES LCG CARRIER

ALL OF THESE WERE CLOSE CONTENDERS, SO WE FEEL THEY DESERVE RECOGNITION AS WELL! CRAWLEY’S SERVICES SUGARLAND, TX 2023 PETERBILT 337 WITH CENTURY 16 SERIES LCG CARRIER

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FRANK’S FLATBED SYLMAR, CA MACK WITH JERR-DAN CARRIER



Tow Manager

Drivers on the “High” Way Rules and Impacts of DOT Drug Testing By Brian J. Riker

M Brian J. Riker is a third-generation towman, with 26 years of experience in the ditch as a tow operator, and president of Fleet Compliance Solutions. He specializes in helping navigate the complex world of federal and state transportation regulatory compliance. He can be reached at brian.riker@fleetcompliancesolutions.net

ost towmen would agree that drugs are becoming a huge problem in this country. Everywhere you turn you see signs of use and abuse, and hear of another death or arrest. It is a massive societal problem with no end in sight. Considering how often you see drugrelated problems in the community, you might expect that trucking is no different. Looking back, in the 1970s the drug culture within trucking was immortalized in songs, movies and even the lexicon. “West coast turnaround” was slang for amphetamines that were used to stay awake days on end. Even the original lyrics to “Six Days on the Road” by Dave Dudley had a line, “popping little white pills, my eyes are open wide,” (but later changed to “passing little white lines” when the song was rerecorded by Sawyer Brown). In contrast to these cultural indications, what’s the real story? While the FMCSA has found it necessary to increase the rate of random drug testing required, from 25 percent of the pool of drivers annually in 2019, to 50 percent currently, it is important to note that trucking in general has one of the lowest rates of confirmed substance abuse among the US workforce. Currently at

54 • November 2022 | Towman.com

just over one percent of all tests coming back positive, trucking is well below the average workplace positive rate of 5.6 percent. Some states tend to see higher numbers than others, but in general trucking still enjoys one of the lowest rates of drug or alcohol violations in the country.

MODERN IMPACTS

Fast forward to today, with marijuana and its derivatives either legalized or decriminalized to some extent in at least 38 states, with more on the way. With a bill introduced in the US House to remove the Federal prohibition, cultural acceptance of drugs is changing. Thankfully the hard stuff is still taboo—as it should be—but what about substances like marijuana that may have some legitimate medicinal use? And is arguably not much different than alcohol— which is widely accepted worldwide as normal, to the point that if you don’t want to drink people will ask if you’re feeling alright. Putting aside the topic of legalizing of marijuana, what’s the impact on employment, given that it is still Federally prohibited for many safety sensitive workers? Is it limiting the available workforce pool from which


Our driver pool is shrinking and the increased use of legalized marijuana, medicinal or recreational, is not helping to select new team members? This issue has become so divisive that California recently enacted AB 2188 which prohibits most employers from taking any adverse action against employees that test positive for marijuana unless they were using it while on duty or still impaired. It is important to note that this does not apply to building and trades workers, nor Federally regulated workers such as truck drivers.

no positive test results have been reported to the database that would prohibit a driver from operating CMV. Employers must also directly report, or cause to be reported, positive, diluted, altered or refusal to

test within 24 hours of the event. This requirement is designed to prevent abusers from job-hopping to stay ahead of drug test results. By 2024, state driver licensing agencies will be required to query the Clearinghouse and suspend CDL privileges of operators with a prohibited status.

IMPORTANT TEST RESULTS

It is important to note that while nothing prohibits you from testing your non-CDL employees under the same guidelines, they can not

WHAT’S REQUIRED?

Here’s a quick refresher on DOTregulated drug testing within the United States. If you operate CDLrequired vehicles, your drivers must be tested for drugs and alcohol under specific guidelines. This also applies to Canadian or Mexican drivers while operating within the United States. If the vehicle being operated requires a CDL, then the operator is subject to the testing requirements, even if it is a single truck owner/ operator, family, your favorite cousin or whoever. DOT regulated drug testing must be administered pre-employment, before ever operating a CDL vehicle (which includes students in training at trucking schools and in-house training programs). And also randomly, post-crash and when a properly trained supervisor has reasonable suspicion to suspect the driver is under the influence of a prohibited substance. Motor carriers must also query the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse pre-employment and annually thereafter for each driver with a CDL. This is to make sure that Work the non-traffic side - Stay Safe!

AmericanTowman.com | November 2022 • 55


More than half of all positive marijuana tests result from over-the-counter products.

be included in the DOT regulated testing program or driver pool, nor can their results be reported to the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse database. They must be in a separately administered workplace drug and alcohol testing

56 • November 2022 | Towman.com

program. Here's what these rules all mean to us as towers that employ professional drivers operating commercial motor vehicles. Our driver pool is shrinking and the increased use of legalized marijuana, medicinal or recreational,

is not helping. It comes as no surprise that marijuana is the leading cause of positive drug test results among CDL holders, and many of these positives were truly a surprise to both the employer and the driver. Marijuana beat out the second highest drug,



cocaine, by nearly a 4 to 1 ratio. Now I know what you are thinking—how can someone be surprised about failing a drug test when they know they have used a drug? It is really simple: lack of education on the regulations surrounding drug testing, and what makes an over the counter marijuana derivative “THC free.”

MARIJUANA MISCONCEPTIONS

Let’s tackle the regulations first. The most common misconception is that medical marijuana, because you have a prescription, is legal to use. After all, other prescription drugs will cause a positive test result if the medical review officer is not aware of the driver having a legal prescription, so why should marijuana be any different? Because marijuana is still on Schedule 1 of the Federally prohibited substances,

58 • November 2022 | Towman.com

it can not be used in any form under any circumstances, including with a doctor’s prescription, by any DOT regulated person including truck drivers. With certain antidepressants and other controlled substances, your primary care doctor can sign off that it will not impair your ability to operate a truck. But if that substance is on Schedule 1, all bets are off. This is what the legislation introduced in the House earlier this year aimed to change, yet it died in the House as no companion Bill was introduced in the Senate.

ARE TRUCK-STOP DRUGS OK?

Now on to over-the-counter derivatives. This is where more than half of the positive test results for marijuana come from, innocent use of pain creams and such that are sold at the truck stop. You may think,


Work the non-traffic side - Stay Safe!

AmericanTowman.com | November 2022 • 59


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well if it is at the truck stop it must be safe to use? You are wrong. That’s because marijuana is still a prohibited substance. Federally the Food and Drug Administration has no guidelines on its processing, manufacture or distribution other than it contain less than 0.03 percent THC. It becomes a state level issue to decide if a product is legal for sale. Because the FDA testing and truth in labelling rules don’t apply, some manufacturers have taken shortcuts and may only test a single batch to below the threshold. (Quality manufacturers will test each batch and willingly provide the certificate for that batch.) This practice becomes a problem for truck drivers because the threshold for legal distribution, 0.03 percent THC, is also the threshold for a positive test result. Further complicating the matter is that due to the Federal prohibition on marijuana, little to no research is available to better understand exactly how it metabolizes within the human body. All we know is that each body processes it differently, so depending on fat content, age, sex, race and a host of other factors. you may build up a store of THC in your system, causing you to return a positive result while you are not in any way impaired. This fact is the reason creating a reliable field sobriety test is so difficult, as there is no baseline like there is with alcohol.

WHAT ABOUT YOUR OTHER DRIVERS?

Of important note for employers with mixed fleets is how “false positives” affects your non-CDL drivers. While you are not required to drug test your non-CDL drivers, you are expected to have operators that are not impaired by illicit substances. Further,

since marijuana is still a Federally prohibited substance and in most states, and always when engaging in interstate commerce, a DOT medical certification is required to operate any vehicle with a gross weight rating in excess of 10,000 pounds, so even your nonCDL drivers can not use it in any form. One of the components of a DOT-regulated medical exam is to determine if any prohibited substances are being used, which includes marijuana and its derivatives. Lastly, even if your driver does not take and fail a drug test, as an employer you still have a legal requirement to take action upon discovering actual knowledge of illicit drug or alcohol use. This could include receiving notice of a DUI charge or other legal action, or simply directly observing the use, sale, purchase or possession of a forbidden substance. Failure to take appropriate action could result in catastrophic results in the event of a crash, even when it is not your driver’s fault. Drug and alcohol testing is serious business. Many employers are being forced to take a hard look at how they handle applicants and employees that are using socially acceptable substances. All told, tow businesses are facing a huge, growing problem within our industry that each owner and employee must think about carefully and decide what path they are going to take.

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AmericanTowman.com | November 2022 • 61


Case Closed

A Will Versus a Trust? Which One Better Controls Your Choices? By Larry Oxenham

E Larry Oxenham is one of America’s top asset protection experts, having helped thousands of professionals achieve financial peace of mind by teaching them how to properly structure their assets for lawsuit protection and tax reduction. He has authored and co-authored several articles and books on the subject including The Asset Protection Bible and How to Achieve Financial Peace of Mind through Asset Protection. Larry Oxenham is a nationally recognized speaker who has trained thousands of professionals at hundreds of conventions, conferences and seminars across the country.

arlier this year I spoke to a group of towmen, showing them how to protect their assets, possibly lower their taxes, and pass everything onto their family when the time comes. A man came up to me after I finished and said with urgency, “You need to really stress what you said about a Will and how it can be disputed by family members.” He continued, “I started to have health problems a few years ago and I decided it was time to consider how I would exit my business. I have three sons but only one has worked in the business with me and knows how to run it. My other two sons never showed any interest in the business, but they liked the lifestyle it provided all of us. “I thought a Will was the right choice so I wrote up a Will designating my middle son as the one who would own and operate the business once I was gone, and designated the other two to receive some money but not be involved in management. And, frankly, other than knowing the name of the business

62 • November 2022 | Towman.com

There are shortcomings that should be considered before choosing a Will and a little bit about what we do, they don’t know enough to be involved.” He went on to relate that he felt good about the Will, and decided it would also be a good idea to gather his sons together, explain what he was doing, read the Will to them, and then move forward, confident they would see the wisdom of his instructions. Turns out he was mistaken. “There was silence at the table,” he noted. “And then the two sons looked at each other and back at me and said, ‘That is not what is going to happen. We are partners and we


expect to be equal partners in the business when you are gone. We are family and that’s the way it’s going to be.’” The towman realized at that point that the business would not survive after he was gone. And he also realized that he couldn’t sell it because they would want all the money. So he kept the business for a few more years, then closed the doors, and let his middle son have the assets and start over on his own. He has done well, but the other two sons, even though they were paid when he closed the business, believe they were shortchanged. “Our relationship remains strained today,” the man admitted. The alternative? Setting up a Revocable Living Trust. That’s because there are shortcomings that should be considered before choosing a Will or joint ownership as an estate plan. A better solution for many is the Revocable Living Trust—a tool that gives you more authority, eliminates (often petty) arguments, and assures your estate passes quickly and properly in the event of your death. The Revocable Living Trust can be changed/ modified at any time (after all, it is revocable). You appoint a Trustee to process it when you pass. A Trustee is someone you trust. You can name more than one Trustee, and you can change the Trustee anytime you wish prior to your death. When you pass, the job of the Trustee is to read the instructions of the trust, not to negotiate them or change them, or alter any of your wishes. The Revocable Living Trust provides a clear path for everything you own after you pass. It keeps the family out of the often expensive and lengthy probate process. A Revocable Living Trust becomes enforceable once it is signed and notarized. It doesn’t have to be filed with the county or state. It is always a good idea to notarize changes when they are made so you can prove the timeline. The truth is every business will change hands at some point, either voluntarily or otherwise. You must ask yourself this question every day of your business life: “If something happened to me today, do I know where every asset I own and every dollar I have accumulated will go?” If you have a Revocable Living Trust, you do. If you have a Will, there may be a long path ahead. Most business owners have worked long and hard for what they have. It makes no sense to let someone else make decisions for you and your family when you pass. Since none of us know when the end will come, you should meet with your advisor(s) as soon as possible and get your Revocable Living Trust in place. Work the non-traffic side - Stay Safe!

AmericanTowman.com | November 2022 • 63


My Baby

Count’s Kustoms Carrier Dual-Tech’s Rollback Gets a Celebrity Upgrade By Steve Temple

C

ar and truck enthusiasts are familiar with Count’s Kustoms, a hot rod and chopper customization/ restoration shop owned by Danny “The Count” Koker. He also hosts the History Channel’s reality show Counting Cars. But taking a slight detour from his usual fare is this Dual-Tech carrier, hand-painted by Ryan Evans and customized by Ghetto Bob of Count’s Kustoms. Ryan planned to use Count’s familiar shop colors on DualTech’s 22-foot 1450 with a 9/9 Lateral Retriever. After talking with the firm’s owners, Don and Jo Ann Roberts, though, he wanted to do something more upscale than the typical Koker outlaw treatment with flames, scallops and cobwebs. Danny mulled over Ryan’s sophisticated proposal for a moment, and then said “Oh the hell with it—do it!” The result? A spectacular gold-

and silver-leaf paint scheme that created a classy-looking carrier, akin to one of those million-dollar motor coaches. This aura includes the interior as well. Ghetto Bob lavished the seats with Eurostyle stitching and diamond-tuck upholstery, and installed a kick-ass Kicker audio system. While Ryan is really proud of this more subtle color scheme, he gives lots of credit to the Count’s crew handling the color sanding and buffing, praising them as “rock stars” of this shiny celebrity rig. And how did Dual-Tech’s Don Roberts react when he saw how it turned out? “I was absolutely speechless!” he exclaimed at the debut at our Las Vegas ShowPlace tow event. “All I could do is stand and look at the truck.” He pointed out the superior quality of the workmanship, adding that, “It’s the highlight of

64 • November 2022 | Towman.com

TECH HIGHLIGHTS Truck: 2022 M2 Freightliner Engine: Cummins 280

Transmission: Allison Automatic 2500 RDS Wrecker Body: Dual-Tech 22’ 1450 with a 9/9 Lateral Retriever

Paint and graphics: Ryan Evans Interior: Ghetto Bob custom upholstery and headliner, Kicker audio system

Danny Koker and Don Roberts partnered up to create this high-class, customized carrier.


Ghetto Bob insisted on high-class seats, with Euro-style stitching and diamond-tuck upholstery.

Even the carrier’s winch was custom-painted.

my career—an ol’ country boy coming to town, ya know what I’m sayin’.” Looking ahead, the Dual-Tech rig will be in service at Count’s shop for about a year, and then it will return

Work the non-traffic side - Stay Safe!

to Don’s facility. He has no plans to ever sell the carrier, but looks forward to seeing what Count’s will come up with on its next Dual-Tech project.

AmericanTowman.com | November 2022 • 65


Lowdown

Steve Calitri Editor-in-Chief scalitri@towman.com

The Great Magnet By Steven Calitri There are many tow bosses in this country who feel they run the greatest tow companies in America. Some of them in their most genuine reflections will say that. Most won’t, may not even think it, but they feel it. It might be the way they treat their drivers like a team, yet like individuals. It may be the training they send them to or accomplish in house. It might be the uniforms they have them wear. It might be the hustling they do to build up their commercial accounts or cultivate relationships with town and highway authorities, or motor club representatives. It might be the way they maintain their tow trucks, or the graphic expression wrapped or painted on them. Maybe all of the above. But the one common element of all the great towing companies is the tow boss who puts his heart in all the way. Heart is where the towman and American Towman meet. You see and feel it at the American Towman Expositions. Talking with any towman or tow woman in Baltimore you will know they put their heart into their business. The first encounter for a towman in Baltimore with the American Towman Exposition occurs outside the entrance to the Baltimore Convention Center. There he meets up with the Towman Monument, created in honor of who he is, the risk he takes, and the heart displayed in his work. From that moment, he realizes that the Exposition has the breadth of heart he has. Inside he 66 • November 2022 | Towman.com

may meet American Towman staffers who have poured their hearts into making the Exposition the greatest in the world. Farther into the Convention Center he will enter a hall with the greatest tow equipment on the planet and meet the men and women behind those companies who have come to meet him. They will meet the wonderful people who work hard at all the companies exhibiting that make this industry great. A natural phenomenon of the greatest Exposition is that it attracts the greatest towmen, and towmen of magnanimous heart who serve the people of America and risk their lives every day to do so. With all these great people in the hall it is easy to boast being the greatest exposition on earth. There is a magnetic force in play created by all the elements, all the participants, drawing everyone to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and inside the Convention Center. You can imagine the experience of being on the show floor, or being with one’s peers inside the Hard Rock Café, Calitri’s Cuba at the Powerplant, or Festival Night, or meeting the wrecker pageant contestants. With that much character and heart in one room it’s a feeling like history is in the making: what you may learn, who you may meet and befriend, allies you’ll make for the business. Towers are a rare breed. American Towman coined it right. You are masters of chaos. Here in Baltimore at the same place at the same time. XXXIII.



News Flash NY Tower Given Tribute

Towers from New York memorialized fallen tower Alex Bleickhardt, aged 33, as about 80 trucks were in procession in Saratoga County, stretching from a mall to TowAway

LLC, where Bleickhardt worked. He was killed after he was struck by a car while servicing a disabled box truck on Sept. 15. The car was driven by Justin P. Rodriguez, a repeat DWI offender with a revoked license.

Joined by their families, towers attached American flags with a neon yellow stripe to their trucks to honor Bleickhardt. Source: poststar.com

Towers drove in procession to honor fallen tower Alex Bleickhardt

North 68 • November 2022 | Towman.com



News Flash

Runway Towing of Queens is being sued, but according to lawyer is innocent of wrongdoing.

Queens Tow Company Hit with Lawsuit

A tow company in Queens was hit with a class-action suit, claiming that it monopolized tow services on Big Apple highways and ripped off thousands of motorists. The suit seeks more than $58 million in damages from several parties, including Runway Towing Corp. for allegedly running an illegal “racketeering enterprise” at the expense of unsuspecting motorists. The suit also accuses the NYPD of repeatedly extending Runway’s contract since 2013 without competitive bidding and ignoring many complaints that the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection was getting about the company’s alleged lawbreaking. The latter claim included underpaying workers and illegally compensating them with cash off the books. In response, Errol Margolin, a lawyer for Runway said, “To accuse Runway, the NYPD, and the Department of Consumer [and Worker Protection] of operating an enterprise” violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act “is not only silly but sanctionable. Any such lawsuit will be dismissed because there is no enterprise, no conspiracy, and no conduct that is illegal.” Source: nypost.com

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North 70 • November 2022 | Towman.com



News Flash NYC Tow Operator Killed

Carlos Santiago, aged 47, was struck and killed on the Long Island Expressway by an alleged drunk driver while trying to hitch a Nissan sedan onto his tow truck. Santiago, nicknamed “Campy,” was known to look out for others. One family member said, “We were told that my uncle pushed the driver out of the way.” Santiago, who worked for Knights Towing of Brooklyn, New York, had three children, a girlfriend, a brother and parents in Puerto Rico. “He was a big old teddy bear,” said Santiago’s daughter, Destiny about her father. “He wanted everyone to succeed. He would let himself fall, so everyone else could rise up.” Denzel Porter, 28, who struck Santiago in his Dodge Durango, was taken into custody and is facing a number of charges including vehicular manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, vehicular assault and driving while impaired. Dozens of mourners gathered at Knights Towing, creating a makeshift memorial with a floral wreath framing his portrait and a dozen lit candles. Campy’s friends also gathered outside Queens Criminal Court for the arraignment of Denzel Porter. Source: nydailynews.com

Carlos “Campy” Santiago

North 72 • November 2022 | Towman.com


Supplier Scoop automative, military and recovery applications. Mile Marker CEO Paul Fioravanti added, “The Mile Marker team is thrilled to have Courtney represent our brand. Courtney and her family have a long-established passion for outdoors, on- and off-road racing, customizing cars and trucks, and Courtney is no stranger to upgrading vehicles with an enthusiast’s eye.

Mack’s Command Steer

Mile Marker’s Celebrity Rep

Courtney Hansen, a well-known TV personality for the automotive aftermarket, will be working with Mile Marker Industries, Inc. This Pompano Beach, Florida is manufacturer of high-quality hubs, winches, recovery gear and automotive aftermarket accessories. The Leading Lady of Automotive TV, Courtney first attained popularity and a devoted worldwide following as the spunky, lovable cohost of TLC’s hit car-makeover show “Overhaulin’,” where she also got her hands dirty helping teams led by auto design legend Chip Foose transform a viewer’s scrappy ride into an ultimate show car in just one week. The show garnered a devoted worldwide following that remains strong to this day. During her time on Overhaulin’, Courtney also co-hosted the specials “Rides: Biggest Spenders” and “Million Dollar Motors” for TLC, among many other TV appearances. “I’m excited to be part of the Mile Marker family,” said Courtney. “I love working with smaller, nimble, high-quality manufacturers of aftermarket and OEM accessories.” For nearly four decades, Mile Marker has been known for its robust hubs, winches for trucks, and many other Work the non-traffic side - Stay Safe!

To give heavyweight trucks a lightweight feel, Mack has electrified a conventional driveline. Not to be confused with an EV, Mack Trucks’ Command Steer focuses instead on driver comfort and safety. This electrically-assisted hydraulic steering system has been available on certain Mack Models since 2020. It adds an electric motor to the existing hydraulic steering system to reduce manual steering input from the driver by up to 85 percent, thus reducing driver fa-

tigue and muscle strain by up to 30 percent. With nearly 11 pounds of steering assist, it allows for a much lighter touch on the wheel. “This is similar to when we started having power steering,” noted Jonathan Randall, Mack Trucks senior vice president. “The fact that it takes so much feedback from the road—the wear and tear—out of your arms, your neck, your shoulders and head.” Command Steer not only absorbs all that work and abuse, it keeps the truck on track. Multiple sensors throughout the truck monitor road condition and driver input and relay those observations more than 2,000 times per second. From the data collected, the system provides variable steering effort through the electric motor, applying additional torque as needed to make it easier to keep the truck on the intended route. Along with a reduction in driver steering efforts at low speed, Command Steer also suppresses

AmericanTowman.com | November 2022 • North 73


Supplier Scoop uneven terrain and reacts to surface irregularities by countering the steer force, smoothing the steering feedback and reducing steering wheel kick. The steering shaft is still connected (the motor simply sits on top of the gear), so in the unlikely event of failure, the driver still has the ability to steer the old-fashioned way. On the highway, the benefits mentioned above are still applicable. The system can learn and compensate for a road crown or high wind conditions, offsetting a persistent pull in that direction from the driver. All told, Command Steer provides extra comfort and safety for every type of fleet. Source: macktrucks.com

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North 74 • November 2022 | Towman.com



North 76 • November 2022 | Towman.com


Episode 19

Copyright©2021 American Towman Magazine. Characters and stories are fictitious; no resemblance to real life characters is intended.


Send your thoughts/suggestions on the Adventures to scalitri@towman.com or American Towman, 2 Overlook Dr #5, Warwick NY 10990



News Flash

Towers drove in procession to honor fallen tower Alex Bleickhardt

NY Tower Given Tribute

Towers from New York memorialized fallen tower Alex Bleickhardt, aged 33, as about 80 trucks were in procession in Saratoga County, stretching from a mall to TowAway LLC, where Bleickhardt worked. He was killed after he was struck by a car while servicing a disabled box truck on Sept. 15. The car was driven by Justin P. Rodriguez, a repeat DWI offender with a revoked license. Joined by their families, towers attached American flags with a neon yellow stripe to their trucks to honor Bleickhardt. Source: poststar.com

Runway Towing of Queens is being sued, but according to lawyer is innocent of wrongdoing.

Queens Tow Company Hit with Lawsuit

A tow company in Queens was hit with a class-action suit, claiming that it monopolized tow services on Big Apple highways and ripped off thousands of motorists. The suit

seeks more than $58 million in damages from several parties, including Runway Towing Corp. for allegedly running an illegal “racketeering enterprise” at the expense of unsuspecting motorists. The suit also accuses the NYPD of repeatedly extending Runway’s contract since 2013 without competitive bidding and ignoring many complaints that the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection was getting about the company’s alleged lawbreaking. The latter claim included underpaying workers and illegally compensating them with cash off the books. In response, Errol Margolin, a lawyer for Runway said, “To accuse Runway, the NYPD, and the Department of Consumer [and Worker Protection] of operating an enterprise” violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act “is not only silly but sanctionable. Any such lawsuit will be dismissed because there is no enterprise, no conspiracy, and no conduct that is illegal.” Source: nypost.com

Santiago, who worked for Knights Towing of Brooklyn, New York, had three children, a girlfriend, a brother and parents in Puerto Rico. “He was a big old teddy bear,” said Santiago’s daughter, Destiny about her father. “He wanted everyone to succeed. He would let himself fall, so everyone else could rise up.” Denzel Porter, 28, who struck Santiago in his Dodge Durango, was taken into custody and is facing a number of charges including vehicular manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, vehicular assault and driving while impaired. Dozens of mourners gathered at Knights Towing, creating a makeshift memorial with a floral wreath framing his portrait and a dozen lit candles. Campy’s friends also gathered outside Queens Criminal Court for the arraignment of Denzel Porter. Source: nydailynews.com

NYC Tow Operator Killed

Carlos Santiago, aged 47, was struck and killed on the Long Island Expressway by an alleged drunk driver while trying to hitch a Nissan sedan onto his tow truck. Santiago, nicknamed “Campy,” was known to look out for others. One family member said, “We were told that my uncle pushed the driver out of the way.”

South 68 • November 2022 | Towman.com

Carlos “Campy” Santiago


Supplier Scoop

Mile Marker’s Celebrity Rep

Courtney Hansen, a well-known TV personality for the automotive aftermarket, will be working with Mile Marker Industries, Inc. This Pompano Beach, Florida is manufacturer of high-quality hubs, winches, recovery gear and automotive aftermarket accessories. The Leading Lady of Automotive TV, Courtney first attained popularity and a devoted worldwide following as the spunky, lovable cohost of TLC’s hit car-makeover show “Overhaulin’,” where she also got her hands dirty helping teams led by auto design legend Chip Foose transform a viewer’s scrappy ride into an ultimate

Work the non-traffic side - Stay Safe!

show car in just one week. The show garnered a devoted worldwide following that remains strong to this day. During her time on Overhaulin’, Courtney also co-hosted the specials “Rides: Biggest Spenders” and “Million Dollar Motors” for TLC, among many other TV appearances. “I’m excited to be part of the Mile Marker family,” said Courtney. “I love working with smaller, nimble, high-quality manufacturers of aftermarket and OEM accessories.” For nearly four decades, Mile Marker has been known for its robust hubs, winches for trucks, and many other automative, military and recovery applications. Mile Marker CEO Paul Fioravanti added, “The Mile Marker team is thrilled to have Courtney represent our brand. Courtney and her family have a long-established passion for outdoors, on- and off-road racing, customizing cars and trucks, and Courtney is no stranger to upgrading vehicles with an enthusiast’s eye.

Global Vehicle Roadside Assistance Market Growth

According to a 220-page, market-research study published by Custom Market Insights, the demand analysis of Global Vehicle Roadside Assistance Market size and share revenue was valued at approximately $23.6 Billion in 2021. By 2030, this market is expected to reach around $34.8 Billion by 2030, at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 4.1 percent between 2022 and 2030. The key market players listed in the report with their sales, revenues and strategies are Viking Assistance Group, Best Roadside Service, AutoVantage, Paragon Motorclub, Roadside Masters, ARC Europe SA, Agero, Allianz Global Assistance, National Motor Club, SOS International A/S and others. The Roadside Assistance market is propelled by the increase in the digitalization of insurance services and the rise in smartphone and mobile applications. The vendors in roadside

AmericanTowman.com | November 2022 • South 69


Supplier Scoop assistance programs prefer working through dedicated channels that encourage consumers to opt more for such programs. Post-COVID-19 pandemic, the travel industry is again witnessing very high growth globally. With the growth in the travel industry, the demand for Vehicle Roadside Assistance Industry is also growing proportionally. Vehicle Roadside Assistance Industry websites and applications offer a convenient platform to customers, allowing them to have a wide variety of options available per their requirements and budget. With increased mobility and the need for a better platform to address emergencies, digitalization is more likely to bridge the communication gap and improve the turnaround time during a roadside assistance call. To Access a Free Sample Report of the Global Vehicle Roadside Assistance Market, go to custommarketinsights.com/request-for-free-sample/?reportid=16789

Mack’s Command Steer

To give heavyweight trucks a lightweight feel, Mack has electrified a conventional driveline. Not to be confused with an EV, Mack Trucks’ Command Steer focuses instead on driver comfort and safety. This electrically-assisted hydraulic steering system has been available on certain Mack Models since 2020. It adds an electric motor to the existing hydraulic steering system to reduce manual steering input from the driver by up to 85 percent, thus reducing driver fatigue and muscle strain by up to 30 percent. With nearly 11 pounds of steering assist, it allows for a much lighter touch on the wheel. “This is similar to when we started having power steering,” noted Jonathan Randall, Mack Trucks senior vice president. “The fact that it takes so much feedback from the road—the wear and tear—out of your arms, your neck, your shoulders and head.” Command Steer not only absorbs all that work and abuse, it keeps the truck on track. Multiple sensors throughout

the truck monitor road condition and driver input and relay those observations more than 2,000 times per second. From the data collected, the system provides variable steering effort through the electric motor, applying additional torque as needed to make it easier to keep the truck on the intended route. Along with a reduction in driver steering efforts at low speed, Command Steer also suppresses uneven terrain and reacts to surface irregularities by countering the steer force, smoothing the steering feedback and reducing steering wheel kick. The steering shaft is still connected (the motor simply sits on top of the gear), so in the unlikely event of failure, the driver still has the ability to steer the old-fashioned way. On the highway, the benefits mentioned above are still applicable. The system can learn and compensate for a road crown or high wind conditions, offsetting a persistent pull in that direction from the driver. All told, Command Steer provides extra comfort and safety for every type of fleet. Source: macktrucks.com

Fuel-cell EVs Match Diesel Performance

Kenworth and Toyota Motor North America say they have proven the capabilities of their jointly designed heavy-duty, Class 8 fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) as potential zero-emissions replacements for diesel-powered trucks. The companies tested the vehicles in operation in their Zero- and Near-Zero Emissions Freight Facilities (ZANZEFF) “Shore to Store” project at the Port of Los Angeles, in the Los Angeles basin, and in the Inland Empire. The primary goal was to “nearly match” the performance of diesel-powered drayage trucks while eliminating emissions to provide a sustainable solution in heavy-duty transportation. The baseline for the Toyota-Kenworth T680 FCEV truck—codenamed “Ocean”—was a 2017 diesel engine operating about 200 miles a day. The T680 FCEV has a range of about 300-plus miles when fully loaded to 82,000 lbs.

South 70 • November 2022 | Towman.com

(GCWR). With no downtime between shifts for charging, and a short 15- to 20-minute fill time, the ten FCEVs tested could run multiple shifts a day and cover up to 400 to 500 miles, the companies said. Kenworth designed and built the Class 8 T680 FCEVs, while Toyota designed and built the powertrain’s fuel cell electric power system powered by hydrogen. The Ocean trucks reduced Greenhouse Gases (GHG) by 74.66 metric tons of CO2 per truck annually compared to the baseline diesel engine. “Having a successful demonstration of Toyota’s scaled fuel cell electric power supply with real-world operations for actual customers opens the door to even broader future deployment, as the use of hydrogen helps to eliminate CO2 from heavy-duty transport while offering a cleaner alternative that keeps the vehicles in service, a win for all parties,” said Andrew Lund, Toyota’s chief engineer for zero-emission advanced product planning. “The potential for this technology as a replacement for higher-emission powertrains is real and supports both regulatory and society initiatives to combat climate change while helping us achieve our own goals of carbon neutrality.” The program paves the way for further development and commercial opportunities for hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric transportation in California and beyond, the companies noted. “Through the Shore to Store project, we demonstrated how Toyota’s advanced zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell technology could be scaled and used in our Kenworth T680,” said Joe Adams, Kenworth chief engineer. “We clearly showed that hydrogen is a viable clean fuel capable of powering commercial transportation for customers, matching diesel performance in range and power, with quick refueling for minimal downtime and smooth, quiet operation.” With the completion of this project, the door is now open for the technology to be adopted more widely for use in other heavy-duty applications, including increasing use of heavy-duty trucks in commercial transportation.



South 72 • November 2022 | Towman.com


Episode 19

Copyright©2021 American Towman Magazine. Characters and stories are fictitious; no resemblance to real life characters is intended.


Send your thoughts/suggestions on the Adventures to scalitri@towman.com or American Towman, 2 Overlook Dr #5, Warwick NY 10990



News Flash

NY Tower Given Tribute

Towers from New York memorialized fallen tower Alex Bleickhardt, aged 33, as about 80 trucks were in procession in Saratoga County, stretching from

Midwest 68 • November 2022 | Towman.com



News Flash

Towers drove in procession to honor fallen tower Alex Bleickhardt

a mall to TowAway LLC, where Bleickhardt worked. He was killed after he was struck by a car while servicing a disabled box truck on Sept. 15. The car was driven by Justin P. Rodriguez, a repeat DWI offender with a revoked license. Joined by their families, towers attached American flags with a neon yellow stripe to their trucks to honor Bleickhardt. Source: poststar.com

Queens Tow Company Hit with Lawsuit

A tow company in Queens was hit with a class-action suit, claiming that it monopolized tow services on Big Apple highways and ripped off thousands of motorists. The suit seeks more than $58 million in damages from several parties, including Runway Towing Corp. for allegedly running an illegal “racketeering enter-

prise” at the expense of unsuspecting motorists. The suit also accuses the NYPD of repeatedly extending Runway’s contract since 2013 without competitive bidding and ignoring many complaints that the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection was getting about the company’s alleged lawbreaking. The latter claim included underpaying workers and illegally compensating them with cash off the books. In response, Errol Margolin, a lawyer for Runway said, “To accuse Runway, the NYPD, and the Department of Consumer [and Worker Protection] of operating an enterprise” violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act “is not only silly but sanctionable. Any such lawsuit will be dismissed because there is no enterprise, no conspiracy, and no conduct that is illegal.” Source: nypost.com

Runway Towing of Queens is being sued, but according to lawyer is innocent of wrongdoing.

Midwest 70 • November 2022 | Towman.com

Carlos “Campy” Santiago

NYC Tow Operator Killed

Carlos Santiago, aged 47, was struck and killed on the Long Island Expressway by an alleged drunk driver while trying to hitch a Nissan sedan onto his tow truck. Santiago, nicknamed “Campy,” was known to look out for others. One family member said, “We were told that my uncle pushed the driver out of the way.” Santiago, who worked for Knights Towing of Brooklyn, New York, had three children, a girlfriend, a brother and parents in Puerto Rico. “He was a big old teddy bear,” said Santiago’s daughter, Destiny about her father. “He wanted everyone to succeed. He would let himself fall, so everyone else could rise up.” Denzel Porter, 28, who struck Santiago in his Dodge Durango, was taken into custody and is facing a number of charges including vehicular manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, vehicular assault and driving while impaired. Dozens of mourners gathered at Knights Towing, creating a makeshift memorial with a floral wreath framing his portrait and a dozen lit candles. Campy’s friends also gathered outside Queens Criminal Court for the arraignment of Denzel Porter. Source: nydailynews.com



Midwest 72 • November 2022 | Towman.com


Episode 19

Copyright©2021 American Towman Magazine. Characters and stories are fictitious; no resemblance to real life characters is intended.


Send your thoughts/suggestions on the Adventures to scalitri@towman.com or American Towman, 2 Overlook Dr #5, Warwick NY 10990


Work the non-traffic side - Stay Safe!

AmericanTowman.com | November 2022 • West 67


News Flash

Runway Towing of Queens is being sued, but according to lawyer is innocent of wrongdoing.

Queens Tow Company Hit with Lawsuit

A tow company in Queens was hit with a class-action suit, claiming that it monopolized tow services on Big Apple highways and ripped off thousands of motorists. The suit seeks more than $58 million in damages from several parties, including Runway Towing Corp. for allegedly running an illegal “racketeering enterprise” at the expense

West 68 • November 2022 | Towman.com


Work the non-traffic side - Stay Safe!

AmericanTowman.com | November 2022 • West 69


News Flash of unsuspecting motorists. The suit also accuses the NYPD of repeatedly extending Runway’s contract since 2013 without competitive bidding and ignoring many complaints that the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection was getting about the company’s alleged lawbreaking. The latter claim included underpaying workers and illegally compensating them with cash off the books. In response, Errol Margolin, a lawyer for Runway said, “To accuse Runway, the NYPD, and the Department of Consumer [and Worker Protection] of operating an enterprise” violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act “is not only silly but sanctionable. Any such lawsuit will be dismissed because there is no enterprise, no conspiracy, and no conduct that is illegal.” Source: nypost.com

West 70 • November 2022 | Towman.com




Episode 19

Copyright©2021 American Towman Magazine. Characters and stories are fictitious; no resemblance to real life characters is intended.


Send your thoughts/suggestions on the Adventures to scalitri@towman.com or American Towman, 2 Overlook Dr #5, Warwick NY 10990