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September/October 2012


16 |Focusing Forward on the Market company spotlight

Safety 12 | Why worry about maintenance?

22 | Lift & Tow

24 | Zacklift

26 | Ricky’s Towing

28 | Flash Equipment

25 | Detroit Wrecker

Jump Starter 20 | Top 5 Things to Remember for Long Jump Starter Life

30 | DewEze Mfg.

I n du stry NEWS

32 |CW Mill

6 | IAA-Austin’s Grand Opening Event Announces National Alliance to Hire Military and Showcases Best Practices at New Facility

8 | Hino Trucks Sets U.S. Launch Plan For Its New Class

Equpiment Co.

IN EVERY ISSUE 4 | Publisher Letter

5 Cab-Over

8 | Here We Grow Again Dual-Tech Inc. • Bean Station, Tennessee



8 |Hidden Dangers


Cover Image Courtesy of International Towing and Recovery Museum and the Wall of the Fallen

Tow Professional | September/October 2012 |

34 |





Professional Your Resource for Towing & Recovery

September/October 2012

PUBLISHERS Darian Weaver President & Co-Publisher

Remembering the events and loss of life on September 11, 2001 As I write this Publisher’s letter, it is the anniversary of 9/11/2001. It is a day that saddens me every year when reflecting back on the events of the day. All Americans were deeply impacted on that dark day; 11 years later, we continue to offer prayers to family and friends

Jack Hartsfield Vice President & Co-Publisher __________________________

who lost loved ones. As a result of this date 11 years ago, our country became United once again. Parents went home and kissed their kids with more meaning, people were nicer to


their neighbors, religion became more important, we were more proud to be American.

Clint W. Cabiness Art Director

NEVER FORGET 9/11 As well, NEVER FORGET the people that have lost their lives in the line of duty within our industry. For everyone who has the name of their husband, wife, father, son, daughter or friend on the Wall of the Fallen, I take liberty for all in the market in saying that our thoughts and prayers are with you. By the time you read this, this year’s ceremonies for the Wall of the Fallen at the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum will have hap-

Hal K. Huber Graphic Designer Jill Hasty Managing Editor __________________________

pened. We look forward to traveling to Tennessee this coming weekend (9/15) for the Wall of the Fallen Name Unveiling Ceremony where the lives of those lost will be remembered and celebrated. This past weekend, I (Darain) volunteered at a three day men’s retreat called Tres Dias. I do this twice a year because it’s more than just a weekend with the guys; it’s a springboard to understand and remember what is most important in these times—God, family, and community. These weekends provide men the tools to be better equipped to handle anything that life throws at us. We never know when hard times will come or when tragedy will strike, but, with the correct skill set, we can remember that life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Tom Bray Richard Farrel Todd K Angie Lourance Dennis Roberts Lloyd Roland Calvin Roth Ricki-Ann Sargent Scott Templeton __________________________

to it. Thanks again to our readers and customers for their support of Tow Professional! Remembering 9/11 and those lost in the Towing and Recovery market,

Executive and Advertising Offices P.O. Box 26308 Birmingham, AL 35260 Toll free: 888-802-8544 Fax: 205-978-1550

Darian Weaver and Jack Hartsfield Co-Publishers

For a new free subscription, address changes or corrections, please visit and click on the “subscribe” tab.


Tow Professional | September/October 2012 |

Tow Professional is published seven times a year on a bimonthly basis by Over The Mountain Media, Inc., P.O. Box 26308, Birmingham, Alabama, 35260, USA. Tow Professional is distributed free to qualified subscribers. Non-qualified subscription rates are $57.00 per year in the U.S. and Canada and $84.00 per year for foreign subscribers (surface mail). U.S. Postage paid at Birmingham, Alabama and additional mailing offices. Tow Professional is distributed to qualified Towing & Recovery's Top Decision Makers. Publisher is not liable for all content (including editorial and illustrations provided by advertisers) of advertisements published and does not accept responsibility for any claims made against the publisher. It is the advertiser’s or agency’s responsibility to obtain appropriate releases on any item or individuals pictured in an advertisement. Reproduction of this magazine in whole or in part is prohibited without prior written permission from the publisher.

I n du stry NEWS



IAA-Austin’s Grand Opening Event Announces National Alliance to Hire Military and Showcases Best Practices at New Facility


On Tuesday, September 11th, Insurance Auto Auctions celebrated its new facility with a Texas-sized welcome and a tribute to Patriot Day. IAA kicked off the event at 9 a.m. with its covered, dual-lane, run-anddrive auction with buyers in person and live on-line. The auction was paused briefly for the inauguration. “IAA’s Austin branch is a ‘manifestation of best practices’ from over 30 years of auctioning all types of vehicles,” said John Kett, presi-

dent and chief financial officer. “We are delighted to be in this new facility with a talented team to serve our buyers and providers alike. We have room to grow in this 37-acre facility.” Kett commented there are more than 2,000 IAA employees in North America located in over 160 locations. During the event, IAA signed a Statement of Support with Employers Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) and was welcomed by the Bastrop Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Jerry Icenhower, Chairman of the Texas ESGR and Major General (retired) presented IAA with a plaque signed by the ESGR and Secretary of Defense. Susan Wendell, president and chief executive officer of the Bastrop Chamber of Commerce cut the ribbon with John Kett to celebrate IAA’s new location in Dale, Texas. IAA’s new facility showcases the company’s continued commitment to invest in its expanding footprint and technology to improve efficiency and operations. Technology enables IAA to have a global reach and ensures buyers from all over the world can participate in their weekly auctions. According to IAA, their buyers represent more than 110 countries around the globe. Since 1982, IAA has sold millions of vehicles through its weekly auctions for insurance companies, fleet and rental companies, financing companies, charity organizations and

the general public. Last year, IAA sold over 1.3 million vehicles. IAA buyers include automotive body shops, rebuilders, used car dealers, automotive wholesalers, exporters, dismantlers, recyclers, brokers, and where allowed, non-licensed (public) buyers. IAA buyers have access to auctions by attending live in person or via the IAA Auction Center, the company’s bidding and buying platform available via any internet enabled device including computers, smart phones and tablets. The IAA Auction Center ( allows buyers to participate in up to eight auctions and offers auctions in six languages including: English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, French, Polish and Russian. An estimated 30-percent of IAA’s vehicles are sold and exported to foreign countries, which further strengthens its philosophy of choice and flexibility with “anywhere” access and mobile technology. IAA follows strict regulatory compliance at the federal and state levels and is well versed in all state titling laws as well as buyer and seller licensing. CONTACT The IAA-Austin branch is located at 2191 State Highway 21 in Dale, Texas. For more information, go to

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Tow Professional | September/October 2012 |

I n du stry NEWS



Hino Trucks Sets U.S. Launch Plan For Its New Class 5 Cab-Over


measure of quality, durability, reliability and hybrid technology in the cabover market. “A successful launch of our new cab-over models is imperative to provide our customers and dealers with a competitive, world-class cab-over. Over the past several months, the management team at Hino has monitored the truck market rebound, the U.S. economy, and foreign currency exchange rates to develop a plan that supported our customers and dealers in the short term, while sustaining a business model for the long term. With these factors in mind, the introduction of the cab-over truck is on track,” said Glenn Ellis, Vice President of Marketing for Hino Trucks. The first diesel cab-over trucks will arrive to Hino dealers in August. Due to a limited supply of initial diesel-electric hybrid cab-over trucks, the release of these vehicles will begin in the state of California in September. As more product becomes available in early 2013, a staged roll out for the remaining markets will be implemented. Novi, Michigan – Hino Trucks new Class 5 195 and 195h COE trucks will be arriving at qualified Hino dealerships across the country this fall. Available with a Diesel (195) or Diesel-Electric Hybrid (195h) powertrain, the 19,500 GVW trucks feature 210 HP and 440 lb-ft of torque from Hino’s 5-liter J05E Series engine. The launch of this new cab-over product line offers Hino dealers an opportunity to reach new customers and establishes Hino Trucks as the

About Hino: Hino Trucks, a Toyota Group Company, assembles, sells and services class 4-7 commercial trucks in the United States and is headquartered in Novi, Michigan. With over 180 dealers across the country, Hino Trucks is the fastest growing medium duty truck nameplate in the United States. Visit our internet home page at or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.


Here We Grow Again Dual-Tech Inc. • Bean Station, Tennessee As most of you know we have been in business since 1989 when my father Don Roberts started the Company!! He used to have his own car lot back in the day and ran a rollback for years and every time he turned around he had to work on it. So he decided to build his own and build it to last, from there the company started growing to what it is today. As you all know we strive on customer service and building quality units for the end user for years and continue to do so. This Building, in Auburndale, Florida, is where it all started with just a one bay building


in the back yard and as you can see we kept adding to it. This shop was literally in our back yard. This plant finally became too small… and was sold to Rush Peterbuilt and we moved to Bean Station, TN.

Dual-Tech users know our product line to be a high quality, low maintenance, and easily operated unit. The company designs, manufactures, and markets a full line of car and industrial equipment carriers for the towing, salvage, and transport industries.

This is the Plant we are currently in today here in Bean Station, TN. We are in the process of adding onto this building as well. We are breaking ground right now to add on 19k sq. ft. to the back side now and will be adding offices up front off of 11 W. Dual-Tech strives to meet and beat our cus8

tomers’ expectations by offering service after the sale. We listen to our customers’ needs and accommodate them through custom design implements.

Tow Professional | September/October 2012 |

Dual-Tech’s manufacturing operation includes metal cutting and machining, fabrication, welding, paint, and assembly of both the Dual-Tech car carrier undercarriage and the carrier body on various OEM truck chassis. Dual-Tech Inc. 321 Industrial Dr. Bean Station, TN 37708



by Todd K at AW Direct In my current position, I am constantly asked, “What do I need, and what are the must haves?” by new business owners. My answer is simple: knowledge! And having employees with knowledge! But… since you cannot purchase knowledge in the towing equipment section of any retailers I know of, we will have to concentrate on the hard parts used in transport and recovery. If you have read any of my past articles, you’ve probably noticed that a lot of my writing revolves around safety. The main reason for this is that—when talking about recovery, towing, and many other occupations—they all seem fairly straightforward and simple. As with a lot of things in life, these occupations hide dangers, and those dangers are hidden in plain view. How is this, you may ask? Let’s take a look at loading a fully rolling mid-sized automobile onto a carrier bed, for example. The wire rope has a 2.4-ton WLL, the hook has a 3-ton WLL and the winch has a 4-on WLL. Our example car weighs 2 tons. Where is the danger? Well, it is hidden in plain view, right? In a perfect world, we would check our equipment before each and every time we used the recovery unit. We’d also have X-ray vision so that we could see the inner strands and core of the wire rope, the internals of our winch and the fatigued metal in our hook—all of which could give way at any moment, sending our 4,000-lb. car down our

carrier bed and into any number of things behind it, including humans! These are the dangers hidden in plain view. Until recently, there has not been an efficient way of keeping an auto from rolling off the bed if any part of the winching system experiences a catastrophic failure while doing a single-man carrier load. But our friends at “In The Ditch” have produced what I believe to be one of the single most important safety devises for safely loading a carrier with one man. “The Traveling Speed Chock” rolls along with your casualty from its position on a flat surface, then up the bed, which essentially keeps the auto from rolling should something fail in the winch system.

I ‘ve used this chock and can say that it does not impede progress or slow you down one bit. Plus, it gives you the peace of mind that the casualty is not going to roll away should you experience a muchunwanted catastrophic failure. That is a far cry from the days when I used to load casualties with a safety chain hooked on the car and secured to the weld-on grab hook at the front of the carrier, shortening the chain as I slowly proceeded to pull the auto up the deck. Yikes! The next time you are coming up with your budget for towing equipment, remember that safety should be a priority. When you take some time to think about it, those dangers that were previously hidden suddenly become crystal clear. TOW 10

Tow Professional | September/October 2012 |




B y To m B r ay


here are several reasons why a tow operator should be worried about maintenance. Regulatory compliance, liability, and being able to do the job customers pay you to do are the main ones.

REGULATORY COMPLIANCE If your vehicle is considered a commercial vehicle, either by the state you operate in or by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (if you are involved in interstate operations), then the vehicle will have to be maintained due to regulations. The regulations normally require:


Tow Professional | September/October 2012 |

• Daily inspections by the driver • Systematic inspection and maintenance • Annual inspection by a qualified technician or state inspector

DAILY INSPECTIONS The daily inspections involve the driver checking key items on the vehicle before operating it for the workday, and then reporting the condition of the vehicle to the company at the end of the workday. These inspections are commonly referred to as the “pre-trip” and “post-trip” inspections. After the post trip, the driver must complete a daily vehicle inspection report, or DVIR. This is the form used to officially notify the company as to the condition of the vehicle. If the vehicle is in good condition, the driver simply needs to submit the completed report. If the DVIR indicates a problem, the company must address it before the vehicle is operated again. Addressing it can include repairing

the problem or stating on the report that repairs are not necessary for the vehicle to operate safely. Whichever action the company takes, a company official (a mechanic, a maintenance supervisor, or even the driver in some cases) needs to sign the report. The next driver to use the vehicle must then review the DVIR and sign it, agreeing with the actions taken by the company.

SYSTEMATIC INSPECTION AND MAINTENANCE The company must be operating a “systematic inspection and maintenance program” to ensure that all company vehicles are in good condition when they are on the road. With few exceptions, the regulations do not specify how often the vehicle must be inspected and maintained by the company. The company is allowed to decide how often the vehicles need to come in for a maintenance inspection and preventive maintenance. However, some states, such as California, have a requirement that all commercial vehicles operated out of their state undergo at least a quarterly maintenance inspection.

ANNUAL INSPECTION The company must also see to it that the vehicle undergoes a “periodic” | September/October 2012 | Tow Professional



or annual inspection. This inspection must be done by a qualified technician in your shop or a for-hire shop, or by a state inspector. The difference is that some states require that the annual inspection be done by them, not a private entity. Of course all maintenance must be documented and the documentation retained for compliance reasons. This is especially important when it comes to the annual inspection.

LIABILITY If a company has not been doing driver inspections and/or the required company inspections and maintenance, or is not keeping records of the maintenance, the company could be exposed to a claim of negligence if a company vehicle is involved in a crash. This is especially true if the vehicle’s condition either contributed to or caused the crash. The crash may have been the other party’s fault, but the company may end up on the hook if the vehicle condition contributed to the crash.


Tow Professional | September/October 2012 |


While not a big secret, having a well maintained fleet that is able to “answer the call” at any time is one of the greatest assets any towing company can have. A company that has difficulty getting trucks out of the yard and/or to the scene due to their condition will not last very long in this business. Being able to “answer the call” when it comes in is what it is all about! TOW Thomas Bray, Sr. Editor – Transportation Management for J.J. Keller & Associates, Inc., specializes in motor carrier safety and operations management. Before joining the Editorial Resource Area at J. J. Keller, Tom worked in the trucking industry for 22 years, as a driver, driver trainer, safety supervisor, lead instructor, claims manager, training director, and safety director. Tom can be contacted at

Focusing Forward ON THE MARKET

I was thinking back the other day. It is truly amazing how the towing industry has changed. I have seen not only the equipment become more diverse and jobspecific, but also to witness the creativity of so many people shows me just how far the industry has come.


seemed that for a long time, this was a very closed profession. Towing Associations were very secretive about who could join. Information on technique was not given out readily. If you did not have THIS license you could not join. If you had THAT type, you could join and pay dues but not vote. Nobody would discuss safety or techniques. You were on your own. Some of the “old timers� would just sit back and snicker, waiting for you to screw up! Today, we have so much social media available to us. Our fellow towers can discuss different ways to do our jobs. Ideas seem to flow freely, and information is so much more accessible. There are so many different ways to improve our companies and the image that the public sees. The industry as a whole has become so much more professional. Just look at the Internet.


Tow Professional | September/October 2012 |

There are so many great sites available to pass on information on any subject a tower might need. Discussion groups can give help on everything one might need. When I was younger, one of my first jobs was working in a “full service” gas station. I pumped gas, did minor repairs, and drove their tow truck, which was just an old truck with a boom, winch, and a metal bar hooked to a arm. If the vehicle was towed, we might stick an old tire between the “crash bar” and the towed car. One day, a salesman from one of the local equipment manufacturers came in to visit. He brought a truck with this new and improved device that he said would stop all of the damage the old crash bar was causing. My boss and the other mechanics looked and kind of laughed! What was this? Two rubber straps connected to an upper bar a lower bar and two arms going to the back of the truck. Was this guy nuts? No way these rubber straps could hold up a car. Boy, we were wrong. We just saw a tow sling. Soon, everyone had a sling on the back of their truck. No more scratching the chrome bumpers! Jump ahead several years. There were these guys way up in Canada who came up with this rig that would pick up the car by the tires. I'll bet you think I'm talking about a wheel-lift. No, this was | September/October 2012 | Tow Professional


Focusing Forward ON THE MARKET

the Vulcan “Cradle Snatcher.” There was a hydraulic boom, with a large cross arm at the top. (It kind of looked like an airplane wing) Hooked to it were two long straps on each side. On the lower ends were two bars under the tires (kind of like dolly bars). The straps would then hook to each end of these bars. There was a short chain on each end of the bars that acted like a spreader. Up she went! A bar then hooked to the rear of the truck and damage free towing. Yep, it did take a little while to hook up, but, man, everyone sure noticed you going down the street. About the same time, we saw the “Car Carrier.” Wow, now you could haul two cars at a time. The bed was hy-


draulic and would load at about a 12 to 15 degree angle. Then you would load the second vehicle. The problem here was most all trucks were the old “1 ton,” a 10,000lb gvwr when you figured out the empty weight; you might have 2000lbs left. So, we went our merry way, just slightly overloaded. (Ha ha). The next size truck was a “ton and a half.” Much more expensive and our load angle became a ski-slope. Cars were getting more and more plastic and lower with all the ground effects. Then came “Wheel Lifts” with grids and arms and bars, etc. I remember the very early ones had no type if tilt features. Most towers had trucks with just a sling. A whole new market was

Tow Professional | September/October 2012 |

created in retro fitting add on wheel lifts. Our shop even started cutting down the rear ends of the truck and tapering them. We would convert the older mechanical PTO driven winches to hydraulic.

One day, a company on the West Coast, American Eagle, made this really neat self-loading wheel lift. No more “L “arms or grids. You could even load up a car 90 degrees from the truck. The guy didn’t even get out of the truck Another company in Texas, HYTECH, came out with a wheel lift that stowed flush with the rear of the truck. Com-

plete wrecker or as an add-on. Today, we have flatbeds that are lower to the ground, stronger beds. We have beds that pivot right and left and and even hinge to give you a lower approach angle. My favorite is one with the low, low load angles and the high dump angle to get junk off easily. Self loaders are everywhere. All of the equipment offered today reflects the innovation from all the different manufacturers. Large or small, towers today have the best of both worlds, and new technology just keeps on coming. I can remember stopping at payphones to get the next call because of interference on the low band radios we had. Now the amount of incab technology that is available, and at a reasonable price, truly makes the towers job easier. One problem that still seems to persist is how much you can charge. In 1965, the average wrecker cost about $3500.00 complete. The cost per tow was $8 to $13. By that comparison, we should be charging $160 to $260 per regular call! I guess the next big thing will be convincing the public! TOW

Detroit Wrecker Sales | September/October 2012 | Tow Professional


s g n i h T 5 Top mber

e m e R to for Long Jump Starterfe Li

by C l o re A u t o motive There are several steps that, if adhered to, will keep your jump starter in good operating condition and support a long service life. Keeping these steps in mind could extend the life of your jump starter as much as 2-3 times longer than if they are not followed. 1. Keep your jump starter charged and avoid letting the unit sit in a highly discharged state for any length of time. Remember, jump starter batteries have no memory issues and cannot be harmed by frequent charges, even when only slightly discharged. The best practice is to charge a jump starter after each use. Even in those cases where this type of charge frequency is unrealistic, nightly charging should be done if the unit is used frequently. In those cases where the jump starter is not regularly used, charge it every 3 months to ensure that the battery is not sitting in a discharge state for extended periods.


2. Respect the duty cycle of your jump starter. Every jump starter is subject to a duty cycle in which the vehicle can be cranked only so long before a period of rest (for the jump starter) is needed – see your operator’s manual for the specific details of your jump starter. For almost all Clore Automotive jump starters, the recommended duty cycle is 6 seconds of cranking followed by 3 minutes of rest. This will avoid excessive heat build-up within the jump starter battery, which can damage its internal construction and reduce its useful life. 3. Whenever possible, store your jump starter in a moderate temperature environment, between 50˚F and 70˚F (10˚-20˚C). Like vehicle batteries, exposure to extreme temperatures is detrimental to jump starter batteries, both in the short term and long term. For instance, a jump starter stored at 20˚F will have less jump starting power for a needed jump start than one stored at 60˚F. In the long term, extended exposure to high storage temperatures (> 90˚F) will reduce the service life of a jump starter battery. 4. When you have completed a successful jump start, it is important to disconnect the jump starter from the now running vehicle as quickly as possible, always remembering to follow all safety procedures and the proper disconnection sequence. Typical vehicle alternator output is much higher than the recommended recharge rate for a jump starter battery. Charging a battery (any

Tow Professional | September/October 2012 |

and water can be used with a wire brush. Following these simple steps can greatly extend the life of your jump starter and also help to ensure that your jump starter is ready for service each time you need it.

battery) at a rate greater than the recommended charge rate is detrimental to its long term health. Many technicians leave the jump starter connected after a successful start, thinking that it is a fast and easy way to get the unit recharged, but this practice should be avoided. 5. Until now, our focus has been on the battery, which is the heart of a jump starter and the most critical component impacting its durability and service life. That said, other factors should be kept in

mind. Remember that many batteries the jump starter comes into contact with are in poor condition, which can result in battery acid on or around the posts. After jumping a vehicle with a battery in such a condition, wipe down your clamps (particularly the positive, which is the only clamp that should contact the battery) with a clean cloth to remove any residual battery acid. For clamps that have a high level of acid contact, a mixture of baking soda | September/October 2012 | Tow Professional


company spotlight

By Calvin R o th

lmost 15 years to the day, Lift and Tow originated. Building a single unit that mounted under a truck to enable the operator to tow a vehicle. Nothing lavish, just a simple piece of equipment to do a job.


However, soon it was apparent there was

started working on a “self loader” unit. Several months flew by as the building and testing process took place. Meanwhile, Lift and Tow joined several towing associations and became aware of the duties of tow profession-

a market for something more unique and user

als. An eye opening experience too say the

friendly. This is when Cal (owner of Lift and

least. The business took on a whole new view

Tow) set out to develop a product that was

of the towing industry. Safety is of the utmost

versatile with more options. Within a year the

importance to a tower and a considerable

“5 Series” wheel lift came to life. A sturdy yet

amount of thought went into all the modifica-

lightweight unit producing durability and ease

tions in the following years.

of use. Engineering and modifications over

The Lift and Tow business is like family,

the next ten years set this unit far ahead of it's

from the welding shop to the warehouse, and

expectations. As time went on and listening

it is known that any business is a success only

to the feedback from past customers, Cal

because of the loyal customers...and of

course a quality product. Today the name Lift and Tow is internationally known for their quick shipping and outstanding service. Lift and Tow currently offers three under reach units. The “3 Series” for the body shop and car lot owners, the “5 Series” for the operators who want to tow several a day and the “Z Series” for the die hard Repo business. All individually built to specs, tested and have a full year warranty.


Look them up at or give a call 717-532-5558 22

Tow Professional | September/October 2012 | | September/October 2012 | Tow Professional


company spotlight

By Scott Templ e t o n

ZACKLIFT International, Inc. f you haven’t taken a close look at the FIFTHWHEELER by

time- about a day on the removable FIFTHWHEELER, the next step,

Zacklift, International, Inc. lately, then maybe’s it’s time

when the owner gets to use it for the first time is equally WOW inspir-

you do. With a company focused on quality, with the in-

ing. The engineers have spent years focused on scalability- and it


tensity that you might think

shows. Zacklift carries the load

is reserved for airplane and

in the most ideal position that

space shuttle manufactur-

could be engineered, leaving

ing; this industry old-timer

every pound possible on the

will leave you saying

front axle.

“WOW”. And WOW is literally

Day in and day out, Zacklift

the driving force behind this

has been perfecting the retro-fit

company. Every employee

underreach. The turn-key, ready-

spends every day producing a

to-roll FIFTHWHEELER boasts

product and service that will

standard features that are worth

WOW the lucky guy that owns and operates a Zacklift. From the folks that answer the phone, to the guy that puts the finishing touches on the mirror-like paint job, this crew takes pride in what they do. The woman, (yes, woman) that owns this company, and has been

bragging about. Every time Zacklift figures out another way to make their owners say WOW, they include it as standard. Every hose is pre-engineered and routed inside the mounting beam, which is powder coated by the way. Gladhands

at the helm along with her father for the last 27 years, has the crazy

and dual brake lines and a third air line are all routed through the beam

idea that customers should be absolutely thrilled with their investment

interior as well. A self contained power system is included and

of hard-earned dollars. Every

plumbed and is complete with a

contact with a customer is seen

corded remote – the best

as an opportunity to “knock the

money can buy. Also the best

socks off” someone with their

money can buy, are the Timken

over-the-top customer service.

Roller Bearings in the critical

You’ll notice this extreme cus-

pivot hub, provided for years of

tomer service before the sale,

trouble-free service. Even the

during the sale, and long after

drive-on, drive-off process

the Zacklift has lost its shine and

WOWs you, given its accom-

become the trouble-free work-

plished in about 10 minutes.

horse in your fleet. That “TROU-

The WOW list goes on and

BLE-FREE” part of the package

on; with accessories that in-

is indeed a BIG part of the story.

clude the industry’s only

Whenever engineers are focused on the customer and his needs, and customer success with the

stifflegs, winch and custom aerodyne tool boxes that drive on and off.

product, then the product itself begins to take shape as an unusual

It may be hard to tell from a brochure or even the website, but this

beast by today’s standards. Not something that you’re happy with just

company truly stands out by today’s standards. — When was the last

at first, when it works slick and is under new warranty. This company

time a piece of equipment made you say “WOW”?


produces a product that WOWs owners during the installation process when everything is there, just like ordered, and when everything fits

Zacklift International, Inc.

(imagine that!), and everything that could be figured out for you, and

1102 E 1st Street • Cle Elum, WA 98922 USA

hooked up for you, IS actually taken care of. After the initial installation phase, which by the way is done in an unbelievably brief amount of 24

Tow Professional | September/October 2012 |

509-674-4426 •

company spotlight

DETROIT WRECKERS SALES Always MOVING towards the future. B y Ri c h a rd F a rrel

by Rick Farrell

come one of the industry leaders.

As Detroit Wrecker Sales is nearing its 35th year, I look back to

Having brought in his son, James Michael, the 3rd generation is

our beginnings. Even before its formation, the start was always

well on its way in continuing the family tradition of first-class service


to the towing industry. With new and innovative designs like the “Little Herc” and “Herc Auto Loader,” everything we do here at DWS is

Involved in the towing business, operating and then owning tow trucks since 1968, my wife Betty and I started servicing and selling

built to be stronger than anyone else. From the largest crossbar pivot

in 1980. We were Michigan’s first Challenger Dealer. DWS was one

pins and bushings to oversized bearings, the primary goal has always

of Michigan’s original Commercial Driver’s License examiners aimed

been bigger and stronger, not cheaper. Detroit Wrecker Sales has op-

at helping towers obtain their CDL endorsement. From the very start,

erated one of the largest dedicated towing equipment repair facilities

the basic idea has never changed: to provide the towing industry

in the country.

with the best products and support possible. DWS built one of the in-

From their huge showroom to massive garage and machine

dustry’s first “Add on Wheel Lift” in the early 80s. Innovations such as

shop, there is nothing DWS cannot repair or fabricate. For three gen-

a flush retracting crossbar and a tilt feature were just some of the ex-

erations now, the staff at DWS has been providing the towing indus-

tras no one else had done. Overbuilt was and still is the norm, not the

try with talent and support that is second to none. We have always

exception. Our Low Loaders came out in the 90s and still have the

operated with the basic idea that if you give your best, your cus-

lowest angle of any production bed sold today. All of DWS equip-

tomers will remember. his is what we do. There is an old saying:

ment will outlast the chassis it is mounted on.

“Quality is like Oats; if you want nice clean fresh oats, then you need

Mike Farrell, my son and the second generation towing specialist, runs this family operation with a keen eye for customer service. Along with his brother, James Dallas, Mike has taken this business

to pay a fair price. If you can settle for recycled oats that have been through the horse once, those you get cheaper.” You will NEVER get “recycled oats” from DWS. Made in America

into the 21st century by establishing an extensive online presence

is not just a motto, but a way of life here. We are small enough to give

that is second to none and one of the largest in the industry. DWS

personal service, but large enough to provide the quality you deserve

has online videos for promotion and instruction and extensive parts

and be with you for the long haul.


inventory from many different manufacturers that allows them to beDetroit Wrecker Sales • 9630 Fitzpatrick,Detroit, MI 48228 Local: 313-835-8700 • National: 877-TOW-0030 • Fax: 313-835-4838 Webstore: • Email: | September/October 2012 | Tow Professional


company spotlight

260 New Lancaster Road, Leominster, Massachusetts

978-534-0120 B y Ri c k i - A n n Sargent

DOES IT ALL aspect of the company. From dispatching to taking pictures or supervising at a major accident, or heading up the marketing side of Ricky’s they do it all. “My girls have almost all the same certifications as me and my son, and whether we are


icky’s has quickly become one of the best family

owned go to companies in the towing industry, whether you’re looking for parts, sales, service or towing Ricky’s does it all. Started in Leominster, Massachusetts in 1972 by Ricky Piermarini Sr., Ricky’s Towing was the first branch of the operation. They have gone from the days of 1 truck in 1972 to over 20 pieces of equipment 40 years later in 2012. Their recovery equipment ranges from light duty flatbeds and selfloaders to heavy duty rotators and wreckers, off-road recovery vehicles, tractors, and trailers. “In my area I have always been the go to guy to tow them in and fix them, that’s just what we do at Ricky’s”. Ricky has been a Mack Trucks parts and service provider as well as a mechanic and tow operator his entire career and he wouldn’t have it any other way. “My whole family is working here now from my wife, to my son and 2 daughters everyone has their niche and everyone works well together.” Ricky’s Wife Thurley, and his two daughters Ricki-Ann and Robyn-Lyn run the office 26

doing a major accident or specking out a new truck or body I always get their input.” Ricky Jr. has been following in his father’s footsteps for as long as he can remember “Towing is really something I love doing, I’ve always known that I could never sit in an office all day, I love being outside at a recovery scene.”

Tow Professional | September/October 2012 |

Ricky Sr. along with his son Ricky Jr. are passionate about towing, with that being said they couldn’t wait to get into the truck sales side of things. They started their Dealership with UD Trucks in the early 2000’s and from there have gone on to build and design all types of bodies for every application. Ricky Jr. or “RJ” as everyone knows him has been working closely with the towing and recovery industry side of the sales operation and has been putting together custom trucks and bodies featured in all kinds of tow shows from Florida to Baltimore. After 40 years in the industry Ricky Sr. and the crew at Ricky’s has seen and done just about everything. “I always want our customers to walk away happy and feeling like they are part of the family, After all it is a family business and our customers will always have the whole family working together for them.” TOW | September/October 2012 | Tow Professional


company spotlight

How Can We Help You?

B y Ll oy d Roland

Flash Equipment Inc

your fleet operating safely & efficient.

grating a hi-tech computer network sys-

was established in 1996 by entrepre-

They do this by stocking one of the largest

tem and people who care. Our customers

neurs Robert Kohn and Lloyd Roland.

inventory of replacement parts for all your

are greeted with a good old fashion

Who believed in a basic philosophy

strobes, rotators LED’s, lightbars and

“Hello” Not an automated computer ask-

“How can we help you?” keeping

more. They have parts replacement pro-

ing you to push buttons! You will be

that in mind and with many years in

fessionals who will work with you to fig-

speaking to someone with years of experi-

the Vehicle Lighting industry they

ure out what you need even if you don’t

ence to assure your order is being

knew they had a special “niche”

have a part number whether it is old or

processed promptly and efficiently.

when it came to giving the customer


what they want! Customer Service is there main prior-

package for a vehicle just call and they

build those relationships. But if you ever head down south, our

ity! “We enjoy our customers and care

have light package specialist to help you

warehouse offices and show room are lo-

about their needs. Our goal is to please

in putting together the best package to fit

cated in Beautiful Sarasota Florida. Stop

the customer by keeping them informed,

your budget while keeping safety in mind

in for a cup of coffee or just to say “hi!” We

giving them options on product and actu-

(the best bang for your buck). Our inven-

always enjoy meeting our customers

ally enjoying the order process!” “Why not

tory of new products is extensive. We

reaching out and saying “How can we

make the experience a good one?”

carry all your major light lines including

help you?”

With that philosophy, trained staff and

sists of back – up cameras, truck mirrors,

ment has become the leader in the Tow-

electrical connectors and more.

Flash Equipment’s focus is to keep


truck & trailer lights as well. It also con-

there diversified inventory Flash Equip-

ing and Vehicle lighting industry.


When constructing a new lighting

We ship worldwide and are happy to

They believe technology is progress, while keeping yesterday in mind. By inte-

Tow Professional | September/October 2012 |

Flash Equipment 800-570-8866

company spotlight

B y D e n n i s R o ber ts


DewEze Manufacturing based in Harper, Kansas is recognized as the preferred provider of clutch pump kits in the towing industry. DewEze has also become the standard on most all Auto Loaders that are built today. As the industry evolves and transmissions become harder to access for PTO in-

stallation, we are seeing more and more DewEze clutch pumps installed on twin line wreckers and carriers. Today’s technology has allowed DewEze to be able to deliver the required pressures and flows needed for


these kinds of applications. As of late, DewEze has been working very closely with manufactures to provide more space on engines for mounting the DewEze kits. They have even gone as far as to change configuration of certain components to meet DewEze needs. It’s a great collaboration for the two that has proven to be a great contribution to the towing and recovery industry. DewEze designs all of their kits with the installer in mind. We install clutch pump kits everyday on the Agricultural side of the business and as a result, we pay close attention to details regarding the least intrusion into

Tow Professional | September/October 2012 |

and alteration of OEM components. You can purchase a DewEze Clutch Pump kit or insist on having one installed on your next truck with the knowledge that it was designed and built by the most knowledgeable provider of clutch pump kits to the towing industry. TOW

DewEze Mfg. A division of Harper Industries, Inc. 151 E. Hwy. 160 • Harper, KS 67058 620-896-7381 • Toll-free 1-800-835-1042 • | September/October 2012 | Tow Professional


company spotlight

Help Keep the Repo-Man on the Down-Low!

B y A n g i e L o u r a nce

CW Mill Equipment Co. was established in 1969 as an agricultural equipment manufacturer.

Pump Kits. Florida Powertrain & Hydraulics Inc., Miami, Florida supplies Hydraulic Plus Corp., Hialeah, Florida with CW Hydraulic Clutch Pump Mounting Kits. Hydraulic Plus Corp. fits trucks with hidden wheel lifts that are particularly useful within the auto repo industry, alleviating many of the potential dangers that come along with this type of business. Hydraulic Plus Corp. uses CW Mounting Kits as opposed to a PTO drive because of the reduction in noise. Built on a standard or 1 ton chassis with a lift hidden under the truck, the clutch pump kit is a crucial part of this vehicle. The noise reduction makes the repo much easier by helping to eliminate confrontation making the driver’s job safer and easier. Because of the reduced noise the driver can inconspicuously back up to a vehicle, and without revving the engine, can quietly get in and out without calling attention to what they are doing

However, the need for live hydraulics on trucks led us to manufacture CW Hydraulic Clutch Pump Mounting Kits in 1986. Clutch pump kits are a popular and dependable way to add live hydraulics to a vehicle. There are several advantages to running clutch pumps. In many cases they can provide as much volume and pressure as a PTO driven pump at a fraction of the price. CW’s Clutch Pump Kits allow

on demand hydraulics, at any time, regardless of what gear the vehicle is in, or the engine RPM. With the downfall of the economy in recent years, the vehicle repossession industry has grown rapidly. Tow Truck operators within the repo industry have been able to take advantage of CW’s Clutch 32

while repossessing a vehicle. Why CW Mounting Kits stand out from other manufacturers is simple. We strive to build the highest quality brackets and belt systems on the market. You will find that we run designated belt drives in most applications, saving your factory accessories such as water pumps, power steering pumps and alternators from additional side load created from adding the pump inline with the factory belt run, also increasing vehicle reliability. Not only are CW Kits good for hidden lifts but for all hydraulic applications within the towing industry. We keep in close contact with vehicle manufacturers and build our products to remain within their specifications. We build a quality product that is the perfect choice for your towing needs. Give us a call or check out our website at TOW

Tow Professional | September/October 2012 | | September/October 2012 | Tow Professional



Professional Your Resource for Towing & Recovery


Frameless Windows Are No Match For The Access Tools Glassman Wedge Access Tools developed the Glassman Wedge to protect frameless window vehicles from accidental damage. Unlike traditional vehicles that have a metal b-pillar against which you can pry a One Hand Jack, frameless window vehicles leave you without the ability to use standard long reach tool accessories. The Glassman Wedge features two poly carbonate sheets that surround a dual-sided wedge that inserts easily between the front and rear windows on a frameless window vehicle. Once in place, a long reach tool can be inserted through the Glassman Wedge and into the

vehicles passenger compartment. The Glassman Wedge spreads the force of the long reach tool over a much wider surface of glass, making it virtually impossible to break the window. Don’t get caught without a Glassman Wedge from Access Tools next time you’re faced with a frameless window vehicle. If you have any questions or would like more information on this topic, please contact Julian Packin at (800) 323-8324 or via email at

BIGEASY LOCK OUT KIT FOR PROFESSIONALS Security Access to Unlock Cars for Emergencies in seconds without damaging cars. Tow Drivers unlock cars in seconds without damaging car doors by using Steck Manufacturing’s BigEasy Lockout Tool. Over the last 15 years this one tool has become the tool of choice for tow truck drivers. It is simple to use by first

inserting the Easy Wedge into the top of the door to allow enough room to then insert the BigEasy tool to press or hook the door lock from inside the window rather than using the door panel. The ease of the BigEasy to open doors from the inside the window reduces liability issues with traditional lockout tools which have the potential to disable wiring systems inside the door panel.

Also available is our optional BigEasy Night Light (P/N 32933) which is flexible PVC suction cup illuminates the inside of a vehicle at night to allow the tow drivers to locate the vehicle interior door lock or keys while using the BigEasy Lock Out tool or other similar devices to unlock the vehicle. We also have many accessories to assist the Tower and shops like our new 4th Wheel Loader (71480) to assist moving vehicles with damaged wheels, Tie Rod Pliers (71465) and Tie Rod Coupler (71470) for temporary steering assistance. Kits and products are available at most truck and parts supply dealers as well as from local tool supply jobbers. Further information check our website for a complete listing of all our products and videos or by contacting Steck Manufacturing at or calling 1-800227-8325.


Tow Professional | September / October 2012 |

The “Ultimate” Axle Chain

RAM Vehicle Mounts are de-

Quickly and easily chain up suspended tractor axles when performing a rear tow. The Ultimate axle chain was designed to save you time, money and keep you safe. Simply pass the 8” J hook between the frame rail and the tires and hook it under the axle or a weight bearing suspension bracket, then take one of the grab hooks on the top of the chain and “grab” the frame rail, now use the second Grab hook to shorten the chain to take as much slack out of the chain as you can. When you lift the rear of the road tractor the most “drop” would be the length of one chain link. No more crawling under the truck in the snow, mud, sand or rain to pass a 10’ chain thru and then have to use a binder to hold the suspension up.

signed for the most popular cars, trucks and fleet vehicles on the road. These heavy-duty steel laptop bases are custom formed to fit specific vehicle models. This provides a mounting platform for any RAM Laptop Mounting System. Using the front bench or passenger side seat rail bolts as attachment points, existing hardware in the vehicle is all that is required to secure these bases. If needed, additional hardware is supplied. Because of their unique ability to absorb damaging shock and vibration, RAM Mounting desks are the perfect choice for securing computers and electronics of any type.

Kinequip Inc. 3708A Performance Road • Charlotte, NC 28214 Phone (704) 597-2111 • Mobile (704) 460-5174 Fax (704) 597-2112 • • | September / October 2012 | Tow Professional



Professional Your Resource for Towing & Recovery


VTS Systems VTS Systems, a leader in towing and VSF software management programs recently

tion with Auto Data Direct. VTS Systems also provides MONEY SAVING, fully automated, USPS electronic certified mail, with all of the legally required vehicle title transfer documents, and “No More Going to the Post Office.”

announced the availability of Minnesota DMV information.

This brings the number of online state DMV’s to 27 through its unique collabora-


Tow Professional | September / October 2012 |

LUBE-A-BOOM Clear Aerosol

LAB's new Lube-A-Boom Clear Aerosol is a heavy-duty silicone lubricant that lubricates and penetrates on components that slide, rotate, roll or squeak. It leaves a clear anti-corrosive film that helps prevent rust. Available in 11 oz. aerosol can.



Tow Professional | September / October 2012 |


Call 888-802-8544 for Market Place Advertising | September / October 2012 | Tow Professional



Professional Your Resource for Towing & Recovery



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ATIG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 Atomic Led . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9

BA Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19.36

Beacon Software . . . . . . . . . . . . .39 Bilt USA Manufacturing . . . . . . . . .3 Blades Tow Right . . . . . . . . . . . . .39 Clore Automotive . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Collins Dollies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31

Custer Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 CW Mill Equipment Co. . . . . . . .33

Dacotah-Walsh Tire Inc. . . . . . . .40

Dangelo's Custom Built Mfg, LLC 35 Detroit Wrecker . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 DewEze . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 Direct Equipment Supply . . . . . . .39



Dual-Tech . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23

Dynamic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .IFC,37

ECM Performance . . . . . . . . . . . .27 Flash Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29

Florida Wrecker Sales . . . . . . . . .38 Golden West . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 Insight USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

Insurance Auto Auctions . . . . . . .33 Kinequip . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13

Lift and Tow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .IBC Lube-A-Boom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40

Marking Pen Depot . . . . . . . . . . .39 Metro Lift . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33 Mfr. Express . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27

Miti Mfg Co . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39

NA Bancard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Pan Pillow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39

Pierce Sales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14



Ricky's Truck . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 ROI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40

RV Wheel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 Sovereign . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 Specialty Vehicle &

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Track What Matters . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Travis Barlow Insurance . . . . . . . .40 Twin Cities Wrecker Sales . . . . . .38

Twin State Equipment . . . . . . . . .21 VTS Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40

Weiss Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36 Zacklift . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39

Progressive Platforms . . . . . . . . . . .5



Tow Professional | September / October 2012 |

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September/October issue