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November/December 2012


2012 Top Products 12 |

Every November, to round out another year, we give you our roundup of the hottest products and services that came across our desks from manufacturers and dealers in the towing market.

Business 28 | Leadership, The Pitfalls

Insurance 32 | Do You Have the Right Coverage

company spotlight

38 | Austin Insurance 39 | ATIG Safety 20 | Top 5 Things to Remember for Long Jump Starter Life

Industry NEWS

40 |Weiss Insurance 41 |Hal Kresser Agency 41 |Alexander Insurance Agency, Inc.

6 | International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame & Museum 2012 Hall of Fame Ceremony Successful


IN EVERY ISSUE 4 | Publisher Letter

8 | Scorpion Stinger Self Loader 8 | Hino Trucks Approved Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP)



10 |


Federal/State Regulations and Buying Tow Truck Insurance Today

Tow Professional | November/December 2012 |

42 |





Professional Your Resource for Towing & Recovery

November/December 2012

We traveled to Chattanooga in September for the ceremony of the Wall of the Fallen and inductions into the Hall of Fame. This year, there were 34 individuals whose lives were lost and names engraved on the Wall. When the ceremony began, a hush came over the large crowd and the speaker had everyone’s full attention. I am not a crying type of guy, but when the first name was called with his memorial read and his family came to the podium to accept their rose, a tear rolled down my face as I truly realized the gravity of this event, and we had 33 more to go… Coming out of the ceremony, we realized that more needs to be done to help promote and support the Survivor Fund, the Wall of the Fallen, and the International Towing and Recovery Museum. Moving forward, Tow Professional will dedicate more space in the magazine every issue to help create more awareness for support. We encourage all who read Tow Professional to do your part. As I awake, I realize it’s Wednesday morning, the election has concluded, birds are singing, and the Holiday Season is already here. I am supposed to feel a little different; however, nothing has changed, or has it? I realized long ago that life is what you make of it; you don’t always get a good hand to play. This great nation was built on the backs of men and women who would not be denied. I am glad to say that no matter who is in the White House, current stock rates, gas prices, etc., I know that my wages and family success are not based on any man, but the creator of man. Money will be made and businesses will continue to grow. We just have to decide that no matter what comes before us during these trying times, we ourselves will not be denied. I was asked when Tow Professional was started, “Why would you open a towing magazine in this market in a down economy?” It’s very simple; determination, hard work, and passion for what you do, with focus on the one that drives you, will always be rewarded. As we come to the end of our first full year in the market, we want to thank all our readers, advertisers, and editorial contributors to the magazine. We hope to continue to bring you a quality magazine with information that can help your business for years to come. Darian Weaver and Jack Hartsfield Co-Publishers

PUBLISHERS Darian Weaver President & Co-Publisher

Jack Hartsfield Vice President & Co-Publisher __________________________

PRODUCTION Clint W. Cabiness Art Director Hal K. Huber Graphic Designer Jill Hasty Managing Editor __________________________

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Larry Alexander Travis Barlow Dan Messina Stefanie Williams

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

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


Tow Professional | November/December 2012 |

Industry NEWS



International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame & Museum 2012 Hall of Fame Ceremony Successful

The museum is proud to announce that we have successfully completed our 27th Annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, and it was the best attendance in the last 10 years. We inducted 10 outstanding industry leaders and are proud to add them to our elite group of Hall of Famers. The following individuals were inducted on Saturday, September 15, 2012, at the DoubleTree Hotel in downtown Chattanooga: Robert G. Birrell, Jr. (Kinsman, Ohio), Paul M. Bressi (Olympia, Washington), Darrell H. Mansfield (Cheshire, England), Michael P. McGovern (Knoxville, Tennessee), Nicholas J. Ovenden (Ashford, Kent, England), Alex Robb (Glasgow, Scotland), Jeffrey P. Roskopf (Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin), James Satterfield (Sikeston, Missouri), Robert E. Schatzman, Jr.-Deceased (Spring Hill, Florida), and Robert Sommers-Deceased (Canoga Park, California).

The weekend was kicked off with a Hall of Fame Reunion held at the museum that was hosted by Jerry Holmes & Dave Jones and sponsored by Miller Industries. The turnout for this event was tremendous! The events continued on Friday evening, with yet another record crowd for the Friday Night Fundraising Fiesta that was graciously sponsored by Jerr-Dan Corporation. It started as a warm reception for our incoming inductees and silent auction, which was quickly turned into a live auction on several of the items. On the morning of Saturday, September 15, we also held our 6th Annual Name Unveiling Ceremony for the

Wall of the Fallen. It was, as always, a solemn occasion, but the weather was beautiful as we added yet another 34 names to the memorial wall. The highlight of the eventful weekend was the Saturday evening Induction Ceremony that was a complete sellout, and, despite the full house, it seems that everyone had a good time. The closure to the weekend was a nice breakfast at the DoubleTree that was co-sponsored by Landoll Corporation and NRC Industries. We would like to thank all of our wonderful sponsors for each event, and we also send our congratulations to the Class of 2012. If you weren’t in attendance this year, let’s just say you missed something special.

LUBE-A-BOOM LUBE-A-BOOM, of Indianapolis, Indiana, celebrates its 10-year anniversary. It was founded in September 2002, and the first product was the original LUBE-A-BOOM. The following products have since been added: LUBE-A-BOOM, LUBE-A-ROPE, DRY-FILM, OPEN

GEAR, CLEAR SILICONE aerosols and LUBE-A-PIN grease. The most recent addition is the LUBE-ABOOM SPRAY CAN TOOL. 317-501-1104

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Tow Professional | November/December 2012 |

Industry NEWS



Scorpion Stinger Self Loader Bilt USA’s Scorpion Stinger Self Loader is all about speed and convenience. The best rearward visibility of any self loader on the market combined with its extensive reach makes operation easier than ever. Also, the towing operator can choose to utilize the radio remote controls from inside the cab or use the backup manual controls. The Scorpion is easier to maintain and requires less maintenance with its superior bushing design

preventing wear and tear. The innovative hose system allows quick and easy access and is incredibly durable. Greater degree of power tilt range, stylish body design (available in aluminum or steel), and attention to detail make Bilt USA’s Scorpion the highest quality self loader and a great addition to any towing fleet. © 2012 Bilt USA (980) 321-5925 4000 Sam Wilson Road, Charlotte, NC

.......................................................... Hino Trucks Approved Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP) >>> early market years when production volumes are low. ARB recognizes that these vehicles have the proven ability to reduce criteria and greenhouse gas (GHG) pollutants in California and aims to accelerate the penetration of these cleaner vehicles to meet state clean air regulations and climate change goals. “Incentive programs like HVIP are helping companies develop and deploy clean technologies throughout California. These advances in affordable, energy-efficient technologies will help clean the air and secure our state’s energy future. We congratulate Hino on this certification and encourage fleets to adopt these clean vehicles,” said John Boesel, President and CEO of CALSTART, which administers HVIP for the ARB. For additional information on how to take advantage of the HVIP program, visit their website at Hino Trucks’ 2013M MY Class 5 195h diesel electric cab-over has been approved by the California Air Resources Board and is eligible for the California Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP). HVIP is an incentive program created by the California Air Resources Board (ARB) to accelerate the California deployment of hybrid and zeroemission medium and heavy-duty vehicles and vehicle technologies. The HVIP provides vouchers to help California fleets purchase an eligible truck or bus to further build the market by reducing the cost of these vehicles for fleets that purchase and operate the vehicles in the State of California. This provides a public benefit by helping commercialize these technologies and support a critical ramp-up in production that is necessary to meeting California’s clean air goals. “California customers will take delivery of the first diesel electric 195h vehicles in November,” said Glenn Ellis, Hino Trucks Vice President of Marketing. “It is our goal to help support ARB’s initiative of accelerating the deployment of hybrid trucks. The hybrid upcharge on our 195h is only $12,000, so customers who utilize the HVIP can see up to a $25,000 voucher. This means they can purchase a 195h hybrid truck for less than a traditional diesel truck.” Hybrid and electric trucks and buses are a fairly new technology and are therefore more expensive than traditional vehicles, especially in the


About Hino: Hino Trucks, a Toyota Group Company, assembles, sells, and services the most environmentally friendly lineup of Class 5-7 commercial trucks in the United States. In 2012, Hino introduced its Class 5 cab-over diesel-electric trucks, making diesel-electric hybrids a viable option in the U.S. commercial truck industry for the first time. Headquartered in Novi, Michigan, Hino boasts a network of over 200 dealers nationwide committed to achieving excellence in customer service and support. Hino Trucks is the premier medium duty nameplate in the United States with a product lineup that offers the lowest total cost of ownership, superior fuel economy, unmatched reliability and maneuverability, and the most comprehensive bundle of standard features in the market. Hino Motors Sales U.S.A., Inc. 41180 Bridge Street Novi, MI 48375 (248) 699-9300

Tow Professional | November/December 2012 | | November/December 2012 | Tow Professional




Federal/State Regulations &

By Travi s Barl ow My company has been selling insurance to the Towing/Recovery and Auto Transport Industry for almost 30 years, We have customers all across the U.S., and,


in those 30 years, we have seen incredible changes by the Federal and State regulators. Insurance companies have made themselves aware of the information the government collects about how you operate your business. Just a few clicks on the website will take them right to the information DOT

Tow Professional | November/December 2012 |

has collected about your company. They may have more information than you think, or they may not have gotten around to you yet…but they will. Count on it! Here is an example: I regularly travel from Savannah to my farm in middle Georgia. It is an hour of interstate driving, and I always pass tow trucks and auto transporters on my way. I look at each truck to see if they are a customer, and, if not, I want them to be. I call my office with the DOT/MC number on the truck to see if we have them insured. If we don’t, then I certainly want to let them know that we sell insurance for their business. This week, I called in a company DOT/MC number for one of our sales people to follow up. This particular tow truck lead went to our producer in our Buffalo, New York, office. I got some bad news when the report came back. The DOT/SAFER report was very bad! Here is the report taken right off my employee’s email. This is what she discovered with a few clicks on the DOT site. 1) He has been in business since 06/2010 2) He has had since March of 2011: a) 3 over weight OOS violations b) 3 OOS fatigued driver violations 89.5% c) 1 OOS controlled substances/alcohol violations under influence four hours prior to driving duty d) 1 OOS vehicle maintenance violations

It looks really bad, with several OOS (out of service) violations. We can’t even consider giving this guy a quote. All of our insurance companies go straight to the DOT website to see what information is available for a tow truck/auto transporter. If, and this is a big if, an insurance company offers to quote this guy, his premium is going to be huge! The Federal/State officers have become extremely active in checking trucks and visiting the offices of the owner. Look at the Internet and Google searches for “DOT BASIC,” “DOT SAFER,” “DOT BASIC Compliance,” and check with your National and State Associations for more information. You need to know how to negotiate for lower insurance rates, and you can’t do that if you stink at the DOT site. Get your loss runs together for the last three years. Go to the DOT SAFER site and check yourself out. See what the insurance company will see before they see it. Try to correct as much as possible. We insure Towers and Auto Transporters in most states. Call us if we can help in any way. Phone 800-537-7152 or email TOW Travis Barlow is the owner and founder of Travis Barlow Company, located in Pooler, (Savannah), Georgia. They have been specializing in tow truck/auto transport insurance since 1983. | November/December 2012 | Tow Professional


Every November, to round out another year, we give you our roundup of the hottest products and services that came across our desks from manufacturers and dealers in the

towing market. This year's list spans an impressive amount of categories, including towing software, GPS, damaged vehicle movement systems, synthetics, tools, lights, and many others. This issue should be your company’s wish list going into the new year, as you continue to evaluate and select products to help you operate your towing facility more effectively and efficiently. In every issue through the year, every single product or service we cover in the magazine is there because we think it's something that you will find useful, so we're excited about each and every one in all of our issues. Our sole mission is to help you make purchasing decisions, so we're all about products, all the time. This list reflects the "best of the best." It is a great time to be an owner of a towing or repossession company, because the market is overflowing with options for great products and services for your facility. Here are some of the products and services that stood out to us this year. 12

TowSpec Mobile ( — FREE Make each of your drivers an expert in every type of vehicle hook-up. TowSpec provides tow limits, hook and jack points, and manufacturer warnings. Easily searchable — retrieve the information by typing all or part of a make, model and/or year of the desired vehicle.

DA Mobile and DA Driver Apps for Android/IPhone/IPad Proper company management is key to survival in today’s competitive, fastpaced business environment. Dispatch Anywhere software enables you to manage your company from your smart phone or tablet. You're not tied to an office and/or a laptop. Keep track of jobs from start to finish. Know where your trucks are — all the time. Your drivers can receive calls directly to their smartphones/tables using DA Driver. 866-437-6653 Todd Althouse | Beacon Software, LLC | 440-237-6653, ext.101 |

Garage Style! Moduline has developed a series of highend aluminum metal storage and tool cabinets designed to fit the needs of professionals and homeowners. The goal at Moduline is to be your choice for garage and shop organization by providing the highest quality innovative aluminum storage cabinets, tool cabinets, workbenches, and accessories. They have a cabinet system that will be sure to fit your needs and your space. That's the beauty of being modular. Their cabinets are designed to fit together the way you want. You can count on Moduline to provide the highest quality, strongest, and most beautiful aluminum cabinets available. Made in the USA, Moduline is America’s Premier Aluminum Cabinet System. Moduline Cabinets | 888-343-4463, ext. 30 |

Tow Professional | November/December 2012 |

2012 Top Products B/A Twist Lock™ Grab Hooks PATENT# 7967353 Available exclusively through B/A Products distributors, the Twist Lock™ Grab Hooks have the most secure latch available. • Available in 1/4”, 5/16”, 3/8”, 1/2” and 5/8” sizes • Easy to Install and Easy to Use • Latch Is Pad Lockable • Can be used for a variety of uses

B/A - Always Bringing You the “Best Available” Products B/A Products Co. | 8925 McGaw Court | Columbia, MD 21045-4725 Toll Free: (800) 327-3301 | Phone: (410) 381-1700 |

YOKE SNATCH BLOCKS FROM B/A • Available in sizes from 2 to 20 Ton • Manufactured from the highest quality tensile steel • 100% Magnaflux tested • Designed with a 4:1 Safety Factor • Come standard with safety latch & pin • Have bronze bushings and grease fittings for ease of use and extended sheave life

B/A - Always Bringing You the “Best Available” Products B/A Products Co. |8925 McGaw Court |Columbia, MD 21045-4725 Toll Free: (800) 327-3301 | Phone: (410) 381-1700 |

B/A Synthetic Winch Lines • SupreemX-12™ made with DYNEEMAP • Lightweight • Durable & Abrasion Resistant • Safer to Handle than Wire Rope • Color Coded by Size • No “Memory” Means No Flat Spots or Kinks • Can Be Made to Any Length

B/A - Always Bringing You the “Best Available” Products B/A Products Co. | 8925 McGaw Court Columbia, MD 21045-4725 Toll Free: (800) 327-330 |Phone: (410) 381-1700

OIL PAN DAMAGE STOPS HERE For far less than the cost of a single oil pan damage claim, the revolutionary Pan Pillow will virtually remove oil pan damage from your operation. Made from the highest quality components, the Pan Pillow will give you years of worry-free towing. Minute to install, the Pan Pillow is simple to use and the ONLY product on the market that solves the costly and widespread problem of oil pan damage. Don't wait until your next claim before you introduce the Pan Pillow to your operation. For More Info visit or call 780-908-6560 | November/December 2012 | Tow Professional


Professional Dangelo’s Custom Built Mfg., LLC Dangelo Autobody was started in 1978, starting out as a small, one-man facility that quickly expanded. By 1980, they entered the towing business, building their first wrecker, a Holmes 440. As time progressed, they expanded into the heavy towing market with a Holmes 600 that they upgraded the booms and added stiff legs. Then, they added a Holmes 750 that was upgraded to a hydraulic integrated wrecker. In 2006, Dangelo’s Custom Built Mfg., LLC was formed, and full production of heavy tow trucks began. By 2008, the first rotator was produced, and, in 2012, the small wrecker line became reality. Their years of commitment to the autobody industry have helped them design and build some of the nicest wreckers on the market today, but still at an affordable price. Dangelo’s Custom Built Mfg. LLC | 800-540-5151 or on Facebook

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 the optional BigEasy Night Light (P/N 32933), which is a flexible PVC suction cup that 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. They also have many accessories to assist the Tower and shops, like the 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. | | 800-227-8325


Collins Hi-Speed®Dollies For 40 years, the unique dolly innovations of Collins Manufacturing Corp. are quite numerous. Besides being the first to invent an articulating dolly that actually lifted a car off the ground, without the aid of jacks, in 1972, thereby changing the towing industry worldwide, Collins was also first to introduce: • 1977: Safety Ratchets; protects towers from injury while lifting vehicles with dollies • 1986: Safety Locks; helps prevent dollies from dropping while towing • 1995: Aluminum Axles; now the industry standard, at only 22 lbs. per axle • 2000: Greaseable Hubs; more convenient serviceability • 2006: Aluminum Greaseable Hubs; up to three times lighter than steel hubs • 2006: Replaceable Components; the only dolly that can be repaired on the spot • 2006: Lightest-Weight Dolly; as light as 48 lbs. per side • 2007: Aluminum 8" Wheels; first ever in the world! Five-hole, polished, mags, Cool • 2009: Two-Toned Zinc Plating; with polished aluminum mag wheels = Eye Candy • 2010: Square Aluminum Pry Bar; tower input gives back to the industry @ 5.9 lbs. • 2011: Tow Cradles; From Tow Solutions, transports vehicles without wheels and tires • 2012: Aluminum Carrier Dolly System; addresses issues of loading cars on carriers

Collins offers the heaviest-duty dollies, rated at 4,280 lb static-load capacity. Between their tried and proven Hi-SpeedPDollies for the highway and their new patent-pending Carrier Dolly System, all dollytowing bases are now covered. Collins' latest innovation, the aluminum Carrier Dolly System, is quite simple where it solves all the problems of Carrier loading; all-wheel drive vehicles, hybrid vehicles, and electric vehicles, whose wheels are locked by the transmissions and won't roll, are now easily moved with the carrier dolly system. The dolly lifts the vehicle and the aluminum tow bar hooks to the dollies. The winch cable is then hooked to the tow bar, not the vehicle, and pulls the dollies up the flatbed. The vehicle simply rides the carrier dollies. This is especially handy when there is no place to hook onto various vehicles -- in fact, nothing ever touches the vehicle. With the tow bar inverted and fitted to either of the carrier dollies, it now becomes a motorcycle dolly for winching up the carrier, as well. For vehicles without wheels, the Tow Cradle works perfect with the carrier dollies. Rolling the vehicle up the bed is a far superior system vs. dragging it up and then back down the bed, damaging both bed and vehicle. Since experience, good and bad, is the premium schoolmaster, hindsight truly becomes the best vision forward. With four decades of hindsight and several patents awarded, Collins is the undisputed leader in dynamic dolly design. Visit or call 541-774-9220.

Tow Professional | November/December 2012 |

2012 Top Products Custer Products Expanding LED Work Lights


Custer Products has introduced several new high powered work lights to their LITE*IT. The new lights range from an 8Watt PAR36 replacement light to a 9000 lumen 120Watt LED light. “We now have a LED work light to fit almost any need, helping to make the work environment safer and more productive,” said Brad Custer, president. “We’ve had a tremendous response in a short period of time on our new LED work lights.” Custer Products Ltd has been supplying quality products to the towing, agricultural, trucking, trailer and safety industries since 1993. They currently sell to a network of customers throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, South America, and Europe. Custer Products strives to provide first-class customer service, quick order fulfillment, and innovative solutions to their customer’s needs. Call and ask about what’s new at 800-490-3158 or email

The new Power-Link light bars released in 2012 eliminate the rats’ nest of wiring required by conventional light bars due to their 2-wire installation. Simply tap into power and ground at the light bar and control, with no direct wiring necessary between the two, and enjoy the benefits of high-intensity LED lighting keeping you visible to motorists. Functions include traffic arrow, strobe, work lights, S/T/T, and compatibility with TowMate wireless tow lights. Control options include a module to utilize your in-dash switches, a 6-button control panel, or a single rocker switch with an integrated digital display. Expand your system using the same Power-Link control for other Power-Link lights such as additional work lights, 2”/2.5” round markers, 4.5” LED modules, and 15.75” LED strips with multiple flash patterns. There are a full range of sizes and colors available. Made in the USA and boasting a lifetime warranty on electronics and LED’s, it’s no wonder they are becoming the new standard! Ph: (800) 680-4455 |

Tiger Tool 10102 U Joint Puller

Pierce Arrow Threaded Twist Locks Pierce Arrow, manufacturer of winches and recovery equipment, now offers a threaded twist lock in 5/8”, 1/2”, 3/4” and 1” sizes. Pierce twist locks all have a grease zerk, rubber grip, paintable finish, heavy duty spring, and lock. The threaded locks offer extra versatility and convenient replacement. Just unscrew the lock with a wrench to replace. Traditional versions required a welder to cut off the lock.

Tiger Tool’s 10102 is engineered to provide the ultimate “brute strength” to disassemble the most severely seized driveshaft yokes. Spicer’s “Life Series”P driveline bearing cups require up to 5,000 lbs. of force to install. When it’s time to disassemble one that’s seized, it requires up to 25,000 lbs. of force. You don’t want to be without this heavy-duty, one-piece tool! The 10102 U-Joint Puller has been tested, approved, and recommended by the Spicer Universal Joint Division of Dana Corporation.

Tiger Tool 10389 Pitman Arm Puller (Sheppard M110)

"We decided to add the threads because of a customer’s request,” said Jeff Pierce, Pierce Arrow Inc. president and chief executive officer. “These threaded versions are a natural addition to the line.” Weldable nuts also accompany the twist locks and are included in the cost of the product. Log on to to view the product, or view the installation video at

The New Tiger Pitman Arm Puller is designed to easily remove pitman arms on Sheppard M110 gearboxes. This one-piece design may be used with up to a 3/4-inch impact wrench and is made of high strength cast steel for high capacity pulling. 800-661-4661 | November/December 2012 | Tow Professional


Professional LOW LOADER by Detroit Wrecker Sales The Low Loader has the lowest available load angle of any flatbed sold in the U.S. period. You can load form as low as 3.5 degrees or at any angle up to the highest dump angle, 45 degrees. They use the largest pivot pin and bushings of any manufacturer. The strongest bed in the industry. Nothing in the industry is even close! Many customers over the years have their Low loader simply remounted on a new chassis. This saves a lot of hard-earned money. No other brand will compete. Their 15,000 lb. beds have been tested by the military with loads over 58,000 lbs. and less than 1\4" deflection. Detroit Wrecker Sales has operated one of the largest dedicated towing equipment repair facilities in the country. From its huge showroom to massive garage and machine shop, there is nothing DWS cannot repair or fabricate. For three generations now, the staff at DWS has been providing the towing industry with talent and support that is second to none. They have always operated with the basic idea that if you give your best, your customers will remember. This is what they do. Made in America is not just a motto, but a way of life there. They are America. Small enough to give personal service, but large enough to provide the quality you deserve, and be there for the long haul. Check out their web site for more details, other equipment, parts, and all your towing and recovery needs. 19630 Fitzpatrick Street | Detroit, MI 48228 | (313) 835-8700 | 1-877-869-0030 |

ECM Performance ECM Performance can restore any Cummins DPF equipped vehicle back to full reliability with their unique ECM reprogramming service. Ship them your Cummins ECM and get it back 48 hours later for 100% code free operation. They also offer onsite service. ECM Performance reprograms or “tunes” Engine Control Modules (ECM’s) for DPF equipped Cummins engines (ISX, ISB 6.7 & ISC 8.3, Paccar PX6 & PX8) for Ford F650 - F750, Peterbilt, Freightliner, Kenworth, Sterling Trucks, Thomas Bus and more. Are you experiencing clogged/cracked DPF filters; constant cleaning; excessive regeneration cycles; reduced power/limp mode; and power de-rating resulting in lost income due to your truck’s down time? ECM Performance can make your DPF problems go away permanently. In the real world, the regeneration cycles just don’t work, especially in equipment/ machine trucks with long idle times and/or extended PTO mode. A clogged DPF’s can cause diesel soot to backup into the engine, damaging the VGT actuator, turbo, fuel injectors and EGR solenoid. Also, unburned fuel injected into the exhaust system as part of the regen cycle goes into the crankcase, contaminating the engine oil. Shutting off your truck’s regen cycle through ECM reprogramming will make all your DPF related problems disappear. It is that simple! Get back to making money with your truck! For expert, off-road & emergency use only 888-768-2447


Tow Professional | November/December 2012 |

Clore Automotive Clore Automotive presents the Jump-N-Carry Model No. JNCAIR, which combines legendary Jump-NCarry jump starting performance with the convenience of an onboard air delivery system. Packed with great features, the JNCAIR sets the standard in multifunctional professional jump starting. It features exclusive Clore PROFORMER battery technology, specifically developed for vehicle jump starting applications, delivering high peak power, extended cranking power, numerous jumps per charge, and a long service life. The JNCAIR features a built-in charger with automatic charging capability and industrial-grade HOT JAWTM clamps that provide maximum power transfer to the vehicle and easily penetrate corrosion on vehicle battery terminals for a secure connection. Its extra-long 68” heavy-gauge cables remain flexible in extreme temperatures and allow ideal unit placement while jump starting, and its onboard air delivery system features a built-in air gauge, 12 ft. coiled air hose, and screw-on chuck for easy tire connections. The perfect combination of power and convenience…the JNCAIR from Jump-N-Carry! |

2012 Top Products Matjack High Pressure Air Lifting Bags Matjack high pressure air lifting bags require only 1" clearance and can lift several tons with the touch of a button. They are primarily used in low insertion situations with heavy weights needing to be lifted, such as building lifting, rescue, load shifts, heavy recovery and machinery moving, to name a few. Matjacks unique construction of four full layers of Aramid Fiber per side used primarily in low duty cycle applications such as rescue or three full layers of woven steel per side, used in rugged, demanding, high duty cycle applications, such as building lifting and recovery, both provide for a lifting bag.

Lift and Tow Lift and Tow is a company that has been in the Towing and Recovery market for 15 years. Company President & Owner Cal Roth stated that safety is the upmost importance and a lot of thought went into making his line of lifts for his towers. The Z-series is their top-of-the-line lift. What's so special about the lift and tow system? It is the fastest and most efficient way to get any tow job done. You can literally pick up a car in 36 seconds and be on your way. Besides its speed and efficiency, the system can be installed on a large variety of vehicles, and is hardly noticeable, so there is no need to purchase a separate tow truck or rollback; just install it right onto your work truck. The Z-series has upgraded double wall construction. The power boom is equipped with 6 function hydraulics and a wireless remote. It allows you to power up or down while extending or retracting. When retracted, however, the T-bar extends past the bumper 4-10” (depending on your truck model). This unit is fully self -loading and has in-cab controls. Once in place, just lift and go! All units are individually built to specs, tested, and have a full 1-year warranty. Unit comes with straps and wireless remote. Lift and Tow | 866-494-6500 |


Matjack Low Pressure Air Lifting Cushions Matjack low pressure lifting cushions require only 1-3 inches clearance and can lift several tons at the push of a button. Matjack low pressure lifting cushions work best in cantilever or "hinged" style lifts, but can also be used for vertical lifting if rigged correctly so lateral movement of the weight being lifted is restricted. Matjack low pressure cushions work on volume rather that pressure to create the lift, working from 810 psi depending on the model.

Jumbo Safelift Aircushion Slope top cushion leans into the load. Comes with 3 foot extensions hose and industrial twist lock coupling. Also has grip surfaces on top and bottom to eliminate sliding. Today, Matjack is still manufacturing and located in Indiana, with distribution to over 80 other countries worldwide and more than 250 dealers. To see a full line of lifting equipment, log on to or call 1-800-8273755 or 1 -800-495-8626 U.S. and Canada.

Features and Benefits: Transforming any chassis into a money-making tow truck ROAD-READY, fully assembled, plumbed and wired Easily mounts on MULTIPLE TRUCKS

Powerfully Profitable Options: • Winch • Stiff legs • Aerodyne Toolboxes Engineered for unmatched WEIGHT DISTRIBUTION: Forward mounting position, forward most carrying position, compact fold VERSATILITY to mount on any chassis make or model 80” Tilt Range Powerful BIG ratings: 147” and 40,000 lbs. Drive on and off in minutes, just like a trailer 30 years of RELENTLESS focus on QUALITY Zacklift | 1102 E 1st Street Cle Elum, WA 98922 (509) 674-4426 | | November/December 2012 | Tow Professional


Professional Dynamic Fusion Dynamic introduced the Fusion, an integrated self loading wheel lift series, on November 19, 2010, at the American Towman Exposition in Baltimore. The Fusion features a 5,500 lb. wheel lift capacity at 80” of wheel lift extension, 25 deg. of negative tilt, a completely redesigned hose retraction system, and increased “hook-up” visibility. Integrating more than just the wheel lift, the team at Dynamic has designed the Fusion to provide seamless organization of accessory items. The Fusion has been carefully designed with state-of-the-art virtual prototyping to waste no space, while providing maximum visibility from the tower’s line of sight. The top loading oversized toolbox offers plenty of conventional storage. Large side compartments have enough space to store dollies inside, with available brackets to holster the dollies on the door for ergonomic, easy removal and stowing. The top loading mid-fender compartment has integrated storage brackets available for dollie axles and Go-Jaks. The rear box allows “point of use” storage and access of straps, chains, tow lights, and miscellaneous items. This full body integration, with 8 compartments totaling more than 45 cubic feet of available storage, makes the Fusion the only light duty wrecker to offer towers the ability to keep all of their equipment secure and out of the elements. A newly designed self aligning wheel lift, low profile draw bar, easy access valve manifold, all bronze bushings, and multiple grease fitting points provides a level of robustness and reliability that has enabled Dynamic to offer a 4-year limited warranty, another industry first. (800) 831-9299 |

Atomic LED Roof Lights for Ford Trucks - First Responder Series Atomic LED Inc. is proud to introduce the Atomic LED First Responder Series Roof Lights for Ford Trucks. These running lights glow amber in normal operation, and, when the strobe function is activated, they will strobe either blue or red. Atomic LED Inc. | 49 Cedar Swamp Road #12 Smithfield, RI 02917 Telephone: (888) 305-1112 | Email:

Atomic LED Inc. Introducing the Class 8 Light Kit! Class 8 replacement lights for either bullet or square style factory lights. For Peterbilt, Mack, Kenworth, and many other class 8 trucks. Atomic LED Inc. | 49 Cedar Swamp Road #12 | Smithfield, RI 02917 Telephone: (888) 305-1112 | Email: |


Tow Professional | November/December 2012 |

2012 Top Products

BMD Load capacity: Steel: 14,000 lbs. Aluminum: 10,000 lbs.

Platform size: Steel: 19’ – 22’ Aluminum: 18’ 8” x 8’ Floor: Steel: 3/16” Solid Smooth Plate Aluminum: 6061-T6 Air Craft Grade

Specifications Cross members: 3” 58,000 PSI structural channel Towbar capacity: 3,500 lbs Extended Wheel Lift capacity: 3,500 lbs Extended Winch: 9,000 lbs, First Layer Cable: 50’ 3/8” 6 x 37

Standard Equipment • 19’ – 22’ Steel or 19′ Aluminum Body (AMD) • 17’ – 19’ Steel or 17’ Aluminum Body (ASB) • 96” Wide Body • Dual Front Lift Cylinders • Extension Cylinder w/ Wear Rings • Tubular Cab Protector • Dual Illuminated Control Panels • 6” Solid Sides • Positive Lock Down System • 12 Tie Down Plates (6 – Aluminum) • Chassis Reinforcing Subframe • 3/4 Length Lift Frame • Full Length Nylatron Side Pads • Reverse Hose Track System • Variable Speed Hydraulic Winch • 50’ Cable • Mud Flaps • 36” x 14” x 16” Tool Box w/ key • Tow Light Socket • Safety Straps and Ratchets • Sealed Wiring Connectors • Factory Pre-assembled and Tested • Complete Installation Hardware © 2012 Bilt USA | (980) 321-5925 4000 Sam Wilson Road, Charlotte, NC | November/December 2012 | Tow Professional



Extremes: Use a Stepped Approach to

OPERATOR SAFETY By Stef ani e Williams

ow truck operators may face severe weather, extreme temperatures, or the hazards of routine emergencies. Taking a four-step approach to safety and health management can minimize the risks.


However, when severe weather strikes — blizzards, snowstorms, ice storms, or heat waves — or work must be performed in excessively cold or hot temperatures, operators may be exposed to a variety of physical and health hazards that, if left uncontrolled, can result in serious injuries and illnesses. Having preventive and control measures in place that not only address the hazards associated with routine emergencies, but also the


Tow Professional | November/December 2012 |

potential hazards faced during off-road recovery, towing, and roadside assistance, are critical. There is a basic approach in managing employee safety and health that can be applied to any type of work environment, but is essential for high-risk operations. It consists of four steps: identifying hazards, implementing systems to prevent and control hazards, training employees, and post evaluation and assessment.

STEP 1: Identify the hazards Before hazards can be eliminated or controlled, employers need to have a good understanding of the risks inherent to the job. Taking a close look at the tasks involved in towing operations and identifying the conditions or activities that have the potential to harm employees is the first step. To be effective, this analysis should involve the truck operators

SAFETY since they have a unique understanding of the challenges encountered while responding to emergencies. Getting the operator’s perspective on driving on ice and snow, working near passing motorists, truck operation, or the overall conditions of the work environment can provide the insight necessary to prevent or control exposure to the hazards. It can also help in gaining operator “buy in� once solutions are identified. Another effective means to understanding risks is to review accident history. Looking at the factors that led to near misses, the root causes of accidents, and the types of injuries or illnesses that occurred can help in setting priorities and implementing new policies and procedures.

driver safety features are functional.

STEP 2: Prevent and control

Work practices

Engineering controls The best strategy is to control a hazard at its source. For towing operations, this means reducing risk through the mechanical and safety controls on the tow truck to ensure that while operators are on a call, the truck does not break down or expose them to other hazards. Make sure that the truck is equipped to handle the situations the operator will be facing (e.g., winter tires). In addition, maintain the truck through routine, scheduled maintenance, which should be performed by a qualified mechanic. Taking these measures can ensure that the truck is reliable and that the


Other measures aimed at reducing operator exposure to

Once the hazards are identified, the second step is to

severe weather hazards and temperature extremes take

develop and implement a system of controls consisting of

the form of work practices. Operators need to understand

engineering, work practices, and personal protective

the importance of using safe driving techniques and


planning for personal safety and emergency response. Some work practices that could be put into place for | November/December 2012 | Tow Professional


operators include the requirement to: • Visually inspect tires, wipers, lights, and other vehicle components before responding to a call. • Acquire a thorough knowledge of the truck and how to handle it under extreme conditions. • Plan the travel route. • Stock the truck with emergency equipment and supplies (e.g., emergency warning triangles). • Understand the company’s procedures for requesting emergency assistance. • Avoid slips by using care when entering or exiting the vehicle and looking ahead when walking. With regard to temperature extremes, exposure to extreme cold or hot environments can bring on health emergencies. To prevent and control these hazards, consider: • Having an emergency plan in place that specifies what to do if a worker has signs of heat-related illness or experiences cold-induced problems. • Taking steps that help operators become acclimatized (gradually build up exposure to heat), especially workers who are new to working in the heat or have


Tow Professional | November/December 2012 |

SAFETY been away from work for a week or

Personal protective equipment


operators are aware that the type of fabric

As a last line of defense, personal protective

used in the clothing also makes a

• Ensuring operators drink plenty of

equipment should be considered since

difference. Cotton loses its insulation value

water and drink small amounts

extreme temperatures can put operators at

when it becomes wet. Wool, silk, and most


risk of hypothermia, frostbite, and heat

synthetics, on the other hand, retain their

• Ensuring operators consume warm,

illness. It is important to understand that the

insulation even when wet.

high calorie food in the cold-weather

effects of exposure to extreme cold or hot

conditions to maintain energy

Other recommended personal

environments cannot always be

protective measures to consider for


determined by the temperature. A person's

operators exposed to cold environments

• Providing operators with frequent

sensitivity to cold or hot environments can


rest breaks out of the cold/heat.

be affected by physical factors such as age,

• Layering: An inner clothing layer of

• Rotating workers to minimize

weight, degree of physical fitness,

wool, silk or synthetic to wick

overexertion and heat or cold

metabolism, medications, and a variety of

moisture away from the body. A


other factors. In addition, environmental

middle layer of wool or synthetic to

• Training operators on the signs and

factors such as wind speed, amount of

provide insulation even when wet. An

symptoms of heat-related illness and

water in the air, and radiant heat can also

outer wind and rain protection layer

cold-induced stress.

play a role in the stress placed on a person’s

that allows some ventilation to


prevent overheating.

These types of controls, however, are

To avoid cold stress, operators should

• Hat or hood, since up to 40% of body

normally used in conjunction with other

wear appropriate clothing to protect the

heat can be lost when the head is left

controls that more directly prevent or

ears, face, hands, and feet in extremely cold


control exposure to the hazard.

conditions. In addition, make sure that

• Waterproof, insulated boots or other | November/December 2012 | Tow Professional


appropriate footwear.

preventing or correcting exposure to

• Cold weather gear, such as extra

existing and potential hazards;

socks, gloves, hats, jacket,

however, it is dependent on the

blankets, a change of clothes, and

operator’s ability to recognize danger

a thermos of hot liquid.

and to take the appropriate

• Monitoring of physical condition.

protective measures, and this requires training.

When facing extreme heat, consider equipping operators with water, air, or

STEP 3: Training

ice-cooled garments to keep the body

Effective communication is essential in getting operators to “see” the hazards before responding to a call and at the emergency site. Oftentimes, this takes the form of training. When addressing the hazards associated with severe weather and temperature extremes, it is important for operators to recognize the danger signs and know how to handle exposure.

from overheating. And, to protect operators from passing motorists, personal protective equipment in the form of high-visibility apparel is critical, especially in severe weather when visibility is greatly diminished. Equipping operators with

apparel can help in alerting passing

vests made of retroreflective material —

motorists to their presence within the right-

consisting of orange, yellow, white, silver,

of-way of traffic.

yellow-green, or a fluorescent version of these colors — or other high-visibility


Again, developing and implementing a system of control can be effective in

Tow Professional | November/December 2012 |

Cold stress In cold temperatures, a body begins to lose

SAFETY heat faster than can be produced. Prolonged exposure to cold will eventually use up the body's stored energy. The result is hypothermia, or abnormally low body temperature, which is particularly dangerous because a person may not know it is happening and will not be able to do anything about it. Symptoms of hypothermia can vary depending on how long you have been exposed to the cold temperatures. Early symptoms consist of: • Shivering • Fatigue • Loss of coordination • Confusion and disorientation If there are signs of hypothermia, the operator should take the following steps: • Alert the supervisor and request medical assistance. • Get into the truck and run the heat, or move into a warm room or shelter. • Remove wet clothing.

• Warm the center of the body first — chest, neck, head, and groin — using an electric blanket, if available; or use skin-to-skin contact under loose, dry layers of blankets, clothing, towels, or sheets. • Drink warm beverages to help increase the body temperature, but not alcoholic beverages. • After body temperature has increased, stay wrapped in a warm blanket, including the head and neck. Another health risk operators face is frostbite. Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and color in the affected areas. It most often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, or toes. Frostbite can permanently damage body tissues, and severe cases can lead to amputation. In extremely cold temperatures, the risk of frostbite is increased in people with reduced blood circulation and among workers who are not dressed properly.

Symptoms of frostbite include: • Reduced blood flow to hands and feet (fingers or toes can freeze) • Numbness • Tingling or stinging • Aching • Bluish or pail, waxy skin Operators suffering from frostbite should: • Get into the truck and run the heat, or move into a warm room or shelter. • Unless absolutely necessary, do not walk on frostbitten feet or toes — this increases the damage. • Immerse the affected area in warm, not hot, water (the temperature should be comfortable to the touch for unaffected parts of the body). • Warm the affected area using body heat; for example, the heat of an armpit can be used to warm frostbitten fingers. | November/December 2012 | Tow Professional


SAFETY • Do not rub or massage the frostbitten area; doing so may cause more damage. • Do not use a heating pad, heat lamp, or the heat of a stove, fireplace, or radiator for warming. Affected areas are numb and can be easily burned.

• Drink plenty of water or other cool beverages. • Use cold compresses/ice packs. • Call for help. Medical evaluation or treatment may be needed if signs or symptoms worsen or do not improve within 60 minutes. • Possibly not return to work that day.

Heat stress At the other extreme is heat illness. Although there are many heat-related illnesses that can result from operator exposure to the heat, a common illness is heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion is the body's response to loss of water and salt from heavy sweating and symptoms include headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, irritability, thirst, and heavy sweating. Operators suffering from heat exhaustion should: • Take a break and rest inside an airconditioned truck or building.


Making operators’ job conditions as safe as possible is the foundation to preventing and controlling hazards.

STEP 4: Post evaluation and assessment The last step is the evaluation and assessment of the system. From a hazard standpoint, monitor injury records and hazard reports for trends in order to identify areas that need improvement. Audits should also be performed to make sure that the approach to protecting operators is effective. This involves looking at the strengths and

Tow Professional | November/December 2012 |

weaknesses of the system and determining whether or not specific objectives have been met. A thorough assessment and follow-up underscores management’s commitment to safety.

BOTTOM LINE Although responding to emergencies is a typical occurrence in a day in the life of a tow truck operator, injuries and illnesses must not be. Whether operators face severe weather, extreme temperatures, or the hazards of routine emergencies, taking a four-step approach to safety and health management can minimize the risks. TOW Stefanie Williams is an associate editor with J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc. in Neenah, Wis. Contact her at more information on J. J. Keller & Associates, visit

Leadership, By Dan Me ssi na

s the owner of your company, you are automatically appointed the leader. Some people wear the hat well, and others struggle with the role. Even the successful leaders of their companies can fall on hard times if they are not prepared. That’s what we are going to talk about in this article.



Tow Professional | November/December |

I want you to make a list of three things that got you where you are today. It might be a big contract you signed, or a salesperson you may have hired, or even a decision you made to expand your business. It could also be things you did wrong that put your company in a bad position. Good or bad, you can’t stand still and celebrate how well your company is doing. You can’t look at your business and say you

The Pitfalls don’t have to change, because you do. Times are changing, and it’s up to you to change with them. The same applies if you are in a bad position. Take steps to make a change. Ask someone in the business who does not work with you and can offer a different perspective. If you made mistakes, admit them and move on. If you are successful, build off that success and don’t just sit on it. If you are sitting on top of the world and you feel alone, it’s because you lost your following. When leaders lose touch with their employees, they become ineffective. Start to connect with your employees and listen to what they are saying. Leadership has nothing to do with the decisions you make. Leadership has everything to do with the influence you have on others. One of the pitfalls to avoid is losing your employees’ trust. It all comes back to who you are. My company was successful because my employees trusted me. They didn’t always agree with some of my decisions, but I was consistent. My wife would tell me, “Don’t do business with anyone you can’t trust.” She was right, and I continue to use this advice regularly.

Here are a few tips to become trustworthy:

1. Value character more than success. 2. Share your goals more than your

3. Avoid company politics. 4. Do what is right regardless of what it

personal agendas.

5. Be accountable to others. 6. Treat others like you would like to be

may cost.

treated. | November/December 2012 | Tow Professional


Leadership, The Pitfalls When you are setting goals for the company, be realistic. When you come up to bat and you think, “All I have to do is hit a home run and we will win the game,” but the reality is you’ve never hit the ball 350 feet before, so how can you win? Even the major leaguers don’t hit a home run every time at bat. Make realistic goals the foundation of your company. Build that foundation on three levels of achievements: • What we have to achieve (How many tows a month do I need to pay my bills?) • What we think we will achieve (Is there anything happening this month that will keep me from towing as many cars as I did last month?) • What we hope to achieve (At the beginning of every month the counter goes to zero. What can I do to make sure we have what we need to achieve our goal?)


Jack Welch’s six rules for successful leadership are: 1. Control your destiny or some one else will. 2. Face reality as it is, not as it was, or you wish it were. 3. Be candid with everyone. 4. Don’t manage, lead. 5. Change before you have to. 6. If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete.

It’s vital that you see the big picture for your company. What seems so necessary today may not be as desirable tomorrow. If you are having problems, seek help from successful leaders.

Question of the Week How do my employees perceive me as a leader?

Tow Professional | November/December |

Some basic questions to ask yourself: 1. Is it my way or the highway? 2. Do I listen to others? 3. Do I admit mistakes? 4. Am I willing to change? 5. Am I afraid to change? 6. Do I think I don’t have to change? 7. Does my customer know who I am? 8. Does my character influence my customer? 9. Do I care how I am perceived? 10. What steps are necessary for me to change? 11. When was the last time I talked to anyone about my business? Evaluate your character. Your company is who you are; don’t be afraid to change. TOW Dan Messina can be reached online at | November/December 2012 | Tow Professional



COVERAGE? By Larr y Alexander


ecause the towing industry is special, its insurance needs are, too. With towers not only needing to meet state regulations, there are Municipalities, Motor Clubs, and contracts requiring specific coverages and limits. It is wise to review your coverage(s) with your agent to ensure that you are properly covered.


Tow Professional | November/December 2012 |

AUTO LIABILITY The limit of liability you need is determined by such things as what state you are located in, as well as the requirements of your customers, motor clubs, municipalities, and the type of towing you are performing. Federal law specifies that if you cross a state line for non-exempt tows, you must carry a minimum of $750,000 coverage and have a Form MCS-90 attached to your policy.

You do not want to overestimate or underestimate the value of your vehicle; otherwise, you will pay for coverage that is not available or you could receive less money than the unit is worth in the event of a total loss. If you cross state lines for any reason, we recommend that you carry the MCS-90. Auto Liability will provide coverage for your legal liability for “bodily injury or property damage” to others arising out of the operation of your wreckers and other scheduled vehicles on the policy.

GENERAL LIABILITY General Liability is typically equal to the Auto Liability limit and provides coverage for liability arising from operations other than that of your scheduled autos. Some examples would be: • If a customer slips and falls at your shop, lot, or office. • You change a tire and the lug nuts become loose and cause injury or damage.

• You are jump starting a vehicle and hook it up improperly, causing the battery to explode and injure your customer or a bystander.

AUTO PHYSICAL DAMAGE Auto physical damage on your unit can be covered one of two ways depending on the insurance company used. “Stated Amount” will pay for damages up to that amount but will not exceed the actual cash value of the vehicle. You do not want to overestimate or underestimate the value of your vehicle; otherwise, you will pay for coverage that is not available or you could receive less money than the unit is worth in the event of a total loss. If your insurance is based on “Actual Cash Value,” the policy will pay for damage up to the actual value of the unit at the time of loss.

GARAGEKEEPERS’ Garagekeepers’ liability provides “physical damage” coverage for | November/December 2012 | Tow Professional





Tow Professional | November/December 2012 |

autos in your custody other than on your wrecker or rollback, typically at your storage lot. There are three forms of garagekeepers’ coverage: “Legal Liability,” “Direct Primary,” and “Direct Excess.” Dependent upon on what type of garagekeepers’ coverage your policy contains will determine how and if a claim is paid. Most insureds purchase the “Legal Liability” coverage, which provides coverage for damages that you are legally liable for (i.e., you were negligent). “Direct Primary” provides that your policy pay for damages to the vehicle regardless of fault even if there is other insurance on the damaged unit. “Direct Excess” provides “legal liability” coverage but will also pay for damages in which you were not negligent even if there is no insurance on the damaged vehicle. With Direct Primary or Direct Excess, a deductible will apply regardless whether you were at fault, and the loss will be reflected on your loss history.

you are hauling. If your policy is not written correctly or if your policy is limited to “autos” or “vehicles,” then there is no coverage for items such a piece of machinery (i.e., an air compressor). It is best to review


with your agent to verify exactly what type of “Cargo” is covered by

On Hook/Cargo limits will depend on your operation and the items

your policy. | November/December 2012 | Tow Professional



COVERAGE? UNINSURED/UNDERINSURED MOTORIST Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist provides coverage when your scheduled vehicle is struck by a motorist who has no liability coverage or, in some states, does not have enough coverage to cover the damage for injuries sustained. This coverage varies from state to state. The coverage may be rejected in some states, but it requires the signature of the insured on a form provided by the insurance company. PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION (PIP)/MEDICAL PAYMENTS This is a form of insurance that generally pays for damages suffered while in a covered vehicle regardless of fault. NOTE: Coverage varies greatly by state. The coverages outlined above are the most common, but, as pointed out by Jason Banis of “Banis Towing” in San Antonio, Texas, it is the not-so-obvious items that the insured fails to cover or assumes is covered. As an example, Banis refers to the equipment he carries in his truck. Unless the insured has an “Equipment Floater” policy, these items would not be covered should they be stolen or destroyed. In addition, equipment such as airbags, compressors, lifts, and other unattached equipment can be covered by the floater. He recommends finding an experienced agent in towing insurance to review your operations and determine what coverages are needed to best protect your business. TOW


Larry Alexander of Alexander Insurance Agency has been writing towing insurance in Texas and the surrounding states for over 35 years. Larry has seen the many changes to the towing industry and is familiar with the numerous requirements set on the towers by the state, insurance companies and the companies they tow for. 36

Tow Professional | November/December 2012 |

WHERE WE MAKE THE DIFFERENCE We are a cut above the rest when it comes to claims. The Hal Kresser Agency has years of experience dealing with a variety of claims and issues surrounding them. Our experience has saved our clients thousands of dollars on chargeable accidents. How, you may ask? We have the experience to accurately evaluate the accident details through years of accident investigation and insurance claims experience. In this particular accident, our client was accused of backing into the roadway and into the path of an oncoming vehicle. Our scene evaluation revealed that the impact point was approximately 6 ft. into the driveway, not the street as stated in the police report. We also contend that speed was a major factor, as indicated by the damage to the windshield post and particularly the door post that was ripped from the floor. At the time of the accident, the traffic was very heavy, and this section of the roadway was a construction zone. The other driver was stopped at a traffic light 150 ft. from the impact point. Was there a reason for speeding? We believe so. It appears he may have been fleeing from another accident. The evidence as seen in the photo below was the

damage to the front bumper and reinforcement. The bumper did not contact the roll back, so where did the bumper damage come from? The other insurance company disagreed and took the case to arbitration. The arbitrators found on behalf of our client based on the evidence we provided to the claims department. Our client got his deductible back and has no chargeable accident. TOW

This is the official accident report. There are 14 errors, including the impact point. Would your agent know that? | November/December 2012 | Tow Professional


company spotlight

and employee bonds. They also offer the following other coverage’s. Please contact them for further information or with any questions you may have.

• Auto Transporters • Trucking Insurance • Motor Truck Cargo • Salvage/Recyclers • Pollution Coverage • Umbrella • Workers Compensation • Bonds

Austin Insurance has specialized in Towing & Recovery insurance since 1991, and they are dedicated to quality service. By working with many different companies, they can offer a competitive insurance package. No matter if you own one truck or 30, are located on the East coast or the West, they are willing to fulfill your insurance needs.

Austin Insurance, Inc. has specialized in providing coverage for towing operations for many years. They have many companies to offer comprehensive packages to provide protection for all aspects of your business.

At Austin Insurance, Inc., "We'll come see you" isn't just a catchphrase. They want to provide you with not only insurance, but a full understanding of your coverage's, and they will do all that they can to make that happen, including coming to see you! TOW

Austin Insurance, Inc. provides repossession insurance at affordable rates, including "wrongful repossession," hold harmless,


Tow Professional | November/December 2012 |

Austin Insurance, Inc. Rob Austin Phone: 270-444-6818 Toll Free: (800) 548-7539

company spotlight

ATIG American Trasportation Insurance Group commercial auto insurance.

ATIG is a full-service Independent Insurance Agency dedicated to serving the needs of towing, repossession, auto transporters, and other commercial transportation businesses throughout the county. They provide customized insurance options to even the most unique situations, and they pride themselves on outstanding customer service.

ATIG offers superior customer services and claims handling. They understand the importance of prompt and courteous service. TOW The ATIG Advantage: ATIG is an Independent Insurance Agency, which means they represent several insurance companies who specialize in your kind of business. This allows them to offer the best price and coverage for your unique business risks.

ATIG has knowledge about your industry. Since 2001, they have been specializing in towing, repossession, and other

For more information or to receive a free, no-obligation quote, please contact them at (407) 472-9600 or tollfree at (877) 933-2550. Stay on the road and on the go with ATIG. Primary Auto Liability, Physical Damage, Drive Away Coverage, On Hook Coverage, Hired/Non-Owned Auto, Transport & Dealer Tags, Garagekeepers Legal Liability (direct primary), General Liability (including wrongful repossession) | November/December 2012 | Tow Professional


company spotlight

WEISS Insurance Cindy Horn, Janice LaVitte, and Bryan Westfall are a unit at Weiss Insurance that specializes in various transportation risks. They design your insurance policy to fit your insurance needs. Not all risks are identical; years in business, your own loss experience, driver experience, and type of business will affect your insurance cost.

"As the owner of my own business, I appreciate getting good service when doing business with another company. Since switching my business insurance over to Weiss Insurance, I have had nothing but outstanding service from not only Mark Weiss, my agent, but also his entire office staff. They follow through on everything they say that they will do, and that means a lot in today's business world. It's good to do business with an agency I can trust to take care of my insurance needs." – Lance Sutton, Certified Collision Centers

They understand your business and your business needs. They wear many hats as independent agents, representing various insurance

companies, which allow them to “design” a policy for you. Towing, Transportation, Repossession, Cargo, Excess Cargo, Garage and or

Toll free (866) 377-4674

Repair Facilities, and Auto Sales are some of the types of business

Cindy (636)534-7226

that they write. They have markets for worker’s compensation,

Janice (573)547-7782

group health, property, general liability, and personal insurance.

Bryan (636)534-7239

They are an “all lines” independent agent agency.

Fax (636) 534-7926



Tow Professional | November/December 2012 |

company spotlight

GARAGE, BODY SHOP & TOW TRUCK INSURANCE From an Agency You Can Trust By Hal Kresser

As owners of the Hal Kresser Agency located in Hamilton, Ohio, my wife, Denise, and I have built an agency specializing in insurance for the Towing, Auto Body, and Garage industries. We have recently expanded our operation to include seven states and continue to expand our territory. Having a background that includes being a former police officer, tow truck operator, and the product of a family-owned auto body shop, it was only logical to draw upon my past experiences in accident investigations and the auto service industries, so, upon my retirement, I founded the Hal Kresser Agency. During my career in police work, my specialty was accident investigations, which allowed me to investigate all varieties of insurance claims, and my experience in this arena, as well as my experience towing and repairing cars, is an asset my agency provides our customers that is unique to the industry. We are willing to get involved in claims investigations to ensure our customers’ claims have the appropriate outcome. I also know how the tools you use work and make sure you and your business

are properly insured. I am also a member of the Towing and Recovery Association of Ohio and currently serve as the Region 8 President. I have pulled a few heads, sprayed a little paint, and drove some old wreckers, and our approach to insurance is simple: “We need to understand your business to offer the appropriate coverage at the lowest price.” TOW 513-942-5770

Alexander INSURANCE AGENCY, INC . company spotlight

Larry and Cally Alexander established Alexander Insurance Agency in 1975 in San Antonio, Texas.

The agency was started as a traditional multi-line agency, concentrating on small businesses, including some local towing companies. The agency recognized this unique class of auto insurance that required special coverages. Over the next several years, AIA, Inc. carved a niche into the towing and recovery insurance industry and currently serves hundreds of the finest towers throughout the United States. Alexander‘s reputation for knowledge and expertise in the specialized market of tow truck insurance combined with their exceptional customer service has established them as a recognized leader in the industry. With dedicated agents, Leslie

Thiele, with 10 years in towing insurance, and Rachel Herrera, with 20 years in commercial insurance, they are able to respond quickly and competently. Their foundation for over 35 years is based upon three principles: Commitment: They are dedicated to the tow truck insurance industry. Service: They believe outstanding customer service is essential to establish personal relationships with clients.

Integrity: They believe in being honest and straightforward with their customers. They say what they mean and mean what they say. Their reputation is important to them, and they are not willing to compromise their principles in order to make a sale. TOW 800-950-7911 | November/December 2012 | Tow Professional



Professional Your Resource for Towing & Recovery



Quickly and easily chain up suspended tractor axles when performing a rear tow. The Ultimate axle chain was designed to save you time and 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, and

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 through and then have to use a binder to hold the suspension up. B/A Products Co. 8925 McGaw Court Columbia, MD 21045-4725 Toll Free: (800) 327-3301 Phone: (410) 381-1700

QUIKBINDER ™ PLUS • Has a 3 position pawl that offers the user the choice of ratchet extension, ratchet take-up or a free spin setting for fast adjustment allowing the load to be secured in half the time of a regular binder. • Vinyl coated barrel for strong, comfortable grip. • Folding handle makes it a safer and more convenient alternative to standard binders. • Can be padlocked to deter tampering. • Heat treated and proof tested with forged heat treated hooks. • WLL is permanently marked on the handle for easy identification. • Can be used with Grade 70 or Grade 80 Chain. Available through B/A Products Distributors Worldwide

Multi-function LED Light Bar w/ Controller STR56AAC • 56" long w/ 18 Amber (4) diode LED modules • 6 strobe flash patterns including traffic control right to left, left to right & center out • Control box included • Permanent mount hardware included Multi-function LED Light Bar w/ Controller STR51AAC • 51" long w/ 18 Amber (4) diode LED modules • 6 strobe flash patterns including traffic control right to left, left to right & center out • Control box included • Permanent mount hardware included 800-490-3158


Tow Professional | November/December 2012 |

Tiger Tools 90150 King Pin Press Pierce Winch Package The new Tiger King Pin Press generates 46,000 Lbs. of force and weighs only 30 Lbs.! At over 75% less weight than their closest competitor, the Tiger King Pin Press provides a much more effective and userfriendly design for ease of use, requiring only one technician to operate! Incorporating the use of a single 1 14” forcing screw, anti-torque arms prevent twisting of the main body, while applying extreme forces via an impact wrench. It is designed for use on straight and tapered kingpins, and will accommodate sizes from 7/8” to 2 5/32” kingpins. 800-661-4661

Pierce winches are the perfect complement to any light to medium duty wrecker. This priced-to-save winch package comes with the Pierce hydraulic worm gear winch with cable, angle mounts, and roller guide. The PS654-11HK winch offers 9,000 lbs. of pulling power with 125' of 3/8" aircraft grade cable on an 11" drum. For only $1,190, this winch package won't last long, so call Pierce Sales at 940-538-5643 or visit them on the web at

Tabitha Pierce, Marketing Director Pierce Arrow Inc. dba Pierce Sales 549 U.S. HWY 287 S., Henrietta, Texas 76365 800-658-6301 toll free • 940-538-5643 phone 940-538-4382 fax • •

Fleet Sales West, Chevron West And Golden West Are Proud To Announce The Most State Of The Art Tool-Box To Hit The Towing Industry, Ever. With the innovation of the LCG (low center of gravity) bed, towers had to compromise: give up their top tray or have their toolbox too low to the ground. With The Streamliner, you can have it all! Top Tray and comfortable ground clearance. First tool-box of its kind, The Streamliner is custom designed to your specifications, and each box comes standard with power door locks, so you can lock and unlock the box from the cab. The Streamliner is constructed of all aluminum and stainless steel and features rounded edges, giving it extra strength and aerodynamics. • The stainless steel door is tension chain mounted, not cable mounted. Cables can snap, break and fray. Chains are long lasting and durable.

• Drain holes in the box eliminate any standing water, keeping gear dry. • The single latch door makes it easy to access. • This box has the option to house 3 fuel can racks! • The Streamliner comes standard, with DRI-DEK. • 5 YEAR WARRANTY INCLUDED! SIZES: AVAILABLE IN 3 SIZES: -48"L x 21"D x 18"H (22"H with Tray) -60"L x 21"D x 18"H (22"H with Tray) -72"L x 21"D x 18"H (22"H with Tray) Your valuables are safe in the top tray because it is only accessible while the bed is up, giving you ultimate peace of mind. Fleet Sales West, LLC Golden West Towing Equipment, LP Chevron West (A Div. of West Coast Towing Equipment, LP) Experienced. Quality Assured. Innovative. • 503-840-8896 | November/December 2012 | Tow Professional




Tow Professional | November/December 2012 |

DealerPlace | November/December 2012 | Tow Professional




Tow Professional | November/December 2012 |

MarketPlace | November/December 2012 | Tow Professional



Professional Your Resource for Towing & Recovery



Alexander Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 ATIG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39

Atomic Led . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19, 46

Austin Insurance Agency . . . . . . . . . .38

BA Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9, 46

Beacon Software . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 Bilt USA Manufacturing . . . . . . . . . .IBC

Blades Tow Right . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 Bowers Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48

Clore Automotive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36

Collins Dollies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39

Custer Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37

CW Mill Equipment Co. . . . . . . . . . .34

Dacotah-Walsh Tire Inc. . . . . . . . . . .47



Fleet Sales West . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44

Florida Wrecker Sales . . . . . . . . . . . .44

Goodyear . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44

Hal Kresser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47

Heavy Duty Towing Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35

Insight USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19

Lift and Tow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23

RV Wheel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 S&J Metal Mfg., Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40

Sovereign . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21

Specialty Vehicle & Equipment Funding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

Steck Manufacturing . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36

Summit Truck Equipment . . . . . . . . . .44

MatJack . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26

Tow Connections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47

Marking Pen Depot . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 Metro Lift . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 Mfr. Express . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 Miti Mfg Co . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47

Moduline Cabinets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46

Direct Equipment Supply . . . . . . . . . .46

Pan Pillow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47

Next Generation Tool . . . . . . . . . . . .47

Dual-Tech . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45

Pierce Sales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33

ECM Performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37

Real Power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31

Flash Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

ROI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47

Tiger Tool . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29

NA Bancard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

Dynamic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .IFC


Lube-A-Boom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47

Dangelo’s Custom Built Mfg, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . .25

Detroit Wrecker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11


Progressive Platforms . . . . . . . . . . . .BC Ricky’s Truck . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10

ToolTopia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Tow Museum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40

Towmate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24

Towtruckinsurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48 Track What Matters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

Travis Barlow Insurance . . . . . . . . . . .47

Twin State Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . .22

VTS Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47

Wall of the Fallen Survival Fund . . . .27

Weiss Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46

Zacklift . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46



Tow Professional | November/December 2012 |

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Tow Professional  

November/December issue Tow Truck Insurance feature