Page 1



Volume 2 • Issue 6 2013

32 | A Short Treatment

on Dolly Towing

Safety 24 |

Hours of Service for Two Professionals

28 | Damaged Vehicle

SSCS Extends the Reach of Towing Operations

Movement Systems I n du stry NEWS

with the

TomTom WEBFLEET Interface

6 | Deist Industries, Inc. launches new brand images for all four divisions

6 | CAA Continues Support of Tow Truck Survivor Fund

8 | The American Towing & Recovery Institute

34| Tom Tom

40| GPS Secured

36| VTS Systems 40| Beacon Software

Fuel 4 thought

41| Towbook

10 | Tom Luciano & DJ Harrington 12 | Wall of the Fallen / Hall of Fame Lube tAlk

14| Motor Oil Formulation

32| A Short Treatment on Dolly Towing IN EVERY ISSUE

18 | Defining Your Company’s Objectives 4 | Publisher Letter TOW T I P S


22| PTO and PUMP Maintenance 2

Tow Professional | Volume 2 Issue 6 |

42| HOOKED UP 45| Dealers Place

46| Market Place 48| Ad Index




Professional Your Resource for Towing & Recovery

Volume 2 • Issue 6 2013

PUBLISHERS Darian Weaver President & Co-Publisher

As this issue of Tow Professional reaches your hands, our team at Tow Professional will be gearing up to exhibit at the upcoming San Antonio tow show. The team at Tow Professional will be exhibiting at the shows coming up in San Antonio, Chattanooga, Ohio, and Baltimore. This has been a great opportunity to meet some of our loyal followers in the market, and guarantee the magazine’s presence for our clients. We have enjoyed meeting you all, and are very excited about what is to come. We are

Jack Hartsfield Vice President & Co-Publisher __________________________


constantly evolving the magazine and our layout to help bring the most comprehensive information to our readers. This issue will cover GPS Software & Systems, as well as Damaged Vehicle movement equipment. This month’s Lube Talk column focuses on Motor Oil Formulation. Dan Messina’s article identifies how to define your company’s objectives. Finally, be sure to read DJ Harrington and Tom Luciano’s article on page 10 about how they’re helping children without fathers. We certainly hope you enjoy. Thanks again to our loyal readers, clients, family, and our Heavenly Father for being part of this publication! Darian Weaver and Jack Hartsfield Co-Publishers

Clint W. Cabiness Art Director Hal Huber Graphic Designers Jill Hasty Managing Editor __________________________

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Tom Bray Richard Farrell DJ Harrington Tom Luciano Dan Messina Dan Watson

Executive and Advertising Offices P.O. Box 26308 Birmingham, AL 35260 Toll free: 888-802-8544 Fax: 205-978-1550 Tow Professional is published nine times a year 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 | Volume 2 Issue 6 |

I n du stry NEWS





In conjunction with Deist’s Strategic Plans through 2015, our Phase II initiative starts with rebranding the corporate logo family. The roll-out of these new logos will be gradual across all areas of the business including advertisements, websites, literature and apparel. While recognizing our expertise as an OEM truck body manufacturer, Phase II also includes launching Sales Driven and Customer Focused Programs. These programs will include multi-tiered practices that involve helping our customers and distributors become more efficient and effective with the use of our products, while maintaining the Deist Industries “Value Advantage.” Bucks Fabricating is a roll-off container manufacturer that serves the waste industry, including: construction & demolition, scrap, municipal solid waste, recycling, hazardous waste, oil and gas, and waste water treatment. is a parts division of Deist that provides parts and accessories for roll-off containers. Previously, Deist Industries, Inc. implemented Phase I of their initiative, for 2013, by announcing their new sales and marketing teams.

AmeriDeck is a hydraulic loading system for full sized pick-up trucks that serves the motorcycle towing, delivery, construction and landscape Switch-N-Go is a detachable truck body system for medium duty (11,000-26,000 GVWR) work trucks that allows one truck chassis to be used for multiple applications. Switch-N-Go serves many municipalities, colleges and universities, landscapers, contractors and waste haulers.

........................................................... CAA CONTINUES SUPPORT OF TOW TRUCK SURVIVOR FUND >>>

OTTAWA, ON – For the sixth year in a row, CAA is proud to make a financial contribution to the Survivor Fund of the International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum. “As Canada’s largest provider of roadside assistance, CAA understands the risks faced every day by tow truck operators,” said Mike Mager, president of CAA Manitoba. “We are pleased to do our part to help the families of those who have lost a loved one.” The Survivor Fund was established to benefit the families of individuals who lose their lives while aiding the motoring public. Although the public tends to view the occupation as not overly hazardous, the risks that 6

are associated with the towing profession can be considerable. Industry estimates suggest that as many as 100 or more tow truck operators are killed annually while on the job in North America. “Not many Canadians realize how dangerous it is to be a tow truck operator,” Mager said. “Imagine doing your job while having vehicles zip by you only a few feet away at 100 km/h - this is a daily reality for tow truck operators.” CAA Clubs continue to work with provincial authorities to promote the need for “Slow Down Move Over” legislation to protect all roadside assistant workers. This year’s check was accepted by Towing Museum Board and Survivor Fund Committee member Randy Olson from representatives of the CAA Clubs at the 2013 AAA/CAA Automotive Conference. “On the behalf of The Survivor Fund and Towing Museum, we would like to thank CAA for their donation of $2,250 and their continued support to the fund over the years that has totaled $13,500,” said Olson.

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“Their efforts with both “Slow Down Move Over” legislation along with their generous ongoing support to provide assistance to families who lose a loved one shows their strong commitment to the towing industry and operators” More information on the fund can be found at: CAA is a federation of nine clubs providing more than 5.8 million members with exceptional roadside assistance, complete automotive and travel services, member savings and comprehensive insurance services. CAA also advocates on issues of concern to its members, including road safety, the environment, mobility, infrastructure and consumer protection. For further information, or to book an interview, please contact: Kristine Simpson Manager of Public Affairs 613-796-9404

I n du stry NEWS



The American Towing & Recovery Institute P.O. Box 007 | Wade, NC 28395 | Phone: 910-747-9000 • Fax: 910-486-8930

We are very happy to announce that Wes Wilburn Consulting and have merged into the American Towing & Recovery Institute, which is a NOT for PROFIT membership based organization. We will continue to be of service to towing companies with training events around the country, equipment sales, consulting, networking opportunities, etc. This new organization will focus on areas of common interest for the member companies. We plan on adding other training venues for our members, and we have many plans to serve our membership group, including buying discounts, positive public relation campaigns, and much more. Presently, we are working on several points of concern on behalf of AT&RI members including: * At this moment, we have a large national public relations campaign, which features a White House petition for a complete “National Move Over & Slow

Down” law, and we need your help! Please go to and click on “Please sign our White House Move Over & Slow Down Petition” link. Once you are on the White House web site, you must create an account before you can sign the petition, to verify you are a real person and not a robot.

Follow the instructions provided in the email from the White House web site. We have 30 days to reach 100,000 signatures before the White House will officially respond to our request for a “National Move Over Slow Down” law. This is a very easy process, but if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. * We have completed our 1st member pricing catalog, and the entire catalog is available online at We are also busy adding items to our upcoming 2nd member pricing catalog, which we plan to have published later this summer. *All of our efforts at the AT&RI will focus helping quality towing companies work together on issues of common interest to save money, time and hassle. If you will take a minute to read the information (on our website) about the American Towing & Recovery Institute, we believe you will see all of the reasons for joining our organization as a member is sound business decision!

Thank you to the Founding Members group for their support: Henry’s Wrecker Service, VA & MD G & S Service, Des Moines, IA Phillip’s Towing, Fayetteville, NC Weil Wrecker Service, Birmingham, AL Ewing Bros, Las Vegas, NV Lloyd’s Towing Service, Shreveport, LA Garrett’s Towing, Thomasville, NC Waffco Towing, Lake Station, IN Sante FE Tow Service, Lenexa, KS Rudy Smith Service Inc, New Orleans, LA Casper’s Body Shop & Towing, Greeneville, TN Bob’s Garage & Towing, Painesville, OH Hurst Towing, Birmingham, AL Fred Robertson Wrecker Service, Tuscaloosa, AL Bobby’s Towing Service, Staunton, VA Piasecki Service, Toledo, OH World Truck Towing, Seville, OH 8

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F & S Automotive, Mantua, OH Rapid Recovery Towing, Hampton Bays, NY R & S Towing, Chalmette, LA Hunter Wrecker Service, Charlotte, NC Brinkley’s Wrecker Service, Suffolk, VA Chuck MacLellan, Branchburg, NJ Connollys Towing, Arvada, CO Bob’s Towing, Sheridan, CO Flynn Towing, London, OH East Coast Paul Best, Raleigh, NC Lynn Hope Towing, Greeneville, TN Redman Fleet Service, Lorton, VA Diesel Engine & Equipment Repair, Blairs, VA Wes Wilburn, Founder American Towing & Recovery Institute

Fuel 4 thought By D.J. Harrington

Tom Luciano DJ Harrington


Everyone knows Tom Luciano, the training specialist from Miller Industries, and DJ Harrington, better known as the “Tow Doctor” in the towing industry. When I am the Tow Doctor, I wear a doctor’s coat with EMS inscribed on it. EMS stands for EDUCATE, MOTIVATE, and HAVE A SOLUTION. Over 10 years ago, Tom Luciano shared with me what he and his friends do for young boys and girls who have no dad so they can still go fishing. When I heard about his passion for giving boys and girls a day of fishing, I just had to write about it. The article was published in the Power Source magazine, a trade publication for the auto recycling industry. This article explained about Luciano’s desire to help young kids and what a great guy he was that he took in fishing equipment of all kinds. Here’s how Luciano gets that fishing equipment. I mentioned everyone should be checking the back of trucks and trunk of cars for any used fishing equipment. Furthermore, I asked if any was found that it be saved and shipped to my Georgia home. The week after the article ran, I received tackle boxes and assorted floaters. Tom and his friends went to work restoring the equipment. They take kids on the water to fish…sometimes it’s for the very first time. The child has lots of fun, casting and reeling in fish. At the end of the day, the child thinks they have just borrowed someone’s fishing pole and tackle box for the day. Surprise, surprise, before they leave, Luciano will explain, “Oh! By the way, this rod and stuff - it’s yours to keep!” The young person’s eyes will light up. The experience for each of them doesn’t get away because the equipment goes home with them. As time passed, here’s what I received at my home. I received tackle boxes of all kinds - even a Spiderman tackle box with a Barbie tray. I was clueless that Spiderman could fish at all. I thought Spiderman casted a web instead of a fishing pole or a net!! Boxes kept arriving with pieces of fishing rods, reels and other gear. One guy sent me ice fishing gear that he had found in a trunk of a car that he was taking to Co-Part. One box of stuff had fishing glasses, a great deal of fishing line with enormous amount of bits and pieces of fly fishing paraphernalia. A company from Iowa sent over 15 fishing poles and reels, a full box of knives and as10

Tow Professional | Volume 2 • Issue 6 |

sorted tools with a note that read, “Here Doc, I knew one day I would find someone who would want this stuff. (He used another word though which I can’t mention here). Let your friend Luciano help these kids!” The story isn’t over yet….it gets better! My wife wanted to kill me because the generosity of people was huge. I have two car garages on the left side of the house and again on the right side of the house. We received so much of the fishing gear that we had to park our cars in the driveway before renting a U-Haul to transport all the equipment to Baltimore where Tommy Luciano met me at the Tow Show in Baltimore. He took over the load from there. I saw Tommy at the Las Vegas show recently. He still needs fishing equipment badly. So, I want to ask all of you reading this article right now to go through your cars and trucks to see what you can find. Take a look in the back of those trucks and trunks of cars before taking them to 1AA, Co-Part, to Tow to auction, or to your local crusher. See what fishing equipment you can uncover. Please ship me any pieces you find, even if you feel it might be broken, assorted fishing gear, or tackle boxes that may need some tender, “lovin” care. Tom and I want to thank you in advance for what you are about to send. Let’s pay our success forward by helping others. We need your help with this project. Tom thanks you, and I certainly thank you. Correspondence regarding this article should go to: Phone Logic, Inc., 2820 Andover Way, Woodstock, GA 30189 If you have any doubts of what you should or should not send, please call me at 770-301-4122 and ask. Yes, I want you to open your hand in a tight-fisted world. God Bless You. See you at the next show. TOW D. J. Harrington is an author, journalist, seminar leader, international trainer, and marketing consultant. He works primarily with customer service personnel, and his clients include such world-class companies as General Motors, DuPont, Caterpillar, Auto Data Direct and Damon Corporation. He may be reached at 800/352-5252. E-mail: 52 weeks a year, we are as close as your telephone. Visit to order my “NEW” books ~ “Your Prescription for Life” and “Mastering the Art of Success”.

Lube tAlk

By Dan Watson As promised in the last issue, I will now explore the formulation of motor oils and why we put all those additives in our oil. Before we get into the formulations, we better take a look at the functions of motor oil. If we understand what oil is doing, then we can better understand why we choose certain base stocks and additives. Motor oil must perform the following functions: • Lubricate engine parts in order to prevent wear • Reduce friction and improve fuel economy • Maintain clean engine components • Prevent rust and corrosion • Minimize engine deposits • Provide engine cooling • Aid in engine starting • Provide ring seal for better combustion pressure Each of these functions is vital to optimum performance, as well as to the durability of the internal combustion engine. Motor oils are complex lubricating fluids carefully formulated to perform all of these functions. Motor oil is composed of base stocks and additives. The base stocks are either petro-


leum or synthetic, and the additives are chemicals designed to satisfy the functions listed above, depending on engine type and duty.

base stocks. After a base stock is chosen, then additives (chemicals) are selected to provide: • Anti-wear • Anti-foam


• Anti-oxidation

Base stocks are derived from two sources: petroleum (crude oil) and synthetics. Within these sources there are several levels of quality. The old saying “Oil is Oil” is simply not true and potentially misleading. All oils are classified into groups with the lowest quality oils forming Group I and the highest quality forming Group VI (Group VI oil is not used in automobiles). The amount of refining (purification) and the Viscosity Index determines where the oil falls on the scale. Presently almost all petroleum oils are being made from Group II oils. This is a significant change since, not so very long ago, most petro’s were Group I. Some petroleum oils are made from partially hydrocracked Group II oils. Synthetic motor oils come from Group III, IV and V oils. In a later issue, I will go into greater detail on the specific differences between the various groups of base oils. For now, I just want you to know that there are levels of quality in

• Detergency and dispersancy

Tow Professional | Volume 2 • Issue 6 |

• Neutralize acid • Prevent corrosion • Maintain viscosity To understand motor oil, it’s necessary to take a closer look at base stock properties and these additives and how they relate to the vital functions of motor oil.

VISCOSITY Viscosity refers to the resistance-to-flow of the oil and is the most critical property of a lubricating oil. Viscosity varies with temperature, being greater at colder temperatures and less at warmer temperatures; in other words, it is thicker when cold and thinner when hot. If motor oils are too viscous (thick) at engine start, they make starting the engine more difficult. This is especially true of diesels. Conversely, if the oil thins too much at high temperatures, it does not

provide adequate wear protection. The measure of an oil’s change in viscosity with respect to temperature is referred to as Viscosity Index (VI). The higher the VI rating, the more stable an oil’s viscosity is with regard to changes in temperature, which means an oil will thicken less at colder temperatures and will thin less at hotter temperatures. Additives, referred to as VI Improvers, are used to increase the VI, making the oil less reactive to temperature changes. Petroleum oils require significantly more VI Improvers than synthetic oils because synthetics inherently possess a higher VI.

COLD TEMPERATURE PERFORMANCE The viscosity of an oil must not be so high at cold temperatures that it inhibits starting or fails to flow to the critical lubricating points in the engine. Pour Point, a term helpful in determining an oil’s ability to avoid these occurrences, is defined as the lowest temperature at which

a fluid will flow. Petroleum oils naturally contain waxes that crystallize at low temperatures, causing the oil to rapidly thicken and lose its ability to flow. Pour Point Depressants are chemicals that prevent wax crystals from joining together and thickening the oil. These chemicals are added to all petroleum oils with winter ratings, which is signified by a “W” as in 10W-30. Synthetic oils are wax free with very low pour points and so do not require pour point depressants.

prevent wear. Anti-wear additives are designed to bond to the surfaces of the metal to protect the surfaces when the lubricating film of oil cannot maintain separation of the moving surfaces. Made usually from zinc and phosphorus compounds, these antiwear additives act as soft, solid lubricants that prevent steel-to-steel contact. Anti-wear additives create a protective film on the moving parts and are critical for protection during start up and during heavy loads.



Motor oil removes approximately 40% of the engine heat. The radiator system removes 60%, but the entire lower portion of the engine is cooled only by oil. Engine lubrication could easily be accomplished with much less oil in the crankcase, but additional volume is necessary to provide oil flow for heat removal.

Oxygen is an extremely chemically reactive element, and, when it reacts with oil, it produces sludge and varnish deposits and causes oil thickening. When oil operates at elevated temperatures, oxidation is accelerated. Compounds formed by the by-products of combustion and oxidized oil form acids that contribute to rust and corrosion. This corrosion process is more critical in diesel engines than gasoline. Oxidation Inhibitors are added to oil to reduce oxidation.

WEAR PROTECTION A principal function of lubricating oil is to | Volume 2 • Issue 6 | Tow Professional


Lube tAlk Petroleum oils react highly with oxygen, whereas synthetics are nearly inert, and react very little with oxygen.

TOTAL BASE NUMBER Total Base Number (TBN) refers to an oil’s ability to neutralize acid. TBN is measured on a scale of one to 13: the higher the number, the greater the capacity to neutralize acids. A high TBN is required for extended drain interval oils, and most diesel oils should have a TBN between eight and 12.

DETERGENTS The combustion process by-products form sludge and varnish deposits in the engine. Deposits can cause hot spots in the engine, affecting its performance and fuel economy. Detergents are added to aid in removing these deposits.

ducing deposits. Dispersants are designed to keep the by-products in the oil until the filtration system can remove them. Dispersants and Detergents work hand in hand to keep the engine clean.

ANTI-FOAM Imagine a blender whipping your motor oil and you will get a pretty good picture of how the oil is whipped by the rapidly moving parts in the engine. As the oil is whipped, it traps air. The resulting foam has very poor lubricating properties. Chemical additives, such as silicone, are added in near trace amounts to reduce foaming. The effect of these anti-foaming additives is to weaken the air bubbles, allowing them to collapse more quickly, thus reducing the amount of foaming that occurs.

SEAL SWELL DISPERSANTS Combustion by-products, such as carbon, are maintained in solution by dispersants, re-


Seals come in various sizes, shapes and materials. It is necessary for motor oils to not only be compatible with the materials, but to

Tow Professional | Volume 2 • Issue 6 |

nourish the seals. Seals should not degrade, dissolve, crack or shrink. As an additional benefit, some, but certainly not all, oils even cause a little swelling of the seal. Motor oil is certainly more than just refined crude in a bottle; it is a marvelous product that is the result of years of research and millions of hours of use. Motor oils have improved constantly from the days of whale oil and animal fats so that today’s oils accomplish multiple tasks and not merely lubrication. In the next issue of TP, I will look at basestock classifications. TOW For questions and/or comments, contact me via my website,, or by email at Amsoil Synthetics 2948 Starwood Drive Oviedo, FL 32765 800-370-2986

By Dan Messina

YOUR PROFIT When figuring what you want your company to be, you must first figure out how much money you want to make after the bills are paid. There are two ways to determine that: add up your revenue, and subtract all your expenses. What you have left is your profit. If you want more profit, you probably will have to grow your business. Here are a few things to determine your growth: 1. How big is the market you live in?


7. Are you able to add more locations?

Your sales staff is what drives your profits. This is what generates the revenue for your company and pays the bills. In most cases, your sales staff is you and your drivers. Make sure they know what your plan is and the objectives you want to meet. Provide them with guidelines that they follow from a pricing standpoint and let them make the decisions. They will make mistakes, but they will learn from them. If your sales staff understands the services you provide and what you want to accomplish, your company will be very successful.

8. Does your physical condition allow you to add more stress?


9. Do you really want to grow or are you satisfied with what you have?

You need to clearly define your market. Knowing who your customers are and what types of services they need allows you to define your services to meet those needs. Your market can be defined by

2. Are there neighboring towns you can expand to? 3. How many trucks do you have/can afford? 4. Are there drivers available to hire? 5. How many competitors are there? 6. Do you have cash to grow (spend money to make money)?


Profits clearly drive small business, and one of the most important business objectives is to turn a profit. Your profit will be determined in your strategic planning process; you need to determine what an acceptable profit margin is and plan your business with that number in mind. It's easier to create your company objectives when you know what you want your profit to be.

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your customer, your competitor, your geographic location and the weather for that location, the demographics of the area you service such as residential or commercial, the financial demographics of that area, if it is a low-income area or thriving businesses, and, of course, you help decide your market. There may be other factors, as well, and if you have lived there a long time, you know what they are.

YOUR BUSINESS PLAN You often heard me tell the story of my wife and me going away for a few days at the end of the year to discuss business for the next year. I can’t tell you how important it is to have some type of idea what you plan on doing with your business the next year.

YOU DISCUSS THINGS LIKE: 1. Are you going to add trucks,


or delete trucks? 2. Are you going to hire any new people? 3. Is there anyone you should let go? 4. Are you going to add any new business? 5. Are you going to open up new locations? 6. Are you going after new contracts?

Define what makes your company more valuable than your competitors. The objective is to set yourself apart from the competitors by defining what you do differently than others, how you look compared to others, and what makes the people that work for you different than others. Maybe they are bilingual or have more training or wear uniforms. You want to do whatever you can to show value in your company. You would be surprised at the little things you can do to make your company look good.

RESOURCES Once you have identified your market, you need to know what resources are necessary for you to meet your customers’ needs. A successful business uses its resources effectively. When my wife and I laid out our business plan for the year, we knew exactly what was need to get the job done. It might be equipment, or people, training our staff or getting a website, but regardless of what was needed, there were many resources available to meet our needs. The services now offers, such as website development and SEO along with consulting, provide you top-notch services at a price that can’t be beat. We used a lot of contract labor just to avoid expense while selecting the professionals we needed to get the job done. Sometimes you throw money away by using non-productive people or even doing it yourself when it would have been more productive using different resources. | Volume 2 • Issue 6 | Tow Professional


6. Are you going to expand or remodel your current location? 7. What employees get promotions and pay increases? 8. Are you going to any tow shows? 9 When and where are you going for vacation? While you create goals and objectives, you also must insert benchmarks in your planning so that you'll know when you've reached certain objectives and when you are falling short of others. A good business plan shows you month by month what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong and what it is costing you or making money for you. Creating a business plan can be fun. It gets your employees involved because you want them to have input into what you are doing or planning.


COMPLIANCE Our economy is changing and so are the laws that govern our business. To remain solvent and legal, you must follow various local, state and federal regulations. Get involved with local associations that may influence the laws in your area. I am leaving for Austin today to meet up with about 100 other towers in our association, and we are going to the state capital to meet with state legislators and tell them what the towers in Texas need. Strategic objectives take into account the various permits, licenses, fees and taxes you must include in your financial planning directives and managerial compliance duties.

STAFFING One of my biggest accomplishments in my company was not the fact that we were the largest private property company in the southwest, or that we sold the company for a lot of money, it was having 36 employees

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and only one ever quit, and he was a driver and we all know how they are. Find a good core group of people and train them and let them get involved in the day-to-day decision making and your company will be twice as strong as it was. Let them know your plans for the future and have them get involved. To be successful as you grow, you need reliable staff and trained employees to support your strategic efforts. During the strategic planning process, you should evaluate your current staff and what additional employees could help meet your objectives. Review their salaries and adjust them as needed. When you are trying to fill a position, there are a few questions you must answer, such as: 1. Can the position be filled from within? This is how you promote your staff. It builds moral and creates a positive work place.

2. Define the position you need. Are you sure that is the position you need to fill or can you change responsibilities within the company and meet your needs? 3. What are the requirements of that position? You have to be able to judge that person on the job they are doing. If they are not clear on what they should be doing, then it will be hard to judge them. Allow them to add input once they start. It will be new ideas from a new face, and they have hands on the job and may come up with ways to improve your company. 4. What are you going to pay for this person? Once again, different positions require different pays. Make sure you don’t pay anyone more than a current employee doing the

same job unless you have a good reason. 5. Don’t pay them more than the position. You want to allow them to have room to grow in a position. Pay the top performers and place the nonperformers on a corrective plan. This really paid off for me with my company. I had minimal hiring cost because I never had to hire anyone.

MANAGEMENT A key component to bringing it all together is your management team. I developed a team that I could trust with financials and decision making. You can meet any objective with a good team, but you will not meet any objectives if you try to do it yourself. Your managers know the business better than you do in given areas, so let them perform their jobs.

GROWTH Sometimes growth just happens, but if you're not prepared, it can be lethal. Planned growth, on the other hand, allows you to make the necessary adjustments to your resources, financial backing and customer service requirements. If your objective is growth, include specific details on how you will handle it when it comes.

CULTURE Satisfied employees who work in a pleasant environment with people they like and respect stick with their jobs longer and are generally more productive than those working in a company culture of secrecy and fear. An effective strategic plan includes creating a culture that provides individual challenges and opportunities for growth, increases morale and gives employees opportunities for fun and relaxation to reward their achievements. TOW | Volume 2 • Issue 6 | Tow Professional




B y Ri c h a rd F ar rell


Maintenance Over the last 35+ years or so, to say DWS has done a lot of PTO/PUMP repairs would be an understatement. While many were just normal wear and tear, a great many more were from abuse, lack of regular maintenance, or simply not understanding what your PTO and PUMP really does.

LET’S START WITH HOW EACH WORKS. PTO means “power take off.” This means to take mechanical power and convert it to power something else. Today, the industry is using the PTO to turn a hydraulic pump. Most common today are “Direct Mount,” meaning the PTO and pump are bolted together as one unit. Still, we do see from time to time a pump being driven by a drive shaft connected to the PTO. Keeping the drive shaft and universal joints lubricated was required along with the output shaft of the PTO and the input shaft of the pump. With the use of direct mount pumps, although there is no need for a universal joint, there is still a great need to lubricate the shaft of the PTO and the receiver shaft on the pump. We at DWS will regularly separate the PTO and pump, clean them and apply never seize lubricate on those components. If they are allowed to run dry, the shaft on the pump and the socket on the PTO wear out prematurely. This can cost several hundreds of dollars. This is maintenance that can be done in-house and requires basic tools but is often overlooked! The pump simply moves fluid through the hydraulic system. I often hear people confuse pressure and flow. Pressure is the strength at which the fluid is moved (PSI or pounds per square inch). This is generally regulated by the pressure relief valve and not the pump itself (at least as far as the towing industry is concerned). Flow (GPM gallons per minute) or speed is controlled by the speed at which the pump is turning. WARNING: Pumps have a maximum rpm that they should turn at. 1200 rpm is pretty standard for a PTO mounted pump. Exceeding this will prematurely wear out the pump. Most all 22

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pumps are “self-lubricated.” This means the oil that is being pumped also lubricates the gears in the pump. Too many rpm and the pump can “cavitate” or create a vacuum internally and not lube the pump gears. I have had many a customer ask us to turn up the pressure because the “winch is too slow.” What they really want is to have more flow for more speed. Some think that if doubling the rpm this will double the speed. NOT SO! Don't over speed the pump. This will wear out the pump faster and destroy the pump. 1200 rpm is the max. You can ask your repair facility to install a larger pump (up to a point) or a faster winch motor. These are some of the questions we will ask a customer when they are in need of a pump replacement. That’s the best time to increase the pump capacity. Remember, speed is a function of flow (GPM) and power is a function of pressure (PSI). This is a general rule of thumb, and there are always exceptions. As always, making sure your hydraulic fluid is full, clean and free of contamination will help ensure your system will function at its best! TOW Detroit Wrecker 19630 Fitzpatrick Detroit, MI 48228 Local: 313-835-8700 National: 877-TOW-0030 Fax: 313-835-4838 Webstore: Email: | Volume 2 • Issue 6 | Tow Professional


By Tom B r ay

If you operate a commercial vehicle in interstate or intrastate commerce, then you are subject to the hour-of-service regulations. What is a commercial vehicle? In terms of interstate commerce (doing business across state lines), it is a vehicle used by a business that weighs or is rated at 10,001 pounds or more (single or combination), or is carrying a placardable amount of a hazardous material, regardless of weight. In terms of intrastate commerce (doing business entirely in one state), it will depend on the state’s definition of a commercial vehicle. Some states use the 10,001 pounds or more definition, while others use 18,000 pounds or even 26,001 pounds or more. All states consider any vehicle, regardless of weight, to be a commercial vehicle if it is carrying a placardable amount of hazardous materials.

What do the hours-of-service regulations involve? There are three areas involved in the hours-of-service regulations (whether interstate or intrastate). These include:

• Limits • Logs (or other recordkeeping) • Exceptions

Limits These regulations limit how many hours a driver can drive, how many hours the driver can be on duty before he/she must stop driving, and how many hours of break time the driver must take. The basic rules include not driving after the driver has reached (see §395.3):

• 60 hours on duty in the last 7 days (70 hours in the last 8 days if the company operates vehicle 7 days a week and the company chooses to use this option). A driver can “restart” his/her hours worked in the last 7 or 8 days by taking 34 consecutive hours off duty (subject to several conditions). • Note: Intrastate hours-of-service limits may vary, but they will follow the same format (a driving and onduty limit, and a “weekly” limit).

New limits as of July 1, 2013 Beginning on July 1, drivers can only take a restart if the driver has not begun a restart in the last 7 days (168 hours) and if the 34 hours off includes two 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. periods (§395.3(c) and (d)). Also new for July is that a driver cannot drive if it has been 8 hours since the driver’s last off-duty break of 30 minutes or more. Basically, a driver will need to stop and take a 30-minute break if it has been 8 hours since the last break of 30 minutes or more and the driver wants to continue or start driving (§395.3(a)(3)(ii)). The ‘Records’ The main record that is used to show compliance with these limits is the driver’s daily log, officially known as the “driver’s record of duty status” (see §395.8). The driver must account for all activities on the four “duty lines” on the “grid graph.” These duty lines are:

• Off duty: Driver has no responsibility to anyone, is performing no work, and is free to pursue activities of his/her choosing.

• 11 hours of driving since the last break of 10 hours or more.

• Sleeper berth: Time spent in the sleeper berth on the truck (if equipped).

• 14 consecutive hours since the last break of 10 hours or more.

• Driving: Time spent at the controls of a commercial vehicle on the road.


Tow Professional | Volume 2 • Issue 6 |

S A F E T Y • On duty: The driver is performing any work for, or has any responsibility to, the company. See §395.1(d)(2) for a complete list of what is considered on-duty time. As well as the grid graph, the log must contain other information (see §395.8(d) for the full list of what must be on the log). The

Remarks section below the grid-graph is where the location of any duty change (a duty change is any time the driver changes duty lines) is recorded. The driver’s log must be current at all times to the “last duty change.” If the driver’s log is inspected by an officer while he/she is driving, the log will need to show the driver’s last duty change — in other words, the loca-

tion and time when the driver started driving.

The Exceptions 11-hour driving limit: There is only one exception to the 11-hour driving limit, and that is the “adverse driving conditions” exception at §395.1(b). This allows a driver up to two extra hours of driving time if delayed by adverse conditions that could not have been known at the time of dispatch. This exception does not allow the driver to go over the 14-hour limit. Adverse conditions can include snow, ice, etc. 14-hour limit: There are only a couple of exceptions to the 14-hour limit. Both of the exceptions only apply to “short-haul drivers” that report back to their work reporting location every night and meet a few other conditions (see §395.1(e)(2) and §395.1(o)). These drivers, either once or twice a week (depending on type of vehicle being operated) can drive through the 16th hour, rather than the hour 14th hour. Logging: The only exceptions to complet- | Volume 2 • Issue 6 | Tow Professional


Hours of SERVICE ing a log apply to “short-haul drivers” that stay within 100 or 150 air-miles of their work reporting location (depending on the type of vehicle operated and whether the driver is an interstate or intrastate driver), make it back every night, and meet other conditions. These drivers are allowed to simply keep time records rather than logs. Details on these two exceptions can be found at §395.1(e)(1) and (e)(2). Emergencies: Important exceptions for tow professionals to be aware of are responding to requests from law enforcement and responding to a disaster that has been declared. The tow driver and vehicle are exempt from the hours-of-service regulations when the driver is responding to, operating in direct support of, and returning from the event. In other words, drivers operating commercial motor vehicles to do “every-day towing,” such as customer-called-in tows, dealer tows, and auction tows, are covered by the hours-of-service regulations (limits, logs, and using exceptions if applicable). However, the driver is exempt from the hours-of-service regulations (all of them, including limits and logs) when the driver is involved in emergency or disaster relief operations. TOW Thomas Bray is Sr. Editor – Transportation Management for J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc. (J. J. Keller). Tom came to J. J. Keller with over 20 years of experience in the motor carrier industry, from over-the-road driver, trainer, and claims manager to lead Instructor and safety director. During his tenure in the industry, he was responsible for DOT compliance, policy development, driver human resources, driver training, and accident prevention. Contact him at Also be sure to check out J. J. Keller’s website at Copyright 2013 J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.® PO Box 368, 3003 Breezewood Lane Neenah WI 54957-0368 26

Tow Professional | Volume 2 • Issue 6 |

DAMAGED VEHICLE MOVEMENT SYSTEMS By Don K., AWDirect Technical Product Suppor t

How many times have you gotten to the scene and someone forgot to relay a message? “Oh, by the way, the wheel fell off.”“The car does not move. I think the brakes are locked.”“My car is wedged between two other vehicles.” There are several products available that enable a tow truck operator to easily move or load a disabled vehicle with locked brakes, broken suspension components, flat tires, mechanical failure and more.

Dolly Carrier System The 2-wheel carrier dolly system lets you winch or load a vehicle if a wheel or wheels won’t turn or if there is damage to the front end of the vehicle. Sliding the carrier dollies against each front wheel and using the carrier pry bar to rotate the axles can raise the tire off the ground. The tires are now set on the carrier dolly and ready to be secured with a strap. After attaching the tow bar, attach the winch hook to pull the vehicle on the flatbed. 38G775_AA01 If the vehicle is missing a tire/wheel and has an exposed brake rotor, use a tow cradle with the carrier dolly that has a slot for the brake rotor to rest in while loading the vehicle. The tow cradle can also be used with hi-speed dollies for transport of the vehicle.

TowCradle with CarrierDolly Motorcycles with mechanical failures or flat tires can also be loaded on the flatbed with the front tire set in the carrier dolly. Attach a tow bar to the carrier dolly to make loading simple.


Tow Professional | Volume 2 • Issue 6 |

4th Wheel Loader The 4th Wheel Loader allows tow truck drivers to safely load and secure a vehicle with broken ball joints, lost wheels, locked wheels or brakes, collision damage and/or control arm failures onto their roll back wreckers. It also allows mechanics and body technicians to steer the vehicle into the shop and guide it to lifts or frame racks for repair. Polypropylene interlocking shim blocks allow the driver to raise the vehicle to the desired height for secure loading on the roll back.


Tire Skates


6EFY5_AA03 Some manufacturers mold a skate up to 13 inches wide for SUVs, light truck or vehicles with wide or flat tires. The skate can be turned upside down and used as a ramp when loading a vehicle. Wedge a skate under each wheel of a disabled vehicle, and it will slide along without sticking or binding. Skates are ideal for load-

3MHG7_AA01 | Volume 2 • Issue 6 | Tow Professional




ing and unloading carrier beds or positioning a vehicle behind your tow truck prior to hook-up. Some brands of skates have interlocking teeth and a middle grove. This allows them to be snapped together for use with flat or wide tires. A groove in the middle of each skate accommodates brake rotors for vehicles without wheels.

Vehicle Moving Dollies Vehicle Moving Dollies can be used to move a vehicle away from a curb or another vehicle if the vehicle has a flat tire or mechanical failure. The four caster wheels allow the operator to easily move the vehicle in any direction. Once the vehicle is in a better location, it will be easier for the tow truck operator to load the vehicle for transport or repair.

8FWA7_AA02 Stock your truck beforehand with Damaged Vehicle Movement System products, so if you find a locked brake, missing wheel, a wedged vehicle or some other issue due to miscommunication, you’ll have what you need to move and load the vehicle… and impress your customer “on the spot.” TOW



Tow Professional | Volume 2 • Issue 6 |

For more information on Damaged Vehicle Movement Systems, contact AW Direct at 1-800-243-3194 and ask for Technical Support.

A Short Treatment on


As we are now 13 years into the millennium, we can measure our progress by our past. Over 40 years ago, Collins changed the way dolly towing was accomplished for the tow industry worldwide. Since its very inception nearly 100 years ago, dolly towing, (at left), required time, space, and maneuvering, to get the job done. As vehicles changed, so did the dollies that carried them. The Holmes D9 pan dolly, (below), available to the driver. Then the heavy, bulky dollies had to be pulled off the truck and assembled underneath the vehicle. The vehicle was then lowered onto the dolly. At the destination point, the vehicle then had to be raised up again, the dollies pulled out from underneath, disassembled and stowed, and the vehicle lowered back to the ground. The process was time-consuming. All that changed in August 1972. The articulating, self-loading dolly that allowed tow operators to retrieve vehicles and be gone in as little as 60 seconds was unheard of prior to Collins inventing the

in the head -- hence the nickname. Collins immediately responded in May 1977 with the invention of the Safety Ratchet System (SRS) that arrested the free motion of the pry bar, with thousands of pounds bearing down on the dolly. It is still used today. At present, the Collins Hi-Speed8Dolly is the safest, lightest, most advanced, and most copied dolly in the world. Collins has been raising the bar and setting the gold standard of safety, quality, and convenience for four decades. With patented original features that Collins also invented like 8inch aluminum wheels, greasable aluminum hubs, replaceable and serviceable parts, the Hi-Speed8Dolly is unique and original. Additional features introduced by Collins to the towing industry, like aluminum axles in 1995 and the aluminum square pry bar in 2010, make the tow operator’s job safer, lighter, and easier. Although these features make the coveted HiSpeed8Dolly a target for imitators in the US, China, and Singapore, their designs are no match for the original. Today, dolly towing is also available to car carriers with Collins’ patent-pending Carrier Dolly System. With all-wheel drive, electric, and hybrid vehicles, or cars with low ground clearance or no hook points, the Carrier Dolly System solves all these problems. After being lifted by the minidollies, the car or motorcycle, rides the dollies up the bed. For vehicles without wheels, the tow cradle works for both carrier and highway dollies. TOW

Self-Loading, Hi-Speed8Dolly. The present-day configuration started out very simple in the mid-70s with only four moving parts per dolly side. Simple but not entirely safe. Tow operators pointed out the danger and liability of the “crack bar” coming back and striking someone

Collins Mfg Corp. P.O. Box 1299 Jacksonville, OR 97530 • (800) 332-9220


Tow Professional | Volume 2 • Issue 6 |

SSCS Extends the Reach of Towing Operations

with the

TomTom WEBFLEET Interface Communication between dispatcher and driver has never been easier thanks to the TomTom WEBFLEET Interface for Digital DispatchTM, SSCS’s automated towing solution. SSCS is a leader in digital communication for the towing industry. It provides interfaces to several popular messaging systems for towers, including the only authorized interface to AAA’s D/2000 dispatching system. The TomTom WEBFLEET Interface, developed in partnership with TomTom Business Solutions, is the latest example of SSCS’s knack for creating technology that extends the reach of towing operators. The new interface takes the automated dispatching feature of Digital Dispatch and integrates it smoothly with TomTom WEBFLEET and in-truck GPS navigation device. The tool allows the tow truck driver and dispatching office to engage in two-way communication, including continuous updating of the status, location, vehicle description and other particulars of the call.

Two-way communication keeps everyone in the loop The benefits of the TomTom WEBFLEET Interface start when the call is dispatched by the office using Digital Dispatch. At that time, the Interface sends a notification to the driver’s truck where it appears as an order on the TomTom PRO unit.


Tow Professional | Volume 2 • Issue 6 |

company spotlight Two-way update status changes continue throughout the job. When the time comes to clear the call, the TomTom PRO prompts the driver to update the call’s status, while recording any appropriate clearing and resolution codes. A notification is sent to Digital Dispatch for final processing and posting with the status of the call appearing in Digital Dispatch’s Call Taking window. Clearing and resolution codes appear in the bottom right-hand corner of the same window:

commercial, police-related and motor clubs. Because Digital Dispatch is integrated with the SSCS’s flagship back office system, the Computerized Daily Book (CDB), functionality is extended beyond towing management to posting of call and storage revenue, expenses, driver commissions, A/R and A/P, checking, inventory management and vehicle history. “Auto Club towing is a tremendous opportunity, but it also places great demands on our business. We have to be extremely efficient, and our drivers have to do everything right. The integration of Digital Dispatch and TomTom provides best-in-class technology that makes us more efficient, improves driver habits, such as aggressive driving and idling, and gives us a high degree of visibility into the entire operation. Both companies provide good solutions, but with this integration, they are greater than the sum of their parts," said Larry Nassey of Ted & Al's Towing in San Francisco. The TomTom WEBFLEET Interface for Digital Dispatch saves time and improves accuracy. It makes for a great user experience and improves the efficiency of any towing operation, increasing its bottom line. TOW

Versatile Use and Extended Functionality

For more info about Digital Dispatch, go to or call SSCS Sales at 800-972-7727. Please follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook and Google Plus.

Digital Dispatch and the TomTom PRO Interface are versatile enough to handle a variety of calls, including impounds, insurance service, | Volume 2 • Issue 6 | Tow Professional


company spotlight

VTS Systems Offers Navigation Solutions for the Tow Owner


Nigel Pestell of VTS Systems said: Without doubt, technology is changing our industry; whether you are operating server or cloud-based management software, change is inevitable. As no one company has resources to be all things to all people, the answer is to collaborate with others whose added features enhance your combined software offering. This ultimately benefits the profitability of our end user clients. An example of collaboration, VTS Systems began offering integrated GPS technology in 2006, collaborating with Networkfleet. However, it was not until 2010 that TomTom and others advanced the technology to include real-time in cab displays with driver map routing and interactive pushbutton communications between the tow truck and the dispatcher, fully automating much of the dispatch and data entry process. Connected Navigation is a better de-

Tow Professional | Volume 2 • Issue 6 |

scription of the process than GPS. Global Positioning Satellites provide only the vehicles latitude and longitude, which is no more than 15% of the information collected, managed, and transmitted by a wireless data cell phone, via one of the national cellular carrier 4G networks. The data is then further managed by TomTom and presented in real-time on a PC monitor in the dispatch office. TOW VTS Systems (A Division of Collision Management USA LP) 14935 Dunwoody Bend, Suite 100 Cypress, Texas 77429 281.373.3072 Houston Sales Office 281.746.7816 Houston Fax 281.435.5100 Cellular 281.968.0513 Tech Support Center 613.377.1601 Canadian Sales Office 281.968.0513 Tech Support Center | Volume 2 • Issue 6 | Tow Professional



Tow Professional | Volume 2 • Issue 6 | | Volume 2 • Issue 6 | Tow Professional


company spotlight

Beacon Software –

Revolutionizing the Industry One Feature at a Time Beacon Software is driving the towing industry to a new level with Dispatch Anywhere Software. Now linking to 14 major GPS companies – including Teletrac, iTrak, VehiclePath, TomTom, StreetEagle (Garmin), and C3 Location Systems – the app enables you to dispatch more calls with less stress and greater employee accountability.

Dispatch Anywhere benefits include: • Tracking driver/truck locations on our Visual Dispatch screen or Mobile Dispatcher App. • Dispatching calls directly to mobile devices: cell phone, TomTom, Teltrac, iTrak or Street Eagle Garmin. • Allowing drivers to update their dispatched calls by sending data back to dispatch. Data such as time stamps, VINs identification numbers, odometer readings, and more can be input directly from their cell phone, Street Eagle Garmin or TomTom. This automated system eliminates many commonly made dispatcher mistakes.

• Providing turn-by-turn audible driving instructions – no need for drivers to look at their directions and take their eyes off the road • Uploading photos of accidents, existing vehicle damage, parking violations, documents, driver's license, etc. to protect your company against unwarranted accusations. • Processing credit cards and printing/emailing receipts from DA Smartphone apps for Driver and Dispatcher • Automatically validating addresses for all incoming calls. • Finding motorists using the software’s Locate feature. This features pings signals off of cell towers, pinpointing the cell phone users location – just like on television. Dispatch Anywhere is an easy-to-use application that provides solutions for the towing industry by helping companies stay connected, efficient and organized. Android/Apple apps that will track a driver’s cell phone are also available. TOW For more information, visit or call 866-437-6653. company spotlight

Protect Your Tow Trucks with GPS Secured Pro Fleet Tracker


If your Tow Truck is ever stolen, just call 1-800-434-1101. The professionals in our response center will help you track and recover your vehicle. Most recoveries are made within 2 hours, and a fast recovery means less damage to your truck or vehicles. TOW

Statistics: • 175,000+ numbers of vehicles reported stolen in 2005 • 23-30% typical recovery rate of stolen vehicles Thieves strike every 7.5 minutes – and thieves are getting bolder every day! The National Insurance Crime Bureau reports that Tow Truck and Vehicle theft rates have increased more than 135% in the past 5 years, with approximately 250,000 vehicles stolen last year. Protect your Tow Truck with GPS Secured solution for stolen vehicle recovery. We can track your truck’s location, speed and direction virtually anywhere in the U.S., Canada and Mexico – so thieves won’t be able to “get away” by driving out of police coverage areas. Consumer’s best Vehicle Recovery system by GPS Secured Of North America Inc. protects your Tow Truck anywhere in the country with global positioning satellite (GPS) technology. 40

Tow Professional | Volume 2 • Issue 6 |

• $434,000,000 losses from stolen vehicles • 7:27 minutes…a vehicle gets stolen every 7:27 in U.S. • 135% increase in vehicle theft 2005-2013 Source: National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) report

GPS Secured Inc. Phone: 305.851.3700 Ext. 100 Fax: 305.600.1056 Toll Free: 800.434.1101 Web:

company spotlight



The World Goes Mobile

Smart Phone use has exploded in our society. In fact, the name “phone” hardly applies to the devices most people use these days. Smart phones can be used for everything from calculators to personal navigation, and there’s an app for nearly anything you can think of. The average person has over 40 apps installed on their mobile phone, and that number continues to grow. Smart phones aren’t just for personal use anymore either. Most industries recognize the importance of mobile apps, and nearly 60% of the business leaders polled in recent studies said mobile apps are a priority for their business. Mobile apps are powerful because they get information to the person who needs it, when they need it, and they give people the ability to do much more from just about anywhere. Many of the things that previously had to be done “back at the office” can be done with a mobile app when you’re on the job, making work more timely, accurate and efficient.

Towing Goes Mobile

For towing companies, mobile apps display new calls for drivers so they get all the important information about the call right on their phone. Drivers don’t need to write anything down or ask dispatchers a lot of questions – everything they need is available to them. The right mobile towing app also saves drivers time when they’re on location. With the ability to scan a VIN and automatically generate a vehicle’s Make, Model and Year, drivers can collect more information with a few simple clicks. For example, with Towbook’s mobile apps for iPhone and Android, your drivers can snap a few photos of

the vehicle and easily upload the pictures to the dispatch record, giving you a more complete record for each tow. Another advantage of mobile applications like Towbook is sending receipts to customers couldn’t be easier; just enter the customer’s email address or phone number, and you can send a receipt right from the app. You can also use mobile apps to print receipts for customers, right from your truck. Managing Impounds and private property calls can also be much easier with mobile apps like Towbook because you can easily add a new impound or search your list of impounded vehicles and make updates – right from your phone.

The Bottom Line

Mobile apps are changing the towing industry, and your customers, partners and competitors are all using them. With the right mobile towing app, your team will be more productive, the information you collect for each call will be more complete, and your customers will be impressed with your company. Whether you have a large multi-truck operation and need a fullrange of towing software capabilities or if you run a business with one or two trucks and need to run more efficiently, Towbook’s got you covered.

About Towbook

Towbook Management Software is headquartered in Michigan and has provided management software in the towing industry for over 6 years. Towbook has the industry’s best customer support. Support is free and available 24/7/365 – even on holidays. TOW 855-869.2665 (855-TOWBOOK) No Setup Fees. No Contracts. No Worries. | Volume 2 • Issue 6 | Tow Professional



Professional Your Resource for Towing & Recovery


Tow Mate

Dynamic Manufacturing Feature Dealers This Month Ohio Rick's Auto Sales, Inc. Rick Whitaker 920 W. Lima St. Kenton, OH 43326 Phone: 1-800-639-4537

TowMate has stepped up their game with the new look of their Power-Link light bars. They now feature a rounded end cap with a total of 12 LED’s on each end. The end lights are even able to act as alley lights AND strobes on some models. Other options include wireless S/T/T (TowMate compatible), high-intensity work lights, along with all models featuring a built in traffic advisor. If you are looking for the cutting edge in technology backed by the best service in the industry, look no further. The Power-Link line simply installs to 12V power and ground, is made in the USA, and features a lifetime warranty on electronics and LED’s. Call (800) 680-4455 for more information, or visit to find a dealer near you.

New Jersey Battelini Transportation & Wrecker Sales Anthony Battelini, Jr. 351 Harding Highway Landisville, NJ 8326 Phone: (800) 839-4940 Alt Phone: (856)364-7046 Georgia Loganville Ford Chris Chitwood 3460 U.S 78 Loganville, GA 30052 Phone: 1-877-461-6619 Alt Phone: 770-554-9994

I-Bolt: Universal Tow Eye with Safety Strap Part Number 71490

Steck Manufacturing Company has released another winning tool, the I-Bolt: Universal Tow Eye with Safety Strap (P/N 71490). It provides the ability for towers, body shop technicians, and mechanics to safely load disabled foreign and some domestic vehicles on roll back wreckers and frame racks, without causing damage. Vehicle manufacturers design specific tow eyes for each model car to pull the vehicle down the assembly line; it is included with the vehicle. However, each manufacturer has different diameters ranging from ½" to 1" and either right or left handed threaded ends. These tow eyes can be used by towers and technicians to assist the loading of the vehicle but are often missing from the vehicle, or inaccessible when needed. I-Bolt is a 2" x 1 ½" loop connected to a 7” long steel shaft with unique gripping teeth that lock into the threaded holes on the front or rear of the vehicle. Insert the I-Bolt into the threaded hole, ideally behind the nut or the back of the hole, engage the gripping teeth by turning the loop clockwise (while holding the knurled 1 ¾" knob) until the teeth engage behind the nut or in the threaded hole. I-Bolt is able to fit threaded holes having diameters of ½" up to 1 ¼". This unique design provides a universal hook up solution for the 200+ vehicles identified in the Towing and Service Manual from AAA. Also included is a 6' x 2" polyester safety strap with a 4" looped end to wrap around the control arm or sway bar and a 3 ½" steel flat 42

Tow Professional | Volume 2 • Issue 6 |

snap hook that attaches to the I-Bolt to positively secure the vehicle. The I-Bolt has been certified to pull up to 1,500 lbs. Note: I-Bolt is not a recovery tool, but using it in accordance with manufacturer and AAA loading instructions provides a safe loading process and minimizes further vehicle damage. Labor/Material Savings: Quicker loading of disabled vehicles with tow eye holes while preventing further damage by allowing the driver or technician to pull a vehicle on the roll back bed as well as frame racks without having to buy, lug, multiple sizes of tow hooks to match the different threaded tow eyes for each vehicle. This timesaver sells for a mere $285. Check out the “I-Bolt” on Steck's web page at See your Steck dealer and pick up your I-Bolt today!

Introducing “The Limelight” (PN# TM22G) Finally there is a wireless towlight that is affordable for everyone! The TM22G, also known as “The Limelight,” is aimed at bringing the ease and convenience of wireless towlights to the masses. Features: • 22” Lime green durable PVC housing. • Recharges from 12V DC. • Lifetime warranty on electronics & LED’s. • Up to 10 hours of use between charges. • 4-Pin transmitter provides approximately 1,000’ range. • 90 Lb. pull magnets with non-scratch rubber boots included. • This is a basic unit meaning that it is non-upgradable and is not compatible with the I-MON Interactive monitoring system. • Systems come complete with transmitter, light, charge cord, and instructions.

$175.00 at TowMate, LLC. 15827 Serenity Point Ln. Rogers, AR 72756 Phone (800) 680-4455 Web:

Whelen® RapidFire™ Permanent-Mount, Single-Flash Strobe Light – WB12TPA When visibility is crucial, you need a light you can depend on. This beacon light with an amber lens delivers the brightest, single-flash pattern available with 120 single flashes per minute at 15W/8 joule output (1.7A draw). Features a polycarbonate base and lens, 1” pipe mount and 6-1/2” permanentmount strobe. Includes 6” pigtail. 12–24 VDC. Measures 6-1/2”H x 6-3/8”D. SAE Class 2. Made in USA.

AW Direct® Rocker On/Off Switch Panel – NVS12

Add this universal, 25A fused, illuminated rocker switch to control your WhelenL beacon light. Features an open-back panel with two mounting slots. Prewired with a 9”L harness. 12 VDC. Measures 1-1/2”W x 2”H x 1-1/4”D. Made in USA. (800) 243-3194

AW Direct® “Big Blue” Long-Reach Door Tools Kit – TM62K

This Door Tools kit contains everything you need to safely unlock vehicles of any size! Protective rubber tips on door tools prevent vehicle damage. Easy-to-use inflatable air wedge won’t scratch windows or paint. Super strap tool fits into narrow spaces to grab buttons. Kit includes: (1) 41/2’L Big Blue Long-Reach Door Tool, (1) Window Wedge, (1) Inflatable Air Wedge, (1) Super Strap Tool and a carrying case. (800) 243-3194

(800) 243-3194 | Volume 2 • Issue 6 | Tow Professional


TWIST LOCK™ GRAB HOOKS Our newest line of patented Grab Hooks with heavy duty Twist Lock™ technology Once locked into place, these latches won’t budge!

Design Benefits • Easy to Install, Easy to Use • Most secure latch on the market • Latch is pad lockable • Prevents accidental release of chain from hook connection • Prevents inadvertent re-hooking during removal Normal Uses • Chain to chain hooking • Equipment Safety Chains • Over-the-road Safety Chains • Tie Down Chains • Vehicle Stabilization • In place of slip hooks

B/A Products Co. 8925 McGaw Court Columbia, MD 21045-4725 Toll Free (800) 327-3301 Phone: (410) 381-1700


Tow Professional | Volume 2 • Issue 6 |

DealerPlace | Volume 2 • Issue 6 | Tow Professional




Tow Professional | Volume 2 • Issue 6 |

MarketPlace | Volume 2 • Issue 6 | Tow Professional



Professional Your Resource for Towing & Recovery



Agero . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 Alexander Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 Amsoil Synthetic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 Atlanta Wrecker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45 Austin Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37 B/A Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15, 46 Beacon Software . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 Bowers Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 BudgetGPS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39 Chariot Rent-a-Car . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 Clore Automotive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48 Collins Dollies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 Custer Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 CW Mill Equipment Company . . . . . . . . .44 Dan Messina . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 Detroit Wrecker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Direct Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 Dynamic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 Eartec . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39 ECM Performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 Eye3Mobile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 Flash Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Fleet Sales West . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45



Florida Wrecker Sales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45 Flow Stop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 Ford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .IFC, 1 GPS Secured . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37 Holly's Message Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36 IAA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 Industrial Netting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 JJ Keller . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 KBK Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 Lift and Tow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Lodar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 Marking Pen Depot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 Matjack . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36 Mfr. Express . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21 Midwest Regional Tow Show . . . . . . . . . . .17 Mile Marker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 Miti . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 NABancard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 National Traffic Signs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 Ohio Power Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37 Pierce Sales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 Pillow Protection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 Progressive Platforms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .BC



Ram Mount . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Recovery Billing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 Recovery Consulting Services . . . . . . . . . .37 Robert Young's Wrecker Sales & Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45 ROI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 Rugged Tow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 RV Wheel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 S&J Manufacturing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39 Specialty Vehicle & Equipment Funding . . . .3 Steck . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 sureFleet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39 TomTom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 TowBook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 Towmate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 TowRamps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29 United Plastic Fabricating . . . . . . . . . . . .IBC VTS Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 Wall of The Fallen/Museum/ Hall of Fame . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12, 13 Weiss Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 Will-Burt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33 Zacklift . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46



Tow Professional | Volume 2 • Issue 6 |

Tow Professional  
Tow Professional  

Issue 6, 2013 Your Resource for Towing and Recovery