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TOW PROFESSIONAL

CONTENTS Safety 30 |

36 |

Volume 2 • Issue 8 2013

www.towprofessional.com

Tech and Tow: Tomorrow Is Already Here

Keep Employees Safe During Vehicle Lockout/Tagout

I n du stry NEWS

6 |DGT Equipment and Service Now Going Mobile with Parts Truck & Expanded Parts Line

company spotlight

38| Agero

39| Road America

40| Ohio Power Co.

41| Dynamic

6 |TowMate 8 |MidWest Regional Tow Show in Mason, Ohio 8 |Wrecker Capital and RPM Equipment 10 |Thinking Outside the Box 10 |NationWide Towing & Recovery Group

12 | When to Sell Your Company

42| Wil Burt

44| Towbook

Fuel 4 thought

20| Why Did Al Capone Go to Jail?

Lube tAlk 22| Synthetic vs. Petroleum

IN EVERY ISSUE 4 | Publisher Letter

28| Wall of the Fallen / Hall of Fame 2

Tow Professional | Volume 2 Issue 8 | www.towprofessional.com

46| HOOKED UP 51| Dealers Place

53| Market Place 56| Ad Index


PUBLISHERS

LETTER

TM

Professional Your Resource for Towing & Recovery

Volume 2 • Issue 8 2013

www.towprofessional.com

PUBLISHERS Darian Weaver President & Co-Publisher darian@towprofessional.com

Jack Hartsfield Vice President & Co-Publisher

Here we go again! Hello from Birmingham, Alabama! It’s been a busy month for us. We traveled to Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Mason, Ohio, for trade shows while building the largest issue of Tow Professional to go to print (the one you are reading now). The Tennessee Tow Show was much improved this year. A nice increase in both attendees and exhibitors made for a successful trade show. Each year during the same weekend, the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum host the inductions into the Hall of Fame and as well have the ceremonies for the Wall of the Fallen. The Hall of Fame inductions recognize the people in our industry who have paved a way for the next generation of towers; congratulations to you all! The ceremonies for the Wall of the Fallen honor those who have lost their lives while on the job trying to provide for their families. This year, more than 50 names were placed on The Wall. Due to weather, this year the ceremony was held inside at the museum’s large “classroom” downstairs; it was a packed house. This is a very powerful event, and it is the true reason that we donate two pages to the Museum every month. On our front cover last month (Remembering our Fallen), we used the artwork designed by Jeff Holland (of towPartners) and provided for the Museum. Along with other items, the magazine was handed to the families at the museum as they entered for the ceremony. The recognition of their loved ones on our front cover was much appreciated. We have also received countless phone calls and emails complimenting the cover; from the families, the calls, the emails and from us- thank you Jeff, great work! Following Tennessee, we traveled to Mason, Ohio, for the Midwest Regional Tow Showthe “Family Affair.” This is one of the best shows in our industry. I believe that this show also has more trucks than any other industry show. Like Florida, the show is both indoor and outdoor with live demos and is very well-attended. There are plenty of events for both business and family time. One of my favorite parts of the weekend, on Saturday night, they have the Light Show where all of the trucks on the lot fire up their lights and literally light up the night; it’s a very cool sight to see! Next, we go to Baltimore November 15th-17th. Hope to see you there!

Darian Weaver and Jack Hartsfield Co-Publishers

jack@towprofessional.com

Steve Goodwin Sales Manager steve@towprofessional.com __________________________

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

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS D.J. Harrington Dan Messina Mark Stromme Dave Sunkenberg Dan Watson

Executive and Advertising Offices P.O. Box 26308 Birmingham, AL 35260 Toll free: 888-802-8544 Fax: 205-978-1550 www.towprofessional.com 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 www.towprofessional.com and click on the “subscribe” tab.

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.......................................... DGT Equipment and Service >>>

I n du stry NEWS TOWING & RECOVERY

Now Going Mobile with Parts Truck & Expanded Parts Line

We are proud to offer over 15 models of Light and MediumDuty Wheel-Lift Systems to the towing and repossession industry. Each model is equipped with the famous DYNAMIC SelfLoading Wheel-Lift System, which is safe, fast and simple to use. D.G.T. Equipment and Service is conveniently located in New York City and provides premier service in the Tri-State Area, including: • Warranty, Sales, Service and Parts for Dynamic Tow Trucks and Flatbeds • Warranty, Sales, Service and Parts for Dual-Tech Carriers • New and Used Trucks in stock • Financing Services Available • Wheel Lift Assembly and Repair • Service/Repair on ANY make tow truck or carrier

• • • • • • • • • •

PTO and Clutch Pump/Kits Hydraulic Cylinder and Hose Repair or replacement Complete Light Bars and Parts Strobes, LED's, Power Supplies Chains, Hooks, Clusters, Straps and Ratchets Booster Cable Kits and Boxes Go-Jacks and Dollies Chrome and Dress Up Kits Online Shopping Same Day Shipping and Parts Pick-Up

At DGT Equipment and Service, we believe that you deserve the best products and service available at a reasonable price. Whether it is a complete tow truck or flatbed, warranty work, repairs, parts, or accessories, DGT is ready with the best products and service available. DGT Equipment 212-567-0255 www.dgtow.com

........................................................... TowMate >>> Dynamic Authorized Dealer

TowMate has been known for their innovative products and unbeatable service with over 100 unique items to fit almost any lighting need you may have over the course of the company’s history, beginning in 1985. They truly have set the bar for what manufacturers can accomplish with a quality product and personable staff. TowMate continues to move forward with practical innovations with their new smart phone application set to be released this fall. Features of the application include setting alarms to let you know if you leave your light behind, monitoring battery life in the unit, as well as monitoring functionality so that you know all systems are a go. A Power-Link option will also allow for control of TowMate’s line of 2wire install light bars, the Power-Link Series.

TowMate’s commitment to social responsibility and giving back to worthwhile causes extends beyond green initiatives within their offices and productions spaces. They developed the BCA21 wireless tow light one October (breast cancer awareness month) and continue to sell the unit year-round. $20 from every unit sold is donated to the Susan G. Komen foundation for breast cancer research. “Show you care; be aware!”. TowMate www.towmate.com • (800) 680-4455

........................................................... BA Products Co. >>> 2013 OPEN HOUSE B/A Products Co. will hold its 7th annual open house this year on Friday November 15th from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Shuttles will run every half hour from outside the American Towman Expo. Be one of a select few to see our limited edition Pink B/A Towing for a Cure straps being manufactured. All proceeds from this limited release line will be donated directly to fund Breast Cancer Research. See

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live product demonstrations along with factory tours and destructive testing demonstrations using our new state of the art 150,000 lb. 40 foot testing bed. Food & drink will be available throughout the day. All are welcome and we hope to see you there!.

BA Products Co. www.baprod.com • (800) 327-3301


............................................... MidWest Regional Tow Show in Mason, Ohio >>>

I n du stry NEWS TOWING & RECOVERY

The Midwest Regional Tow Show in Mason, Ohio was a great event for 2013. The show brought in a registered 5,400 attendees and over 6,500 estimated by the time the week was over. This year’s show hosted 90 exhibitors, and had over 165 trucks that showed up to be seen. There were many Seminars that were held over the weekend: 1. Don’t Crush Your Cash - Presented by Ray Rodecker/ Insurance Auto Auctions, teaching how to buy and sell lightly damaged, high mileage, repossessed and abandoned vehicles at auction with a combined live-online bidding auction platform. 2. Mock Trial - presented by Attorneys Rick Porotsky and Ryan Green of Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP addressing the potential perils arising from the use of social media in the workplace. 3. QuickBooks Basics Made Easy - Presented by Brad McFaddin/West Chester Tax & Accounting an introductory look at how QuickBooks works and what powerful tools you can harness. 4. Smartphone, Smart Business - Smartphone technology overview from Beacon Software. 5. Keeping the Family Running In a Family Run Business Bill Giorgis & DJ Harrington 6. Special Hauling - Jeff Honefanger, the manager of the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Special Hauling Permits Section. 7. How the Affordable Health Care Act Will Affect You & Your Business – From Bowers Insurance 8. Safety Bill in Water, Roadside & General Safety -Bill Giorgis/Mike’s Wrecker Service 9. Towing & Recovery Methods at Ford Motor Company A review of how we test global vehicles in Computer Aided

Design (CAD) presented by Jay Degenkolb, Lokesh Setti & Gary Hileman. 10. THE STORY AFTER THE NEWS: FAMOUS TOW CALLS – By Michael McGovern 11. Recovery Billing Unlimited - Taught you how to tow and do recoveries the proper way, and how to be more profitable using the techniques you've acquired by having the ability to bill for your services. The Midwest Regional Tow Show in Mason, Ohio, is a fantastic show for the family and Kids as well. There are so many great events from the LIL’ TOWERS ‘MATER’ night, LIL’ TOWERS ‘CARS’ party, the Caricature Drawings event, a teen golf cart challenge, kids mini rodeo, and let’s not forget the largest indoor waterpark, wow! There were many additional events to attend from Thursday’s nights Celebrity auction, Friday night’s ‘Boot Scoot’, and Saturday night’s Miller customer appreciation event. All in all, the MidWest Regional Tow Show in Mason, Ohio, is one of the top shows in the market for decision makers, and one of the top places to bring our families and let them get a taste of what we all do on a day-to-day basis to provide for them. There were certainly many reasons to attend this show from educational seminars, equipment procurement, kid’s events, and just an allaround great excuse to get the family involved with your business. Tow Professional was blown away by the hospitality from Donna Brock, and the crew at TRAO, and are excited about the wonderful turnout at this year’s show. We were so impressed by the quality of the show and their team that Tow Professional has agreed and we are excited to partner with Donna and the team at MidWest Regional Show to help promote and support their efforts going forward.

........................................................... Wrecker Capital and RPM Equipment >>>

In 1977, when Brian Marshall’s son was born, he said, “I don’t care what his name is, as long as his initials are RPM.” That was a sign of what was to come. A few years later, a small shop in Missouri City, Texas, came into being. And then a slightly larger shop with an employee or two. And then three more shops evolved through the years in Houston. Ultimately ending up with two locations: Wrecker Capitol came into being in 1999 and is located just south of Austin in Buda, Texas, with 5,000 sq. ft., and the new location of RPM Equipment Company on Chrisman Road in Houston, with 18 employees and 8

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20,000 sq. ft. How things have changed. RPM Equipment Company has been a stable and dedicated business force in the wrecker industry for 32 years, and with the experience of Wrecker Capitol, between Brian and Ryan, there are 44 years of wrecker knowledge. In 2010, RPM Jr. was born, so inevitably the business will be continuing well into the future. RPM Equipment • 281-590-1494 www.rpmwreckersandtowtrucks.com


I n du stry NEWS

...............................................

TOWING & RECOVERY

Thinking Outside the Box

>>>

Stan Coker, owner at Coker Equipment Sales, Inc., in Dallas, Texas, is always trying to think outside of the box while building wreckers, whether it be spending days searching the web for the perfect preemission wrecker spec’d chassis or simply adding extra lights for visibility. His newest venture is specializing in Bi Fuel wreckers. Stan and Coker Equipment Sales have teamed up with a local CNG conversion company and begun converting wreckers to Bi Fuel. These systems convert gasoline fueled trucks to run on both,

CNG (compressed natural gas) and gasoline. Gasoline is used to initially start the engine; once started, you can toggle back and forth from using gas or CNG with the click of a button mounted on the dash. Coker Equipment has converted Ford F650s, Isuzu NRRs, and Chevrolet C5500s into Bi Fuel rollbacks and wreckers. Right now, they are working on building a 2006 International 8600 with a new Century 5130 30 Ton Heavy that runs on CNG. Although the cost of doing this conversion is initially pricey, Wrecker company owners are seeing that operating their trucks using CNG is saving them thousands of dollars monthly. CNG Facts: CNG is up to 78% cheaper than Diesel. CNG produces 80% less tailpipe pollution. CNG is the safest alternative fuel in use today.

www.cokerequip.com Toll Free: 800-878-4144

........................................................... NationWide Towing & Recovery Group >>>

Ever felt like something was just "wrong" and that you should "do" something? Well, that’s how we felt when one of our clients began complaining about Wrecker Service Providers (WSPs) in general. As an Adjuster, we’ve worked alongside WSPs for the past 23 years, in all kinds of weather, and believe they deserve more respect than that. The majority of them are hard-working, family-run businesses, just trying to stay afloat. As a result, we launched our company in January 2013, in an effort to create a DataBase that would help promote the WSP at NO COST to them. In exchange for a WSP listing their contact information, and then filling in all of their equipment rates, we provide them with a Free Website page, where they can post pictures or tell the history of their company. As we talked with various WSPs, we learned that sometimes they lose 10% to a “Directory,” in exchange for being given a towing job. Naturally, they have to increase their bill to cover this loss. 10

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We know we're going against the grain, but that’s why we changed the way this “Marketing Expense” is handled for the WSPs. Our Trucking & Insurance Company Clients pay an Annual Subscription rate in order to access our DataBase. Our intention is to provide our Trucking clients with a quick-reference “TOOL” that will need to accomplish three things: 1) Identify the closest WSP to the scene of an accident (@ccident Locator Map). 2) Separate the good from the bad (Feedback Rating System). 3) Reward those WSPs who do the BEST work with MORE work (Repeat Business).

We’re hoping that you’ll take the time to check out our website at “NTRG4U.COM” and will agree to join with us as we attempt to change the way business is done in the Transportation Industry! NationWide Towing & Recovery Group, LLC. P.O. Box 3058 • Springfield, MO 65808-3058 Phone (417) 595-0712 E- Fax (417) 501-4251 E-Mail ntrg4u@gmail.com


WHEN TO SELL YOUR

COMPANY

make a decision. It is important when you are ready to sell your business that you are prepared to sell. You, as the owner, must be ready, and, more importantly, your company must be ready to sell. When I thought I was ready to sell my business, I let some people know I wanted to sell, and they came in and took a look at my business. This was a very valuable lesson for me. By the time they were through evaluating my company, they offered me almost nothing to come in and take over. My wife and I were in shock because we thought we were a good company, and we were, but it just wasn’t ready for to be sold. For the next 18 months, we worked hard to prepare for a sale if that time ever came again. It did, and we were ready for that time; as a result, we received premium dollar for our company. Here are a few things we did to make our company marketable. The most successful sellers are meticulous about getting pre-sale preparation right. Here are some of the most common mistakes business sellers make during the preparation stage and some helpful tips on how you can avoid them as you move closer to the sale of your company.

1. GOING SOLO Over 70,000 small businesses are bought and sold each year. Someday, your business may become a part of that number. When I sold my business, I ran into the perfect scenario. I can’t say that I was ready to sell my company, but two buyers came to me, and I had to 12

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One of the biggest mistakes business sellers make is trying to do everything themselves. Very few owners have the time or experience to handle selling a company alone. Business brokers, exit planners, accountants, appraisers and other sale professionals streamline the process and ensure that your company is truly ready for prospective buyers. I developed a team to help me. I wanted to keep the expenses


to a minimum, so I did not use a broker because they can become a big expense. I used a business appraiser and a lawyer to help with my plan, and you do want to have a plan when selling your business. Pulling together a talented team of advisers should be one of the first things you do after you decide that it's time to sell.

4. INCORRECTLY VALUING THE COMPANY Valuation is a tricky process. Although there is a tendency for sellers to inflate the value of their companies, it can be equally dangerous to undervalue your business. If the asking price is too low, you may leave money on the table, or, worse yet, buyers may assume there is a problem and move on to other opportunities.

While your own insight and quick, easy-touse valuation tools are a good starting point, ultimately, you need the objective valuation provided by a qualified third-party. Commercial appraisers and business brokers who offer valuation services understand the marketplace and have the expertise to provide an accurate measure of your company's real value. Considering that your business is likely your most valu-

2. STARTING THE PROCESS WITH MISGUIDED EXPECTATIONS First-time business sellers often have unrealistic expectations. For example, many sellers believe their companies are worth more than actual market value and are then disappointed when their (over-priced) business doesn't sell quickly...or at all. There is a formula used when buying and selling a business, and it revolves around your profit and assets. During the preparation stage, it's important to right-size your expectations. By evaluating the recent sales of similar businesses in your area, you can gain more realistic insights about average sale prices and how long it typically takes to sell a business like yours. Through consultations with your advisory team and other experts, you can also identify the types of concessions sellers or buyers have made to close deals. Try to show a good profit margin for several months and lower your debt as much as possible before selling.

3. GETTING THE TIMING WRONG Your personal feelings aside, it may or may not be the right time to sell your business. While a strengthening economy is certainly helpful, it doesn't necessarily mean that the business succession market is ripe for every business in every industry. Even if the market looks good, it's possible that your position could be stronger six months or a year down the road. I waited 18 months before I was ready to sell just to make my numbers better. Determining the best possible time to sell your business is tricky. But, by consulting with your advisory team, putting yourself in a buyer's shoes, and identifying the outcomes you want to achieve early in the process, you can uncover insights that impact the timing of your sale. In some cases, it may be better to wait until you have improved the company's financials or until the market is more likely to deliver your desired sale outcomes. www.towprofessional.com | Volume 2 • Issue 8 | Tow Professional

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I provided him; they provided a nice package to present to the buyer. It was very professionally presented, which helped me get the price I was looking for.

5. NOT SPENDING ENOUGH TIME ON PREPARATION

able asset, it pays to get the price right. I contacted a company that helps appraise businesses and get them ready to sell. It only cost me $500, and this company determined the asking price based on the information

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Many business sellers are surprised by the amount of time and effort it takes to properly prepare a business for the marketplace. From determining value and setting the right asking price to compiling historical financials and other documents, a multitude of tasks need to be performed before you list your business. At a minimum, you should begin the preparation process six months to a year before you intend to sell the business, and, ideally, preparation starts several years in advance. In addition to allowing you to complete all of the necessary preparations, longer lead time gives you time to increase earnings or improve your company's competitive position, making your business more appealing to qualified buyers.


There are no guarantees in selling a business, and you can never be completely assured that you will achieve all of your objectives in the sale of your company. But, business owners who approach exit planning systematically and methodically are more likely to maximize their business sale prices and sell on their own terms. To do it right, be sure to start preparing well in advance of actually listing your business for sale. As I mentioned, it took me 18 months to get my company ready to sell. Here are some of the things I worked on during that 18 month period. We wrote down 5 things a buyer gets when they buy a company. I then worked on those 5 things to make them strong. • Customers – I made sure all my good customers were happy and would stay with me even if I sold my company. It is important for a buyer to know they will not lose anyone if a new owner comes in. I took my bad customers and made them better, and, in some cases, it was better for me to get rid of them before I sold. • Services – I evaluated all my services and made sure I had all the proper equipment to provide these services. I added new services when necessary to improve my financials. • People – I made all the necessary promotions before I sold so my good employees were happy they were just promoted, and I took a close look at all my trouble-makers to make sure they would not create problems. I

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also made sure the buyer was going to take care of my staff because I worked hard to develop a good staff. • Reputation – I took a close look at how I was perceived in the market and that my reputation was good in the marketplace. • Performance – I made sure that if the buyer talked to my customers that they would all say my performance was great. Now that you prepared the company for sale, now it is time to prepare yourself for the sale of your business. The first rule of thumb is if someone comes to you and offers more than the company is worth, it is time to sell. Here are a few signs to look for to help you sell or not sell: • “I really like what I am doing so the thought of selling is premature.” • “I need to sell because I am nearing retirement.” • “There is no longer that fire in my belly, and I worry I am losing interest.” • “My bottom line tells me I can finally get my price.” • “I have received an unsolicited offer, so maybe now is the time to sell.” • “I do not want to abandon the people who stood alongside me over the years.” • “I am not ready to turn this business over to the next generation.”


• “I am eager to write that next chapter in my life.” Some combination of the above invariably leads to knowing “when the time is right.” You need to be proactive. The precise timing of an exit is driven by a mix of business and personal factors. Simply put, it is a realtime, deep-dive look at the world that surrounds you and your company.

DO YOUR PERSONAL ASSESSMENT. What matters most in your everyday private life? Does your company still take precedence? Are you alert to how you have changed? Are you honest with yourself? Are you prone to procrastinate or too slow in coming to terms with your present state of mind as it relates to the sale of your company? The relevant question that should capture your immediate attention is…why now? First, recognize when you are near or at this strategic crossroads. Second, grasp the meaning and significance of what you are feeling inside. Third, and perhaps most important, initially refrain from sharing with others in your inner circle. Allow time for private thought and try to read your own tea leaves. It’s good therapy. Eventually, you will know whether and how to reach out for guidance.

murky landscape requires a telescopic lens that allows the business owner to see things from a distance. Unfortunately, being too close to the ground also means being prone to poor judgment or overreaction. The analysis must be approached from two very different perspectives as illustrated above [which are frequently in conflict with one another]. Put your professional advisors to the test in (1) helping you reason whether you are personally ready to exit and (2) evaluating whether your company is also ready. The stakes are at their highest and, ironically, taking this intermediate step to reach out to seasoned financial and legal advisors can be the best decision you ever made. There are two tax considerations for the seller no matter what type of business entity you have: 1. How is the income from the sale taxed? As ordinary income or capital gains? 2. When is the income taxable? The tax part of the sale is the most important part of the sale, and I will let you work this out with your accountant. TOW This will be the most exciting time of your life. Good luck.

TRUST YOUR ADVISORS. Selling one’s company deals with a completely different set of circumstances and uncertainties. Successfully navigating across this

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Visit www.danmessina.com for more information.


Fuel 4 thought By D.J. Harrington

Why Did Al Capone GO TO JAIL? One of the most famous American gangsters of all times was Al Capone. He was known for many things. Not only was he a notorious killer, but he was known and feared for other reasons, as well. His nickname was “Scarface.” He became known as the leader of the Chicago mafia during the Prohibition Era. It was a troubled time in Chicago, as the headlines will recall. We know he killed many people and was behind the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Al Capone should have been an escape artist because he was always able to escape arrest due to “lack of evidence.” Even though a known bootlegger and a corrupt businessman, he wasn’t accountable for anything because there wasn’t enough evidence to arrest him for anything he had done….that is, until October 17, 1931. On that fateful day, a jury of his peers

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found Al Capone guilty of several counts of Tax Evasion. The judge sentenced him to 11 years behind bars. Finally, Chicago was free of Al Capone. I share this story because it reminds me of what happened at the 3rd Annual New Mexico Recycling Summit held in Albuquerque last month. Sandy Blalock, the managing director, invited their newly elected state senator to their meeting. He listened intently to the towers complain about the unlicensed, uninsured towers who take away business from those that did. The senator had listened and recorded every concern of those in the room on his canary-yellow legal pad. Knowing this group was comprised of all kinds of folks from the automotive, towing and metal recycling industries, Senator Padilla

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thanked his constituents for their votes and support. He has listened to the group that put him into office. These industries needed fresh ears. The past senator was voted from office by this same group of people because he never listened to their concerns. With high hopes, the group felt that Senator Padilla was the new set of ears they needed. But was he? Being so new to Congress, what could he do to help them? After the senator listened to the towers complain about the unlicensed, uninsured towers who have taken away the business with their cheap prices, the senator began to speak. I know these details because I was there. As speaker for the day, I had been trying to get towers and recyclers together for a good cause. (I’ll get to that later in the article.) As Senator Padilla stood to address the


group, the first thing he said was, “What did Al Capone go to jail for?” Okay, someone get the hook! Had the senator lost his mind? Maybe he was writing other constituents a letter instead of listening. Everyone yelled back, “TAX EVASION.” “That’s right!” he said. “I think I need to call my cousin!” The whole room, including me, thought “Call your cousin???” What in the world? He wasn’t trying to be a millionaire asking for a “life-line” or call a friend or family member for the answer to win some cash on the show Cash Cab. You could have heard a pin drop in the room. The audience looked around the large outdoor tent to see if someone might know what he meant. At that point, the senator validated the legitimacy of his statement. “My cousin is the Secretary of Taxation for the entire state of New Mexico.” The government controlled Al Capone in a way that the judicial system couldn’t. All of us are mad about this so-called, underground economy. Unlicensed towers and, yes, unlicensed recyclers are making a living in our backyard. It’s not what we want, but they’re here. It’s certainly not what we deserve. We

need the state to enforce established laws, but there isn’t any money for hiring compliance officers. Senator Padilla is a problem-solver. Without assistance in getting evidence to close them down through a department that couldn’t fund the activity anyway, the senator’s cousin was able to shut them down. Just like Al Capone, those businesses are now out of business because of tax evasion! Towers and Recyclers need to work together. Do you know this? The past president of the Michigan Recyclers Association, Slaytor Shroyer, is a tower in Lansing, Michigan; everyone knows Bill Giorgis, owner of Mike’s Wrecker Service. Mike is the president of the Michigan Towers Association and just bought a recycling center. The largest tower in Tampa, Florida, is also one of the oldest towing companies in Florida. I’m referencing Stepp’s Towing. A few years ago, Todd Stepp purchased a recycling center and had me help “hook him up” with another recycler. Did you get that? I got it, too, so I introduced him to other recyclers. Happening next month in Phoenix, Arizona,

is the Auto Recyclers Annual Meeting. Plenty of towers will be walking the convention floor. Since 81% of recyclers own tow trucks, why don’t we invite recyclers to tow shows? Just a thought for those producing tow shows that feel we have enough people attending tow shows. It would be great if we could work together. Now that we realize we have the power to vote people from office who don’t listen to us, let’s replace them with good people like Senator Padilla. Furthermore, now that we realize we can remove people from our industry that don’t follow the rules, let’s help get them out of business. Let me help you put the unlicensed, uninsured towers out of business - Just call the Doctor. See you next time. 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, AutoData Direct and Damon Corporation He can be reached at 800352-5252 or by e-mail at dj@djsays.com.

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Lube tAlk

B y D a n Wa t s o n

Synthetic vs.

Petroleum The ongoing march to achieve more technologically advanced engines continues, and certainly the modern turbo-charged diesel engine exemplifies that quest. The race between GM, Ford and Dodge has benefited you and me; the improvement in all aspects of these diesel engines is easily quantifiable in terms of horsepower and torque, as well as fuel efficiency and endurance. Recognizing how vastly improved these diesels are to their predecessors, it should not surprise anyone that advances in the lubricants for these engines have also facilitated quantum leaps in performance. Any oil, properly rated for use in a high performance turbocharged engine, is a remarkable lubricant regardless of the base oil used. In this article, I will compare synthetic diesel engine oil to 22

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petroleum diesel engine oil and draw some conclusions and make some recommendations. Previous articles have established fundamentals of lubrication and how oil is made, so if you haven’t read those, a review might be in order. I am writing this article assuming you have read the preceding articles. To start, we should compare several performance criteria for petroleum oil vs. synthetic oil.

Thermal Stability How well does the oil hold viscosity as temperature increases? This is reflected in the Viscosity Index (VI) rating, with a higher number indicating greater stability. Petroleum oils rarely exceed 100 on the Viscosity Index, while some synthetics rate higher than 180. Oils that maintain rated viscosity – instead of thinning out at higher temperatures – perform better in your engine. Thin oil will reduce film strength and result in higher wear rates of critical engine parts.

Thermal Stability Advantage: Strong for Synthetic Oil


CHART ONE: VISCOSITY INDEX (VI) SAE 50 / ISO 220 Temperature Range

5790

VISCOSITY, cSt

2750

0ºF

TEMPERATURE

210ºF

Higher viscosity index (VI) liquids are less responsive to temperature extremes. At 0°F, the VI 95 petroleum oil is thicker (measured in centistokes, a dynamic measure of resistance-toflow) than the synthetic oil with a VI of 150. On the hot side at 210°F, the VI 150 synthetic maintains viscosity better than the VI 95 petroleum oil that thins out more easily.

What are the highest and lowest temperatures the oil can tolerate and still provide proper lubrication, during continuous or intermittent duty? This range is established by measuring the pour point (lowest temperature the oil will pour) and the highest temperature at which the oil can hold sufficient viscosity in order to provide lubrication. Chart Two demonstrates the superior performance of synthetic oil vs. petroleum oil. Group III hydro-cracked synthetics are not on 25.9 the graph, and it is important to note that the Group III synthetics will have similar cold flow performance but 19.3 significantly less high temperature performance compared to Polyalphaolefins (PAO). PAO and Dibasic Acid Esters are the primary chemicals used in engine and drive line oils. A strong temperature range is paramount to providing proper lubrication, especially in severe duty or extreme temperatures.

Temperature Range Advantage: Very Strong for Synthetic Oil

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Lube tAlk Oxidation Stability

CHART TWO: OIL TEMPERATURE LIMITS PETROLEUM VERSUS SYNTHETIC -60ºC

-40ºC

-20ºC

100ºC

200ºC

300ºC

400ºF

600ºF

Petroleum Oils Polyalphaolefins

Polyol Esters

Dibasic Acid Esters

Polyalkylene Glycols

Diakyl Benzene

-80ºF

-40ºF Continuous Operation, Petroleum Oil

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0ºF

200ºF Continuous Operation, Synthetic Oil

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Intermittent Operation

How well does the oil resist oxidation and sludge formation? As oil oxidizes, it thickens (viscosity increases) and deposits sludge in the engine. Sludge may eventually clog critical oil passages, preventing necessary oil from reaching vital engine parts. This causes excessive wear and, eventually, failure of various engine parts. Synthetics are inert, meaning there are no polar sites (having positive or negative polarity) and simply do not react with oxygen. Petroleum oils are highly polar (mostly positive polarity) and readily react with oxygen. To counter this reactivity, petroleum oils are treated with antioxidation additives. When oils are operating in the intermittent range (temporarily outside the normal operating band), they are susceptible to higher rates of oxidation. Unfortunately, today’s engines are forcing oils to operate routinely at 230°F to 250°F. This puts the petroleum oils in a range of temperatures that causes increased use of the anti-oxidants in the additive package and


shortens the life of the oil. PAO or Ester based synthetics are in the normal operating band for temperatures in excess of 330°F and suffer little or no oxidation. This is one of the reasons you hear of mechanics reporting how clean engines with synthetics are, even those with high mileage.

Oxidation Stability Advantage: Very Strong for Synthetics

Volatility How easily does the oil vaporize or boil off? When oils are hot, vaporization can result in significant oil consumption and thickening of the oil. Not only is this a problem for oil consumption, but the oil vapor is sucked into the engine via the Positive Crankcase Ventilation system, contributing to significant hydrocarbons in the exhaust (PCV systems have been used in gasoline engines and are now starting to be used in diesel engines). In petroleum oils, the molecular structure is non-uniform, consisting of various size compounds. Imagine countless footballs, base-

balls, hockey sticks and tennis rackets all mixed together, pushing against each other. When the oil gets hot, some of the lightweight items are liberated and fly away while the larger, heavier items remain. As this process continues, only the larger items remain, resulting in much thicker oil. In contrast, the molecular structure of synthetics is like a bunch of identical golf balls, all the same size and tightly packed together, resisting vaporization; as a result, they stay in grade for much longer periods and reduce oil consumption.

ble with the seal materials used in modern engines and will slightly swell the seals. While PAO synthetics tend to shrink seals, Esters tend to swell the seals: both are chemically compatible. In synthetics where PAO is the primary base oil, another synthetic oil, Diester for example, is used to provide the desired seal swell and nourishment for seals. Historically, seal compatibility issues have caused real and imaginary problems for synthetic oils in the market place. Currently, seal issues for properly blended synthetic oils are no longer an issue.

Volatility Advantage: Strong for Synthetics

Seals Advantage: Slight for Petroleum

Seals

Lubrication/Wear Protection

How does the oil affect the seals? Will it cause them to shrink or to swell? And, is the oil chemically compatible with them? Seals are made of a variety of compounds in order to provide rigid but flexible surfaces that promote good sealing in order to keep liquids in and dirt out. Petroleum oils are fully compati-

How well does the oil lubricate and, in turn, prevent wear? Lubrication is a result of both base oil and additive combinations performing in various lubrication regimes in order to prevent metal-to-metal contact and the wear that results. Where fluid film is retained, the base oil will be the dominant factor in lubri-

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Lube tAlk cation. Where oil film is not always able to separate the moving metal parts, additives become the dominant factor. The uniform molecular structure of synthetics results in a superior lubricating film. Additionally, the thermal stability of synthetic oils maintains an oil film in much more severe conditions – at higher temperatures, for instance – than petroleum. Additives are relatively equal in performance regardless of the base oil – synthetic or petroleum – with which they are combined. Instead, the anti-wear protection they provide – or fail to provide – is more dependent on their own quality and concentration. For normal temperatures, properly additized petroleum oils and synthetic oils will show similar lubricating qualities. Synthetic oils have higher film strengths and require a lower quantity of additives in order to achieve the same level of protection. In standard anti-wear testing such as the Shell fourball wear test, some synthetics achieve up to four times the wear protection when com-

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pared to petroleum oils. When higher temperatures and pressures are used in such tests, the results significantly favor synthetic oils.

Normal Operational Conditions Advantage: Slightly Synthetics Severe Operational Conditions Advantage: Very Strongly Synthetics

Oil Life / Endurance How long can the oil provide proper lubrication and perform all required functions? Oil life is a function of time and severity of service and can vary from vehicle to vehicle. Oil is said to be condemned, that is, not fit for continued service, when one or more of the following conditions exist: • Viscosity has decreased by one grade or increased by more than one grade • Fuel contamination is greater than

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three percent • Soot level exceeds four percent • Total dissolved solids are greater than four percent • Total Base Number is less than two • Critical additives are depleted • Oxidation number greater than 50 (30 for petroleum) • Nitration number greater than 50 (30 for Petroleum) As explained above, synthetic oils are less likely to thicken as the result of vaporization or oxidation and they stay in proper viscosity grade for significantly longer periods of service. Several of the other factors for condemnation are the same for either synthetic or petroleum oils and are more dependent on the quality and concentration of chemical additives required to continue to provide service. Soot and total dissolved solids are products of engine combustion and are proportional to fuel air management;


turbo charged engines tend to burn cleaner than naturally aspirated engines. Filtration, especially bypass filtration, will have direct effects on soot and dissolved particles and can be effective at increasing oil life. Since lubricating oils are products of base oils mixed with chemical additives, it becomes painfully obvious that either the failure of the base oil or the depletion of additives will result in condemnation of the oil. Simply put, oils are unique when compared to each other; even if two synthetics are compared, the choice of synthetic base oil and the quality and amount of the additives can produce widely varying finished products. Oil life is best determined utilizing used oil analysis and then evaluating the remaining oil life based upon the results of a given analysis. Some oil companies, like Mobil and Amsoil, have amassed significant data through oil analysis that enables them to make categorical recommendations for longer drain intervals. It is improper to assume that because you are using synthetic oil, it automatically has an extended drain interval. Some major oil companies – Valvoline is one – are on record as saying their synthetic oil has the same additive package as their petroleum; so, the additives in their synthetic oils deplete just as quickly as their petroleum oils.

priced differently yet have variable life expectancy. Calculating cost is a little of a mixed bag when comparing synthetic and petroleum oils. Not all synthetic oils are designed for extended oil drains, and some petroleum oils will perform much better than others. Comparisons are best done on a case-by-case basis. In general, most any synthetic will run longer between oil drains; however, only a select few are designed for very long drain intervals. For the synthetic oil to be equal or less costly, it must have approximately two to three times the drain interval of a given petroleum oil. There are other, indirect cost benefits to synthetic oils, including improved fuel economy and superior lubrication that results in less maintenance. One unheralded feature of synthetic oil is insurance; by that, I mean protection from unexpected calamities. The blowing of a radiator hose, the loss of oil or a water pump failure, in most cases, may result in engine damage from excessively high temperatures. When PAO or Ester based synthetics are used, engine damage is highly unlikely to result from engine overheating. This insurance can mean saving thousands of dollars on repairs.

Oil Life / Endurance Advantage: Synthetics (varies between synthetic manufacturer)

Comparing the features of synthetic oils vs. petroleum oils is an exercise that all lubrication professionals have fun with, but, for the consumer, what is the bottom line and what action should you take? Clearly, synthetics win in head-to-head features and benefits, and they also provide intangibles, such as insurance, but should every owner switch? The answer is “no.” If you own an older vehicle with more than 100,000 miles, you should not switch unless you have an experienced professional to guide you through the process. If you have a vehicle with leaks that you cannot fix, then it makes no sense to pour the higher priced synthetic oil on the ground. If, for some reason, your engine is consuming oil at an alarming rate, again, it is not cost-effective to use synthetic oil. On the other hand, synthetic oils are su-

Petroleum Oil vs. Synthetic Oil: Cost What is the real cost to use synthetic oil compared to petroleum? To correctly assess cost, it is necessary to differentiate between price and cost. What you pay for an item is the price; how the price is distributed with respect to product utilization over time is cost. For example, if you pay $160 for an 80,000-mile radial tire, then that is the price to purchase the tire. To determine the cost, you have to distribute the $160 over the 80,000 miles; this determines the cost per mile to use the tire. This method allows the direct comparison of products that are

Cost Advantage: Synthetic

perior in performance; the right synthetic is more cost-effective than petroleum, so there is little reason not to switch. The high temperatures (> 600°F) possible in the turbocharger make synthetic oils (PAO and/or Ester) clearly the best choice; one failed turbo buys a lot of synthetic oil. If you are towing or otherwise involved in severe duty operations, then synthetics offer so many superior benefits and enhanced protection that it is the only right choice. Using petroleum oil vs. synthetic oil is an option analogous to using bias ply tires instead of radial tires. Of course, the bias ply tire can get you from point A to point B. The difference is in the load carrying capacities, heat range, traction, handling and tread life. For simple, casual driving with no severe conditions, the bias ply tire may work fine, but, in the event of something outside normal conditions, the radial is superior; it is simply a matter of the quality of each tire’s construction.

Petroleum Oil vs. Synthetic Oil: Decision Time The decision of whether to use petroleum oil vs. synthetic oil is dependent on your unique situation; each of us has his own set of circumstances to assess in order to make a decision based on facts. Understanding the benefits and limitations of engine oil will help you make an informed choice. Making sense of the relationships between oil properties and how those properties protect and preserve an engine is the only real way to analyze true cost effectiveness. Sometimes the decision is obvious; severe duty situations call for synthetic oils. Critical components subject to high temperatures like the turbocharger are best protected by synthetics. I recommend synthetic engine oils in order to provide the most cost-effective method to achieve the best lubrication possible for your engine. TOW For questions and/or comments, contact me via my website, www.TheLubepage.com, or by email at danwatson@thelubepage.com.

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S A F E T Y

Keep Employees Safe During Vehicle

LOCKOUT/

TAGOUT B y Mark Stromme

Tow professionals count on their vehicles and equipment to be in topnotch condition. After all, life is good at work when your machines are running smoothly. But, all good things come to an end, and you can count on your equipment needing service, maintenance, and repairs from time to time. You want to keep downtime to a minimum, however, and workers can be tempted to make a quick fix without making absolutely sure the equipment won’t start up or release stored energy during the repair. If it does start up, there can easily be a serious injury or a death. That’s the reason for having lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedures.

OSHA’s Lockout/Tagout Standard The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates lockout/tagout through the Control of Hazardous Energy standard, found at 29 CFR §1910.147. This standard mandates training, audits, and recordkeeping to ensure that workers will not be unintentionally injured by the unexpected energization, start-up, or release of electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, or any other type of energy.

Does It Apply to Vehicle Servicing and Maintenance? Yes, it does. According to OSHA, accidents have occurred and

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continue to occur from inadequate hazardous energy control during vehicle servicing and maintenance activities. In 1991, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia remanded the LOTO standard to OSHA for further consideration of the ways in which the final rule applies to all general industry workplaces. OSHA, in the March 30, 1993 Federal Register (Vol. 58, No. 59), reaffirmed and further explained the reasons for applying the standard to vehicle servicing and maintenance. The scope and application sections of the preamble to the hazardous energy control standard provide that the LOTO standard applies to all “general industry workplaces.” The standard’s coverage includes vehicles, such as, but not limited to, automobiles, trucks, tractors, refrigeration transport vehicles, and material handling equipment. What exactly is lockout/tagout and why is it so important?

The Basic Difference Is the Use of Locks When you hear the term “lockout/tagout,” you might think lockout and tagout is the same thing or that you have to use both methods together. But, these are two different ways to isolate a machine from its energy supplies to keep it “off” during the repair job. “Lockout” uses locks on the switches and valves that supply energy to a machine. The energy isolating devices can’t be moved from the “off” position because a padlock keeps them off. “Tagout” uses warning tags on switches and valves. When you


use tagout, there’s no lock to keep energy isolating devices in the off position. The tag has a clear warning on it to leave the equipment off, but tagout doesn’t provide the physical restraint that lockout provides. You have to use tagout if the energy isolating device isn’t capable of being locked out. In this case, you really don’t have any choice — you can’t apply a lock, so you have to apply tagout. This may be the case with older equipment. But, whenever you replace, or do a major repair, renovation, or modification of the machine, the energy isolating devices have to be upgraded to accept lockout. Also, whenever you install new machines or equipment, they must accept lockout. Basically, OSHA says that when the equipment can be locked out, you’re expected to use lockout procedures. That being said, OSHA does allow you to still use tagout even if the equipment will accept lockout. To do this, your tagout system must provide “full employee protection,” and OSHA has additional requirements. You must use “additional safety measures such as the removal of an isolating circuit element, blocking of a controlling switch, opening of an extra disconnecting device, or the removal of a valve handle.” Taking these steps reduces the likelihood that the machine will start. Be sure to include these additional steps in your documented tagout procedure for the machine. Whether you use lockout or tagout, both methods assure the mechanics that the machine won’t start up or release stored energy because someone operated a control to run the equipment or accidently hit a switch. These are the LOTO basics. But what does OSHA say about the controlling of hazardous energy when working on your tow vehicles?

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S A F E T Y Controlling Hazardous Energy on Vehicles The OSHA standard’s coverage includes vehicles, such as, but not limited to, automobiles, trucks, tractors, refrigeration transport vehicles, and material handling equipment. For purposes of vehicle servicing and maintenance, hazardous energy refers to: • Mechanical motion; • Potential energy due to pressure, gravity, or springs; • Battery-generated electrical energy; • Thermal energy, including chemical energy; and • Other forms of energy, which can cause injury to employees working in, on, or around machines or equipment. Any vehicle (e.g., internal combustion engines such as gasoline, natural gas and diesel powered vehicles; electric-powered vehicles; hybrid vehicles) may contain the following types of hazardous energy, such as, but not limited to: • Chemical energy due to contact with battery acid, coolant, ubricants; • Electric battery shock, arc, and burn hazards; • Explosion hazards associated with air bags; • Fire and explosion hazards associated with the fuel and fluid systems;

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• •

Gravitational energy (mechanical) hazards caused by elevated vehicles (e.g., unsafe use of automotive lift equipment) or vehicle components (e.g., unsupported elevated dump truck beds; unsupported elevated forklift carriage assembly); Hot or cryogenic fluid, and surface (thermal) hazards; Hydraulic hazards associated with fluid pressure and fluid loss (e.g., causing a carrier bed to drop);


• Mechanical hazards associated with disc brake spring and tire components; • Mechanical motions due to moving power transmission components; • Premise wiring electric hazards associated with battery recharging (which are addressed by the Subpart S - Electrical standards); and • Mechanical hazards associated with unexpected start-up or unexpected energization of vehicles or vehicle components.

Energy Control Program OSHA’s 29 CFR 1910.147 standard requires employers to develop an energy control program: • That is tailored to the workplace, and • Will protect employees performing servicing and maintenance tasks from the release of hazardous energy. The performance-oriented language allows employers flexibility to design and implement the required energy control procedures, employee training requirements, and inspection requirements to fit the individual conditions present in their workplaces. The selection of the specific method of control must reflect a thorough evaluation of the: • Extent of exposure to the hazard;

• •

Risk of injury associated with the particular machine/ equipment; and Feasibility of applying a particular method of control.

Removing the Ignition Key Due to the nature and unique aspects of vehicle maintenance and servicing activities, the control of hazardous energy final rule’s preamble recognizes feasible measures to prevent an engine from being started. OSHA references situations, involving vehicles, such as automobiles, buses, and over-the-road trucks, where the removal of the ignition key ensures that the engine cannot be started. However, this simple control step of removing the ignition key may not, in all cases, adequately control other types of vehicle hazardous energy, such as is the case with the positioning of the vehicle or its components (e.g., buckets, blades, vehicle body parts). These and other hazards require careful evaluation and selection of additional hazard-specific control measures.

OSHA Says It should be noted that turning off the engine with and removing the car key is not, strictly speaking, the same as applying a lockout or tagout device to an energy isolating device (EID) because neither the ignition switch, nor the key, are EIDs. See §§ 1910.147(b) and (d)(3) for the energy isolating device definition

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S A F E T Y and application of control provisions. Based upon the above standard’s preamble discussion, OSHA allows such alternative vehicle control measures in these limited circumstances only when the key removal fully ensures employee protection. Turning off the engine and removing the ignition key may provide a significant degree of protection in many situations in which an employee is performing vehicle repair or maintenance. The authorized employee performing the repair or maintenance would need to retain sole control of the key (assuming the keyed switch is the only means of vehicle start-up). An additional precaution for the employee retaining the key would be to lock the doors. Although this control practice reasonably protects employees from inadvertent startup of the vehicle’s engine, it may not adequately control other energy sources that are independent of the ignition key subsystem.

One Person Is Performing the Servicing These exclusive control practices, if incorporated into the energy control program, are feasible measures that significantly reduce the risk of exposure to the hazardous energy associated with the start-up of an internal combustion vehicle engine in situations in which a single individual is performing the servicing and/or maintenance work.

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However, although turning off the engine and retaining exclusive control of the ignition key may provide significant protection in some instances, there may be circumstances where there are other keys and/or other employees involved in the work activity. In situations such as these or when the work itself may activate the ignition circuit, additional measures are necessary to protect employees from hazardous energy exposures. For example, employees have been struck by and even run over by vehicles when the technician “shorted out” the ignition circuit, causing the vehicle to unexpectedly move. In another example, potential unexpected start-up hazards exist with older diesel engines because they could be “jump-started” by putting the vehicle in gear (without setting the brakes) and then simply pushing/rocking (“budging”) the vehicle enough to start it (with or without the ignition on). That is why it is very important that the selected control measure(s) effectively protect exposed workers from all types of hazardous energy.

Manufacturers’ Servicing and Maintenance Guidelines It is essential for employers to consult with and incorporate specific vehicle manufacturer servicing and maintenance guidelines (e.g., operating manuals and bulletins) and other relevant materi-


als to establish the hazardous energy control procedures. These manuals and materials often provide specific step-by-step instructions on how to safely perform servicing or maintenance tasks. For example, the removal of an ignition key is not sufficient to protect employees from devices that may operate or activate independently of the ignition system. That is why it may be necessary to disconnect the battery cable for some repair tasks, such as working on some cooling fans, which automatically start up even after the key has been removed. Likewise, air bags may inadvertently deploy and cause employee injury if the system is not properly controlled and residual energy dissipated before servicing or maintenance begins. Employers, who meet manufacturers’ servicing and maintenance guidelines, may be cited for a §1910.147 violation if the manufacturer guidelines inadequately control the vehicle’s energy sources and employee exposure exists to hazardous energy.

Troubleshooting, Testing, and Component Positioning There are circumstances when it is necessary to re-energize the vehicle or a component to accomplish a particular task (e.g., diagnostic testing; maintenance troubleshooting; vehicle or component positioning). OSHA does allow energization for testing or positioning purposes, as specified in §1910.147(f)(1), but only

for the limited time during which it is necessary to test or reposition the vehicle or component. During these transition periods, employee exposure to hazards is high and a procedure needs to be developed to define the sequence of actions to accomplish the task safely. Under no circumstances is any part of an employee’s body ever permitted to be exposed within a hazardous area, such as the point-of-operation or in-going nip point area, during servicing and/or maintenance activities while the machine is running or energized. The use of supplemental safeguarding actions, such as personal protective equipment to protect against hot surfaces, use of a tarp to shield a hot surface or in-going nip point, safe work positioning, etc., must be used in conjunction with established procedures to protect your employees

Working Safely OSHA requires employers to develop LOTO procedures and to have workers follow them. If you cut corners on these procedures, the result is likely to be equipment downtime, accidents, OSHA inspections and citations, and, possibly, employee fatalities. TOW Copyright 2013 J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.+, P.O. Box 368, 3003 Breezewood Lane, Neenah, WI 54957

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Tomorrow Is ALREADY HERE Tech & Tow:

By Dave Sunkenberg, VP of Network Services, Agero

Today, over 61% of Americans have a smartphone – and that percentage keeps rising. These phones are carried everywhere, especially when people are on the road. In fact, more and more people can’t imagine being stranded without one. No wonder so many tow professionals are now using this increasingly popular form of mobile technology to enhance and grow their businesses while improving customer experiences.

Technology increasingly makes the job easier and more efficient. Many organizations are developing new smartphone applications specifically geared towards towing and roadside assistance. These apps are created for both dispatchers and drivers, and can help your business by making it easier than ever to: • Receive and dispatch calls • Keep track of your fleet • Receive real-time updates of tow driver’s location • Take on-scene photos and upload them • Complete a ticket • Take payments • Obtain signatures 36

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Benefitting from this new technology is easier than ever. Now you can have customer and vehicle details, contact information and turn-by-turn navigation at your fingertips. In fact, much of the technology driving these applications is centered on GPS tracking and fleet management. Providers can improve their estimated time of arrival (ETA) simply by enabling dispatchers to access details of a fleet’s location right on their smartphones. Companies such as Progressive Platforms and Beacon Software are already helping drivers and dispatchers better their businesses by creating a more seamless towing experience for both customer and driver with their GPS technologies. “Location-aware technology is becoming very important,” said Todd Althouse, president of Beacon Software. He notes that it is now “as easy


providers are able to work better as a team, save money on fuel costs, retain more customers and grow their revenue opportunities. Plus, motor clubs benefit from more effective providers, as well as from tools that track ETAs and assist with other important factors, such as accident scene management. “You can run a whole towing operation from your smartphone instead of sitting in an office in front of a PC,” said Mark Fensome of Progressive Platforms. “The technology makes it so much easier to help manage fleets – it’s

more cost-effective and fuel-efficient.” The bottom line is that the benefits of smartphone technology are already here, are growing, and are increasingly practical for service providers, drivers, and motor clubs. Before long, it may be impossible to compete without taking advantage of them. TOW

Agero One Cabot Road, Medford, MA 02155 1-800-541-2262 • www.agerosupport.com

as pushing a button to see tow providers near a disablement call. We want to give providers all the tools they need.” Today, nearly 40% of tow trucks have a hard-wired GPS device in them. Another 35% have drivers that carry a smartphone that could be running a dispatch application or a third-party dispatch system, such as ones offered by Progressive Platforms and Beacon Software. The remaining tow companies and their drivers are not yet connected – and will not be able to compete if they don’t upgrade their technology. “It’s certainly an advantage to have the technology,” Althouse said. “You can route around problems and navigate your arrival onscene. It makes for a smooth system.”

Motor clubs are also keeping up with this trend. Many motor clubs are already creating towing apps for smartphones in order to enable their providers to enjoy the benefits of GPS fleet tracking, accepting dispatch calls, obtaining signatures and more – all from their phones. For the motor clubs, creating these apps allows them to track and proactively manage the dispatch process. Because the apps allow for a more seamless dispatch process, tow www.towprofessional.com | Volume 2 • Issue 8 | Tow Professional

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company spotlight

Agero RoadsideConnectTM The Next Generation Arrives Agero has officially launched the next generation of their Roadside ConnectTM mobile app for Android smartphones.

The newly designed app includes the same smart, useful features as the popular original version – including dispatch details at the driver’s fingertips, guided navigation, and job status management resources – but now also incorporates tools to benefit the mobile dispatcher.

Useful innovations offer practical benefits for dispatchers and drivers. With the newly revised app, mobile dispatchers can now receive and assign Agero jobs to their drivers via smartphones. In addition, dispatchers can now locate and manage their drivers on a map in real-time. Since Roadside Connect now empowers the dispatcher to see where each of their trucks is located, dispatchers are now able to assign the best-qualified driver to a job based upon the driver’s equipment and current location. Plus, with the new version of the app, drivers will see only the actual jobs that are assigned to them. The cleaner interface eliminates confusion and provides more focus on the job at hand.

The updated Roadside Connect app is FREE to Agero Service Providers. Best of all, because the Roadside Connect app is free to Agero providers, now even small towing and recovery businesses can benefit from technology previously affordable only to larger service providers. TOW

Agero One Cabot Road, Medford, MA 02155 1-800-541-2262 • www.agerosupport.com

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company spotlight

About ROAD | AMERICA Road America is a wholly owned United States subsidiary of the MAPFRE Group (MAPFRE), the largest insurance group in Spain, with annual revenues of over US $27 Billion in worldwide operations. MAPFRE’s strength has been recognized with the A+ (superior) rating by AM Best (since 1999) and A1 rating by Moody’s (since 2002). MAPFRE operates an extensive international assistance network through its specialized subsidiary, MAPFRE Asistencia. MAPFRE Asistencia, Road America’s direct parent, is a leading multinational Insurance, Reinsurance, and Services Company founded in Madrid, Spain in 1989, providing services worldwide in 84 countries through 44 business units. MAPFRE Asistencia is a recipient of the prestigious ITIJ Award given to best Assistance Company in the world. Founded in 1978 as a motor club company with headquarters in Florida, Road America was acquired by MAPFRE Asistencia in February 2003. Operating today with a management team that has more than 145 years of combined experience in the motor club industry,

Road America understands the areas most important to motorists during an emergency roadside event:

• • • •

Speed of service Accuracy Reliability Communication

Today, Road America is a leader in the North America roadside assistance market, where it maintains long-term partnerships with significant corporations and services over 21 million of their customers. At Road America, we believe that our decisions are guided by the conviction that all business is about relationships; we will never choose a short-term reward over the value of a long-term client relationship. TOW

Road America 800-442-4690

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company spotlight

Ohio Power Systems made their debut at the Orlando Tow show in April and is looking forward to the Baltimore show. The response had been great. We are now supplying two truck body manufacturers with complete hydraulic valve and electronic control systems. We also have set up new dealers to resell our products and systems. OPS was created 10 years ago by Mike Brooks as a company that specializes in designing and building radio remote and hydraulic valve systems. OPS sells their products mostly to the O.E.Ms directly for applications such as controlling locomotives, drill rigs, utility equipment etc., and has decided to bring that expertise to the auto recovery market after getting a request to upgrade a customer’s truck. OPS did not know what to expect from being at the show but was surprised how many people were interested in rebuilding the trucks they own because of the cost of a new one. Our approach to the market is to give the owners a place they can go to buy

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a replacement valve remote system or help them upgrade to a proportional system, no matter what size or brand of truck. Our systems, for the most part, are plug and play, and they come with an instruction manual to operate the radio. Plus, we have a full staff of engineers available to support the customers from install to start up. The products are standard off the shelf with all parts available by many distributors. The major differences we bring to the market with our products are safety and added value. The reason we have a business today is because of the need to reduce accidents in the marketplace, whether it’s running a locomotive or a recovery truck. Please come by our booth #1557 to see the products we offer for your application. TOW

Ohio Power Systems 807 East Findlay Street • Carey, OH 43316 419-294-4985 • www.ohiopowersys.com


company spotlight

A Lot of Exciting Things Have Been Happening at Dynamic Since Expanding Their Location This Year

We are implementing a new paint processes. Currently, we are adding new compressors and refrigerate dryers to handle a new sand blasting booth. This will greatly improve the overall finish of the product. We also will be adding a new powder coating booth and system sometime after BaltimoreTow Show.

We also now have an in-house engineering staff, we are working and planning to have (in Baltimore) a new redesigned rotating flatbed with a much better load angle, lower center of gravity, many less hoses, CYDS and other moving parts. Also, in Baltimore, we will feature a new rollback with what we think is the best linkage system for the towing industry. Plus, our service truck, Fusion, and our new, fast-selling 755, plus all of our proven line of wreckers and slide ins. Both with many improvements for service ability are in the works. The towers will see and feel the benefits of being a Dynamic customer. The original self loader just seems to be evolving to be better and bigger.”

It will be a very exciting year coming at Dynamic!

TOW

Dynamic Towing Equipment and Manufacturing 800-831-9299 • www.dynamicmfg.com

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company spotlight

Increase Safety, Speed and Revenue Night time recovery operations are challenging even for the most experienced tow professional. Danger created by careless drivers, unseen debris and spills and shadows created by eye-level lighting make a tough job harder than it has to be. Night Scan6 Powerlite HDT by Will-Burt is a light tower specifically designed to reduce these hazards. Created especially for the tow professional, Night Scan Powerlite HDT is mounted directly on the wrecker and provides 360° of recovery scene lighting from up to 15 feet above the wrecker deck. Illuminating the scene from above simulates daylight, which helps to eliminate shadows. Eliminating shadows allows you to see everything at the site. Lights aimed down from high above the scene also allow oncoming traffic to safely see the site from a distance, but it will not blind the drivers. A minimal amount of space on the wrecker is needed, and the light tower can be incorporated into new builds or easily installed on existing vehicles. No generator is required for the LED lights, which create a total of 84,000 lu-

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mens and will last for years. Night Scan is always with the wrecker, meaning you will never need to call for lighting back-up. The speed and safety of operations will increase, and you can also increase your billings by charging for the lighting equipment. TOW THE WILL-BURT COMPANY 330-347-8622 • www.willburt.com

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A Case for Change: Don’s Towing Goes

DIGITAL

Don’s Towing has become a fixture in southeast Michigan since Joe Morisette bought the company almost 25 years ago. Over the years, Joe dealt with the challenges of rising costs and never ending competition, and has steadily grown his fleet to 12 trucks. Don’s Towing now serves nearly every police agency in the county and won the towing contract for the city of Port Huron. They also do calls for most major motor clubs and a steady volume of cash calls. In 2013, Don’s Towing was named Metro Detroit's #1 towing service by NBC Channel 4’s Click on Detroit.

Joe’s son Joey Morisette joined the business at the age of 14, starting by helping around the office and riding along to assist with tows. It didn’t take long and Joey was behind the wheel doing calls himself. Now, more than 10 years later Joey plays a large role in running the daily operations of Don’s Towing. The Challenge Like most young people, Joey has spent a lot of time on computers so the thought of using towing software to help his Dad’s business seemed logical to him. Seeing the advantages towing software could bring to the company, Joey became a driving force to start using software at Don’s. Several key things were behind Joey’s interest in towing software, including; Hand-written “everything”. Like most towing companies, nearly everything Don’s did was hand-written. Their systems and processes worked but employees had to write everything down, and then manually calculate charges and storage fees. This was time consuming and too prone to innocent errors. It’s also too difficult to store records and locate the right file quickly when a customer or insurance company calls. 44

Reporting. Another challenge Joey was looking to solve was evaluating business performance. It was tough to dig into the details and analyze company performance with so much key data listed on hand-written forms or in file cabinets. Automation. With large accounts as an important part of their business, the Morisette’s were also looking for a system that would help bring automation to Don’s Towing. Including the ability to create and email electronic invoices and allow key accounts to request tows online. The Solution For towing software, Joey turned to Towbook’s web-based system. What attracted him to Towbook was a combination of affordability and features. Most importantly, Towbook is web-based so there’s no software to install on computers and you can use the system from anywhere with internet service, including smartphones and tablets. With no setup fees, free support and no extra cost to have a user account for every employee, Towbook seemed like the right choice. The software features in Towbook that at-

Tow Professional | Volume 2 • Issue 8 | www.towprofessional.com

tracted Joey the most include; Paperless. Having a system that automatically calculates charges and storage fees, and can generate an invoice or account statement with a simple click of a button was a huge factor. Police App. Don’s Towing was invited to join a group testing Towbook’s new Police App. With this new app, police agencies use a version of Towbook (for free) that allows them to assign calls straight to towing companies in their community. Police officers can even create a request from a smartphone and the call is automatically created inside Towbook for the towing company. Mobile apps. The ability for drivers to receive calls on a smartphone was appealing to Joey. With mobile apps, drivers can scan VIN numbers, take photos of vehicles and add them to the call and capture the customer’s signature – right from their Android or iPhone. The Towbook mobile apps also work with mobile printers so drivers can print a tow receipt right from their truck. Motor Club Calls. Towbook recently launched a new system that accepts calls from most motor clubs directly into the software.


D I G I TA L This saves time and eliminates mistakes. Now, when a motor club issues a call to Don’s it’s dispatched automatically within seconds. Commission. Tracking commissions is difficult and time consuming. The opportunity to use a system that could track commissions accurately and generate commission statements for employees was very appealing.

Results After launching the software in July of this year, the results were incredible and nearly instant. Joey Morisette provided some feedback on the experience and the impact towing software has made so far; “First off, we didn’t have to install software on any of our computers and Towbook helped us set up our accounts and pricing in the system so getting started was pretty easy.” “We can now find records in an instant – even if I’m at home when an account calls, I can look up the information and send it to them from my phone. I love the fact that we can see what’s going on at work and we can handle customer requests when we’re on the move. “

“It’s also great that we have access to all our historical records. I can pull up a call from July and see photos of the vehicle, review notes and send that paperwork to anybody who needs it.” “When a customer comes to pick up a vehicle we can check them out in under a minute because the system automatically calculates all charges and we simply pull up the call and print or email them a professional invoice.” “Before launching Towbook, we had to manually track letter due dates, but the system automatically reminds us when letters are due. The system can even create letters automatically if we need them.” “If I want to see how the company did yesterday or last week, I simply run our Daily Activity Report in Towbook and we have an instant summary of our call performance.” What was hard about launching the system? Change is hard, especially for a company that’s been in business for so long. Joey Morisette provided some insight about what was challenging when launching towing software and

company spotlight

what’s next for them; “I think the most important thing is you have to be serious about change. Some employees wanted to go back to the old way of doing things rather than using the software. Towing software changed a lot of what we do but it made things better, so you have to put your foot down.“ “It took us about a week to fully make the switch and things were hectic for a while as we changed over. Our employees were used to the system within a few days and after just a few weeks all of our calls were done through Towbook.” “There is still a lot more we can do with the system, it seems like every day I find something or think of something more we can do with Towbook that will help us get better or grow the business. I’m going to be in this business for a long time and I couldn’t imagine trying to compete without something like this.” TOW Towbook www.towbook.com (888) 884-9598

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Professional Your Resource for Towing & Recovery

HOOKEDUP

Powerbilt Wreckers The Powerbilt PB70SR, 70 Ton Sliding Rotator is POWERBILT WRECKERS Largest Rotator and is comparable with anything else on the market. This Rotator is outfitted with dual 66,000 LB main winches and dual 35,000 LB Aux, winches. Designed for Extreme Recovery Operations, this Rotator is designed to tackle the toughest recovery applications. Over-built for performance and longevity, The PB70SR is what will distinguish you from your competition when trying to secure contracts or

when pulling up to an accident scene. This unit dominates with superior design, technology and performance. Powerbilt units are Over-Built to ensure durability and long life; this will protect your investment and keep you tackling the toughest recoveries with a safe and quick clearance. This Rotator can turn in a continuous 360 degrees and has dual house locks; the boom can be transported in forward or a rear position. As with all Powerbilt Wreckers, customization is the order of the day, and Powerbilt builds all units the way the customer requests. Don’t hesitate to inquire with one of our qualified staff members. Standard and Customized wreckers are surprisingly inexpensive. As with all of our larger units, we will customize this Rotator to your specific truck. Contact us at 636-629-7311 or visit our website, www.powerbiltwreckers.com.

Powerbilt Wreckers St. Clair, Missouri 636-629-7311 www.powerbiltwreckers.com

Moduline Cabinets Professional Grade. Designer Appearance. Delivered as Promised: For 25 years, Moduline Cabinets have delivered exactly that. Our 100% American-made cabinets are crafted from premium aluminum for quality that is trusted by shop professionals, race teams and enthusiasts. Our experts will work with you to realize your envisioned perfect storage system. Backed by our Lifetime Warranty, you can trust that while we’ve been around for 25 years, your cabinets will be around for a lifetime. Moduline Cabinets

20 Holland Street | Brockton, MA 02301 Tel (508) 580-4445 x18 Fax (508) 580-5199

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Keystone Tape and Supply of Texas, Inc. Spill Absorbent Product: Eco Sponge: Our new Eco Sponge product is a product specifically designed to absorb oils, solvents and other contaminates. The patented product is engineered to be environmentally safe and can be used on soil and hard surfaces. Once the contaminates are absorbed into the cell walls of EcoSponge, the unwanted material is considered biodegradable. Eco Sponge can absorb 4 to 8 times its volume in most absorption applications. COME SEE US AT THE AT EXPO AT BOOTH# 1281 IN MD FOR A DEMO OF OUR NEW PRODUCT Keystone Tape and Supply of Texas, Inc. 1130 Blue Mound Rd, West • Haslet, TX 76052 817-439-8898 chuck@keystonetape.com • kenny@keystonetape.com

We are JERR-DAN'S Number ONE Sales & Volume leader in Towing & recovery equipment! Atlanta Wrecker Sales Inc. is proud to be the number one Jerr-Dan equipment distributor for wreckers and tow trucks. For the 10th year in a row, we have been named Jerr-Dan's #1 distributor, which has created a reputation of excellence that we continuously strive to keep. We offer a wide variety of stock and custom-built trucks. However, if we don't have what you need in stock, we will build it for you in a quick and efficient manner. When you buy a truck from Atlanta Wrecker Sales Inc., we can promise that it will be the easiest decision you've ever made professionally. HOOK UP WITH US 340-A Maltbie St. Lawrenceville, GA 30046 Phone: 770-432-0097

120 North Texas Ave Chesnee, SC 29323 Phone: 864-688-0170

Atlanta Wrecker Sales, Inc. Parts Hotline: 800-689-8090 • www.atlantawrecker.com

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TM

Professional Your Resource for Towing & Recovery

HOOKEDUP

Amsoil Synthetic Amsoil Synthetic oils provide superior protection, better fuel economy, less maintenance and longer equipment life, resulting in lower costs. With ever-increasing cost of new Tow Trucks and rising fuel and maintenance costs, it is imperative to reduce operating costs. Amsoil Synthetic engine oils, gear lubes and transmission fluids are the answer. For a complete catalog of products and information package, call 800-370-2986 or visit www.thelubepage.com. Ask for a free cost analysis for your fleet!

Aluminum and Metal Cleaner/Brightener This product is designed to make the cleaning and maintenance of all polished metal surfaces fast, safe and easy. Requires no polishing or buffing, and the desired effects are achieved with minimal effort. Removes rust stains. Key Points: • Excellent on Diamond Plate and Wheels • Cleans and Brightens aluminum, stainless and chrome • Replaces multiple acid blends; does not contain hydro-floric acid • Will not etch or attack polished surfaces • Safe on painted surfaces and decals • Cleans and brightens without polishing or buffing • Will not haze or dull aluminum; outperforms other formulas Shield Solutions LLC 877-474-7501 www.shieldsolutionsllc.com

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B/A Towing for a Cure

As part of our commitment to giving back, B/A Products has designed a special line of pink Towing for a Cure straps to demonstrate our support for breast cancer awareness. Beginning in October, this line will be offered as a one-time only special release with 100% of the proceeds being donated to Breast Cancer Research & Awareness. B/A Products Co. 8925 McGaw Court Columbia, MD 21045-4725 Toll Free (800) 327-3301 Phone: (410) 381-1700 Fax: (410) 381-6358

ComSTAR Wireless Headsets ComSTAR wireless headsets provide full duplex, simultaneous talk voice communication to professional Tow and Recovery teams. These revolutionary headsets operate without PTT buttons and are totally self-contained, which means they do not require belt pack transceivers. They provide a totally hands-free open line of communication that enhances the coordination and safety of your entire crew. All ComSTAR intercoms include a single Com Center, which is a centralized signal relay and any combination of ComSTAR Single and or Xtreme headsets. ComSTAR headsets feature a self-contained, “ALL in ONE” design that operate without belt packs! • Simple / Instant setup –System self tunes in seconds. • Lithium Batteries – Run time is 10 hours, fresh batteries field replaceable • Expandable to 8 users • Range up to 800 yards Packed in a hard plastic weatherproof case (included) with custom foam. Multi-port charger and all system batteries included. Eartec | (800) 399-5994 | www.eartec.com

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TM

Professional Your Resource for Towing & Recovery

HOOKEDUP

Crashfilm Crashfilm is a self-adhesive protective film. It applies easily to vehicles that have been involved in a collision, (broken windows) in auto storage, (preserve interior) or repair (body shops). Easily applied by one individual. The blue roll is 36”x 200’ and has a 45 day UV protectant. Apply to a clean dry surface to protect the interior from rain, dirt and snow. Crashfilm is temporary protection that will release without leaving residue. Boxes 4 U 1401 E. Plano Pkwy. Plano, TX 75074 888-672-2548 www.crashfilm.net

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DriverLocate.com GPS Fleet & Asset Tracking Our easy-to-use web-based user interface is a convenient way to continuously and in real time monitor your fleet’s location, speed, stop times and activities. It also offers a host of other intuitive features, such as robust daily, weekly and monthly reporting and dispatching functions, all designed to increase efficiencies and help reduce costs by reducing fuel consumption, maintenance expense, and emissions. We are so sure of our product that if you are unhappy with DriverLocate within the first 30 days of use, we will refund your purchase. * Use digital GPS fleet tracking to see where your vehicles are every minute. * Instant alerts on your PC/phone * Set geo-fences * Speed limits * PTO activations * Starter disable etc. * 3 year GPS unit replacement warranty 815-725-4400 | www.DriverLocate.com


DealerPlace

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DealerPlace

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MarketPlace

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Vist our website at towprofessional.com

MarketPlace

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MarketPlace

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COMPANY

ADVERTISER INDEX PG

Agero . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37 Alexander Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 Amerideck . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54 Amsoil Synthetic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 Atlanta Wrecker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52 Austin Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48 Auto Data Direct . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 B/A Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33, 54 Beacon Software . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54 Bowers Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54 Boxes 4 U/ Crashfilm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55 Coker Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52 Collins Dollies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 ComeUp Winch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43 Custer Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 CW Mill Equipment Company . . . . . . . . . . . . .48 Dakota Walsh Tire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55 Dan Messina . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52 Detroit Wrecker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 DGT Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 Direct Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54 Dynamic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Eartec . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 ECM Performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 Flash Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Florida Wrecker Sales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51 FlowStop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32 Ford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .IFC, 1

COMPANY

PG

Gaither Tool . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53 GPS Securred . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 Gulf Atlantic Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53 Hal Kressor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55 Holly's Message Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49 IAA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 Industrial Netting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54 International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame & Museum / Wall of the Fallen . . . . . . . . . .28, 29 KBK Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55 Keystone Tape and Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 Lift and Tow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Lodar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55 Marking Pen Depot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55 MatJack . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49 Mfr. Express . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Miti . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55 Moduline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 NABancard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 NationWide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53 New Pig . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53 Nussbaum Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52 Ohio Power Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 Pillow Protection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55 Powerbilt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43 Progressive Platforms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .BC RaceRamps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 Ram Mount . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

COMPANY

PG

Recovery Billing Unlimited . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 Recovery Consulting Services . . . . . . . . . . . . .41 Road America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39 Robert Young's Wrecker Sales & Service . . . .51 ROI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55 RPM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51 Rugged Tow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 RV Wheel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55 S&J Manufacturing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41 Shield Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55 Specialty Vehicle and Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Steck . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 sureFleet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 Tiger Tool . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 TomTom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56 ToolTopia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53 TOPS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 TowBook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21, 45 Towmart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50 Towmate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 UIS Insurance Brokers LTD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55 United Plastic Fabricating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Weiss Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54 Whelen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Wilburt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .IBC Worldwide Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51 Zacklift . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54

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Tow Professional  
Tow Professional  

Issue 8, 2013 Your Resource for Towing & Recovery