Tow Professional: Volume 13, Issue 3

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Volume 13 • Issue 3 • 2024 www.towprofessional.com IN-TRUCK CAMERAS JUMP PACKS CARGO CONTROL Women OF TOWING INSIGHTFULTALK FUEL4THOUGHT

NEW INTEGRATED MPL-60 MEDIUM DUTY WRECKER

The all-new MPL-60 Integrated Wrecker – the hard-hitting solution for medium-duty challenges. With a powerful 6,000 lb. underlift, a 24,000 lb. recovery boom, and a sleek, modular aluminum body, it maximizes storage and deck space. Engineered strength and stability, the hydraulic rear spades ensure your medium-duty recoveries are handled with precision. Conquer challenges confidently with the new MPL-60 – where toughness meets innovation.

CAPACITY

Retracted 24,000 lbs.

Extended 8,000 lbs.

EH CONTROLS

The fully proportional Electro-Hydraulic controls enhance smooth multifunctional operation.

REAR SPADES

The Hydraulic rear spades with a multi-position, ground compacting foot design help improve stability when winching and recovering vehicles.

JERRDAN.COM Some optional features shown
2 TOW PROFESSIONAL | Volume 13 • Issue 3 | www.towprofessional.com ON THE COVER TOW PROFESSIONAL CONTENTS Volume 13 • Issue 3 www.towprofessional.com 6 | Zip’s 8 | Lights On For Landon 14 | IFAK (Individual First Aid Kits) 18 | Midwest Regional Tow Show “A Family Towing Affair” 21 | Towmate 22 | Revving Up for Spring 24 | Looking at the Challenges of 2024 28 | A New Understanding, Attitude of Gratitude IN EVERY ISSUE 4 | Publisher’s Letter 55 | Dealers Place 57 | Market Place 58 | Ad Index TOWING & RECOVERY INDUSTRY NEWS Women OF TOWING BY MICHELLE SUKOW /// INSIGHTFULTALK BY DAN MESSINA /// FUEL4THOUGHT BY D.J. HARRINGTON CSP /// IN-TRUCK CAMERAS MOBILE VIDEO CARGO CONTROL JUMP PACKS 32 | Azuga Photography courtesy of Azuga, Bimson Power/Warrior Winches, and Clore 40 | Zips 46 | Clore 42 | Warrior Winches 52 | Worldwide Volume 13 Issue 3 • 2024 www.towprofessional.com IN-TRUCK CAMERAS JUMP PACKS CARGO CONTROL Women OF TOWING INSIGHTFULTALK FUEL4THOUGHT

As this issue hits your desktop, the top international tow show is now in the rear-view mirror. We hope your feet are rested as well as your wallet from your time at the PWOF Florida tow show. This has always been my favorite show of the year!

Women of Towing in this issue focuses on getting through a slow winter and switching gears mentally for a bustling spring and summer! Dan Messina adds some “Insightful Talk,” with a look at the need for investments in technology and keys to retaining employees. DJ Harrington’s “Fuel for Thought” shows how an attitude of gratitude can help you get through problems you’re experiencing and how it will help him personally to get through his health issues.

Mobile video has been a big topic, Azuga and Traxero don’t disappoint with information on products that could protect your drivers and business. Make sure you look at the mobile solution Worldwide Equipment has for charging EV’s. Clore lays out the importance and benefits of a quality jump box for our Tow Professionals.

Our friends at Zips provide information on some of the top products that can make your jobs easier, and safer when it comes to cargo control, and Bimson Power hits us with the latest products from Warrior Winch.

Don’t miss another informational and action-packed issue, subscribe today at towprofessional.com. Until our next issue, be safe and God Bless!

Darian Weaver President & Publisher darian@towprofessional.com

PRODUCTION

Sheila Maynard Editor

Derek Gaylard Creative Director derek@ryecroftcreative.com

Nick Boliek Digital Director nick@dialedinmediagroup.com

Bogey Cat as Office Manager

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Jade Fickert

James Garside

Michelle Sukow

Dan Messina

DJ Harrington

Tim Smith

Laura Dolan

Graham Leather

Brian Riker

Jim Ohara

Executive and Advertising Offices

1005 Mountain Trace Birmingham, AL 35242 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., 1005 Mountain Trace, Birmingham, Alabama, 35242, 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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PUBLISHER’S LETTER Volume 13 • Issue 3 WWW.TOWPROFESSIONAL.COM Professional Your Resource for Towing & Recovery TM PUBLISHER

AW Direct Quick Connect Air Coupler Kit

Towing Class 8 trucks and other commercial vehicles with air brakes can get frustrating in a hurry when the truck or tractor is no longer able to build air pressure. Caging the brakes is one solution to get it rolling again. A better, less time-consuming option is tapping into the truck’s existing air system with the Quick Connect Air Coupler Kit from AW Direct. Available exclusively from Zip’s AW Direct, this nine-piece kit offers manufacturerspecific fittings for many makes and models of trucks, including International, PACCAR, Volvo and Mack. Packaged in a convenient, hard-sided plastic case, this assortment also includes fittings for the air compressor, air dryer and air supply line, making the kit practically universal across the trucking industry.

Order Item #: ZAW-ACK at www.Zips.com

SafeAll REV Portable EV Charging System

The REV from SafeAll is the professional’s choice for portable EV charging in the roadside assistance market. Capable of producing an output of 48 Amps, this easily transferable unit can fit in the back of a pickup or inside a utility vehicle, giving service providers an easy solution when providing emergency charging to stranded electric vehicles on the side of the road, in parking lots or in driveways. Unlike other battery powered chargers, the affordable REV is powered by a gas engine which provides the operator with on demand and continuous service throughout an entire shift, making it efficient and profitable! This great solution gets the stranded EV off the side of the road quickly, safely and delivers the right amount of range to reach the nearest charging station. As a Level 2 charger, the REV is designed to generate enough current to move an EV up to one mile for every minute of charging. The REV is also compatible with all makes and models of electric vehicles and comes standard with a Tesla charging plug adapter and a 24ft charging cord. The SafeAll REV is designed and packaged for immediate use out of the box. Simply download an application on your smartphone and you will have the ability to adjust the amperage output mid-charge. With its portable and compact platform, the selfcontained REV can be installed in endless service body configurations or pickup beds. This industry-leading charging unit will produce a new revenue stream in an ever growing EV market - creating a great return on investment!

Order Item #: SA-REV at www.Zips.com

Towmate Lithium Battery Tow Light

TowMate has upgraded its popular 22” ‘Limelight’ wireless tow light with a long-lasting lithium battery, providing five times the run time of its original lead-acid counterpart. Model TM22GXR now delivers more than 50 hours of operation on a single charge, compared to the 10 hours of battery life on the best-selling TM22G version.Unlike traditional battery power, these new lithium batteries have an improved lifespan, and coupled with low self-discharge rates, they also hold their charge better when sitting idle. A charge level indicator panel lets the operator know how much power is left. This new tow light is available in both lime and yellow colors and a choice of six transmitter options.

Order Item #TM22XR at www.Zips.com

Reelcraft DP7000 Series Air/Water Hose Reel

Staying sturdy and steady is what the Reelcraft DP7000 Series Air/Water Hose Reel excels at. This reel can be mounted just about anywhere, and thanks to its dual pedestal design, it will be very stable. On top of that, the heavy-duty steel construction and corrosion-resistant finish give the reel high durability.Of course, it’s also easy to use. Simply pull out the hose to unreel it. Thanks to the declutching arbor, the hose will automatically recoil itself when pulled on again. With the bumper stop, it will ensure the hose doesn’t retract too far.

You can pick it up at www.Zips.com today.

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TOWING & RECOVERY INDUSTRY NEWS

Lights On For Landon

Landon Killian is a 5 yearold-boy from Tennessee. He has a genetic condition called neurofibromatosis (NF1) which predisposes him to cancer, specifically a type of cancer that develops tumors along his optic nerves, skin, and stomach. Some of the tumors are operable and some are not and will have to be monitored all his life. Landon has already endured 18+ months of chemo and will likely have to be on chemo for the rest of his life

in some form to keep the tumors at bay. Landon is raised by his grandparents Jody and Tammy Killian.

Recently, through the Lana’s Love Foundation, an organization dedicated to providing fun experiences to children with cancer throughout Tennessee, Landon was able to visit Miller Industries. Landon loves big trucks so having the opportunity to tour the facility, sit in and play with the controls of many trucks made for a memorable day. On his tour, he picked his favorite

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TOWING & RECOVERY INDUSTRY NEWS
“We are blessed to have Big Wheel put Landon Strong and his hand print on their truck and support Landon.”
— Tammy Killian

truck and it happened to be Big Wheel Towing & Recovery's newest yellow 50ton rotator. Landon even got to operate the controls and swing the boom!

Big Wheel heard of this story from Miller Industries’ Facebook page with a picture of Landon and his family in front of the truck and knew we wanted to do something special for him and his family. Our thought was that since our truck left a mark with Landon, we wanted Landon to leave a mark on our truck. I reached out to the Lana’s Love Foundation where I then got in touch with his family and asked their permission to start a movement to raise money and awareness for their family. I came up with the logo and concept

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of Landon Strong to showcase his strength to overcome his daily health challenges and the perseverance to keep pushing through every appointment, treatment, and difficult day. As a company, it was decided to put the Landon Strong logo and his handprint as part of the wrap of the new truck. Additionally, I wanted to start a Facebook challenge asking other tow companies to:

1) Take a quick video of their trucks with a message to Landon 2) Post the video to “Landon Strong. Lights on for Landon” on Facebook 3) Donate to the gofundme if you can.

“We are blessed to have Big Wheel put Landon Strong and his hand print on their truck and support Landon. We’re so blessed to be able to have Jade set up a go fund me for Landon to

SCAN ME

be able to help with expenses. It’s a big help and a blessing to know it’s there to help Landon. Jade has been a blessing to our family and we hope to continue the friendship as time goes on.” said Tammy Killian.

The challenge is ongoing, please participate if you can by scanning the QR code part of this article.

I recently was in Chattanooga and asked the family if they wanted to bring Landon to see more trucks and to finally meet in person after conversing for months via phone. The family happily took me up on that offer. I had to find us a tow company willing to assist in this and Doug Yates Towing & Recovery answered the call to action. On March 18, 2024, Landon and his family, Holly from Lana’s Love Foundation, my husband, Josh and I met at Doug Yates and got the VIP tour lead by Rick Mincy. Landon had a great time and was surprised with some gifts after the tour.

“It was an awesome experience. Landon loves big tow trucks. He was excited to be able to get into one of them. Just to see a smile on his face, makes my day!” said Tammy Killian.

I know wholeheartedly that this industry is composed of some of the nicest people with the biggest hearts. I thank everyone who worked together to make this happen for Landon. Let’s not stop here. Let’s keep raising his spirits and raising funds.

I challenge all tow companies to participate in the Landon Strong Challenge and to follow “Landon Strong. Lights on for Landon” on Facebook to follow along his journey. I can tell you from meeting this family that they truly appreciate every opportunity to share Landon’s story and give him an experience that he won’t forget.

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FAMILY MATTERS

Warrior Winches, a brand founded on family values, commits to donating 1% of all website sales to the Survivor’s Fund at the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum, upholding our belief in making a positive impact on society and supporting our local community.

Trusted by Professionals, Built for Everyone! www.WarriorWinches.com
OF ALL ONLINE SALES DONATED TO THE

Tow Truck First Aid Kits

Those with wrecker experience know the risks of responding to motorists in need. Although

“Move over” laws in many states require drivers to change lanes away from emergency vehicles, ANSI reflective clothing helps make tow operators more conspicuous -especially during inclement weather and darkness, highways are always dangerous.

Critical minutes, even seconds, can make a difference in an emergency and that’s why every tow truck should have a first aid kit, sometimes called as an IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit). Kits differ in size and design, but contents generally include gloves, a tourniquet, gauze/ dressings, tape, shears and a CPR face shield.

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An example of a headrest mounted IFAK. An open IFAK showing its contents.
JIM GRAHAM BUILDING | 1025 Blue Ridge Rd, Raleigh, NC The NC Tow Truck and Trade Show is an event designed for professionals engaged in the towing and recovery business. Attendees will be able to see the latest designs of towing equipment and accessories SAVE - THE - DATE To be the first to get information about exhibiting at the Show, please contact: JOIN US FOR A 2-DAY INDOOR SHOW FEATURING: SILENT AUCTION REVERSE RAFFLE TOW TRUCK BEAUTY CONTEST TRAINING ...AND MORE! TOWING AND RECOVERY PROFESSIONAL OF NC P.O. Box 49661 | Greensboro, NC 27419 trpnc@nctowing.org | (919) 921-8194 2024 MID ATLANTIC TOW SHOW SEPTEMBER 5TH-7TH, 2024 TPRNC

The IFAK should be readily accessible. One good location is the passenger seat’s headrest. Some kits are designed to be attached there because the front of the headrest is often accessible to drivers and bystanders. A medically trained, well-equipped tow operator may be the first one on scene to render life-saving aid. The American Red Cross, American Heart Association, and American Safety and Health Institute are well-known organizations that offer CPR and first

aid training, often at little or no cost to students. Additionally, The American College of Surgeons offers a class called, Stop the Bleed (https://www. stopthebleed.org/training/), where students receive hands-on training in hemorrhage control through direct pressure, tourniquet application, and wound packing.

A recent example of a tow truck operator rendering critical care came in August 2019 on the New Jersey Turnpike near exit 8A. Alex

Petruccio, of Windsor, New Jersey witnessed the horrific event when the disabled motorist of the car he was to tow, was struck by another car, severing the lower leg of his customer. With prior training as an EMT and lifeguard, Petruccio quickly packed the bleeding wound with paper towels and improvised a belt as a tourniquet. His quick actions are credited with saving his customer’s life. As Petruccio said, “I could not stay there, watch that happen, [and] not do anything.”

The American College of Surgeons offers a class called, Stop the Bleed (https://www.stopthebleed.org/training), where students receive hands-on training in hemorrhage control through direct pressure, tourniquet application, and wound packing.

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An example of a tourniquet.
Don’t Miss a Great Time at a Great Location For Show and Hotel Information, Contact Bruce Bender 513-831-7469 • bruce@trao.org midwesttowshow.org • **NEW** Camping On-Site • Live Demos • Seminars • Light Show • Beauty Contest • Lots of Kid Activities • Safety Fashion Show CELEBRATING 46 YEARS BECAUSE OF YOU! • Thursday — Hog Roast • Friday Night — Live Auction followed with Karaoke & Poker • Saturday Night — Candle Light Vigil • Saturday Night — Party in the Parking Lot with a Live Band • Sunday Morning — Free Breakfast & Awards MIDWEST REGIONAL ROBERTS CENTRE WILMINGTON, OHIO 46TH SEPTEMBER 12TH – 15TH 2024

A Family Towing Affair

Have you heard of the Midwest Regional Tow Show, also known as a “Family Towing Affair”? If you haven’t, I feel you are missing out on a great opportunity to attend and be part of an event that I personally feel is the GREATEST Tow Show of the Midwest! We will be celebrating or 46th Annual Show this year. We are an association show, so profits from this show go back into the industry in one way or another. We pride ourselves in offering an event that is exciting and beneficial to you, whether you are an exhibitor or an attendee. We recently relocated, and the event will be held for its Second Year at the Robert’s Centre with our focus on a professional and family-oriented trade show. Our exhibitors take pride in their businesses, and it shows in the way they showcase their products and services! We plan to continue to have an Indoor/ Outdoor Show, and this new location enables us to have trucks and trailers

indoors. Our wonderful exhibitors will come in and set up on Thursday during the day to provide services for you on Friday (10:30 am – 5:30 pm) and Saturday (10:00 am – 6:00 pm).

Not only is this an event where you can come to see and purchase great

products and gain knowledge with our free seminars. Yes, I said FREE, but there are events in the evenings to keep you entertained. We have fun and exciting events for your kids and even babysitting for them on Friday and Saturday evenings. We plan fun

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events for them during the time they are babysat. New things and events will keep you on your toes. and we are good at it too. This year we are doing a new event. A “Celebration of Life” to recognize all the towers that have passed on before us. This industry is a very difficult and time-consuming industry, as well as a compassionate one. Towers give up so very much to just be there and service the public. This is why we want to recognize those that have given so much. We will have a parade on Thursday evening, September 12th with a Hog Roast, and games such as cornhole and others in celebration of the folks you would want remembered. If you plan to attend, I encourage you to place the names of those you want to remember on a banner, poster board or on the windows of your trucks and/ or vehicles and join the parade. The parade will leave Robert’s Centre and head through the business district of Wilmington, Ohio. I will be asking for

participation from the local Police, Fire and EMS as well as notifying local news. This would be a great way to

get SDMO recognized more also. Go to Midwest Regional Tow Show on Facebook for more information. Friday

OVER ONE – LOSE NONE!

Our mission is to:

• Evoke the public conscious to understand they are the most powerful source to define life and death on our Nation’s highways.

• To educate and make them aware they need to make a life change so first responders can live theirs!

• To unite all common industry first responders to train, educate and motivate the public we serve to just

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overone.org

we will have a fun auction with food to benefit the Injured Driver’s Fund with Texas Hold ‘Em and Karaoke afterwards. Saturday night we plan to have a “Live” band and a Taco Bar for your entertainment and bellies. Sunday morning, there will be a sponsored breakfast bar beginning at 7 am with an award ceremony beginning at 10 am. This will allow you to get a great breakfast before you head out on your journey home after such an eventful weekend.

There is a host hotel at the convention center, as well as several hotels in the local area which will be listed on the tow show website ( www. midwesttowshow.org ). There is also a camping area on site. For a campsite, feel free to reach out to Bruce@trao.org or call 513-791-3555.

We appreciate your support and sponsorship in making Ohio one of the largest shows in the country with the support of Towing & Recovery

Association of Ohio (TRAO), Towing and Recovery Association of Kentucky (TRAK) and West Virginia Towing and Recovery Association (WVTRA).

Thank you for your support, and I look forward to seeing you at the “2024

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MIDWEST REGIONAL TOW SHOW”!!!

New HINVII Light Modules

Our new HINVII light modules mount to the vehicle to light up your safety vest turning it into an ultra bright safety beacon. Using patented HINVII technology our innovative modules create a safe work zone around the truck while you are roadside. Order from your local TowMate dealer today!  www.towmate.com/dealers

TM-LS-UVA is a versatile and portable UV light system uniquely designed to increase the safety and visibility of roadside workers. This innovative device, equipped with the patented HINVII technology, emits a non-visible ultraviolet light that interacts with workers’ vests, making them glow intensely without impairing the workers’ vision.

www.towmate.com/tm-ls-uva

TRAIN THE TRAINER PROGRAM

ESSENTIALS OF LIGHT DUTY TOWING & RECOVERY

Is your company / organization in need of consistent, standardized training, contact our team at staff@ersca.org to inquire about our Trainthe-Trainer program lead by Shane Coleman, National Director of Training

Safety through Training & Advocacy

The Emergency Road Service Coalition of America (ERSCA) was formed in 2012, originally titled the United Coalition for Motor Club Safety (“The Coalition”), created by a group of tow company owners.

Schedule of Programs

Saturday, April 6, 2024 Van Nuys CA - Essentials of Light Duty Towing & Recovery

Saturday, April 13, 2024 San Luis Obispo CAEssentials of Light Duty Towing & Recovery

Tuesday, April 16, 2024 Essentials of Light Duty Towing & Recovery - Online 041624

Saturday, June 1, 2024 Heavy Duty Winching & RiggingCastaic, CA

We have additional events pending date confirmations over the next few months so stay tuned to the training calendar at www.ersca.org.

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www.ersca.org | training@ersca.org Office 916.617.2882 | Fax 916.414.3708 643 West Stadium Lane, Sacramento CA 95834
TM-LS-UVA: Portable, Rechargeable Traffic Cone-Mounted
Light
Worker Safety

Women OF TOWING

Revving Up for Spring:

Recovering from a Dead Winter in the Towing Industry

inter is traditionally a challenging time for those in the towing industry. Treacherous weather conditions, long hours, and high demand for services make it a true test of resilience. However, this year presented a different kind of challenge altogether. Instead of battling the elements, many towing industry workers were faced with a winter drought - a period of little work and financial uncertainty. In this article, we will explore strategies for recovering from a winter in the towing industry when the usual challenges are replaced by a lack of demand and the need to make ends meet and using that to get ready for the spring season ahead of us. What happens when Mother Nature

decides to take a break, leaving tow truck operators and company owners twiddling their thumbs? Do not fret! Here are seven strategies you can utilize to get through it and come out stronger.

Diversify Services: During slow periods, it is essential to diversify the services offered by towing companies. This might involve expanding into roadside assistance, vehicle recovery, or even transportation services for nonemergency purposes. By broadening the range of services, towing companies can attract different clientele and maintain a steady stream of income even when traditional towing jobs are scarce. It does not matter whether it is something that compliments the industry or something completely outside the realm of the towing industry.

Establish Contracts and Partnerships: Building longterm contracts with businesses, municipalities, or insurance companies can provide a reliable source of income during slow periods. Additionally, forging partnerships with auto repair shops, car dealerships, or rental agencies can lead to regular referrals and steady work throughout the winter months. Don’t forget to take care of your current customers with appreciations and a faceto-face thank you.

Focus on Preventative Maintenance: While towing jobs may be few and far between during a winter drought, there is still plenty of work to be done behind the scenes. Encourage your team to focus on preventative maintenance tasks, such as inspecting and servicing equipment,

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maintaining vehicles, and upgrading technology systems. Investing time and resources into these areas will ensure that your operation is running smoothly and efficiently when demand picks up again.

Reduce Overhead Costs: During lean times, it is crucial to minimize overhead costs wherever possible. Evaluate expenses such as fuel, equipment maintenance, and administrative fees to identify areas where savings can be made. Negotiating better rates with suppliers, optimizing route planning to reduce fuel consumption, and streamlining administrative processes can all contribute to cost savings that help weather the financial downturn.

Payroll is usually a company’s biggest expense and reducing payroll costs can be a key strategy for weathering the financial downturn. One approach is to implement flexible scheduling, allowing employees to work reduced hours or take unpaid leave during lulls in demand. Additionally, cross-training employees to perform multiple roles within the company can optimize staffing levels and reduce the need for

additional hires. Open communication with employees about the financial challenges facing the company can also foster a sense of teamwork and understanding, encouraging voluntary reductions in hours or temporary salary adjustments. By adopting these measures thoughtfully and transparently, towing companies can effectively manage payroll costs while maintaining employee morale during slow periods.

Explore Alternative Revenue Streams: Innovative thinking can lead to new revenue streams that supplement traditional towing services. Consider offering storage facilities for vehicles, selling used parts or scrap metal, or providing training courses for aspiring tow truck drivers. By diversifying income sources, towing companies can create multiple streams of revenue that help cushion the impact of a winter drought.

Utilize Technology: Technology can be a powerful tool for navigating a winter drought in the towing industry. Invest in software solutions that streamline operations, improve dispatching

Do you know a towing lady who deserves recognition?

Please send Michelle Sukow or Tow Professional a message. We would love to share her story! (michelle@michellesukow.com)

efficiency, and enhance customer service. Embracing digital platforms for marketing and communication can also help towing companies reach new customers and stay connected with existing clients during slow periods.

Futuristic Planning: While it is essential to focus on surviving the current drought, it is equally important to plan. Use this time to reassess business strategies, set goals for growth and expansion, and invest in training and development for your team. By adopting a proactive mindset and looking ahead to brighter days, towing industry workers can emerge from the winter drought stronger and more resilient than ever before.

Surviving a winter in the towing industry is always challenging, but this year presented a unique set of circumstances. Instead of battling the elements, many towing companies were facing a winter drought characterized by little work and financial uncertainty. Even though the winter season may have been uneventful for many in the towing industry, it is crucial to recognize the opportunities it presents to prepare for the spring season ahead.

By implementing strategies to navigate the slow winter months, such as diversifying services, establishing contracts, and reducing overhead costs, towing companies can position themselves for success when demand inevitably picks up with the arrival of warmer weather and more traffic on the roadways. Utilizing this time to focus on these strategies can give the towing business a head start in the competitive spring season. By learning from the challenges of winter and proactively preparing for the future, the towing industry can set themselves up for growth and prosperity in the months to come.

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Looking at the CHALLENGES of 2024

Addressing the challenges of 2024 will require planning and an investment in technology and retaining good employees. The towing industry will always face the ever-changing landscape of regulatory change and will have to use technology to improve efficiency and safety. Let’s look at some of these challenges.

Employees - I was at a party at a tow company in Dallas. While there,

I ran into one of my dispatchers that worked for me over 20 years ago. She was still dispatching at the company that was throwing the party. I asked, “Kathy, how old are you?” She was proud of her age and job. Without any hesitation told me she was 73. I was surprised. She was still working as the lead dispatcher at that company. In my mind, I thought what happens when she retires. Who will take her place? Who takes the place of the drivers that are in

their sixties and have health issues and are struggling to perform their job. When these types of employees leave, they take a bunch of knowledge with them. They are key employees that make the company run. They know all the customers and how each employee is supposed to function. One thing our industry has done is not prepare for the future. Not too long ago, I attended a driver training class. There were about 70 students in the

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INSIGHTFULTALK
///

2-day class, and the instructor was without a doubt the best the industry ever had. As I watched the class, I noticed a bunch of attendees with blank looks on their faces. I talked to some of them during the 2-day class, and they admitted that there was a large portion of the training they did not understand. That instructor has been training for years. I’m sure a lot of the material has not changed. When you roll over a big rig there are only so many ways you

can do it. Two things stood out to me.

1. The attendees in the class have a different D and A and a different make up of drivers than 20 years ago. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but it requires a different kind of training.

2. The second thing was the instructor. He probably forgot more about towing than most of the attendees

know. The instructor was a good friend, and it stood out that he was getting old. There will be no other like him. Who will train the drivers of the future?

Since drivers are the biggest part of any tow company, let’s figure out how to attract the driver of the future.

INGENUITY WITH AND A

DEDICATION TO CUSTOMER SERVICE!

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AMERICAN CRAFTSMANSHIP

1. Let’s draft a precise job description. Use modern recruitment technology. Implement thorough screening, prioritize safety and compliance, and simplify the application and hiring process. Develop a new driver culture with competitive compensation packages. Develop continuous training programs, maintain open communication, host required events, and establish a referral program.

2. The problem is the owner may be older and set in his ways. Bring in help. There are a lot of good people out there that can help you. When I owned my company, I would meet my night staff at midnight at the Golden Corral, buy them breakfast, and give them a update on plans for the company. My wife would argue with me that we should not tell our employees everything. I would tell her they do the hard work, and they

should know. It was the smartest thing I ever did with my company. My employees felt like they were part owners, and it established great communication with them.

Industry Growth – Our Industry is expected to grow at a steady rate with projections indicating a market value of over 11 billion dollars by 2025. The growth is driven by the increasing number of cars, accidents, and breakdowns. This growth will increase the number of tow companies to 50,000 in the next year.

Increase demands for commercial vehicles – Global trends including motorization in other countries, and the growing requirement of commercial vehicles for freight transport will drive the towing equipment market.

Supply chain distributions will drive availability – Tow companies are

complaining about the availability of new trucks and parts. This will force businesses to make quick purchases that may or may not be needed. The increasing demand for used trucks due to truck shortages will drive up prices. This may have an impact on how your fleet looks.

Inflation – The industry will face challenges from rising costs and inflation affecting the sales and financing of towing equipment. Tow companies will experience sticker shock due to long lead times, equipment surcharges, price increases and higher interest rates, which will complicate the financial planning for your company. Planning is the key word. I told this story many times and will tell it again. Every year my wife and I would take a vacation between Christmas and New Year. We would get a large suite at some resort and look at the next year.

26 TOW PROFESSIONAL | Volume 13 • Issue 3 | www.towprofessional.com INSIGHTFULTALK

Tow companies will experience sticker shock due to long lead times, equipment surcharges, price increases and higher interest rates, which will complicate the financial planning for your company.

We would look at things like:

1. Staff – Who do we hire, and who do we fire? Where do we find good replacement people and what will their requirements be? What will we

pay new employees, and what are the rates for dispatchers and drivers?

2. Customers – Our customers are more demanding about how they want you to service them, and what

they will pay for that service. We would look at our 10 best customers and make sure we continue to service and meet their needs. We would also look at the customers we were working hard to please and getting nothing in return. We would give those customers to our competition.

3. Equipment – We looked at what trucks were falling apart and had to be replaced, and which ones were in the shop for repair. Our trucks were our market tool, so we wanted them to look good.

4. Technology – How can we improve our business through technology? That meant trips to tow shows to see the latest and greatest in technology.

Times are changing, and it’s important that you keep up with the changing times. Remember, your employees are your biggest asset, so get them involved, and you’ll make it through 2024.

www.towprofessional.com | Volume 13 • Issue 3 | TOW PROFESSIONAL 27

A New Understanding, Attitude of Gratitude

For those of you who came by the Tow Professional booth during the Florida Tow Show, thank you. Darian Weaver, the Publisher, and I had lots of fun catching up with you. To all my readers, I was recently diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome and was walking with the help of a rollator. Many great towers have added me to a

prayer list, and I greatly appreciate it. Even though it’s not curable, GBS isn’t contagious. Back in December, my walking gait caught the attention of my neurologist who hadn’t seen me for several months. Without hesitation, she told me to continue down the road to the hospital, and I wasn’t to stop for anything. In fact, if I didn’t go there directly, she would order an ambulance

service to take me there. That was December 28th. I stayed several days in the hospital, and with the treatments over the next few days, I missed New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Guillain-Barre Syndrome requires lots of physical therapy and generates periods of fatigue. I can’t quit working on it, or I won’t get any better. Recovery could be a long process.

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FUEL
4THOUGHT

Feeling sorry for myself with how GBS has affected me, I was asked to join a special zoom meeting with 14 other GBS patients, all of them with different levels of GBS. One was from South Africa, Australia, Ohio, Louisiana, other parts of the US and one from Canada. Expecting my case to be worse than the rest, I discovered that I was one of the better patients. Lots of

them were relegated to a wheelchair, and the man from Ohio was in a hospital bed set up in a makeshift bedroom that was formally his dining room. I began to realize all of us have troubles. If we look around, there’s usually someone else that’s worse off than we are.

I am reminded of what my brotherin law, Dan, told me years ago. Being a pastor of a church in Oklahoma, he

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www.towprofessional.com | Volume 13 • Issue 3 | TOW PROFESSIONAL 29
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counseled a lady that had been so busy taking care of her family that she didn’t think she could go any more. She didn’t feel appreciated and certainly didn’t feel that other families went through

what she endured. Basically, her time was spent with Dan was complaining about all her responsibilities and commitments. Dan assured her that he had the answer to her problems. As

she leaned forward, he told her what to do. “Go home and bake several pies, doesn’t matter what kind of pies really, but make several, but I want you to deliver them to this address. Make sure you leave the pies with someone there and then come back and let me know who you left them with.” The lady thought Dan hadn’t listened to her at all. Did he not realize that she didn’t have any time left for herself?

When the lady returned to meet with Dan several days later, she had learned the names of those people, their illnesses and lack of monetary funds to keep them going. This lady forgot about her needs because she saw others who were in worse shape. There’s always someone in his world who is

30 TOW PROFESSIONAL | Volume 13 • Issue 3 | www.towprofessional.com

going through something worse than we are. Like me, I walk slow, but I walk determined to walk better again.

Now, let’s back to the other patients on my GBS group. Some of the men with GBS are paralyzed from the waist down. While driving in North Georgia I saw a sign on the side of a store building. It read, “It is not happy people who are thankful. It is thankful people who are happy.” As I drove past that building, I gave that statement a second thought because there’s an undeniable truth in it. Thankful people are happy. Here’s an eye-opening story that might help you with stress and reaffirm that thankful people are happy, no matter what happens to them. It’s truly our decision whether to be thankful or not.

A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet. As he sat on the step, he held up a sign which read, “I am blind. Please help.” There were only a few coins in the hat, just spare change from passersby as they hurried past him. When one inquisitive, but intuitive man was walking by, he took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat. As the young boy said, “Thank you”, the man took the sign from the boy’s hands. With the sign in his hands, the man turned the sign around and scribbled more words on the sign and returned the sign back to the boy’s hands. Soon the hat began to fill-up. It wasn’t long before the pile of coins grew inside the blind boy’s hat. That afternoon, the man walked by the boy again. The boy recognized his footsteps and asked, “Were you the one who changed my sign this morning? What did you write?” The man responded with, “I only wrote the truth. I said what you said, but in a different way.” He wrote, “Today is a beautiful day, but I cannot see it.” Both signs spoke the truth. The first sign simply said that the boy was blind, while the second sign conveyed how grateful the rest of those walking by are to see the magnificence of the beautiful day.

When your life seems full of troubles, it is hard to maintain an “Attitude of Gratitude”. When everything seems to be going smoothly, we often take precious moments for granted. I do. As I read that story, I examined my life. I have been so blessed with family and

friends, and God has been very good to me. Yes, I get very tired these days. At the Florida Tow Show, I stayed in the booth for a few hours and had to rest some to be ready for networking with fellow towers.

I hope after reading this article, you will add me to your prayer list. Please join me and Darian Weaver on the next Tow Professional podcast, one of the fastest-growing podcasts in our industry. See you next time.

www.towprofessional.com | Volume 13 • Issue 3 | TOW PROFESSIONAL 31
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The Great In-Cab Camera Debate

When it comes to whether or not to get cameras and telematics in your trucks... the decision is getting pretty easy. Between fraudulent claims, ambulance chasing lawyers, unreliable customers and employees... you are playing Russian Roulette if

you don’t have them. Shoot many of the insurance providers are not just recommending it but offering discounts on your premiums or in some cases, you can’t even get your insurance written without having cameras and telematics in the vehicle. This trend is only getting to be more the norm every day.

I have had the great opportunity to work with thousands of different towing companies, meet with some of the most successful owners and have discussed the in-cab camera at nauseum. As you would guess, the opinions vary all over the board. Here are a few of the reasons I have heard

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IN-TRUCKCAMERAS MOBILE VIDEO

not to have the in-cab (driver facing) camera.

1) I have heard the thought that “hell I don’t want to watch them pick their nose all day!”

2) “If my driver did something wrong, I don’t want to provide evidence that we are at fault.”

3) “My drivers have threatened to quit if we install those things in the cab.”

4) “The drivers will just cover it up anyway.”

I also hear the reasons why they do want them.

1) “It’s my equipment, I am responsible,

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IN-TRUCKCAMERAS

so I don’t care that the drivers don’t like them.”

2) “When they know I can see what they are doing, they behave better.”

3) “They aren’t supposed to smoke in my trucks.”

4) “We allow customers in the cab.”

Listen, I agree with you that these cameras can be intrusive, but they are designed that way on purpose. Let’s go through some of these common reasons not to... just so you are informed. With Azuga, while the camera is recording all day you will only get a saved clip if there is a driving event. Meaning, you don’t have to watch them “pick their nose”.

Our equipment has a special certification that prevents us from sharing any footage that comes from your cameras. This is your footage, and you have the option of what you share,

what you save and what you delete.

If your drivers cover the camera, you will get an immediate notification that it is blocked so you can reach out to them and have them unblock it.

As many times as I have heard that the drivers are threatening to quit... it’s funny it normally doesn’t happen. Most companies they would want to go to will have the cameras too or will be getting them soon.

Here is what risk managers at these insurance companies have shared with us. The new wrinkle that these lawyers try to use is that they say that their client saw your driver texting before an accident. If your driver is thought to have been distracted, you will lose… even if the accident wasn’t your fault. All they have to do is make the claim! The burden of proof that your driver wasn’t texting falls on you. Azuga has

two ways to help you with this scenario. First of all, our camera has AI and will take a picture if your driver is on their phone while driving and it will beep at them. Hopefully it will train them to wait until they are stopped to use their phone. Also, the cameras record any accident so you will have the video from 10 seconds before the event to 10 seconds after the event. So you will have whatever footage you need to protect yourself.

Our system is very customizable so you can turn the inside camera off if you want to. You can make it where it doesn’t beep when your driver does something wrong. You can customize what it takes pictures of Phone use, eyes not on the road, eating, drinking, smoking, seatbelt or tailgating. So whichever side of the debate you are on… Azuga’s system will work for you.

If it’s my company, I want to protect

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MOBILE VIDEO

my business and my employees from the “crazies” out there. I would rather have the video and not need it, rather

than need it an not have it.

To learn more about Azuga and how our towing centric product can help

protect your business. Go to https:// offer.azuga.com/towbook/ or call 205-728-9135.

HDRU

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• HDRU20 features a Pierce PSHV18 winch with 200 Ft of 1/2 wire rope,manual free spool, and manualtensioner

• Optional light kits, wireless remote packages, custom powder coating, and CNC designs are available

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EYES ON THE ROAD: What Sets TRAXERO’s In-Truck Cameras Apart

Always know where your fleet is in real-time with TRAXERO’s in-truck cameras and GPS software

BudgetGPS by TRAXERO has been enhancing and optimizing its fleet tracking tools for its customers for years, providing both robust software and hardware solutions.

Our fleet tracking solutions are geared toward any industry, but specifically designed to support fleet management within the realm of towing. TRAXERO has partnered with many industries that have invested in our GPS software and in-truck cameras in an effort to enhance the safety and responsibility among their drivers as

well as improve their own customer service.

BudgetGPS fulfills everything that towing operators need to keep themselves compliant and safe out on the roadways.

Benefits Of Fleet Tracking

BudgetGPS effortlessly integrates with TRAXERO’s Towing Management Software (TMS), helping dispatchers stay on top of where their operators are located so they can more efficiently assign them to new jobs and increase their productivity and

profitability. BudgetGPS can also be integrated with other popular towing management packages including Beacon, InTow, Omadi, and TOPS.

With the TOPS integration, for example, BudgetGPS offers a true visual dispatching experience where users can view current vehicle locations as well as unassigned pickup locations and drop-off information on the same map.

It also easily integrates with Quickbooks, Sage, and other platforms.

“BudgetGPS is a very useful tool for our business. The way that it interfaces

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IN-TRUCKCAMERAS MOBILE VIDEO

with the TOPS dispatch system makes for accurate and timely information and avoids wasting time re-entering data,” said Cathy Rozier from Allen’s Towing Service in Jacksonville, FL. “We are able to track our vehicles and give our customers accurate ETAs. The system is easy to use to enter/update vehicle information and the reports available are helpful for monitoring the driver’s habits as well as verifying the vehicle location history.”

Current Product Offers

TRAXERO currently offers two in-truck cameras with GPS tracking in both: BudgetCAM and QuadCam BudgetCAM’s dual HD cameras allow for forward and driver-facing camera views. BudgetCAM is hardwired to the Vehicle.

QuadCam is a Camera DVR Platform supporting up to four cameras for a variety of monitoring configurations including road and driver-facing views

and featuring embedded GPS tracking. We also currently have the following AI features under development:

• Driver Monitoring (DMS): Detects cell phone use, monitors seatbelt usage, detects drowsiness, and identifies distractions.

• Road Monitoring (ADAS): Provides

BudgetCAM’s dual HD cameras allow monitoring inside and outside the vehicle, and plugs into any class 1-8 OBD-II port for constant monitoring, even while the vehicle is off.

collision warning, detects tailgating, monitors close following, identifies solid-lane departure, and detects stop sign violations.

Protection Via Video Footage

TRAXERO’s in-truck cameras are designed to provide valuable footage in

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IN-TRUCKCAMERAS MOBILE VIDEO

the event of an accident or dispute. With undeniable video evidence, tow truck operators can prove fault and protect themselves from false claims.

This is especially important for operators who are involved in accidents while towing heavy loads or working in hazardous conditions. Video evidence can

also help expedite the insurance claims process, saving towers time and money. BudgetGPS’ industry-leading cameras mount inside the cab of the vehicle. Features of the dash cam include:

• Driver’s view of the road

• Inside view of the cabin, which is an optional feature

• Vehicle GPS location

• Audio

• QuadCam allows for rear and side mounted camera options

QuadCam is a Camera DVR Platform supporting up to 4 cameras for a variety of monitoring configurations including road- and driver-facing views and featuring embedded GPS tracking.

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“[It’s a] great system! It allows us to know where all of our trucks are at any given time so we can dispatch more efficiently,” said Karen Vanderpool of Lazer Towing in Kansas City, MO. “We can set up alerts if they exceed a specified MPH, or exit a specified ‘zone’ that we set up. We can also run historical reports showing many details about their travels.”

Onboarding And Support

TRAXERO’s fleet tracking software requires no contract. We will never make you sign a long-term agreement of any kind. All plans are month-to-month with low upfront and monthly cost, so there is no pressure to commit.

Our support team is here to help you get set up and answer any questions about how our cameras or GPS software work. For any questions or support needs, go to our website traxero.com/contact or call us at 1-800428-4715 if you’re interested in a free product demo.

www.towprofessional.com | Volume 13 • Issue 3 | TOW PROFESSIONAL 39
The change in our business finances was unbelievable and what was more amazing was the passion that I had lost for the business had returned. It was fun again to go to work because we were seeing the fruit of all our hard labor. If you haven’t been to the class, just go it will be some of the best money you have spent for your business. — Joe’s Towing & Recovery Upcoming Seminars recoverybillingseminar.com | 508-763-5474 | info@recoverybillingunlimited.com Visit Us on Facebook Orlando: April 19 Las Vegas Tow Show: May 1 & 2 Tennessee Tow Show: Sept 26 Baltimore Tow Show: Nov 22 & 23 Register Now! • Building the Proper Tow Business Foundation • Documenting the Scene from Start to Finish
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CARGOCONTROL

CHAIN BINDERS

When it comes to securing chains for cargo control, chain binders are essential to get the job done. Available from Zip's AW Direct, there are three different types to consider, and each offers its own unique advantages. Let's look at the lever, ratchet, and torque styles.

Lever binders, as the name implies, use leverage to tighten the chain. While it requires a bit more strength to use, they are extremely efficient. With a single motion, it locks into place, and

you can get on your way. Plus, they’re easy to store as they easily lie flat. The Durabilt Dura-Lok Series Binder is a great example of this. With its load limit cast into the handle with raised numbers, you know exactly what you can work with, and its powder-coated

body and zinc-plated end fittings make it super durable. There are multiple sizes available with the biggest having a working load limit of 13,000 pounds.

Unlike manual levers, ratchet binders rely on an internal sprocket to tension the chain. They are safer to use than lever binders, as there is no kickback from the lever. Ratchet binders also allow you to fine-tune how tight the chains are, giving you a secure hold no matter what you’re transporting. Not to mention, ratchet binders have a 50:1 mechanical advantage that makes

40 TOW PROFESSIONAL | Volume 13 • Issue 3 | www.towprofessional.com
SpeedBinder Torque Drive Binder

them extremely easy to use.

The Peerless Quik Binder Plus Alloy Load Binder is a great example that comes with a threeposition pawl allowing for extension, take-up, and free spin. There are three sizes available, with the biggest having a working load limit of 18,100 pounds. It also has the advantage of a foldable handle, which makes it easier to store. Finally, it comes with the tamper-proof QuikBinder lock to add extra security.

Torque binders combine the best of both types. They are fast, safe, and easy to store. In fact, it has the safety of a ratchet binder as there’s no danger of kickback, and it’s faster than a ratchet binder. Plus, operators experience less shoulder strain while using it. With the SpeedBinder, you simply need a cordless drill to tighten or loosen the chains. There are three sizes available, with the biggest having a working load limit of 13,000 pounds. If the SpeedBinder is used properly, it would take five to seven pounds to loosen the chains, so you can trust it to stay sturdy as you travel down the road. It practically eliminates chains loosening due to tire mash.

There are plenty of reasons to choose one binder over another. No matter what your decision is, we offer all three types at Zips.com, and you can find the specific binders we’ve mentioned, and more, easily. So, check out our site today!

www.towprofessional.com | Volume 13 • Issue 3 | TOW PROFESSIONAL 41
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SAFE WINCHING for Cargo Control in the ‘Towing Market’

In the fast-paced world of the towing market, ensuring the safety of both operators and cargo is paramount. With the increasing demand for efficient cargo transportation, the use of winches has become indispensable. However, as with any machinery, the potential for accidents is always present. To mitigate these risks, it’s essential to understand and implement safe winching practices.

TIPS FOR SAFE WINCHING AND CARGO CONTROL

1. Personal Protection is a Must: Before even touching the winch, ensure you’re wearing the necessary,

42 TOW PROFESSIONAL | Volume 13 • Issue 3 | www.towprofessional.com
CARGOCONTROL

personal protection equipment. This includes gloves to protect your hands from abrasions, eye protection to shield from flying debris, a hardhat to guard against any falling objects, and a reflective vest or jacket to ensure visibility, especially in low-light conditions.

2. Routine Inspection: Before every use, inspect the winch, cable, and other cargo control components. Look out for signs of wear, fraying, or damage. A small oversight can lead to catastrophic failures, endangering both the operator and the cargo.

3. Clear the Path: Ensure the area around the winch and the path of the cargo is free from obstructions or debris. This ensures a smooth and uninterrupted movement of the load being winched.

4. Secure Attachments: The cable should be securely attached to both the winch and the load. A loose connection can cause the cargo to slip, leading to potential damage or injury.

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CARGOCONTROL

5. Safety First During Operation: Always keep hands and feet away from the winch during its operation. The moving parts can cause severe injuries if they have contact with the skin.

6. Maintain Safe Distances: Ensure there’s a safe distance between the operator and any bystanders. If

possible, use a dampener or blanket over the cable to prevent it from snapping back in case of a failure.

7. Secure the Load: Once the load is winched into place, disconnect the winch line, and do not use the winch to secure the load. Use cargo control accessories like chains,

straps, and other devices to ensure the load remains in place during transportation.

8. Periodic Testing: Even if the winch isn’t in regular use, test it periodically to ensure it’s in proper working order. This can help identify potential issues before they become major problems.

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9. Adherence to Safety Guidelines: Always follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions and guidelines related to winch use. These guidelines are designed based on extensive testing and are meant to ensure the safety of the operator.

10. Shut It Down: When the winch is not in use, ensure it’s turned off. This prevents any accidental activations which could lead to injuries or damage.

Innovations in Towing Winch Technology

The towing market is not static, and innovations continue to shape its future. Modern winches have evolved from their manual predecessors, now boasting electronic control systems for precision, load-sensing technology to adapt pulling force, and wireless connectivity for remote operations. These advancements, combined with safety features like automatic brake systems and emergency shut offs, ensure that modern winching is not only efficient but also safer than ever before.

Warrior Winches have unmatched value, quality, and reliability. The JR series stands as a robust line of hydraulic winches meticulously engineered and proven for the most demanding tasks. These winches range in capacity from 29,700 lbs to 66,000 lbs. Whilst the RV Series of hydraulic winches are designed for tough, commercial, and industrial applications, they range from 8,000 lbs to 18,000 lbs. Both the JR and RV series are carefully crafted to adhere to the stringent SAEJ-706 Standard.

Conclusion

Safe winching practices are not just about following a set of guidelines but understanding the importance of each step. In the towing market, where the demand for efficient and safe cargo

transportation is ever-increasing, adhering to these practices can make the difference between a successful job and a costly accident. Always prioritize safety, stay updated with the latest innovations, and ensure that you’re using the equipment as intended. Safe winching leads to successful towing operations.

This battery is mounted externally and there is no longer the need to change the 2 batteries from inside the case. You simply take the discharged battery off the battery plate and replace it with a fresh battery. Designed to accept both M18 and DeWalt style batteries. These new wireless lightbars have the same great warranty and customer service included with every purchase.

You may purchase the external battery light bars without the battery and charger and use your own.

Now available in 36”, 48”, 60” wireless LED light bar.

Add flashers or strobes. 7-pin transmitter, external 20-volt battery and charger included.

Upgrade your Wireless Light Bar to External Batteries!

We will convert your current light bar with a great upgrade for a fair price! Call us for information!

www.towprofessional.com | Volume 13 • Issue 3 | TOW PROFESSIONAL 45
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Assessing Today’s Jump Starter Landscape

It Always Comes Down to the Fine Print

When we speak to tow operators who are shopping for jump starters, usually three key characteristics are the critical factors they are evaluating as they consider their next purchase. These include power, convenience, and durability/ longevity. For each individual operator, where each of these factors falls on the importance scale will vary, but these are the three areas of primary concern that

dominate these conversations. So, we thought that we’d address each of these areas of concern, based on our 30 years of experience servicing this critical industry and the operators who make it happen out there on American roads every day. In addition to the areas already mentioned, we’ll also address another topic that always pops up in our conversations related to ratings, particularly when it comes to power. There’s much confusion out there and

many products deploy ratings that add to the confusion. So, where relevant, we’ll try to bring some clarity to jump starter ratings, what they really mean and how those rating apply to starting capability.

Jump Starter Conversations Start and End with Power

Nowadays, there are jump starters that range in size from smaller than a deck of cards to as large as a small

46 TOW PROFESSIONAL | Volume 13 • Issue 3 | www.towprofessional.com
JUMP PACKS

freezer (our FMB1224 truck mounted fleet service unit weighs over 300 lbs.).

Given this wide range of sizes and capabilities, what makes sense for a tow operator? The best way to get to this answer is to look at the types of vehicles

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JUMP PACKS

you service. Do you primarily receive calls for roadside assistance related to passenger vehicles? Or, do you also handle heavy-duty vehicles? This first question is critical in determining which class of products makes the most sense for you.

If your focus is primarily passenger vehicles, we would say that you should look for a unit (or units) with an effective starting power of 400 amps or greater. What do we mean by effective starting power? For conventional lead acid jump starters, we are referring to Cranking Amps (CA), which means how much power can a battery deliver in 32˚F temperature for 30 seconds and have a terminal voltage of ≥7.2V (at the end of 30s). CA is a very specific, very defined term that means the same thing for everyone.

Contrast this rating with Peak Amps, which is the real or theoretical maximum amperage potential power

available from a battery. In essence, this really could mean anything, which should be a concern – as we like to say, Peak Amps don’t start vehicles. So, for lead acid units, your gold standard is CA or CCA.

For lithium jump starters, most units feature safety circuits that prevent them from delivering power for an extended period such as 30 seconds, rendering the CA rating unrealistic in most cases. But this shouldn’t mean that you can’t get an effective power rating when evaluating these units. Here at Clore, we developed a rating related to our non-lead acid jump starters that we call Start Assist Amps (SAA). The only difference between CA and SAA is the time duration of the rating. SAA means how much power can a battery deliver in 32˚F temperatures for 4 seconds and have a terminal voltage of ≥7.2V. This duration well exceeds the length of both gasoline and diesel engine starting cycles, which average about 0.6s and 1.3s respectively.

With lithium units in particular, it is common to find disembodied amp ratings, meaning that an amp rating is offered, but not explained or defined or even given a name. So, the package or advertising might say 2000A, but there is no way to know what this actually

means. The easiest assumption is that this is a Peak Amp rating, but it is not called out as such. We’d say that makes such a rating/statement questionable in the first place and also remind the reader that Peak Amps don’t start vehicles.

For heavy-duty jump starting tasks, the power requirement goes up, but how much it goes up will vary based on the class and type of equipment you need to start. That makes it difficult to provide a general rule of thumb like we can with passenger vehicle service, but we’d say that 700 CA is the power floor that is needed for jump starting larger equipment (and the actual need could be much higher). As noted earlier, we make units with output as high as 1800 CCA to start the largest equipment out there.

Separate from raw starting power, another factor to consider is how many jump starts do you expect to perform in a typical day. If you expect to perform one or two jumps a day, that probably doesn’t need to be factored into your power equation. If you expect to perform more than 10 starts per day, you should probably add that into your equation as you evaluate possible units and potentially upgrade to a higher capacity unit with greater reserve capacity to compensate for your expected frequent usage (which will, over time, deplete the jump starter’s energy capacity).

Convenience is Key in a Busy Tow Operation

Another aspect that gets a lot of attention in jump starter conversations is convenience. This could be related to several different features (or lack thereof), but in tow operator discussions, cable length, weight, charging time/method and cable/clamp management are usually the key features discussed in this area.

Cable length is a big one. How much do you need? It again comes down to the types and sizes of vehicles you expect to service, but longer is almost always better. Extra-long cables mean you can reach the starting points on virtually any vehicle and, often times, are able to set unit on the ground (vs the radiator shroud, for instance) and still make your connections. For this feature, lead acid almost always beats

48 TOW PROFESSIONAL | Volume 13 • Issue 3 | www.towprofessional.com

out lithium. For instance, our JNC770 and JNCAIR units have 68” cable reach, which is almost unheard of on lithium units. Even relatively pedestrian lead acid cable lengths (22”-46”) would be considered long on lithium units. That said, our JNC345 lithium jump starter boasts 40” cable reach, which is very impressive for a lithium model.

Weight is another critical convenience factor. Opposite to cable length, lithium units have the clear advantage in this category and it’s not really close. The energy density of lithium batteries is much greater than that of lead acid batteries. That enables them to deliver more power from the same size or roughly equivalent power from a more compact, lighter weight package.

Charging time / charging method is another factor to consider when looking at jump starters. What is the charging rate (amps) in comparison to the total battery capacity (amp hours) of the unit? For instance, our JNC770 models

feature a 3A fast charger to charge the internal 22Ah battery. So, if the unit is 40% discharged, it would take only ~4.5 hours to bring it back to full charge. Charge method is also important. It is expected that, in 2024, all units would have automatic charging that prevents overcharge, but where/how that charger is engaged is worth consideration. For instance, most of our lead acid JumpN-Carry units feature built in chargers, so in essence, they can never get lost. Something worth considering. Finally, there’s the question of cable/ clamp management. It really helps, in terms of convenience, to have an easy, usable method of cable management and storage. Like cable length, this is an area where lead acid units still lead the way. They are much more likely to incorporate cable management into their design and the cable management is more likely to be usable and helpful. That’s a key thing to watch for if cable management is important to you. Many

units make a half-hearted attempt to address this and end up with a system that is never used once the cables are first wound for the initial jump start after taking it out of the box. Cable management is also important for unit longevity, since secure cables are more protected and less likely to experience damage during transit and storage.

What Are Your Durability/ Longevity Expectations

The final factor that is almost universally included in our discussions with tow operators is unit durability and expectations for longevity. Tow Operations are one of the more extreme use cases seen by a jump starter, based on the frequency of use and the challenging jump starting situations encountered. So, it makes sense that this is a critical concern. Here, it makes sense to look at what is working for your peers, either in discussions or by checking review/retail websites.

www.towprofessional.com | Volume 13 • Issue 3 | TOW PROFESSIONAL 49

JUMP PACKS

We speak to many operators that have found success with Jump-N-Carry or Booster PAC units and will only use what has served them well previously.

Built for Jump Starting from the Ground Up

The power supply (heart of the jump starter) is the most important contributor to jump starter performance. It impacts everything from the jump starter’s maximum boosting capacity, the number of jumps that can be performed per charge, the amount of time that the jump starter can sit between charges, its ability to withstand abuse and the overall service life of the unit.

The ES Series (Booster PAC) and Clore PROFORMER (Jump-N-Carry) batteries in our lead acid and lithium jump starting solutions are specifically designed to optimally address vehicle jump starting applications. They are designed to deliver exceptional power in a quick, concentrated burst. And, they

have numerous enhancements that serve a single purpose: deliver the power you need, even in extreme conditions, over and over again.

Plus, our units are designed for use multiple times per day in a professional environment, such as a tow operation.

This means quality components, robust construction, features that improve ease of use and more. Plus, we add in things like the Repair Service Coupon found in many Jump-N-Carry units, which allows for a no fault, one-time, fixed-fee repair of the jump starter after the warranty period has expired. Start after start, you can count on Jump-N-Carry or Booster PAC jump starters to deliver the goods for your tow operation.

50 TOW PROFESSIONAL | Volume 13 • Issue 3 | www.towprofessional.com
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Changing with the Times Why Adding Specialized Equipment to Your Fleet Makes Sense

The automotive industry has been in a constant state of change, although the last five to ten years seems like the change has accelerated beyond comprehension. Change is the only constant in our business. Imagine if the internal combustion engine never advanced beyond early designs, and we still had to change points and caps every few thousand miles or adjust carburetor choke and advance timing manually. Change can be good for convenience and luxury. Electric and other alternate fuel vehicles are no different. They just

seem scary because of all the unknowns and the rapid pace with which they are advancing. As service providers, it is our job to keep pace with the advances, and part of that is to have the best possible equipment on hand to service these vehicles. It is not a matter of IF, but WHEN they will come into your market. Don’t let the complexity of these vehicles scare you into passing up good revenue opportunities! With so few providers proactively preparing to service alternate fuel vehicles, the market is yours to capture if you are brave enough to be progressive. A

52 TOW PROFESSIONAL | Volume 13 • Issue 3 | www.towprofessional.com
JUMP PACKS

Worldwide Equipment offers just such a vehicle. They partnered with VanAir to provide the ideal upfit to service these complex systems, while still being able to provide roadside assistance to traditional passenger cars, SUVs, and light trucks. The latest version will be on display at several tow shows nationwide, starting April 18-20 in Orlando, Florida.

Equipped with the VanAir EPEQ battery system, these service vans are whisper-quiet for working in residential neighborhoods. It has a 20-gallon air compressor, providing up to 20 CFM for inflating and servicing tires. Plus, it includes a level 2 EV charger powered by two EPEQ batteries to reduce your carbon footprint, while servicing sensitive clients. Lastly, it includes a 120/240-volt A/C power provided by an

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vehicle

JUMP PACKS

inverter supplied by the EPEQ system.

Shore power outlets allow you to charge batteries while the service van is parked overnight, taking advantage of off-peak utility rates. Of course, for the busy service technician, the onboard EPEQ battery system will also charge from the van’s own electrical system while being driven. Which is great for keeping batteries topped off between service calls.

To serve traditional vehicles, this roadside assistance van comes standard with battery racking to allow you to stock the most popular 12V automotive batteries when a jump start just isn’t enough. With plenty of room for customization, you are only limited by your imagination! This allows for a fullservice roadside experience with other tools and small parts you can easily carry.

Stop by and see the Worldwide crew at the Florida Tow Show, booth 538 and learn more about how to modernize your roadside assistance offerings today!

54 TOW PROFESSIONAL | Volume 13 • Issue 3 | www.towprofessional.com
www.towprofessional.com | Volume 13 • Issue 3 | TOW PROFESSIONAL 55 DEALERS PLACE Stock # P4156 - 2023 Peterbilt 567, ISX15 Cummins, 28ft Jerr-Dan 15-ton Industrial Carrier Stock # P7298 - 2021 Peterbilt 337, PX9, Swaploader SL240 Hook Lift, Tarp System Stock # U3575 - 2022 Ford F450, Powerstroke, 4x4, Jerr-Dan MPL40 Twin Line Stock # L3001 - 2022 Landoll 440B-50 Traveling Axle Trailer Stock # D5364 - 2022 Dodge 4500, Cummins, 4x4, Jerr-Dan MPL-NGS Self Loader Eastern Wrecker Sales Inc is the oldest active Jerr-Dan Corp distributor in the nation and we also proudly offer the Landoll line of transportation products, trailers tough enough to move the world. Since 1969. We have one of the largest inventories of new and used tow trucks, carriers, and trailers in the nation and a full parts and service facility. Financing is available, and the process is easy. 13401 US 70 Business Hwy West Clayton, NC 27520 www.easternwrecker.com • 919-553-4038 INVENTORY PICTURED SUBJECT TO CHANGE NEW AND USED TRUCKS ARRIVING DAILY PROUD LANDOLL, JERR-DAN AND SWAPLOADER DISTRIBUTOR PARTS AND SERVICE FOR ALL YOUR NEEDS!
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56 TOW PROFESSIONAL | Volume 13 • Issue 3 | www.towprofessional.com DEALERS PLACE Has your truck gone down due to mechanical issues or a collision? Don’t lose your customers and your livelihood by being unable to answer the call. Rent a wrecker from Wrecker Rentals and keep your business in business while your asset is down. Wrecker Rentals can deliver a wrecker or carrier to your location in a matter of hours so that you have limited service interruption. 770.898.1200 • rentawrecker.com FOR RENT JUST BECAUSE YOUR TRUCK IS OUT OF SERVICE DOESN’T MEAN YOUR COMPANY IS TOO LIVE FROM THE TOW PROFESSIONAL STUDIO “Pro’s that need to know and are On The Go!” Your voice for the Towing Industry Find us everywhere podcasts are available. Find us on or www.towprofessional.com Bringing the latest in technology, products and services. Giving you the information needed to grow your Business!! New episodes weekly! SPONSORED BY:
www.towprofessional.com | Volume 13 • Issue 3 | TOW PROFESSIONAL 57 MARKET PLACE IF YOU HAD TAKEN THIS SPACE, YOUR AD WOULD NOW BE BEING LOOKED AT BY OVER 37,000 OWNERS AND WOULD ALSO BE AVAILABLE TO MILLIONS MORE ONLINE. DowntimeClaims.com Transportation Lawyers • Business Interruption Claims • Wrecker Accidents • Insurance Claims • Loss of Use/Lost Income 1-800-DOWNTIME info@downtimeclaims.com NATIONWIDE DOWNTIME & PROPERTY DAMAGE RECOVERY WANT TOP DOLLAR FOR YOUR TOWING BUSINESS? George is the only national business broker specializing in towing companies. He is experienced at selling towing companies to the private equity groups that are popping up. His experience will make you money. Call George Metos for a confidential conversation at 801-440-3176 Email: GeorgeMetos@aol.com www.businessbrokergeorge.com See his profile on LinkedIn.com IF YOU HAD TAKEN THIS SPACE, YOUR AD WOULD NOW BE BEING LOOKED AT BY OVER 37,000 OWNERS AND WOULD ALSO BE AVAILABLE TO MILLIONS MORE ONLINE.

The Wichert Difference

Wichert Insurance is one of the largest tow agencies in the Midwest with over 30 years of experience working with towing, recovery, and garage operations Our knowledgeable staff are current on industry issues and are experts in the coverages your operation requires. Our relationships with multiple AM Best "A - Excellent" rated carriers allow us to offer competitive rates and interest-free monthly pay plans As active members of state associations, we are industry advocates and a reliable resource

Our team's experience allows us to create custom programs to meet your needs From service trucks to extra heavy equipment, single location to multi-state operations, we will craft a program to meet your risk appetite at the most competitive rates. In addition, we act as your advocate when a claim occurs to ensure timely and fair outcomes

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58 TOW PROFESSIONAL | Volume 13 • Issue 3 | www.towprofessional.com
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