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Volume 2 • Issue 3 2013

Cargo Control 30 | TO TWIST OR KNOT?

Safety and Training 26 |

Training Can Be One Piece of the Profit Puzzle

I n du stry NEWS

6| Dynamic Towing Equipment and Manufacturing 6| PWOF Tow Show Special - ScoutDispatchTM from Ranger SST

8| Agero to Highlight New Technology and Training at Orlando Show

10| Custom Aerodyne Toolboxes from ZACKLIFT 12| International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum


Jump Starter 34 | Anatomy of a Jump Starter company spotlight

37 |Towbook 38 | S & J Manufacturing 38 |Detroit Wrecker 39 |Heavy Duty Towing Equipment 39 | IN EVERY ISSUE 4 | Publisher Letter

14 | Your Hydraulic System and You 16 | High Sulfur Diesel Applications 17 | Secure Loads to Avoid Citations 18 | Don’t Crush Your Cash! IAA Can Help You See How at a Free Seminar

20 | Growing Your Business 2

Cover Image Courtesy of Weil Wrecker

Tow Professional | Volume 2 Issue 3 |





Professional Your Resource for Towing & Recovery

Volume 2 • Issue 3 2013

PUBLISHERS Darian Weaver President & Co-Publisher

Jack Hartsfield Vice President & Co-Publisher

It’s hard to believe that the first quarter of 2013 is behind us. I hope that your first three months were up from last year. Most of the people that I have talked with have seen a positive trend for 2013 thus far. April brings the first Trade Show for the year in our market. We will travel to Orlando for the Florida Tow Show April 11-14, 2013, and will exhibit in Booth #278. This year, the show has expanded to include the Repo Expo, which should be beneficial for everyone; the attendees have more to see and learn, and the vendors have a larger captive audience. We encourage anyone capable of attending to do so; the trade shows are where you can put your hands on and compare all of the new equipment and technology in the market. Bring your walking shoes and wallet…you will be glad you did. __________________________

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

Recently, Darian and I attended a light duty training course by Wes Wilburn hosted at Weil Wrecker in Birmingham, Alabama. Though the majority of the people attending had plenty of experience, most were there to improve their knowledge - all who were there did exactly that. Knowledge is power; never stop learning. Even if you are qualified to teach the class, new ideas, information, technology and techniques are continually evolving. Hats off to Wes! His approach to training is extremely effective, and, if you are serious about your business, it is an absolute must to have your people trained and qualified. Great job, Wes, we will be back! In this issue, Dan Messina covers “Growing Your Business,” and we also include features on Training, Cargo Control, and Jump Packs. Once again, there’s plenty of “Industry News” and “Hooked UP” to round it out. We hope to see you in BOOTH #278 at the Florida Show!

Darian Weaver and Jack Hartsfield Co-Publishers

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Fritz Dahlin Richard Farrell Dan Messina Jim O’Hare Wes Wilburn

Executive and Advertising Offices P.O. Box 26308 Birmingham, AL 35260 Toll free: 888-802-8544 Fax: 205-978-1550 Tow Professional is published nine times a year by Over The Mountain Media, Inc., P.O. Box 26308, Birmingham, Alabama, 35260, USA. Tow Professional is distributed free to qualified subscribers. Non-qualified subscription rates are $57.00 per year in the U.S. and Canada and $84.00 per year for foreign subscribers (surface mail). U.S. Postage paid at Birmingham, Alabama and additional mailing offices. Tow Professional is distributed to qualified Towing & Recovery's Top Decision Makers. Publisher is not liable for all content (including editorial and illustrations provided by advertisers) of advertisements published and does not accept responsibility for any claims made against the publisher. It is the advertiser’s or agency’s responsibility to obtain appropriate releases on any item or individuals pictured in an advertisement. Reproduction of this magazine in whole or in part is prohibited without prior written permission from the publisher.

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


Tow Professional | Volume 2 Issue 3 |

............................................... Dynamic Towing Equipment and Manufacturing >>>


Dynamic Towing Equipment and Manufacturing is excited about the upcoming Florida Tow Show. This provides us with an opportunity to connect with our customers, hearing their feedback and showcasing our hard work over the past year. This past year has been an exciting time with Dynamic; we have added several new distributors. Dynamic has introduced the re-designed Service Truck and improved upon the Fusion. The Service Truck is equipped with 2 storage compartments, to-

taling 80 cubic feet of usable space. The compartments can be delivered with an optional rack system for vehicle batteries, capable of providing safe stowing of up to 36 batteries! Accompanying deck space measuring 54” x 85” allows for additional storage options. The Fusion has a 5500 lb wheel lift fully extended 80” of reach. With the option of negative & power tilt of 25 degrees. There are 8 storage compartments, totaling 45 cubic feet of available storage. The truck was designed with increased “Hook Up” visibility. With a 4-year warranty, this truck fits the name, FUSION. Dynamic Towing Equipment has built a reputation on trust, providing personal service and developing solid products for the industry. We are looking forward to seeing everyone in Florida. To request a quote or learn about other towing solutions Dynamic Towing Eqt & MFG has to offer, call 800.831.9299.

........................................................... PWOF Tow Show Special.. ScoutDispatch ... from Ranger SST >>> TM

• AVL tracking/mapping -- pinpoint where drivers are and where they need to go • Motor Club Digital Dispatch -- Agero, Allstate, USAC • Two-way messaging with drivers -- send job details, receive status updates • In-truck navigation for drivers -- faster service, more calls Only $19.85 per month per truck!! Bring your own Android and/or use our black box.


Tow Professional | Volume 2 • Issue 3 |

Ranger SST provides integrated, end-to-end solutions for dispatching, GPS tracking/mapping, messaging, storage lot management, accounting (link to QuickBooks), and in-truck picture-taking, credit card processing, signature capture, VIN scanning, and invoice printing. . Visit Ranger at the Florida PWOF Tow Show -- Booth #158 •440.498.1495

I n du stry NEWS



Agero to Highlight New Technology and Training at Orlando Show >>> Agero recently announced its event schedule and exhibit content for this year’s Florida Tow Show, which will be held Friday, April 12 through Sunday, April 14 at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista hotel in the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. “I think you’ll see at the show that, more than ever, we’re about innovation,” said Dave Sunkenberg, VP Network Services with Agero. “This means new service provider technology, as well as new online training offerings. We’ll have other things at the Florida show, as well, but our main goal is to help service providers stay on the cutting edge in ways that help them work even smarter. So we’ll highlight innovations and new features and options that allow them to increase their revenue while providing even better service.”

Timely training topics and instant certification One highlight will be the debut of Agero’s new training program, which will be conducted at the show three times each day on Friday and Saturday. Agero plans to make the events ongoing, with each training session designed to provide a brief and efficient mini-seminar on specific topics. These topics will include a wide range of towing and roadside service protocols that increasingly require OEM or vehicle specific training. Developed as a response to growing industry demand, these OEM and vehicle specific certified training events will be provided at no charge and will occur in most regions. They will be open to all tow professionals, whether they are Agero-affiliated service providers or not. Given the design advances many vehicle manufactures are making, such as Jaguar and Land Rover, product level training is becoming even more critical in order to set service providers up for success. The best service providers are looking for resources and tools they can incorporate into their own training programs, such as how to manually release a vehicle from Park when the battery is dead and the transmission shifter is not responding. Agero is committed to providing those tools and best practices. In keeping with the emphasis on innovative training resources, the company will also use the show to highlight special offers developed in partnership with Motor Club Roadside Training,, an interactive online site that provides certified roadside service training. The site allows employees of tow companies to receive comprehensive online training and certification from industry leaders in all areas of the business, from customer service and dispatching to road safety, fuel delivery and tire changes.

Practical technological innovation Another area of emphasis at this year’s Florida show will be new technology. One exhibit will feature Agero’s new IVR Dispatch service, which the company says will allow for faster and easier accept8

Tow Professional | Volume 2 • Issue 3 |

ance or rejection of dispatches using a phone. Although access to a live call center agent is still available just by pressing a button, Agero’s automated dispatch capability eliminates the need to access an agent or to wait on hold, lessening the chance of communication errors. Service providers simply choose the amount of detail needed at that moment. After the initial dispatch, detailed info is provided via a choice of email, text, or fax. Using technology to develop new income streams for service providers will also be an important part of Agero’s show content. Launching in 2013, Agero Field Information Services is a group of service offerings designed to allow service providers to earn incremental revenue by providing asset inspections, verification, and documentation services using smart phones or tablets running Agero’s new PRISM mobile app. Also on the technology front, New England Wireless will be on hand with Agero to answer questions about their exclusive discounts on tablets, smart phones and select plans along with reduced monthly service costs with Agero's wireless discount program. Agero will also be hosting a Provider Perks booth where show attendees can learn more about the company’s new partnership with Progressive Platforms, a firm specializing in fleet management and dispatch management software. Rounding out the schedule will be a seminar entitled “Agero Truck Financing Programs,” sponsored by Beacon Funding, which will take place Saturday, April 13 at 1 p.m. in the Narcissus room. In addition, attendees will also be able to have their photos taken alongside a NASCARK race car with noted Richard Petty look-a-like Charles West. Giveaways from Worldwide Equipment will also be featured.

Florida Tow Show Date: April 12, 13, and 14 Location: Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista Hotel in the Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, Florida Agero Booth Locations: Inside: Booth #207 Outside: Booth #854. For more information, call 413-575-9333 or email


CUSTOM AERODYNE TOOLBOXES FROM ZACKLIFT The popular FIFTHWHEELER™, the removable underlift from Zacklift International, Inc., has some eye-catching options. The sleek, professional looking Aerodyne Toolboxes make the underlift package truly complete. This economical option has been specially engineered for mounting on the Zacklift FIFTHWHEELER beam. With the mounting always pre-engineered into every FIFTHWHEELER, the custom toolboxes can be added when the Zacklift leaves the factory or at any time down the road. As with all elements of the Zacklift FIFTHWHEELER, the boxes completely remove during the simple drive-off procedure. As easy as coupling and uncoupling from a tractor trailer, the FIFTHWEHELER removes completely for full unobstructed tractor use. Other Zacklift options can also be outfitted on the Zacklift FIFTHWHEELER at time of purchase or can be added later, always driving off with the underlift. These include a choice of planetary winches and anchor legs. All mount to the Zacklift FIFTHWHEELER beam. Inside the toolboxes, you’ll find racks for all standard forks and space for accessories, such as the Heavy Duty Wheel Lifting Assembly, keeping equipment safe and organized. Stop, tail and turn lights are also wired and ready. Zacklift has knocked themselves out on good looks with this product. The doors are polished aluminum and open in gull-wing style, helping to


Tow Professional | Volume 2 • Issue 3 |


keep operator safe at roadside and protecting doors from tires. The look is completed with powder coated high gloss black tool box housing. Attention to detail is exceptional on the Zacklift FIFTHWHEELER, and the Toolboxes definitely are in keeping with Zacklift’s high standards for quality workmanship and innovative engineering. To find out more about the Zacklift FIFTHWHEELER and Custom Toolboxes, take a look at or call 509 674-4426. | Volume 2 • Issue 3 | Tow Professional



Tow Professional | Volume 2 • Issue 3 | | Volume 2 • Issue 3 | Tow Professional






SYSTEM AND YOU By Richard Far rell I FOUND OVER THE YEARS that one of the most

popular and ignored services I could suggest to a customer were to change the hydraulic oil and filter. No one seems to do this very simple maintenance. I would tell all my service people, “Make sure you check the hydraulic oil when you write up someone for service." I'll bet 75 % or more had milky or contaminated oil. When the


Tow Professional | Volume 2 • Issue 3 |

weather got really cold (we’re in Michigan), we could get several trucks in all at once with frozen hydraulic tanks. I'm talking ice cubes! Some would have cracks in cylinders, others busted valves or pumps. Gets real expensive, real quick. All of which, with simple preventive maintenance, could have been avoided. By changing your hydraulic oil and filter annually, you can save a lot of dough and down time. Not to mention the premature wear on pumps, motors and cylinder packing’s.

would use "Dextron" (red automatic Tran’s fluid); this is about 5w oil and will not stiffen up in very cold temps. In most parts of the country, I would use 20w oil. In very hot climates, you should use 30w hydraulic oil. On an exceptionally cold day, I would turn on my PTO and let the pump run for 10 or 15 minutes first thing in the morning. This tends to warm up the oil and saves wear and tear on the pump. Just at an idle, do not rev up the engine. Over-revving your engine can damage your pump by causing a condition known as "cavitation." Letting the pto/pump run for a few moments in really cold mornings can save you costly pump re-

This is something that you can perform in-house. Most all hy-

pairs down the road. As always, feel free to call our service depart-

draulic tanks have a drain plug and a spin on filter. Most any good

ment at Detroit Wrecker Sales. The staff will be more than happy

repair facility will be happy to point out these things and answer

to give whatever advice they can to help you solve all of your parts

your questions. Yes, we're in the service biz, but I know that by

or service needs.


helping my customers save money, they remember that and come back for the repairs they can't do themselves. This can save you thousands of dollars in repair costs, not to mention losses due to downtime. It's always when you’re the busiest. I’ve been asked over the years what is the best hydraulic oil to use. This will depend on the climate where you operate. In very

Detroit Wrecker Sales 19630 Fitzpatrick, Detroit, MI 48228 Local: 313-835-8700 National: 877-TOW-0030 Email:

cold locations, where you can get into negative temps regularly, I | Volume 2 • Issue 3 | Tow Professional




High Diesel Sulfur Applications Outside the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia, high sulfur diesel is usually the only diesel fuel available. High sulfur diesel is absolute poison to a DPF equipped vehicle. It will clog a DPF filter faster than a diet of bacon-chili triple cheeseburgers. What is an end user to do if they operate a Cummins Diesel DPF equipped engine in the rest of the world? An exporter had a customer waiting for three new 2012 model trucks with Cummins Diesel DPF equipped engines. However, the customer already had several 2011 Cummins Diesel DPF equipped trucks that were having constant problems, like clogged DPF’s, shutting down, red stop & yellow check engine lights. Local service in


Venezuela confirmed that the fault codes and issues were caused by high sulfur diesel fouling the DPF after treatment. ECM Performance in Florida was able to solve the problem with their unique ECM reprogramming service. Since the three trucks were local, ECM Performance reprogrammed the vehicles onsite for DPF removal. The exporter then had the DPF filter and urea injection removed. After several months and more than 1,500 hours running on high sulfur diesel, the customer reported excellent performance and no engine problems. Jim Comack at ECM Performance says, “Around the world, high sulfur diesel is a huge issue for DPF after treatment systems.

Tow Professional | Volume 2 • Issue 3 |

ECM Performance provides a quick, permanent solution that allows the customer to simply remove the DPF and urea injection. In addition, we increase the power, reliability, and long-term engine life, while decreasing the total cost of ownership for their fleet. For export customers, this is a home run. By the way, this exporter is now having the ECM’s from the 2011 vehicles overnighted in this week for reprogramming.” TOW ECM PERFORMANCE Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33326 888-768-2447 954-748-1840

Secure Loads



Scrap recyclers have used CAR-GO-NET8 for more than a decade to comply with transportation regulations. Now Tow operators are using CAR-GO-NET8 to help contain small parts and loose debris while transporting wrecked autos or salvaged vehicles. TOW


Industrial Netting 7681 Setzler Pkwy. N. Minneapolis, MN 55445 800-328-8456 (in USA and Canada) Phone: 763-496-6355 Fax: 763-496-6356 E-mail:

CSA 2010 standards, adopted by the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), are designed to keep unsafe drivers – and unsafe loads – off the road. FMCSA regulation 393.132 was developed jointly by U.S. and Canadian authorities to regulate containment of crushed or flattened automobiles during transportation. Synthetic materials such as plastic netting were deemed acceptable, provided no openings were large enough to allow loose parts to fall from the vehicle during transit. Aggressive enforcement of those regulations has forced Tow professionals to seek out alternatives to contain loose parts on damaged vehicles. Reusable tarps are expensive and require maintenance. Knitted Hay bale netting shreds in the cross-direction, so many users feel compelled to double or triple wrap their loads. Disposable CARGO-NET8 provides low-cost compliance – it’s designed for a single use. Industrial Netting offers CAR-GO-NET8 in small rolls configurations for Tow operators that can be easily used by one person. Their ” mesh in 56” wide x 1000’ long rolls weigh just 21 lbs. Single rolls are light enough to ship by UPS and small enough to easily fit in most rigs. | Volume 2 • Issue 3 | Tow Professional




Don’t Crush Your Cash! IAA Can Help You See How at a Free Seminar

Insurance Auto Auctions (IAA) is hosting a free educational seminar on Friday, April 12, at the Florida Tow Show: from 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. in the Gardenia Room. This general session will teach attendees what auctions are all about. Guests attending also will learn how to turn their unclaimed cars into cash by selling lightly-damaged, high-mileage, repossessed and abandoned vehicles at auction.

Who’s buying? Regardless of the vehicle type or condition,


we have licensed buyers for them from around the world. IAA’s registered and qualified buyer types include: • Auto body repair • Resellers • Dealers • Dismantlers • Recyclers • Exporters

ready to assist you today. Our national presence and local flavor benefits you. IAA’s local expertise matters when it comes to promoting your vehicle. By providing high-quality promotional material and additional vehicle details to capture higher returns on these unique units helps to increase exposure and ultimately bidding activity which drives the sale price. TOW

Who is IAA anyway?

Come visit us at booth #150/151 throughout the show!

We’re more than an auction company. Over the past three decades, IAA has sold millions of vehicles to buyers around the globe. IAA’s 2,000 talented team members located in over 160 locations in North America are

Who can you call? For more information, contact Ray Rodecker of IAA at, or 919-901-9323.

Tow Professional | Volume 2 • Issue 3 | | Volume 2 • Issue 3 | Tow Professional


By Dan Messina

GROWING YOUR BUSINESS is going to be a defining year for your business. With the price of gas out of control and having a major impact on your business, along with tax increases that hit us in January, we are going to be facing many challenges. From what I’m hearing, there are more taxes to come. In addition to the gas and taxes, the Obama health care will soon be implemented. I don’t know if you have looked at how that is going to impact your business, but there will be a big expense added to your business. I recently interviewed an insurance agent who explained how the new healthcare bill will affect us. You can view this interview on This new bill will not only affect the business, but the employee will also be impacted by the bill. Employees will be demanding increases in pay or they will go somewhere else. As business owners, we have to look at 2013 and see what can be done to offset these new expenses and allow us to keep our doors open in 2014.


When running a business, you make money by increasing your


to happen and make sure 2013 will be a good year for you.

revenue or lowering your expenses. We are going to take a look at

Adding new customers will be a necessity for your business’s sur-

several different ways you might want to consider for growing

vival. What can you do to grow your business? Here are a few

your business. I will be able to help you get through all that’s about

things you can do to get started:

Tow Professional | Volume 2 • Issue 3 |

“You can’t be the leader if you don’t get creative.” 1. PENETRATE YOUR EXISTING MARKET.

business. One of the easiest ways to do this is to ask your current

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of growing

your customers are passing the word about your business isn’t

your business is getting new customers, but it’s easier getting

going to do much to increase your customer base; you have to

additional business from your existing customer base. It’s cost-

actively seek referrals. During or after every job or sale, ask your

effective to get people who are already using your service to use

satisfied customer if he knows anyone else who would be inter-

it more than to find new customers and persuade them to use

ested in your services. Every service call should be a sales call.

your service. Identify your top 10 customers and see if there are

You should have a brochure of some type that you hand to cus-

any additional services you can provide for them. This will re-

tomers describing your services. Ask your customers to pass

quire you to know what their business is and what they offer

them out for you, and you do the same for them. You will be sur-

their customers. Find out what their future plans are and if they

prised how you can help each other. If you need material, I can

plan to grow or open up at other locations. It’s good that you

help you create it.

customers for referrals. Doing a great job and just assuming that

show interest in what they are doing. It helps create a better relationship.

3. INNOVATE YOUR SERVICE. Discovering and promoting new services is a great way to both


get existing customers to use you more and attract new cus-

Getting new customers is another approach to growing your

tomers. Look at your trucks and storage lot; what new services | Volume 2 • Issue 3 | Tow Professional



5. PARTICIPATE IN TRADE SHOWS. Trade shows can be a great way of growing your business, because trade shows draw people who

can you offer by utilizing your trucks and lot in different ways? An example would be for you to haul equipment on your flatbed for companies that rent out equipment. Turn your lot into a paid storage lot for boats, RVs and other vehicles. You have lights, insurance and security of some type, so take advantage of it. Drive around your neighborhood and see what other people are doing, or ones that might have a need for that you can offer. Look at your competition and see what they are doing that you are not. Attend a trade show and talk to other towers and see what they are doing in different parts of the country. Think outside the box. You have a new business look and towing is just a

are already interested in the type of

“Trade shows can be a great way of growing your business, because trade shows draw people who are already interested in the type of services you offer. The trick is to carefully select the trade shows you participate in, seeking the right match for your service.”

services you offer. The trick is to carefully select the trade shows you participate in, seeking the right match for your service. When I had my business, my biggest market was the apartment industry. I would have a booth at two different shows each year. This is where I reached 40% of my business. Once I had them as a customer, I still attended to make sure they saw me supporting their industry and keeping my name in front of them. Trade shows will help you get the best return on your investment. The more your name can be seen by potential customers, the better off you are.


part of it. Think duct tape – and how

Remember the analogy of the big fish

few of these would actually be sold if

in the small pond? That’s essentially

they only had one use!

how this strategy for growing your business works. The niche market is the pond, a narrowly defined group of customers. Think of


them as a subset whose needs are not being met and concentrate

There are several ways of growing your business by making your

on meeting those unmet needs. Most towers go after companies

services available to a new pool of customers. The most obvious is

that have fleets. Think of places that have groups of people

to open offices in new locations, on a different side of town. This

(churches, schools, chain stores, apartments, small companies

could increase your rotations with the city and save on gas by hav-

that have 50 to 60 employees). Go in and offer them a towing

ing trucks on that side of town. Opening an office in another city

service for their people. I could go into any city, big or small, and

could also be an option if you can cover the expense to get

find at least three new markets that no one is servicing. When

started. (Here is where motor clubs can be of help). New locations

you’re the leader in the area, you will have the majority of the busi-

can also be set up through the Internet, such as a website with on-

ness. But I’m telling you right now, you can’t be the leader if you

line services. Learn how to take advantage of the Internet. I can

don’t get creative.

definitely help you in this area. If you plan on turning your business


over to a family, you better be automated with computers and


websites. That’s what today’s generation understands. Another

Surprised? Bear in mind that when we’re talking about growing

approach is to extend your reach through advertising. Once

your business, we’re actually talking about growing your busi-

you’ve identified a new market, you might advertise in select

ness’s bottom line. And the difference between pre-tax and post-

media that targets that market.

tax money can make this a very effective growth strategy. There

Tow Professional | Volume 2 • Issue 3 |

are two main approaches to cutting costs: stop providing services

franchising their small businesses are legion – and not just stories.

that cost the most money (Heavy duty Towing) and improve your

If you have a successful business and can develop a system that

service that utilizes your trucks in the best way. Here comes the

ensures that others can duplicate your success, franchising may

motor club approach again, or one of those new customers you

be the fast track for growing your business. You may think that you

added. You have to know what it

are getting too old or you don’t have

costs for each tow and how much are

the time to expand your business;

you making for that tow. A lot of towers don’t have the answer to that question. It’s difficult working the business side of the business when you are on the road 16 hours a day. Once again, here is where I can help you. I had a friend here in Texas who increased his profits by 30% when he stopped doing heavy duty towing. Just by eliminating the expense of keeping his heavies on the road made him more money. It was his account-

“If you have a successful business and can develop a system that ensures that others can duplicate your success, franchising may be the fast track for growing your business.”

ant who suggested he stopped heavy

that’s okay. You may want to find a friend or a family member that wants to get into the business, and you can help them get a truck and teach them the types of service you provide and let them get started. You can be a silent partner, or have them just pay you so much per month. There are different ways of starting something like this. Think about it; you can be in 10 different locations and not do a tow and still make money. It might be worth taking a look at.

duty towing. You have to restructure your business so you can make more money.

8. DIVERSIFY YOUR SERVICES. The key to successfully growing your business through diversification is easy. Look at your existing customers and see if there are other businesses that might have similar needs. If you tow for fleets, they will have a need for additional services you provide. It might be transporting equipment from one location to another or picking up new equipment when they make a purchase. Look hard at each customer and ask them what else you can do for them to solve their problems. You may tow landscaper equipment when it breaks down, but where does he store his equipment in the winter? There’s another use for your storage lot.

9. FRANCHISING The stories of entrepreneurs who have become both well-known and wealthy due to | Volume 2 • Issue 3 | Tow Professional



This should give you plenty to think about over the next few

Expanding into international markets can also be a powerful boost

weeks. I know these are things you don’t have experience with,

to your business’s bottom line. I

but that’s where I can help. Let my

know it might sound crazy, but I

company be a part of your company

know of towers that have buyers come to their location from other countries and buy their junk cars, or parts from their junk. Foreign buyers pay a lot of money for parts. I was talking to one of my salvage auction buyers, and he told me he ships doors and hoods and other parts to other countries because some countries don’t have access to things we think everyone has. Like franchising, this is a way of growing your busi-

“The key to successfully growing your business through diversification is easy. Look at your existing customers and see if there are other businesses that might have similar needs.”

ness that requires quite a commit-


ment of time and resources, but it can be extremely rewarding.

Tow Professional | Volume 2 • Issue 3 |

and take care of the business side of towing. I am now offering consulting services that can help you address some of these areas listed above. I am very affordable and I know I can help your company grow. My services will pay for itself. TOW

Go to to learn about the Obama Care health plan. | Volume 2 • Issue 3 | Tow Professional


B y We s W i l bu r n et’s face facts here…in the day and times we live in, there is a lot of hype (or drama) involved in every aspect of life. In my humble opinion, most of it is just that…hype. From reality TV to the 24-hour news cycle, almost everyone is willing and able to proclaim how important they are, or how important what they are doing is, and on and on. Well, I am here to tell you that training in the towing industry is not a godsend or the most important thing you can do to succeed in the towing business, but I do believe it is one of the things that can help. There are many factors to being successful, including a good business plan, understanding the needs of your marketplace, having proper and well-



maintained equipment, and a little luck, just to name a few. So, where does training fit in? Training in the towing business takes many forms, including professional seminar style, like we provide, along with many other originations; formal and informal sessions inside of companies and towing associations is another. Information exchange on Internet message boards, such as and many others, can be training sometimes, although one must be sure to be able to think for themselves and decipher tall tales from facts. I hate to be the one to bring this up, but on many towing-related Internet sites, sometimes there are some really incredible fishing

Tow Professional | Volume 2 Issue 3 |

stories of some very large fish being caught in heroic fashion. The only problem is that no one got a picture of that fish. Don’t get me wrong; I do believe message boards have greatly improved the communication between towing operators worldwide. I believe training is more of a mindset than an action. It is an ongoing process. It starts with the belief that you can never know it all about any one subject and also to be willing to listen to another viewpoint, another person’s life experience, and to hear the point whether you think it applies to you right this minute or not. Many times, I have talked with a towing operator who has told me about a recovery and what it took to

make it happen, and then found that information useful years later. Training is an ongoing process. Kind of like bathing, it needs to happen on a regular basis to be effective. Some operators learn everything they can in the first year or two of their careers and then get set in their ways of doing things and never change over a 30year career. They might believe they have 30 years of experience, but, in reality, they have 2 years of experience repeated 15 times over. This might work in a factory job where things do not change, but when the vehicles change every year and the towing equipment evolves into better and safer

methods, this can limit one’s safety and, ultimately, profitability. Here is a statement from Fred Scheler, President and CEO of Henry’s Wrecker Service, the nation’s largest privately owned towing company, with over 200 trucks servicing Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC: “Most owners in our industry look at training as an expense. When, in reality, it should be considered an investment into your company. It gives your employee a morale boost by showing them you believe in them and want them to be the best at their job. Most companies look at purchasing equipment as an investment and never

realize that the best investment one can make in their business is by training their employees.” One of the greatest athletes of all time once said, “If you have practiced a technique for years and it is incorrect, all you have accomplished is getting very good at performing an incorrect method.”Michael Jordan used this message when trying to teach allstar level teenagers correct methods for his sport, basketball. Could this apply to Towing & Recovery? I have heard the quote “can’t teach an old dog new tricks” many times. ”I am not going to change” is another quote I have heard, as well as, “I can see the method you are describing is better, but I am not going to take the time or effort to change. Why should I? What I have been doing has worked for all these years and look at how successful I am.” This is especially true of one lane up-righting, whether it be a tractor trailer or a car: “The police-DOT will shut the road down for me to do whatever I want.” Well, in my opinion, that is a very selfish | Volume 2 Issue 3 | Tow Professional


Training can be One Piece of the Profit Puzzle

mindset that is saying to YOUR COMMUNITY I could care less about exposing you and your loved ones to the chance of a secondary accident and your time has no value. Now, please do not misunderstand; there are many times the road needs to be shut down (like during the upright itself) but BILLIONS of dollars in fuel and time are lost because many towers REFUSE to adopt new methods that would allow some movement of traffic during the setup and rigging process. I have and always will believe during the actual upright itself no traffic should be flowing by the scene. If we were able (as an industry)


to help all Americans save fuel and time, the entire nation would be better off. Remember that the oil companies raise prices when there is more usage of their product. Am I suggesting we can change the world? No, I am not. Could we make a small impact? I say, yes, we can. Here is a quote from Steven Weil Sr., secretary and treasurer of Weil Wrecker Service, Alabama’s largest towing and recovery company: “It has been beneficial to teach new employees, as well as veteran operators, new and better methods of recovery and towing, including a respect for the limits of their equipment.” Removing all the money issues and just focusing on the chance of reducing secondary accidents caused by traffic congestion is a large factor for my beliefs. Here is a statistic to consider. In my home state of North Carolina, 69% of all fatalities in 2011 were the result of a secondary accident. Am I suggesting every one of those accidents would not

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have happened if a different recovery method was chosen? Heck no. Do I know in my heart that many peoples’ lives could have been affected in a positive manner if everyone, starting with Police-Fire-DOT-EMS and, yes, Towing, was more in-tune with the harsh effects of sitting traffic, and they need to be willing to step outside of their comfort zone and see the big picture. Now let me be clear the No. 1 rule of everything is still safety, so by no means am I suggesting we take any risk for personnel or equipment. I do understand that getting folks to stop texting while driving would have a much larger impact, but that is something we cannot control. We can help any accident we work by trying to be more efficient. Maybe one of the issues is that the art of one lane up righting is just that; it is an art that takes study, and practice. There use to be time to practice in the towing industry, which is no more. I attribute that to the motor clubs and insurance industry, which has strangled any real profit margin out this

business (which does not allow time for anything else than running calls) by their sometime less than ethical tactics, all done in the name of saving money, which they keep., Every motor club member would be appalled to learn the substandard rates which are paid to vendors. Here is a perspective from Steven Weil, Jr., a towing association training director: “The relationship between the Alabama Towing and Recovery Association has been very good for many reasons:” • He brings a nationwide perspective to our state. • The training seminars have allowed us a productive method to bring association benefits to members in all corners of our state. • We have gained new members from hosting these seminars, which allows towing operators to see firsthand what the association is all about. • It did not cost us any money; we have actually made money, which helped us fund our association and its activities. TOW Wes Wilburn is a towing consultant with 30 years experience in the towing industry, with the last 20 years devoted entirely to education as a full-time instructor. He is the founder of the American Towing and Recovery Institute. The institute was formed to promote safety, education, positive public relations and networking within the professional and business minded towing and recovery industry. The institute will provide and promote live hands on traditional towing and recovery, provide certification on different levels as requested by our members, develop and distribute a series of Public Service announcement promoting issues of common concern and providing cost benefits to our members on common items that they use along with many other benefits. He can be reached by phone 910-486-8928 or by email | Volume 2 Issue 3 | Tow Professional



OR KNOT? By Fr itz Dahlin

hen my kids were younger, one of their favorite TV shows was “Mythbusters.” I loved watching it, also. How cool to get to smash, crash, and blow stuff up! One of my jobs at B/A Products is testing. We do routine testing of our welded links. We test inbound material like chain, wire rope, and hooks. And, sometimes, we test to prove an idea or urban legend true or false. Several towers have asked me about twisting or knotting a web strap. “What will happen?” they ask. “I’ve heard it will break sooner,” they say. So, we decided to find out. Before you read any further, take a little test. It’s a true/false test, so don’t get nervous. Question one: Tying a knot in a web strap tie down will reduce its strength, true or false? Question two: Twisting a web strap will reduce its strength, true or false? Before the testing started, I set up my controls. The strap used for this testing was a 27’ cargo tie down with double J hooks in the ends, a 10,000 LB minimum break strength, and a 3300 LB Work Load Limit. It is easily adjustable



and has enough length if needed, and I have a history of testing for it. To get a control break (a break against which the tests would be compared), three assemblies were tested in a straight line configuration, and the average break was 10,833 LB. In two of the controls, the web failed at the ratchet winder, one failed when the hook opened. Length of assembly was 80 ” from hook to hook, and the ratchets were wound so between two and two and a half wraps of web were on the ratchet mandrel. All assemblies were pulled in our Crosby National CN-22 flatbed tester. I also need to throw in a disclaimer: All testing was done with new, unused assemblies in a controlled environment. Now that we have our baseline and disclaimer, let’s do some testing. Let’s look at the knot question first. Why would you tie a knot in a web tie down? I can think of three reasons, and there are probably more. First, the strap has broken or been cut and you need it to finish your job. Second, the strap is too long and you need to shorten it. Last, it may be unintentional. If you’re like me, when

Tow Professional | Volume 2 Issue 3 |

you’re done using the tie down, you toss it in the bed of your pickup or into your tool box, it gets tangled, and a knot forms. (Yes, this has actually happened to me.) I set up four tests with knots. In two, the web was severed and tied back together, and in two, an overhand knot was used to shorten the strap (this is the kind I end up with in my tangled strap). Three tests would be done for each configuration, and the results averaged. Up first, a single overhand knot to shorten the strap or simulate the result of a tangle. Average break was 3846 LB, all at the knot. High break was 4336 LB, less than half of the minimum break of our control sample. Test number two was two overhand knots. Average break was 3840 LB, and all broke at the knot. High break was 3880 LB, slightly over the Work Load Limit for the assembly. By the way, one knot shortened the strap 5 ”, two knots 10”. Next up is tying a strap back together. Two different knots were tested, a square knot (yes, I was a Boy Scout and know how to tie a proper square knot) and an overhand knot. Once again,

three samples of each were tested. The results were interesting. In all three tests of the square knot, the knot pulled out and would not hold. Maximum load seen was 4037 LB, but the average was 2773 LB, below the Work Load Limit. The failure for the overhand knot was also below the assemblies Work Load Limit, with an average of 2722 LB and a high of 2947 LB, but the failure was a break at the knot, after slipping. The overhand knot differed from the square knot in both the failure type and amount of slip-

ping. The square knot tightened and started slipping, and the load stayed near the maximum load. The overhand knot hit its maximum load, and then the load dropped to between 1800 and 1900 LB as it started slipping. One sample was pulled to the maximum stroke of the tester, then reset and pulled again for a total length of pull of 48 inches. In other words, it slipped a lot! While both knots generated heat while being pulled due to friction, the overhand was warmer, to the point that some of the fibers melted.

I think everyone will agree that the knot, regardless of which kind, reduced the webs strength. So, if you circled true on question one, you got it right. Let’s move on to the twist testing. To do this test, we twisted the long strap between the ratchet and the hook five revolutions, 10 revolutions, and 25 revolutions, 3 samples of each. The 5 turn test samples all broke above minimum, with an average of 10,614 LB. Failure of one sample was where the web enters the ratchet, and two samples the webbing shred- | Volume 2 Issue 3 | Tow Professional




ded where the hook is sewn on the long strap. The 10 turn sample failed the same way, one at the ratchet and two where the hook is sewn on, but the average dropped to 8667 LB, and none of the three pulls were over the 10,000 LB minimum Break Strength. The 25 turn samples all failed where the web enters the winder mechanism of the ratchet with an average of 7050 LB, with 288 LB separating the high and low break. One thing that popped up in the twist testing is that all the breaks at the ratchet (five of them) were remarkably similar. It looks like one edge failed first, the web then ripped diagonally across the web to the other edge. Take a look at the photos. In addition, as the twist count increased, the stretch decreased, and the sud-


denness of the break increased. So, what’s the verdict on twisting? While it could be argued that the strap that was twisted 5 times failed above the minimum break strength, the 10 and 25 twist samples did not. If you circled true on question two, you got it correct. I reviewed the Web Sling Tie Down Association’s Recommended Operating Practices for Synthetic Web Tie Downs. While they WSTDA does specify web tie downs should not be knotted, twisting is not addressed. My helper noted that to get 25 twists in an assembly, you’d really have to work at it, and I’d agree that even 10 would be tough. Also consider that we were doing straight line testing; the web was not in contact with any surfaces or corners. What effect would a square corner like on a sea container or box truck have on a twisted strap? Sounds like another test is in order. In looking at the test samples, it seems that

Tow Professional | Volume 2 Issue 3 |

failure occurred because the knot or twist concentrated the applied load to one edge or part of the web, and once the failure started, the remaining web was unable to support the load. Loads should always be applied evenly across the width of the web. While the photos show the results, I think the graphs show the results best. In the twist graph, the more twists, the greater the reduction in strength. In the knot graph, no strap came anywhere near the minimum break strength, and the majority either did not make it to the Work Load Limit or barely made it past the WLL. So, how did you score on the test? While I hope you got an A, that really was not the point. My intention was to show what will happen when twists or knots are introduced to web tie downs. Now that you know the results, twist or knot? No, thank you. TOW B/A Products Co. 8925 Mc Gaw Ct Columbia, MD 21045 410-381-1700


The Heart of the Jump Starter The battery is the most important contributor to jump starter performance. It impacts everything from the jump starter’s max 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. Our ES Series (Booster PAC) and Clore PROFORMER (JumpN-Carry) batteries are specifically developed to perform vehicle jump starting applications. They are designed to deliver exceptional power in a quick, concentrated burst. Numerous factors contribute to the power derived from the battery, including the number of lead plates contained, the physical composition of those lead plates, the specific construction of the battery cells, the purity of the electrolyte solution and more. In our case, we utilize a high quantity of thin lead plates to increase total lead plate surface area, which increases the power 34

Tow Professional | Volume 2 Issue 3 |

of the battery. In addition, our plates contain few impurities, which can sap power and accelerate depletion of the jump starter between charges. Our battery cell construction features enhanced structure to better flow the power through the battery to the vehicle. The electrolytic paste in our batteries is a high quality composition that enables more efficient recombination for better discharging (jump starting) and recharging. All of these enhancements serve a single purpose: deliver the power you need, even in extreme conditions, over and over again.

Follow the Power Path So, we’ve invested extensive research and development efforts into the battery itself, but that investment is diminished if we can’t get all of that energy to the vehicle. That’s where the Power Path components come into play. These consist primarily of the output cables and battery clamps. Output cables must be sufficiently conductive to deliver the battery’s energy without introducing excessive resistance, which would result in a voltage drop, diminishing the jump starter’s capacity to start the vehicle. The more powerful the battery, the greater the requirement on the output cables. Our output cables are specifically mated to the battery capacity of each jump starter

to ensure optimal results. They are extremely durable, flexible in cold temperatures and resistant to vehicle fluids and chemicals. Like the output cables, battery clamps must facilitate an efficient transfer of power from the jump starter to the vehicle. This comes down to two factors: their conductive capability and their ability to create a proper physical connection to the vehicle, be that a battery post (positive cable) or the vehicle chassis (negative cable). Our jump starters feature industrial grade clamps with high tension springs to penetrate battery corrosion. Many units feature our Hot Jaw™ clamps, which are wired on both sides of the clamp jaw, for maximum power transmission to the vehicle.

Recharge Convenience Another aspect of importance comes when it is time to recharge your jump starter. How can this be done? When should it be done? How easy is it to accomplish this task? All of these issues are related and can impact the longevity of your jump starter. Most Clore Automotive jump starters feature automatic charging, which allows the unit to be connected to an AC power source indefinitely, without concern for overcharging the battery. | Volume 2 Issue 3 | Tow Professional


Designed for Jump Starting It sounds redundant, but at Clore Automotive, our jump starters are designed for jump starting. There are competitive products around that perform more functions, whether through lights, USB connections, built-in radios or other ancillary features. Our focus is on repeatable, reliable, lasting power. Hundreds of discussions with professional technicians, tool dealers, counter staff and others have boiled down to one common theme: give me the power I need to get the job done! So, we have invested most in those aspects of the jump starter that support extreme power delivery, as noted above. When it absolutely has to start, you can rest assured that your Clore Automotive jump starter has what it takes to get the job done. TOW CLORE AUTOMOTIVE 800-328-2921


Tow Professional | Volume 2 Issue 3 |

company spotlight

Is Web-based Towing Software Right for You? Before you can answer that question, we first have to explore what web-based software really is. Web-based software refers to software you run over the Internet. With true web-based applications, you don’t install a CD on your computer and you don’t download any software. There are popular examples of web-based applications in most industries, including accounting, human resources, and financial planning, to name a few. People who manage their retirement accounts or online banking are using web-based software for important business and personal purposes. The growth in popularity of web-based software is driven by several factors:

Simplicity When you use web-based software, you can be up and running in just a few minutes. With no software to install and no hardware compatibility issues, the process is quick and simple. Another factor with web-based software is you don’t need a license for every computer. Plus, you never have to upgrade – with web-based software, you’re always running the latest version.

Accessibility Web-based software means you can use the system from anywhere you have Internet service. So, when a customer or insurance company requests information, you can get it even if you’re away from the office. There’s no such thing as leaving something on the wrong computer.

voice directly to a customer or updating towing records, putting that ability on the road with drivers is powerful. For a mobile application to be truly effective, the data must always be real-time and current. This can really only happen if you have web-based software powering your mobile application.

Safe, Secure, Reliable Most web-based applications are very dependable, safe, and reliable. Your data is backed up constantly on modern servers in a highly secure environment. Plus, reliable web-based software companies make it so you can export your data as needed.

Price Usually, there is little or no upfront cost with web-based software. Much like your mobile phone or Internet service, you have the system for a monthly fee. Many companies won’t even ask you to sign a contract; you’re free to leave with your data any time you aren’t happy. There are many things to consider when you add a new software tool to your business. Increasingly, web-based tools are becoming the standard, and the capabilities and benefits simply cannot be ignored. TOW

About Towbook Towbook Management Software is headquartered in Michigan and has provided web-based towing management software for over 5 years. Recent updates to Towbook include the addition of mobile apps for iPhone and Android, integration with Auto Data Direct and the introduction of a QuickBooks connector. Towbook takes great pride in having the industry’s best customer support service. Support is free and available 24/7/365 – even on holidays.

Mobile Apps 855-869-2665 (855-TOWBOOK)

The towing industry is a great example of where mobile applications can be very helpful. Real-time dispatch updates and the ability for drivers to do more on the road means less to do in the office and better customer service. Whether it’s sending an in-

No Setup Fees. No Contracts. No Worries. | Volume 2 Issue 3 | Tow Professional


S & J Manufacturing

S & J Manufacturing, Inc. is a manufacturer of towing & truck transportation accessories. We have been in business for 20 years. S & J is a family owned and operated company with over 60 years of experience in the industry. S & J Manufacturing was founded in Cuba, Missouri, in 1993 by Lonnie Smith after leaving a major manufacturer of similar products after 30 years. He started with a one-room, 2,500-squarefoot building and just one employee. After the first six months, he quickly realized that he had outgrown the space and needed to relocate. He purchased property in Cuba and built a 6,000quare-foot facility and has been there ever since. Over the next 15 years, we have added an additional 24,000 square feet of manufacturing space and 54,000 square feet of storage space.

Our facility has over 100 pieces of metal working equipment. We can produce small or large volumes and offer a wide variety of capabilities to meet your needs. S & J is a full line fabrication shop with press breaks, shears, saws, milling machines, punch presses and bar and rod bending. We also have the capabilities to provide mig welding, chain welding, plating, heat treating, CNC machining and tool and die making. We also have chain testing equipment to ensure a quality product. S & J is also a member of the Web Sling and Tie Down Association. We have several different sewing machines to produce Nylon and Poly webbing slings, bridles, wheel straps, tow straps and auto tie down straps. We also offer tow dolly straps, cargo control, ratchets, car carrier straps

LIL'HERCULES & HERC-A-MATIC WHEEL LIFTS In keeping with its ongoing tradition of commitment, superior products and support, DWS has released its new underbody line of wheel lifts. Offering the most advanced concept and design available today, the "LIL HERCULES" product line is the strongest, most durable light duty wheel lift built by anyone today, period! Available in both standard "L" arm wheel grid and self-loading style, you will find nothing stronger or more durable anywhere. Manufactured with grease-able, replaceable heavy bronze bushings on all pivot points and the massive two piece crossbar pivot pins, this is the strongest light duty wheel lift on the market. Its 3500lb extended capacity and 65" reach will outlast the competition, hands down! DWS has built a stronger and more versatile under lift using state-of-the-art CAD design software. Strength in all the critical areas but keeping the unit weight as light as possible. This gives you more lift capacity without sacrificing your trucks GVWR, saving you costly frame and spring repairs down the line. Standard features include 12 volt pump and valves with a 15' hand held control, adjustable mounting brackets for all types of pickups. The basic LIL HERCULES can be field 38

company spotlight and more. We produce thousands of chain assemblies each year and offer chain in several different grades, including G43, G70, G80, G100 & G120. We carry a wide range of accessories, as well, including, tie down hooks, shackles, snatch blocks, lever binders, winch binders and ratchet binders, not to mention special products for the Department of Transportation, utility companies and the coal mining industry. Here at S & J, we are always looking to give our customers the best service possible. Our goal is to provide a high-quality product at competitive prices in a quick and timely manner. We take pride in providing a safe and reliable product each and every time. We would like to thank our loyal customers and look forward to 20 more years of serving the towing and trucking industrial markets. TOW S & J Manufacturing, Inc. 203 Commerce Drive • Cuba, MO 65453 Phone: 573-885-4460 Fax: 573-885-3351

company spotlight our online catalog to our massive showroom, we're here to assist. If you need technical help, you can always feel free to call our service department. We have the know-how to get you the correct information to make your own repairs easier. Being one of the oldest and largest gives DWS an edge. Check out our website, give us a call, or stop on by. You'll be glad you did! TOW

retrofitted to the HERC-A-MATIC with ease! A massive two piece pivot pin gives more bearing surface and keeps the pivot plates from spreading apart. All designed to keep your equipment on the road making profit, not in the shop for repairs! The "LIL HURCULES" can be shipped to your facility or super-fast factory installation in DWS's manufacturing and customer service plant. Come in and visit our large showroom. See how we design, machine and manufacture all of the DWS product lines. For over 20 years, our LOW LOADER still has the lowest load angle of any flatbed sold in America today! For any and all of your towing equipment needs, call or email us. We stock one of the largest inventories of repair parts in the industry. From

Tow Professional | Volume 2 Issue 3 |

Detroit Wrecker 19630 Fitzpatrick Street • Detroit, MI 48228 (313) 835-8700 •

company spotlight

Heavy Duty Towing Equipment A new company has been founded to bring price relief to our industry. Heavy Duty Towing Equipment is that company. It is owned and managed by Tony Strehle, who owned and operated a towing company himself. It was this experience that led him to found Heavy Duty Towing Equipment. He was frustrated at ever-increasing prices and fewer purchasing options. So, he decided to do something about it. Heavy Duty Towing Equipment concentrates simply on heavy duty units including rotators. There are three integral boom/underlifts and three rotators. These units comprise 95% of all heavy duty towing needs out there. What's more...these are very well-built units carrying a warranty you can count on. And parts availability is excellent. This is extremely important. Heavy Duty Towing Equipment takes care of warranty quickly. The last thing they want is a disgruntled customer. All units are imported, but all imported units are not alike. Heavy Duty units conform to published SAE standards. Heavy Duty publishes all capacities and guarantees these capacities. That is because all metal qualities and tolerances are tested and certified by the manufacturer. Heavy

Duty units will do exactly what they are advertised to do. A popular tactic is to offer a bare bones unit of improper length as a price leader. Then it's easy to tack on a tunnel box or a tri-axle cut for several thousand dollars. All of Heavy Duty's units come custom cut to your specifications, including tri-axles if specified. They all come fully loaded with radio remotes and forks. They even come with LED light bars and switch panels with loudspeakers, work lights and bus lifts. Compare that to the standard equipment of the competition. And now for the best part. This equipment is offered at a fraction of the cost of the big boys. Each sale is handled as if it were the only sale. The warranty (if any) is a smooth process. The parts are prompt. So, all things being equal, why


pay more ? That's Heavy Duty Towing Equipment's stand. In the beginning of this industry, the aim was to provide a service that people were willing to pay for and to do so profitably. The skyrocketing cost of equipment has pushed the boundaries and made it increasingly difficult to make a profit. The goal is to return to profitability and restore balance to equipment prices. This equipment is supposed to make money. It is the backbone of our industry. The good people at Heavy Duty Towing Equipment are always ready to further discuss their equipment and its capacities. A simple look at their website,, or a call to 1-888-824-2002 can answer most questions. A quote is always a good idea. The prices will amaze you. TOW

company spotlight

AFTER-MARKET TOWING PRODUCTS When owners Kim and Charlie Jaques decided to enter the Towing and Car Hauling market, the transition has fit hand-in-glove. “Our original experience came in from the Heavy Lifting market, providing custom fabricated slings, chains, wire ropes and nylon straps to markets like mining, logging, commercial fishing, construction, manufacturing, drilling, agriculture and many other industries. We found that many of the products we were already fabricating and selling were used in the Towing market, so we thought it was a perfect fit,” said Charlie. Many of the high-profile jobs that they have worked on include providing materials to the new World Trade Center, the scaffolding of both the Washington Monument and the George Washington Bridge (NYC), 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina cleanup efforts, the Quecreek Mine Rescue, Sales to Disney and the Big Three Auto companies, rigging materials to the Marcellus Shale drilling companies and much, much more. Since those days, RUGGEDTOW.COM has blossomed into a company with four locations

in Pennsylvania, 40 employees, and a combined 50,000 square feet of manufacturing and warehousing space. RUGGEDTOW.COM offers the towing industry’s easiest-to-use website, using a picture-based approach. “All of our prices listed have the freight included.” stated Kim. “We sew our own tow dolly and over the wheel tie down systems. We sew our own axle straps and tie down straps. We stock every V-Bridle known to man, whether its chain or nylon. We splice and press our own winchlines and wire rope assemblies. On top of that, we keep the various hardware like shackles, ratchet handles, load binders, hooks, etc, to complete the line.” If you are in the market for after-market tie

down, recovery strap or chain, V-Chain, winch cable or related products, RUGGEDTOW.COM is a great place to find top quality, fast shipping, and great prices. TOW RUGGEDTOW.COM Tel: 724-586-2900 Fax: 724-586-2200 Toll Free: 888-244-3290 | Volume 2 Issue 3 | Tow Professional



Professional Your Resource for Towing & Recovery


LIL'HERCULES & HERC-A-MATIC WHEEL LIFTS Manufactured with grease able, replaceable heavy bronze bushings on all pivot points and the massive two piece crossbar pivot pins, this is the strongest light duty wheel lift on the market. Has a 3500lb extended capacity and 65" reach. • Available in both standard "L" arm wheel grid and self-loading style • Standard features include 12volt pump and valves with a 15' hand held control, adjustable mounting brackets for all types of pick ups. • A massive two piece pivot pin gives more bearing surface and keeps the pivot plates from spreading apart. Check out our website, give us a call or stop on bye. You'll be glad you did! 19630 Fitzpatrick Street Detroit, MI 48228 (313) 835-8700

Hanscom K Hanscom K has been in business since 1992. We manufacture mobile camera solutions mainly for the Tow/Repo, Emergency, and Refuse Industries. However, our roots started from working with the Tow Industry. We were able to build our business and brand from working with individual tow truck drivers, then expanding to dealers and manufacturers. We've customized anything from your average back up camera system to a rearview mirror back up camera system with GPS navigation integrating a DVR recording system with up to 4 cameras inside and out. What separates Hanscom K from other companies is that our team develops personal relationships with each customer to ensure satisfaction and quality. We listen to our customers on suggestions to improve and enhance our products and then integrate these ideas into our products. We offer the widest range of mobile solutions on the market, with a variety of LED/LCD monitor choices, cameras, mobile recording devices, and GPS products. All of our products come with a standard 2-year warranty, which shows how confident we are in our products to withstand day all conditions. We guarantee that we will provide our customers the best and most competitive pricing on the market. Our mission is to satisfy clients with supplying high-quality products, unmatched service, and fast delivery to meet everyday needs. Hanscom K • (847)756-4808 •


Tow Professional | Volume 2 • Issue 3 |

PSHV10000 Our 10,000 lb. hydraulic planetary winch has a new design offering superior features including 100% braking, SAE J706 rating, and line pull of 46 fpm. Pull with 100 feet of 3/8” cable at a rate of 15.9 gpm. This workhorse winch mounts easily with a 4.5” x 10” mounting pattern. Tell us what you think of our improved winch by posting your comments at Pierce Arrow Inc. dba Pierce Sales 549 U.S. HWY 287 S. Henrietta, Texas 76365 800-658-6301 toll free


TXI Systems, Inc. TXI Systems, Inc., dba towXchange, a leading provider of software solutions for the towing industry, has announced the launch of new updates to its TOPS Business Analyzer. TOPS Business Analyzer is a metrics portal allowing business owners, who utilize TOPS for the management of their towing operation or impound lot, to view live statistics associated with their daily operation. This tool also offers the ability for users to view summary data over daily and monthly time periods. “TXI Systems is pleased to announce the new updates to TOPS Business Analyzer,” said Jeff Pesnell, COO of TXI Systems. “Having business metrics available is essential for today’s business owners and managers.” TOPS Business Analyzer offers live metrics, which include Total Daily Call Counts, Hourly Call Counts, Calls Taken by Call Taker, Calls Taken by Tow Type, Calls Taken by Customer Type, and Total Calls Released Today. This information is presented in table format and with chart diagrams. In addition, TOPS Business Analyzer offers daily and monthly statistics. A daily rollup offers detailed totals for the prior day, month-to-date totals, and 30 day average totals. Mike Bartolotti with Lincoln Towing Enterprises in Washington has managed his business using TOPS systems for 10 years and said, “TOPS Business Analyzer is the perfect tool for reviewing the current state of our business. This tool offers live stats and point in time snapshots for prior days. It’s easy to spot trends using this comprehensive tool.” The TOPS Business Analyzer works in conjunction with the TOPS towing operations software. TOPS is a web-enabled software system designed to help municipalities and towing companies better manage their business. Users can access the system from any web-enabled computer. The software supports call taking, dispatching, driver communications, record keeping, tow ticket management, inventory management, lien processing, auction management, and business reporting. To learn more about TOPS and TOPS Business Analyzer, visit | Volume 2 • Issue 3 | Tow Professional



Professional Your Resource for Towing & Recovery


New Product Introduction From B/A Products

4 Hook Cluster with Chain Part # 11-74C Great for added reach when you need it. There are multiple ways to connect chains to the cluster. Has full assortment of

Spreader Bar Vehicle Lifting Straps from B/A Products The quickest and safest way to lift a vehicle. This kit of 4 straps, Part# 38LL8450KIT, was created by B/A Products Co. (with distributor and user input) to help you professionally lift a vehicle up to 13,320 lbs. carefully and securely from an accident scene using a spreader bar. There are multiple ways to attach to the casualty using terminal connections. The straps have 36” of 1/4” grade 80 chain on one end to pass through the small holes of import vehicles and connect back to our Exclusive Twist Lock™ Grab Hook. Each strap has 4 loops to quickly adjust length for varying weights and is rated for a WLL of 3,300 lbs. On the other end, you can purchase a round sling kit Part# 38-LLRK, (4) 4’ Green Round Slings, (4) Cordura Sleeves, and (4) Round Sling Hooks, to pass through rims of larger vehicles creating a terminal connection.

hooks for any situation.

QuickCable Rescue 1800 Portable Jump-Start Pack

AW Direct offers the Rescue 1800, portable power pack from Quick Cable that’s built for use by tow truck, roadside assistance and rescue vehicle operators. It jumpstarts all vehicles that operate on a 12-volt electrical system. It features two heavy-duty internal 20 amp-hour batteries, long 62-inch cables and a built-in work light with flasher, plus a 12 VDC power source outlet for powering cell phones, tools and more during emergencies. For more information, call AW Direct at 1-800-243-3194 or visit


Tow Professional | Volume 2 • Issue 3 |

WreckMaster Library Package AW Direct offers the Wreckmaster Library Package, featuring training DVDs, books and testing materials for becoming a Wreckmaster certified towing operator. Training is clear and effective with the Car Carrier and Light Duty Recovery DVDs, plus a Winching computer program and Special Interests and World of Recovery books. Testing materials include two Level 2/3 and one Level 4/5 towing & recovery tests, all in a convenient storage case. For more information, call AW Direct at 1-800-2433194 or visit



Tow Professional | Volume 2 • Issue 3 |

DealerPlace | Volume 2 • Issue 3 | Tow Professional




Tow Professional | Volume 2 • Issue 3 |

MarketPlace | Volume 2 • Issue 3 | Tow Professional



Professional Your Resource for Towing & Recovery



Agero . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Alexander Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32 American Safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 AmeriDeck . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 Associated Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Atlanta Wrecker Sales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 Austin Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36 AW Direct . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28 B/A Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19, 46 Beacon Software . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 Bowers Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48 Collins Dollies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 Custer Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28 CW Mill Equipment Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32 Dacotah Walsh Tire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 Dan Messina . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 Dangelo's Custom Built Mfg, LLC . . . . . . .16 Detroit Wrecker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Direct Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 Dual Tech . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45 Dynamic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .IBC ECM Performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27



Flash Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Fleet Sales West . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 Florida Wrecker Sales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 Ford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .IFC, 1 Hal Kresser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 Hanscom K . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 Heartland Truck Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . .36 Heavy Duty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 IAA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 Industrial Netting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 International Towing & Recovery Museum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12, 13 KBK Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 Lift and Tow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Lodar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 Marking Pen Depot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 Mfr. Express . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Midwest Regional Tow Show . . . . . . . . . . .33 NABancard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 National Traffic Signs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48 Nussbaum Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 Olsen & Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47



Pierce Sales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 Pillow Protection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 Progressive Platforms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .BC Ratler . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 Recovery Billing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29 ROI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 Rugged Tow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 RV Wheel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 S&J Metal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 Saftlite (General Mfg) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 Specialty Vehicle & Equipment Funding . . . .5 Steck . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29 Tiger Tool . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21 ToolTopia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 Tow Connections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 TowBook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Towmate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Twin State Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43 VTS Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 Weiss Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48 Zacklift . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46



. .M . . .a . . .r. . k . . . e. . .t. .P. . .l. .a . . .c. . e ................................


Tow Professional | Volume 2 • Issue 3 |

Tow Professional  
Tow Professional  

Vol.2 Issue 3, 2013 Your Resource for Towing and Recovery