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Volume 3 • Issue 8 2014

Motor Clubs

34 |


28 | The Winter Season is Coming—Are You Ready? Motor Clubs

36 | URGENT.LY : We’re not your traditional, profit-squeezing road club.

Service Trucks

48 | Front End Collision Protection


40 |

Diversify with Mobile Service and Increase Your Bottom Line

I n du stry NEWS

6 |Jerr-Dan 8 |In The Ditch™ Towing Products 8 |Powerbilt Wreckers 10 |Larson Electronics 12 |What Can Be Done? Tracker Management 14 |BA Products Co. 14 |Worldwide Equipment Sales 16 |Triple K True Tilt 5th Wheel Quick-Tach 18 |Dangelo’s Custom Built 20|Fueling Success for Over 30 Years 21 |Purchasing Tips for Synthetic Tow Truck Winch Lines Fuel 4 thought

22| Picture, Prayerize, Materialize

Service Trucks

42 |

Hooked Up

52| TowMate App 52| TowMate Power-Link 53| Eye3Data 53| Next Generation Tool Co. 54| Virgo Fleet Supplies, Inc. 55| AW Direct

55| AW Direct 56| TRU-Balance 57| BA Products 58| Mobile Lifts, Inc. 58| Crash Film 59| Snappy Box

24|Reacting to Problems


32| Wall of the Fallen / Hall of Fame

4 | Publisher Letter 59| Dealers Place


Tow Professional | Volume 3 Issue 8 |

Then Along Came Poly!

61 | Market Place 64| Ad Index




Professional Your Resource for Towing & Recovery

Volume 3 • Issue 8 2014


Darian Weaver President & Publisher

Tim Smith V.P. Sales

Steve Goodwin Sales Manager

s this Issue of Tow Professional hits your desk, summer is but a memory and fall is upon us. Trade show season is almost over, with great shows just wrapping up. We attended the Wall of the Fallen Ceremony, the Tennessee Tow show, Ohio, and the Western States show in the last 4 weeks.


It was a great time seeing our readers and vendors who we do business with and talking about what is in store for the future. The Tow Professional staff will be at BA Products’ open house distributing the magazine for our readers and out and about the great city of Baltimore for the upcoming show. We are already excited about what is to come at the PWOF show next year in Orlando.

Kattie Spence Graphic Designer


PRODUCTION Clint W. Cabiness Art Director

Jill Hasty Managing Editor __________________________

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS This issue brings you information on Service Trucks, Motor Clubs, DJ Harrington’s Fuel for Thought, and, as always, Dan Messina’s Insightful Talk. We hope you enjoy, and we look forward to bringing more great information to help your business be the best it can be!

Thanks! Darian Weaver

Terri Dougherty Paul Ederer D.J. Harrington Dan Messina

Executive and Advertising Offices 2007 Old Montgomery Hwy, Suite B Birmingham, AL 35244 Toll free: 888-802-8544 Fax: 205-978-1550

Darian Weaver and Jack Hartsfield Co-Publishers

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 3 Issue 8 |


Jerr-Dan The MPL-NGS Wrecker


IT’S A STEEL WITH MORE FEATURES THAN ANY TRUCK IN ITS CLASS MPL-NGS VERSATILITY Whether you’re towing low-clearance sports cars or motorcycles, the MPL-NGS’s customizable wheel lift packages let you take on more jobs, faster. MPL-NGS EFFICIENCY With its 90 rotating cross bar and standard adjustable Level Stop Assist SystemN, the MPL-NGS gets you into the perfect position quickly and allows you to tackle tough picks. MPL-NGS DURABILITY A steel diamond plate painted deck is built for a rugged, long working life and combined with Jerr-Dan’s exclusive No-LubeTM technology reduces maintenance, saving time and money. FEATURES • Steel body • Steel diamond deck • Low-maintenance No-LubeTM technology • Steel pylon • LED DOT lighting • Remote underlift and winch controls • Winch includes manual free spool and tensioner • Adjustable underlift Level Stop Assist SystemI • Back-up alarm • Multiple grid options: - Manual / fixed L-arms - Hydraulic self-loader (including the patented LOCKLINKI over-center locking mechanism) - Manual / pivoting L-arms

CHASSIS • Minimum RBM (Resisting Bending Moment) - 460,000 in.-lbs. (230,000 in.-lbs. per frame rail) • Minimum Usable CA (Cab to Axle centerline) - 60” • Minimum GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) - 11,000 lbs. • Maximum unloaded frame height - 36” • Minimum frame length behind the center of rear axle - 36” ACCESSORIES • Aluminium 24” tunnel toolbox (84” CA required) • Fifth wheel & gooseneck trailer adapters • Motorcycle towing adapter (hydraulic grid only) • Tow sling • Headboard work lights • Fold-down light bar • Tow dollies & storage brackets • Body stone guards • D-rings • Tow lights • Rubber wheel chocks • Fire extinguisher • Safety triangle kit • LED emergency lighting • Wireless remote control CAPACITIES • Underlift - 4,000 lbs. fully extended • Winch - 8,000 lbs. - 3/8” x 75’ wire rope (single worm) DRIVE A HARD BARGAIN The MPL-NGS wrecker from Jerr-DanN has exactly what you need to do your job quicker and more efficiently, including an unbeatable price. It’s designed to help you get in and out quicker, and features the revolutionary Level StopN Assist System, the same technology found on Jerr- Dan’s top of the line models. And its Negative Tilt Underlift feature is perfect for securing vehicles in parking ramps. Best of all, it’s a Jerr-Dan—so it’s built better than any truck in its class to help you get in and out, day in and day out. For more information, visit


Tow Professional | Volume 3 • Issue 8 |

I n du stry NEWS



In The Ditch™ Towing Products releases Car Carrier Dolly Mount to mount tow dollies to car carrier


In The Ditch Towing Products has released the all new ITD1347 Car Carrier Dolly Mount. This hybrid mount, made from steel and aluminum, stores the SpeedI Dolly on a car carrier at an easy-toremove and replace angle. Having a SpeedI Dolly Set on a car carrier provides more adaptability and preparedness for any type of recovery, or multiple recoveries that might arise. The SpeedI Dolly slides into the Car Carrier Dolly Mount for easy storage. The mount features an integrated locking system that can be padlocked. The Car Carrier Dolly Mount can be adjusted to fit all 4:80 x 8 tires. “Many of our customers have been asking for us to design a way to store dollies on a car carrier,” says Chuck Ceccarelli, president of In The Ditch Towing Products. “We

answered the call with the new Car Carrier Dolly Mount.” In The Ditch Towing Products brings products to the towing and recovery industry that are innovative and allow towing professionals to work efficiently and effectively. To learn more about the Car Carrier Dolly Mount, part number ITD1347, visit or call any In The Ditch authorized distributor.

In The Ditch Towing Products is the manufacturer of American-made, quality towing equipment, organizational products and truck and shop accessories. For more information on In The Ditch and the Car Carrier Dolly Mount, please visit or find In The Ditch Towing Products on Facebook.

........................................................... Powerbilt Wreckers >>> Powerbilt Wreckers, located in the heart of Missouri, is nationally known for its quality in customized wreckers. Powerbilt owes its success largely to being owned and operated by individuals who know and understand the needs of the towing and recovery industry. With more than 30 years of experience and service in the field, Powerbilt Wreckers understands the needs of today's highstress demands for durable, dependable and safe equipment in the rapid recovery arena. Built with you in mind, our standard options will outlast and out perform any of our competitor’s vehicles. Built in the "show me" state, we are no strangers to the phrase. No matter your needs, we aim to please and build to suit. We also have a large selection of used wreckers to choose from. Nationally recognized in 2009 as the winner of the Show 'n Shine award, Powerbilt Wreckers promises to deliver quality, dependability, safety and eye-catching appeal. Years of experience in the industry have led to quality design and, most of all, safety integrated into every build. Contact a Powerbilt Wrecker representative today for your top-of-the-line, professional, customized wrecker. (800) 660-7312 8

Tow Professional | Volume 3 • Issue 8 |

............................................... >>>


Larson Electronics

truded aluminum with polycarbonate

lenses for ultimate durability. This unit can run for up to 10 hours on a single full charge of its onboard batteries. An included AC charger (wall charger) allows operators to easily recharge the battery from normal wall outlets. This unit also accepts low voltage input from vehicles and other battery packs to power Larson Electronics’ LED10W-1X4LT is a fully portable and

the light or recharge the battery. There are

rechargeable light tower that produces a wide flood of light.

no loose parts, and all connections are al-

Operators can easily transport this 35lb unit with a convenient

ready secured with no need for additional

built-in carrying handle and set it up as temporary scene lighting.

wiring. Larson Electronics can customize

The telescoping aluminum mast can be adjusted to 8 feet in

this light to fit the customer’s specific

height for optimal illumination and will withstand high winds. Ad-


ditional tower stability is provided by collapsible polyethylene

Please give us a call at (800)

legs that provide a 30-inch support base when deployed. The

369-6671 or send us an email

four 10 watt LED light heads produce a total of 3,200 lumens

to discuss any special requirements. For more lighting op-

covering an area 150 feet long by 150 feet wide. These lights

tions and information, browse our collection of products

are IP68 rated waterproof to three meters and constructed of ex-




Tow Professional | Volume 3 • Issue 8 |

............................................... What Can Be Done? >>>


The biggest problem is _________ . The most stress is caused by________ . The largest waste in a tow business is__________. We know owners and managers are looking at how to improve their businesses, how to answer these questions. While all tow companies have these issues, some will live with them and some are going to fix them. Tracker Management Systems, Inc. has spent over 28 years researching what the issues within a tow operation are and what

the best solutions are. We have helped thousands of owners, managers and employees run a smoother, more efficient and ultimately more profitable business. One of our major focuses for the last two years has been to fine tune our Tracker Mobile application. Based on feedback and a clear understanding of ways to solve the issues a tow company - your tow company - has, we have developed superior solutions. A direct quote from one of our customer’s dispatchers is, "It [Tracker Mobile] really shortens the amount of time it takes to dispatch to our drivers, saving us radio time, which, in turns, saves us money." And a quote from a driver, “TrackerMobile has simplified every aspect of communication between dispatch and operator. My job is more efficient, and unnecessary radio traffic asking questions about my next call have become a thing of the past. Everything is right at my fingertips.” So, if you want to solve the big problems in your business, then you really owe it to yourself to look at and talk with the folks that just might be able to help you. Call Tracker Management at 800-445-2438 or visit



Tow Professional | Volume 3 • Issue 8 |


BA Products 2014 OPEN HOUSE

............................................... Worldwide Equipment Sales >>> >>>

B/A Products Co. will hold its 8th Annual Open House on Friday, November 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Shuttle transportation will be provided to and from the American Towman Exposition in Baltimore. Come see how we “Make It & Break It.” There will be live product demonstrations, along with factory tours and destructive testing demonstrations throughout the day. Food, drinks, giveaways and good times await you! All are welcome, and we hope to see you there.

Winter is coming, and we all know that means JUMP START SEASON. Worldwide Equipment Sales knows your pain, and we have a powerful yet small answer to avoid lugging around that huge jump pack or dragging out those tangled cables just to add that extra boost your customer’s car needs to fire up. The POCKET JUMP STARTER is a super small yet powerful booster pack with 200 cold cranking amps, a USB port to charge your phone or computer on the road, along with a supplied cable with multiple ends to fit most uses. It also includes a short jumper cable set to help start vehicles, utv, snow machines, etc. The POCKET JUMP STARTER will fit in you glove box and it Lithium-ion battery technology will hold a charge for a very long time and includes a nice flashlight feature to make this an all-in-one answer to nighttime jump starts. Worldwide Equipment Sales encourages you to check these items out as a major time and space saver. Visit or call 815-725-4400 for the POCKET JUMP PACK and thousands of other parts and accessories.



Tow Professional | Volume 3 • Issue 8 |

I n du stry NEWS



Triple K True Tilt 5th Wheel Quick-Tach

>>> The True Tilt 5th Wheel Quick-Tach is a heavy duty under lift that has the most extension, most retraction, more lift and the most lifting capacity of any lift on the market. It has a lift rating of 45,000 pounds retracted and 24,000 fully extended. It has a clear extension of 140” to the center of the axle forks and nearly 160” to the center of the Heavy Duty Wheel forks when used. The unit will tilt the full rated load in the given positions. The hydraulic hoses are all “hidden” in the unit, encased in a nylon tracking chain to keep them in place free from wear and tear. Our crossbar is made of a one piece solid steel casting made of 100,000 pound steel. The tongue it rotates in is also one piece cast steel (100,000 pound steel). We have standard wireless radio built into the unit. The radio is a standard feature with a 6 function controller, which will control the lift for up-down; in-out; and tilt up-tilt down operation. Our unit pricing includes either an electric/hydraulic pump or a valve pac to tie into your truck’s PTO pump; the 6 function wireless radio control plus a 25’ hard wired remote control; 4 sets of axle frame forks; the parking stands; and all necessary hardware to mount to a road tractor. 800-624-2892


Tow Professional | Volume 3 • Issue 8 |

I n du stry NEWS



Dangelo’s Custom Built Mfg.


Dangelo’s Custom Built Mfg. LLC. came to be in the year 2006 after 30 years in the Towing industry and 35 in the Auto Body Industry as Dangelo’s Auto Body and Repairs, which was started in 1978. At Dangelo’s Custom Built Mfg. LLC., it has always been about three things: 1} The Customer, 2} The Customer, 3} The Customer. And that has carried over into the Heavy Duty Towing Vehicles we manufacture now here in Kane, Pennsylvania, USA with the care and pride that only the small-town attitude brings to the table, that being teamwork and the very BEST our trucks can be all of the time. Quality is No. 1 at Dangelo’s Custom Built Mfg. LLC., using Quality American Made Steel, Aluminum, Fasteners, Hydraulics, Cables, Winches, Lights, Rings and Pinions for our Rotators, and as many accessories whenever possible. Custom Built means just that. Handcrafted and hand-fit for precise long-life operation. From metal forming, welding to assembly, our technicians have eyes on every step of the manufacturing process. Even owner Derek Dangelo has

personal supervision at every step of the manufacturing process. Derek is a hands-on owner and takes ownership of every piece and part manufactured here at Custom Built Mfg. LLC., as we manufacture our Booms, Sub Frames, Boxes and All related parts here in Kane, PA, USA and job nothing out, including Paint to Order. The customer gets what he needs and wants every time with the longtime experience of Derek in this business from his ground-up knowledge being in the towing business and the knowledge of a Master Body Technician and Business Owner and all that it takes to manufacture most anything automotive or heavy trucking related. The customer is provided a unit based upon the customer’s needs and wants every time…period. 800-540-5151



Tow Professional | Volume 3 • Issue 8 |

............................................... Fueling Success for Over 30 Years >>> I n du stry NEWS TOWING & RECOVERY

By Jason Starr

Automated Fuels is a small business, just like most of the towing companies across the United States. What separates Automated Fuels from the rest of the Fleet Fueling Industry are consultation and customization. There are many large fleet fuel cards available in the marketplace today, such as WEX and Comdata. These giants may offer some level of convenience, but card fees and transaction fees can add up and increase your Total Costs of Fueling! Automated Fuels has been servicing customers in the towing industry for a number of years, but recently has seen a great increase in the number of companies in the industry it is serving. Automated Fuels has towing industry customers from Pennsylvania to Illinois, and south to Alabama and Georgia. With over 1,250 locations in the Pacific Pride fuel network, Automated Fuels can help you almost anywhere in the United States. Many owner/operators in the towing industry are still using cash or credit cards for their fueling needs. There is a better way, and Automated Fuels can show you how!

Consultation Automated Fuels, Fleet Fuel Consultants will work with you to see what options are best for your company. They want to get to know you. Every business has unique needs, even if they are similar businesses. What works well for Joe’s Towing Service might not work for Steve’s Wrecker Company. Automated Fuels wants to learn about your business. Once we understand the needs of your business when it comes to fueling, we can customize a system that best meets those needs. We are not going to fit your unique needs into a standard box like some fleet fuel companies; we want to build a box that fit your needs perfectly!


Comprehensive Fuel Management Reports that include the following:

• Track Purchases by Vehicle and/or Person • Track MPG (Miles Per Gallon) for Each Vehicle • Complete Tax Summary on Every Report • No More Sorting Receipts • No More Data Entry • No More Credit Card Billing Statement to Convert Here is what a few of Automated Fuels customers are saying about them. “Automated Fuels has helped us save money on our fuel cost. We have a couple of tanks on site, but their program works so well for our company, we purchase our fuel at Pacific Pride.” Mike – Indiana “I was sending my drivers with cash each day before I started working with Automated Fuels. Looking back, it was a nightmare with all of those receipts and creating reports. Automated Fuels has helped me manage my fuel costs and save me a lot of headache with their weekly fuel management reports.” Jeff – Pennsylvania “When I branched out and started my own company, I knew from my past experience with another towing company that Automated Fuels – Pacific Pride would work for me. Their customer service has been top notch!” Paul – Indiana “We were using one of the large fuel card companies for our fuel purchases. After working with our Fleet Fuel Consultant at Automated Fuels, we have been able to save time and money because they customized a fuel program specifically for our needs.” Dan – Tennessee Automated Fuels works with companies in many industries, but they understand some of the challenges you face in the towing industry. Let their 30 years in the fleet fueling industry help your business save time and money!

• Flexible Billing Options • Restrict Fuel by Type (i.e., Diesel or Gasoline; why would a diesel wrecker operator need to buy unleaded fuel?)

• Restrict Fuel Purchases by Time (If your company only operates from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m., why should anyone be allowed to get fuel when they should not be operating?)

• Restrict Fuel by Day (If your business doesn’t operate on Sunday, then your fuel cards should not access fuel on those days!)

• Restrict Fuel by Transaction (If the truck has an 80 gallon diesel tank, why would they need to get more than 80 gallons per transaction?)

• Eliminate Non Fuel Purchases (Credit Cards can be used anywhere; Automated Fuels cards can only be used an accepting network fuel locations.)

• Save Administrative Time 20

Tow Professional | Volume 3 • Issue 8 |

Automated Fuels 800-288-6383 |

................................................................. Yale Cordage >>> Purchasing Tips for Synthetic Tow Truck Winch Lines On tow trucks all over, high-performance synthetic winch lines are rapidly replacing their wire counterparts. It’s a change driven by efficiency and safety. Synthetics are lighter, easier to handle, and just as strong or stronger than the same diameter steel wire rope; yet if they do fray or part, they typically do not pose the same threat wire does of injury from razor-sharp kinks or violent snap-backs. If last year’s harsh polar vortex gave your wire winch line a beating, or worse, made it a safety hazard, you may want to check out your synthetic options. When you do, be sure to visit to find a local certified distributor. They’ll help you determine the right synthetic fiber for

your workload, budget, and climate. Environmental conditions and the primary weight, volume, and frequency of use largely determine the ideal fiber. Choose the best construction for your working environment. Rain, freezing temperatures, sand, wind, heat, and sun exposure all play in to the type of braid you need. Align the strength of your rope with the capacity of your rig, typically five or more times the rated capacity of your rig. Analyze your work practices to deter-

mine energy absorption needs, ascertained by studying a stress-strain curve of load vs. elongation. Understand the splicing requirements of your lines. Many of the newer synthetics have proprietary splicing techniques. Keep up-to-date on usage techniques to keep you safe out on the road. Most distributors offer ongoing training and technical support. Take them up on it. (207) 282-3396

........................................................... | Volume 3 • Issue 8 | Tow Professional


Fuel 4 thought By D.J. Harrington, CSP

PICTURE, PRAYERIZE, MATERIALIZE Consider this phrase: “Picturize, Prayerize, Materialize.” Sometimes what you see and hope to get will materialize.It will happen and won’t be just a dream. The phrase “Picturize, Prayerize, Materialize” reminds me of something that I really wanted years ago. At the time, I was speaking at a convention in Myrtle Beach, North Carolina. The resort was located on a picturesque piece of property. Since I had the afternoon off, my daughter and I rented bikes and started our leisurely fatherdaughter ride. We talked about life, boys, and cheerleading. As we rode that sunny afternoon, I noticed a beautiful, white, four-door Lincoln with a dark blue canvas roof. It was awesome! I asked Erin for the camera and walked as close as I could to take a picture or two of the car. To our surprise, the owner came out of his


very large estate to remind me I was standing on private property. My daughter loved it! Dad was being reprimanded by an adult! Quickly, my feet started moving, and we were back on the bike trail. That night at dinner, my daughter couldn’t wait to give her mother an update. You’re probably wondering what I did with the picture that got me into trouble. That picture became a permanent addition to my bathroom mirror and my desktop. Several times a day, I looked at that picture. Six months passed. Then one day, we visited a local Lincoln Mercury store. The general manager said, “Remember that car you wanted and were dreaming of? You’re not going to believe this, but a retiring judge just traded in that exact car last night so he could buy his wife a smaller car.” My daughter was in shock. She said,

Tow Professional | Volume 3 • Issue 8 |

“Whatever you think about comes about, right, dad?” She was reminding me of what she had heard me repeat many times. Learn to Picturize, Prayerize, and it will Materialize. I have been a sales trainer since I had brown hair and had hair. One day, I was in Atlanta, Georgia, calling on the World Headquarters of Coca Cola. This day, we had an appointment with the head person of purchasing for Coke—Worldwide. The sales person accompanying me on this trip asked me what he should do before calling on an account. I told him if it’s a large account like Coke or a small account where the husband & wife run the’s all the same.

My strategy and preparation are simple. I first picture the buyer as a nice person and that they like me. They trust my company or firm and then I see the buyer in my mind, signing a very large purchase order. And then, guess what happened? He did just that. It was one of the largest purchase orders that we ever had. The buyer was a nice person. It was the sales call made in Heaven, or should I say made first in my mind. People from other walks of life share similar thinking. Many famous golfers say that they first see the ball spin into the hole way before they pull their putter back and do their slow and even strike onto the ball. It’s called Picturize, Prayerize, Materialize. Visualization and expectation is when you expect things that you want and try not to expect the things that you don’t want. Here’s another Picturize, Prayerize, Materialize event. When we purchased a very nice home in the Atlanta, Georgia area, the basement was not finished. The development was really located in a “fake it, till you make it” neighborhood where most of us bought more home than we really needed at the time. Most of us certainly had no way to fill it with furniture. When we moved into the neighborhood, my daughter Erin was only 8 years old. In one corner of the unfinished basement, I put up a wall and made it into a make-shift workshop. Erin had two little friends she was showing the house. They didn’t know I was behind the wall, but I could hear every world they said. My daughter began to mimic me! Not always good! But I listened. Erin continued with, “Now here will be the movie theatre. Over here and there will be the ice cream bar, and this will be where the pool table will go”. She told one of her friends to step back because she was now standing where the jukebox was going to be. And, yes, there will be a dance floor. Now, my daughter is all grown-up. And just as she told her friends that day, the basement is furnished as she described it. There is a movie theatre with real movie seats, a dance floor with black and white tile, a pool table, and an ice cream soda fountain. The only difference is that we did not get an old jukebox. We installed a 1973 Ford Thunderbird jukebox. A rare find! And it makes for a great sounding jukebox. Picturize, Prayerize, Materialize!!!

My wish to all of you is to learn to picturize. Picture in your mind, first the car, the home, business or career that you want. Then pray, think or meditate on it. And then get ready for what materializes. In the words of my dad, “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, he will achieve!” By adapting these three words, Picturize, Prayerize, Materialize, you, too, will be on the right track for what you want. Until next time. TOW

D.J. Harrington is an author, journalist, seminar leader, international trainer, and marketing consultant. He works primarily with customer service personnel, and his clients include such world-class companies as General Motors, DuPont, Caterpillar, and Damon Corporation. He can be reached at 800-352-5252 or by e-mail at | Volume 3 • Issue 8 | Tow Professional


By Dan Messina

Reacting to

Problems ’m sure that if you were watching the news for the past month or so, it was nothing but Ray Rice and how he abused his wife and what a problem it created for the NFL. Everyone got involved, and everyone offered their opinion. I watched different talk shows and they had guests on each day talking about what was done, or what should have been done. The bottom line is the people they talked to all agreed on what was finally done. He is out of football, and now they are going after the commissioner of the NFL for his involvement or lack of involvement with the incident. I’m going to look at this through the eyes of the NFL and how I would have handled it if I was running that business. Let’s first look at what they did.



Tow Professional | Volume 3 • Issue 8 |

1. A two game suspension, and they based it on other 2. Then the NFL came out and said they handled it all incidents with other players.

3. Then came the ugly video from the inside of the elewrong and they wanted a do-over.

4. Ray Rice was suspended indefinitely. 5. The general public is after the commissioner’s job. vator and that changed everything.

If this were my business, I would not have reacted, but I would have done some investigating before I passed judgment. I feel once these steps took place, the media went

crazy, and they probably had a good reason to do what they did. In this scenario, there were no winners. There will be an impact on several people’s lives forever. What Ray Rice did was wrong, and there should be major penalties assessed, but make sure when the punishment comes down, there is some good involved. Here are the results of the actions that took place:

1. You have a young lady that has been publicly humiliated. She has to live this over and over every time she saw it on TV.

2. The young lady is now Ray Rice’s wife and her life will be impacted financially since her husband lost a $10 million a year job.

3. There is no guarantee that this action could happen again since there was nothing that says Mr. Rice has to get some type of counseling.

4. The NFL is taking a public rela-

tions hit because of the actions they took.

5. It’s possible that the NFL will be looking for a new commissioner. We work in an industry that this type of action could happen to any of us. If you were faced with this type of problem, you, the owner of the business, will have to be prepared to face the consequences of your actions. I remember having several incidents at work where there was a fight over a child. It was a fight in the office

between a driver and his wife, and they each had a hold of the child and were pulling. I separated them had a talk with each employee. There was a long history of fighting between the husband and wife, and I was new to the towing industry, so this was new to me. They were instructed to get help, and they both eventually left the company because of the rules I put in place. When something like this happens, and these problems are often brought into the workplace, it is a major distraction. Employees take sides, and a bad working environment is created. The rules I put in place were strict and fair to both sides. As an owner, I wanted to make sure there was no favoritism to the husband or wife, male | Volume 3 • Issue 8 | Tow Professional


or female. It must have worked, because for the next seven years, I never had any type of problem like this again. Getting back to the NFL problems I think I would have handled it in the following manner:

1. I would have suspended Ray Rice indefinitely while 2. I would have made sure that if he ever wanted to an investigation took place.

play in the NFL again that he would have to get help. This could comfort his wife knowing that with help it may never happen again.

3. Ray Rice would have to donate $250,000 to some

type of shelter for battered woman. This would set a standard for other players that if you are involved in this type of problem it going to cost you.

4. I would make the owner also donate $250,000 to

a shelter. The owner should control his employees. If there is a penalty on the owner, they will take steps to avoid these problems in the future, and take action to correct the problem if they know they have this type of problem.

5. The shelters benefit because they have a revenue

stream that will allow them to make improvements at their shelters.

6. This would also send a message to any player that if he has a problem he better get it addressed before it becomes serious.

7. The media may not have been so hard if these types of actions were taken; therefore, they would not have been all over the TV.

8. PR for the NFL would not have taken such a big hit. 9. The commissioner gets to keep his job. As this problem ends, another problem arises with a child abuse case brought against one of the premier running backs in the NFL. It will be interesting to see how this plays out and if the NFL learned anything from the first experience. This problem is only going to grow and roll over into the workplace. As a business owner, you might want to 26

Tow Professional | Volume 3 • Issue 8 |

start establishing rules on how you will handle this type of problem should it occur. I guarantee you if this happened in my company my competitor would be calling on all my customers telling them how bad I was. Start talking to your employees about these problems and offer help if any of your employees are going through something like this. If something like this occurs in your company, what you don’t want to do is pass judgment immediately without investigating. Good employees are hard to come by, and you don’t want to fire someone who doesn’t deserve to be fired. Keep an open line of communication with your employees and let them know they can come and talk to you about their problems, before they become your problems. Owners in our industry will be facing all kinds of issues they never faced before, so don’t react when a problem occurs. Think first, talk to an outside source if you have to; this will allow you to make the right decision. TOW If you need help, can be of assistance. | Volume 3 • Issue 8 | Tow Professional


The WINTER SEASON is Coming–


By Paul Ederer, Technical Support, AW Direct

COLD, ICE & SNOW create problems for all of us, but when your business is counted on to bring people to safety, being fully prepared is the only way you can be on the road when it counts. Fall is the time to really get everything in order for the upcoming winter season. You need to inspect the truck itself, towing tools, get supplies on hand, and look at your and your drivers’ winter clothing. lthough much has been written on vehicle maintenance, tow trucks have special needs that cannot be neglected. First, you can’t go anywhere unless the truck starts. Extreme cold temperatures can turn a battery with a few years of use into a liability. Test your battery, connections and charging system to determine if it’s in top condition and replace the battery if it’s weak. Battery protectors are available to ensure your battery does not fully discharge if something is unintentionally left on.



Inspect your hydraulic system for any minor issues that can turn into major ones when the temperature drops. Check for any cracking or chaffing of hydraulic lines, leaks at connections, even a new filter and fluid, if a change is overdue. Switch to a manufacturer recommended cold weather grade of hydraulic fluid if your winters are severe. The pneumatic system air dryers need to be working at their peak to avoid frozen moisture in the lines, as well. Drain the system and repair if you do find moisture. Engine antifreeze needs to be tested to ensure protection as the temperature drops. When the snow and ice fall, having good traction is a must to get around, as well as to perform recovery operations. Inspect tire tread and replace tires if needed. Check tire chains for wear and proper fit. Look for worn, bent, gouged or stretched chain links. If you do not have tire chains, consider purchasing them now before the snow flies so you can properly size and test fit them when the weather is warmer. It is much easier than ordering them in a blizzard and hoping delivery companies will be able to actually deliver them when you need them.

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While checking your wrecker’s battery, you should also inspect the tools you need to help your customers’ batteries. Verify jumpstart sets have working plugs and hand clamps. A battery tester to determine the status of customer batteries is a very useful tool. Replace weak jumpstart pack batteries or worn out units so you can quickly move from call to call. | Volume 3 • Issue 8 | Tow Professional


The WINTER SEASON is Coming–


While also part of a routine maintenance program, preparing for winter is also a good reminder to lubricate your winch lines to protect them from winter moisture. Dollies should have the bearings re-packed, all fittings greased and tire condition checked. Some items need to be stocked up on to be used throughout the winter season: windshield washer fluid, diesel fuel additive, lock deicer, batteries for flashlights, ice melter, snow shovels and even disposable hand warmers.


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Finally, keep yourself and your operators warm, safe and dry out on the road. Make sure winter clothing fits properly and is not overly tight. We all can change sizes from the prior season. Decreased light during the winter season and limited visibility during snowstorms require having hi-vis clothing to be as bright as possible. Inspect clothing for fading from multiple washings. Most garment manufacturers have a limit to how many washings can be done before the item must be taken out of service. Many permanent stains on a garment will also reduce the color intensity and are grounds for replacement. New garments must meet the requirements of ANSI 107-2010 Class 2 and Class 3.

In addition to a jacket or coverall, protecting the extremities is also important. We lose much heat through our heads and wearing a simple winter hat keeps us warmer. Working in snowy conditions with our hands, cotton work gloves of summer do not protect the hands from the elements. Waterproof, insulated gloves are needed to keep hands warm and dry. Footwear plays a dual role to keep our feet warm and dry but also to provide traction. Steel toe, insulated, waterproof work boots are ideal especially when worn with thermal wicking socks. In icy conditions, work boot traction can be improved further by using ice spikes. And, at the end of the day, placing your work boots on a boot dryer ensures they will be dry for the next day.

The winter season is the towing industry’s busiest season, and, with the proper preparation, you can keep your crew safe and your businesses thriving. TOW

AW Direct | Helping You Help Them (800) 243-3194 | Volume 3 • Issue 8 | Tow Professional



Tow Professional | Volume 3 • Issue 8 | | Volume 3 • Issue 8 | Tow Professional




USAC/MD has been around for over 40 years and has seen its share of changes, none as important as the one this past September. Innovation Group PLC, a global provider of software and business process services to the insurance and fleet industries, acquired USAC/MD. The Innovation Group is a publicly traded company headquartered in the United Kingdom. Innovation Group operates in 13 countries around the globe including North America for the last 7 years. USAC/MD provides a sought-after solution. Lewis Miller, CEO at Innovation Group North America, explains, “We have been providing a set of claims solutions to the insurance and fleet industries, but didn’t have a towing solution. This is where USAC/MD fits in.” 34

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The team at USAC/MD is optimistic. “We are extremely excited about this acquisition,” said Staley Cash, EVP at USAC/MD. Cash said further, “The nature and culture of both businesses are very similar. Combining USAC/MD and Innovation Group creates new opportunities for our service provider network. We look forward to extending our service capabilities to Innovation Group’s clients.” Craig Hamway, CEO at USAC/MD, said of the acquisition, “We are delighted to be joining The Innovation Group. Their strategic direction and ambition resonate very well with us, and we are excited about what we can achieve as a combined business.” USAC/MD will remain in its headquarters in Dallas, and the entire management team will remain in place. In unrelated news, Jim Hurst who has been with USAC/MD since 1994 is making a career change. He will still be in the towing

company, as it sets the stage for significant growth in the number of service calls USAC/MD will be dispatching to their network. And, I am looking forward to continuing my relationship with all my USAC/MD colleagues in my new role.” Cash commenting on Hurst's departure, “You cannot replace a guy like Jim Hurst. He will surely be missed. I will step into Jim’s role, a job I have done before, and, fortunately for me, Jim is only a phone call

away. We are looking forward to working with Jim in his new role, as well as all our network partners on new opportunities that will be created through this transition. This truly is a fantastic new chapter for USAC/MD.” For more details about what to expect in the future, USAC/MD welcomes you to come by their booth at the American Towman Exposition. TOW

industry, although now working directly for a major towing company. Hurst explains, “I have been contemplating this move for some time now. This new opportunity gives me more flexibility in my day-to-day life. I can work from home, and spend more time with my family.” When asked about his move during an acquisition, Hurst said, “The timing of my departure and Innovation’s acquisition of USAC/MD was completely coincidental. In fact, I am extremely excited for USAC/MD. This acquisition is very meaningful for the | Volume 3 • Issue 8 | Tow Professional



URGENT.LY: We’re not your traditional, profit-squeezing road club.

{ customers actually ‘see’ help coming on their smartphone. This transparency cuts down on customer calls, anxiety and provides an overall better experience for service provider and customer.}


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Traditional roadside business can be a pain...and a drain on your towing or roadside assistance business. But now, is taking the industry by storm, combining great rates, fast digital payments and easy-to-use apps that make it easy for roadside businesses to be profitable. As consumers live more and more through their mobile devices, the industry is ripe for pay-as-you go, instant access, on-demand roadside assistance solution. Consumers are no longer willing to pay membership or club fees based on antiquated insurance models. When they need help, they want to instantly connect with service providers; a virtual guarantee that “help is on the way;” and a cashless, flat-rate and straightforward pricing and payment system. delivers all that and more, using technology that is free to the towing or roadside provider and amazingly cost-effective for the

customer. Consumers using’s iOS mobile or web apps take advantage of the company’s proprietary real-time dispatch platform to connect to nearby, available help. They have access to more providers in their immediate area, with visibility into their provider’s movements via GPS tracking, instead of waiting blindly for a service provider contracted by an insurance company that may have two to three jobs to complete first. allows the consumer to see the provider on a map moving in their direction, and allows them to talk directly to the driver through the application. The iOS consumer application is free and can be downloaded directly from the Apple iTunes store or via web app. With, a six mile tow costs the consumer a mere $99, and a roadside repair just $75 -- far less than the $150 annual fee traditionally paid for an insurance program that may never be used. And the benefits aren’t for consumers alone. The towing providers are seeing large benefits, as well. is paying providers $50 for a road side repair and $75

{’s Android Driver application uses SmartMatch technology to send only those jobs close to an service provider equipped to handle it.} | Volume 3 • Issue 8 | Tow Professional


MOTORCLUBS Service Provider for a 6 mile tow with $3 per mile over. If you are tired of the low fees you are paid from traditional roadside companies that often don’t cover the cost of doing business, give a try. is simplifying the process and making roadside assistance more profitable for service providers. It simply matches the closest provider with a customer in need via their driver application or dispatch portal, and charges the consumer a fair market rate for ondemand service from quality providers. And all of these technologies are free to the towing or roadside assistance provider. If you want to get paid more, and get paid faster -- often in 24 hours via direct deposit -you can learn more or sign up at You simply provide your business information online; add as a certificate holder on your insurance; download the driver application to your Android phones and start receiving high margin work immediately. On-demand mobile services are the future -- the way consumers are meeting their immediate needs today -- and is the future of roadside assistance. TOW


“It was always a challenge for me to get visibility into my Roadside Assistance fleet’s deployment within our region. With my drivers running’s android mobile application, I have full visibility of their realtime locations even when they are not running jobs, with no expensive GPS equipment or monthly fees - a huge plus!” --Kenneth Holmes, Call Charley

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“Being an independent operator, I am always looking for new, innovative and efficient ways to supplement my regular business.’s high paying roadside assistance jobs make sense for us, and its simple mobile platform links me to jobs that are close to my location.” --Chris B. - CB Seegars Colesville, MD

"We typically shy away from the traditional roadside assistance business, given the low margins and red tape of dealing with it. The combination of's nearby jobs, high payout and quick, paperless no-hassle payment system makes it make sense to us again." --Rick G. Blairs Towing, Sterling, VA. | Volume 3 • Issue 8 | Tow Professional



Diversify with MOBILE SERVICE and Increase Your Bottom Line Today’s Towing Industry is drastically changing. Towing contracts are becoming more and more competitive, and, as most of us know, the towing business is a very volatile business to be in. Doing the math to recognize your costs per call is only half the battle. The never-ending challenge is figuring out how to maximize your per-call profits. Purchasing more fuel-efficient trucks, investing in dispatch management software, and correctly billing for each and every task performed are great ways to increase profits. But what happens when the towing calls just aren’t coming in? In any business when times are slow – diversification is crucial. There are numerous towing companies across the nation that have already taken advantage of investing in a mobile service truck and have seen the profits that can be made. And, in many instances, they have found that their mobile service trucks are the most profitable of their fleet! There is a growing need within the trucking industry to get their trucks fixed immediately on the side of the road in order to meet demanding freight schedules. The towing company is often not their first call – it’s the mobile service provider. Large and small trucking fleets alike have seen a rise in dealership service rates but even more importantly cannot afford the indefinite down time and endless other costs incurred while their truck sits at the dealership waiting to be fixed. Along with the towing companies, the mobile service provider is becoming a much-needed asset to the trucking industry. The addition of a service truck to your fleet can increase your bottom line in sales by allowing you to provide additional services. Sales of tires, batteries, repair parts, and retail labor sales will increase profits, 40

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which you would otherwise not see. It’s interesting to note that mobile service providers receive a fee for simply responding to the call. These service vehicles can also be utilized as mobile command centers for large recovery scenes, providing tools, equipment, and supplies needed for optimum quick clearance support. When considering an investment in a mobile service truck, there are two essential pieces to the puzzle. First, and probably the most difficult, is finding the qualified mechanic that has the experience, know-how, and determination to get the job done. The second major piece of the puzzle is equipping the right service body with adequate resources, which puts the mechanic in the best position to get the disabled truck up and running as efficiently and safely as possible. Today’s service trucks are more sophisticated and organized than ever. The minivan with some jumper cables and a diesel can with minimal safety lighting and insufficient work lights is a thing of the past. New service trucks are basically a shop on wheels –power units including a welder, compressor, generator, starting unit, fuel and lube transfer systems, efficient and ergonomically friendly tool & part storage are all key elements to getting the job done as quickly as possible. The inside work areas and means for storing tires and wheels are a necessity that new bodies on the market provide. With the right combination of mechanic, tools, and service body, the sky's the limit. And if you can’t get the truck up and running, I’m sure you know a quality towing company that can tow the truck to its respective destination! TOW Zip's Truck Equipment, Inc. | (800) 222-6047


Then Along Came

There may not be a stronger case for today’s existence of manufacturing in America than the towing industry. North American manufacturing would be broken down without the presence of the towing industry constantly changing for the better with new technology and products. Oh, but there are those of you who will say we evolved from the European theater incorporating their under reach and crane apparatus. Don’t get fooled! Just because your last name starts with Mac or ends in a vowel doesn’t mean you were born over there either. Good Ole’ USA manufacturing is alive and well, using the latest in towing ingenuity at a continuum throughout America every day in places like Chattanooga, Norfolk, Greencastle, Deer Park, Bean Station and of course, North Andover, MA. I will give one shout out to our upper North American neighbors who share our industry’s passion. Buffalo towers would be hard pressed without the flow of their precious resource into our country. .


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Let’s take a closer look at the newest innovative product for the tow truck industry, the PolyBody™. To get a closer view, you’ll notice a familiar flag flying outside the headquarters of United Plastic Fabricating

in North Andover, MA. The American flag is proudly waved at all three UPF manufacturing facilities located here in the United States. United Plastic Fabricating is the first manufacturer and innovator of the trade marked PolyBody™ made of polypropylene, which is a light weight, durable and tough hard plastic that does not create stress cracking characteristics, is semi-rigid, and has good fatigue resistance. This

product was engineered and is manufactured for the towing industry right here in the USA. Let’s take a look at is origins and evolution from the fire and rescue segments into the towing industry. United Plastic Fabricating is known for revolutionizing the fire service with over 80,000 polypropylene tanks (POLY-TANKD) designed and installed since 1986 replacing metal tanks, and now produces this same high impact copolymer polypropylene for a complete line of long life polypropylene service, line and wrecker bodies. Historically, water and foam tanks for fire apparatus were manufactured primarily from steel or fiberglass, which were heavy and prone to cracking. In 1982, the first polypropylene water tank was conceived, designed and built through the efforts of a Lynnfield, Massachusetts, Fire Department technician to replace a rusted steel tank in his department. Word of this successful concept spread quickly and other local Fire Departments sought a polypropylene replacement. By December 1986, the demand for this new tank material reached the point where the Lynnfield technician and a fellow fire fighter decided to be co-founders of the world’s first polypropylene fire tank business. The new company, United Plastic Fabricating, Inc. (UPF), opened their doors in North Andover, Massachusetts, in a 6,400-square-foot facility. Sales grew quickly and within a year’s period of time, UPF moved to a 10,000-square-foot facility. UPF expanded operations to Florida in 1989 and to Wisconsin in 1991. With continued growth, UPF Massachusetts moved into a new 38,000-square-foot corporate headquarters in 1992, which includes | Volume 3 • Issue 8 | Tow Professional



Then Along Came POLY!

a design and engineering center. In 2005, UPF Wisconsin moved to a 103,000-square-foot facility, and, last year, UPF Florida moved to a 78,030-square-foot facility. Today, UPF has 219,030 square feet of facilities and employees 235 people on its team. In its 28 years, UPF’s sales has surpassed steel tanks to become the


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best-selling water and foam tanks in the industry, Poly-TankD. UPF’s lifetime warranty, the most complete warranty in the industry, makes the Poly-TankD the last tank you’ll ever need. There are currently over 80,000 PolyTankD operational in 85 countries throughout the world. All of these tanks were made here in the U.S. The PolyBody™ is a plastic body made from UPF’s PT3™ 1/2” thick Ultra High Impact Copolymer Polypropylene. The PolyBody™ provides an alternative to the steel service body materials that rust and corrode, and to the cracking problems associated with fiberglass. This true, long-life body will provide an outstanding appearance year after year and chassis after chassis. In addition, The PolyBody™ offers lighter weight than conventional steel or fiberglass bodies, thereby

allowing for increased payload or improved fuel economy. UPF’s PT3™ polypropylene is so strong it can withstand the impact of a sledgehammer. Try that on a steel or fiberglass body! Mark Sexton, Owner of Mark’s Equipment Service, Inc., had the following to say about UPF Products, “From my years in the fire service, I was aware of the UPF POLY-TANKD. In fact, I encouraged my fire company to invest in a truck with a UPF tank. Shortly after getting the vehicle, however, it was in an accident and rolled twice. The chassis was totaled, but the UPF tank barely had a mark. This stuff is so strong, but it’s also lightweight, corrosion resistant and has a longer warranty. I knew this poly material is what I wanted my new wrecker body made of.”

PolyBody8 inherent features and advantages: • Corrosion and rust proof • Resists dents and dings • Maintenance free • Lighter weight improves fuel economy • Custom configurations • Automotive painted finish • Dry compartments • Increased storage capacity • Durable with long life capability • Reduces compartment noise • Roll-up or flush doors | Volume 3 • Issue 8 | Tow Professional



Then Along Came POLY!

The PolyBodyD wrecker body can be specified as a new or replacement wrecker body. UPF started manufacturing PolyBodyD units as secondary styles for new wrecker OEM’s. We have since enhanced our product line to specialize in replacing heavy duty wrecker bodies from a 16 ton to a 75 ton rotator. These bodies can be bought as side packs and mounted to existing sub frames and are measured specifically for your replacement. UPF can supply the body only, which allows you or your outfitter to customize lighting, chrome rails and paint. We have seen the evolution of towing bodies migrating from steel bodies in the 80s to aluminum bodies in the 90s and into composite type bodies in the 2000s. Common problems with steel bodies were corrosion leading to rust, which could start with 46

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doors, fender walls or covered areas due to settling interior water. It’s not just the snow belts who experience these issues. The United States is covered by shoreline and salt water that loves to eat metal. Once it starts on your wrecker body, it finds a home until you can see through it. Aluminum bodies look great for the first 3 years when the wear and tear of everyday use starts to break down aesthetics. Throwing chains and lumbar in and out of wrecker tool boxes causes cosmetic damage and forces you to weld reinforces every few years. If today’s highways were smooth, you probably wouldn’t have an

issue pounding 50,000 to 85,000 lbs. of machine up and down them every day like every other truck on the road does. Think of that long straight weld stretching 150 -250” or more twisting and turning every day. Metal has memory, so it’s only a matter of time before a stress crack appears. Now, let’s add another 80,000 lb. casualty to your load and try to avoid the potholes of our roadway infrastructure. You can’t. So, your truck and the body on it are taking a beating. Then along came composite bodies. Great for corrosion resistance resin panels are glued, not welded, but they are heavy and don’t have the ability to change styles, since the panels and doors are built from a pre-set mold. So, today’s choice is yours; spend your winter windfall replacing your fleet or re-evaluate your total cost of ownership with a PolyBodyD replacement, where your return on investment keeps more money in your pocket today. We can still enjoy our traditional Wednesday spaghetti dinners, St. Paddy’s day corned beef, and New Year’s Eve fried rice, but I still find my favorite beer brewed and bottled in Boston! For more information, call Patrick Cahill, Director of Sales and Business Development at UPF, at 978-989-0264 or email TOW | Volume 3 • Issue 8 | Tow Professional



t E n n o r d F

Collision Protection With collision rates as high as 1-in-41* drivers in certain parts of the U.S., the costs of repairs, downtime, lost contracts and increasing insurance costs, front-end protection is top of mind for all truck drivers. When it comes to front-end collision protection, Herd provides the #1 solution. 48

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Herd North America specializes in manufacturing vehicle protection guards for commercial transport trucks and working–class pickup trucks. Their engineering team designs each model and application in-house to ensure that every Herd meets their high standards of Protection Performance and Appearance. “There are two primary reasons that customers choose Herd,” says Leroy Peters, Marketing Manager for Herd. “Performance and Appearance.” Customers range from owner operators to small and medium size fleets. Regardless of the type of transport (oil field construction and logging to national carriers), they all depend on Herd to protect them from collision-related downtime and peace of mind for the driver. Herd’s website has testimonial after testimonial from drivers like Geoff Little, who writes, “I recently hit a young bull moose near Savant Lake, Ontario, Canada. It was a 50 mph impact, hitting the moose with the left corner of the HERD bumper. The truck sustained no damage and the HERD bumper did not bend or crack - NO DAMAGE! I will never own another truck without a HERD bumper on its nose!” Extruded from high quality 6061 aluminum, Herd bumpers are fully integrated and replace your factory bumper to provide complete front-end protection. They also mount directly to the frame of your truck using a steel section with exclusive impact plates that extend toward the outer edges of the bumper – the result is unparalleled protection in the event of an off-center impact. Standard features include: Boxed-in uprights, 3” tubes or bigger, steel impact plates, signal lights and Herd’s proprietary mirror finish. Firmly established as the industry leader, Herd is the only manufacturer who offers a | Volume 3 • Issue 8 | Tow Professional


ront End FCollision Protection

full range of products from economical Defender-style to the Ultra-Premium Big Tex and Super Road Train. All of which are handmade on a configure-to-order basis.



Visit for full range of products and driver testimonials or call toll-free 1-888-5434373.

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(*source: 2013 State Farm Mutual Insurance Company),

Since 2009, Recovery Billing Unlimited, Inc. (RBU) has been hosting their Advanced Business Management Seminars with a flawless feedback record. While other training institutions teach you how to tow and perform recoveries the proper way, RBU teaches you how to be more profitable using the techniques you’ve acquired by having the ability to bill for your services rendered and ultimately obtain payment. No matter if your company is a one-truck operation, or if your company has multiple locations and five rotators, this seminar will benefit you! With nearly 500 towing and recovery outfits throughout the United States and Canada attending since 2009, their name, image, and what they stand for is growing within the industry at a tremendous pace. They are an organization dedicated to teaching fellow towers how to become more profitable at what they do in the course of their daily business operations. In addition to profitability, safety, training, and proper certification are key components discussed within the seminar. RBU teaches: • Building the proper tow and recovery business from the ground up; • Training employees so they project a more professional image; • Remediation of the accident scene to free you from future liability; • Proper way of writing an acceptable recovery invoice; • Billing on liability insurance coverage only; • State and Federal Laws; and • Obtaining payment for proper billing procedures. In addition to Bob and Eric Fouquette from Big Wheel Towing & Recovery as the main instructors of the seminar, they have numerous guest speakers on hand, including Attorneys, Insurance Executives, OSHA Instructors, and even the occasional past seminar attendee that shares their experiences since they’ve taken the course. Rumors about the course being designed to “scam” insurance companies could not be any further from the truth. In fact, the seminars teach towing and recovery companies to work with insurance companies to get them to better understand the process that went into creating the invoice set in front of them. By having an invoice complete with a detailed narrative, itemized pricing, breakdown of all equipment, and a full set of pictures, there are no unanswered questions. RBU’s main objective with hosting these seminars is to strengthen the towing and recovery industry. The initial cost of attendance may seem a bit daunting to some companies; however, the benefits outweigh the cost tremendously. Included along with the tuition fee comes two free refresher classes for the same people from each company that attended the first paid seminar. Also, RBU stands behind each and every attendee by being on call 24/7 to answer any and all questions that may arise at a later date. As mentioned earlier, hundreds of companies have attended the seminar, and the overall consensus is 100% positive feedback. TOW With that being said, visit them at Booth #405 at the American Towman Exposition being hosted this year in Baltimore, Maryland. They are also hosting one of their seminars right at the American Towman Exposition on November 22 and 23, 2014, from 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. on both days. If you wish to sign up for that seminar, please contact American Towman directly. Otherwise, their next seminar will be hosted at their Massachusetts facility on January 17, 2015. Please feel free to contact Linda for more details and how to sign up at 508-763-5474. | Volume 3 • Issue 8 | Tow Professional



Professional Your Resource for Towing & Recovery

HOOKEDUP TowMate Power-Link Control w/Bluetooth Connectivity

New and Improved TowMate App Available Now! The long awaited update to the TowMate app is finally here! Now you can be alerted if you leave your TowMate wireless tow light behind without having the app running in the foreground on your Android phone or tablet. This makes the app much more practical for daily use eliminating the need to reopen it every time a call or text is made. (Requires TMBTI Bluetooth interface card, a $100 option, for operation. Does not work with TM22G “The Limelight.”) Go to or call (TowMate App for (800) 680-4455 for more Android Pictured information. Above)


(PLC-TX6BT 6-Button Bluetooth Control Pad Pictured Above)

Always a leader in lighting innovations, TowMate’s Power-Link control pad with Bluetooth connectivity PLC-TX6BT / $100 option) was the first of its kind and remains the only fully functional 2-wire light bar control on the market. Check this out and other new developments at this years’ Baltimore Tow Expo. Go to or call (800) 680-4455 for more information.

Tow Professional | Volume 3 • Issue 8 |

Eye3Data working hard to make it affordable for you to Protect Your People, Property and Business! Eye3Data has partnered with Marlin Leasing to offer you an opportunity to lease your new Video Surveillance System! Here are just some of the advantages of Leasing: 100% Financing – Our leases finance 100% of the cost of the equipment. You can include “soft” cost in your lease, such as shipping, software, training, installation and maintenance. Cash Flow – Making monthly payments are much easier than paying thousands of dollars out of pocket. Tax Benefits – Lease payments may be fully tax-deductible as an operational expense. Consult your tax advisor. Contact us for more information on leasing programs. (888) 777-9059

Next Generation Tool Company is pleased to introduce its newest lockout kit, the Fantastic Four. This small, but complete lockout kit will open most vehicles on the road today! The Fantastic Four Lockout Kit features: * 44" Long Reach-It Tool with our new silicone grip tip * The strongest Inflatable Wedge on the market, which comes with a 1 year warranty * Our rugged Rhino Pry Wedge, which is a dual sided solid wedge. One end tapers like a standard door wedge, and the other side has a very strong pry feature with a built-in fulcrum. * These popular tools are housed in a durable canvas case. Be a "hero" and open doors "super" fast with this new kit. Reasonably priced. Call for quantity discounts. 800.874.5625 | Excellent Distributor Pricing | Volume 3 • Issue 8 | Tow Professional



Professional Your Resource for Towing & Recovery


Virgo Fleet Supplies, Inc. AThe latest thing in lighting is LED – light emitting diodes. They are used in so many applications for home, office and especially on vehicles – cars, pickups and big rigs. These lights do not use bulbs that can burn out and need replacing, and use much less amperage. The long life – in many cases, years – of these light emitting diodes more than makes up for their higher price, since they don’t need to be replaced nearly as often as incandescent bulbs. In addition, LED lights come in a wide variety of colors; some of them even change color while lit, creating some very interesting effects. Over time, the money-saving features become apparent in lower fuel and energy bills. On vehicles, especially trucks and big rigs, the more lights the better for high visibility and safety. In addition, many truckers have used them to make a statement – lots of lights and colors to match the paint and striping jobs on their rigs. LEDs are available in a wide variety of sizes, styles and shapes to satisfy most requirements. A full range of these products are available at Virgo Fleet Supplies in Brooklyn, NY. | (718) 251-6000


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Professional Your Resource for Towing & Recovery

Rubber Wheel Chock – RWC3

VIAIR® 12 VDC Ultra-Duty Onboard Air System – VAOS

VIAIRJ 12 VDC Ultra-Duty Onboard Air System is a complete air solution kit. With a powerful, 200 psi maximum working pressure, it’s ideal for everyday use. Includes (1) 2.5-Gal. 200 psi VIAIR Air Tank, (1) 480C Chrome 200 psi VIAIR Air Compressor, (1) tire inflation gun, (1) 30’L coil hose, (1) ¼” NPT quick connect stud (M), (1) ¼” NPT quick connect coupler (M), (1) dash panel gauge with on/off switch, (1) pressure switch, (1) reducer – 1/8” NPT (F) to ¼” NPT (M), (1) reducer – 3/8” NPT (F) to ¼” NPT (M), (1) ¼” NPT 250 psi safety valve, (1) ¼” drain cock, (3) 1/3” NPT compression fittings, (1) 4” strip of continuous grommet material, (1) 20’L 12-gauge wire, (1) electrical connection and (1) accessory line.

The safety orange color of this rubber wheel chock helps ensure that it isn’t easy overlooked and left behind at the jobsite. Features a steel grab handle and molded rubber construction. Measures 9-1/4”W x 6”H x 8”D. OSHA 1910.178k compliant. Imported.

(800) 243-3194

(800) 243-3194 | Volume 3 • Issue 8 | Tow Professional



Professional Your Resource for Towing & Recovery


TRU-BALANCE FUEL AND TIRES are two of the biggest expenses in the Towing business. With the rising cost of fuel, it is crucial to cut costs wherever you can. The TRU-BALANCE Wheel Centering Products were designed to help you cut your cost and keep the profit in your pocket. One of the most overlooked ways to improve your bottom line is proper centering of the wheels. With hub-piloted wheels, the weight of the wheels rests on the top pilots, creating a gap on the bottom pilots. A small

gap the size of a business card creates an “eggshaped” motion upon rotation. This uneven motion causes increased fuel consumption, uneven tire wear and tire vibration that balancing alone cannot correct. The bottom line is, you can’t balance an egg. The patented line of TRU-BALANCE products were designed to bypass the hub-pilots and center the wheels back to the wheel studs, which is the “TRU-CENTER” of the wheel. Once the wheels are properly centered, the re-

sult is increased tire life, increased fuel mileage and the smoothest ride possible, PERIOD! We offer three different “Solutions” to center your wheels. TOW



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B/A Products Co. (800) 327-3301 | Volume 3 • Issue 8 | Tow Professional



Professional Your Resource for Towing & Recovery


Mobile Lifts, Inc.

Mobile Lifts, a Jerr-Dan distributor since 1990, is your source for towing parts and accessories. In addition to keeping thousands of parts for Jerr-Dan and other makes of tow trucks in stock, we also stock Ramsey winches and parts for them; In the Ditch Tow Dollies; Federal Signal and Public Safety, light bars; Maxxima, Peterson, and Spyder bed and work lights; Deweze and Muncie clutch pumps, PTOs, and parts; Access Tools and Steck lockout tools; Phoenix simulators; and more. At our full service shop where we make and repair hydraulic hoses, reseal cylinders, and repair all makes of tow trucks. (610) 489-1900


Tow Professional | Volume 3 • Issue 8 |

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

Two Industries Are Better Than One....The Convergence of Towing & Storage

SnappyBOX MOVING & S T O R A G E The towing industry and the storage industry have long been considered quite different from one another. However, a new company called Snappy Box Moving and Storage is making it easy for towing operators to use the resources they already have (such as standard rollback trucks and a storage yard) to easily add portable storage. Snappy Box uses their 10 years of industry experience to offer a turn-key

management program that runs all aspects of the portable storage business and allows the operator to continue to focus on their towing business. With the increasing financial pressures that are facing towing operators, adding portable storage provides a way to diversify and produce consistent revenue when times are slow. The towing operator benefits by generating additional revenue from both “rent” of the portable storage container and the “delivery and pick-up fees.” On average, the containers rent for about $200 per month and stay rented for 6 months. That works out to be around $1400 per customer when you factor in both rent and delivery fees. That same container when rented for a year could produce $2800! Multiply this by 50, 100, or 200 containers, and towing operators can generate a significant profit. Portable Storage was created to provide a more convenient option for customers needing self-storage. The portable storage container is brought to the customer’s home or business

where they pack it up. Once it is packed, it can be stored at the customer’s property or brought back to a portable storage company’s secure outdoor storage lot or warehouse. Snappy Box sells containers uniquely designed to be moved loaded with standard rollback trucks. The containers are waterproof, stackable, collapsible, secure, quickly assembled, lightweight and aesthetically pleasing. They come in two sizes: 8’ x 16’ and 8’ x 19’. These containers are extremely durable, typically have a 30-year life cycle, can carry up to 10,000 pounds and can withstand winds up to 120 miles an hour. If you are looking for a way to diversify your towing business, create additional revenue for your business and utilize your trucks and drivers through slow times, then SnappyBoxJ Moving and Storage may be a great solution for you. To find out more about their services, check them out at or call 803-553-0002.

DealerPlace | Volume 3 • Issue 8 | Tow Professional




Tow Professional | Volume 3 • Issue 8 |

MarketPlace | Volume 3 • Issue 8 | Tow Professional




Tow Professional | Volume 3 • Issue 8 |


Baltimore Tow Show Booth #337 | Volume 3 • Issue 8 | Tow Professional



Professional Your Resource for Towing & Recovery



Advanced Specialty Products . . . . . . . . . . . . .54 Agero . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 Alexander Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52 Amerideck . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62 Anchor Graphics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62 Atlanta Wrecker Sales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60 Austin Hinds Motors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61 Austin Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54 AutoData Direct . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55 Automated Fuel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43 AW Direct . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 B/A Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25, 62 Beacon Software . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29, 62 Best Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 Bowers Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61 Boxes 4 U / Crash Flim . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 budgetGPS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64 Collins Dollies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53 Custer Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 CW Mill Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56 Dan Messina . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61 Dangelo's Custom Built . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60 Detroit Wrecker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14, 37 Direct Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61 Dynamic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 ECM Performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55 Evans Cooling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50 Eye3Mobile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64 Flash Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Flow Stop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18



Gulf Atlantic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61 Hal Kresser Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64 Hallmark Consultants Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64 Herd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39 Holly's Message Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .57 IAA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 In The Ditch Towing Products . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Industrial Netting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62 International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame & Museum / Wall of the Fallen . . . . . . . . . . . .32 Isuzu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Jerr-Dan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .IFC KBK Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 Larson Electronics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51 Lattimer's Warehouse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 LDC Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 Lift and Tow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Lodar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64 Loganville Ford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .59 Marking Pen Depot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 Mfr. Express . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Miti . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 Mobile Lifts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58 Next Generation Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62 North American Bancard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Ohio Power Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 Pillow Protection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 PowerBilt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Powerhouse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58 Recovery Billing Unlimited . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21


MarketPlace Baltimore Tow Show Booth #938

Baltimore Tow Show Booth #222


Tow Professional | Volume 3 • Issue 8 |


Recovery Consulting Services . . . . . . . . . . . . .57 Robert Young's Wrecker Sales & Service . . . .60 Rugged Tow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 RV Wheel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 S&J Manufacturing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52 SnappyBox . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49 Speciality Vehicle & Equipment . . . . . . . . . . .IBC Steck . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 Tom Tom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 Towmate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 TowPartners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 Towramps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 Tracker Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Travis Barlow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 Triple K Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Tru-Balance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56 Tru-Hitch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 United Plastics Fabricating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .BC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 USAC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 Virgo Fleet Suplies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64 VTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53 Weiss Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 Windshield Cam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62 Worldwide Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60 Wrecker Rentals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45 Wyless Telematics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 Yale Cordage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 Zacklift . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62 Zips Truck and Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41

V3i8 tow webpdfs  
V3i8 tow webpdfs  

Vol.3, Issue 8