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News reports note uptick in tower activity downtown
Motorist awareness of the law touted on truck
Roadside steps to increased safety awareness
New design makes down-driveway hookups easier
Puts cap on assets; forces four off board by end of year
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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingFebruary 21 - February 27, 2018

City Agrees to Use Tow List

The Central City (Illinois) Council has agreed to utilize the city of Centralia's approved towing rotation list to handle the removal of vehicles following a traffic accident. The announcement followed Centralia discussing an ordinance that would have required towing companies to maintain their principal place of business within the city limits. The village president said there was nothing in the Central City municipal code mandating that a certain towing company or companies be used, so there is no need to enact an ordinance to open up the eligibility. Source:
From the American Towman News Bureau
Alex Denman. Photo credit:

Towman Warns About Safe Driving

An Eau Claire, Wisconsin, towman has one thing to stress about icy roads after getting hurt on the job last year. "If you do have to go somewhere, go slowly. It's better to arrive late than dead," said Alex Denman, with Chad's Towing. Last year, Denman was on a call recovering a vehicle when a car came sliding from the right and collided with the back of his truck sending him into the ditch. He has fully recovered, but finds too often people are going too fast and not paying attention to their surroundings. "It's terrifying being out there on the side of the road knowing that people aren't looking, "Denman said. Source:

Towman Shot in St. Louis

A towman was being treated after being shot with a rifle in St. Louis, Missouri, early Sunday. Police say the victim was in his tow truck when a man pulled his car in front of the truck, turned the hazard lights on and got out with a rifle. The victim told police the man fired several shots, hitting the victim several times. The shooter then drove off. Police said the victim is stable and the investigation is ongoing. Source:
Towman Warns About Safe Driving
Wisconsin towman says motorists are going to fast
City Agrees to Use Tow List
Will use in lieu of drawing up new ordinance
Towman Shot in St. Louis
Towman hit several times; police say he’s stable

McKinney Joins Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald Towing & Recovery Equipment recently added Gene McKinney to its leadership team as general manager.

McKinney joins from Jerr-Dan Corp., where he led as Southeast Regional Manager.

"I saw a great opportunity here," McKinney said. "I really appreciate the aggressive growth of the [Fitzgerald] company. They believe in having enough inventories on hand to meet customer needs in all aspects of the business.

"My goal is to make Fitzgerald Towing & Recovery Equipment the No. 1 Jerr-Dan distributor in the country. Fitzgerald's expertise on glider kits goes hand-in-hand with wrecker sales. I believe this will allow us to get that No. 1 spot."

McKinney has 40-plus years of experience in the industry and 21 years of experience as regional manager at Jerr-Dan. McKinney will help Fitzgerald plan for nationwide growth by working with both the manufacturer and customers.

Spilled Fuel & Multiple Tractor-Trailers in Florida
• February 21 - February 27, 2018

Gee, Thanks Punxsutawney Phil

Ahhh, winter.

It's a tow business' utopia, right? The snow is falling by the foot, all that money is coming in, the operators are all busy—tow businesses can go on like this forever, correct?

Well, according to a recent piece written by Dan Spies, executive director of the Pennsylvania Towing Association, all is not as heavenly as it may seem.

There's a constant pressure on the business round-the-clock; equipment is continuously running, operators are going non-stop and the phone is ringing off the hook.

If the equipment breaks down, there's a problem. The business is down a truck, thus straining the other units that have to pick up the slack. Calls for dead batteries take their toll, as many companies don't stock the most common ones used (according to Spies); and those that do, run out of stock with no delivery date in sight for additional stock.

Winter is also flu season; if your company unfortunately is affected with the bug, chances are you're going to have at least one operator—maybe more—calling in sick. That puts additional pressure on your "lucky" unaffected drivers. (By the way, check out Brian J. Riker's excellent Tow Business & Operations article this week on dealing with the flu season.)

Then there's the human factor. All of this pressure and bad weather sometimes (oftentimes?) leads to tempers flaring, thus the business owner has to put up with even more.

Add in the element of balancing safety with bad weather, road conditions and trying to provide decent ETAs ... "it's like a jungle out there—sometimes you wonder how you keep from going under," (apologies to Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five).

I'll have to admit: I never thought of it from that angle until reading Spies' article. It all makes sense, too.

So this week, I'll just say to be careful during the five weeks of winter we have left (thanks a lot, Punxsutawney Phil) and take copious notes of how to do it even better next year.

--Charles Duke
Editor: Charles Duke
Managing Editor: Brendan Dooley
ATTV Editor & Anchor: Emily Oz
Communications Manager: Helen Gutfreund
Advertising Sales (800-732-3869):
Dennie Ortiz x213, Ellen Rosengart x203,
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Content Management: Henri Calitri
Site Progr., Graphics & Video: Ryan Oser
ATTV Technical Production: OMG National
Wrecks + Recovery Editor: Jim "Buck" Sorrenti
Operations Editor: Randall C. Resch
Tow Business Editor: Brian J. Riker
Tow Illustrated Editor: George L. Nitti, a digital roadside assistance platform, recently announced an upcoming integration with Towbook's cloud-based towing software. Roadside assistance and towing professionals will be able to accept and manage jobs on the Towbook platform. Stop by their booths during the American Towman ShowPlace taking place at the South Point Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, May 9-12.;
By Don Lomax
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