The Week's Features
Industry stalwart taught big-rig extrication to towmen and firemen
First increase in towing and storage rates in nearly two decades
Delinquency rate driven by souring subprime auto loans
Restored 1941 tow truck donated to Erlanger Hospital
Cantrell’s Towing and Scholle's Towing team up for cushion recovery
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May 9-11, 2018
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August 16-18, 2018
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Towers are required by law to comply with towing and transport tie-down processes. In his photo-seminar, “Towing and Transport Tie-Down Compliance,” American Towman Operations Editor Randall Resch discusses methods and techniques commonly used by today’s tow truck operators that creatively comply with or constantly violate the law. This Towing & Recovery Conference seminar will take place at Tow Expo-Dallas, August 16-18, at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Conventions Center in Dallas, Texas.
"Spirit" rides through Alabama and Mississippi with all first-responder vehicles in the processions.
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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingMay 16 - May 22, 2018

Towman Killed Roadside in Texas

A towman was killed Saturday after being hit by a drunk driver in Cypress, Texas, police said. The Harris County Sheriff's Office said that the victim was putting a boat into the back of his flatbed around midnight when a man in a Toyota veered off the road and hit the flatbed. The driver of the car was hospitalized with minor injuries, police said. He faces manslaughter charges. The identities of the victim and the driver were not available at press time. Source:
From the American Towman News Bureau

AT ShowPlace-Vegas Sets Records

The sixth annual American Towman ShowPlace-Las Vegas was a huge success. Towmen flocked from all corners of the country and the showfloor crowds were robust all weekend. AT Expositions President Henri "Doc" Calitri said that the show experienced a 5-percent increase from its record-setting 2017 numbers. "Everybody seems to be extremely pleased with the way the show has gone," he said. The show featured three live recovery demos—by Miller Industries, Jerr-Dan and NRC—and concluded May 12 with the Police Towers of America three-hour conference that saw the highly anticipated release of the revised National Rotation Standard. The California Tow Truck Association held its annual convention in conjunction with the show for the second straight year. Source: AT staff.

Daimler Opens New Distribution Center

Daimler Trucks North America celebrated the opening of its newest parts distribution center in Grimes, Iowa, on May 16. This new facility is situated just west of Des Moines and enables DTNA to provide faster service to customers located in the Midwest. The facility in Grimes is the third parts distribution center opened by DTNA in two years, and the ninth in DTNA's overall supply chain network. This includes the recent addition of a new parts distribution centers in Indianapolis and Dallas. Source: Daimler Trucks North America.
AT ShowPlace-Vegas Sets Records
Show experienced 5 percent increase from 2017 numbers
Towman Killed Roadside in Texas
Victimize while loading boat on flatbed Saturday night
Daimler Opens New Parts Center
Iowa facility is third parts distribution center opened in two years

Spirit Ride Takes on the South

The American Towman Spirit Ride made a stop at Doug's Towing & Recovery in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, on May 15.

"Stats say that 70 percent to 75 percent of the population have never heard of (the Move Over) law and that's our purpose to raise awareness to that," said Shauna Decker with Doug's. "People don't realize if you're on the way to work, in hurry to get the kids picked up, these people are trying to work to help other people and need to be paid attention to."

The Spirit Ride keeps rolling with stops the next few days in Alabama and Mississippi. In Alabama, Spirit Ride ceremonies will be held at Andy's Wrecker Service in Tuscumbia, May 18, and Vestavia Tire Express in Birmingham, May 19. The Mississippi festivities will take place at Champion's Towing in Starkville, May 22, and Ward's Wrecker Service in Jackson, May 23.

Sources:; AT staff.
Spirit Ride Update:
Media Continues Bright Spotlight on Spirit Ride
• May 16 - May 22, 2018

We’re Still Losing Far Too Many

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the number of truck-involved fatal accidents increased by 3 percent in 2016 over 2015. Additionally, there were 104,0­00 crashes involving large trucks that resulted in 145,000 injuries in 2016. That is a significant increase over 2015, which saw 83,000 injury crashes involving trucks resulting in 116,000 injuries.

The towing industry has seen 12 roadside deaths in a five-month period from Dec. 1, 2017, through April 28, 2018.

It's far too many.

One can pose myriad reasons: distracted drivers, tired drivers, intoxicated drivers, over-congested roads and so on.

The fact of the matter is it's not getting any better out there. Some may argue that, despite various laws being enacted, it's getting worse.

The towing industry has been diligent in addressing safety issues not only to itself but also to the motoring public. By the news reports that cite the towmen that have been killed roadside—as well as towmen who have survived near-hits—it seems that the motoring public at large is not absorbing the message.

The Spirit Ride campaign is doing its part. Lately there have been a number of independent efforts by towmen to spread the message, advising the motoring public to slow down and move over.

Perhaps a more aggressive and punitive method is needed; I'm thinking in the area of heavy penalties and fines for violators. It definitely calls for more than a slap on the wrist.

Because the numbers cited above have got to come down.

--Charles Duke

Tougher Regulation Being Considered

A measure to more closely regulate private tow companies has been approved by a Philadelphia, Pa., city council committee and now moves on to the entire council for consideration.

The legislation, which addresses towing vehicles from private lots and driveways, mandates specific fees and storage costs.

Councilman Bill Greenlee said he's heard plenty from people feeling scammed by towing companies.

"Unfortunately, these towing companies give out a lot of erroneous information -- and that is one of many," he said.

If approved by the full Council, the standard towing fee for a car would be $175 with a $25 per day storage fee. Those charges would double for big trucks.

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,
William Burwell x208, Peggy Calabrese x202
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

Matjack Jumbo Cushions

MatJack 70b40Recovery personnel worldwide look to Matjack's Jumbo Turbo Safelift cushions when it comes to uprighting overturned tractor/trailers, aircraft recovery or any recovery which requires quality, heavy-duty air cushions and equipment. Matjack's Jumbos come in both sloped and flat top design and in complete sets or individually. Come see what Matjack has to offer at the Tow Expo-Dallas, taking place at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center, August 16-18, in Dallas, Texas.
By Don Lomax
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WreckMaster President Justin Cruse said that the WreckMaster Convention will bring together towers from all over North America to provide a unique and beneficial opportunity to broaden knowledge.
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