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Tandem Tango

0 120b9by Jim "Buck" Sorrenti

Null's Towing in Cochranville, Pa., is a family owned and operated business started in 1958 by Charles "Chic" Null. In 1989 the business was passed on to his son Dain. Dain runs the business with his sons Latta (sales manager) and Jared (operations manager).

On the rainy morning of Sept. 1, 2016, they were called by the West Lampeter Township Police Department to recover an overturned dump truck.

"At the same time we were contacted by one of the chief officers who was on scene," Jared said, "he advised that the dump truck had been involved in a collision with another vehicle and was overturned blocking the roadway. He also advised that the truck was loaded with sand and that the load had spilled onto the roadway."

Null's dispatched two of their NRC Sliding Rotator recovery units and their skid-steer loader to the scene. Jared was operating their 2016 Kenworth W900/NRC 50/65 Composite Sliding Rotator and Dain was in their 2013 Western Star 4900/NRC 50/65 Composite Sliding Rotator.

They also contacted Null's Recovery & Site Restoration to respond with an incident response unit and dump trailer to assist with the cleanup. Operator Kyle Stoltzfus responded with the service truck and incident response unit. Jerry Stoltzfus responded with the 2015 Peterbilt 337/22.5' NRC 20TB, and operator Gehl Skidloader with bucket and sweeper attachment, and dump trailer.

A Peterbilt 357 quad-axle dump truck had been cut off by a Dodge pick-up causing the dump to lose control and overturn onto its passenger's side. It came to rest with its front end on top of the guardrail and its fuel and hydraulic tanks resting on the ground, but not leaking.

Null's crew moved their equipment into position and began prepping for uprighting the overturned dump. The truck still had about half of the load in the bed and weighed approximately 50,000 lbs. They removed its driveline.

 One NRC sliding rotator was positioned on the roof side and the other NRC slider was positioned on the wheel side of the overturned dump.

"Both rotators were set up on work platforms," said Jared. "Rigging was connected to the front of the truck's frame. The rotator on the wheel's side rotated its boom counter-clockwise and connected the main winch lines to the rigging at the front of the truck. The rotator on the top side of the overturned truck placed rigging connected to the frame and under the dump body."

Working in tandem, the rotators began lifting the overturned truck.

"Once it was lifted approximately four inches," Jared said, "additional rigging was able to be placed under the front of the body and connected to the frame as well. The truck was then lifted the remainder of the way clear of the guardrail. With it clear of the guardrail, the rotators worked to upright the truck.

"The rotator on the axle side maintained clearance at the fuel tank so that it was not ruptured. Once the uprighting process was started, the front of the truck was set back onto the roadway. The rotator on the axle side transitioned from lifted to 'spiking' the front axle and connected a control line to lower the truck back onto its wheels. "

With the dump back on its wheels, the rigging was removed and air was supplied to its air system. The rotator on the driver's side of the dump hooked to the front of the partially loaded truck and set it back parallel with the roadway. One of the rotators hooked to the front of the dump truck to tow it from the scene.

"Several of our personnel along with Null's Recovery & Site Restoration worked to shift the sand that was still in the truck so that it was no longer leaning to the passenger side," Jared said. "The remainder of our crew worked to prepare the truck to be towed from the scene. Our personal also worked to assist with cleaning up the truck parts and the load of spilled sand from the roadway. "

The truck was then towed from the accident scene to Null's of Cochranville and placed inside for a DOT Inspection. When the inspection was complete, the truck was moved from the shop to their secure storage facility.

(Ed. Note: This article originally appeared in the Sept. 7, 2016 edition of Tow Industry Week.)

Show Yours @ TIW
Do you have a recovery to share with TIW readers? Send some pics and info to our Field Editor Jim "Buck" Sorrenti at  jimchaos69@yahoo.com ; your story may even be selected for print in American Towman magazine!


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What would be the most effective way to mitigate towman roadside deaths?
Allow for blocking vehicles
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AAA launched a new ‘Move Over’ awareness campaign in Florida, which includes a video showing the names of towmen killed in the line of duty.


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Are your business’s day-to-day actions are best guided by an Employee Handbook? Without a solid set of written guidelines, activity is nothing more than orchestrated chaos. American Towman Operations Editor Randall C. Resch’s seminar, “The Value of a Solid PPM Manual,” will give emphasis to nonspecific and uncommon employee situations not typically covered in HR manuals for towing and recovery. This seminar will take place during Tow Industry Week at its new location, the Westgate Paradise & Pavilion in Las Vegas, Nevada, May 14-15, 2020. atshowplace.com

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Carrie Ransome of Speed’s Towing submitted a suggestion to Waze and Google Maps, asking for “Slow Down Move Over” warnings. Image - kptv.com.
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