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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingMarch 21 - March 27, 2018

SUV Goes Swimming

1 95fb4by Jim "Buck" Sorrenti

Aldrich Auto Body & Repair, based in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, has provided reliable auto body and heavy-duty towing and recovery services throughout the area since 1991. Their collision repair shop services every make and model of vehicle and everything from small compacts to tractor-trailers.

Always looking to improve his business, company owner Angel Aldrich has an extensive fleet and is building an additional facility for more space to service his growing business.

His team of towing specialists and auto body technicians are equipped and trained to handle any situation, so when this call came in on Feb. 6 from the Townsend Police they jumped on it.

"The Townsend Police called at around 7 a.m. for an SUV that had gone off of a small cliff and landed in the river," Aldrich said.

Alex Labell was the first driver that responded to the call. He went out in the company's 2007 Ford F-450 with a Jerr-Dan MPL self-loader. The Townsend Fire Department and Police were on scene when Alex arrived and the police advised him to call for the rotator. Angel immediately responded in his 2012 NRC 40/50 Sliding Rotator mounted on a 389 Peterbilt.

"The Townsend Fire Department had to show us to the vehicle as you could not see it from the road," Angel said.

The 2007 Chevy Equinox had gone straight on a dead-end street, hit a guardrail and snow bank and went airborn through a woodsy area before landing on its wheels in the river with its hood crushed.

"Once we assessed the situation, we came up with a plan and cut down some brush to clear a path for a smoother recovery," Angel said. "I told the firefighters how and where to rig it. The firefighters suited up and rigged the vehicle for us using our straps. Green recovery straps were laced through each rear wheel."

Angel was at the controls of his rotator. He carefully winched the SUV out of the river and up the embankment. Once it was on level ground at the top of the embankment, Angel and Alex undid the rigging from the wheels and re-rigged it with a yellow recovery loop through the driver and passenger windows.

"Using the rotator, I lifted the SUV and was able to swing it over the guardrail and snow banking," Angel said. "I was than able to set it down on the road to get it ready to be towed."

The rear wheels of the SUV were secured to a tow dolly and it was towed back to Aldrich's garage with the Jerr-Dan MPL self-loader.

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; your story may even be selected for print in American Towman magazine!
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