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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingOctober 17 - October 23, 2018

When In Doubt – Drag It Out!

0 3266bBy Jim "Buck" Sorrenti

One of the best things about doing recovery work is that every job is different and you just never know what you are going to be called to do. When your name is Battelini and you grew up in towing and recovery in a family that has been in business forever ... you've seen and dealt with many different scenarios.

Albert Battelini is the president of the company he co-owns with his brother Anthony and their father Dominick. The family also runs Battelini Wrecker Sales, a full service dealer for NRC Industries.

On Sept. 28, 2018 Battelini's was called to pull out a very heavy oversized piece of road construction equipment that was stuck on Coles Mill Road in Monroe Township, New Jersey.

"We were called by the contractor," Al said. "They had pulled their asphalt milling machine off the road the night before. It weighed in at 88,000 pounds. It had rained two inches overnight and the heavy machine sank, got stuck in the mud and they couldn't move it."

Milling machines, or cold planers, are heavy-duty construction equipment used to do asphalt milling, also known as asphalt grinding. Within milling machines, there is a large rotating drum that removes and grinds the asphalt surface. This rotating drum holds the carbide cutters that actually cut the pavement.

The carbide cutters are positioned in such a way that after being cut, the milled pavement is automatically moved to the center of the drum. The pavement is then loaded onto a conveyor belt attached to the milling machine. This machine uses a front-loading conveyor system that also picks up any pavement that falls off the conveyor during milling—which makes it a long, heavy cumbersome piece of equipment to manage.

To deal with this massive piece of equipment, Al responded in his always-reliable "Ole12" heavy wrecker: a 1982 Western Star/1986 3500 NRC heavy. It's a 40-ton unit with a three-stage fixed boom and a 35,000-lbs. underreach. It also has a 60,000-lbs. Braden drag winch, which Al put to good use on this job.

After doing his walkaround, Al got busy rigging the machine so he could get in unstuck.

"The milling machine weighted 88,000 pounds," he said. "I just used two Grade 100 1/2-inch chains and two 17-ton screw-pin shackles hooked to (the) base of (the) machine; used the 60,000-lbs. drag winch with (a) 1-inch cable and 18-ton snatch block hooked back to Ole12 with a bridle."

Once the milling machine was rigged, Al was at the controls of Ole12, squatting down to watch the progress as he applied steady tension on the drag line and inched the machine out of the mud and back onto the road.

"Easy work for Ole12 and the drag winch," said Al.

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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