The Week's Features
Towman André Harris doesn’t consider himself a hero
Do your operators need a defensive driving course?
Excess emissions discovered by the California Air Resources Board
Graphics recall beloved childhood toy
Auxiliary tanks available in 50-, 75-, and 100-gallon capacities
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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingAugust 08 - August 14, 2018

Overcoming the Challenges of Towing

3By GEORGE L. NITTI

Working some of the hillier areas of Staten Island in a tow truck poses its share of challenges, especially in places like Todt Hill, located in the northeast part of the borough. At 390' above sea level, Todt Hill's elevation is the highest natural point on the Eastern Seaboard south of Maine.

An ice storm hit the East Coast in mid-December; J&J Towing and Recovery has three locations in Staten Island and was kept busy—especially on those steeper hills—at one point rescuing a UPS delivery truck and other trucks that slid down a slippery street.

"The streets get icy and the cars and trucks slide down. It keeps us busy in the winter time," said Chris Sanzone, one of the owners at J&J, which has been around for 40 years. "We are now a third generation of towers working at the company. I've been here for over 20 years."

Whether working the streets of Staten Island or the other four boroughs of N.Y.C., parts of New Jersey and even as far as Connecticut, towing presents other challenges for J&J such as dealing with daily traffic scenarios, working in dense areas, competing with other tow companies, and following the mandates of the city rotation.

Having the right equipment can make a difference under such challenging conditions, such as J&J's new state-of-the-art 2012 Dodge 5500 Chevron 408.

"The Auto grip lift, which loads the vehicle from inside or outside the truck is a big help as is the fact that we have four-wheel drive and tons of LED strobe lights, making us safer on these streets," said Sanzone.

The truck stands out with its white background and green and purple streaks. The graphics, took two weeks to complete—freehand—by Max Customs, including the beveled J&J silver-and-blue tinted logo that pops out due to a large drop shadow. The Warner Brothers cartoon figure, Marvin the Martian, punctuates the logo, sitting between the two Js wearing a green cap.

"He's been on our trucks since I was kid. He catches people's eyes. He was always funny and not too many people know who he was," said Sanzone.

Sanzone has been a regular and lifelong attendee of the American Towman Exposition in Baltimore.

"I've been going since I was a kid," he said. "We go every year. We bought the truck last November at the show, received it in March and entered it this year in the American Wrecker Pageant."

Brag @ TIW!
Should your truck be featured here? Send a few pics and your contact information to the editor at bdooley@towman.com. You might even be selected to go in print, too, in American Towman magazine!
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‘Our Little Tonka Truck’

0-Image-4 copy 2 62735By George L. Nitti

There are some things that remind us of our childhood, such as the toys that we grew up with.

Anyone remember pushing around a Tonka dump truck?

Recently, Pinkie Towing of Pasco, Washington, played host to a Spirit Ride event for the purpose of getting the word out about the Slow Down/Move Over Law in their state.

At the event, the company brought forth its fleet, showcasing several of their vehicles, including a bright yellow 2006 Ford F-550/Century 602 medium-duty wrecker.

What stood out was the classic typeface synonymous with Tonka Toys.

Owner Cassandra Gillum said, "We call it 'our little Tonka Truck' because when we picked it up, it was all yellow. It reminded us of a Tonka Truck."

With that as the inspiration, the newly formed company, spun off from Jaeger Towing in 2017, branded itself using Tonka's iconic lettering to give themselves greater distinction and memorability.

According to manager Dustin Jaeger, it was a challenge coming up with a name for the new company.

"We were searching for a name that would stand out," said Jaeger. "So we spent time coming up with a lot of potential names, until we finally liked 'Pinkie' because it was different. There are a lot of manly names out there.

"We wanted it to stand out for the other 60 percent of drivers," Jaeger said, "which are women and young people. We wanted it to be cute and something easy that would stick in your head."

Although there is no pink in this particular truck, their other all-white units include pink lettering.

Jaeger said, "We tried to put pink over the yellow, but the two colors don't meld, so we settled on white."

Regardless, the bright yellow truck and unique "Tonka" white lettering shadowed in black, stand out. The company phone number appears in black over a metallic background.

"We get a lot of great feedback on it," Gillum said. "Lots of kids like it and it stands out because it's a catchy color."

Both Jaeger and Gillum added their thoughts on participating in the Spirit Ride.

"The Spirit Ride was phenomenal, something bigger than us," Jaeger said. "For me, the highlight was transporting the casket and driving up the highway."

For Gillum, it was getting to know some of the other first responders.

"We bonded with some of police crew, which has gotten us closer to the local police department."

Brag @ TIW!
Should your truck be featured here? Send a few pics and your contact information to the editor at bdooley@towman.com. You might even be selected to go in print, too, in American Towman magazine!
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© 2018  Tow Industry Week/American Towman Media, Inc.