The Week's Features
Manufacturers, tow bosses, industry leaders will converge Aug. 16-18
Unit’s got that “Executive” design
All that coal didn’t quite make it around the bend
System designed to reduce frivolous accident and damage claims
Organizations work together to improve repo efficiencies
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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingJune 13 - June 19, 2018

The Patriot

ill.1.11.14 a4f96By GEORGE L. NITTI

One of the more scenic trips I've taken in the U.S. includes the magnificent Oregon coast, where there is unparalleled natural beauty. Tim Baumgartner, owner of Crockett Interstate Towing in Eugene, jarred my memory when he mentioned that his towing company traveled as far west as Florence, just off the coast. I remembered then I had gotten lost in the sand dunes of Florence on that trip. For Baumgartner, there is no better place to live than Eugene.

"I've been everywhere from Alaska to Hawaii. We are approximately 200 miles from the California border and 100 miles from Portland," he said.

As a university town with seven breweries, five or six wineries, plenty of arts and recreation, a diverse landscape, and a history of being fairly progressive, I would agree that Eugene is one of the more interesting places in the country.

Crockett has 30 trucks in its fleet, 45 years in operation and is the second-largest towing company in the state. Their recent recovery of a beer truck, covered by, brought one of their tow trucks to my attention.

A 2004 Peterbilt 330 with a custom-built boom and a 1982 Holmes 1601 (serial No. 1), their truck, called the Patriot, is one of a kind, showcasing superb custom-painted graphics, done by Ed Hubbs of Full Blown Kustoms, epitomizing American patriotism.

At the core of the truck are several bald eagles in different poses, each stunning and beautiful.

"What I find so extraordinary about his work is that the eyes and feathers are made to look so real," said Baumgartner. "It took Ed three to four days to paint it. First they did the yellow base and then he came in and did all of the detail work."

Other graphics include the American Flag that flows and waves across the entire truck, holding each of the graphics in its contours; a picture of an American Marine; war planes flying in the air; a sailor holding his lover in his arms; and American Marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima.

Then there is a stunning graphic giving tribute to Raymond Crockett Jr., a Bronze Star recipient, U.S. Army 1970-'72.

"He was my wife's brother. When he came back from Vietnam something wasn't right with him. That's when we learned about Agent Orange," Baumgartner said. He died of cancer in 1980.

Above all else, Crockett Interstate Towing prides itself on being of service to the other tow companies in the area who need their help.

"The company that called us to help out with the beer recovery was getting ready to go out of business. Until that job!" said Baumgartner.

You will also find on the side of their truck the U.S. Marine motto "Semper Fi," which means Always Faithful.

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Towing with Class

0 d0292By George L. Nitti

Since Toney Harper started Executive Towing and Recovery of Mesa, Arizona, in 2007 he has been working to bring it more in line with what it means to be "Executive."

"I've been going for higher quality service," Harper said. "When people call me, I want them to know that they are being taken care of by a professional towing company. We have many higher-end clients whose tows include valuable and vintage vehicles; but we are not exclusive as we are part of a police rotation. A lot of work is from dead batteries, lockouts and overheated vehicles due to 110-degree driving conditions."

Their 2017 Ford F-550 Lariat Super Duty/Chevron Renegade 408 has helped promote that image because of its many interior/exterior features that target comfort and luxury.

A change that Harper made was to the design of their trucks. "In year's past my color was blue, but with this truck I wanted to add black."

The wrap consists of multiple layers, the upper layer with a glossy black. A lower layer of glossy blue follows that, giving it a sharp two-tone that conveys "executive" all the way.

A psychedelic color scheme along the center of the unit's side and in the middle of the front hood stands out. As it shifts in the light, the application changes colors depending on how the sun hits it.

"I wanted something to stand out. It's a new product from 3M," Harper said.

To add to the design, a layer of flat stars was added on top of the glossy black, giving it contrast and pop.

The name of the company on the side door is headed by a large capital 'E,' blending in with the blue/black two-tone.

This year at the wrecker pageant at the Vegas Tow Show, the unit won first place for best in the 2017-2018 Light-Duty Class.

"A lot of people stopped and admired it, particularly loving the front-end custom headlights, harnesses and under glow wraps that color-matched the black and blue," Harper said. "Normally the 550 doesn't come with this front-end custom lighting."

With plenty of LED lighting to go around, its clean and professional image is enhanced, while on the front windshield lettering promoting "Move-Over AZ" becomes even more visible.

Brag @ TIW!
Should your truck be featured here? Send a few pics and your contact information to the editor at . You might even be selected to go in print, too, in American Towman magazine!
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