The Week's Features
Three body manufacturers will give live demos in Las Vegas
Recovering over 50,000-lbs. from a 70-percent grade driveway
Markets Class 8 chassis in U.S. for first time
Tow company says contract was arbitrarily cancelled
SDR Towing has interesting design of decals on trucks
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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingApril 25 - May 01, 2018

Kelly's Wrecker Service

ill.1.19.14 6d160By MICKEY MILLS

Vintage is in. With the right touch from the right people, what's old can be new again. Nobody knows this better than Kelly Neal of Kelly's Wrecker Service in Minneapolis, Minn. He works this 1986 K3500 Chevrolet 4x4 just as hard as any brand-new truck out there.

"I'll probably be buried in this truck," Kelly said. "I love driving the tow truck and helping people out."

Kelly started his towing business as a one-truck operation back in 1980. He held a full-time job during the day, but nights and weekends he could be found working his truck. He brought on an employee to drive the truck during the day.

Kelly's perseverance paid off and within a few short years Kelly's grew into a full-time operation with multiple trucks and 19 employees. Today his fleet has nine trucks including this vintage Chevy.

The Chevy was the first new truck Kelly brought into the operation. It has a 6.2 diesel and an automatic transmission, and a Holmes Protech 12 wrecker with 15,000-lbs. winches with a wheel lift and Collins self-loading aluminum dollies. It has just less than 400,000 miles, and has had some beauty work done as the miles piled up.

"The cab was pretty rusty, so I got a cab out of Texas, put on new doors and fenders," Kelly said about the rebuild. "Exhaust, running boards, new interior, seats and a complete rewire with all new red lights."

Roddy Pellow of Twin Cities Wrecker Sales personally took charge of the retrofit. Twin Cities replaced the wrecker body and reworked the Chevy, bumper-to-bumper and winches-to-wheels. The project took two years from start to finish and the end result is a true workhorse.

The truck was put to a unique recovery test last winter. Kelly got a call from a rural customer in a small farming community. One of his horses was very ill and with the snow and mud they were unable to get out to collect the animal. With no trouble at all, Kelly was able to get out there with the 4x4 Chevy, get the horse lifted and set on a pallet brought it out to the road to be taken to the vet.

At 25-years-old, this wrecker can still carry a load. And that's straight from the horse's mouth.

* This feature on a vintage Chevy wrecker is vintage TIW and first ran in 2011.

To have your unique wrecker and/or graphics scheme featured on TIW's Towman Illustrated pages, send a few pics and info to

No Pictures, Just All Decals

0 7210aBy George L. Nitti

With tornados slicing through South Carolina this past week, SDR Towing in West Columbia and its newly acquired 2018 Kenworth W900 Twin Steer/Century 1075S rotator has been busy in the recovery effort.

David McGee, who founded the company in 2009, said the truck recently arrived from Zip's in Iowa.

SDR stands for Southern Diesel Repair, and was a service that McGee specialized in until he entered the towing business. Seeing an opportunity, McGee and his wife started a towing business that has grown significantly to some two dozen trucks.

"Often I would provide road service to diesel trucks that had broken down and found that there were tow trucks not available to come out. ... I don't like customers sitting on the side of the road," McGee said.

For about a month and a half, McGee worked with Dendy Hill Graphics of Tennessee until he was satisfied with the design. It's strikingly bold for its original colors. The design is done in all decals and is set atop a black background.

"I wanted it where people could memorize the name," McGee said. "I wanted it to stand out. Everybody talks about our trucks."

The SDR logo stands out clearly on the side of the unit. It's written in a chrome color against a deep blue background, with a metal cut-out design accentuating the perimeter of the graphic.

The vibrant Kawasaki green and deep blue striping are especially appealing, and a couple of eye-popping yellow stripes add further contrast.

The chromeplating found on the boom, with the company name embossed, is also a special touch.

"I didn't want a lot of pictures on it," McGee said. "I wanted people to be able to read our letters and phone number. The truck really stands out at night, as it is all reflective. People are always videoing our truck when we're driving down the road."

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