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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingMay 16 - May 22, 2018
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Ancient Theatrics Found on Flatbed

0-1907951 755997971155553 8951624981873631691 n 7b98eBy George L. Nitti

What do tow trucks and kabuki theatre have in common? One look at a tow truck owned by Aimes Towing & Collision in Freeport, N.Y., might provide a good indication.

On the hood of their 2004 International DT466 4300 with a Jerr-Dan 22' aluminum bed is a Japanese masked demon which has a history rooted to Japanese traditional theatre.

"I was looking to do something different and I found this image online. It was based off of a Japanese tattoo," said Paul Aimes, one of the owners.

Although the tattoo is rooted in an ancient Japanese art form traced back to the early 17th Century, the imagery presented is not that far removed from much of what we find on tow trucks now. Today, many trucks feature illustrations of mythological characters, cartoons and action heroes, perhaps expressing a tower's connection with the superhero and acts of bravery and heroism.

These ancient masked figures, which were used as theatrical devices to shock the audience and engage them in stories, were later adopted as masks by Samurai warriors to illustrate acts of heroism.

Aside from this graphic on the hood, the body of the tribal flame-themed truck melds well with the demonic mask. Its background colors consist of beautiful gradients of blue, green and yellow, and integrate perfectly to accentuate the company name, Aimes II.

Other eye-catching features of this unit include its red visor and 400-plus LED lights and strobes.

In the environs of Long Island, you might say that the competition is stiff.

"There are about 75 to 80 tow companies in our area," Aimes said. "Slaying the dragon is a metaphor for slaying the competition."

(Note: This article originally appeared in the March 9, 2016 edition of Tow Industry Week)

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