The Week's Features
Big Tows gets call to recover over 43,000-lbs of cranberries
Driver chooses man's safety over "the book."
Good luck, repo agent, getting that back to Florida
Prairie Land Towing never feels cornered with rotator
Robert Young's has Kinco gloves for the kids
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Nov. 19-22, 2015
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May 12-14, 2016
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August 13-15, 2015
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There are many facets and considerations to working a municipal contract. American Towman Field Editor Randy Resch will conduct a session at TowExpo International discussing what it takes to serve under the terms of the contract. In his "Municipal Towing: Gaining Best Practices" seminar, he will also detail the reasons third-party administrator programs have come into existence in big cities in all states. Randy also will look at the fine points of responding to municipal and state bids to provide contract services that could give your proposal an edge. TowExpo International takes place at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas August 13-15 Register online right now at
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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingJuly 01 - July 07, 2015

Tower Hopes Photo [b]Sends Message

A tow truck driver captured a meaningful image after he responded to a serious crash involving a Virginia State Trooper on Interstate 95 in Caroline, Va.

Mark Giles Jr., a driver for Bud's Towing in Ruther Glen, said he and other troopers at the scene of a June 24 crash stopped in their tracks when they saw the detached bumper of a state trooper's cruiser on the interstate.

On the bumper was a sticker that read: "The Move Over Law: It Saves Lives."

"[This is] one of the most meaningful pictures I've ever taken," Giles posted on Facebook. "This is from the scene the other night where Trooper Benner was injured. The bumper from [the] car that got hit was laying on the ground perfect for this picture with the move over law sticker. June is Move Over Awareness Month so let's spread this awareness."

He said he hoped people shared his photo, adding that while the accident was not necessarily tied to the law's violation, he hoped the photo raised awareness.

"It's an extremely important law for us," he said. "We all have lives we want to live too."

Three troopers were directing traffic around high water when a southbound tractor-trailer slammed into their cruisers, according to a Virginia state police spokesman.


TRAA Wants [b]Wording Amended

Towing and Recovery Association of America President Jeff Roskopf and Joanne Blyton, legislative committee chairperson, are keeping a watchful eye on H.R. 2563, which they say has "quickly turned into the regulation of tow truck operations."

Chris Van Hollen and Don Beyer introduced the bill, titled "The State and Local Predatory Towing Enforcement Act," on May 21.

In a press release, TRAA claims that H.R. 2563 amends Title 49, United States Code, which effectively would allow states to regulate tow truck operations.

There are some states that already have laws in effect to regulate the towing of private property impounds and non-consensual towing, while other states do not.

TRAA states that while the amendment proposed in the bill may seem simple, it would allow for the regulation of all non-consent tow truck operations.

"Predatory towing is not an activity engaged in by most towers," said the TRAA release. "Of the towers that do perform private property impound, many use aggressive towing practices. While the instances of PPI towing problems are limited, they have become much publicized and a concern for the general motoring public.

"With that in mind, some in Congress believe that all towing industry practices need to be regulated. In essence the philosophy is to regulate the whole in order to eliminate the problematic minority."

TRAA is seeking the bill to be amended from its current language or tabled.

H.R. 2563 currently sits with a sub-committee on Highways and Transit, awaiting a hearing.

By Don Lomax

Beacon Software's [b]Dispatch Anywhere

Dispatch Anywhere 84299Beacon Software's Dispatch Anywhere is an advanced and comprehensive towing software designed for managing the modern professional towing company. The fleet management software designed to keep your tow trucks moving, so your drivers are not standing by waiting for the radio to clear to get the next call. Learn more about Beacon Software products at Tow Expo International, August 13-15, 2015, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas.
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Safety Over Protocol: When?

In the past two weeks, I've come across a few stories about towmen losing their jobs following company policy opting for safety over protocol.

Protocol doesn't always take into account a "common sense" factor. There are those extenuating circumstances that sometimes pop up in which the towman has to make a decision. One tower did call his company to be advised how to proceed regarding a disabled veteran and his service dog. Based on past experiences (including threat of a lawsuit), the company advised the towman to act in a way that went against contractual rules. Result? The towman was fired.

A similar situation (and result) happened in Queensland, Australia, (see story on News Page), where a situation involving a dangerous road and injured passenger presented itself. After the towman seemingly exhausted all alternative possibilities, his eventual action got him fired.

Like letter writer Chris White said, writing to his local television station about the first situation, "this seems like a tragic case of the company feeling forced to throw its employees under the bus."

Though contractual rules are there for a reason, there should be a point where extenuating roadside circumstances should override them.
--Charles Duke
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Virginia towman Mark Giles Jr. hopes this photo from Virginia State Police crash scene sends a life-saving message. Photo credit: Mark Giles Jr.
© 2015  Tow Industry Week/American Towman Media, Inc.