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Andy

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  1. It’s funny I have swapped tires and towed cars from some less desirable highways in the dark rain and snow but the worst tow to date was in one of our local town one way two lane 25 mph road. I took a second person had them load the car while I yelled and screamed at people to get the fk over. I had hazard marker out was in my reflective coat the Triple x size I wear because it’s got miles of reflective tape on it We were in high gear probably blocked 2/3rd of one lane for less than three minutes during which time I literally could have hit the passengers in twenty cars that refused to get over one of which was even a fellow shop owner he was within a couple feet of me before he moved over. Through the entire event I counted the worst delay we created for any driver was eight seconds yep eight seconds one car was stopped while trying to get in another lane. live seen two other cars pulled off this road without a second person and thought the next time I get a call for this location I will require a cop to block the road so they can kick the sides of cars that refuse to get over.
  2. Interesting post. When I was I think 13 I was collecting fees for my paper route. I was three driveways down from a crash involving a Ford pinto being hit from the rear while stopped in the left turn lane. I was the only witness other than the driver of the truck that hit them. Heard the tires screeching in time to turn and watch the whole event. Car blew into flames. Killed the mother father and son it was the sons birthday as well. The only fortunate or unfortunate thing was there young daughter was thrown from the car the only one not wearing a seat belt. She survived. this would have been around 1977 ish, I was questioned for months. Today Its not a haunting memory, But I know that I thought about that day for years. I cant say I was traumatized but I know it never has really left my mind even today. I do think some things were handled better then. The news were not on site for quite a while. The fire department and response teams were able to work and people that were there were helpful and I doubt that would be the case today. I remember when a person that wasn’t part of the responders found the little girl in the bushes quite a ways from the crash everyone backed off and let the paramedics treat her. never really thought about dealing with death at a crash as the tow truck driver but I should I’ve been working on cars for a long time and have seen a half dozen vehicles towed in that were fatal crashes. I feel for you if your a part of this type of recovery because I know first hand it’s a memory that will probably never leave you.
  3. Great post I’m need some changes in this department.
  4. i added the ice spade bit and sling. I will probably build or buy the fifth wheel attachment but I can haul most trailers with my Gm dually already I’ll probably never see a motorcycle if so I’ll put in on my rollback. I started designing a storage compartment for the small seat section of the back seat going to make one for each truck and remove that section, I’m pretty crafty if time ever presents itself I tig and mig weld aluminum can bend thick materials as well. for the life of me I could not have a truck without a back seat, and I will probably fabricate all kinds of hangers for chains bars boards etc off the light bar and rear deck when I figure out what I need. I really need a wrecker class because I know nothing about how to maximize this trucks potential and be safer doing so,
  5. I have found and ordered a new wrecker. Its like the song you cant always get what you want but I did get what I needed. And its enough of what I wanted to be ok all the way around. Its a 2021 XLT F550 extended cab with and MPL40 twin line Jerr Dan wrecker no tunnel box. In reality I would have changed two things if it was possible. I would have liked a Lariet but thats superficial and the chevron wrecker body. It will be done by the end of Sept I imagine and in reality I was hoping for delivery by the end of October so I’m pretty sure its in time. Weather here is a little odd some falls. We might not see snow till January so who knows. Its of coarse about as far away as one might imagine. I’m trying to find a wrecker training class between there and here in the time frame and maybe I can hit that on my way home and look like a fool driving up in my new wrecker. But I will get over it. I dont know if I mentioned this but I havent even sat in a wrecker since the mid 80s let alone operated one. But I’m a quick study and there ain’t no turning back now. Its funny my wifes more excited about it than me however all she does is make sure I get paid for my work hell shes even making my son do that. I guess I’d be happy to if she landed a new job with the potential for more money and all I had to do was spend it. Maybe I will be more excited about it when I sit in it:) I do know that i was unsure about buying the roll back in 2015 but it has turned out to have worth while. In the beginning it helped me enough in just keeping cars moving between the two shops enough that I didnt even really need to see a profit from customer and insurance tows. Now that ive backed out of running the shops the towing is something I like to do and it is also something I hope to be able to do much longer than physically working the shops and for sure its less stress than running two of them. Thanks for your help Andy
  6. I guess its a catch 22 I like the traffic cone idea if I can find ones that are not cheap crap and lights that fit them well, catch being if the state troopers are going to drive over them everyone else will as well then theres the forgetting them in the rush to get out of there factor as well. You don’t want to cheap out and end up dead and where’s the price point that’s a good target for what I guess has to be considered a consumable part of the job. I think I was more pissed off about the trooper driving over my safety marker and leaving me with no marker behind me and I didn’t know it until I was loading up to leave. I think I can make room on the deck of both my rollback and soon to be wrecker for real cones. I like them v the triangles. if you happen to know a brand of flashers that you’d recommend would be great.
  7. Since the last state trooper to stop and not assist in blocking highway traffic whizzing by me while I was changing an RV tire drove over my warning markers when he just drove off. I need to replace them with something better than the plastic triangular ones that break half the times you pull them out any way. Its bad enough they were destroyed but I was under a truck when he pulled away and my personal truck blocked my view of him and I was out there working without any reflective markers after he drove over them. Ain’t that special. I’d like something battery powered on a triangle base that I can raise up enough for better vis. Ive been looking at them but its hard to tell from the crappy images if I’m ordering some crap for John Q. Public to stash in his trunk in case he never needs them v a set that might actually keep me alive in bad weather hold up well and be worth the money. Hell I dont even know if a battery powered flashing light is legal or not. Maybe you can answer that for me.
  8. Thanks you helped me a lot. I may go with the MPL40 and forgo the drop legs and just go with a spade bit or build something to dig. I am going with 12,000 pound twin line winches. I like dragging stuff:) Two functions of this wrecker are winter winch outs most of which will be cars and one ton or lighter trucks. At least that’s what i think. The other function is towing either on a sling or the wheel lift, vehicles that are to heavy for my roll back which is a 4WD F550 ex cab as well. Its limited in carrying anything more than a light crew cab half ton truck. Even then I’m over legally on wheel weight regardless of where its put. And i think its a 50/50 toss up for which one of those two uses will be where the truck pays for itself. 9 months out of the year this truck will probably sit a lot as the roll back will most likely always be the go to truck when possible. I have a plan for the extended cab. First I’m a fabricator of sorts I plan to remove the single portion of the split rear seat and make this a storage area. This might offset the lack of a tunnel box as I want the extended cab over a tunnel box but not the length of both because there are a lot of mountain roads around here and maneuvering on these roads turning around in tight places etc in bad road conditions is a big priority. My tuck also sits in a secured lot in the middle of nowhere so i can build chain and cable racks that are behind the cab without them being stolen every time it sits. So theres a way to improve storage. OK about the drop legs and there interference with vehicles with a lot of overhang because i really like the looks of the chevron box with drop legs is it something I can live with when towing trucks and box vans or not. I also know it adds quite a bit of weight to the whole show which is also a factor as these F550 and lighter trucks are really legally challenged to begin with when you start getting down to GVW and loaded wheel GVWs I live on a state line and tow back and forth over state lines and theres weigh stations. Also thinking about repairing the Chevron equipment is something to think about. Price wise your spot on with what I’m pencilling in. If I’m forced to wait until next summer for a truck I will order a Lariet. The dodge is out for me because of two things ther fuel tank is like a teacup. 22 gallons I think the Fords 28 gallon fuel tank sucks to begin with. And it becomes a loss of time. Seems like some days I’m already filling up three times. And I do not want the added length the Dodge crew cab adds even though its not much over the Ford extended cab. I’m trying to get someone in the NW to put my desires in writing with a fairly close ball park to actually have an idea. No one here on the west coast is even interested in that. Meanwhile several dealers on the east coast dealers think there going to be able to fill this order 3 to 6 months faster than anyone on the west coast. However its really not a huge rush unless someone can land me some truck keys before winter hits which no ones been able to do that anywhere. Thanks again
  9. I have found a new super cab F550 4X4 with the extra leaf springs or HD package its a 84CA bed length which poses a few questions. Will the length of this thing be to much to deal with bad weather roads etc especially getting into places for recoveries and things like that. Most likely it will be chained up on all four corners or should I really target the shorter truck. And how much more stabile will this length be towing heavier rigs in a sling or on the wheel lift. Which might offset some of its length in the above question thanks for your input.
  10. My quest for a new wrecker has landed me in the special order line waiting for a 2022 F550 or Dodge 5500. I’m struggling with the fact that I cant find what I want and then what I need v wait times and the potential lost revenues over the winter Most likely the ford because of the super cab v crew cab and the fuel tank on the dodge is really small Ill spend as much time filling up as I do working. I filled my 28 gallon tank twice last night. It was however a good night towing. It might have taken a third fill up in the dodge. I already think the 28 gallon Ford tank is to small. Primary function of this truck is recoveries winch out bad weather related type work. I have a nice 4x4 roll back but I rarely take it out for anything in bad weather. Wasnt an issue when I worked one of my two auto shops. I didnt do that much towing because I worked enough as it was. Today My crew runs the show well enough that ive increased my towing enough to cover the cost of a new wrecker. In some ways I think I’m being like a spoiled kid who’s dad pays for anything he wants. Because I’m looking a a fairly expensive build with all the crap I want to add to it. However my shops have put me in a position to buy what I want not what I can find at X price. And i do enough towing these days to more than cover the costs even if I could probably shave at least $20K off the price. Most of the fluff is on the truck build sheet not the wrecker box. Big question is what I really need in this truck and wrecker box v what i want. Keep in mind I havent even seen a wrecker up close since the mid 80s. I really dont have a clue what i want. Nor did i when I bought the roll back in 15 but I bought a fairly loaded truck and dont feel the extra money I spent on it was a waste. The only truck related question is about gear ratio and limited slip rear diff. theres three options on the ford ratio I like the idea of the posit track but wonder if it will make it want to slip sideways on ice. I know cars on ice with posi trac can be a thrill ride in some conditions? I’m looking at a Chevron 408 TA wrecker box most likely on an extended ( super cab) 4x4 F550 diesel. I know most suggest the 84 CA length with a tunnel box however I wonder if the added length of the super can and the tunnel box may make its maneuverability on bad roads is an issue? Any thoughts here. I like the super cab over the tunnel box even if I have to deal with storage of dirty wet snow covered gear at times. So if length is an issue here myself I’m going with a super cab if length isnt really and issue then i will do the tunnel box along with it. So thats first major question. Next is slings. I dont know that i will ever see the need for them but thats just my thoughts. Most of my tows i will have an idea what I’m picking up and I could leave them off for most of its use and put them on if I think i might need them. If there simple enough to R@R in a hurry. The chevron box with the drop arms looks like what i want over anything else for recovery stuff. I plan to target recovery that most of the local tow companies wont touch and being able to anchor myself in dirt ice snow mud might be important but thats just speculation it looks like very few boxes have anything like this short of just a shoe or spade bit. Which may be enough. I’m assuming the 408 TA box will be a considerable bit heavier which might be a negative if I’m hauling something like a 1 ton crew cab LWB dually diesel. But again I just dont know. And wheel dollies are probably something that I want on the top of the deck not in the ditch mounting. Because i think in a lot of its use they will pack in with ice and mud and be miserable to work with a lot of the time. I’m located in the center of the cascades and theres a lot of dirt and gravel roads along with some deep snow and ice at times. Any input here. Most of the builders ive talked to tell me in the ditch is there most common mounting. Ok theres my list of things that I’m curious about if any of you can shed some light on it that would be great. Be safe and thanks Andy
  11. And now that I’ve got the green light from my wife I can’t find a truck. Same thing happened in 2015 when I bought my roll back ive now searched the us top to bottom. Looks like I will have to order what I want wait for a truck to show up and hope they can get a wrecker box installed before winter rolls in. ive only found a couple of used ones of interest to me and there to high mileage come from states with heavy de icer use or so close in price to a new one I will wait for one to be built.
  12. Ive never even been in a wrecker to know what to expect. I own a 2015 f550 4x4 roll back that’s more than paid for itself. I foresee winter winch outs and recovery tows as an easy way to cover the cost of a new wrecker. I’m skilled in bad weather driving and winch outs it’s kind of part of my DNA so it’s a good fit. But I really have no idea what is the right configuration of a truck to buy. I know I want self loading wheel lift and the easiest to use rear dolly system. I plan to be a lazy old tow truck driver for years to come and won’t be skimping on a few dollars now to regret it ten plus years down the road. so my questions would be something like this keep in mind that I have a very nice roll back for normal weather for cars and light vehicles. What length and body configuration is going to serve me best for really bad weather ice snow high wind and getting up or down a steep driveways roads etc. my train of thought is short standard cab 4wd diesel powered F550 Ford or 5500 Dodge in 4x4 but I like having the extended cab for people or gear. Or would a crew cab matter in its performance for the type of use I’m buying it for. And if the roads clear I have my roll back. Some winters we get very little snow and ice then there’s the ones that roll in in November and leave in may. Ideally I’ll chain it up when storms hit and not be taking them off and on a lot. I know that won’t always be possible and to complicate that off winter season I’d like to be able to tow things like one ton crew cab LWB trucks with the wrecker theres just a little more the roll back I have now should be used for and for sure legally not. This is also why the 550 or 5500 is what I think I need. I pass up just enough of these types of tows to be part of the scheme in getting the boss ( my wife) to ok this purchase.
  13. Hi all Andy with Greentree Automotive I own two automotive shops one in Oregon one in Washington about an hour east of Portland Oregon Bought a roll back tow truck in 2015 mainly to service the two shops as one does light work the other heavy repairs it wasnt to become a regular tow company at the time. Covid and proper staffing has changed my position from the everything guy to the possibility of semi retiring. My plan for a few years has been to amp up my towing and tractor and light excavation work and step out of the lime light of running two automotive shops. It now seems I probably wont need to do much more than towing. The wife and I are talking about me adding a 4x4 wrecker and doing more recovery and winch out work in the winter which is something I have not pursued but had quite a few calls when the weather turns the way it does here some winters. I’m fairly skilled at things like this and know the mountains around here pretty well. good to be here thanks for letting me join Andy
  14. I’m hot and here 113 degrees today broken cars everywhere I look.
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