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Tow411

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Tow411 last won the day on December 11 2018

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  1. In 2008 Foxtow asked for next generation tow ops to respond and these members replied. Are you on the list and are you a next generation that should be on a new list? Foxtow82 Capptow Myerstowing Wade200 Dallas Horton Recovery Inc. aka Chris Fontaine timjohn CustomCruzr45 Checkerwrk2 ExpressTowAaron nullstowing PaulsTowing DodgeMotorsports DixieTowgirl 88 DHook488 BobjrV60 Andys08Towing deperone DavidV
  2. Topic Originally Created by Brian991219 in June of 2011: Hi. I do not usually post much as I have been working in the background for the last few years but not actively towing anymore. I have seen a lot of talk about gypsy towers stealing away work with low prices, cutting corners and so on. My question is, what makes a small service a fly by night service? I understand the guys running out of their house, who lied to their insurance company about their truck, pretending it is a pickup not a commercial vehicle and such. How about a trained professional who is a one man show, running an older, well maintained and paid for truck? He can run for much less, so should he charge higher prices just to keep from infringing on someone elses business model, or should he charge what his operational costs plus a reasonable margin dictate? The reason I ask this is simple. I have one older truck left from when I had my fleet, nothing special at all it is a 94 Super Duty with a 19 foot WeldBilt bed on it. The truck has been kept very well, fully equipped and ready to work, I held on to it as a toy hauler but have been kicking around moonlighting or taking only the calls I feel like doing. My phone still rings weekly with calls for towing, I don't even have my business line anymore but enough people have my cell they still call. I would be operating out of a piece of commercial property that happens to also have my house on it, no real overhead, just insurance, my wages, and other minor costs associated with running the truck professionally. One of the local law enforcement agencies has asked if I would run non-preference calls after 8 pm since non of the other companies in my area like to answer phones after dark and the officers usually end up waiting 45 to 60 minutes for a truck from a neighboring town to respond. I just want to feel out public opinion on this, don't want to step on anybody's toes or set the world on fire, I just miss running a truck and none of the local guys want to hire me to run for them, they're afraid I will try and take their customers. Also, I do not want to be seen as a scab or fly by night operation just because I have a older truck and run out of a paid for piece of property that doubles as my home. Let me have your thoughts, and be honesty, I am a big boy and if I am on the wrong track I would appreciate it if everyone spoke up before I go ahead an do this. Thanks and Cya in the Ditch! Brian Miracle1 said: It really depends on what fits your plan,Meaning if you plan to stay a one man with a old truck show or if you plan to grow and add a newer truck...as far as being able to run for much less?I doubt it possible.Your older truck will eventually die and will need to be replaced..Therefore I'd charge what my market will bare...If you are planning to cut others throat just cause you can then, I'd have to classify you as a gypsy or lowballer...However, from some of your post I believe you to be a smart business man who will do whats best for himself and the industry and low price tows is not it!!!! You'll do the right thing Good luck!!!! Kenny Wrecker44 said: As far as i'm concerned, If your running in compliance with laws and regulations regarding a commercial towing business in your area, i'm not gonna throw mud at you. What you charge for your services is nobody's business but your customers and yourself. All company owners and independent contractors have different operating costs, which effect the cost of the services provided. With that said, I would recommend keeping your prices at least somewhat comparable to your local standard, mainly to avoid lowering the public's image of the VALUE (not cost) of the services you can provide. By VALUE i mean the ability of your customer to pick a phone 24hrs a day and you bring an arsenal of knowlege and tools to their rescue. What I define as a "Gypsy" or "Fly-By-Night" outfit has NOTHING to do with the cost of their services. Those who fall into that catagory are easy to spot. They are either unable or unwilling to adhere to regulations and acceptable standards in the industry that are in place for the protection of the public and ourselves. Things like insurance, licensing, zoneing, equipment safety requirements, working load limits, hazmat awareness, proper securement/rigging, pathologens.......the list goes on for pages. Don't be that guy Brian. Good luck and stay safe. TOMJR said: Having one truck and your own customer base doesnt make you a gypsy. I think patro;ing the hiway for people to take advantage of does. You have a truck, and customer base set up. You dont need to lower your price because you dont have alot of overhead. Brian991219 said: Thanks for the honest answers. You are thinking along the same lines as I am as to what is bad for our industry and what the public perceives. Market rate is a very acceptable way of pricing, someone is going to be the highest and someone is going to be the lowest and if in the middle you can make a reasonable rate of return then you are most likely correct in your pricing structure. I have never been one to compete on rate alone, I firmly believe you get what you pay for. I will keep everyone posted as to my decision and thought process along the way. Stay Safe! RodVT said: I'd just add that you really need to base your charges on being able to afford your next truck, not solely on your current expenses. Also, if you are towing as a sideline, why not be on the high side of local pricing? Work less, make more, don't step on any toes, and avoid the customers who solely care about price. Brian991219 said: I agree with you Rod. I don't intend to be on the low side of things, just wanted to put that out there to get a feel for how others in the industry feel about competing on price. I plan on charging enough to make it worth my time, I don't have to do this, I want to, but also want to profit enough to justify doing it. Of course I know the older truck will not last and I do not borrow so I will need to have enough reserve capital to cover replacement without taping into my emergency fund or personal savings. Since I have been out of the business for a while I want to try this out before I take another chance on a full scale company here or anywhere else to see if I still have the love for towing I used to. I do love the industry and have made some very dear friends over the last 20 years. I did get out for a reason but circumstances have changed and I feel like I want to try this again. Towing is also something my youngest daughter is very interested in, she used to ride along with me whenever she could, heck she was born on the front seat of my tow truck in 1996. If I could build up something in the next few years she is right at the age where she can work the office to learn the business and then start driving in two or three years. Right now this is all hypothetical, I have not decided if I want to run with it or not. I do know I am tired of doing part time work for some of the locals here that refuse to have the proper equipment and safe environment to work in. If that is the only way I can tow then I would rather not tow, so that is what is leading me to try my own truck again. At least that way I can do what I believe is right and do it how I have been trained. With my background in safety and compliance I run a very tight and legitimate ship, something a lot of people overlook. It would look bad for me as a safety consultant to get caught running under the radar so that is out of the question. Lastly, there is enough work to go around and I do not intend on impeding on anyone else's business however, if they can't keep their customers happy and they come my way so be it. I do know I do not want to be a large company again, once you get more than two or three trucks it becomes hard to keep the dedication and professionalism consistent among the hired help. Notice I said hard, not impossible. I give a lot of credit to the owners that can do this, I had a very hard time when I had multiple trucks. Today I manage fleet and driver safety and compliance for a construction fleet with 90+ trucks and operators and that is a very tough job. I do not want to do that again in my own business, so yes I will be staying a small operation. TOMJR said: I have found that the cheapskates that priceshop are not worth the agravation. They create the most drama and have no respect for anybody and the calls take the longest and are the most complicated by the fact that they are never ready, the keys are not there, they dont show up on time, they want something done at some weird hours. They are not worth the hassle. twinbulls said: Fly by night means to me someone running totally illegal and will change his phone number when he forgets to pay his bill... gypsy is someone running on the edge of legal might have had insurance once.. might have had a tow license once.. but because of there low rates they can NOT afford to run legal now... And of course the Pirate someone who runs calls to just rip off the public... No real care for our industry ...Scamming at every call... low balling and or high price rip off.... anyway you sound like your NOT any of those...... Run your truck legal and be a pro... and charge what your worth.... I just had a conversation with a buddy (1 truck) and we where talking prices... He is amazed at what I charge.... My point was I feel I am worth more $$$ and thus charge more... he feels he is worth $$ and thats what he charges. and is about $30 less than me.... I told him to put more value on what he does.. and see how it works out.??? goodmicheal said: First off, I believe in a free market economy. I believe that the government has no business regulating businesses to the degree that government influences business within this nation. We as a nation have regulated industries right out of the country, and regulated ourselves out of thousands of jobs. It is the right as well as the responsibility of the consumer to become educated as well as be responsible for the consequences of their actions as well as their decisions. When the consumer makes a bad choice then it is time for the government to step in and impose consequences based on the severity of the act. I do believe that government has the responsibility/right to impose tariffs on goods that are brought to this nation after being produced by eight year old where labor is not a factor in the overall price, which results in the harm to the USA, where labor is a factor. I also believe that if law enforcement observes a person towing a car with a rope made from round bale hay twine they should step in and impose consequences and not turn a blind eye to the hazard to the general public. That being said, I believe it is your right to charge whatever rates are profitable and beneficial to you and your family. If you are in a situation where you are profitable and content, so be it. It is your business, and your business alone. It is the responsibility of the general public to make the final decision as to where they will spend their money. It is stunning that so many people root, root, root for the home team, yet when they go to Wal- Mart they sell out the country by buying a cheaper product that is made in China when there is a perfectly good product that is made in the USA that may cost a few dollars more that is readily available. Why is it wrong for someone to save a few bucks on a tow, but perfectly acceptable to sell out the nation by purchasing inferior crap, made by child labor in third world countries, that puts money in the coffers of an elite few? What have you bought made in your country, the USA, lately? Santiam01 said: Our country & economic system has always been based upon "building a better mousetrap" Hopefully they both survive the current leaders. Anyway, a one truck operation that isn't heavily dependent on auto clubs & salvage pools, is usually based upon relationships & loyal customers who appreciate you & what you offer to them & in turn their customers (auto shops, body shops, etc) So generally, your survival is not based on being the cheapest, the lower overhead model just allows for you to operate at a more cost effective level. Most of the smaller operations I work with tend to work together to take care of each others customer base. As long as you are meeting the legal needs-proper insurance & D.O.T. compliance, there is nothing wrong with a one truck operation. twinbulls said: I just bought 5 coils(COP) for my Ford V10 all American made..... Yep I was surprised to ...LOL They did have a cheaper one.... I passed.... I agree. it should be an open market but when You have big brother looking down with laws and penalties you get upset by those who skirt the system and break the laws only to take your work at a lower substandard rate.... Stay safe
  3. Topic Originally Created by Larry Searles in April of 2011: As I was reading the latest of seemingly endless notices of yet another downed towing professional, I was reminded of a reoccuring question that I ask my self from time to time. What attracts us to towing ? I think a lot of us are just men who just never got over playing with trucks. But, besides being able to drive on the wrong side of the street and block the intersections at rush hour, isn't part of the attraction the danger involved? Maybe I'm just speaking for myself, but I cant deny that I get a rush when I'm loading a car in the fast lane shoulder and the cars are flying by two feet away causing my pant legs to rustle from the wind. And when I'm under a truck disconnecting a drive shaft, seeing the traffic coming towards me at what looks like a hundred miles an hour! Just like race car drivers, is there something about flirting with danger that gives this profession appeal? Anyone else share these thoughts? miracle1 said: Nope!!! The appeal to me is that I can do what many can't.... The danger aspect I could care less about...I take every safety measure, I can take to assure me of going home safely at the end of the day. Kenny twinbulls said: I like to help others ... I like trucks...I like flashing lights,, I like to get dirty, I like to take cars that dont belong to me (repo), I like what we do.. all of it.... And yes some things are dangerous just do your best .and be safe... brostow13 said: I'm with Kenny I could care less about the danger aspect .If I could hook up all vehicles in a parking lot I would be perfectly content.I also agree with Tim ,I like trucks ,flashing lights and I like what I do ...Towing and Recovery. Mark towgodess14 said: It's not about the danger. I love that I can do what a lot of men can't/won't do. I enjoy the look on their faces when they see the Tow Truck Driver is a GIRL. LOL I enjoy the fact that every day, every tow is different. I get bored really easy. I love rolling up on a recovery and wondering how the he** they managed to do that, and how am I going to undo it. There are risks involved in the job, but it's a part of me now and I have a hard time thinking of anything else I would want to do. Charlie Rittenhouse said: for one hate working the highway with trucks flying by. it even makes me made at times how fast they go passed with out as much as a brake check. As far as your orignal post you may have a death wish. DragNTow said: If I didn't like danger, I wouldn't have gotten married 3 times!!!!!!!!! Then again maybe I am just a slow learner. Happy Haulin....................DragNTow Kyresqtow said: Why do I stay in it..... because so many times I have done what "everyone else" said couldn't be done... so many times I showed up in my 1 ton to bring a car out to have the police tell me that 2 other companies said it couldn't be done with that size truck... and yet there I was at the end... with the car.... I could care less about the every day towing... it's the recoveries I like. Graciesdad said: We got a suv out one time that everyone on the scene said would take a HD to get, we did it with a little 12 ton. They remember that, and are not afraid to call you for the next odd, difficult job. For some odd reason I love camper / travel trailer wrecks. They are always a challenge to get up-righted without falling apart. I only have a MD truck so its a lot of outside the box thinking involved. Lots to clean up too. Lot of guys whine about clean up, I love it....all the way to the bank. As for the danger aspect.....I hate it, for my crew and myself. That's why I'm a safety nut and get on the guys often about safety issues. I have fired guys before because I didn't want to have to call their family and tell them something bad. They just were scary lazy with safety. Some people don't need to work in this business....... Jay Indiana durrstowing.com quigma1 said: Your always going to have the danger factor. Working the job site, if its not the danger of hooking the vehicle or the recovery it the moving traffic. Move over laws are a joke unless the law is being enforced by your police departments. I've been brushed and bumped by mirrors several times by moving traffic over the years. It's second nature to me to keep an eye on traffic. In all honesty, It's the biggest fear to me, being taken out working a job on the highway. But I don't let it stop me from doing my job. I got into this profession doing police towing, then branched out into the other side of it. Commercial, and private towing. Working side by side with law enforcement was the line that hooked me. Being real close to the action, not only involved in the towing part, but involved in other stuff with them as well. Like sitting in on stakeouts, waiting for the bad guys to show up, so you can hook the vehicle and go, hauling stolen goods that they can't fit into the patrol cars, and more. It's better than watching it on TV. The challenges of the accident-recovery and then hearing through the grapevine, that so and so said thank goodness Steve is here. Do you ever hear the stories from your friends in law enforcement about your fellow towers and how l o n g it takes them to do the same job you just did and how you make it look soooo easy? Isn't that a good feeling that they know the difference between you and the other guys? GregTowzIt said: Interesting topic for sure!!! I'm in my 20th year in this industry still at the same place I started. I love this job!! It is challenging, ever-changing and I love changing the way people percieve towpersons. Being professional with even the most menial job and treating the customers respectfully helps to change the way they view our industry and helps our company grow as well. There is always the exception to the rule, but I have found that most customers are glad we are there and appreciate not being made to feel stupid because of the situation they are in. The dangers of the job are a part of it and I think that most people should not be on the side of the road attempting to change a tire, etc., without safety training. Not many people carry safety vests to protect themselves anyways. Where I live I would like to see signs informing motorists about the slow down/move over law. Most people do not know about it because it is not widely publicized. To all my fellow operators, stay safe out there and take care!! nvtowing said: you should try skydiving instead. Its safer! nbacdon said: I guess the whole flirting with danger is a part of this job that I like. But come on people how cool is it that we get to go to work every day and play with trucks. I used to (like 9 years ago) work in a garage installing plows and and truck accessory's but I dont think I could ever go back to working inside. Donny Swenbeck Bills Auto Clinic Salem MA (978)-745-2087 wm050915 said: I used to get a small adrenaline rush when working on the side of a busy highway. Now ever since my accident that could have just as easily taken my life I have constant nightmares. I am still sidelined with my injuries, but each time my better half has to go do a call on the highway, I feel sick untill she clears the call. The move over laws are definately under advertised, and under enforced. The attending L.E.O.'s on my accident did not even know about the law. I had to look it up for them in the HTSA, for them to tell me it would be too hard to convict and too much paper work. Advertising the laws in drivers ed, and in the registration offices would be a good start. More signage on the roads too. But for the most part it is all pointless unless Law enforcement agancies are willing to enforce the laws. As for why do we do it if it is so dangerous? I enjoy helping people. I enjoy the look on a little kids face as you pull his parents car out of the ditch, or unlock a cherished pet from a vehicle. When you pull up in a clearly too small truck and perform a magic act cause the guy didn't think you could do it that way. The challange, the opportunity to make a bad situaton better for someone in need, the chance to be a big kid playing with even bigger toys. The opportunity to keep learning new things each and every day with out fail. That is what keeps me doing this. It is a lifestyle not a job. If you do this only as a job, you should be pumping gas or scrubbing porta potties or something. Both of which tend to pay better, and have better hours, and working conditions. Towing is a way of life. In Memory of PlanBTransort who said: I love begin outdoors, in all types of weather, stopping and trying new places for lunch, meeting new people, going to different places, being challenged everyday, its never boring, seeing new and classic cars, seeing others in the industry, body shops, dealerships, mom and pop repair shops,the conversations while under tow, peoples houses and boats and properties when you arrive, defineately not your 9-5 M-F job. HeavyD said: The whole flirting with danger is a part of this job that I like. I got hit 5 years ago by a honda doing about 70 the a$$hole didn't even stop . I was ready to get back in the truck the next day even though I could not sit or lie on my back. Who knows the next time could be the last .Now I get a littel nervous hooking up on the freeways hear in LA but I always keep an eye on traffic . HEAVYD WWW.BOBSTOWCA.COM "The Views Expressed Are My Own and Do Not Necessarily Represent Those Of The Staff, Management, or My Employer."
  4. Art of Dispatching - Advisor Article - Part 2 of 4 by FTI Groups (from 2006) Just wanted to share Part 2 of this article from the Advisor that is currently arriign in member mailboxes. THE ART OF DISPATCHING - Part 2 of 4 MOTIVATION Compliment your driver staff. It will motivate them to perform. Yes, I wrote “your” driver staff. The old adage “if you live by the sword, you will die by the sword” could be rewritten for the dispatcher. The dispatcher’s version would read “if you live by the driver, you will die by the driver”, and believe me, a dispatcher lives by his drivers. In other words, the dispatcher is so dependent on the driver staff for the success of his job, that he will only be as good as the drivers to whom he assigns calls. A well-timed “good job” on the radio goes a long way toward motivating a driver to a repeat performance in the future. A note in a driver’s office mailbox is not just a way of saying “thanks for handling that mad customer”, but it provides something for him to take home and show his family. A quick message over the mobile data terminal or his Nextel to say “thanks for the way you handled that last call” will encourage the driver in his 10 hour day of fighting traffic and rude drivers. A while back, Campbell’s Soup ran a series of television commercials warning viewers –“Never underestimate the power of soup.” While you scoff at the idea that soup has some power, I bet you remember the commercial, which is the whole idea isn’t it? Likewise, never underestimate the power of a sincere compliment, a thoughtful thank you for a job well done, a simple word of encouragement that someone’s effort is appreciated. It will not only brighten the driver’s day, but it will foster loyalty, build trust, and strengthen work habits. It will make everyone more productive. Be moved to motivate. A dispatcher does not assign calls to drivers…he sends people to serve other people. CONFRONTATION Do it quickly. Do it correctly. Do it consistently. The need for the confrontation of a driver performing his job poorly, being insubordinate or acting rudely is absolutely critical. As a dispatcher, you are a supervisor. As a supervisor, you have the authority and responsibility to confront your fellow employees. The key to the confrontation lies in the goal. If the goal of the confrontation is for the company to provide better service to its customers, or for the company to provide a pleasant working environment for all employees, the encounter is well founded. However, a power hungry dispatcher with the authority and responsibility to confront, who is having a bad day, is a dangerous animal indeed. The necessity of confrontation cannot be over emphasized; however your ability to confront will determine the success, as well as that of the one whom you are confronting. It can be painful, but it should always be kept positive. Confrontation is a means to an end. The end is to aid in making the driver successful, thus making the dispatcher successful. So be careful to measure personal involvement and emotions in any confrontational situation. Do it quickly… Nothing can be more effective than a well-timed word of confrontation. Asking a driver about a situation while it is fresh on their mind is essential to a meaningful resolution. It will enhance the drivers’ ability to provide an accurate reason for their action, which will enable the dispatcher to make sure that he has the big picture and all of the facts. Conversely, waiting too long to confront a driver about a situation may result in forgetfulness, resentfulness, and may work to de-motivate that individual. Do it correctly… Trying to hit a Nolan Ryan fast ball with a toothpick would be a futile at best. Even if you were fortunate enough to hit the ball, the toothpick would burst into pieces, or even more likely, flames! Likewise, confronting someone without knowing how to do it is usually detrimental to the productivity of both parties at best, and more likely, grounds for a fist fight! Know your company policies regarding employee counseling. Always confront a person’s behavior, and never the person! It is a serious matter, so if you do not know how to do it, ask for help from your supervisor or from someone with personnel counseling experience. Winging it will probably leave you frustrated and angry, as well as leaving the one whom you confronted bewildered and mad. While many tout their enjoyment of confrontation, few know how to do it correctly. When I was a child, suppositories were a common prescription for someone suffering from nausea. While it was necessary to cure the ailment, the means of treatment was most unpleasant. So it is with confrontation. Do it consistently… Nothing is more demoralizing for a driver than to be corrected for doing something, and than to hear someone else commit the same mistake and escape with no punishment. Failure to provide statuses, inaccurate or incomplete radio responses, inappropriate comments about customers, dispatchers, or fellow employees must all be confronted…no matter who makes them! Many times, the biggest abusers of policy and decorum are those people who have been exposed to them the longest. In the old west, these people were the gunfighters and bank robbers. They were unwilling to submit to the laws of the land, and rather than abide by the established rules, lived a life of confrontation. Many times, their life ended early because the one whom they confronted, was better at confrontation than they were! Remember, confrontation is only a tool. Used correctly, it is a constructive instrument. Used incorrectly, it will inflict harm and resentment. To see Part One, it is on TowForce at The Art of Dispatch - Part One Hope you enjoy the article... More to come. -Jeffrey Godwin
  5. Topic Originally created by Topless383 in February of 2010: Thanks so much for all of the great service of Bill and all of the guys at B & B Wrecker!!! Excellent work! Energizer Bear said: Wow, what a great looking truck! Jerrys Road Service said: Wow its awesome.best of luck you cant beat a B&B Topless383 said: thanks guys 1st b&b i will be looking to b&b for my next truck. great service. FredsTowingnj said: Is that a 14 ton? TOWJOHNS said: we have 2 b&b 14 ton units there like everyone elses 20 ton units they make great units and stand behind there units. Chuck Topless383 said: yes its a 14 ton very little time in it great unit. TOWAHOLIC SAID: Nice truck. you will love it! REICHERTANDKNEPP said: looks like the perfect, light to heavy duty unit, i like, any idea, or will you tell how much that bed runs BradenA1Towing said: Man I want this truck. Just looked at a B&B that Nicks bought and I like these bodies Topless383 added these images:
  6. Originally posted on Tow411 in July of 2009:
  7. This customer has less than 20k in this whole truck. He purchased the chassis 2006 F550 4 door from an auction. Found a 1989 Challenger Aluminum 19ft Bed w/ a Tow Bar. He asked us to Stretch the Frame, Install a bigger gas tank, New Light Bar, New Wear Pads (which we couldn't buy - we had to make ourselves), Re-Wire the entire truck, new winch hoses & 7wire (We used our Tracking System for winch hoses. It's a less expensive alternative to the Jerr-Dan Winch Hose Track Kit I will post pics of it soon), and convert his Tow Bar into a Wheel Lift. We used a Jerr-Dan Valve Section and Control Hood & Handles. We retro fitted the Jerr-Dan Parts onto his Challenger Bed. When we finished his total cost for eveything, Truck, Flat Bed & Our Labor was well under 20k. Not bad for an 06. We charge $1400 to install Equipment! Frame Extend Part 1: Frame Extend Part 1.5: Frame Extend Part 2: Frame Extend Part 2.5: Frame Extend Part 3: Frame Extend Part 4: Frame Extend Part 5: Re-Wiring: Wheel Lift Part 1: Wheel Lift Part 2: Wheel Lift Part 3: Part 3.5 Installing Bed: Part 4 FINISHED!
  8. Topic Originally Created by BGtow in December of 2007: Here is a job that we do quite often- about once a month here lately. Dixie Industries is a company that manufactures some of the equipment that is used in the towing industry such as hooks and clevises. These are made with huge mechanical hammers hitting on hammer bases. Sometimes these bases need to be replaced or sent out for repair. Dixie contacts Doug Yates Wrecker to move these bases in and out of the building. The first one you see is approx. 63000 lbs. It was inside and needed to be moved out to the yard so it could be sent out for repair. Please understand- we realize that there some limits that are pushed in this particular job. This is the type of job that Doug Yates excels at and always overcomes all challenges. Thanks for looking, Brad Grow Doug Yates Wrecker Service Chattanooga, TN. Brett Holcombe said: How much does this unit weigh?? your truck.. Yates Towing said: full of fuel about 70,000# john fenshaw said: awsome lift and walking job. i walked some heavy pieces out of a fabrication shop too. thanks for posting yates towing keep those pics coming. Brett Holcombe said: Thats pretty impressive!! in pic # 2 is that guys right foot under the weight? just kidding don't get bent... BGtow said: You know that is actually very funny from my end. I am going to play a little trick on you here in the next few days- stay tuned!! Brad Grow Doug Yates Wrecker Service Chattanooga, TN danielswt said: hope them jobs pay very good. seeing stuff like this makes me confident that i wont have problems on my little bitty truck walking stuff around. wreckmster said: That is very impressive. The tires on the rear axle are screaming...that's one hell of a move. rotator60 said: That's what you call taking care of a customer..Very impressive..but I'm not surprised..Thanks for sharing.. Eds Towing said: That's an impressive move. I would be curious how do you bill for something like that? There are only a few pieces of equipment that would be capable of a move like that around. The Pete probably still has 10K on the steering... That's a bad ass truck. Brett Holcombe said: now Im curious ? been playing with a PC450 in my yard lifting it . cant keep the front wheels on the ground & im only lifting one side of the machine???? it weighs about 105000 lbs.. 2 snatch blocks no way then 4 lifted it maybe 6 inches then stood up the front end so this is getting more impressive to me.. Eds Towing said: If he put the lift axle down it would take weight off of the steer. If it was in the back then it would be grossly overloaded & probably just bottom out. Some guys that chose to put the axle in the rear like Waffco had the axle modified by adding another air bag (3) to help. This is "iffy" but it seems to work for them. yates towing said: Our 60 ton with Reyco suspension actually moves this load better than the 70 ton with Hendrickson suspension and the 60 ton is 14" shorter The pivit point on the Reyco is better suited for this move but we have a trick we now use on the Hendrickson that makes them about equal. I would be afraid to put that kind of weight on a lift axle in the rear fearing busting the air bags. This is example why we dont have air ride on our rotators for jobs like this. Most of Millers spec rotator chassis come with air ride and its just a difference in opinion we have with them. We have had tremendous luck with spring suspension. If we put our front lift axle down it takes about 6,000# off the front end. Brett Holcombe said: Good info to know.. Thanks rotatorman said: brett that truck is about 4 feet longer than yours and it has hendrickson suspention and that makes a huge differance daneilswt said: at what point is enough " enough" ? i keep looking back and saying wow to myself. i was thinking the same thing mike.looks like there was a little bit of a dip there.
  9. Topic Originally Created by jhook5230 in December 2007 wrote: 12-16-07 myself and GENERALTOW were called to for an owners request for a drill rig that had rolled over off a mountianside about 12 miles west of Searcy,Ar.Luckly it had landed back on its wheels .We talked with State police and DOT and it was decided to shut the mountian down at nine AM 12-17-07 for the recovery. I called my buddy Tad Bokker from White Mtr Co. in Forrest City Ar to bring his 60 ton tator to back me up. Our first order of business was to cut the derrick off since it was trashed and wieghed 45,000pds. We sat up and brought the derrick up to the road and loaded it onto a flatbed for transport. After the derrick was loaded and out of the way we started the recovery of the 95,000pd chassis. The front suspension and steering was torn loose and that made for a hard pull all the way up to the road. Once we had the chassis on the road we loaded and loaded and loaded pieces. I hooked it behind my tator and towed it to our yard with DOT escort as it was about way over width. The job went smooth but I can tell you we were sore from all the walking up and down the hillside pulling chain and cable. Equipment on scene was two 60 ton rotators and one 5230 just in case. Personel was myself.,GENERALTOW, and Tad Bokker who is also my counterpart in the PTRAA training program. Total time for the recovery and tow to our yard was nine hours. Allenstowing said: you guys made that look easy. nice job!! talk tad into joining 411. WheelLiftWarrior said: very nice work......teamwork goes along way nice to see so many companies working together. BigWheelRecovery said: Louis thats what I call a real recovery job,an very well executed I must say, when you play around with one of those Drill rigs you got to have the right equipment an people ,calling in another company to assist was a smart move, everybody looks good an a job well done , BOB john fenshaw said: that was a extreme recovery. awesome show of team work and power. i tow one like that a lot down in Florida i always flat tow them but they are very heavy stay safe Ian Tomei said: Wow !trucks really earned their pay on that job! rotator60 said: Well thought out and executed recovery..Thanks for sharing.. jhook5230 said: John(pacman06) every aspect of the rigging and game plan was a collaborated effort between myself,steve(generaltow) and tad on the other hand how tad platformed his truck was not my decision to make but I can tell you that my tator had all outriggers in place throughout the recovery.Thanks for the reply. Louis General Tow Said: That job was a total of nine hours, time out, time back in the yard. The operator walked away but the people in the suv that it did a full roll over the top of did not. Very tragic accident. A well taken point here is that advance training and preparation are essential to these kind of recoveries. This job could have been accomplished with our conventional tow trucks but would have taken much longer and time is always important when a major highway is closed. The two tators made for a much smoother recovery, but still a lot of work. Thanks for the comments. General Tow "STEVE" jhook5230 said: To answer the question about how hard the derrick was to remove......It came off without a hitch. We cut the support legs on the back of the rig,one side high at the derrick and the other side low at the chassis. We the hooked to the high side of the derrick and basically rolled it onto its top and brought it up the hillside and swung it into the road between out trucks then repositioned to load it onto the flatbed. Louis
  10. Topic Originally Created by DodgeTowGuy134 in November of 2011: Let me start off with a little about our company policy and then I'll ask my question/opinion poll at the end of the post: Our company policy on any jump start call is to first test the battery to ensure that it isn't totally dead, to make sure that the battery isn't bad with and dead or inverted cells and make sure it still had fluid in it and covering the tops of all the plates (in batteries that still have the caps that you can check)...We have this policy as a safety matter to protect our drivers from attempting to jump start a battery that is bad and that could pontentially fail/repture/explode due to off-gassinig + a spark = Boom...Secondly, it's also hard on the equipment if you try to jump a bad battery and that subjects your equipment to overstressinig durinig the jump attempt also, besides the #1 issue of safety. So, our policy is that if a battery tests BAD, then the customer can get their car towed, buy a new battery from us (we send out a service truck with batteries for sale) or they can have us do no further service and the customer can get a new battery on their own to install themselves or whatever, but if the battery tests bad, then we do NOT attempt to jump start it... So, my question is: How many others have a similar policy to ours regarding this matter, that you do not attempt to jump a bad battery? .....I'm just looking for a poll of how many others feel this same way as we do about this safety issue..Thanks for your replies. Blue Stripe aka Chris Flynn said: If customer wants a jump, we will attempt the jump. If unsuccessful, they need towed. Its hard enough to get people to pay for a jump start service call, let alone extra labor for testing the battery. Even if the battery is completely dead, the car will start when jumped, and stay running provided their alternator is working. We give no warranty on how far they will make it after the jump. Maybe I look at it differently since we don't sell batteries. Too many parts stores around here that do free install of batteries at such low prices, there is no money to be made with batteries IMO. (at least in Youngstown, people will just go to Auto Zone and buy a $69 battery that will be installed free of charge) There is no such thing as someone paying $100+ for a battery to be installed on location. I'm sure we could sell batteries to be installed on location for the same price, but I'm not going through the trouble just to make 10 dollars over what I paid for a battery. I'd love to know how AAA gets people to pay big money for their batteries. Chris Flynn, WM 091008 BlackAutoload said: If someone wants to pay for a jumpstart , I will gladly let them. If it doesn't work, I waive the jump fee if I get the tow. If not , my truck stays blocking their car in ... Jumper cables are plumbed by pass door. OCTOWMAN said: Advise the customer that the battery is bad and let the know that damage may occur if jumpstarted and driven. if they still want a jump, and it's a club call I call the club and have them put it on record that it was not recommended(AAA will record call) and have member tell them that "they" would accept all liability. almost got burned by this earlier this year on a caravan.battery was shorted and member wanted to drive to wallyworld and get a cheaper battery, when I removed the booster box it started overcharging and fried the BCM. member wanted me to pay damages, AAA found me not at fault. It's all about CYA everyday now Tim concordtowing said: I check the battery fluid level and overall condition of the battery,if the cables and clamps are nasty I don't clean them too big of a risk on messing up the clamps.You called for a jumpstart that's what you get,if I feel the battery is in too bad of shape to jump start I have the vehicle owner attempt to start the car with my booster pack hooked up and nothing happens,well guess you need a tow to the auto parts store. I use about the same rules as you do dodgetruckguy for battery service. Santiam01 said: Who would of thought tow trucks would carry battery testers.......... DodgeTowGuy134 said: idk what auto part stores charge in your area for a battery, but around here by us, then are usually around $90-100 with a 2-year warranty on them,.....so, you asked how we get someone to pay $125+ for a battery installed on location, well: Battery quality battery with a lot longer warranty, it's also easier for our customer to get the problem fixed onscene to save they any more time of having to get tower to another place to get a battery. We have a battery truck and we do well with it. and we do make more that a $10 margin on all of our battery sales! On the other hand, someone commented about the AAA batteries and their program: We get ALOT of those batteries as bad and so the customer requests for us to install a new battery from interstate. AAA drives their battery program to those who believe that AAA is the best on earth and that you cant live without AAA, kinda like people who think NAPA is the best, but in reality they (napa) just marks up products and sticks their brand on it, thats capitalism and commercialism.... OCTOWMAN said: Dodgeguy, I will agree that the previous AAA batteries made by exide are/were poor quality which is why they changed to DEKA/EastPenn brand the older ones were numbered as XX-36, the new ones are XX-C or XX-H the program has worked well for us since the changeover and warranty rate have dropped dramicly. One thing everyone who does any type of battery service has to do is learn to "read" the customer. if customer says vehicle sits alot it will ruin ANY battery,it also helps identify any precluding issues. we get a lot of snowbirds in our area who go south for the winter and have a second vehicle there, so that their vehicle here sits for months. I recommend a battery tender for them so they don't have any issues. testing the electrical system also catch's problems before the before battery replacement. Santiam, we do not send out Towtrucks for road service. It's more economical to send a service truck, non dot driver, better fuel economy, easier to get around traffic and under buildings. DodgeTowGuy134 said: Yeah, "OCTOWMAN" you're right about reading customers and asking them questions about if they have any idea why their battery went dead...That's part of our dispatch/call taking protocall and also gets asked by the driver who arrives onscene for service. Our service trucks that carry batteries also carry tenders for sale also and we do a good sale of those too... As for the changeover of brands for the AAA batteries, I can only say that we get ALOT of AAA customers who call us wanting a new battery and mad at AAA for their battery being bad already. We do use an actual battery tester to confirm that a battery is bad and not just connect a booster jump-pack but not turn it on and tell the customer to try to start it and of course it dont start, we actually use a real tester... Now, back to my original pst..... I was asking how/what others do when to asked to jump a BAD battery. as "sunshine" pointed out, I also have seen others have batteries explode due to unsafe jumping... So, I guess it comes down to this second question: How many people actually TEST a battery BEFORE attempting to jump it? We do and it's for safety and also to let the customer know whats going on with their battery. As someone pointed out, a bad battery can cause other damage to the vehicle and about CYA too, so we do test batteries,..... Do You? (do you test batteries or just connect them and go by the, "well lets see if it will start up now" motto) twinbulls said: We offer jump starts .... and if the car runs we let it roll.... if not we tow it with a little discount going toward the tow... We offer batteries installed starting at $125 and up >>>> Interstate Batteries....Seems many are just minor problems lose wires corroded and whatnot.... basic road service starts at $75 and up... When asked to test battery we test it... as for safety ...... be safe ..... Dont jump frozen batteries.... Our jump boxes read the battery and will tell us what was going on ..... harrys said: Sounds like some of you need to learn how to hook up jumper cables properly so that you dont run the risk of the battery exploding. You DO NOT put both cable clamps on the battery. You attatch the positive cable to the battery first then you DodgeTowGuy134 said: I'd take a guess and say that alot of those here already knew that... but, thats NOT always a battery explodes!..just some food for thought! and attempting to jump start a BAD battery has the potential for the battery to fail and it's doesn't have to be because of a spark from connecting the cables... annettemcd said: We have two situations with batteries. 1) Because of our long distances, we always try to determine why a jump-start is needed. No one is going to be happy if we send a service vehicle 80 miles to do a jump-start only to discover that the battery is BAD or the alternator has failed and the vehicle needs to be towed. Not only would we have 160 miles of driving and 3 hours of time for which no one wants to pay, but we have delayed getting a tow truck there by 1.5-3 hours. We ask a number of questions on the phone. If we decide to send a tow truck, we do not spend a great deal of time on scene testing the battery, inspecting the cables, or even attempting a jump-start because if we do get the vehicle started, people and motor clubs do not want to pay for the tow truck being sent and there is a possibility that the jump-start will not get them to where they need to go, so a second call results and again no one is happy. So, we send a service vehicle is we are fairly sure that a jump-start will solve the problem and we send a tow truck and tow them without spending much time messing with the battery if we do not think that a jump will work. The other consideration which we have relates directly to the original question about BAD batteries. This time of year we get many calls for jump-starts. Usually it is -20 to -40 degrees, the vehicle has not been winterized and/or has not been plugged in for more than one hour, the battery is old, tired, and weak, and the person has tried repeatedly to start the cold engine and has drained the battery. With these parameters, a jump-start is not going to start the car; the engine is too cold. But the other consideration is that if the battery has been drained, it is possible that it has frozen. A frozen battery can be badly damaged and will not take or keep a charge, but also runs the risk of exploding. There is no way that we will dispatch someone to jump-start a battery under these conditions. There are a few choices: tow the vehicle to some place warm and park it there until it warms up; plug the vehicle in for a few hours until it warms up; after either one of the these events, it still might be necessary to buy and install a new battery. If the person or the motor club still insists on a jump-start, we usually refuse the job.
  11. KirbysTowing asked the question in January of 2012: My rollback has a Lodar wireless remote for the bed and side- puller winches, It will work intermittently for about 2 seconds at a time. I have changed the batteries checked the connections etc. I am at a loss, and I use my side-puller all of the time, so any advice would be greatly appreciated. eastendtow66 said: We have the same sym on our rollbacks when your sil valves have bad coils the lodar will kick out the power so you wont burn out the power box. Orcas Tow said: Mine was doing a similar symptom, I noticed that the Lodar would pulse on/off, drop out rhythmically & was in time with my hazard lights flashing, found out the Towmate wireless tow light transmitter was on the same frequency as the Lodar. Towmate gave me a different frequency transmitter & all was well. KirbysTowing said: Now that I think of it, both occasions I have had my wireless transmitter for my tow mate lights in. I will try it without and see. Thanks!! DMHansonWrecker said: try reseting the code that fixed mine.
  12. Palmettostatewrecker asked this question in July of 2017: Does anybody use 2 way or fixed radios in their rigs. I am looking at adding a few to ease dispatching. I don't need a cb to talk to other states, but also need something decent to communicate with drivers throughout the area. Jefftow said: No we don't anymore, not for several years.This will be an interesting topic to watch, I hope. I sure miss the days of talking into a mic, either in the cab or in the office. I just don't feel like I'm talking on a radio if I'm using an two-way app on a smart phone. When radios went by the wayside, I kept several. They're mostly good for nothing but bookends anymore, but one day they may make a comeback. I also still have a programmable 16 channel mobile for the 100 something mhg range and a a couple of hand helds that operated on a repeater but had talk-around. I tried selling them a number of years ago, but they don't even have salvage value. One day I'll be glad I kept them. Thanks for the Topic. Roach901 said: In 2013 the FCC mandated the change in business radio equipment that required most users to purchase new radios. The "old faithful" radios that had been in many trucks over the years were worthless and illegal to use. This caused many operations to re-evaluate using cell phones. Phones were already being used and most businesses just switched to using the phones rather than paying for a whole new radio system. In SC most law enforcement looked at moving to the existing SCE&G trunking system that was already in place. Great coverage over all of South Carolina for a low monthly cost. Many businesses followed the same move. Anyway, two-way radio is still alive and well. Look at the cost per unit and the monthly service charges for repeater system usage. Might be surprised at the deals that are out there. Good Luck !! MrsHook said: We do. Most recent upgrade almost created the need for us to put up a tower and set up our own system, but a local company stepped up. New radios were expensive, but crystal clear. Coupled with towbook, we have great coverage now. Palmettostatewrecker said: Thanks for the replies..... I was just curious on the topic. I figured grabbing a radio and keying the Mic would be 10x faster at relaying messages verses text message or an actual phone call. TowZone said: Two way radios went to the wayside when Nextel became popular. The Groups feature on Nextel was a very good alternative. I my opinion nothing has been as efficient since, some will agree and some will not. I prefer the team to be on the same page, otherwise half the dispatchers out there waste time, money and fuel running trucks around in circles. Even the best software will not assist a dispatcher just trying to get rid of the runs. I find this to be a major reason Motor Clubs want access to the company GPS within the software. In Memory of NationalAutow who said: I will be following this for sure and I am curious of those that are currently using systems, what are you using? Does anyone own their own repeater and or tower? Will there ever be another Nextel equivalent? MrsHook said: We have a local communications company with a series of towers and repeaters....new technology, looks just like old school, sounds incredible, range is amazing. As a plan b, in case their grand plans didn't materialize, we priced towers with repeaters at our locations. I can't remember specifics now....just recall that prices didn't completely scare us off (we were having to upgrade all radios anyway, so anything was going to be expensive). It was nice to think of communications costs with an end in sight ... But knowing there's never really an end, i wasn't looking forward to learning and tracking another set of rules, regulations, and mandatory updates. We use smart phones and text and dispatch software including software chat....but I'm very glad to have radios for quick check-ins and especially for coordinating several units getting to and from large incidents. Ed Johnson said: I figured grabbing a radio and keying the Mic would be 10x faster at relaying messages verses text message or an actual phone call. Palmettostatewre: You were right when you said "I figured grabbing a radio and keying the Mic would be 10x faster at relaying messages verses text message or an actual phone call". We have used tow-way radios since we first started business over 36 years ago. We currently use Motorola radios that operate on a repeater system on the 460 megahertz range. Our primary repeater gives us coverage with a radius of approximately 20 - 25 miles (1,200 square mile area) and the second repeater slightly doubles the range. Modern two-way radios use a scan feature that allows them to receive any message that is transmitted through either of the two repeater towers. Two-way business radio allowed all our drivers to hear all dispatches and in many cases a driver who was closer to a call could hear a dispatch and offer to take it which resulted in faster response. Due to changes in radio regulations, we were originally on the 450 megahertz frequencies, then 800 megahertz, and then 460 frequency range. We were not forced to make these changes, so we could plan for them. When changes were made, we received better radios and the prices of them were lower. Originally, we paid for a service contract on our radios and the radios usually needed adjustments about every six months. The quality of radios became much better and our system provider told us that service contracts were not worth the cost. We went onto a new trunked radio system in January 1999 and the price of new radios was very low and the coverage range was greater. Trunked radio meant that our communications were private and competition could not hear us. It also meant instant communication, faster than a cell phone. Since we bought into the new system, we have replaced one radio and have had only two serviced. Service is also instant; the technician plugs the radio into his computer which has our settings memorized. The computer instantly deletes all settings on the radio and reprograms it immediately. Total time to reset a radio is less than one minute. A few years ago, I stopped hiring drivers (I was tired of killing them and then finding a place to dump their bodies) and decided to cut back to more normal hours. My wife receives calls by landline telephone and dispatches on a desktop base station radio. The truck uses a mounted mobile radio. Although very low watt radios would cover the same range, we use 40 radios because they are able to cut through areas were obstacles could interfere with radio signals. We also have two portable 4 watt portables. While I have a cell phone with me at all times, the two-way radios make communication faster. When I forget a detail or want more information, a simple press of the mike button makes it possible to make contact. When I talked about going to cell phone use a number of years ago, my wife did not like to idea and I could see many reasons why to keep the radio system. Radios that use a repeater have tremendous range and clarity (clarity that is better than cell phone). A number of years ago when hurricane Isabel hit our area, cell phone use was spotty for about three days but our radios kept going. A new mobile radio, programmed and installed would cost up to $600. A base station would cost about $100-$150 extra for the base pack. A portable radio would cost about the same thing but effective range is usually much reduced. In almost all situations I would suggest mobile radios for each truck and a mounted base unit. Portables are good most of the time when you are away from the truck. Monthly fees for use of a radio repeater tower vary considerably from one area to another but I think you could get service for each radio for about $20 - $25 per month. For about $300, you can add an uninterruptible power supply that would keep the base station powered for several hours during a power failure. I hope this long discourse is a help to you. dperone said: We used radios from the time we opened in '48 til around the early 2000's. The Nextels cut down on our radio usage, and then our 100' tower got struck by lightning twice and blew out our phone, internet, and a couple computers each time. That was the end of our radio era, as we cut the tower down. I miss the radios, especially as mentioned above during a town wide power outage where the cell towers sometime go down. DodgeTowGuy134 said: We own and operate our own radio system that includes base, mobile and portables. Our radio system in a tri-band system that operates on 3 different bands and allows users to talk to any user on the system (cross-band operation). We even added wireless WiFi to our repeater towers, so we have pretty good coverage for Wifi around the city in our trucks. We have found that owning our own system, including the radios, the repeaters and tower site was a worthwhile investment to allow our business to expand, while keeping everyone in touch at the push of the mic. While it may be some decent $$$ upfront, we feel that it has benefited our operation. Our coverage of the radio system allows us to communicate with any of our truck mobile radios in all of our surrounding counties. The portable/handheld radio coverage is great in our county, and then somewhat gets spotty in surrounding counties, due to the terrain/area. Our radio system includes both "repeated" and also "direct/simplex" channels. We can also "page" our drivers/trucks utilizing the same method as the volunteer fire departments do...our drivers all seem to really like that feature. CandDtowing said: We used to use two way radios before cell phones were even a cost effective option. When nextel direct connect became popular we decided to switch. Those radios were great, but nextels phone service was horrible! We currently use Zello for radio communications. They work very well, but are tied to cell towers. For the most part the service works without any problems. We supply cell service for our drivers, but they pay for their phone if choice. I just can't justify paying for cell service & radio service when our current setup works so well. rlc4523 said: We use radios daily makes it easy to get calls and to let dispatch what we are doing w/o having to call in every time to the office on our phones. also makes it very easy to communicate when we are going to a multi vehicle accident or if we are taking more than one truck on a recovery to coordinate on the way. ProTower said: Does anyone remember the old AM two way radios we had in our trucks in the 50's and 60's. They were huge boxes with vacuum tubes in them mounted to the dash. My dad would talk to people hundreds of miles away on a clear summer night around 3 am. yoBdaBenO said in 2018: Is anyone putting radios back in their trucks?
  13. After more than 15,000 views on January 9th and over 200 respectable replies other than one from Jamie Dougherty where he would Fire both drivers. On January, 9th 2008 Cliff responded with: I can't believe 5 pages. I hope everyone has learned from this post. Just a note though, walking this would do you no good, unless you weigh 58,000 lbs., remember the ground would kick up dust as you walked on it. Very hard ground(for the first few inches). Never saw it coming! Maurice Trevor Andrews responded: Cliff take the "shoulda woulda coulda" with a grain of salt. The folks that know of you and the operation you run knows that you would'nt go out there knowing that was beneath the surface and like you said, unless you weigh 58,000 pounds you would have never seen it coming either. An Unknown Member responded: I am just speechless by what happened here. As someone who works in the excavation business, I have never seen or heard of any ground situation like this ever. It reminds me of the lava flows in Hawaii, hard crust on top that takes considerable force to break through... but when you do, throw out a life ring cause your gonna sink fast. Also remided me of what happens when someone breaks through the ice on a frozen lake. WOW 100 post and 15000 views. Cliff, your sacrifice of pride by displaying these photos and telling the story has paid dividens in the education of others about potential dangers. I commend you for posting these and want you to know that you should be proud that you touched so many people with your thread. Tims Truck Service responded: That makes for a Super bad Week !!! Thanks for Posting the Pics. ..... It gives us all Something to Think about & gives us all a new Perspective before taking a Piece of Equipment off Road again......TIM DJ The Tow God responded: I show this to the boss anytime we have an incident. He then begins to realize that his problems aren't quite that bad. Just imagine the actual cost of recovering those trucks. Then add to that the repairs and cost of recertifying everything. Really puts things into perspective. Brian Bell responded: LOL I guess it could always be worse... The " Incident Plan" TouTube video has views in the millions. This topic was Bumped last in 2017 and was one of the most viewed topics on the old message board system.
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