Jump to content
News Ticker
Towing Software


Level III Patron
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by mushspeed

  1. In the UK 4 axle buses are not allowed ….. so we have never had to tow one.....or ever had to crawl underneath one... Spotted this one in Europe on the Spanish / Portuguese border. manufactured by Neoplan…... 4 metres high the engine is in the rear. We have done lots of 3 axle Neoplans which look similar to this but shorter they suffer a lot from engine fires.....very difficult to tow with all the rear wheels and airbags burnt out, 😐
  2. Hough Green Garage....One of the top UK Recovery Company's based in northern England has taken delivery of the very latest, state of the art, 5 axle Rotator …. and adding to one of the best fleets of Recovery and Tow trucks in the UK ,,,, this is coinciding with the company celebrating 35 years of the business Towing and Recovery.... based on a Volvo cabover 5 axle chassis, Twin Steer, Double Drive and a midlift axle …. the equipment is a Century 1075 S built by Boniface Engineering in the UK, part of the Miller corporation. it is fitted with all the very latest state of the art with all the equipment and fuel, the standing weight is close to 38 tons ( 83,000 lbs ). It has already gone to work... earning its investment
  3. mushspeed

    Tower Down: 03.11.19 (TX)

    Please convey our thoughts and prayers to the Families, Friends and Co workers of Adam and Laura …. to what appears to be a terrible accident. From their fellow Towers in the UK and Europe. John.
  4. This is one of our Specialist Recovery units The landoll trailer is equipped with a European specification 3 axle sliding bogie, The tractor is a Mercedes twin steer, fitted with 460 hp V8. The crane is a Palfinger 36 t/m and can lift1.5 tons at full stretch past the rear of the trailer. The crane at work dealing with a light aircraft incident.
  5. Gary deserves an industry hero's award ....for his quick thinking .....
  6. Part of our business is supplying heavy duty Trucks and Trailers for our overseas customers.... One of our retired lightweight Rollbacks, and an Ambulance and rail ties all packed in a curtain side trailer for a Mediterranean country. Loading a stack of 3 x 4 axle heavy duty lowboy trailers with our Rotator …. total weight of load without tractor 65 tons = 143,000 lbs..... Loading onto the Ro Ro ship bound for Greek Cyprus.....Total load including the tractor 75 tons = 165,000 lbs we had to wait for a tide window to get the loading angle of the ramps to accommodated the low trailer, even with the suspension pumped right up it was tricky … another stack being loaded with our Rotators A mixed load for North Africa being loaded with our Rotator Tractors and Dockspotter all prepared and painted in our Customers livery for the Middle East... lifting a 3 axle trailer bound for the Ukraine Another trailer loaded and bound for the Ukraine …...the roof slides back on the trailer and it is lowered down on its side that trailer is 9 foot wide ….just fits ! we contracted the transportation out to a Hungarian operator
  7. This is one of our transporters bought new in 1986 … Fitted with a 6 seater Crew cab, Used for distance work in the UK , we ran it over 1.5 million kilometres, Those old Cargos were very reliable apart from a few silly niggles....
  8. mushspeed

    Some of our old Fords from the 90's

    One of our double deck transporters … Below are the two Euro Cargos we ran in 1992 /3 both built with 5/6 seat passenger cabs they were not very reliable, got rid after a couple of years
  9. A job we did a few years ago..... Caller said it only needs a little pull one side is just off the road and its just leaning a bit.... Oh and it is loaded with 26 pallets of mixed foods stuffs, tins and boxes... Because it was Curtainsider and the whole lot had shifted and both curtains had badly torn.... We had to offload the whole lot by hand ( no pictures of that)..took about 8 hours to re stack and load into another trailer, The recovery was the easiest part of the job....
  10. found a picture of some of the load....not particularly heavy.... just lots of boxes, loose bags of produce....
  11. We did this job a few years ago..... River authority doing some work along the bank …. Operator tried to cross to the other side and lost it !! couldn't get close to it ..the white dot in the middle of the picture is the top of our winch truck about 200 ft away Got wet rigging it, laid in 2. 2part lines and a lot of cable and out it came.
  12. mushspeed

    Some of our old Fords from the 90's

    Some of our old cargos we ran in the 1990's we ran 16 in total of that model.... Ford then introduced the Euro Cargo, built in Italy …. they were awful for our work !! they were in the shop for all sorts of issues we only ran 2 of them and soon got rid....I will find a picture and post it soon The medium duty truck is also a Ford...… a Transcontinental....at that time they were very popular for General Haulage....but the cabs rusted out very quickly
  13. Topic Originally Created on Tow411 in July of 2006: I had gotten round to take some pics of the Famous twin steer AUTOCAR I had been Restoring for several years on and off !! I had a call from Bill Ludewig of Ernies Towing Service and he kindly sent me some pics of the a/car working stateside and confirming that it came from the Kauffs Stable in Florida....... Thanks Bill You are a Star!!! t Does not look like it but I had spent hundreds of hours making up new panels for the doors and A posts as they had gone quite rusty. Unfortunately, I have not moved along as quickly as I should have done there is always more urgent things to do!! like Painting the house, laying a new driveway, fitting a new kitchen, fitting a new bathroom etc etc ! Any way I am Back on the Case, all of the Junk that has accumulated around it is now being moved and we are making up new front mud shields and steps. I hope to finish the panel work in the next 3 months and then we will get it into the paint booth.................................. A nice paint Job..........Bucket loads of Chrome and it will be ready to roll. I do need some parts for it and I will post a want list soon if anyone can help me, as autocar parts in Europe are as rare as Hens Teeth !! Be Safe, Be Lucky. May all of your Punctures be little ones, 'cos it's only flat on the bottom. John www.castlerecovery.com Rotator60 said: Thank you for restoring that ole girl. That 850 Holmes was a bad ass unit and that whole truck was awesome. I spent many days admiring her and what she did in the canals of South Florida. Scott Hedgcoth Hoover said: My boss,(Darrell Johnson Sr) has a photograph on his office wall of that truck at the first Florida tow show, where Thomas Butler(now our night dispatcher) won the driving contest. I will try and get it re-produced to fit on here. Simon showtime93 said: When I worked at kauffs in the early 90's I remember seen pics , That is one bad ass truck. I hope you send us pics when your done. Harvey Spencer www.universitytowing.com TOwBoY88 said: Can't wait to see any old photos of this brute... "60% of the time, I am right every time." GrayA4 said: Looks like youve still a bit of work to do yet John! Did you do the work yourself? I know how easy it is to lose days/week on a project like that! But it will all be worth it in the end ! Cant wait to see her all painted and ready to rock!! mushspeed said: es Guys I have managed to do some more work on it and have sent quite a lot of stuff off for Chrome plating and Powder Coating. Gray.......My Son Graham and myself have done most of the work on it so far....BUT.....Every time we get stuck in, something more urgent crops up. I really want to get'er done as soon as possible.....this truck WIIIIIIIIIILLLLLL be restored to its former glory as soon as time permits and I will be proud to drive it, How I get it round corners is another matter!!!!Be Safe, Be Lucky. May all of your Punctures be little ones, 'cos it's only flat on the bottom. John www.castlerecovery.com David Boone said: Great Old truck John. Be sure and post new pics as you get the chance. jrtowman said: I found this pic of it Rotator60 said: Somewhere Larry Lemon is smiling. Right Mike? Scott Hedgcoth mushspeed said: Thanks for your kind words.....It Will be restored to its former glory. We are well advanced in the job now, We have had to make both front mud shields out of new 1/8th plate because the originals had gone very rusty and when we took the front end off we discovered quite a lot of accident damage on the drivers side and it had been badly repaired. We ended up making a whole new sub frame assembly, the end of the frame rail was cracked and twisted. Anyway we have now repaired all of that and it is taking shape nicely. I am unsure exactly how the truck got into the UK but i understand it was in the early 90s and it had changed hands a couple of times before I got hold of it....... The English weather had done its work and it was looking a bit sad and quite a few damaged bits and pieces. You are absolutely correct, it is a real handful getting it round corners, But....that's all the fun of it?? KYLE..........Thanks a bunch for turning up that pic it is Coooool. I have an Air operated Starter motor with all of the stuff that came with it. But, there is an electric one fitted, Does any one know which one was the original fitment??? Be Safe, Be Lucky. May all of your Punctures be little ones, 'cos it's only flat on the bottom. John www.castlerecovery.com Mike Scheidt said: richard tells me that when we bought it it was air but we converted it to electric if you need any of the oerp specs let me know. Rotatorman said: the truck look great please send pictres of it my wifes late father drove that truck thanks FLCOWBOYINIRAQ said: i hope this can be a help to you darwin at ryans towing in haines city florida has a yard full of 750 and 850 parts i am sure he would help i dont know his number off hand because i am in iraq right now hope all goes well with you and your truck john fenshaw - tikrit iraq - lakeland florida mushspeed said: How the truck actually arrived in the uk and who's hands it went through is a bit of a mystery. But, I bought it in a retirement sale and it was in a bit of a sad state, hence the restoration..... John ....thanks for the lead on the Holmes parts ...850 stuff is pretty rare in Europe... what I do need....is some A/car bits, if you know of a company that I could contact to get them shipped to me. Best Regards Guys Be Safe, Be Lucky. May all of your Punctures be little ones, 'cos it's only flat on the bottom. John www.castlerecovery.com Towman26 said: That was an awsome machine herein its day. That was the second 850 in Fl. My dad had the first back in 68 or 69. I would really like to find it. Last time i knew it was in south america just like this truck. Warren Driscoll macallisters said: Hi John, Holmes 850? I didn't know the model range had an 850 - you learn something new every day. Used holmes 600 & 750 for years and they are still good winching tools. I have a technical question for the group - when winching with a twin boom - do you split the booms and go straight from the masthead? I was always schooled not to winch from the booms in case they are over strained and bent. The reason for this is that it encourages the weight to transfer down through the A frame to the back axles. However i've seen images of fairly heavy duty winches on this site - examples such as 6 wheel tipper in florida buried up to the diff being pulled out by two lines two to one but rigged going out from the ends of the booms - it seemed to go fine but I'm curious what the opinions are to these techniques. Regards Mark Wreckeruk said: Love to see that when ur done John. I found this in one of my books, the text reads, Ivan Chant's 8x4 autocar came to uk in the early eighties having previously served in the fleet of Howard Kauff of Florida. The Holmes 850 equipped truck soon became a regular sight on the roads and country lanes around Frome, Somerset base where its owner ran Berkley Commercial Vehicle Repairs. Weighing in at over 20 tons and over 30' long, the cummins powered monster is fitted with the largest of the Holmes twin boom cranes and has dual controls fitted to either side of the bodywork. Ivan has since retired and the truck has been sold on. Don't know if this is any help, the book is Recovery Vehicles by Mick Waite, published in 1998. Keith Not just a job, its an adventure! mushspeed said: Kieth..........Thank you for that Photograph I haven't seen that one before but I can identify where it was taken, that was outside Ivan's place at Frome in Somerset probably before he put the place up for auction. Mark...........there are very few Holmes 850 in the UK about three to my knowledge, However, there are quite a few in exsistence Stateside, the power of the 850 is Awesome!!! almost unstoppable if is set up and rigged properly. there are a lot of folk who still swear by them and are reluctant to use anything else. there has been quite a bit of very interesting discussion recently elsewhere in this forum ( I dont know how to post the link) I think it is in "Equipment" somewhere, but cant find it right now. some for the twin booms and some for the big hydraulics, opinion is divided, but well worth the read.Be Safe, Be Lucky. May all of your Punctures be little ones, 'cos it's only flat on the bottom. John www.castlerecovery.com hpgtowing said: When it comes to winching power and strength? The Holmes 850 is unequaled. If you rig a 3 or 4 part line? Set those 2 speed winches in low gear? It will winch like NOTHING you have ever seen before.It will NOT be out winched by any hydraulic or mechanical wrecker on the planet... The only exterminating factor? Is it's holding ability... Either the wrecker will slide back? The disablement will come to the wrecker? Or it will tear what ever it is winching in half! Thanks.. Steve mushspeed said: Steve ....You are right on the money with that.... and thanks Regards JohnBe Safe, Be Lucky. May all of your Punctures be little ones, 'cos it's only flat on the bottom. John www.castlerecovery.com mike scheidt said: Steve you are right that truck would pull very hard but to compare it to a modern day truck and since ive run that one and my new 70 my seventy will out pull those or should i say sit there longer the problem with the 850s was the winches were held there with wedges and they would actually turn the whole drum and break the chain they only have 5/8 cable so your really comparing apples to oranges but it was a great truck just rough to drive if you cut your teeth on a holes or any mechanical you really apreciate the hydralics but i will riun a good recovery mind lol unknown Member said: I understand what "Rotatorman" is talking about --the mounting wedges/bolts @ the base of the crane supports. Had to retighten them every six months or so on our 750'/600's--until finally, the bolts stretch out--you have to cut them off-replace all the hardware & hold-downs. Much better to catch it in ur shop on a ranny-day PM, then out winching on a jack-knife job in rush-hour traffic., Bad thing, I never heard our local Holmes dist. tell anyone about any kind of preventitive maint. like that----had to learn through trial/error.... njChuck said: Please post pictures when done. For a short time I owned the one that George Logan in No. Brunswick NJ. had. He sold it to another local tow co. .and when I bought them out I got the A-Car which I had wanted since I was a KID. But it figures I got it in my hands , then had to sell it cuz I needed a HYD. unit, twist of fate uh! Good luck cant wait to see it done.
  14. It was a long time ago when I started this restoration and because we had so many other things going on and always something more important to do .....And it was put in the waiting room ( so to speak)..... I almost gave up and nearly cut it up at one stage ....I knew the historic importance of this iconic truck so ....persistance prevailed and finally we got it done I have added a photograph which is already posted on this site ....just to demonstrate where we are now ...I shall post some more pics when I have all the finishing touches done ...my Sincere thanks go to Bill Ludwig , Richard Kauff , Billy from Pendell Towing , Kramers Towing , The Autocar Historic Society , and lastly but not least , all the Tow 411 members for their kind comments and encouragement to see the project through.. John. 😊😊😊😊😊
  15. mushspeed

    Tow411/TowForce Login & Member Roll Call

    I am here ….Loud and clear Congratulations Ron and Chris for Towforce Tow 411..... a rebirth of Tow 411... and reaching 3000 members …..roll on 4000 !! Without doubt this is the finest towing forum there is. Keep up the good work guys... It is a constant source of information, knowledge, ideas and showcase of other operators vehicles and equipment big and small, Long may it continue.... it would be really good to see some more archives of the old 411 if possible... Been in the Recovery and Towing industry in the UK for over 57 years.... Received Light recovery, Heavy recovery, Advanced Heavy recovery and Air cushion, Rotator, Slewing crane, Tracked Plant, lorry loader Crane, Major incident management, Training and Certification from the Institute of Vehicle Recovery, Road Transport Industry Training Board, ITTSAAR Training bodies, Nick Ovenden, Ron Grice, etc ……………..Oh....and the school of hard knocks. John.
  16. Ed …..Your truck looks fabulous …..Nice combination picture! Maserati ...not my favourite car. John.
  17. mushspeed

    California Tow Truck Operator Down 02/26/2019

    What a tragedy ……..please convey our thoughts and prayers to His Family, Friends and co Workers, From fellow towers in the UK and Europe..... Rest in peace brother... John.
  18. That cat has used up one of its nine lives ....👍
  19. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Gary's family, friends and co workers... What a terrible price to pay for helping the police and public clear the highway .... Rest in peace brother, from your fellow towers across the pond in the UK John
  20. mushspeed

    Two Company Air Cushion Recovery

    Excellent work .guys ... John
  21. mushspeed

    Working Inside Sunday Morning

    The NRC looks great ....even better when it's working It is making that lift look easy Good luck with it in the future.. John.
  22. mushspeed

    Re: Tow Truck and Triple Fatal - San Diego County

    Willie ...Someone up there was watching over you ... payback for the spirit ride campaign you were part of ... our thoughts and prayers go out to you... From your fellow towers across the pond ... John.
  23. mushspeed

    February Patron Recognition Month

    Excellent site ….keep it rolling.... John.
  24. mushspeed

    Plow Trucks....

    Ed ....that looks cold there...I see on the news you are experiencing mega cold conditions .....be safe and keep warm there ... I have just returned from south Australia...last Thursday the temperature reached 46.5 degrees centigrade phew it was hot !!! Talk about extreems !! Not a plow truck to be seen .... John
  25. mushspeed


    Congratulations on achieving the ultimate position within the CTTA... Quinn . I am sure you will work tirelessly to represent all of your member operators,,,, large or small... and promote the association to the highest level. With the very best wishes for the future, from your friends and colleagues in the UK. John.