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The Pettibone Magnum Returns (NRC under-reach added)


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Topic Originally Created by LAMB Towing in August of 2007:


Well, here it is... After 9 weeks and roughly 500 man hours, the Pettibone is finally nearing completion. After she returns some of that money she took from me, I'll give her a nice new paint job so she matches the rest of the fleet. We received a call this morning for a leaning dump truck. The driver said that his CB fell from the ceiling and hit him in the head, causing him to swerve into the ditch. This is actually the 3rd call that I've done with the wrecker and I still have a few bugs to work out, so I had one of my drivers follow me in the 4024, just in case... Either wrecker could have easily handled this one alone, but since both were there, we used them both. We were on scene less than 15 minutes.







Answer to questions asked in original topic (some images may be missing)

We hooked to the frame on the pass. side in front of the spring hanger. Then routed the chain and strap up over the tires, and around the gate. I was being lazy & didn't want to pull out a bunch of cribbing while trying not to break a board on top of the bed. Looking at it now, I see the point about the bad angles. The gross weight was 34,000 pounds, so we weren't worried about bending the boom or pulling the wrecker over. I had him outweighed by a long shot. But shortcuts lead to bad habits, I'll start being a little more careful. I had Hell trying to find the little parts for this dinosaur. I'd hate to try to find a boom for it...



TIGGOR said:

Billy, In 1982 i worked for Jennings towing in Boca Raton Fla. We had the 2nd magnum ever made as a wrecker. The first one was on a single cab ccc carrier up in jersey. Jim ordered the first full cab magnum with a 5 sided boom. i believe the serial number -2. I have many pics of this truck in service. And can tell you many stories about it. air shifter, stiff legs drag winch. It was kinda short. but the we didnt have a hydro. under reach back then. Jims first hydr. heavy. Let me dig out some old pictures and mail them to you.



Lamb Towing said:

Small World, huh? This is Jennings' old truck. Any old pictures or info would be greatly appreciated. You can e-mail them to me at lambtowing@hotmail.com or call me any time at 1-800-797-4144.



Pauls Towing said:

I love these old Pettibones. My dad drove one. I would love to see some pics of some other Pettibones. I think it is great that this one is working. Keep up the good work.Doing our best!


Here is the one my dad drove


tiggor said:

WOW! Now im starting to feel old,Not as old as "Joe D"!


Pauls Towing said:

Come on now, it aint that bad, I mean I was only 9 in 1982.Doing our best!


Towing4u said:

i was 10.lol those are cool looking machines...i remember seeing them at the fla tow show when i was younger.


MikeB304 said:

I think I would be taking some of the money that you made on that job and buy some new wire rope.....I see that a repair was made.


LAMB Towing said:

Mike...I just haven't got that far along with it yet. I didn't repair the winch lines, they were like that when I bought the truck. I'm not too concerned with them, though. The lines are braided and triple-clamped. I guarantee you the line will fail somewhere else before it breaks there. Those braids are as strong as anything you can install in the field.

If you had seen the condition that this truck was in when I purchased it, you would understand why we haven't got everything repaired or replaced yet. I've had at least one person working on this thing since January, sometimes as many as five people. I'd love to keep five people on it full time, but I've still got a business to run. These projects take time, but it should be as good as new or better by August when I bring it to the show in San Antonio.

Thanks for the replies!


MCBeyersTowing said:

i graduated in 1982 stop the old stuff !!Mike "they call me BUFFET" Colman Byers Wrecker Service


FMS Mike said:

Didn't this truck just get redone bumper to bumper, what kind of bugs?



In Memory of BROTHERSANDSONS who said:

1982 is "old"? .hell i graduated in 197...nevermind

I have driven one of the Pettibone chassis with a FD pumper on it, cool ride. Feels like your gliiiiding in and out of cornersBITE OFF MORE THAN YOU CAN CHEW......THEN CHEW IT !


tiggor said:

Ok I think i made a boo boo, It was pre 1982? not quite sure i'll have to dust off the black and white pictures.


GAYLOCK1 said:

I was 12 in 1982,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,I think,,, yeah 12.................Paul



LAMB Towing said:

I bought the truck sight unseen. I was also under the impression that it had been completely restored. After all, that's what was described in the guy's posts here on Tow411, and in his auction on eBay. Unfortunately, pictures can be deceiving. In my book, a few gallons of paint doesn't count as a restoration.

We removed and replaced every single air line and fitting, removed and replaced two air tanks, removed and replaced the hydraulic suction and return lines, re-wired the whole truck, installed new headlights, new LED clearance, marker, stop/turn/tail and park lights, a LED light bar, and new work lights. Then, we installed new guages in the dash, installed a new driver's seat, replaced all six air cylinders on the winches, installed two new brake bands on the winches, bought forks so the winches could free-spool, bought new steer tires, installed new batteries, two new windshield wipers and motors, a new chrome exhaust and chrome air intake, fixed both doors where they would open from the outside, and fixed the windows where they would roll up and down.

After doing all that, I took it out on a job to see what it was capable of. Then the alternator quit charging. After replacing the alternator, I took it out again on another job and the injector pump went out. That's when we discovered that one of the previous owners had filled the fuel tank with hydraulic fluid. I towed it in, drained the tank, and replaced the injector pump. On the way back from the third job (this one that I posted) the fuel filter stopped up. Twice. You guessed it...more hydraulic fluid in the filters.

We drove the truck to Oklahoma City today to have the NRC under reach installed. It made the 50 mile trip with no problems, so maybe we've found all the bugs now...


The installation of the NRC under-reach is nearing completion. I received some photos of the progress today from Sooner Wrecker Sales in Oklahoma City.










750 600 said:

What are you doing with the Koomia lift.If the price was right I would be interested in buying it.

I have one on one of my 750's it works great for me.


danielswt said:

for the record........in 1982 i wasnt even in exsistance.



Towman26 said:

It came out great but in my opinion I would have put a Zack Lift Z 404 on it. We have had 3 and had no problems & they lift over the rear wheels. But again just my opinion



Bigwheel Eric said:

Well LAMB I have spent alot of time looking at your recoveries and I cant see for the life of me why you took such a low blow to me and my family business, by the looks of this job you should not be knocking anybody's job, I can tell you it cost alot more to run a business in New England than it does were you live. Maybe if you had a 4 hour min .for heavy duty recovery's you could up date your gear instead of knocking people We try to help out as much as possible and we do alot of stuff for free when people dont have any money . .THANKS AGAIN ERIC


LAMB Towing said:

Eric,  I'm glad you like the old gal. She's not as purdy as our Kenworth T-2000, Freightliner Century, Peterbilt, or Volvo, but she can sure enough pull! I just bought her in January. Paid cash for her! I thought it would be neat to own a piece of towing history. We're still working the bugs out, but she's slowly getting back up to snuff. We've spent a lot of time and money on her, but she's coming around well. Maybe you can come down to the tow show in Texas this summer and see her in person? She's a beast!


Updated April of 2010:


SP8000 said:

Billy, How about some current pictures of the Pettibone?  I'd love to see this old girl in action!
Jeff Leavitt
86 Towing
Gabriels, NY


Thomas Simpson said:

well the trucks a lot better then the last time i seen it at the CAR STORE and i drove it when they bought it . it was a good recovery truck but was to short to tow anything heavy


Lamb Towing said:

I haven't used the truck very much, it just kind of sits around and reminds me of what else I could have done with all that money I spent on it. I jumped in with guns blazing, & spent a small fortune getting it back in shape. Then I just kind of lost interest in it. It got to the point where I just didn't want to keep spending money on it, so I never have done the paint & body work. I'll fire it up & see if I can't get it out on a job in the next day or so, it needs to be doing something anyway.


JRhd34 said:

I know money doesnt grow on trees but i'd take the blue tip wrench to that girl and mount that wrecker assembly on a nice stretched out tractor and have an absolute ANIMAL......


Updated May 2011:


LAMB Towing Added:

We haven't done anything else to it. I just always seem to find other projects to spend my time & money on. We use it every once in a while just to justify keeping it around, but I don't have any immediate plans for finishing it. Tommy & I took it out a couple of months ago to teach the NRC how to do heavy






Brunostowing said:

did the truck in this picture belong to Albert Zolezzi at one time?


LAMB Towing said:

I don't believe so. As far as I know, it had 2 previous owners in Florida (Jennings & Car Store), then the guy in Ohio (Bob's) that I bought it from.


localtowee said:

Awesome piece of history id not be breaking it up.




i like your pettibone we have two , one with the little cab and one like yours, they were both running until hurricane ike flooded both of them out, but were trying to get them going again ill try to find a picture of the other one 


AppleTowman said:

was that truck black with a lot off pictures or jarrafic park and did it have mikes towing on it i think it use to be in brooklyn



TOWROS said:

yea thats our other one i think we got used from purpose still has the same crazy paint on it





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