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My Holmes 1701 Story


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Original Topic created on Tow411 in November of 2009:


January 1,1988 my father Roger Strollo (passed away 10/1/07) purchased a 1985 Freightliner with a Holmes 1701 this wrecker was built in New Hampshire by OBrien Transportation /State transportation with guidance from friend Frank Coady of Coadys Garage Lawrence Ma .


This truck did many truck recovery's threw the years and I drove it to 80% of them . In Feb 08 during a federal inspection the inner liner of the truck frame cracked .The truck was removed from service . I purchased a 2008 Peterbilt 367 with a Century9055 . The Holmes 1701 was sold to Slim Santa DAKOTA SERVICES in south dakota ! I would be in denial if I did not say that when it left on a trailer I was emotional !! But I still had the truck a icon to our company .


For the next few months we removed the inner liner of the frame and redid the frame over on the Freightliner aka BRUTUS it was done for the memorial day parade that same year as a tractor .But something was missing in my heart I DID NOT HAVE A SIDE PULLIN HOLMES !!! SO I looked for a Holmes 600 and bought one it only had 24000 miles on it ? The wrecker mast was mint and had very little use! My idea was from 1991 when we bought our first TRU HITCH I wanted mast only tractor / wrecker !! With help from my employees in the shop and tow truck drivers we put it together . We have recently used it on a truck rollover and have used it to haul many trailers . It works awesome and if you can DO IT !! Now the other Holmes 1701 picture is the other truck I bought in December of 2008 yah cannot take the 1701 out of ME !!!


Slim Santa said:

I am working on this 1701 in my spare time.








Dakota Service & Repair, Brookings, SD



CHEF said:

In April of 1981 my dad bought the first 1701 Holmes sold by Holmes. it has serial #2, #1 being the prototype.

the cost mounted and painted was $47,274.00.(still have the original bill of sale) I have since stretched it 4 feet

and added an under lift. and it works on a regular basis and does a great job.


Recovery Inc.

I remember seeing this truck at the NH show and I fell in love because ever since I was young the split window
Freightliner was my favorite truck.
Chris Fontaine
Interstate Towing
General Manage/Heavy Wrecker Operator
WreckMaster #080843


Strollostowing said:



I was 19 years old my dad bought this truck! still driving it at 41 . I wanted rear legs so bad it is nice to see slim santa added

the third axle and the legs!That 1701 was so clean it was sad to see it leave the shop ! You guys are doing a awesome job.

That truck is on all are shirts ,cards and envelopes!! I made the joke it is on my underware! I have so many recovery pictures

with that holmes 1701! YOU BETTER NOT REMOVE THOSE SIDE LEGS if you do call me i will buy them back!!!!! My new one

does not have them what a waste!






BigWheelRecovery said:

All i can is you are a class act I'm glad we meet over the summer and i always wanted a Holmes 1701 back in the day
i saw one of them at a tow show and said to my dad how could we ever buy one of them hydraulic wreckers we couldn't
even afford the paint on that truck .All i can say is I'm very glad things have changed at of company i never got to get
one of them 1701s but i guess we worked thing out . Thanks again Sean for posting that awesome truck with us .
Thanks Ericemoticonthumb.gif


Tom said:

Thanks for the pictures sean, I remember that truck when Kevin owned it, I drove for Kevin hauling sheetrock,beer,paper.

That was a nice truck and you gotta love the old Holmes....after I left Kevin I worked for a company in Mass. towing and

that was all I operated for 5 yrs were Holmes wreckers except the ramps.

First large wrecker I operated was a 1974 LN9000 with 750's.........(A WHEEL LIFT WHAT WAS THAT) LOL .....

thanks for sharing the pics..........


Slim Santa said:

Sean, I pulled the side legs for blasting. I have moved the lower mounts to keep them in front of the pusher.
We replaced the floor and sides of the body, added a third stage to the pump for the wheel lift and spades,
added air releases on the winches, added remote for the wheel lift and changed the style of the wheel lift head.
We've been using the truck for about 6 months.  Our next project is building a tunnel tool box.
Strollostowing said:
Slim Santa,
Sorry for taking so long to respond . This past year has been a difficult one . I finalized my divorce after 19 years with my wife.
The trying economy has paid its toll on me also .Heavy duty side is way down just like every one else around me. We are also
dealing with more competition in the arena .Well besides ALL that I was extremely ill from april till june . I am feeling better now .
But thinking what the hell am I doing this for . I did do a tractor trailer rollover on july 6 . This was a boost to my spirits and much
needed boost to the checkbook.The truck looks great and  you did a awesome job . good luck with it and god bless
Sean Strollo
Edited by strollostowing
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