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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingJune 19 - June 25, 2019

Rollover Recovery in Rutherford

0 a61ceby Jim "Buck" Sorrenti

Nicholas "Nick" F. Testa, company owner and president of Nick's Towing Service (NTS) in Rutherford, New Jersey, founded the company in 1972. After more than 45 years there is nothing they haven't encountered, both in equipment or situation.

At 2 a.m. on Sept. 15, 2018 the East Rutherford Police Department called Nick's requesting they respond to a rollover on Grove Street in East Rutherford. There were actually three vehicles involved in this crash. The rolled over car was a 2004 Honda Civic. The other two vehicles involved were a 2003 Chevy Silverado pickup truck and a 2017 AWD Mercedes Benz.

Nick's dispatched light-duty tow operator Jeff Bell and Walter Gonzalez, who performs dual duties as both a light-duty tow operator and a Landoll driver for the company. Bell received the American Towman "Courage Under Fire" award in 2017.

Walter has been with Nick's Towing Service for ten years. He is a WreckMaster 6/7 and TRAA certified. He performs dual duties as both a light-duty tow operator and a Landoll driver for the company.

Bell responded in NTS Truck # 103, a 2016 Freightliner with a Century LCG 26,000-pound flatbed (Jeff and this unit are pictured performing the recovery of the rolled over vehicle). Gonzalez responded in NTS Truck # 93, a 2012 Hino with Century LCG 25,500-pound flatbed.

"Working as a team as we always do here at Nicks Towing," Bell stated, "the vehicle was rigged by both of us. Upon arrival, we found the casualty on its side across the middle of the road. Because the vehicle was on a slight angle, we couldn't just roll it in its current location.

"First, we hooked up my winch line to the two most forward tow points on the vehicle," he continued, "so we could spin the nose of the vehicle away from the pickup truck and give us ample room to upright the car. We then re-positioned the bridle to the two highest hook up points and using a snatch block, uprighted the casualty. It was then loaded onto the rollback."

After up-righting the Honda to clear the roadway, Bell went to work loading the Chevy pickup truck onto his rollback. He then proceeded to load the Civic onto the wheel-lift attachment on his flatbed and readied both vehicles for transport to the Nick's Towing Service storage yard in Rutherford.

Once the Honda and pickup were loaded and secured for transport, Bell assisted Gonzalez in loading the all-wheel-drive Mercedes-Benz onto his rollback and they transported all three vehicles back to NTS.

Testa stated, "Neither operator had any towing experience prior to working at NTS. We pride ourselves on finding drivers with the qualities we are looking for in an employee: good work ethic, loyal, team players, etc., and training them to become exemplary operators. We are extremely proud of both of them!"

Editor's Note: Look for the print version of this story in an upcoming issue of American Towman Magazine.

Show Yours @ TIW
Do you have a recovery to share with TIW readers? Send some pics and info to our Field Editor Jim "Buck" Sorrenti at ; your story may even be selected for print in American Towman magazine!
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