The Week's Features
News reports note uptick in tower activity downtown
Motorist awareness of the law touted on truck
Roadside steps to increased safety awareness
New design makes down-driveway hookups easier
Puts cap on assets; forces four off board by end of year
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American Towman Operations Editor Randall Resch instructs on avoiding sloppy actions on-scene, questionable vehicle operations and chances that tower’s repeatedly take. His seminar, “Wreckers in Trouble,” will take place during Tow Industry Week, May 9-12 at the South Point Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Distinct Classic from the '70s

0 975ddBy George L. Nitti

There is something that we love and appreciate about old trucks. At Stovall's in Fayetteville, Tenn., owner Bill Stovall has made it a practice to keep many of his purchased units since the founding of the company in 1968.

"We don't get rid of wreckers," he said. "I can't afford to trade them in every two or three years."

One of the units they've had for the duration is a 1973 Ford F-350 with a Century 402.

"My Dad, William David Stovall, drove it and I drove it. It's still a good truck."

This classic, amongst others they have in their fleet, has much to admire, beginning with the interesting paint scheme of dark red, poppy orange, black, yellow/gold and white.

"All of our trucks are custom painted with high quality paint and then clear-coated, waxed, cleaned and taken care of," Stovall said. "Custom paint lasts about 20 years, whereas a wrap may only give you five years."

The Stovall logo on the side door is eye-catching in an Old English font with gold leaf lettering against a black background.

"Not many people use that style of lettering, which is another reason why it stands out," he said. "People know who we are. Your tow truck is an advertising billboard. Ours promotes both our wrecker service and our body shop."

Like all advertising, slogans aid promotion. One slogan found on the back of the unit plugs their wrecker business: "Our business is picking up." The other slogan found on the front of the hood plugs their body shop: "U Wreck and We Fix 'Em."

Stovall said, "In a small town like rural Fayetteville, with a population of 10,000, it is hard to survive with one business."

In this age of disposable goods, longevity has value.

"And I figure it's got another 20 good years left," Stovall emphatically said.

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The Repeating Move-Over Message

0 8ac14By George L. Nitti

As awareness of the Move Over laws continues to take hold, many towing companies are playing their part to ensure the message gets out ... through their lettering, decals and graphics found on their tow trucks.

Ronald Jones, owner of Southside Towing of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, was intent on getting the "Move Over—It's the Law" word out, pushing the issue and promoting the cause by coming up with unique graphics on its 2017 Dodge Ram 5500/Jerr Dan MPL 40 Self-loader.

The graphics are co-created with the expertise of Fireblade Graphics and Signs, also out of North Carolina.

"I wanted to do my share to get the word out on the Slow Down-Move Over laws. I figured I could get a truck to promote the cause and be safe," said Jones, whose grandfather started the company in 1938.

This design is done in reflective lettering, mainly found along the sides of the unit, where strips of dark yellow tape are running diagonally against a black background. The words "Move Over" and "It's the Law" are visibly written inside each strip of tape as the message repeats.

"A black truck with dark yellow really pops," Jones said. "It catches a lot of eyes. I watch kids moving their lips, reading the lettering."

"I always hear stories about towers getting run over. I tried to think how I could make a safer vehicle for Southside," said Terry Frye, owner of Fireblade Graphics and Signs.

As Frye was working on the back of the truck adding the reflective hash marks, it gave him the idea of doing similar reflective striping on the unit's sides.

"I thought it was a design that was neat and that nobody had. Then I thought it would be cool to put the Move Over law on the tape," said Frye.

Other graphics on the truck include Southside's company name/logo on the side doors, where an elongated "S" sprawls out over the rest of the lettering, giving it a creative flourish while the phone number sits underneath.

"Even though we are no longer on the Southside of Winston-Salem (they are now on the Northside), we have kept our name the same," Jones said. "We didn't see any sense in changing it. And we've had the same phone number since 1938."

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Should your truck be featured here? Send a few pics and your contact information to the editor at You might even be selected to go in print, too, in American Towman magazine!
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