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Creativity and eccentricity are the themes of this unit
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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingNovember 14 - November 20, 2018

In Memory of Officer Keith Boyer

0 1aab5By George L. Nitti

At Bob and Dave's Towing in Whittier, Calif., it has become natural for the company to dedicate several of their trucks to those who have fallen in the line of duty, whether its towers or other first responders.

Officer Keith Boyer, a 27-year veteran with the Whittier Police Department, was shot and killed last month. He was gunned down after responding to an roadside accident of a gang member who was involved.

"We've all towed with this officer," said company owner Rodney Sellers, "everyone from my father to our office personnel, who personally knew him."

As a tribute, the company put together a truck honoring Boyer, decorating their 2011 Ford F-550/Holmes 480 Autoloader.

"In two weeks," Sellers said, "we did a lot of work on it and were able to get the truck to the funeral, where the police department put it front and center."

It is a very touching tribute, with a picture of Boyer prominent on areas of the truck. There's a large-scale image of him on the hood, where he is front and center with an American flag set in the background alongside his badge. Under the image are the words, "In Loving Memory."

His picture is also on the sides of the unit alongside his badge number, 249, and his EOW—the date his service ended with the police department. The back of the unit was also newly painted with his badge number and the words, "To Serve and Protect."

"I can't tell you how many officers have told us how highly they think of our truck," Sellers said. "Recently I went to an awards dinner and one of the officer's wives said, 'I saw the truck. It's been accepted by the officers.' "

The truck has been a work in progress with more to come, including a statement from the police chief that will appear on the side doors.

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

0-towcasso5 copy 98312By George L. Nitti

Tow truck restoration rarely crosses the threshold of functionality into the realm of abstract art. However, a vintage restoration eight years ago by Herrera's Towing and Recovery of Vidor, Texas, does just that: going beyond the conventional into the truly idiosyncratic.

Their 1962 Chevrolet pick-up with a homemade wrecker body built in-house, was a first-place winner at the Tow Expo-Dallas in August, and could be characterized as a work of art.

Owner Ronnie Herrera said, "It's called the 'Rat Wrecker' or 'Rat Rod'. It's like a Picasso. My daughter calls it TowCasso."

The unique design was inspired by Herrera's long-abiding interest in hot rods and antique restoration.

At its core is what Herrera said are "pieces here and pieces there and a lot of little bitty things."

Many of the pieces are welded on and comprise a hodgepodge of memorabilia and other assorted oddities.

Being a Texas-bred tow company, the longhorns, plow and sombrero are some of the symbols on the hood and front of the unit that stand out.

The restoration also contains a stainless-steel crowbar that holds ample lighting. It includes a couple of fire engine lights and a megaphone. In another broad stroke of creativity and eccentricity, the hood is glued to the back of the wrecker body while a beer cake serves as the fuel tank.

"It's old school, vintage-type stuff," Herrera said. "It's not something we use, but it's operable. If I had to pick something up, I could--but I wouldn't want to."

The restoration is custom-painted in black and blue, coated with an old-style brush stroke called patina, giving it an effect of fading and aging. Colorful pin stripes add accent around the bright orange "Herrera" name standing out on the side.

Part marketing, part fun, it is frequently entered in car shows and parades and wows audiences with its spectacle of outlandishness.

"I enjoyed watching the responses of people who saw it at the tow show and scratched their heads and went 'Huh?'," Herrera stated. "My grandkids love to ride in it. They have a blast."

Brag @ TIW!
Should your truck be featured here? Send a few pics and your contact information to the editor at bdooley@towman.com. You might even be selected to go in print, too, in American Towman magazine!
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WreckMaster President Justin Cruse said that the WreckMaster Convention will bring together towers from all over North America to provide a unique and beneficial opportunity to broaden knowledge.
© 2018  Tow Industry Week/American Towman Media, Inc.