The Week's Features
Seven of the industry’s finest to be inducted to Hall, October 12
Herring Motor Company keeps classic line alive
Recovery management and technology services now one
Delivers Class 6 capability in a Class 5 Super Duty package
Recovery “dance” lifts overturned truck
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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingJuly 17 - July 23, 2019

Classic Tow Truck Dedicated to New Children’s Hospital

0-31958307 1972434556165354 130611609033768960 n 4cb83By George L. Nitti

It was 1950 when Jasper Wiley Dodd and his brother Bill founded Dodd Bros. Wrecker Service and purchased their first unit, a 1941 Chevrolet with a Holmes 330 Junior Wrecker.

Today, that same wrecker has been restored by owner Mark Dodd, Jasper's son, and was donated to benefit Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee, just across the border from Dodd Bros.' Rossville, Georgia, location.

According to one of the full-time mechanics on staff, "Mark wanted to redo it because of his dad's passing last year. The work began in December and was just recently finished in the middle of April."

The new children's hospital sought memorabilia from some of the early start-up businesses in Chattanooga. This classic tow truck will be included where the kids will be able to interact with it.

The tow truck has been beautifully restored, with purple and gold serving as its primary colors. The color scheme originated from their early days, when they were a Gulf Gas Station. At that time, the Gulf Oil Distributor provided them with free paint, which was called Purple Crest, to match Gulf's branding.

Hand-painted graphics include the company's "23 ½ hour service." Also found on the unit is a biblical reference to John 3:16.

"Sally," is written on the driver's door, just below the window. Erlanger wanted to give it a female persona, partly because Tow Mater from Disney-Pixar's "Cars" animated films was a male truck. To reflect its gender, the headlights have eyebrows, red and pink lips, and blue eyes.

Noteworthy features include the red flashing light that sits atop the unit and the authentic firestone tires.

But the Holmes Wrecker is the major focal point, which was designed to carry an average car load of 3,000 to 5,000 lbs. Holmes made three versions of it: one that is cranked manually, one that runs off of the engine and one that is a combination of the two.

Rebuilt from the ground up by Dodd Bros. staff, with a new engine and a wrecker that is fully functional, the kids will be able to turn the wheel on the side to lower and raise the boom.

It surely will be a big hit as the new children's hospital gets up and running.

Brag @ TIW! 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!

A Classic with Outstanding Pinstripes

0 7203fBy George L. Nitti

Herring Motor Co. of Somerset, Pennsylvania, has been in business a very long time, operating several trucking-related businesses spanning four generations.

At one point in time, the company served as a distributor/dealership of the Marmon Motor Co., which was a low-production, handmade truck sometimes referred to as "the Rolls-Royce of trucks." However, due to an overcrowded American truck industry and the lack of a nationwide sales network, the last Marmon was made in 1997.

Fortunately, Herring collected a number of Marmons over the life of the motor company and is still using them in their towing and recovery units, including their sprawling, classic 1989 Marmon/Century 5230.

"Over the years we sold a lot of glider kits," said owner Pat Herring, "which included the truck frame, the hood, cab and the sleeper while the other components were added later."

In the vein of their other trucks, this one is painted red, and carries a couple of distinctive features: the classic Herring Motor lettering on the side of the sleeper and the superlative pinstriping done by Casey Kennel of nearby Paint Chops.

On the sleeper, the company name stands out in super-large white lettering like on a billboard. The lettering itself recalls another era, further distinguishing it while its phone number and address sit underneath.

As for the pinstriping, Kennel prides himself as a master pinstriper of East and West Coast new and old school style ... since 1974.

"We have always used pinstriping on our trucks," Herring Manager Ernie Devine said. "The way he (Kennel) sponges it on is old school. He puts paint on a sponge and sponges it on. The paint is real thick."

The lines are done in colorful pink around the unit for a pleasing aesthetic with a timeless feel.

In the world of design, it's the little things that matter next to a name that is bold.

Brag @ TIW!
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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