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It’s more common for operators to be assaulted on the job
Commissioner said she was “sickened by the story”
Design features extension for tandem- or tri-axle jeep dolly
Showcasing an orange and black scheme
Categories include Recovery Agent of the Year, others
Events
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May 14-15, 2020
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June 17-20, 2020
San Antonio, TX.
August 14-15, 2020
Baltimore, MD.
Nov. 19-22, 2020
American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in Towing February 19 - February 25, 2020

Wheelie Wizardry

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By George L. Nitti

There's a long-standing creed at Chelsea Wrecker Service in Chelsea, Oklahoma: "If it's not old, it's not any good!" Roger Melson owned Chelsea for 29 years before retiring; his passion was collecting, restoring and retrofitting antique cars, hot rods and tow trucks.

One of his restorations included a red 1949 International KB7 tow truck with two Ramsey electric winches.

"I was nicknamed 'The Wizard,' " Melson said. "I built racecars and fast cars. You name it. My daddy was chief of police and used to borrow this truck in 1959 to sell watermelons. I was five years old then. I had no idea that I would own it. I traded for it about 20 years ago and fixed it up. It could pull anything out of a lake, and a house if it needed to be moved."

The wrecker is still in working shape. It operates with many of its components like the suspension springs, pedals, steering wheel, dashboard, original headlights and more.

Melson claims to have had the oldest tow trucks in Oklahoma's history.

"I wanted to go to work in an antique truck every day," he said, "and I did not want to spend a whole lot of money on new tow trucks because it's a small town where some days you make money and some days you don't. I didn't want a struggle. I think it helped my business. Nobody ever rode in a '30 or '40 model (truck)."

Part of the retrofitting included shortening the frame, putting a back seat in, adding a swiveling bed and most extraordinarily, a heavy winch box that has enabled it to do wheelies.

"The winch box added about 5,500 pounds of weight," Melson said. "You can put it in different positions and wheelie down the road. It's very forgiving and goes straight."

At that vantage point, the wrecker is clearly eye catching, even drawing the interest of kids.

"I had a mouth that bolts on front with teeth. I put that on the truck for a show. The kids think that it is 'Tow Mater.' I tell them that it is Mater's father," he said, referring to another classic tow truck he owned that resembled "Tow Mater" from the hit "Cars" movie franchise.

On the front, under its right standard headlight, are the words "Cheapers Greapers."

"If people remember the movie, it was an old truck running people off the road," Melson said.

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!


Click here to read more
In honor of these men and to stop these preventable deaths from happening again, AAA is urging drivers to do their best to keep towmen, drivers, and first responders safe on the roads.
New Braking Technology Leads to a Safer Ride for Towing Industry
Don't Miss It!
Join Paul Stephens of B/A Products for his seminar, “Mitigating Damage Claims.” This informative seminar will show attendees how to reduce the probability and possibility damage accusations and will present strategies to deal with damage accusations in the event they occur. It will take place during Tow Industry Week at the Westgate Paradise & Pavilion in Las Vegas, Nevada, May 14-15, 2020. atshowplace.com

atexposition.com

--Charles Duke
By Don Lomax
Click to enlarge


What would be the most effective way to mitigate towman roadside deaths?
Allow for blocking vehicles
Allow police vehicle lighting for tow trucks
Education/TIM training
Steeper fines for Move Over violations
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Editor: Charles Duke
Managing Editor: Brendan Dooley
Media Director: William Burwell
ATTV Editor & Anchor: Emily Oz
Advertising Sales (800-732-3869):
Dennie Ortiz x213, Ellen Rosengart x203,
William Burwell x208, Peggy Calabrese x202
Content Management: Henri Calitri
Site Progr., Graphics & Video: Ryan Oser
ATTV Technical Production: OMG National
Wrecks + Recovery Editor: Jim "Buck" Sorrenti
Operations Editor: Randall C. Resch
Tow Business Editor: Brian J. Riker
Tow Illustrated Editor: George L. Nitti
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February 19 - February 25, 2020
Jeremy Price saved a young man’s life last Wednesday evening when he pulled a driver from the wreckage of a burning car. Image - Woody Anderson Ford.


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February 19 - February 25, 2020
Yellowstone Valley Tow Truck Association staged a 'light up' for a young girl who is battling cancer. Image – kulr8.com.
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American Towman Exposition Gallery
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Rate how they handled this recovery
Great job on a challenging recovery.
Hit all the basics on this one. Thumbs up.
Creative approach on this recovery. Good job.
I would approach this recovery differently.
Vehicle(s) could be rigged more efficiently.
More trucks were needed.
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February 19 - February 25, 2020
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NORTH - St. Paul, MN
$170
(pop. 297,640)

SOUTH - Orlando, FL
$85
(pop. 238,300)

EAST - Richmond, VA
$95
(pop. 217,853)

WEST - Boise, ID
$125
(pop. 214,237)

Light-Duty nonconsensual tow rates as provided by Police Towers of America.
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February 19 - February 25, 2020
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February 19 - February 25, 2020
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February 19 - February 25, 2020
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February 19 - February 25, 2020
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February 19 - February 25, 2020
The North American Repossessors Summit has announced the opening of nominations for their second annual Industry Awards.
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