TR Footnotes FN_0411 : Page 1

TOWING & RECOVERY April 2011 Keeping industry pros on their tows tow Partners ADVISOR Now FOOTNOTES Month ® Every www.trfootnotes.com The April Fool Issue Towing and recovery is serious business but a good laugh now and then can make a tough job easier. With that in mind, Footnotes brings you its first issue of trucking humor, with jokes throughout. But first, did you know that… A Funny Thing Happened At Work Today By Allan T. Duffin Spring is on its way and that should lighten things up after a tough winter. Footnotes called a few tow pros and asked them to help us mark the coming of warmer weather with some smile-generating incidents while on the job. We let them tell their own stories: S tarting The Car “I recently towed a car appro x i-mately 15 miles across town to the local Toyota dealer for a no-start prob-lem. Per the dealership’s instructions, we don’t attempt to start vehicles, so we wheel-lifted the vehicle and towed it in. “After we reached the dealership, the service writer greeted us at the door and started his paperwork. When I handed him the keys he noticed there was a solid steel key for a Toyota, along with the factory computer key. The driver, a young man getting ready to graduate from college, had a lot on his mind and didn’t realize that he was trying to use the steel key to start the car — you have to use the factory computer chip key instead. “We used the computer key, and the car started right up while still on the tow truck. While it wasn’t too funny, I’ll always remember the look of awe on the customer’s face. He paid his bill, having enjoyed a ride across town in a tow truck.” PRST STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID PEORIA, IL PERMIT NO. 315 Nick Schade and son — Nick Schade, Tony’s Wrecker Service, Inc., Louisville, Kentucky. Dog & Hearse “We got a call from a customer who got stuck in a snow bank. Upon pulling up on the scene, to our surprise, we found out that the vehicle in the ditch was a hearse. It had plowed through the snow bank and was good and stuck. The back of the hearse was empty — no coffin inside fortunately. “We hooked on and started winch-ing. We had to use the hydraulics of the truck instead of the winch, as the weight of the car was just too much on the winch. “After about 20 minutes we got the hearse out of the snow. Amazingly, the vehicle only had minor cosmetic dam-age: a piece of chrome and some plas-tics were broken. The snow was so packed into the wheel wells that the wheels would only turn to the right. Once we dug the snow out from around the wheel wells, the hearse was drivable again. “The customer followed us back to the shop to pay the bill, then e x plained what had happened: His dog — a 150-“ “The dog climbed into the driver’s lap and pinned him” ” Volume 21, Number 12 © 2011 Dominion Enterprises. All Rights Reserved. ❘ $3.95 Towing & Recovery Footnotes ® 10 Bokum Rd. Essex, CT 06426 pound bull mastiff named Guido — had leapt from the back of the hearse into the front seat. The dog climbed into the driver’s lap and pinned him against the door of the vehicle. The driver lost control of the hearse, which then flew into the ditch. Fortunately neither the driver nor the dog was injured.” — Brian, Matt, and Ryan Totman, Totman Enterprises, Inc., Searsmont, Maine Not On Fire “I went to do a tow that was a hun-dred miles away from home in a snow-See A FUNNY THING page 3

A Funny Thing

Allan T. Duffin

Spring is on its way and that should lighten things up after a tough winter. Footnotes called a few tow pros and asked them to help us mark the coming of warmer weather with some smile generating incidents while on the job. We let them tell their own stories:

Starting The Car

“I recently towed a car approximately 15 miles across town to the local Toyota dealer for a no-start problem. Per the dealership’s instructions, we don’t attempt to start vehicles, so we wheel-lifted the vehicle and towed it in.

“After we reached the dealership, the service writer greeted us at the door and started his paperwork. When I handed him the keys he noticed there was a solid steel key for a Toyota, along with the factory computer key. The driver, a young man getting ready to graduate from college, had a lot on his mind and didn’t realize that he was trying to use the steel key to start the car — you have to use the factory computer chip key instead.

“We used the computer key, and the car started right up while still on the tow truck. While it wasn’t too funny, I’ll always remember the look of awe on the customer’s face. He paid his bill, having enjoyed a ride across town in a tow truck.”

-Nick Schade, Tony’s Wrecker Service, Inc., Louisville, Kentucky.

Dog & Hearse

“We got a call from a customer who got stuck in a snow bank. Upon pulling up on the scene, to our surprise, we found out that the vehicle in the ditch was a hearse. It had plowed through the snow bank and was good and stuck. The back of the hearse was empty — no coffin inside fortunately.

“We hooked on and started winching. We had to use the hydraulics of the truck instead of the winch, as the weight of the car was just too much on the winch.

“After about 20 minutes we got the hearse out of the snow. Amazingly, the vehicle only had minor cosmetic damage: a piece of chrome and some plastics were broken. The snow was so packed into the wheel wells that the wheels would only turn to the right. Once we dug the snow out from around the wheel wells, the hearse was drivable again.

“The customer followed us back to the shop to pay the bill, then explained what had happened: His dog — a 150- pound bull mastiff named Guido — had leapt from the back of the hearse into the front seat. The dog climbed into the driver’s lap and pinned him against the door of the vehicle. The driver lost control of the hearse, which then flew into the ditch. Fortunately neither the driver nor the dog was injured.”

— Brian, Matt, and Ryan Totman, Totman Enterprises, Inc., Searsmont, Maine

Not On Fire

“I went to do a tow that was a hundred miles away from home in a snowstorm. It was around three a.m. I was in my brand-new International truck with a car carrier deck on it.

“I finally got on scene and loaded the vehicle up. When we all got in my truck, the passenger closed the door — and somehow set off the fire extinguisher!

“There we were, a hundred miles from home, inside a cab full of yellow fire retardant substance. The inside of the cab was yellow, I was yellow, and the customer was yellow. I can still taste that stuff and, boy, was it hard to clean out!

“Moral of the story: Never place a fire extinguisher where a customer or a door can set it off!”

— Chuck Ceccarelli, Idaho Wrecker Sales,Mountain Home, Idaho

Four-Legged Recovery

“The funniest recovery I’ve ever done was recovering a horse out of a creek. The horse had broken out of the stables, ran into a creek, and got tangled up in some branches that were lying loose in the water.

“The owner of the horse called and asked us if we could recover his horse out of the creek. I’m thinking, ‘Well, that’s a new one on me, but, sure, we’ll do anything.’

“I went out myself. We strapped-up underneath the horse, and actually lifted the horse up on straps, over the creek.

“I tell people that story every now and then, and they tell me, ‘There’s no way you could get a horse out of a creek!’”

— Louis Anglin, General Automotive Services, Searcy, Arkansas

I Was Joking

“A milk truck turned over on a local highway, and the load went through the roof. There was milk all over the road.

“When we arrived to do the recovery, a news reporter asked me how I was going to the get the truck up, and how long it was going to take. I said, ‘We're having a Sikorsky helicopter come in, and should have this cleaned up in half an hour.’

“I thought the guy knew that I wasn't being serious — but he reported what I'd said, on the radio!

“I had one highway patrol officer come over to me. ‘Bob,’ he said, ‘I just got a call from my captain. He asked me, ‘What's this about a helicopter?’

“The reporter bit on that full blast. I was being totally facetious at the time, and I thought he understood that. When he asked me the question, I hadn't even had a chance to look at the wreck, much less do anything about it!”

— Bob Berry, Berry Brothers Towing, Oakland, California

Lost & Found

“During the winter of 1996, I was towing a VW bug for the police department. I’d put the VW on a wheel-lift truck and was headed back to my lot at three a.m. I was in a hurry and failed to properly secure both wheels to the wheel lift. Along my route — and unknown to me — the car came off the wheel lift completely, at the bottom of a steep hill.

I drove the remaining two miles to my lot, exited the truck, opened the gate, and pulled into the lot. I then looked in my mirror to back the VW into a spot when I noticed the car was gone! The wheel lift, straps — all were in place. Horrified, I quickly drove the same route back, looking for the car to be wrecked or sitting somewhere in the road.

“I arrived back at the exact place I had hooked up the car. The police officer was still there. He remarked that I was quick and that there was nothing else to tow off. I did not want to say anything about the missing car.

“I immediately began driving the same route over and over again, looking everywhere for the car. I thought, ‘Maybe it came off and someone stole it? Maybe the car ran off the road and is hidden somewhere in the darkness?’ I drove slower and slower, still hunting for this light-blue VW bug.

“As the sun was coming up, I noticed some tire tracks in the morning dew in a grassy downhill slope. I followed the tracks, running on foot.

“The tracks ended at the front door of an old barn. I opened the doors to the barn — and there sat the VW, with its nose up against bales of hay. The VW had hit the barn doors perfectly in the middle and the doors swung open. The VW had rolled inside, and the barn doors closed behind it. No damage!

“I propped open the barn doors, started the VW, and drove it back to my truck. Then I towed it back to the lot. After weeks of the VW being stored in my lot, the owner finally came to get his vehicle. He complained that the front bumper had straw sticking out of it. I gladly removed the straw and had to keep from laughing as I released the car to him.

“I never told anyone about this until 10 years later. Now it’s my funny story after 31 years in the towing business!

— Mike Patellis, Alpha Towing, Inc., Marietta, Georgia.

Thanks,Dad

“Two years ago at the Ohio tow show, Bill and Marci Gratzianna from the TV series ‘Wrecked: Life in the Crash Lane’ showed up and were signing autographs. I watched this little boy standing in line. When he reached the front, Bill talked to him. The little boy stuttered, ‘I…I…I know you!’

“Bill said, ‘That’s nice,’ shook the boy’s hand, and signed a poster for him.

“That little boy turned around, looked at his dad and said, ‘I’m glad you’re a tower.’

“That’s a moment that will live with me for the rest of my life, because that little boy was the proudest kid in the world.”

— Don Mesaros, Auto Works Heavy, Milford, Ohio

If you have an amusing towing and recovery incident to share or a good (clean) automotive/trucking joke, just email the joke or a note that you have a funny story to bcandler@dominionenterprises.com.

Sources of some of the jokes in this April Fool special issue are www.loadedtruck. com and www.takebreak.biz

Read the full article at http://www.flashedition.com/article/A+Funny+Thing/674962/64762/article.html.

Next Page


Publication List
Using a screen reader? Click Here