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Blog: Towing News and Thoughts


I learned recently of the passing of Joe Pedigo of Joe’s Towing in Bloomington, IL. Joe was a committed and fierce advocate for the towing industry and remained active in its causes throughout his life. My personal experience with Joe was serving along with him on the PTRIO (Professional Towing & Recovery Association of Illinois). As a new and very green member of the towing community Joe was always a welcoming and encouraging voice. He was actively involved in the legislation committee and served all Illinois towers well. I would often see Joe at Tow Shows around the country and would always approach him as if we were old friends. Truth be told, I’m not sure he always remembered me as the kid from Naperville as I was likely another guy in a long line of people saying hi to Joe as he walked the tow show floorjoe-pedigo. He was so kind to so many of us I think we all felt like Joe’s good friend.

Joe’s son posted the following on Tow411.

He started this company 46 years ago to support a house full of kids, and although it has changed greatly from the repair shop with a tow truck that it was in the beginning, we are proud to carry on the traditions that he started. Joe excelled at everything he did, from towing for the police departments to impounding illegally parked cars to recovering overturned tractor-trailers to working tirelessly for legislative changes that benefit the entire towing industry. He never took the easy way out, but constantly strived to do it better the next time. Joe was active on the Legislative Committee for many years for both the Professional Towing and Recovery Operators of Illinois, as well as the national Towing & Recovery Association of America. He served 2 terms as President of the PTROI, and was the current President of the TRAA at the time of his passing. His goal was to make the towing industry better for everyone as a whole. Joe was inducted into the Towing Hall of Fame in 2007, had TRAA Level 3 Heavy Recovery Specialist Certification as well was a WreckMaster 6/7.

Joe’s Towing & Recovery will continue on without a pause (because Papa Joe would kick all our butts if we didn’t lol), but please bear with us as our family mourns the loss of a great man, as well as a great leader in the towing industry. … In lieu of flowers, we ask that memorials be made in Joe’s honor to the American Cancer Society, the Towing Survivor Fund or to the Professional Towing & Recovery Operators of Illinois Legislative or Education Funds.

Rest in peace Papa Joe. We love you and we got this. ‪#‎TeamJoes‬


We see a lot of tow truck pictures here at With the average towing company website containing no lessTow Truck Picture Advice (2) than 20 images we have experienced our share of bad tow truck pics. That is why I was so delighted to see the March 2015 issue of Tow Times Magazine feature an article about how to take a good tow truck picture. The article provides clear detail on how to make your truck look great. Tow Times doesn’t release their magazine online but I do have an image of the article from Van’s Towing’s Facebook page here.

Here are some of the highlights from the article:

1) Wash the Truck (I know, but you’d be surprised…)

2) Cloudy days are best. Always have the light source (sun) at your back when taking the photo.

3) Shoot the truck from an angle. The best angle is called Front 3/4 Angle. The resulting picture should be 1/4 front and 3/4 side of the truck. Just search Front Three Quarter Angle in Google Images and you will have all sorts of examples.

4) Position camera above the “belt line” of the truck (usually about the height of the bottom of the door glass). This way the picture features more of the truck and lettering and less of the undercarriage and tires.

5) Choose a nondescript background. Its your truck’s time to shine so don’t let it be overshadowed by the stadium or fancy hotel in the background. I often recommend park or mall parking lots on Sunday mornings. Tow Times suggests using a business park or a gravel pit. They all work so long as they don’t overshadow your truck.

Since we are often judged by our trucks its vitally important we take a few minutes to ensure the trucks look their best. Spending an hour or two to get some great shots will serve you for years to come.


Tow Times is an excellent resource for our community. The good folks at this magazine work hard to gather and present important information to the towing industry. If you do not already subscribe to Tow Times consider doing so. Subscription information can be found here.


One of the horrors of working in the towing business is we all know someone who has been touched by a roadside accident. Now that the Move Over Law exists in all 50 states its partly our responsibility as emergency vehicle operators to get the word out about what every motorist should do when they see a squad car, tow truck or fire truck in a lane or on the shoulder.

The Florida law is typical and reads:

  • On a two-lane roadway, you are required to slow to a speed that is 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit.
  • If the speed limit is 20 miles per hour or less, you must slow down to five miles per hour.
  • If you are driving on an interstate or roadway with multiple lanes of travel in the same direction, and you approach an emergency or law enforcement vehicle parked along the roadway, you must vacate the lane closest to that vehicle as soon as it is safe to do so. If you are not able to safely move over, you must slow down to a speed of 20 MPH below the posted speed limit unless directed otherwise by a law enforcement officer.
  • Violating the move over law puts both yourself and a public safety professional at risk.

The law has plenty of bite to it but I feel the real behavior adoption will occur when people make a personal connection to the issue and understand lives really are at stake. My client John Reynolds from Pizzagoni’s Towing in Brentwood, CA sent me this link to a video produced to help spread the message about just that concern. I think its excellent and should be posted on every tower’s social media outlets and websites.


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Collections is part of the towing business whether we like it or not. Following are steps to collect more of the money you’ve already earned.

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(This tow company advertising article originally appeared in the April, 2011 issue of Towing & Recovery Footnotes. You can view the entire issue electronically at their site

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Getting the Most from Your Tow Show Trip

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12 Dec 2014

2015 Tow Show Schedule

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2015 Tow Show Schedule

The 2015 tow show schedule will bring all sorts of new and exciting experiences to the towing industry. Tow Shows are a great way to learn more about our industry, improve your towing business and meet some folks who know what you go through all day long. Below is a list of shows we are aware of. If we need to add or update a show on this list please let us know!

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Five Things to Consider Before Starting Your Tow Company

Starting a towing company can be both a rewarding and challenging process. But as excited as you may be to get the wheels rolling and the cash coming in, there are a few things you may want to consider before opening your doors.

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09 Dec 2013

2014 Tow Show Schedule

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This is our 2014 Tow Show Schedule. Click to see our 2015 Tow Show Schedule.



2014 promises to be another great year for tow shows. As the economy improves towers nationwide will be flocking to tow shows to see the latest trucks, technology and teachings. Be sure to catch the TowProgram team on the road again this year helping towers cost effectively target cash call customers with internet advertising. Below is the 2014 tow show schedule. Do you have a show that is not listed below? Just drop us a line and get added to the list.


April 10-13 – Florida Tow Show®, Hilton Across from Disney Village, Orlando, Fl.




May 15-17 – American Towman Showplace, Las Vegas Tow Show, Southpont Hotel, Las Vegas, NV


May 17-18 – New Hampshire Towing Association Tow Show, Hampton Beach State Park, NH.


603-863-4206 , •


June 20-22 – Wisconsin Towing Association Annual Convention and Truck Show – Chula Vista Resort (608-254-8366), Wisconsin Dells, WI.


WTA Office, 608-833-8200 ext.11


Aug. 7-9 – Tow Expo, Texas – Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio, TX.


Aug. 22-23 – The NW Tow Expo sponsored by the Towing and Recovery Association of Washington, Silver Reef Casino, Ferndale, WA.




Sept. 19-21 – Tennessee Tow Show hosted by Tennessee Tow Truck Association & Tow Times. Chattanooga Convention Center, Chattanooga, TN. Brenda Faulman (Tow Times) 407-327-4817, or David Williams (TTTA) 615-306-9891,


Sept. 25-28 Midwest Regional Tow Show, Great Wolf Lodge, Mason, OH, 877-341-3400 or 513-7911-3555


October 9-14 – Western States Tow Show hosted by California Tow Truck Association, Town and Country Resort, San Diego, CA.   Karly Worl 916-617-2882.


Nov 21-23 – American Towman Exposition, Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, MD.


Online Advertising for Towing Companies

TowProgram has been busy lately working with towing company owners to set up an online local advertising plan that are custom built for towing companies.

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Who Is Dennis Wencel

TowProgram Dennis WencelMarketing expert and former tower Dennis Wencel provides complete web solutions for tow company owners who want to generate more cash calls and drive greater profits.

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