The following article appeared in Tow Professional Magazine Volume 6 Issue 4, 2017 pages 48-50:
The Search for the Legends of Towing
Last year we had a lot of fun with The Omadi Truck of the Month and Year contests. The results we had were great, and we are excited about doing another Truck of the Year competition at the end of this year. However, after hearing so many amazing stories from Towing Operators around the world, many of whom have been in the industry for a majority of their lives, we realized that we needed to help share the stories of these “Towing Legends.”
We firmly believe that towing operators are heroes, but unfortunately, much of the world doesn’t see them the same way as we do. Towing Operators are among the most underappreciated service workers in the world. Every day they face new challenges that put their lives on the line. As you know, it’s very dangerous work, and one Tow Truck Operator dies every six days on average. In most cases, this is because traffic doesn’t slow down and move over for them while they’re working on the side of the road. Many people believe towing is merely an industry that is just out for another payday.
We are determined to transform this common misconception of towing into something much more positive, something that people will respect so much more. For this reason, we decided to honor the efforts and sacrifices of towing operators by holding The Towing Legend competition. “At Omadi, we believe that a rising tide raises all ships and we strive every day to make the towing industry better,” said Charles Lukens, CEO of Omadi. Our hope is that a greater general respect for the Towing Industry will lead to less towing-related deaths.
We have come across hundreds of people who have had legacies in the Towing Industry. These “Towing Legends” can be found 24 hours a day, seven days a week, working hard for long hours to keep drivers safe. They are the forgotten first responders who often don’t receive the praise or recognition they deserve. Towing Legends are the men and women who lay down their lives for those in need. They are naturally heroic, and their good deeds don’t require any repayment. For a better idea of who some of these Towing Legends are, we have provided a few brief stories of some nominees we have received for our Towing Legend Competition thus far.
Jim Hampton (Tatman’s Towing, Urbana, IL) has been in the Towing Industry since he graduated from high school. One time a gentleman was trying to load his tractor on a trailer and the tractor rolled over and onto him. Jim was able to recover the tractor and save the man’s life. There was also a situation when a van with an entire family inside ran off the road and into a pond. Jim and his crew were able to recover the vehicle and take care of the passengers until medical help arrived. These are just a few of the noble things Jim has done in his towing career.
Another Towing Legend Nominee is Jimmy Southers (Auto Towing & Repair, Lexington, VA). Just this past winter, Jimmy responded to a call at 2:00 a.m. Once on scene, Jimmy discovered that the couple and newborn baby in the vehicle were stranded. They were running short on luck and were unable to afford the necessary hotel room while their vehicle was being repaired. Jimmy stepped in and paid for their room for two days until they were able to return home safely. Each year Jimmy donates money to Hospice, a nonprofit organization that provides care for the terminally ill, and for the past five years he has helped a local high school in performing a mock wreck to raise awareness for drunk driving.
There are hundreds of Towing Legends in the world right now just like Jim, Scott, and Jimmy that people have never even heard of. The overarching goal of the competition is to recognize the positive impact towing operators have made in the Towing Industry and the world. This contest will help to increase public perception of the Towing Industry as we share their stories. Additionally, we believe that recognizing the legendary efforts of Operators will raise awareness of the Slow Down & Move Over Movement.
The Towing Legend Competition has received additional sponsors such as TomTom Telematics, Tow Professional magazine, We Love Tow Trucks (facebook.com/welovetowtrucks/), and Towing is Rad (facebook.com/towingisrad). Those who nominate either themselves or the other Towing Legends in their lives like those mentioned above will have the chance to win several prizes. The first 50 people to submit a Towing Legend in the contest are each receiving a free Towing Legend t-shirt. Also, everyone who nominates someone in the competition will be given a free Towing Legend Calendar. The calendar will include the 12 Titans of Towing, who will each be highlighted on a month. Each of these twelve finalists, “The 12 Titans of Towing”, will win additional prizes as well.
The 12 Titans of Towing will advance to a public voting round between July 5th through July 12th for their chance to be crowned “The Towing Legend.” We have an impressive collection of prizes that “The Towing Legend” will receive.
Help us raise awareness of the Slow Down, Move Over Movement by either becoming a Towing Legend Sponsor or by nominating yourself and the Towing Legends in your life. To learn more about the details of the Towing Legend Competition, including the prizes and how to participate, please visit www.omadi.com/towing-legend/