Spread the love

It is late at night and you are broken down on the shoulder of Route 95 in Northern Virginia. You ask your phone to find any 24 hour towing services woodbridge va. The wrecker arrives, and the operator is so kind and professional you think, “This individual should be in the International Museum of Towing and Recovery”. 

The Museum’s Founding 

Located in Chattanooga Tennessee the International Museum of Towing and Recovery began two decades ago as a traveling exhibit that visited towing and recovery trade shows. The idea for the museum was conceived by members of an organization for towing professionals the Friends of Towing. The IMTR’S mission is to preserve the history of the towing industry through printed materials and the gathering restoration, and display of towing artifacts. 

The Towing And Recovery Hall Of Fame 

To fulfill the second part of its mission the museum established a hall of fame to recognize those who have made significant contributions to the towing industry and or humanity. To preserve the memories of towing and recovery operators who died while on the job the hall of fame features a Wall Of The Fallen. The IMTR also provides monetary support to the families of the industry’s fallen. 

The First Tow Truck 

In 1916 a driver lost control of their Model T. The car went down an embankment and landed in Chattanooga’s Chickamauga Creek. According to an account on Wikipedia a half dozen men worked to get the flivver out of the water. Other sources place the number of men present at eight, nine, and ten. However, many there were auto repair shop owner Ernest Holmes was definitely among those struggling to recover the car. 

It was then that Holmes conceived an idea that would spawn an industry. Working with two other men Holmes set about building the first tow truck. The first improvement Holmes made to his prototype was the addition of outriggers to stabilize the truck while the winch was in operation. Holmes’ original wrecker is displayed at the International Museum of Towing and Recovery. 

Towing Trivia 

The first tow truck was a modified 1913 Cadillac. The first patent for a wrecker was granted to Ernest Holmes in 1919. The first tow trucks for general distribution were built on the chassis of used cars. The first commercially successful wrecker the Holmes 485 was named for its selling price. The 485 replaced the 680 ($680) which was considered to be overpriced. 

Clocked by NASCAR the world’s fastest wrecker according to ITM hit over 109 mph at Talladega Speed Way. The world’s largest recovery truck was built for a Canadian towing company. Costing $1 million the truck features a boom that can reach across a highway. With the boom’s 80-ton capacity the rig can lift semis. The smallest tow trucks in the world are not trucks. The traffic congestion in Asian cities has led to the creation of motorcycles equipped for towing.

By Oliver

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *