The exciting history of the tow truck and...
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Feb 01, 2015  |  Vote 0    0

The exciting history of the tow truck and evolution of the flourishing tow truck industry

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Kanata Kourier-Standard

Abrams Towing is located in Ottawa and has been successfully operating since 1984 serving a multitude of clients with their towing and recovery needs. Joseph Gagne, founder and president of Abrams Towing has harnessed a passion for the industry ever since youth at the tender age of eight. Joseph has spent 25 years building Abrams into Canada's widely recognized towing operation.

The History of Ernest Holmes: Pioneer of the Tow Truck

An innovative and forward-thinking auto mechanic resolved the problem of what to do with stranded vehicles. In 1916, Ernest Holmes, Sr., a native Chattanoogan of Tennessee and a garage worker assisted an old business school professor, John Wiley and his son with retrieving their car, a Model T that lost control flipping upside down in a creek bed. He helped them pull the car out with three poles, a pulley, and a chain hooked to the frame of a 1913 Cadillac.

It took six men and eight hours to retrieve the car from the creek bed, which spurred Ernest's desire for problem solving. Three months later, he modified a 1913 Cadillac by adding a crane and pulley system in order to rescue other distressed vehicles and tow them to a mechanic's shop for a repair.

However, Ernest needed something from preventing the truck from sliding back in order to stabilize it so he placed outriggers to brace the truck while lifting and pulling other vehicles. The first tow truck was born! This invention led him to manufacture "Holmes Wreckers" and sell to repair shops after patenting his invention.

Tow trucks began to gradually evolve over the years to include various types of towing equipment such as: a boom, hook and chain, wheel-lift, integrated, and flatbed.

Visit the International Towing Museum to catch a glimpse of the tow truck industry in the making. For more information contact Abrams Towing, the towing specialists with a passion for helping others in need.

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