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    Jim Stepp Passes

    Jim and Judy Stepp.

    The following is a message from the family of well-known Florida towing industry veteran Jim Stepp of Stepp’s Towing and Heavy Transport of Central Florida. Jim Stepp was a founding stockholder of Tow Times magazine and a founding member of the Professional Wrecker Operators of Florida.

    “It is with deep sorrow we must share the passing of our Founder Jim Stepp. His presence in the walls of this business he loved will be missed beyond measure, but his legacy will remain strong as we continue to move forward honoring his vision. He will be deeply missed by his family, his Stepp’s Towing family and friends and, without question, the towing industry.

    “Thank you for the outpouring of well wishes, prayers and support we’ve already received during this difficult time.”

    A celebration of life will be announced at a later date.

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    Meet Missy. Her story is special. Missy and Pongo were rescues from Tennessee by employee office manager Kathy Baumgardner at B&C Auto Menders. They came as a pair and could not be separated. In November 2015, tragedy struck. Pongo and Missy were at home and Pongo got himself into trouble by shredding a blanket. Unfortunately, the blanket impacted his stomach and esophagus and after 24 hours of trying to save him the surgery was unsuccessful and Pongo passed. Pongo was the leader and Missy’s security. Without him, Missy was lost and depressed.

    David Bear, co-owner of B&C Auto Menders, allowed me to bring Missy to work every day. In the beginning she would not come out of a corner. David began bringing her daily treats, slowly getting her out of the corner and even into his office. It’s because of him that Missy was brought out of her depression.

    Now you can find Missy in the shop office every day, getting her treats from parts delivery, napping, having her morning and afternoon snack time with David, and sometimes she goes to the shop to see co-owner Steve Carbaugh and the technicians (which is usually on their lunchtime, so they don’t know what she’s really up to — more snacks.)

    Now she’s excited to come to work and greets people with her smile, which customers and delivery drivers enjoy. She’s become a part of the office and if she stays home a day it’s not the same without her.

    B&C Auto Menders opened in August 2002, in Gettysburg Pa., and is owned by David Bear and Steve Carbaugh. I’m very honored to work here and thankful that with the help of my employers, Missy is finally able to be happy.

    Kathy Baumgardner

    B&C Auto Menders

    Gettysburg, Pa.

    Missy (top) and Pongo — inseparable before tragedy struck.


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Industry News

Miller Industries Celebrates 25 years of NTEA Membership

2017 marks Miller Industries 25th year of continuous membership to the National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA).

“The NTEA’s dedication to the work truck industry is in line with Miller’s dedication to the towing and recovery industry,” states a Miller Industries press release. “Miller Industries is proud of this accomplishment and is honored to be a continued member of the NTEA.”

For more information about Miller Industries and their products follow them on social media, visit their website at or call 800-292-0330.

(Editor’s Note: The Association for the Work Truck Industry represents 1,800 companies that manufacture, distribute, install, sell and repair commercial trucks, truck bodies, truck equipment, trailers and accessories.)


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    From our latest issue

    Current Insurance Market, Calculating Vehicle Weight and More

    The Tow Times April issue features an update on the tightening tow truck insurance market, calculating the weight of vehicles and recovery resistance, a tribute to the late industry air cushion and training pioneer Bill Jackson and much more. The cover of this issue announces the call for entries to the Tow Times 2017 Shine ‘n Star tow truck photo beauty contest, powered by Ford Trucks. Deadline for entries is June 30, 2017. See pages 52 and 53 for information on how to enter, or visit

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