Towing Equipment Search:

Overworked T & R Equipment

Jan 15th, 2016 | By | Category: Jack Schrock's Blog

Jack SchrockYesterday we had to deal with broken mounting bolts, wire, even truck frames. But that was during the time of powerful mechanical wreckers that didn’t know how to stop, so the wrecker could self-destruct. In the 70s along came the hydraulic wreckers, thanks to Gerry Holmes. Yes, they were powerful and yes, they were much easier to rig and operate. But, you don’t hear much about broken stuff anymore.

My dad had a garage and wrecker during the Great Depression and he went on to introduce the Holmes wrecker to much of the South and Southwest following WWII. So he was nervous when I tied a big hydraulic wrecker to his brick BBQ pit that was sliding into the drainage canal. In fact, just about the time the lines began to snap, crackle and pop, “Pop” retreated to the garage because he knew something was about to give, but it didn’t.

I believe the hydraulic wrecker has greatly improved recovery methods and times. But I remember Chick Malcolm telling how he thought it was sleeting in his face one starry night when he was dead-lifting a Greyhound bus out of a canyon. No, that wasn’t sleet, that was paint chipping off the stiff leg bolster on his Holmes 850.

Those old mechanicals “brung” us to the dance so we could watch the hydraulics “jitterbug.”