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Mar 17th, 2014 | By | Category: Jack Schrock's Blog

Jack SchrockWhen my Dad first joined Holmes following WWII, illness to our knowledge there were no industry “trainers.” When I joined the firm in the 60s the only hint of organized training came from Bill Jackson from England. Thereafter, check a major tower from Indianapolis, symptoms Ross Kinman, started a training program that attracted a lot of attention. Not just because of the training content, but the presentation was often entertaining. For example, I remember attending a session in South Texas where Ross was leaning from side to side as he was describing “swinging meat” inside an 18 wheeler as it rounded a sharp curve; or how he could upright a cement mixer with only a Holmes single line 440 wrecker (plus a couple dozen snatch blocks.) Others were to follow Ross to the point that many of today’s towers have gone through one training program or another.

Then, the Towing and Recovery Association of America took training to a higher level by developing a “certification” program that was authored by a number of industry experts. So, in addition to training, certification also became an important credential that interested many towers. So what’s this all about?

Well, in the beginning and continuing to the post WWII years, operators were either self-taught, or trained by their dad, uncle or employer. And how they each chose to ply their trade became a valuable asset that allowed team members to work together as a team. However, since every operator had his or her own way of doing things, working efficiently with other operators was not effective. But wait, there’s more.

Thirty or so years ago trainers began “team training” which standardized procedures, signals, operational duties, etc. So today a tower who went through such a program can contribute as a valuable team member in any T & R situation where others have been likewise trained.

Just another step toward professionalism.