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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingMay 22 - May 28, 2019

Loader Shifted & Lifted

0-Loader Shifted-TIW-6 copy dd949By Jim "Buck" Sorrenti

Michael "Mike" Myers is a second-generation tower and the president of Gene's Towing & Transportation in Washington state, the family owned and operated company started by his father, Gene Myers, in 1961. Gene passed away on Sept. 4, 2016. Mike's son Michael Jr. represents the third generation and is the vice president of the company.

Gene's Towing has locations in the Pierce and King County area including Tacoma, Lakewood, Puyallup, Federal Way and Auburn. Although they specialize in the greater Tacoma area, they offer long distance towing for transport of vehicles to the Canadian Border and down into Oregon.

"On Friday, July 27, 2018, at 3 p.m., one of our customers called saying they needed our help ASAP in reloading one of their front-end loaders that had come partially off their lowboy while in transit," Mike said.

Gene's immediately dispatched three heavies. Michael Jr. responded in their 2018 Peterbilt 367/Century 1135 35-ton rotator, operator Jay went in a 2010 Peterbilt 388/Century 1130 30-ton rotator and operator Josh was in their 2002 Peterbilt 378/Century 9055 50-ton heavy.

Upon arrival, Team Gene's met with several police and fire personnel on scene, Central Pierce Fire & Rescue and Pierce County Sheriff's Dept.

"Once we made contact with all those in charge of the scene," Mike said, "we found out that a small compact sedan had cut in front of the driver hauling the 65,000-pound loader causing the lowboy driver to stomp on his brakes to avoid contact with the small car.

"What ensued after was that the four-point tie-down on the loader failed. It had correct size chain, but not correct grade (1/2" G7 chains) forcing the loader to lunge forward, taking out the oil pan and cracking the transmission, then turned because the pivot was not locked in place on the loader. It went forward and off the trailer."

This was a 65,000-lbs. Komatsu WA500 loader that had a length with the bucket on ground of 30.2', the width over tires 10.5', height to the top of cab 12.7', a wheelbase of 11.8' and a ground clearance of 1.5'.

After assessing the casualty, Team Gene's placed their 1130 and 1135 rotators on the down side of the loader to do the lift and the 9055 on the other side to winch the loader back onto the trailer.

The rotators lifted the loader clear of the trailer with a four-part line on the front and on the rear, then the 9055 winched it back on the lowboy and straightened it so the lock pin could be put in place to prevent the loader from turning again.

Team Gene's repositioned the wreckers, placing the 9055 at the back and the 1130 and 1135 on each side.

"We lifted the rear of the loader and rotated as the 9055 winched the loader back to the rear of the lowboy," Mike said. "Then the loader was re-secured for transport, while the customer's shop crew removed and made repairs to their vehicle to drive home."

Show Yours @ TIW
Do you have a recovery to share with TIW readers? Send some pics and info to our Field Editor Jim "Buck" Sorrenti at; your story may even be selected for print in American Towman magazine!
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