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

Mud Pit Tango in Jersey

by Jim "Buck" Sorrenti

Albert "Al" Battelini is the president of Battelini Transport & Towing Service in Landisville, New Jersey, which he co-owns with his brother Anthony and their father Dominick. This fourth-generation, family-owned business also runs Battelini Wrecker Sales, a full service dealer for NRC Industries and others.

On Aug. 7, 2018, a customer called Battelini's to pull an excavator out of the mud. Battelini and operator Matt Williams responded in Battelini's "Old 8212" wrecker: a 1982 Western Star/1986 3500 NRC heavy. It's a 40-ton unit with a three-stage fixed boom, 35,000-lbs. under reach and a 60,000-lbs. Braden drag winch.

When they arrived on the scene, Battelini and Williams surveyed the situation: an excavator in a mud pit.

"They were putting in a water line near a retention pond when the excavator sunk in the mud," Battelini said. "While they were trying to get it out, it went down and was six inches away from the gas main. This was a 36,000-pound Case CX160C excavator and the gas company wouldn't let us run the tracks because they were afraid of the tracks breaking the pipe."

Battelini and Williams checked for the best attachment points and rigged the excavator for the lift.

"We put a 1" x 10' long choker cable around the turret base and hooked them to the two boom lines that were doubled back to the boom," Battelini said.

Once the rigging was in place, they lifted the rear of the excavator with the NRC and the front with the excavator bucket and winched it back off of the gas main and onto solid ground.

The NRC workhorse heavy has been running strong since 1986 and the company has been servicing the area since 1921. Two tales of longevity and success.

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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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