I'm writing this editorial from inside a tow truck, somewhere between Barstow and Victorville, California, with two Sheriff's cars out back, waiting for a second tow truck to arrive (this one already had my ride on back) to pick up a Monte Carlo on Daytons that is getting impounded for transporting firearms. It's about midnight, and I felt I had to break out my laptop and start writing an ode to tow-truck drivers everywhere. You see, tow-truck drivers are the unsung heroes of our roadways, and while they might sometimes piss you off to no end, rest assured that the feeling is mutual.
Though they may gain your scorn for removing your car in the middle of the night from somewhere you shouldn't have parked, they're also the guys who will bail you out of a bad broken-down situation when you've exhausted all options of figuring out a way to get your car or truck further down the road.
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Remember these potential heroes and the driver-made hardships these guys have to endure. People can be real jerks to tow-truck drivers, but I like to think it's always some sorry Paris Hilton wannabe in a cheap Mercedes who is mouthing off and never a member of our off-road community. I think most off-roaders are the types of people who can do something as simple as appreciate the help when it arrives.
I know I certainly did (appreciate it) when L.A. Mike recently picked me up from a gas station off Interstate 15 after a piston blew in one of our project vehicles. After responding to the Sheriff's call, we made the 99-mile trip back to a friend's shop to drop the truck off at 1:30 a.m.-three hours after L.A. Mike was supposed to get off work. I made sure to tip him for his extra time and trouble. Remember to always tip your tow-truck driver. Just the gesture, no matter what the amount, is always appreciated. If you tip the punkass pizza-delivery kids for carrying two-pound pizzas to your doorstep, the least you can do is tip the guy who rescued your ride and possibly saved your life (lots of people get hit every year standing next to their broken vehicles).
Respect the tow-truck driver!
We managed to get a ton of your 4x4s, trucks, and SUVs into the magazine. We put the call out in the May 2010 issue to see more of your rides, and we really appreciate the response we've gotten. So take a look inside, and see if your off-road ride is in this October issue of OFF-ROAD magazine!