Ron “Bubba” Peters, a manager at Ken’s Towing in Redmond and his co-worker, truck driver Kyle Drew, were kings of the road at the annual Northwest Tow Expo in Ferndale Aug. 20-21.
Hosted by the Towing and Recovery Association of Washington, the event featured tow truck beauty contests and other competitions.
“This year’s best of show winner went to Ken’s large class C tow truck, which has been lovingly restored to new condition,” said Mike Walcker, director of the Towing and Recovery Association of Washington. “There were over 250 participants at this year’s event and we had around 40 trucks of all types in the beauty contest.”
Peters said Ken’s Towing has entered the competition many times but this was the first time they won “best of show.”
Their truck, named Major, also won second place for “working class truck, heavy duty” and first place as the “people’s choice for all trucks.” Ken’s Towing took home a large trophy and two plaques, plus bragging rights.
“It’s a pride thing in our industry,” Peters explained. “We like to say we’re the best and we can back it up. Kyle Drew worked on the truck for over a month, waxing, polishing and cleaning, getting the truck ready for the show. He did a fantastic job!”
Tow truck operators probably don’t get much attention or appreciation, except when our cars break down or get stuck in a ditch. We asked Peters about the best or worst parts of his job.
“Helping people at the lowest point they can be,” is satisfying, said Peters. “How many accidents are you in, in your life? Not often, so it is nice to help people in a bad situation. Towing is a 24-hour-a day, seven days a week job and we are needed in the middle of the night and it can be a bit difficult. Remember the two buses that were hanging over the freeway two years ago in Seattle? The big snow storm? I was there with Major and pulled the buses from falling onto the freeway. … The truck is a work horse and we use it a lot.”
A few more fun facts about Major, provided by Peters: This 1997 Peterbilt 378 was special-ordered and picked up directly from the Miller factory in Tennessee and was finished locally by Petersen Northwest.
“Nearly 15 years later and with 140,000 miles, it continues to be the pride of the fleet” at Ken’s Towing, said Peters.
Major has a Cummins N14 motor with 460 horsepower, an Eaton 15-speed transmission with deep reduction rear ends and fully locking axles. It is equipped with a Century 1040 unit rated at 40 tons and a first generation SDU (super-duty underlift) rated for 24,000 pounds. Major is also equipped with all available accessories and has telescoping work lights, acetylene torches and a Honda generator for prolonged night time recovery work.
Ken’s Towing is located at 7730 185th Ave. NE in Redmond. For more information, call (425) 883-1400. For information about the Towing and Recovery Association of Washington, visit www.towingandrecovery.org.