Albany tow truck operators are equal; some more than others - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Albany tow truck operators are equal; some more than others

(WALB image) (WALB image)
Jack Futrill (WALB image) Jack Futrill (WALB image)
Robert GIlliam (WALB image) Robert GIlliam (WALB image)
Fire Chief Ron Rowe (WALB image) Fire Chief Ron Rowe (WALB image)
(WALB image) (WALB image)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

The city of Albany isn't following its own rules for wrecker companies, and that's causing some controversy. 
For a tow company to be sent to a wreck scene by 911 dispatchers, they're supposed to have certain heavy duty equipment. 

Two and a half years ago Jack Futrill bought the heavy duty wrecker so his small business could get on Albany's wrecker rotation. "Over a hundred grand I've got in this baby. I've used it twice since I bought it," he said.

An investment so Jack's Wrecker Service could get a share of the 2,200 calls annually for towing pick-ups in Dougherty County. "I had to have it, they said. I had to go by that rule book."

Not everyone is following the rules, and Conrad McDuffy said, "We don't think it is right." Conrad and Junior McDuffy with McDuffy Towing are also upset that as many as four companies on the wrecker rotation list of 11 companies don't have the required heavy-duty haul truck.

AFD Chief Ron Rowe said, "At the present time all of the companies on the list do not have all of the equipment required to do these tows." Rowe, who inherited the wrecker list a year ago and is trying to work through enforcement issues, is researching ways to update the policy for city leaders.

Robert Gilliam with A-1 Towing says the issue is about safety.  "The other day I was in a city meeting and they wanted to talk about a tier situation, again we are changing the rules to accommodate the ones that don't qualify. Someone is trapped under a semi, if they call a wrecker that doesn't have one, I mean do you want that wasted time in your hands?"

"I've got a truck I ain't used and I've spent over half million dollars worth of trucks here. You can get on it with a $10,000 truck? Have I complained? Yes. Has it done any good? No," Futrill said.

Futrill told us that two companies before he got on the list, and two after, were able to join without the required heavy duty wrecker he was told he had to buy. He couldn't explain why he was forced to follow the city's policy, and others were not.

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