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Doug Maney

Mack Trucktoberfest - Fri. Oct 26 & Sat. Oct 27

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An FWD, for the un-initiated, is an option Mack owners can rely upon when they get their Mack stuck in the mud.......

Quick story. Many of you know that the FWD was delivered new to my VFD, where my father has been, still is an active member. He was 19 when it was delivered new, and is the truck he learned to drive and pump on. Well, sometime in the late 60's, early 70's, our neighboring company sank their 48 L Mack pumper to the running boards in the mud at a field fire. They called upon my father (who also did towing/recoveries at the time) to see what he could do- he was at the fire with the FWD (not stuck, of course.) He hooked onto the tow eyes of the L-Mack with the FWD, locked the center differential, put it in first, and the rest was history, The Driver of the L-Mack was D.C. Sr.

Fast forward to 2002. They still had (and still do have) that L Mack. We were at a muster at Cooper River Park in Camden NJ. The driver of the L Mack got it stuck in the mud by the river bank after pumping for a few hours. Said driver called upon ME to help out....hooked a chain to the front tow hooks of the L Mack to my front tow hooks, locked the center differential, put her in reverse and the rest was history!!! The driver of the L Mack: D.C. Jr!!!!!

:twothumbsup: :twothumbsup: :twothumbsup::SMOKIE-LFT:

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Nice photos- thanks for the effort.

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Thanks for the great pics.I'm definately moving east some day.Anybody got 10 acres or so for sale near Allentown?????

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I had a great time friday and saturday. I really think that it is a great setup that Mack has there. Doug congrats on the speach. I would never be able to get up and wing speech like that. I'll put my photos in the gallery tomorow.I also took a few videos of the Albert Brown burn out. Somehow I always get distracted and never get to meet any of you guys on here at these shows(I'm easilly distracted by shiny metal :whistling::notworthy: ). I never did here how many trucks did actually show up. Does anyone know?

Many Thanks, Josh :clock_logo:

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Thanks for the great pics.I'm definately moving east some day.Anybody got 10 acres or so for sale near Allentown?????

I have 35 acres in central PA (about 3-1/2 hours west of Allentown and close to Watts and Hagerstown). We can "work out a deal"! :whistling:

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I never did here how many trucks did actually show up. Does anyone know?

I saw a placard with #111 (that includes non-Macks too). If they do it again next year, the parade around the track needs to be changed so we all get a chance to run the circle "at speed" for at least 2 or 3 laps. I stayed on the track for an additional lap and got waved off just when it was getting fun.

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Very nice pictures. Thanks for posting.

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A few years ago I purchased a set of frame rails on Ebay and found myself in NJ picking them up. Met the seller who was an older (and very interesting) gentleman who took me inside his shop and showed me his B model wrecker. It was the A to Z shown in the pictures above. A very heavy piece of equipment. He told me "It will pick up a D8. Can't go anywhere. But it will pick it up". After seeing the pictures, I found this article...........

When you love what you do, it’s hard to stop. At 81, Sky Ball is still towing, while looking in the rearview mirror at a life of adventure.

It was 1959 when Sky Ball of A To Z

Service in Riverdale, N.J., started out

in business. His first tow truck cost

him $2,500, and he recalls some of his

early equipment, such as a 1956 Ford F-

350 with an Ortiz unit –“a fantastic piece

of equipment,” he says. “Everything

about it was so simplified.” His first large

truck was a 1950 Autocar with a 40-ton

Weld Built body that cost $5,380. (He

has the itemized receipt, which includes

a two-tone paint job for $246.) And

there’s the 1965 Mack with a 750 Holmes

converted to hydraulic by Kirby Grant in

South Carolina.

Ball has seen many trucks purchased

and sold during his career, but

he steered clear of owning a large fleet –

keeping to around five trucks at the

most in his company colors of bronze

and cream. He also had a crane business,

and used the cranes in his recovery

work when needed.

]]>

</paragraph>

- <paragraph number="2">

- <![CDATA[

“I never wanted to be a big-time

operator,” he says. “And I didn’t want a

bunch of guys working for me. It didn’t

interest me.”

But he had his share of interesting

jobs. His most memorable recovery

job came in 1982 after a small airplane

crashed into the Wanaque

Reservoir in northern New Jersey. It

was November when the state police

called, requesting that he respond

with his air cushions.

“It was cold as hell,” Ball recalls,

“there was a tent set up with propane

heaters, scuba divers and floats – it

was a big deal. We loaded the cushions

and gear on boats to get to the

plane.”

After floating the aircraft with the

cushions, the plane was towed a bitter

three-quarters of a mile to shore,

where Ball lifted the plane out with

one of his cranes.

]]>

</paragraph>

- <paragraph number="3">

- <![CDATA[

When a local safari park closed,

two adult rhinoceroses had to be

relocated to Texas. The animals were

each led into large wooden crates.

Ball’s task was to lift the crates onto

the trailer for the trip. After lifting one

of the crates, he discovered that a

rhino packs a pretty nasty disposition.

“It almost kicked the box apart,”

said Ball, who advises never going

near a rhino. “They are mean – and

powerful.”

One weekend, a large truck broke

down on the interstate. The policeman

on the scene was highly agitated,

and the truck driver, carrying a box,

approached Ball.

“You got heat in your truck cab?”

he asked.

Yes, replied Ball.

“Can I put this box in there?”

Ball agreed.

“The guy was from Florida,” Ball

says, “so I asked, ‘What is it? Oranges?’”

Nope. Small crocodile.

“It’s my baby,” the truck driver

said, stroking the reptile. He obviously

didn’t want the policeman to see his

most likely unlawful pet.

]]>

</paragraph>

</page>

<
page pageNumber
="
23
">

- <paragraph number="1">

- <![CDATA[

And there were the drunks, the

deaths and the rescues.

“I’ve had a lot of interesting jobs,”

Ball says, “But I guess every tow guy

has.”

His adventures aren’t limited to

towing and recovery. He had a successful

run at off-road enduro motorcycle

racing, particularly while riding

his 350-cu. in. Matchless.

“It won me a lot of races,” he mused.

He also owned Triumphs, Harleys

and a British-made Greeves off-road

motorcycle.

“I guess you could call me an

impulse buyer,” Ball laughs.

He’s been hot air ballooning off the

California coast and rode glider airplanes

in the skies of New York State.

He was a beekeeper, and is a collector

of antique trucks and motorcycles. A

]]>

</paragraph>

- <paragraph number="2">

- <![CDATA[

member of an antique truck club, he

recently purchased a 1940 Dodge panel

truck, and owns a 1917 Harley-

Davidson. Both have won first place

awards at antique car and truck shows.

Today, A To Z Service has a fleet of

three tow trucks, a car carrier, a tractor

and four trailers. The company

handles equipment transport and

towing, with Ball’s son Ed Sr. handling

most of the operations.

“He does a good job,” Ball says.

Zana, Ball’s wife, is the “lifeblood of

the family,” he says. “If it wasn’t for my

wife, I wouldn’t have gotten this far. I

can’t say enough good about her,” he

says. “But don’t tell her I said that,” he

chuckles. His daughter Susan is married

to Cliff Pristas, who asked Tow

Times to tell Sky Ball’s story.

These days, Ball keeps as busy as he

]]>

</paragraph>

- <paragraph number="3">

- <![CDATA[

wants to be while admittedly doing little

of what he used to do, back when

there were no wheel-lifts, only tow

bars – and big trucks with steel

bumpers. Today he finds the towing

equipment is a lot heavier to lift, and it’s

not as easy to get around like before.

“It’s a young man’s game,” he says.

Plus, the industry has changed,

Ball says. Work is scarcer. Trucks are

made so much better, he says.

Whereas he once got calls two or

three times a night, now there’s one a

month. And the cost of today’s towing

equipment amazes him.

But it’s his life, and there’s always

something to do around the shop.

“It’s hard to let go after all these

years,” he says. “When you love what

you’re doing – that’s the biggest thing.

It’s been an adventure.”

  • Like 1

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HI !

Wow I guess I missed a very nice show !!! man I'm a bit far but one of these days I 'd like to bring my Mack where he was born !!!! thank you for the pics

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That was really cool to watch.....as long as its not your rubber......lol

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That was really cool to watch.....as long as its not your rubber......lol

Yep,very very cool,but,with drive tires at $450 to 500 a piece only way I'd do too much of that is if Bandag was sponsoring me.

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Hi !

must have been an expensive week-end !!

Tires-fuel-meals-sleep-over !! but we only have one life to live !!!

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It was worth it, we had a great time. Oh and Mack supplied most of the meals. You can't take it with you, enjoy it while you can!

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It was worth it, we had a great time. Oh and Mack supplied most of the meals. You can't take it with you, enjoy it while you can!

Being a funeral director and owning my own funeral home for over 20 years, I agree with Doug, " you can't take it with you". Enjoy life now, life is too short.

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Being a funeral director and owning my own funeral home for over 20 years, I agree with Doug, " you can't take it with you". Enjoy life now, life is too short.

I've never seen a Brinks truck following a hearse in a funeral yet!

Has anybody else?

Ron

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HI !

Agreed one life to live , if you had fun then it worth it !!! not worst than paying for a bad show !!!

too bad I couldn't go !!!

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A few years ago I purchased a set of frame rails on Ebay and found myself in NJ picking them up. Met the seller who was an older (and very interesting) gentleman who took me inside his shop and showed me his B model wrecker. It was the A to Z shown in the pictures above. A very heavy piece of equipment. He told me "It will pick up a D8. Can't go anywhere. But it will pick it up". After seeing the pictures, I found this article...........

When you love what you do, it’s hard to stop. At 81, Sky Ball is still towing, while looking in the rearview mirror at a life of adventure.

It was 1959 when Sky Ball of A To Z

Service in Riverdale, N.J., started out

in business. His first tow truck cost

him $2,500, and he recalls some of his

early equipment, such as a 1956 Ford F-

350 with an Ortiz unit –“a fantastic piece

of equipment,” he says. “Everything

about it was so simplified.” His first large

truck was a 1950 Autocar with a 40-ton

Weld Built body that cost $5,380. (He

has the itemized receipt, which includes

a two-tone paint job for $246.) And

there’s the 1965 Mack with a 750 Holmes

converted to hydraulic by Kirby Grant in

South Carolina.

Ball has seen many trucks purchased

and sold during his career, but

he steered clear of owning a large fleet –

keeping to around five trucks at the

most in his company colors of bronze

and cream. He also had a crane business,

and used the cranes in his recovery

work when needed.

]]>

</paragraph>

- <paragraph number="2">

- <![CDATA[

“I never wanted to be a big-time

operator,” he says. “And I didn’t want a

bunch of guys working for me. It didn’t

interest me.”

But he had his share of interesting

jobs. His most memorable recovery

job came in 1982 after a small airplane

crashed into the Wanaque

Reservoir in northern New Jersey. It

was November when the state police

called, requesting that he respond

with his air cushions.

“It was cold as hell,” Ball recalls,

“there was a tent set up with propane

heaters, scuba divers and floats – it

was a big deal. We loaded the cushions

and gear on boats to get to the

plane.”

After floating the aircraft with the

cushions, the plane was towed a bitter

three-quarters of a mile to shore,

where Ball lifted the plane out with

one of his cranes.

]]>

</paragraph>

- <paragraph number="3">

- <![CDATA[

When a local safari park closed,

two adult rhinoceroses had to be

relocated to Texas. The animals were

each led into large wooden crates.

Ball’s task was to lift the crates onto

the trailer for the trip. After lifting one

of the crates, he discovered that a

rhino packs a pretty nasty disposition.

“It almost kicked the box apart,”

said Ball, who advises never going

near a rhino. “They are mean – and

powerful.”

One weekend, a large truck broke

down on the interstate. The policeman

on the scene was highly agitated,

and the truck driver, carrying a box,

approached Ball.

“You got heat in your truck cab?”

he asked.

Yes, replied Ball.

“Can I put this box in there?”

Ball agreed.

“The guy was from Florida,” Ball

says, “so I asked, ‘What is it? Oranges?’”

Nope. Small crocodile.

“It’s my baby,” the truck driver

said, stroking the reptile. He obviously

didn’t want the policeman to see his

most likely unlawful pet.

]]>

</paragraph>

</page>

<
page pageNumber
="
23
">

- <paragraph number="1">

- <![CDATA[

And there were the drunks, the

deaths and the rescues.

“I’ve had a lot of interesting jobs,”

Ball says, “But I guess every tow guy

has.”

His adventures aren’t limited to

towing and recovery. He had a successful

run at off-road enduro motorcycle

racing, particularly while riding

his 350-cu. in. Matchless.

“It won me a lot of races,” he mused.

He also owned Triumphs, Harleys

and a British-made Greeves off-road

motorcycle.

“I guess you could call me an

impulse buyer,” Ball laughs.

He’s been hot air ballooning off the

California coast and rode glider airplanes

in the skies of New York State.

He was a beekeeper, and is a collector

of antique trucks and motorcycles. A

]]>

</paragraph>

- <paragraph number="2">

- <![CDATA[

member of an antique truck club, he

recently purchased a 1940 Dodge panel

truck, and owns a 1917 Harley-

Davidson. Both have won first place

awards at antique car and truck shows.

Today, A To Z Service has a fleet of

three tow trucks, a car carrier, a tractor

and four trailers. The company

handles equipment transport and

towing, with Ball’s son Ed Sr. handling

most of the operations.

“He does a good job,” Ball says.

Zana, Ball’s wife, is the “lifeblood of

the family,” he says. “If it wasn’t for my

wife, I wouldn’t have gotten this far. I

can’t say enough good about her,” he

says. “But don’t tell her I said that,” he

chuckles. His daughter Susan is married

to Cliff Pristas, who asked Tow

Times to tell Sky Ball’s story.

These days, Ball keeps as busy as he

]]>

</paragraph>

- <paragraph number="3">

- <![CDATA[

wants to be while admittedly doing little

of what he used to do, back when

there were no wheel-lifts, only tow

bars – and big trucks with steel

bumpers. Today he finds the towing

equipment is a lot heavier to lift, and it’s

not as easy to get around like before.

“It’s a young man’s game,” he says.

Plus, the industry has changed,

Ball says. Work is scarcer. Trucks are

made so much better, he says.

Whereas he once got calls two or

three times a night, now there’s one a

month. And the cost of today’s towing

equipment amazes him.

But it’s his life, and there’s always

something to do around the shop.

“It’s hard to let go after all these

years,” he says. “When you love what

you’re doing – that’s the biggest thing.

It’s been an adventure.”

Thanks for posting this David! i always wondered about that truck,i have an uncle that lives in Riverdale,NJ,and allthough he is not a "truck guy" he said the guy that owns that Mack is quite a "character"....................................Mark

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On Saturday at the show i couldn't help but notice Tom Loetzbeier and Ron Long from the Mack Museum staff!

Wow where did they get those cool old jackets?

Ron

post-8482-0-05207100-1366299841_thumb.jp

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On Saturday at the show i couldn't help but notice Tom Loetzbeier and Ron Long from the Mack Museum staff!

Wow where did they get those cool old jackets?

Ron

Fleabay? :tease:

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