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Chula Vista is a city in southern San Diego County, California, just seven miles from the Mexican border. “Chula Vista” means “beautiful view” in Spanish and a beautiful view of the latest in tow trucks and towing equipment awaited visitors to Wisconsin’s version of Chula vista. That’s the name of the Wisconsin Dells Resort that hosted the 2011 Wisconsin Towing Association Convention.

Filling the resort’s parking lot with tents, trucks and trendy towing hardware, the show took place June 17-19. The Friday schedule included registration and exhibits setup, TRAA Level I and II Driver Certification testing, an evening pig roast (that really kicks off the event big time) and a light show. After breakfast on Saturday there was an educational Towing & Recovery Roundtable, a tow truck contest, a ladies luncheon, recovery demonstrations, a kid’s party and a cocktail reception.

Wisconsin Dells-based Platt’s Garage showed up with just about all of its haulers from a 1930s Ford Model AA wrecker to several big rotators that carried the massage that the company has been aiding motorists since 1919. Several trucks were decorated with a black & white image of a half dozen tow trucks parked outside Platt’s Garage in the early 1950s. Other vintage trucks at the meet included an early 1930s Chevrolet wrecker from Bill’s Towing and a completely restored 1998 (the window sign saying 1988 was wrong) Western Star that was totally redone and fitted with a classic Holmes 750 wrecker by Youngwirth Metal Fabricators of Oshkosh. The build quality on this redo was way beyond fabulous . The amazing thing is that it was done strictly as a hobby.

Tow toy collector Betty Parnham were there and Lanser Towing of Belgium—which has been a big supporter of the tow truck museum in Chattanooga, Tenn.—had its bright orange Mack out to the Dells, too.

“I believe that WTA members and others I have talked to agree, that we met our goals for the 2011 convention,” Mike DeHaan of the Wisconsin Towing Assoc. said. “The goals were to provide an opportunity for our members and others that attend to exchange information useful to their business as it may relate to the towing and recovery industry, to view a vast array of new and operator-owned equipment and to enjoy a weekend with their families, as well as fellowship with other members of the industry.”

For Wisconsin Towing Assoc. membership information or to find out more about this active organization, contact the Wisconsin Towing Assoc. (Division of Wisconsin Motor Carriers assoc.) at 562 Grand Canyon Dr, Madison, WI 53719 You can call (608) 833-8200 of fax (608) 833-2875 or visit the WTA Website at

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