William H. Grunzweig Sr. and his three sons established Johns Towing, in 1979. William and his sons, William Jr., Chuck, and Henry, worked hard to establish the name of the company. In the beginning, they ran every call, day or night. As the company grew, everyone started to move into different management positions within the company. The key qualities of safety and training were established right away, and remain an important aspect within the structure of the company today. In 1984, they moved into a new location, at 1121 Sheridan Drive, where the company till this day continues to flourish based on the strong foundation set back in 1979.
In 2000, Johns Towing formed their own unique training program called HDRR (Heavy Duty Rescue and Recovery). A key importance with this program is that it has cross training with the local fire departments. Another unique quality to this program is that it includes elements from NITTEC (Niagara International Transportation Technology Coalition), a group that supports first responders. By invitation only, William Sr. attends NITTEC meetings and then uses the information he learns and incorporates it into the HDRR training.
Along the way, Johns Towing has been involved in many challenges ranging in complexity. Being from the Buffalo region, an area that has extreme inclement weather has brought the company many challenges, none too large to defeat. One occasion was quite a challenge and learning experience for the company. An early November snowstorm had crippled Buffalo, leaving the New York State Thruway blocked. Johns Towing was placed in charge of a crew to open the lanes of the 190 north from the Blackrock tollbooth to the city line tollbooth. In order to accomplish this task, working in the wrong direction (heading south in the north lane) we used a pickup truck with a plow, two heavy wreckers, and two small wreckers to clear the way. Our men rotated in and out of service for 48 hours to clear the lanes. This was a great example of the dedication and character of not only our business, but also our employees.
Another occasion that our company partook in was one that showed extreme care and dedication to safety. Ellicott Creek Fire Company called for a rolled over tractor-trailer with entrapment. We responded at the scene with two heavy wreckers. The man in the tractor-trailer’s legs were pinned
and in danger of being amputated. Once on the scene, our men quickly assured the fire chief we could lift the unit up safely and then they would be able to free the man. Our men did just that, and two days later with extreme thanks and gratitude, the man came to our shop and thanked us for saving his legs.
Another safety issue we handled was when the Town of Tonawanda police called us for a rolled over tractor-trailer caring jet fuel additives. The fire and police department wanted to evacuate the surrounding area, we assured them that with wreckers and air bags we would have it up and cleared with no problem, three hours later the road was cleared for traffic. Another example of how our company is time efficient and shows care in regards to safety. A similar safety issue occurred when Ryder truck rental of Tonawanda called for a straight truck that fell threw a wooden bridge, over a flowing creek. There were environmental concerns that the truck would fall threw and contaminate the creek. We lifted the truck up, planked the bridge and removed it with no incident.
When it comes to Johns Towing, we handle all of our customer needs from a simple to complex repair in our state of the art facility to transporting there vehicle with care. Some of our most prominent and loyal customers are extremely well known. They include Yellow Freight Systems, Fergerson Electric, John W. Danforth Companies, Ryder Truck Rental, and Ronco Communications. Our working relations with these companies are outstanding; we understand there needs and cater to them in extreme and sensitive situations. We are very loyal to our customers, a quality that makes our company stand out from the rest. If our customer has a concern, we address it immediately making sure it fits what they need. Currently Johns Towing employs 17-trained full time employees. All employees must past a DOT physical including drug and alcohol testing at random. This insures a drug free work environment. Johns Towing has a commitment to great customer service and care, that is accomplished through our well-trained staff, prior experiences, and most importantly our strong work ethic.