By Mike Davey
Hamilton, Ontario — September 16, 2013 — The 15th Annual Tow Show took place at the Careport Centre in Hamilton, Ont., over the weekend, and it looks like it may have been the biggest to date. The Tow Show was organized and presented by the Provincial Towing Association of Ontario (PTAO).
The PTAO asked attendees for a donation to McMaster’s Children’s Fund in lieu of charging admission, so exact numbers are hard to determine. Estimates place the total attendance at over 1,500 people.
Radio advertising promoting the Tow Show aired on local radio stations in the run-up to this year’s event. Although trade shows are primarily for industry, the PTAO decided to invite the public in this year. It was a rare opportunity for the professional towing and recovery industry to show members of the public their latest equipment and dedication to safety, customer service and training.
One of the biggest draws for the Tow Show is the tow truck beauty pageant, and this year’s entries did not disappoint. Towers from across Ontario brought some of their biggest and most well-equipped vehicles to compete. Some of the vehicles were modified for extra flair, but all were polished and shined to a glow. Rank upon rank of often massive and always magnificent tow trucks is an undeniably impressive sight.
A variety of skill competitions also took place, including driver competitions and the “markle maze.” The markle maze consists of six heavy tow trucks hooked together. The competition involves determining which of the trucks will move first when a cable is pulled.
The PTAO Tow Show was more of a family affair than ever this year, with a number of kid-friendy attractions, such as a bouncy castle and the kids’ roll-over competition, using a specially rigged tractor trailer.
Education is always a big part of the Tow Show, as professional towers seek not only to show off their skills, but upgrade them as well. The trade show floor itself offered education of a different kind, with over 50 vendors on hand to inform towing professionals of the latest equipment and gear.
For more information on the PTAO, please visit ptao.org.