Boom Boom' is the biggest, best

Friday, August 15, 2008 8:22 PM CDT

Cale Hopkins, owner and operator of Searcy Towing Services, and STS secretary Ann Douglas stand next to “Boom Boom” the Cyclone 100 towing truck that won first place in tow truck rotator class heavy wrecker division at the Arkansas Truck and Tow Show.

Cyclone 100 wins first place at Arkansas Truck and Tow Show

By Warren Watkins

The Daily Citizen

Cale Hopkins with Searcy Towing Services, 107 Black Gum Lane in Searcy, is not only proud of the public service he and his staff provides, but especially proud of winning a top award at the Arkansas Truck and Tow Show. The event was held Aug. 1-2 at Alltel Arena in Little Rock.

Hopkins won first place in the tow truck, rotator class heavy wrecker division, with a truck he calls, “Boom Boom.”

“The top spins around like a crane, with a boom on the back,” Hopkins said of his pride and joy equipment. “We can reach over the side on the freeway and pick something up without blocking lanes. When I bought it there were only three rotators in the state. There are five now.”

Although the truck has incredible capabilities, the award was also for the truck's presentation, so the competition was like a car show. The red truck has an orange swoosh down the side, with business information on the door applied by Street Soundz.

“They changed the logo to match the colors, and put our name on it,” Hopkins said.

The Cyclone 100, built by AATAC in Charlotte, North Carolina, was purchased through Danny Ward, an AATAC dealer in Pocahontas. Selling for about $300,000 new, the Cyclone 100 features a combination of a 100,000-pound boom that rotates 360 degrees, superior winch placement, standard radio remote control and a 40,000-pound under lift with an 128-inch reach beyond the tailboard.

Other features include: 96-inch wide modular body; dual hydraulic pumps; dual variable speed hydraulic planetary winches; 360-degree boom end swivels; power boom elevation and retraction; load holding valves on boom elevation, boom extension and all jacks; front outriggers with self storage; four tie-back rings on tailboard; boom mounted D-rings; pre-assembled and factory tested dual manual controls; winch bucket mounted pylon with electrical collector ring for 360-degree rotation; pressure gauges; air winch freespool; air wire rope tensioners; chain racks and tool holders; deluxe light pylon; illuminated tool compartments; federal standard 108 lighting; Light Emitting Diode taillights; houselocks that secures wrecker in stored position; 12-inch rigid torsional resistant mounting frame; 1/2-inch by 15-inch safety chains; 5/8-inch hook adapter; spring lift brackets; lo-pro fork receivers; frame forks, risers and adapters.

“We had the boom sticking straight up with a flag on it in the center of the lot,” Hopkins said. “You could see it from Interstate 30 over the river bridge all weekend long.”

The event was sponsored by the Professional Towing and Recovery Association of Arkansas, and trucks from Country Music Television's “Trick My Truck” were on display, along with 40 heavy wreckers. Demonstrations of simulated accidents and recoveries were held throughout the show.

Hopkins said he and his staff make four or five tows a day in a 65-mile radius around Searcy including Conway, Little Rock and Batesville. A shop is also on site and is used to work on cars.

The Cyclone 100, along with another heavy truck, rollback tow trucks and flatbed tow trucks, allow Searcy Towing Services to use the slogan, “Don't stress, request STS.”

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