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Lavern began his towing career while in high school towing for his father’s service station with a 1948 ¾ ton pick-up and a Manley hand crank winch and boom. It was cute but a handful to tow with single wheels and it took 30 turns to lift a car 3”. As time passed and the customer base expanded, there were the PTO’s, and the 750’s. In 1960 Lavern married Willa, who has worked with him side by side through the years. To name a few more advances for the industry were pagers and two ways, training from Kinman, air cushions, computers, hydraulics, and 40-ton sliders. Employees were required to have Kinman certificates, Haz Mat certificate, LPG training and any other classes that would make them professional. Lavern’s company was the largest heavy duty towing company north of Huston to the Oklahoma line and east of Dallas to the Louisiana line. A request to deliver a load involved in an accident prompted the start of the transportation division. Soon there were coal plants, equipment dealers and contractors using their hot shot and heavy haul service. Loads from 2lbs to grossing over 300,000 lbs were the norm. The transportation division was beneficial to the towing and recovery unit providing tractors, lowboys, forklifts, bulldozers, cranes and other equipment when needed. Every piece of equipment was the same color scheme and all the drivers were uniformed. Lavern took good care of our employees and they took good care of our customers. Several employees have had 20 years of service with Lavern and there was very little turnover. They were professionals.
Some of the accomplishments are: One of the founders of the TRAA, Friends of Towing (shuttled the van into Louisiana), Interstate Towing Assoc., Secretary and President of Texas Certified Towing Assoc., Member of Oil Field Haulers Assoc., Director of Texas Motor Truck Assoc., Member of Federal Mine Safety Assoc., Mayor Pro Team 3 yrs, City Council Member for 13 years, East Texas Council of Governments, Certified Volunteer Fireman for 32 years, Commissioner Rural Fire District, East Texas Emergency Preparedness Group, Police Mounted Patrol, Rusk County Peace Officers Assoc., National Bison Assoc., Texas Bison Assoc., Texas and Southwest Cattle Raisers Assoc., 32 Degree Mason, Scottish Shriner, and Deacon First Baptist Church.
After 40 years in business an opportunity came along and Lavern sold the companies. After one year both cease to exist because of poor management. Today Willa and Lavern enjoy their ranch and raise buffalo, cows, hay and other creatures. They also have rental properties and investments. They have a daughter Denise, and son-in-law Alan, and grandchildren Laura Anne and Austin White and a son Allen, wife DeDe and grandson Kylar. They are able to enjoy their family and friends and are active in our church. They have made friends with some of the greatest people on earth, their towing friends.
To receive this honor is one of the greatest achievements of Lavern’s life and to be placed in the Hall of Fame with the best in the industry, many which are dear friends is beyond. Lavern is proud to share this honor with his wife and children who had to go to ballgames, piano recitals and other events without him. His dear friends in the towing business, his former employees and customers and to the almighty God who has guided him through these times. Lavern would like to thank you from the bottom of his heart. It has been a great ride.
AUGUST 10, 2015 - DOUBLETREE HOTEL IS SOLD OUT - HAMPTON INN & SUITES STILL AVAILABLE
Thursday, September 10, 2015
20th Anniversary Celebration of the Museum
International Towing Museum - 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Friday, September 11, 2015
Welcome Reception and Auction (Ticketed Event)
DoubleTree Hotel - 7pm
Saturday, September 12, 2015
Wall of the Fallen Ceremony
International Towing Museum - 10am
2015 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Banquet (Ticketed Event)
DoubleTree Hotel - 6pm
Sunday, September 13, 2015
Breakfast (Ticketed Event) - 9am
General Membership Meeting - 10am
For questions or comments about the museum, contact us
Admission and Hours
Adults - $10.00
Seniors (55 or older)/Military - $9.00
AAA - $8.50
Children 6 - 14 - $6.00
Children under 5 are free.
Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Summer Hours (March. 1-Oct.31)
Monday - Saturday 9 - 5
Sunday 11 - 5
Winter Hours (Nov 1-Feb.28)
Monday - Saturday 10 - 4:30
Sunday 11 - 5
Closed Major Holidays
The International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame & Museum, Inc.
3315 Broad Street
Chattanooga, TN 37408