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Roger Barnett was born in 1942 in Bisbee, Arizona. His father, George, worked in a copper mine and also owned a gas station and feed store at which Roger worked growing up. From the age of thirteen, Roger was often left to manage the employees and the stores while his father was working at the mine. When he received his driver’s license it became his job to drive 255 miles into Phoenix in a 1955 International R-180 pulling a flat bed trailer to pick up feed for the feed store. During his years working for his father he learned the value of dedication, hard work, service, and that sometimes a person needs to keep many irons on the fire to keep the flame hot.
Upon graduating from BisbeeHigh School, Roger married and went to work in the mines full-time. Meanwhile, he still helped with the gas station and feed store. When he was asked to manage a gas station in another town, Roger agreed as long as he could place a tow truck at the station. So he and his father went to Phoenix in search of a used tow truck. While there, he met an older tower who advised him not to buy used, and was told a new truck would be more reliable. Roger took the man’s advice and bought a new truck that his father co-signed for. In August of 1963, Roger not only managed the gas station and worked the tow truck, but also drove 60 miles each day to work in the mines. After several years of this, Roger became a Deputy Sheriff for the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office. This decision enhanced his towing business. If, after his shift, one of the other towers had not yet removed a car from the side of the road as requested by the sheriff’s department, Roger would tow the vehicle back to the yard.
Roger added fuel oil delivery to deliver oil to the local trailer parks. This addition was actually the start of a division equally as productive as Roger’s Towing Business. Barnett’s Propane LLC currently services over 3000 residential and hundreds of commercial accounts. The Propane division has six propane delivery trucks, two flatbed trucks with knuckle boom cranes, and seven tractor-trailer transports.
In 1977, Roger expanded the towing business to Tucson, AZ. He opened the door with a 1972 Peterbuilt COE, and a Holmes 750 Heavy Duty tow truck. At the time there were 5 other heavy duty tow companies in Tucson. After being open one year, Barnett’s became the only towing company the state police would use because of dedication, hard work, and great service. Within that year, two more heavy duty wreckers were added to the fleet and Barnett’s expanded to two more cities shortly thereafter.
In 1982, Roger and two other towers got together and started the APTRA (Arizona Professional Towing & Recovery Association). Roger has served as president of this association and has always promoted the industry, and worked toward educating other towers to work smarter and be profitable.
Barnett’s Towing now has 5 locations in Arizona, and Barnett’s Propane is located in 3 cities. 2004 represents Barnett’s 42 years in business. Many of Barnett’s Towing employees have been Wreckmaster Top 10 of the Year. Roger is married to Barbara and has five children, Troy, Kody, Keith, Darryl, and Deanna.
The new board of directors will take office on November 1, 2015
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