Hooking up a vehicle to a tow truck next to a two lane highway where every car is going at least 70 miles per hour is not the safest job in the world. Jay and Sam Derbidge, local brothers in the towing business for the last several years both said that drivers on Nevada’s rural highways not paying attention or giving them enough room to do their job is their biggest fear when taking a call. According to Jay Derbidge, there is a reason for that.
“At least one tow truck driver a day is killed on the side of the road from someone not pulling far enough aside. I want to go home to my kid at the end of each call. I urge people to watch for the lights on the truck when they are driving, especially at night,” Jay Derbidge said.
His brother nodded in agreement inside their office next to the garage they do some contract work with state.
“It’s now a law that you have to pull over away from lights on the side of the road on these highways,” Sam Derbidge adds.
But despite the dangers of the job, or the erratic sleep schedule one has to work around with being on call at a 24 hour towing company, both brothers said that they enjoy the work they do, and that it can often be fun.
“Pulling a semi is fun,” Jay Derbidge said. “We once pulled up on a toppled semi carrying toilet paper rolls big enough for Paul Bunyon. Another time we hooked up a semi that was carrying $250,000 worth of bees. Even wearing a bee suit I must’ve gotten stung at least 30 times.”
Sam Derbidge laughed at the memory, noting how their father made fun of them for buying bee suits after they hooked up a semi carrying empty bee hives.
“I said even if we never open them, I’m bringing them with me just in case,” Jay continued.
Semi’s only make up about 20 percent of their overall business. Most of the time they are just picking up someone who’s car broke down on the side of the road. As it turns out, the long drives both to and from hooking a car up end up being the Derbidge brothers favorite parts of their job.
“You meet some really cool and interesting people,” Jay said.
“And the drives can be pretty scenic. I’m grateful that we are in the prettiest part of the state,” Sam said.
Despite the name Battleborn Restoration and 24 towing, they strictly tow these days. Jay Derbidge, who used to do the restoration end of the business said he decided three years ago to stop restoring cars commercially due to the length of the projects.
For more information about Battleborn Restoration and 24 Hour Towing, call 775-289-8550.