“I spent hours on the Internet, and Henry was on the telephone,” Bridge said. They thought they would have to settle for a used wrecker with low mileage, but they kept missing the deals they found by a day or two and, in one case, by about two hours.
“I wanted to find something here in Texas,” Bridge said.
But when they started branching out in their search, they hit paydirt.
What they found was a shiny, new, 2013 Ford F550, 1.5-ton, rollback rig with a 19-foot bed.
“It had everything,” Bridge said. That included a winch that will pull 8,000 pounds onto the bed and a wheel lift underneath the truck that will raise up 4,000 pounds.
The truck also has four spotlights, a light bar with LED lights, chains, locks and straps.
“Everything is brand spanking new,” Bridge said.
The only problem was that someone had to go to Loganville, Ga., to get the vehicle.
Muñoz and another city employee packed a couple of overnight bags, jumped into a city pickup and headed out of the state to get the wrecker.
“It was my first time to leave Texas,” Muñoz said. What they saw on the trip was encouraging. They realized it actually rains in other parts of the country.
“The rain was coming down so hard at one point we had to pull off the road,” Muñoz said. They could not see more than about 75 feet.
Bridge said the deal was possible because Loganville Ford buys trucks in large volumes. The final price was slightly more than the $50,000 Bridge had to spend. But it was more than worth the extra money to get a brand new truck.
Munoz said the salesman complained that it had been raining in Georgia for weeks and the folks living there had seen enough.
“I told him when we left we’d rope a couple of those clouds to take with us,” Muñoz said. The salesman laughed and said the two Texans could take all the clouds they wanted.
When it came time to leave, the two city employees used the winch to pull the city pickup onto the bed, and they drove back to
Beeville in new truck style. They arrived in town late Wednesday afternoon.
Bridge said the city will use the wrecker for a variety of purposes. They will be able to bring stalled city vehicles to the garage at the equipment yard on South Jackson Street. And if they cannot make the repairs there, they will pull the broken vehicle onto the bed and take it to a shop where it can be repaired.
“We’ll also use it to pick up and impound red tagged vehicles,” Bridge said.
And when the city is seal coating streets and the paving crew comes across a parked vehicle and the owner is not there to move it, they will simply winch the vehicle up onto the wrecker and take it somewhere else until the paving work is completed.