Still going strong: Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the tow truck


The very first purpose-built tow truck, designed and built by Ernest Holmes in 1916.

The very first purpose-built tow truck, designed and built by Ernest Holmes in 1916.

Ooltewah, Tennessee — August 16, 2016 — It might be hard to believe, but the tow truck turns 100 later this year.

Ernest Holmes built the first tow truck in 1916 in Chattanooga, Tenn., by attaching a rigging system to a 1913 Cadillac. People had towed vehicles before this, of course, but this marks the official birth of the first vehicle designed to recover stricken or immobile vehicles. This means we’re also celebrating the 100th anniversary of the entire towing and recovery industry.

Holmes filed for a patent for his idea in 1917, and subsequently built the Ernest Holmes Company to market his tow truck. The legendary Holmes brand is now part of Miller Industries’ family of tow truck equipment manufacturers, including Century, Chevron, Vulcan, Boniface and Jige.

Miller Industries is proud to sponsor the 100th anniversary celebrations, which will take place in Chattanooga on Saturday, September 10, about 7 p.m. at Ross’s Landing near the riverfront, where a 100-Year Tow Truck Parade will end after cruising through downtown.

Miller Industries’ celebration will include a fireworks display, coinciding with the conclusion of the Tennessee Tow Show, which takes place September 8 to 10 at the Chattanooga Convention Center.

“Miller Industries’ roots run deep in Chattanooga and we are honored to share the centennial celebration of our Holmes brand with our friends and neighbors in the local communities,” said Miller Industries’ President and Co-CEO Will Miller.

For more information, please visit millerind.com. More information on the 100-year celebrations can be found at tennesseetowshow.com.

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