In 1969, with a strong drive to support his family, Irvin Johns established Suburban Wrecker Service with a used 63 Chevy 1-ton wrecker painted orange and white.  Irvin started the company under “Suburban Wrecker Service.”  He chose to use “Suburban” because: “Another guy started a towing company called Downtown Wrecker Service; I thought, the suburbs are bigger than the downtown, so I named it ‘Suburban Wrecker Service’” says Irvin.   “If you know him personally, that’s exactly how his brain works, always thinking about the bigger picture,” says Gina, his wife.  Billy Bogart let Irvin park his truck at his gas station in the early years, and he worked with Billy until he retired in 2017. In the first year, Irvin bought a second truck because of his success, and as the years progressed, Irvin continued to add to his fleet. In 1991, his company moved to a new state-of-the-art facility on 412 acres with a 14,000 sq. ft. and 3,200 sq. ft. office space. Suburban Wrecker Service continued to prosper until March 1997 when the company was acquired in a rollup. During the next 5 1/2 years, Irvin stayed on as terminal manager.


On December 3, 2002, Irvin and Gina regained all assets of the company and renamed it “Suburban Towing, Inc.”  Now having reclaimed the company and changed the name, the challenge was on to once again build Suburban Towing up to the level of service and quality it had prior to the rollup. Irvin updated the complete fleet by adding new low boys, rotators, and painting all the equipment orange with the new addition of blue. For easy identification in addition to the strong colors, the current fleet number is 55 which is also on the support equipment. Today, 50 years later, Suburban Towing is the largest towing company in Kentucky specializing in equipment transport and heavy-duty towing & recovery along with continued light-duty service, air-cushion recovery, heavy hauling, load shifts and transfers, and emergency equipment support. Facing hard challenges head on, Suburban Towing has come out on top. As Gina says, “Can’t is not in our Dictionary.”



Irvin Johns and Gina, believe the success of their company comes in part from the dedication of their managers, dispatchers, bookkeepers, shop technicians, and drivers. Finding quality drivers has been a major plus as they take pride in their job by keeping their trucks polished and making sure their trucks are safe for the road.  On a personal level success comes from being kind and have a heart for both their employees and their customers while getting the specialized knowledge to handle the challenging towing and recovery situations that call in. Another major key to the success of the company is “Our team being quick to jump on an opportunity when it arises and to do so in faith,” says Gina.


On Suburban Towing’s website it says, “We are committed to offering our customers the quickest response times, trained operators, latest model equipment, expert knowledge, and excess liability insurance to protect your precious cargo!”  The reward Suburban Towing receives is the praise of the local police departments when they respond with the proper equipment and highly trained employees to clear the roads and interstates in a professional and timely manner. Customers breathe a sigh of relief when the bright orange trucks show up. Suburban Towing’s motto is, “We are Tow-tally the best!”


Gina said the only non-orange truck is their pink truck, and she refers to it as hers. Irvin had this wrap made for her in 2014. She is a breast cancer survivor since December 2011.  Ironically in September of 2011, she started what she believes was the first “Towing for a Cure” logo/phrase. We had T-shirts printed and sold them with all the money collected split between the American Cancer Society and Susan G Komen, a tradition they still do each year now!


Gina asked Irvin one day if he ever dreamed he’d be this big, his response was “no, I think back to my little old shabby office where mice ran across the floor, and when I told Billy (Bill Bogard), ‘If we can just get three runs a day we’d have it made!’”  Irvin hasn’t driven a truck in years, but the long hours he put in when he did drive was a sacrifice he made to support his family! Now Irvin is 75, and he does drag racing runs in the U.S. Nationals Superstock. Towing is not only about towing; its about dreaming and dreaming big Like Irvin Johns did in 1969-an ironic year for dreams!

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