Moving History in Illinois
by Jim "Buck" Sorrenti
Robert "Big Bob" Gaston Sr. started RBC Towing and Recovery in Lincoln, Ill., with just one wrecker in 1988. RBC is well-known for their ability to do heavy-duty jobs. So when it came time to move a cabin in June 2016, they were called in.
"The moving operation was overseen by Matthews Construction also based here in Lincoln. Owner Brad Matthews is a good friend and we have worked together before," Gaston said.
The log cabin was formerly part of the Children's Garden behind Jefferson Elementary School. It had to be moved to Lincoln College's Creekside Environmental Center where it would be an anchor for the pioneer area along its Peoples of the Past boardwalk.
When the district sold the school building and property earlier this year, the cabin needed to be either moved or dismantled. Moving the structure wasn't going to be easy and the college only had about four weeks to put the plan together.
Matthews Construction and RBC made it happen.
Big Bob drove to the scene in his beautifully flamed yellow 1989 Freightliner with a Garwood military 50,000-lbs. rotator. His son Robert "Little Bob" Gaston Jr. drove out in the equally awesome purple 1991 Freightliner Garwood military 50,000-lbs. straight boom.
"Junior owns R&L Truck and Trailer Repair and helps me out when I need it," Gaston said. "Operators Rodney Dove and Joe Miller help build the wreckers and assist with the recoveries as well."
Rails were chained to the bottom of the cabin, which sat on concrete blocks. It was carefully rigged and then lifted by Gaston's homemade wreckers.
"We lifted it so a lowboy trailer could be backed under it," Gaston said, "and then the cabin was lowered onto the trailer and chained down for transport. The trailer was donated by Goodman Enterprises."
The cabin was transported to the Creekside center, about four miles north of Lincoln, where the process was reversed to remove the cabin from the trailer. They wanted the cabin on the edge of the woods, which took some carefully coordinated moving and dragging by the father-son team working both wreckers in tandem.
Every job is a different challenge. Dealing with unique situations in this industry is what makes it so addictive.Show Yours @ TIWDo you have a recovery to share with TIW readers? Send some pics and info to our Field Editor Jim "Buck" Sorrenti at email@example.com; your story may even be selected for print in American Towman magazine!