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Rowes was started by Bill Rowe, in 1946. It was a pretty basic workshop, an old wooden shed, with a dirt floor.

A year later Bill hired a young bloke he’d previously worked with in the workshop at the local GM dealer Bruce β€œPop” McCready – who later ended up marrying the Bills daughter.

Bill Rowe and Pop McCready soon gained a reputation for doing anything and everything – general repairs and welding, fixing cars, trucks, tractors.

They added Atlantic petrol pumps and built a new workshop, partly timber milled out of some of the Norfolk Pines that had been growing beside the rented Rowe family home, behind the garage.

In a similar do-it-yourself manner, they put two tow trucks on the road. A 1936 Chevy which was built out of a truck that had been doing the Oropi cream run, with a wooden body, fitted with a power winch they built up from a Ford Model T diff, along with a 1942 Chev also created in the Rowe Motors workshop – out of an old Wealleans bulk fertiliser spreader with a winch off a Fordson wheel tractor.

Bill Rowe bowed out of business in 1962 leaving his son-in-law Bruce McCready to run the business.

Bruces son Huck started with his father in 1970 at the age of 16 and by the time he was 18 the junior McCready was in charge of a Bedford – the mainstay of the towing fleet which had a four-speed with a three-speed auxiliary box behind it and a single-speed diff.

In 1975, Rowe’s built their first big salvage truck, a 1966 F1800D International six-wheeler with a 212hp V6 engine, five-speed and a four-speed and a tandem drive. An ex-Opotiki Transport tipper with a D7 Caterpillar winch on the back of it.

Over the decades Rowes has continued to add to their fleet with, modern slide deck 4 wheeler and 8 wheeler salvage vehicles, manufactured by the Rowes Engineering department for recovering cars, campers, trucks and machinery, along with 8 Wheeler Heavy Salvage trucks fitted with heavy duty underlifts and booms capable of towing loaded truck and trailer combinations, a fleet of transporters, motorised Jinker along with a Jinker trailer setup giving them the ability to transport almost anything.

Recently added has been a Posi Track with a heavy duty winch attachment capable of carrying out heavy salvages in confined or inaccessible areas and two 6 wheel drive winch trucks ensuring Rowes, along with the two sister companies Rotorua Towing and Taupo Towing is at the forefront of Vehicle/Truck/Machinery towing, salvaging and transportation in the wider Bay of Plenty, Waikato and central North Island.

Rowes today