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Truck Stop’s Truck Sign Comes Down - Kind Of

December 12, 1990

FULTONVILLE, N.Y. (AP) _ The truck stops here, says Vincent Gramuglia, at least until he can figure out his next move.

Gramuglia’s controversial tractor-trailer truck sign was pulled Monday from its 50-foot perch alongside the New York State Thruway and became lodged against the same storage tank it was ordered removed from by a judge.

″We’ve got a unique problem,″ Gramuglia said. ″The truck is stuck.″

Gramuglia’s 55-foot rig sat atop an empty oil storage tank and served as a huge billboard to advertise the ″three truck stops, four motels and seven restaurants″ available off the highway in Fultonville, about 40 miles west of Albany.

After a yearlong battle with Thruway Authority officials, who said the sign was a distraction to motorists, Gramuglia agreed in state Supreme Court last week to take the sign down. On Monday, with about 75 people and three television news crews on hand, he tried to do just that.

Gramuglia, owner of the Countryside Fuel Stop, said he used torches to cut where the truck was welded to a huge steel I-beam. He placed rollers under the I-beam, greased the whole operation with Italian olive oil and used a tow truck’s winch to pull the truck off.

When the 12-ton truck fell, its back end wedged itself 4 to 6 feet into the ground, with the cab leaning on the storage tank, Gramuglia said. Further attempts to winch the truck off resulted in two broken steel cables, he said.

″They can’t say we didn’t comply with the Supreme Court ruling,″ said Gramuglia, who admitted he was having a good laugh over the problem. ″We’ll take it off eventually, but we’ll leave it like that for a few days.″

″It’s more of distraction now than it was when it was sitting on top of the tank,″ he said.

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