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Frame The Importance of

Commercial Truck Insurance in Fitzgerald, GA

  • Let's face it - truckers in America have always been the backbone of our great country. They still are in modern times. On any given day, thousands of trucks traverse our highways and local roads, delivering goods and products on time so that businesses and consumers have what they need to live life. And while commercial trucking can be an incredibly lucrative way to make a living and put food on the table, it can also be risky and expensive.
  • Whether you're the owner of a fleet, an independent trucker, or have a business that uses big rigs to transport goods, you need commercial trucking insurance to protect you and your client's investments, shield you from liability, and more.
  • That's where working with a reliable truck insurance agency comes into play. Unfortunately, for many commercial truck insurance providers, serving the needs of truckers is low on the proverbial totem pole. At Independence Insurance Agency, nothing could be further from the truth.

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Insurance Agency in Fitzgerald, GA You Can Trust

Much like you pride yourself on running a successful trucking business, Independence Insurance Agency prides itself on its years of experience providing truck insurance for hardworking men and women across the country. And in our experience, insurance rates for truckers are just too high - so high, in fact, that they eat away at their bottom line, making it more difficult to run a business and make a profit. Fortunately, at Independence Insurance Agency, we provide truckers the freedom they need from astronomically high insurance rates so they can stay on the road and keep driving America forward.

As one of the most trusted commercial trucking insurance agencies in the U.S., we understand the challenges that you face daily as a trucker. We also know how important it is to protect your business. That's why we go above and beyond to find you the best-priced coverage available, whether you're an operator, own a small fleet, a large fleet, or something in between.

Commercial Truck Insurance Fitzgerald, GA

We Put Truckers First Because Others Don't

 Truck Insurance Fitzgerald, GA

Truckers across the country choose to work with Independence Insurance Agency because we put their needs first before anything else. As experts in transportation insurance, we proudly offer a range of quality insurance products that are both practical and affordable for them. Our industry-leading carriers provide coverage that caters to the unique challenges faced by the trucking industry, ensuring that your business is protected at all times.

At our core, we are committed to finding the best possible price for your coverage without compromising the quality of service you deserve. The truth is, we understand how essential truckers are to the United States and take pride in making their insurance experience more streamlined and affordable.

One way we do so is by simplifying the insurance process. Our transportation specialists take the time to understand your specific needs and budget to tailor a comprehensive plan that works for you. You won't ever have to worry about cookie-cutter plans or uninterested agents when you work with our commercial trucking insurance agency. We take an educational approach to ensure that the entire big rig insurance process is quick, painless, and easy to understand. If there's something you don't understand, we're happy to take the time to explain. After all, the success and safety of your business are on the line.

Looking to the future, we are committed to providing innovative new products that cater to the ever-changing needs of truck drivers. As your one-stop shop for commercial trucking insurance, we are dedicated to your success, one policy at a time.

If you're a commercial trucker looking to ensure your rig, you can rest easy knowing that Independence Insurance Agency provides:

  • Affordable Trucking Insurance Plans for Any Budget
  • Exemplary Customer Service
  • Seasoned Transportation Specialists Who Customize Plans to Your Needs
  • A+ Carriers Across the Country
  • Simple, Easy Quote and Bind Process
  • Multiple Insurance Carriers Quoted to Find You the Best Rates
  • Truck Insurance for New Ventures

Call us or send us a message today to learn more about the best 18-wheeler insurance options for your trucking business.

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Common Types of Big Rig Truck Insurance in Fitzgerald, GA

At Independence Insurance Agency, we offer several types of insurance coverage for local, intermediate, and long-haul trucking needs. Here are just a few categories of trucking insurance coverage that our agency offers.

As the foundation of your insurance policy, liability coverage is required by law in most states in the U.S. It provides coverage for damage or injuries caused to properties or other people if your 18-wheeler is responsible for the crash. Without liability coverage, it's almost impossible to drive a truck or run a trucking business without major legal consequences.

Having physical damage coverage is an essential component that shouldn't be overlooked. This insurance is responsible for covering the expenses related to repairing or replacing your truck in situations such as accidents, theft, vandalism, and other damaging events. By having this coverage, you can rest assured that your business won't be affected significantly by unexpected incidents, and you can continue running your operations smoothly even in challenging times.

For trucking companies, the goods they transport are crucial to their operations. To protect these goods from damage, loss, or theft while in transit, cargo insurance is essential. This coverage provides much-needed peace of mind for both you and your clients, allowing you to reimburse clients for any losses sustained while protecting your reputation and brand identity.

Non-Trucking Liability Insurance is designed to cover property damage or bodily injury that may occur during personal time when the driver/truck is not under dispatch. This coverage can be applied with or without a trailer and is added to a commercial policy as an endorsement.

While Independence Insurance Agency has built a reputation of excellence in serving the needs of truckers, we also offer general liability. Also known as Truckers General Liability, this coverage insures for bodily injuries or property damage that happen due to business activities that are NOT the cause of operating a truck. It covers accidents that occur in parking lots, rest stops, also while loading or unloading. General liability can also cover losses related to theft and vandalism. Most brokers and shippers will require this coverage to work with you.

Bobtail insurance is a type of coverage that is comparable to non-trucking liability, which is designed to offer protection when driving a truck without a trailer attached. This is commonly referred to as "bobtailing." With bobtail insurance, the tractor is covered at all times, even when it is not attached to a trailer, regardless of whether or not the truck is under dispatch.

Trailer interchange insurance is a must-have if you're involved in a trailer interchange agreement. This essential coverage offers protection for trailers owned by other parties that you're using under a contractual agreement. It covers damages caused by collisions, fire, theft, and vandalism, providing assurance to all parties involved.

Curious whether our commercial truck insurance agency in cityname, state offers additional coverage? The following options can be bound in your insurance policy:

  • Business Interruption Insurance
  • Reefer Breakdown Insurance
  • Occupational Accident with Contract Liability Insurance
  • Rental Reimbursement Insurance
  • Underinsured or Uninsured Motorist Insurance
  • Towing Insurance
  • Electronics Insurance
  • Much More

Three plus 3 Safe Driving Tips to

Lower the Cost of Truck Insurance in Fitzgerald, GA

Keeping your drivers safe on the road is crucial not only for their own well-being but also for the safety of other motorists and the financial stability of your business. The Department of Labor has identified the trucking industry as one of the most hazardous sectors in the U.S. In fact, trucking and logistics fleets are known for their high injury and fatality rates. By improving how safely your truckers drive, you can help reduce expenses related to claim payouts, accidents, and insurance premium hikes.

Whether you own a large fleet or you're the owner and operator of a single rig, keep these safe driving tips in mind to help lower your insurance costs.

Implement Preventative Maintenance Plans

Ensuring the safety of your drivers begins with the safety of their vehicles. Trucks and tractor-trailers that do not receive regular maintenance, such as oil and brake pad changes, are more likely to experience breakdowns while on the road. Telematics devices provide real-time insight into engine and odometer data, including fault codes.

This information enables your mechanics to create comprehensive preventative maintenance schedules based on mileage, history of previous breakdowns, days, and more. Additionally, they can receive immediate notifications for critical fault codes. By implementing routine maintenance and proactive repair schedules, you can ensure that your vehicles are in top condition, minimizing the likelihood of breakdowns, which can help reduce the cost of trucker insurance.

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 Trucking Insurance Fitzgerald, GA

Practice Defensive Driving

This approach aims to mitigate the risk of fatal crashes and injuries by proactively identifying and responding to potentially dangerous situations and making informed decisions while driving. By adopting defensive driving techniques, drivers can reduce their likelihood of accidents, thereby minimizing the need for expensive repairs, claim payouts, and increased insurance premiums.

Some of the easiest ways for you or your drivers to practice safe driving include:

  • Be Wary of Blind Spots: Operating a reefer or tractor-trailer means driving high off of the ground, which can make visibility limited, especially in blind spots. To check your blind spot, look over your shoulder and out of your windows while changing lanes.
  • Be Ready for Emergencies on the Road: It's important for drivers to be ready for unexpected situations when driving, especially during long trips. They should be equipped to handle emergencies such as poor driving conditions or big rig breakdowns.
  • Use the Three-Second Rule: Truck drivers should try to maintain a three-second gap between their vehicle and the car in front of them. This means that the truck driver should reach a certain point on the road three seconds after the car in front of them has passed that same point.
  • Always Use Right and Left Turn Indicators: It's important for drivers to always use their turn signals when changing lanes or exiting highways, even if they don't see any other cars around. This is not only required by law, but it also reduces the chances of accidents occurring on the road.
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 Commercial Liability Insurance For Truckers Fitzgerald, GA

Find Ways to Prevent Distracted Driving

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving is the primary reason behind truck driver accidents. Any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road or the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Distractions can come in various forms, such as eating while driving or gazing at a billboard outside the window. However, the most frequent form of distracted driving is the use of cellphones, specifically texting while driving.

Assuming you or your driver's rigs are equipped with dual-facing cameras, try reviewing footage of an unsafe driving incident. Coach your drivers on ways to correct their unsafe behaviors or look up ways to do so yourself if you're the one operating the big rig. The bottom line is that when your drivers aren't distracted, they drive safer. And when they drive safer, the cost of 18-wheeler insurance in cityname, state can be reduced.

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 Commercial Truck Insurance Quote Fitzgerald, GA

Ensuring the safety of your drivers begins with the safety of their vehicles. Trucks and tractor-trailers that do not receive regular maintenance, such as oil and brake pad changes, are more likely to experience breakdowns while on the road. Telematics devices provide real-time insight into engine and odometer data, including fault codes.

This information enables your mechanics to create comprehensive preventative maintenance schedules based on mileage, history of previous breakdowns, days, and more. Additionally, they can receive immediate notifications for critical fault codes. By implementing routine maintenance and proactive repair schedules, you can ensure that your vehicles are in top condition, minimizing the likelihood of breakdowns, which can help reduce the cost of trucker insurance.

 Low Priced Commercial Truck Insurance Fitzgerald, GA phone Call Now

This approach aims to mitigate the risk of fatal crashes and injuries by proactively identifying and responding to potentially dangerous situations and making informed decisions while driving. By adopting defensive driving techniques, drivers can reduce their likelihood of accidents, thereby minimizing the need for expensive repairs, claim payouts, and increased insurance premiums.

Some of the easiest ways for you or your drivers to practice safe driving include:

  • Be Wary of Blind Spots: Operating a reefer or tractor-trailer means driving high off of the ground, which can make visibility limited, especially in blind spots. To check your blind spot, look over your shoulder and out of your windows while changing lanes.
  • Be Ready for Emergencies on the Road: It's important for drivers to be ready for unexpected situations when driving, especially during long trips. They should be equipped to handle emergencies such as poor driving conditions or big rig breakdowns.
  • Use the Three-Second Rule: Truck drivers should try to maintain a three-second gap between their vehicle and the car in front of them. This means that the truck driver should reach a certain point on the road three seconds after the car in front of them has passed that same point.
  • Always Use Right and Left Turn Indicators: It's important for drivers to always use their turn signals when changing lanes or exiting highways, even if they don't see any other cars around. This is not only required by law, but it also reduces the chances of accidents occurring on the road.
Commercial Truck Insurance Fitzgerald, GA phone Call Now

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving is the primary reason behind truck driver accidents. Any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road or the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Distractions can come in various forms, such as eating while driving or gazing at a billboard outside the window. However, the most frequent form of distracted driving is the use of cellphones, specifically texting while driving.

Assuming you or your driver's rigs are equipped with dual-facing cameras, try reviewing footage of an unsafe driving incident. Coach your drivers on ways to correct their unsafe behaviors or look up ways to do so yourself if you're the one operating the big rig. The bottom line is that when your drivers aren't distracted, they drive safer. And when they drive safer, the cost of 18-wheeler insurance in cityname, state can be reduced.

 Truck Insurance Fitzgerald, GA phone Call Now

check light FAQs About

Independence Insurance Agency

If you're looking for a commercial trucking insurance agency for your business, chances are you have some questions - and we've got answers. Keep reading to learn more about some of the most commonly asked questions we hear from truckers like you.

Why go with a "jack of all trades" when you can work with specialists who focus exclusively on transportation insurance? We have excellent relationships with major trucking insurance carriers and, as such, can provide the best assistance and reasonable rates.

Typically, companies will look at claims that date back three years or less.

We proudly work with more than 20 carriers to provide our clients with the most advantageous options at competitive prices, catering to the needs of owner-operators and big fleets alike.

Permit filings are typically done by insurance companies on the next business day. Federal (FMCSA) filings are completed online and updated immediately, while some states may take up to three weeks to process.

Independence Insurance Agency: Committed to the Trucking Industry

There's no question about it - you've got to protect your staff, your rig, and your trucking business with insurance. But choosing the right insurance partner isn't always easy. Thankfully, with Independence Insurance Agency by your side, you can rest easy knowing you're covered no matter where the road takes you. If you're in need of a commercial truck insurance agency in Fitzgerald, GA that caters to truckers like you, pick up the phone and contact one of our transportation specialists today. That way, you can get back on the road with confidence tomorrow.

 Trucking Insurance Fitzgerald, GA

Latest News in Fitzgerald, GA

Panthers lose shootout with Fitzgerald

From Staff ReportsFITZGERALD, GA – The Sumter County Panthers (SCHS) were hoping to extend their winning streak to three games with a win over the Purple Hurricanes of Fitzgerald (FHS). However, even though they went toe to toe with the Purple Hurricanes, they came out on the short end, losing to FHS by the score of 33-24 on Friday at Fitzgerald High School.The Panthers won the toss and elected to receive to start the game. However, on the short kickoff, SCHS fumbled the football and it was recovered by ...

From Staff Reports

FITZGERALD, GA – The Sumter County Panthers (SCHS) were hoping to extend their winning streak to three games with a win over the Purple Hurricanes of Fitzgerald (FHS). However, even though they went toe to toe with the Purple Hurricanes, they came out on the short end, losing to FHS by the score of 33-24 on Friday at Fitzgerald High School.

The Panthers won the toss and elected to receive to start the game. However, on the short kickoff, SCHS fumbled the football and it was recovered by the Purple Hurricanes at the SCHS 49-yard line.

FHS was able to move the ball all they way down to the Panthers’ two-yard line, then on fourth and goal from the two, Jay Alexander scored a rushing touchdown. The Purple Hurricanes tried a two-point conversion, but it failed. Nevertheless, they had a 6-0 lead over the Panthers with 5:20 left in the first quarter.

On the Panthers’ next possession, they were able to respond, as they drove the ball all the way down to the one-yard line of FHS. Then Quarterback Anthony Tyson scored a rushing touchdown from a yard out. The point after attempt was blocked, but the score was tied at 6-6 with 3:44 to go in the first quarter.

Later on in the second quarter, the Panthers were able to take a 9-6 lead on a 16-yard field goal by Alan Gonzalez. Then on the ensuing kickoff, SCHS was able to recover an on-side kick. Having gotten the ball back, they wasted no time in cashing in, as Tyson threw a 60-yard touchdown pass to Corderian Leverett. The extra point by Gonzalez was good and the Panthers had a 16-6 lead with 11:48 to go before halftime.

However, the Purple Hurricanes were able to respond by mounting a scoring drive that was capped off with a rushing touchdown by Laphabion Boone. The extra point was good and the Panthers’ lead was cut to 16-14 with 8:11 to go before halftime.

Neither team was able to put points on the board over the next several minutes until the Purple Hurricanes were able to take a 17-16 lead on a 23-yard field goal with 28 seconds left before halftime.

With 7:52 to go in the third quarter, FHS added to its lead when Diondre Paschal scored a rushing touchdown from three yards out. The extra point was good and the Purple Hurricanes had a 24-16 lead.

On the Panthers’ next possession, they started at their own 35-yard line, but were able to move it all the way down to the FHS four-yard line as the result of a 38-yard run by Tyson. Then they were able to cap off the scoring drive when running back Quay’shaun Tatum scored from three yards out. The Panthers decided to go for two points and succeeded when Tyson threw a short pass to Broshawn Snead, tying the score at 24-24.

However, the Purple Hurricanes once again had an answer. They were able to drive the ball all the way down to the 10-yard line of SCHS. Then on fourth and inches, they were able to gain the necessary yardage for a first down. Shortly thereafter, the Purple Hurricanes faced another fourth and goal from the SCHS three-yard line, but the Panthers were able to make the defensive stand and got the ball back on downs.

However, FHS came up with a safety, as Tatum was tackled in the end zone. With 7:58 to go in the game, the Panthers trailed 26-24.

On the Purple Hurricanes’ next possession, they were able to get the insurance they needed when quarterback Wilson Davis threw a six-yard touchdown pass to Calvin Tillman Jr. The extra point was good and the Purple Hurricanes would go on to win by the score of 33-24.

In spite of the loss, the Panthers gained a region victory when it was learned that Cook was going to have to vacate five games, including it’s 40-14 win over the Panthers, back in September, as a result of using an ineligible player. As a result of that forfeiture, the Panthers improve to 5-3 overall and they are now 3-1 in Region 1-AA competition.

The Panthers will now set their sights on their next opponent, the Worth County Rams, whom they will host next Friday, October 27, at Alton Shell Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

93-year-old Georgia bartender is happiest at work

FITZGERALD, Ga. — In a town where a John Deere is the only thing that slows down traffic, happy hour is engineered daily in this building not much bigger than the town post office.“Everybody who comes through this door, they felt like it was home," the owner, Bill said.Bill named his place after himself and at 93 he still comes to work every day, opening up sho...

FITZGERALD, Ga. — In a town where a John Deere is the only thing that slows down traffic, happy hour is engineered daily in this building not much bigger than the town post office.

“Everybody who comes through this door, they felt like it was home," the owner, Bill said.

Bill named his place after himself and at 93 he still comes to work every day, opening up shop and ready to serve a cold beer to the next customer.

The guy who is most definitely old school - even keeping a ledger not of sales, but of birthdays.

“Whenever they come in I sing them a happy birthday song and they love it,” he said.

Pedro Young has heard a song or two.

“He makes you feel like you're wanted and you're needed and he does that for everybody," Young said.

Young sits down regularly as a customer. He's retired from law enforcement and says quite a few beers met their demise but not once did officers have to go to Bill's Place for a brawl.

The barkeeper has a twinkle in his eye but will turn the tables if anyone speaks as much as a four-letter word.

“He would come up and admonish you the first time, the second time you was gone,” Young said.

"Somebody would say I'm going to cause trouble, no you aren't," Bill said. "This place is just for being good.”

He has a cookie jar for the kids, a humble hot plate that has gotten a lot of use frying up wings and warming up pizza, and a sentiment for every person walking out the door.

“When you left I said be careful, have a good one and love you guys,” Bill said.

Bill's Place is only about 500 square feet but he still has room for tomato plants outside.

Last summer Bill fell and broke his hip. Dec. 31 is the last call at Bill's Place.

“Old age is catching up on me,” Bill said.

“Oh yeah that's why all of us have been trying to help him since he broke his hip,” Young said.

Bill doesn't want to be a burden.

So he'll take his memories and know he's made a difference.

“Great life and I have beautiful people here. Wow, they're terrific," he said.

This bartender with a tender heart built his business by transforming the local watering hole into a welcoming home, few in Fitzgerald will forget.

Week 10 Milestones: Fitzgerald Becomes Ninth Program to Reach 700 Wins

Primary ContentThe Fitzgerald Purple Hurricane beat Sumter County 33-24 on Friday and became the ninth program in Georgia to reach the 700-win milestone.Fitzgerald improved to 6-2 this season and will play Cook this week to determine the Region xx championship. Fitzgerald fielded its first football team in 1908 and has won 20 region championships and two state titles, most recently in 2021. The program’s record is 700-408-30.Tucker Pruitt is in his seventh season as head coach and has compiled a 68-21 record. His...

Primary Content

The Fitzgerald Purple Hurricane beat Sumter County 33-24 on Friday and became the ninth program in Georgia to reach the 700-win milestone.

Fitzgerald improved to 6-2 this season and will play Cook this week to determine the Region xx championship. Fitzgerald fielded its first football team in 1908 and has won 20 region championships and two state titles, most recently in 2021. The program’s record is 700-408-30.

Tucker Pruitt is in his seventh season as head coach and has compiled a 68-21 record. His father, Robby Pruitt, spent 11 seasons as head coach and went 120-21-1, making him the school’s winningest coach, with seven region titles.

Ware County, Savannah Christian earn 400th wins

The Ware County Gators and Savannah Christian Cavaliers both reached the 400-win milestone with victories on Friday. Ware County defeated Greenbrier 64-20 and Savannah Christian defeated Beach 55-6.

Ware County has been playing football since 1959 and has a record of 400-324-7. The Gators have won 15 region championships and one state title, that coming last year under current coach Jason Strickland, who is 47-10 in five seasons at the help. Ware’s winningest coach was Dan Ragle, who went 74-32-1 with four region championship in nine seasons from 1999-2007.

Savannah Christian is 400-180-2. The Raiders have won 13 region titles and eight state championship since the program began in 1972. The Raiders won GISA championships in 1978, 1977-79, 1981-82 and 1984. They won the 2011 title after joining the GHSA, going 15-0 and taking the Class A title under coach Donald Chumley.

No. 150 for Mill Creek

Mill Creek defeated Collins Hill 24-18 on Friday to earn the program’s 150th win. The program began in 2004 under coach Shannon Jarvis, who won two region championships in his 15 seasons at the school. Josh Lovelady, in his fifth season as head coach, took the Hawks to the Class 7A title in 2022.

Coaches pick up 50th career wins

A trio of coaches earned their 50th career win on Friday. Carver Columbus coach Pierre Coffey (50-26) beat Monroe 28-10. McEachern’s Kareem Reid (49-21) beat North Paulding 34-21. Commerce’s Mark Hollars (50-36) beat Elbert County 49-23 right here on GPB.org.

World's Largest Skeletal Chicken: world record in Fitzgerald, Georgia

"The Fitzgerald chicken topiary is an under-construction topiary in Fitzgerald, Georgia, United States. Construction began in 2019 and as of 2021, the chicken-shaped skeletal frame is complete. Standing at approximately 62 feet (19 m) tall, it is the largest structure of a chicken in the world and, when complete, will be the world's tallest topiary.&quo...

"The Fitzgerald chicken topiary is an under-construction topiary in Fitzgerald, Georgia, United States. Construction began in 2019 and as of 2021, the chicken-shaped skeletal frame is complete. Standing at approximately 62 feet (19 m) tall, it is the largest structure of a chicken in the world and, when complete, will be the world's tallest topiary.

"By May 2021, work was completed on the steel skeletal structure of the topiary, with a total of weight of about 19.5 short tons (17.7 t) and a height of about 62 feet (19 m) tall. In addition, the bottom of the structure would contain a room that tourists could rent out as a honeymoon suite or a bed and breakfast. With the completion of the skeleton, local television station WMAZ-TV called it "the world's largest chicken", while NPR stated that the finished project would be "the largest topiary in the world".

"Construction of the topiary was paid for by a special-purpose local-option sales tax (SPLOST) that had been directed towards tourism.[6] While the initial cost for the project was expected to be $150,000, the cost eventually rose to over twice this amount.[6] While Mayor Puckett defended the spending as an investment in tourism that would deliver a strong return on investment (noting that the chicken project had been covered on the front page of The Wall Street Journal twice since it was announced), others in the city were opposed to the spending, and, according to NPR, the mayoral elections in November 2021 served as a "giant chicken referendum".

Puckett lost reelection, with about 91 percent of voters voting against him, and following this, the city council put a freeze on new spending for the project until the newly elected mayor took office in January 2022." (Wikipedia)

NPR says.

"There's a giant chicken that looms over a small city in South Georgia. The shape of a giant beak rises above the trees. Fitzgerald, Ga. - population 9,053 - set out to construct a chicken that would be the largest topiary in the world.

"The topiary chicken has been Jim Puckett's passion project. As mayor, he steered at least $300,000, raised via special local sales tax, into the topiary. That's not just chicken feed. I'm sorry, but you just can't expect us to get through this story without a fowl pun or two, nor a reference to BJ Leiderman, who writes our theme music. It seems that wild chickens were released near Fitzgerald decades ago. But you know what can happen to chickens on farms, don't you? So they flocked to the city."

"Jim Puckett put all his eggs in one basket when he started building what he hopes will be the tallest topiary in the world. But his dream tourist attraction cost him his job as mayor — and now the steel framework of a giant chicken looms over the town of Fitzgerald, Ga," the CBC says.

"Earlier this month, Puckett experienced a crushing defeat at the ballot box when he ran for a re-election, with 95 per cent of people voting against him. The topiary chicken, which has so far cost his office $291,000 US, had been a well-known campaign issue.

"The already long, drawn-out construction of the 19-metre tall topiary chicken is on hold until mayor-elect Jason Holt begins his term. Puckett, who hopes to still see the project completed, is holding office until January. Here is part of his conversation with As It Happens host Carol Off."

"The framed outline of the giant chicken — standing 62 feet tall — now towers above nearby homes in the city of Fitzgerald. The finished product will be a gargantuan topiary, meaning the chicken will be sculpted from living plants growing on its frame like a huge garden lattice," the Fox 5 Atlanta says.

"Leaders Fitzgerald announced plans for the chicken sculpture in 2019 as a feature to bring tourists to the city of 9,000 people. Mayor Jim Puckett said the coronavirus pandemic caused some construction delays, and the Tennessee-based artist known as Topiary Joe needed some down time to recover from surgery.

"The Fitzgerald chicken will be taller than the famous Big Chicken in Marietta, which measures 56 feet (17 meters) tall. It will also edge the tallest known dinosaur, Sauroposeidon, which stood about 59 feet (18 meters)."

"The city council in Fitzgerald, Georgia voted on Monday to axe further work on the topiary, which residents have dubbed "the Big Chicken," The Washington Post reported. The colossal bird was meant to attract tourists in Fitzgerald, a city of 9,000 where wild Burmese chickens are a common sight," the Insider says.

"Construction of the Fitzgerald chicken began in 2019, with initial funding of $150,000. The idea was to install a bed-and-breakfast space within the topiary, where tourists could stay the night among the greenery. But by 2021, the topiary was still unfinished, and had cost the city $300,000, The Post reported. The frame, however, had been mostly completed, yielding a towering metal bird along one of the city's main roads.

"The city council voted on Monday to keep the steel chicken frame, but not as a topiary. They plan to build a fence around the giant chicken frame, add park benches and picnic tables nearby, and plant grass around the bird so it looks like it's sitting in a nest, per The Post."

Photos: World's Largest Skeletal Chicken: world record in Fitzgerald, Georgia

(1) Atlanta Journal Constitution

(2) 13WMAZ

(3-5) Facebook/The City of Fitzgerald, Georgia

(6) Vanishing Georgia

(7) Facebook/The City of Fitzgerald, Georgia

Small Georgia city will keep ‘largest’ chicken, but clips record topiary

Fitzgerald city leaders voted Monday night to clip plans to finish what would have been the world’s largest topiary.But Mayor Jason Holt said the small south Georgia community will keep the metal frame that he says may be the biggest chicken statue.The rusting roadside attraction sat unfinished for years, raising some local concerns but also garnering national media attention over dreams for the 62-foot-tall chicken topiary. The original plan, championed by a previous mayor, called for overnight rental accommodations insi...

Fitzgerald city leaders voted Monday night to clip plans to finish what would have been the world’s largest topiary.

But Mayor Jason Holt said the small south Georgia community will keep the metal frame that he says may be the biggest chicken statue.

The rusting roadside attraction sat unfinished for years, raising some local concerns but also garnering national media attention over dreams for the 62-foot-tall chicken topiary. The original plan, championed by a previous mayor, called for overnight rental accommodations inside the beast.

Holt said the project, paid for from a special tax fund, has cost the city nearly $300,000 and it was unclear how much higher the tab could go. The rebar structure and much of the rental unit was built, but adding plants on the exterior to make it a topiary would have added still more unbudgeted bird costs.

Holt said the city council voted 8-0 to follow the advice of an appointed citizen committee, which essentially recommended freezing the chicken: Secure the structure, paint it red, remove interior tanks that were part of a water system, encircle the fowl with a 6-foot fence to keep kids from climbing it, add LED accent lights as decorative flourish, and install landscaping.

Putting feathery-looking pampas grass near the base might eventually make it look as though the big chicken is sitting on a nest, the mayor said. Or so that is the hope.

“I guess we will still be the largest chicken but we won’t have the largest topiary,” Holt said.

Fitzgerald, a community of about 9,000 people about 20 minutes from I-75, has long embraced chickens as its sort of spirit animal. Long ago, wild chickens gravitated to the area. Some residents decorate their yards with small chicken figures. And a photo of chickens is the main image on the city’s website.

Nothing was as big as plans for the big chicken, though. After the project languished, some wanted to tear the whole thing down. But Holt said city leaders have been told that could cost another $40,000, which would have added to what he said was already “a colossal waste” in building the bird.

It was unclear what it would cost to complete the topiary, Holt said. Officials were told maintenance costs alone would have been $50,000 annually, not including staffing expenses. Even then, horticulturists who were consulted predicted that shade from two nearby trees would limit sunshine on part of the structure, limiting plant growth.

“We would have the world’s largest chicken with a case of mange,” Holt said.

City leaders also were told it would be costly to make additions to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act in order to rent out the interior living space.

Still, it’s conceivable that the idea of the Fitzgerald topiary chicken might fly again.

Holt said none of what the city council approved would preclude one day making changes, such as adding plants as originally planned or completing the rental unit.

But, he added, “I don’t see that happening.”

ExploreFowl or foul? Fitzgerald leaders to decide fate of town’s big chicken

About the Author

Matt Kempner is an award-winning journalist who seeks out intriguing twists about people and subjects beyond what the AJC might typically cover. A former columnist and editor, his past assignments have included business investigations, energy, the economy, entrepreneurs, big business, consumer spending, politics, government and the environment.

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