Tow truck companies slammed due to cold snap
Tow truck companies slammed with business due to cold snap
PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, MI (WZZM) -- The slippery conditions and cold temperatures are keeping tow truck drivers throughout west Michigan busy.
Inside the East Beltline Towing & Service Inc. in Plainfield Township, you'll find cars everywhere in need of a jolt of life.
"Seems like lots of failures with the cold weather, that's for sure," said Tim Bargar, one of the mechanics.
Of the 300 tows they've brought in since Monday, 75 percent have been for breakdowns. Bargar says dead batteries fall into that category.
"Lots and lots and lots," he said.
The business usually averages 50 tows a day.
But outside, just up the hill at Pro Am Collision, sit the cars that won't drive for another reason.
They're bent out of shape.
Pro Am Collision is just one place East Beltline tow truck driver Jim Laperna has been dropping off damaged vehicles.
"Nonstop, as much as we can possibly do, there's more on top of everything we can do," said Laperna.
The calls are coming in 24/7.
"If we can average one call an hour that's pretty good," he said.
Laperna says he's only slept four hours in the last two days.
"There's not a lot of time to sleep. When you do get a chance to get home you try to shower up and get a non-fast food meal in and you spend a few moments with your family."
Laperna says he has to stay positive when picking up damaged vehicles.
"Most people are pretty happy to see us and at the same time they're not in the best mood because nobody leaves the house planning on paying for a tow bill."
Laperna's prepared to help, even on the coldest day of the year.
"If you don't like winter you don't do this work," he said.
There are things you can do to make sure your car starts and runs in the cold.
Before you start it, make sure everything that uses electricity is off -- the radio, heater fan, and lights -- because they take the starting power out of the battery.
Mechanics say you should warm up your car for 15 to 20 minutes to get the oil warmed up and flowing.
If you get into an accident, keep an emergency kit handy. That should include a snow shovel, kitty litter, blankets, a working flashlight, a first aid kit, food and water, and safety flares.
The last tip: Keep your gas tank full.