This Morning: Tow truck drivers offer advice for winter freeze


Freezing temperatures and snow can make for slick roads and what’s called, “busy season” for tow truck drivers.

You may think slide offs are the only thing drivers get called to in the winter, especially when there’s snow on the ground. But there are a ton of other events they get called to in the winter, and they might be more preventable than you think.

“To drive a truck and to be a tow truck driver, or tow truck operator, it’s pretty stressful at times,” says Mark Johnston with Northside Towing and Service. “Once it gets below freezing, we do get a very large call volume that we need to go out and jump more cars,” says Johnston.

Johnston says during the winter, aside from dragging cars out of snowy ditches, there are plenty of other issues drivers get called to.

“Unlock keys out of a car, a jump start, changing a tire on a large SUV or large pick up truck, to unlocking a baby locked in a car during the winter months,” says Johnston.

He asks drivers if your car is taking longer to start, get the battery checked asap.

The same goes for the tires if you know they’re low.

Also, leave earlier in the morning so if something happens you can get a hold of a tow truck before they get busy.

“Nobody wants to be stranded on the side of the highway for very long at all,” says Johnston.

While he’s talking about customers, the same can be said for drivers as well.

“We have red, amber, and white lights throughout our truck,” says Johnston. “You know that dad that’s driving to work that morning, you trust that he got enough sleep so that he can see you and make sure that everything is alright and that he can get over,” says Johnston.

If you see a tow truck on the side of the road, Michigan’s Move Over law applies.

Johnston says some of the most common places his drivers get called to include Frandor, anywhere on 496, icy bridges, I-96 at MLK, and near I-69 in Dewitt.

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