Towing services see increase in calls, danger, in snowy weather

JOPLIN, Mo. – With all the snow, there’s been a number of slide-off’s and minor accidents, some, requiring a tow. But the increase in business for local towing companies also comes with an increase in danger.

Rick Nixon runs Nixon’s towing in Joplin. He’s spent quite a while driving tow trucks but says there’s still dangers, even on snowy days. Rick says “Tow trucks don’t get around in the snow much better than a car, so all the driving hazards are exactly the same, but, the scary stuff starts when you get out of the truck.”

And Rick says that danger, is other drivers. “The national statistic is one tow truck driver is hit by a car every six days in the united states. I don’t want to be that guy.”

We rode along with Rick and got a couple of calls. “Right now, we’re gonna run over and change a flat tire.”

This call wasn’t snow related, but Rick says he spent the majority of his morning fielding calls. “It was as many calls as you could take setting ETAs anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half to two hours when we normally try to achieve a 30 to 35 minute ETA slot.”

We got to the flat tire and Rick had it taken care of in no time, but then, he got another call. “We’re going to go to Neosho now.”

This call, was again, not directly snow related. David Doty says “I was coming down the road and all of a sudden it died on me.”

This one had to be towed to a dealership in Neosho to find out what was going on with it. “Then you gotta take the time to call and get approval, not only did you winch it out but now you’ve got to tow it to another location so that just moves everybody.”

Rick also operates Nixon’s garage, which performs auto repairs. And while the snowy weather itself doesn’t benefit that business, he says the cold temperatures, do. “Cars have an operating range where they’re, temperature operating range where they’re pretty comfortable you know? Probably 35 to 80ish, I’m guessing at those numbers, cars seem to not break as much, you get it down there far enough, low enough, long enough, everything that’s weak starts to show.”

Rick says it’s best to always check your car and make sure everything is in good working order.

Nixon also wanted to emphasize pulling over or slowing down for tow trucks *and* emergency vehicles anytime you see crews on the road.