Snowy Roads Prove Good Business For Towing Companies, Hard On Drivers

By
Susan Tebben - Athens Messenger staff reporter


Updated Tue, Mar 4, 2014 10:42 am
Photo Credit: 
Flickr user jdj150
In the U.S., road crews scatter about 137 pounds of salt per person annually to melt ice. Where does it go after that?

As most people tried their best to stay inside while snow emergencies covered the area, a group of workers know it's their time to get to work.

The towing companies around Athens County are seeing lots of work this winter with snow- and ice-covered roads. Although they see the opportunity for the financial increase, it's hard on those that work the roads.

"We're trying to stay to the highways because the back roads are not good," said Jim Stalder, owner of Jim's Service Center and Towing.

Stalder has been in the towing business for three decades and said he's seen busier times than even this heavy winter.

"It would have been busier if the student's were still here," Stalder said on Monday.

The start of spring break brought another winter storm on Monday, and drivers were out early, even with a level-two snow emergency in effect in Athens County.

"It's not been the worst winter I've seen, but the worst in maybe the last three years," said Eric Gryszka, owner of IBX Towing.

Gryszka has been towing for about seven years and this winter has been a steady one. He said there have been "several memorable moments" with winter rescues. On Sunday night, as the storm was bearing down, he was already helping cars.

At 10 a.m., he had already responded to six cars since he started at 6 a.m.

"It's good for the bank account, but on the negative side, it takes it's toll on (tow truck drivers)," Gryszka said.

The snowy season is forecasted to end soon, but until it does, towing services are hoping drivers will help make it easier on them.

The best advice tow truck operators could give to drivers was to first call the police department, then stay with the vehicle with hazards lights on. But Gryszka said there was an even better tip to combatting the winter weather.

"Stay home, that's the best advice," he said.

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