Bitter cold brings new round of car problems for tow truck drivers

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- As bitter cold temperatures settled in on Tuesday, December 10th, some were dealing with burst pipes, as tow truck drivers handled tons of calls.

At Homer's Towing and Service Inc. on Milwaukee's northwest side, they decided to keep the engines on the tow trucks running on Tuesday night due to the high number of calls coming in.

"Normally we'd be running one to three trucks pretty much all day long, and today we had 10 trucks and three service trucks," Owner Homer Schultz said.

Homer's was getting calls Tuesday for things like jump starts and tows for stalled out vehicles.

"I try to tell most of the guys here, 'I think it's time to find a box of patience.' That's the hardest thing -- to keep your mindset," Schultz said.

Peter Caldwell put in a 12-hour shift at Grube's Towing in Cedarburg. He says the work is tough -- but the cold weather provides another challenge.

"Staying warm -- because you're crawling around in the snow. Just when you think you're getting warm, you get back out of the truck and you're getting covered in snow again and your gloves get wet," Caldwell said.

Caldwell says the snow, cold temperatures and slick roadways have left him busy all week so far. He says he began the week responding to accidents, and now that the cold has settled in, the calls now are mostly related to the temperatures.

"Seeing a lot of jump starts, a lot of dead batteries, also a lot of tire changes. The cold weather can affect your tire pressure," Caldwell said.

Between drivers working double shifts and callers with car trouble, there's not much to smile about, but Schultz says his only advice is to relax.

"Overall, if everyone has a little patience, I think that goes a long way," Schultz said.

Schultz says once the temperature drops to 10 degrees or colder, they'll get a ton of calls for cars and trucks that will not start. Schultz says he expects to be busy over the next few days.