Challenges tow truck drivers face in icy conditions

Published: Dec. 13, 2019 at 10:04 PM EST
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Friday’s icy conditions made for a really messy commute for many drivers, especially on the back roads. WDBJ7 checked in with Total Car Care and Towing in Christiansburg to see what challenges they face.

“As soon as you hit those back roads it was awful. All the way up to Pilot Mountain it was pretty much a solid sheet of ice,” said driver Chris Agnew.

Agnew has been a tow truck driver for 16 years. Although the ice might be melting, his day is sometimes just getting started.

“No two days are the same, you’re not sitting in an office cubicle watching the clock go by you know? Your day literally changes with a phone call,” Agnew said.

He takes pride in helping others and said that’s what motivates him to keep doing what he does, even if it may be one of the most dangerous professions.

“You can bet your bottom dollar that we’re trying our best to get to you,” Agnew said. “We try to run 30 minute ETAs or less. It doesn’t always work that way, but we absolutely try our best.”

Each time he arrives to help someone out, he said accurate information is key.

“Mile posts are a big one,” he said. “Know your mile markers. There’s one every tenth of a mile on 81, so from a disablement location you should be able to see one pretty visibly.”

Agnew said any time you see flashing lights, he asks that you move over, too.

“This is our office on the side of the road,” he said. “Us guys and first responders all have families to go home to, so they want to see us every night.”

The goal is to help as many people as possible and as safely as possible.

“We work whatever it takes to get our call volume taken care of,” Agnew said. “We can’t leave people out there so we go until we’re done.”

Next time when you’re stranded and waiting for a tow truck, Agnew said know they’re working as hard as they can to get to you as fast as possible.

Copyright 2019 WDBJ7. All rights reserved.

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