Local News

Tow truck demand eases after winter storm

12-hour shifts common for drivers

Tow Truck Demand Eases

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Area tow truck companies got some relief Saturday from attending to crashed, stuck or broken-down vehicles after Wednesday's storm.

Mark Ruiz of Knob Hill Towing in Colorado Springs said he worked 12-hour shifts in the aftermath of the storm but is needed less once drivers get used to road conditions.

When your job requires you to stay outside in near-zero temperatures, crawl under vehicles on snowy ground and hold chains that can freeze to your hands, it's a job you have to love -- and Ruiz does.

"I love helping people in their time of need," he said.  "That's why I got into it."

Ruiz also worked the on-call shift, which allows him to go home at night but can send him out at a moment's notice.  But he doesn't mind long hours because the job pays well and helps him support his family.

The most challenging aspect of towing, Ruiz said, is keeping his truck under control on slippery streets so he doesn't need a tow himself.

"Our vehicles are 3 to 4 times heavier than your average vehicle," he said.  "That presents challenges going uphill and downhill."

Ruiz said Wednesday's storm produced a powdery snow, giving drivers more traction than a storm that brings more ice.

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