Tow truck drivers getting slammed with pick-ups - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Tow truck drivers getting slammed with pick-ups

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Drivers across Michiana have been told not to drive unless they absolutely have to.

Some drivers can not drive because their car won't start or it is stuck. When that happens, people are calling for the tow truck.

Hamilton Towing has been getting calls since 6:00 a.m. Monday morning, and the calls continued into Tuesday.

It's been one driver after the other needing help. Whether it be a stalled vehicle, or an accident.

Rick Hamilton says his company does about ten tows on a normal day, but the numbers are going through the roof because of the deep freeze.

Hamilton says, "We'll do about 16 before 5:00 per driver. People are sliding into banks, they can't stop. And that's what we're running into right now. That's the kind of accidents that are occurring."

If you do the math for Monday and Tuesday's totals, Rick's got six drivers, times 16 tows each, that works out to nearly 100 pickups per day.

More and more people are calling about picking up their cars that won't start. So many, it's forced Hamilton to prioritize.

Hamilton says his drivers work 16 hour shifts, but can only drive for 10 hours a day because of laws from the Department of Transportation.

In the time FOX28 spent with Hamilton, he picked up two vehicles, both stalled cars. Both were brought to a dealership.

Each call Rick goes on takes a good bit of time. "The drive time is double now, so you're looking at about an hour and a half," says Hamilton.

Driving and pickup times can take even longer if Hamilton gets called away to help police.

His drivers have to drop what they're doing to respond to emergencies. Most emergencies right now are car accidents and cars that have been left on the road that could pose a problem for other drivers.

"Those are number one priority," says Hamilton. "Even if you're on another call, you've got to stop what you're doing, and then you have to go right away on the police call," he says.

Rick doesn't expect things to slow down anytime soon. He'll have at least one driver working overnights until the deep freeze is over.

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