Lance Burda has been in the towing business for 20 years. He owns Burda’s Towing which has seven locations in the West Metro.
“There were three of us scheduled tomorrow that were planned, but I’m just sending the message out to the guys that if this freezing rain that they are talking, just trying to see who is available and who can come in,” Burda says.
According to AAA 2016 holiday travel numbers, a record number of travelers are expected on roadways nationwide during the holiday season.
“It can go from nothing to absolute chaos in a matter of moments when that weather moves in,” Burda says.
MnDOT also says it has plans to shift to its storm schedule, which is two 12 hour shifts, to keep roads salted and sanded if need be.
MnDOT spokesman Kevin Gutknecht says despite the holiday weekend, they will have drivers on call in the case more are needed on roadways statewide.
Tow truck drivers stay busy around the clock when things get slippery out on the roads.
Some local counties saw accidents in the double-digits in one night.
“We pretty much covered everything this weekend,” says Jeremy Akin, owner of W&W Auto Parts in Roscommon.
Black ice and freezing rain don’t stop for Christmas.
Drivers found themselves in slick conditions and tow trucks answer the call.
“From just typical slide-offs into the ditch, we had some rollovers,” Akin says. “We’ve had a lot more accidents this year compared to years’ past.”
Akin says they saw around 10 accidents in a short time.
One accident brought them close to the action on I-75…
“We were on the side of the road, winching a car out of the ditch and a motorist was traveling and overreacted and ended up spinning out, going into the ditch,” Akin says.
Other counties saw their share of accidents, too.
Some remnants linger from last night’s conditions in Wexford County.
“I dealt with some winch-outs, where people had slid off the road, into the ditch,” says Bob Dull, tow truck driver for Peterson’s Towing in Cadillac. “I had one out on US-131 that went down into the big ditch south of the rest area.”
Tow truck drivers like Bob Dull say the factors causing these accidents were mostly the same…
“Most of the time that we go to a call involving a car in the ditch, it’s speed that has put them there,” Dull says. “People not paying attention, texting, talking on their phone.”
“Keep the cruise control off because it’s going to cause you to spin out,” Akin says.
…And when you see the yellow lights, move over.
“We’re out there trying to do a job and make it safe for everybody else,” Dull says. “Scooch over a little bit.”
Both companies say keeping your tires and windshield wipers in good shape is also key to safely traveling on slick roads.
An odd pursuit between stolen tow truck “wrecker” and the California Highway Patrol took a bizarre route early Tuesday morning, from San Leandro across the Bay Bridge down the Peninsula, ending with a foot chase and a suspect in custody.
Moses Miller, 24, of San Leandro was taken into custody, and was unavailable for immediate comment. As for a motive? San Leandro police said his car was impounded by another police agency on Monday and taken to San Leandro Tow.
San Leandro first began chasing a suspect, now identified as Miller, who had busted through a fence with a stolen tow truck from at 3:21 a.m., according to the CHP Golden Gate Division.
But the driver wouldn’t stop, the CHP said, and officers from Oakland and San Francisco, along with helicopters, began to follow him.
Odd Stolen Tow Truck Chase From San Leandro, Over Bay Bridge, to BrisbaneAn odd pursuit between a tow truck with a stolen vehicle warrant and the California Highway Patrol took the drivers from San Leandro across the Bay Bridge down the Peninsula on Tuesday morning, ending with a foot chase and a suspect in custody. Bob Redell reports. (Published Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016)
Miller allegedly drove from the East Bay to San Francisco over the Bay Bridge, which was caught on video, where officers started following at Treasure Island.
As the tow truck was traveling on the South Van Ness onramp to southbound US Highway 101, the suspect stopped the truck and reversed it into a CHP car, causing moderate damage, the agency said.
At that point, the driver hopped onto southbound US Highway 101 and headed down to Brisbane at Serra Point Parkway at 50 mph, the CHP said. He hopped out at a center median, the CHP said, and then ran across the highway into a nearby business parking lot.
The CHP arrested Milller at that point. San Leandro police said that Miller had snuck into the tow yard after hours and took a tow truck that had its keys in the ignition and crash through the fence. Police say he then wanted to leave in his own vehicle. But employees heard the crash, San Leandro police said, and scared him before he could get his own car back, prompting him to take off in the tow truck.
REDWOOD CITY, CA – A man who allegedly stole a tow truck from San Leandro and led authorities on a chase across the Bay before being arrested early Tuesday morning pleaded not guilty in San Mateo County Superior Court to all charges Thursday, prosecutors said.
Moses Miller, 24, of San Leandro, is scheduled to appear in court again in Redwood City on Jan. 6 for a preliminary hearing.
Miller is accused of assaulting a police officer with a deadly weapon, recklessly evading a police officer and auto theft, among other offenses.
His escapade began just after midnight on Tuesday when he allegedly crashed his truck and it was taken to a San Leandro tow yard, San Mateo County prosecutors said.
Three hours later, Miller turned up at the tow yard and when he was confronted at 3:21 a.m., he allegedly got into a tow truck and drove through a fence, prosecutors said.
San Leandro police spotted him and started to chase him. About 10 minutes later, California Highway Patrol officers took over the chase, CHP officials said.
Miller allegedly led officers through city streets, onto Interstate Highway 580, then onto Interstate Highway 80 and the Bay Bridge.
More than once, Miller allegedly crashed into or tried to crash into an occupied CHP vehicle, prosecutors said. All of the officers escaped injury.
Miller allegedly left Highway 80 and drove onto San Francisco city streets before getting onto southbound U.S. Highway 101. The pursuit ended in Brisbane, CHP officials said.
Miller allegedly got out of the truck and ran, but officers were able to apprehend him after a brief foot chase.
Prosecutors said Miller appeared to be under the influence of drugs. Tests to confirm that were not immediately available, according to the district attorney’s office.
Miller remains in custody on $500,000 bail. An attorney representing Miller through the San Mateo County Private Defender Program could not be reached for comment.
Becker Bros. Towing is a family owned company that has proudly served the Kitchener community and beyond for the past 29 years. As each year has passed, the company’s fleet has grown and so has its list of services.
One of the services that Becker Bros. offers is specialized towing, including flatbed tow trucks with ramp systems. The company also provides enclosed car trailers; if you require one, make sure to call 24 hours ahead of time.
Flatbed towing with the ramp or the enclosed trailer is usually used to transport race cars, show cars, lowered cars, restored cars, motorcycles, snowmobiles or all-terrain vehicles.
Becker Bros. Towing also provides roll-off towing as well as tilt-and-load towing. These trucks are able to load from dock level and ground level. Their roll-off decks lay flat to the ground so that machinery can drive onto them and be secured properly.
Their tilt-and-load trucks have decks that can slide backwards and then tilt to the ground. They are equipped with a winch and can pull machinery onto the bed of the truck.
Those who commonly use these services normally load forklifts, lift trucks, reach trucks, order pickers, zoom booms, scissor lifts, small backhoes, small bulldozers and other small construction equipment.