Winter storm keeps central Nebraska tow truck drivers busy

Local4 News at 5
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 11:06 PM CST
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - When the snow shut down I-80 and Highway 30, most calls to towing companies came from emergency responders. At the same time, some tow truck drivers even had to pull cars out of other roads that were already when defiant drivers tried using them.

As far as gearing up for this last blast of winter, one towing company says nothing really changed.

“Just turnaround and make sure that our trucks have fuel, they’re greased, and ready to go,” said Lisa Bartz, co-owner of Kramer’s Wrecker Service. “We make sure all the chains, straps, and everything are good. We do that weekly, anyway.”

Although some people put themselves in danger, Bartz says they don’t get a lot of calls from locals but they are still taking them. On top of that, some of them can be a bit dicey.

“There was a van that was in the middle of like 299 mile marker, center of the road,” said Bartz. “And it took my guy a while to get there because of the conditions. They finally got him loaded it up, and they have to get out of the way so that the snow plows can do their job to clear the Interstate.”

At one point, some of her drivers found themselves stuck in their rigs.

Bartz says a maintainer also had to assist vehicles that were stuck on Highway 30. Even with two of their trucks getting stuck, she says they still have plenty of resources to get through any storm.

“We have like four large wreckers and we have a medium duty. We also have flat beds. We have a lot of trucks and I have enough guys.”

As messy as it was, this wasn’t the worst snow storm she’s encountered. She recalled a snow storm from years ago that forced the sheriff’s office to use snowmobiles to get people out of harm’s way.