Cold snap put pressure on local business


Stranded motorists had to wait longer to be towed

The cold snap over the Christmas period put huge pressure on local towing company Torrock Towing.

Owner-operator Judy Schlichenmayer says it was stressful, but that’s just part of the business.

“We’re very busy. It’s extended our wait hours, our wait times,” she said.

Schlichenmayer said the cold snap, which plunged temperatures down into the -30 range including wind chill, shut down vehicles all over the province. As a result, the Alberta Motor Association (AMA), which works with towing companies was deluged with calls.

“They’ve got so many extra calls coming in and they actually encourage their members to call us directly,” Schlichenmayer said.

“We did have an incident the other day where a poor fellow was out on the highway for over three hours before we even got the call from dispatch, so that’s why they’re saying ‘well, call directly,’ because they’re inundated.”

Schlichenmayer said Torrock picked up the man and towed his vehicle to Calgary. She was told the man was OK, but she didn’t know the details.

Schlichenmayer said when cold snaps occur, Torrock can’t hire any more staff, including tow truck operators. The existing three staff members just have to cope with the increased volume as best they can.

“AMA has got certain criteria that we need (to meet). We just can’t keep people hanging around just because they might need them,” she said, adding Torrock has two drivers and one dispatch operator.

Schlichenmayer said staff worked longer hours than normal during the Christmastime cold snap but she couldn’t say how long. She said they responded to calls when needed and took advantage of downtime in between those calls.

She said the situation was stressful, but “it’s the type of business where we’re used to that kind of stuff.”

“It’s the type of business where we’re used to that kind of stuff.”


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The Olds Albertan has been the source for news and community information in Olds and area since 1993.