Extreme cold slows down some work but keeps tow trucks busy

A tow driver for Bobby and Steve's works on a tire.

With quiet construction sites and not a soul on local rinks or school playgrounds that we could find, it's clear days like this are too cold for a lot of us. 

"Anything below 60 is too cold for me to tackle on my own, says David Wells.

Wells spent the morning dealing with a flat tire at his South Minneapolis home.

"Yeah it’s annoying and terrible when things go wrong," he said.

That’s why Wells called Bobby and Steve’s for help. Frankie Lopez knows these temps are too cold for plenty of cars. He’s spending his day going call-to-call for jump starts, lockouts, and tire changes. Lopez is careful to not let a job on the side of the road last more than a few minutes.

“It’s better safe than sorry. Just tow it and bring it to a shop,” says Lopez.

Dispatching for Bobby and Steve’s and AAA these crews handled roughly 250 calls by noon with 16 tow trucks.

"Could have used a lot more today," says supervisor Allee Landon, “it means a lot of extra work.”

Meanwhile, Hyland Hills didn’t open to skiers until 3 p.m. Thursday, mainly because a 300 student school group cancelled and full staffing didn’t make sense.

"It’ s just a lot of people to bring in to operate a ski area," says operations supervisor Andrew Berns. "Very little traffic when it comes to subzero for such a brief time."

At the Project 11 condo site, Ryan Companies says it’s business as usual for some work along the Mississippi River but not all.

No cement work Thursday and most of the major machinery is parked. Because anything beyond 10 below is too tough on heavy equipment.

"We have about 50 percent of our crew working today,” says Jim Gerres, senior superintendent. "We’re able to find things to do. We found a little sun over there. So we are building some formwork. And we do have heated areas. That’s a big thing. We do have heated areas where crews can warm up throughout the day."

Back on the road, Frankie is thankful for the heat in his driver’s seat and taking each call one at a time.

“Everyone just wants to go home after their shift," he concludes.