A snowless December hurts local towing business

Posted at 11:38 PM, Dec 28, 2014

MUSKEGON, Mich. – After the heavy snowfall left some drivers waiting on tow trucks for hours in November, some companies say the lack of snow this December is hurting their cash-flow.

Since December, owner of Eagle Towing Andrew Heykoop told FOX17 that their towing rate has been cut in half.

For Heykoop, December usually is snow-filled with dodging dangerous accidents while working on the side of the road. Heykoop has caught some of his close-calls on camera, including a semi-truck that jack-knifed, then slid off the highway just yards ahead of him.

“One of the worst ones was where I was pinned in between the truck and the vehicle changing the tire,” said Heykoop.

Without much snow this winter, Heykoop said Eagle Towing’s workload has been slashed from about 50 calls per day this November to about 20 calls daily now. To a point, Heykoop appreciates the slowness.

“I don’t like high pace, I’ve done it too long: stuff breaks, people get hurt,” said Heykoop.

Yet at the same time, unexpected expenses and less calls tighten their paychecks.

Heykoop said one of their trucks is out for repair for its engine’s turbo component. That repair costs the company $2,000, which dips into the usual $30,000 Heykoop said Eagle Towing spends annually on parts and maintenance.

“More volume, more cash-flow equals a lot easier time to fix stuff than a time right now, slow-going after the holidays,” said Heykoop.

Although it’s an unusually slow December, Eagle Towing expects to balance their budget throughout the remainder of this winter.