TONIGHT: ...more »
Making Money from Winter Weather
If all goes as planned, towing and plowing companies can make a fortune from your misfortune. They each stand to make thousands cleaning up snow and weather-related accidents. Of course, they'll also spend thousands on labor. But they've planned for that, and are ready to take on nights like this one.
From high in his tow truck, Shane McDermith has an ideal view of the troubled roadways. His first stop was a multi-car accident on I-55.
"It's a little bit crazy out here today," McDermith, who works for Shaner's Towing, said. "We knew it was coming. We got prepared the last couple days."
They prepared and waited. Even the most experienced drivers can be sidelined by bad weather.
"Anything can happen," Isaac Weitekamp, whose father was in an accident on Thursday, said. "He's been on the road for 50-something years and this is the first time he's flopped a vehicle."
While Shaner's Towing kept busy getting things right on the interstate, crews from Sexton Landscape Concepts were busy clearing parking lots for their customers.
"When it gets a snow like this, it gives about--we'll have about 15 people out working tonight and 10 plow trucks," Mark Sexton said. "So it helps everybody."
It costs between $200 and $250 to clear an average-sized parking lot. You may be less than overjoyed to see the snow, but tow and plow companies aren't sad to see it come in with a vengeance.
"It's great, you know?," McDermith said. "The last couple years we've missed it. It's bypassed us. We haven't got it and when we get these, when we get these, it's real great for us."
Shaner's towing gets slammed--from one call right to another. But the payday for his business and for others like Sexton Landscape is too big to miss.
"In the summertime it's regular work hours: 7 to 5," Sexton said. "And it's warm, but this is different."
While it could cost you a couple hundred dollars for plowing, towing typically starts at $50. But the cost really depends on what type of situation the wild, winter weather gets you into.