SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — With cold and icy weather lingering in the area for the next few days, the county is trying to clear roads while tow operators get people off of them.
The Greene County Highway Department is tasked with keeping 1,200 miles of road drivable outside Springfield, but they are trying to do it with a shortage of drivers.
Western District Supervisor Jeff Deckard says even if four people were putting down salt or plowing snow off the roads, it could help.
“We’re just short on those truck drivers. This week and possibly this weekend we’re facing some challenges with the predicted weather coming in. Being shorthanded a little bit, makes it a little more challenging,” Deckard says.
Right now, the drivers they do have must pick up the slack.
“Each driver has a designated route, and if we’re short one or two drivers, another driver would have to do their area, plus go over and cover another area for a missing driver,” Deckard says.
As maintenance crews work to clear icy roads, tow truck drivers have been swamped getting people off of them.
Sean Holden is one of several drivers out hustling from one call to the next for Affordable Towing.
“I know at 11 yesterday morning on the radio, there were 27 wrecks in Springfield at that time. That’s when they called me to tow. We went until 1:30 last night, and been towing all day today,” Holden says.
Owner Dennis Cleveland says they have dozens of drivers on-call for situations that call for extra help.
“267 calls we did yesterday. And we have a large fleet but even at that, we were really busy. We’ve got bus drivers, old retired truck drivers, all the mechanics jumped out of the shop, car salesmen jumped out of their cars,” says Cleveland.
Holden, usually a mechanic at Affordable Towing, switched roles for the last couple of days.
“That’s the key right there. All hands on deck. Whether you’re a mechanic, salesman, building houses. If you’ve got a license and can drive, the last two days you’ve been driving,” Holden says.
Meanwhile. Greene County is looking for people who have a CDL to apply for a position.
To visit their website and see their job listings, click here.