A day in the life of a AAA tow truck driver during the busiest travel week of the year

Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 8:17 PM EST
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PERRYSBURG, Ohio (WTVG) - Thanksgiving is just days away, and that means travelers are hitting the roads and skies to visit family and friends.

Tow truck drivers help out many people on the roads, and AAA said those numbers go up during this busy travel week.

13abc rode around with Kelli Barnes, the lead tow truck driver for AAA’s Toledo fleet. She has been a driver for two years now and does everything herself. Barnes said she goes on seven to eight calls a day. She hooks up the broken-down car and hoists it onto her tow truck. It can be hard work, but Barnes loves her job.

“I like being able to be out and helping people. It makes you feel good that you can help somebody who is in need,” said Barnes. “We’ve all been stranded on the side of the road somewhere, and I like being the one to come and help them. It makes me feel good.”

It’s no surprise that this is one of the busiest times of year for AAA tow truck drivers. Barnes said she works many holidays.

“We’re usually pretty busy because people want to get their cars taken care of before they travel, or they are in the process of traveling and will get a flat tire or something will go wrong on the way,” said Barnes. “On the actual holidays, we’re always really slow.”

But for Barnes, working on holidays is worth it. She loves being able to help people, and it’s even sweeter on a holiday.

“I wouldn’t want to be stranded, especially on a holiday. I wouldn’t want to be stranded when I’m on my way to my mom’s house for Thanksgiving dinner and now I’m stuck on the side of the road and I have nobody to come pick me up,” said Barnes.

The call volume at AAA has already tripled over the past few days. Barnes said it is partly because of the cold weather last weekend and partly because of the busy travel holiday.

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