Fred Hollingsworth, owner of Harford Towing in Bel Air, probably spoke for all tow truck operators in yesterday's storm: "We were as busy as a one-armed paper hanger with fleas."
Hollingsworth and other operators said the workload can more than double during a heavy snowstorm.
"The towing industry in this area pretty much depends on a couple of these incidents [snowstorms] to help keep us in the black," said David Williams, owner of Pike Way Towing in Parkville.
Tow company operators were reluctant to let on about how profitable it can be. Hollingsworth said he charges about an extra $5 a tow.
But what may be profitable also can be dangerous. Joseph Linhard, owner of Linhard's Towing in Cockeysville, said he calls in his trucks when the roads get too bad.
Said Williams, "You learn how to hurdle a jersey wall real well."
One tow truck operator for Alt's Towing in Westminster, responding to a call in a housing development, left a woman stranded on a hill that hadn't been plowed. "He didn't try because he did her last year and got stuck in four-wheel drive," said Nancy Alt. The hill looked even worse this year, Alt said.