How deadly is it being a tow truck operator?


The life of a AAA worker.

“It is always an experience,” says Ryan Schiefelbein. “It is something new every time, a fantastic opportunity.”

Schiefelbein spent part of the day towing a white Ford Escape. 

“It could be an alternator or battery issue,” he says.

From the safety of the Beacon parking lot, it made the call pretty easy.

“Main thing is making sure members are safe,” he says. “I don’t think think a lot of the public realizes what we go through on a daily basis and what we are subjected to.”

On the side of street, it is a much different story.

“We put our lives on the line for members, and the public on a daily basis,” he says.

At times, Schiefelbein is feet away from traffic where there are plenty of close calls.

“I have had a few,” he says.

His fleet manager says every six days a tow truck operator dies. He says that is about 60 per year.

“It humbles you,” he says.

“At the end of the day, you go home and you cherish things that you have and you come back and do it with a smile on your face every day,” he says.

Schiefelbein’s boss gets it. He understands just how dangerous the job is, and Tuesday’s weather doesn’t help.

“That can quickly end in tragedy,” he says.

They ask the public one thing when you see them out working.

“Just be patient with us and slow down, a little bit. When you see our lights on, move over and give us a little space,” he says.

AAA wants to remind Kansans is a Move Over State, meaning it is state law that you move over for tow trucks and first responders.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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