Alberta Motor Association is working on its backlog of customers following Alberta’s extreme cold weather, in a Jan. 20, 2020 story. (Photo contributed)

Alberta Motor Association addressing vehicle backlog

Tow truck drivers worked around the clock in Red Deer

Alberta Motor Association is still playing catch up after getting more than 60,000 calls from Albertans needing help with dead vehicle batteries, flat tires and break-downs last week.

AMA Supervisor Brandon Klassen said at the peak of the cold, customers at home were waiting up to 48 hours for service, but those on the highway, or in a dangerous situation with no safe place to go, saw a tow truck within two hours.

“Safety always remains our top priority. Our teams in Red Deer have been working around the clock and doing a really good job managing those priorities and making sure people were safe,” Klassen said.

“Right now we’re currently quoting eight hours for towing, and four hours for light service which is like boosting, unlocking and flat tires,” Klassen said Monday morning.

Last week, overall call volume was 6.5 times the winter norm, and 65 per cent were battery-related calls.

Related:

Vehicles won’t start: Central Alberta tow truck company busy

Red Deer one of coldest places on planet Tuesday morning

Klassen said even if a vehicle started, driving only 10 or 20 minutes a day around Red Deer during the extreme cold was not enough for an alternator to maintain a battery.

He advised people also have their batteries tested, plug in vehicles for four hours if it dips below -15 C, and call a professional if vehicles need a boost.

“If a battery ends up freezing because it has no voltage, it could cause an explosion in the battery if you attempt to boost it.”

He said an improper boost can cause an electrical surge throughout the charging system which can have expensive consequences for vehicles with sophisticated electronics.

AMA works with Key Towing in Red Deer, and a light-service contractor, in addition to having an AMA fleet light-service battery truck. Service providers in nearby communities can be called to help out, but the cold snap was province-wide and there were no extra resources available anywhere, Klassen said.

“It was all hands on deck. Trucks were running 24 hours a day,”

He said members did have the option of calling a non-AMA service provider. AMA will reimburse a minimum of 50 per cent of the cost based on their membership level. Receipts are required within 30 days.

AMA’s tips for staying safe during cold weather include: ensure tires are properly inflated; always carry an emergency kit; consider alternate transportation until a battery test is completed, or new battery is installed, if there is any doubt about a battery’s health; keep gas tanks at least half full and consider using gas-line antifreeze; maintain a safe following distance while driving on icy or snowy roads.



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Vehicles

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Company walks away from massive oilsands project

VANCOUVER — Teck Resources Ltd. has withdrawn its application for a massive… Continue reading

Fort Macleod, Alta., to get special advance screening of new ‘Ghostbusters’ film

There will be something strange in the neighbourhood of Fort Macleod, Alta.,… Continue reading

Hundreds turn up at Coldest Night of Year walk in Red Deer

It wasn’t the coldest night of the year, which probably helped the… Continue reading

Police in Saskatoon shoot two dogs that attacked man, then advanced on officers

SASKATOON — Police in Saskatoon say officers had to open fire at… Continue reading

Alberta and two First Nations make deal for proposed oilsands mine

EDMONTON — The Alberta government has struck deals with two northern Alberta… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: The 8 best quality online stores! Shop the ultimate sales

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Feb. 19 A Liberation of Holland event is being held at the… Continue reading

Sylvan Lake Wranglers comeback to nab OT win in Game 2 over Red Deer Vipers

The Sylvan Lake Wranglers have a knack for the dramatics early in… Continue reading

Wranglers win wild Game 1 double OT thriller over Red Deer Vipers

The best-of-seven series continues Sunday in Sylvan Lake

Kings and Queens basketball triumph over Ambrose, keep playoff hopes alive

Guard Sandra Garica-Bernal sets new Queens all-time steals mark

Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week

TORONTO — Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world… Continue reading

View of a longtime economist: Slower growth but no recession

WASHINGTON — In this high-profile election year, the U.S. economy boasts an… Continue reading

Amy, chasing: Klobuchar, already beating odds, faces uphill climb

WASHINGTON — It’s been a running gag ever since she launched her… Continue reading

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s attorney general hopes an inquiry into money laundering… Continue reading

Most Read