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

Ecologist Tony Blake was among several dozen area residents who participated in Tuesday’s public hearing on the future Molly Banister Drive extension. Blake argued for preserving trail connectedness and the wildlife corridor. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
Molly Banister road extension stays

A nearly nine-hour public hearing ends with a 5-3 vote for keeping the road alignment

A server wears a mask at a restaurant, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Health officials receive thousands of COVID-related complaints

About 800 to 1,000 people call health officials weekly

Shaun Janse van Rensburg, a Red Deer resident, said he is tired of changing clocks twice a year. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff
After COVID, Kenney may consider referendum on daylight savings

Albertans may be divided on several issues today, but there’s a consensus… Continue reading

The COVID-19 death toll in Alberta reached 309, according to numbers posted on the province’s website Tuesday. (Image courtesy CDC)
Another 422 COVID cases reported in Alberta and two more deaths

The Alberta government reported 422 COVID-19 cases Tuesday and two more virus… Continue reading

test tube with the blood test is on the table next to the documents. Positive test for coronavirus covid-19. The concept of fighting a dangerous Chinese disease.
COVID-19 death toll verges on 10,000 as second wave continues to surge

Nearly 10,000 Canadians have died due to COVID-19, a mark of the… Continue reading

Alice Kolisnyk, deputy director of the Red Deer Food Bank, says the agency expects an increase in demand as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Every new subscription to the Red Deer Advocate includes a $50 donation to the food bank. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Support the food bank with a subscription to the Red Deer Advocate

The community’s most vulnerable members are always in need of a hand,… Continue reading

Los Angeles Dodgers' Mookie Betts celebrates after a home run against the Tampa Bay Rays during the eighth inning in Game 6 of the baseball World Series Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Best Betts: Dodgers win first World Series title since 1988

Best Betts: Dodgers win first World Series title since 1988

Wade Sira is shown in a handout photo. Sira, the leader of Saskatchewan's pro-independence Buffalo Party, says he's extremely happy with last night's provincial election results, even though no candidates clinched a seat.THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Wade Sira MANDATORY CREDIT
Buffalo Party’s strong showing in Saskatchewan vote a warning to Moe: experts

Buffalo Party’s strong showing in Saskatchewan vote a warning to Moe: experts

FILE - In this Sept. 28, 2019, file photo, Christian Coleman, of the United States, celebrates after crossing the line to win the gold medal in men's 100 meter final at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar. (AP Photo/Nick Didlick)
World champion Coleman banned 2 yrs; to miss Tokyo Olympics

World champion Coleman banned 2 yrs; to miss Tokyo Olympics

Saskatchewan Roughriders kicker Brett Lauther returns to the sideline after missing his fourth field goal attempt during second half CFL action against the Edmonton Eskimos, in Regina, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019.  It's been a very difficult year for a number of kickers this year in the NFL, but CFL veteran Lauther continues to wait for his opportunity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Taylor
Former Riders kicker Brett Lauther patiently awaiting opportunity to kick in the NFL

Former Riders kicker Brett Lauther patiently awaiting opportunity to kick in the NFL

Nashville SC midfielder Randall Leal, left, is congratulated by Alex Muyl after scoring a goal during the first half of the team's MLS soccer match against the Montreal Impact, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Harrison, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Willis gets MLS-leading 9th shutout, Nashville tops Montreal

Willis gets MLS-leading 9th shutout, Nashville tops Montreal

Kansas City mayor, star quarterback want Raptors to make Missouri temporary home

Kansas City mayor, star quarterback want Raptors to make Missouri temporary home

Djokovic, Thiem advance after slow starts in Vienna openers

Djokovic, Thiem advance after slow starts in Vienna openers

Most Read