DOT Help Trucks keep busy as temperatures rise

Courtesy: NMDOT

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – With temperatures on the rise as we inch closer to the start of summer, those Department of Transportation Help Trucks you see cruising up and down the Interstate are especially busy.

KRQE News 13 crews road along with Kevin Baca, a help truck driver of more than 10 years.

“I believe we do about 200 calls a week,” Baca said, “Eight hundred to a thousand in a month.”

Patrolling I-25 and I-40 every day, he and four others drivers on two shifts typically help drivers with car troubles.

Baca also occasionally backs up law enforcement.

He’s seen everything you can imagine, from naked drivers to horses loose on the Interstate.

“My thing out there that I like to tell the new drivers is, if you think you’ve seen it all, you haven’t,” he said.

The summer time is especially busy for the DOT Help Truck drivers.

Baca says all too often, people use water instead of Antifreeze, which is a big mistake.

“Water doesn’t do a very good job at cooling down a vehicle. So they overheat on the side of the road,” he said, adding, “We get a lot of flat tires in the summer time because you know, the asphalt’s already 130 degrees, you’re running a hot tire on that. The tire explodes.”

There’s plenty to keep Baca and his coworkers driving all around the Albuquerque area.

It’s a dangerous job, but someone has to do it.

“I’ve been hit three times. School bus, tow truck and a motorist,” he recounted.

Baca says other than summer, the start of the school year and winter are also particularly busy seasons.

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