Team Truckers Hauling FEMA Relief Supplies Get the Boot in Walmart Parking Lot
West Valley City, UT – A husband-wife owner-operator team hauling Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) relief loads amid the COVID-19 pandemic received an unwelcomed surprise early Thursday morning when their truck was booted in a Walmart parking lot.
Angela Schmidt, of Deltona, FL, took to social media Thursday to express her frustration with the Salt Lake City tow company “Ready Set Tow” and the $300 charge she incurred.
According to Angela, she and her husband, Chris, were delivering a FEMA load right outside of Salt Lake City on Wednesday.
“The load took six or seven hours to unload,” Angela told Transportation Nation Network (TNN).
She said she and Chris detached from the trailer and drove around the area a bit while they were waiting.
They noted several truck stops nearby, as well as a Walmart Supercenter.
Once they were able to pick up their trailer, it was close to 10 p.m. and all the truck stops in the area were already full for the night.
“We called around and nobody had [parking available],” she said.
That’s when she remembered the Walmart they had passed earlier.
Angela called and learned the Walmart was on modified hours due to COVID-19 concerns and had closed at 8:30 p.m.
She recalled seeing several of the retail giant’s locations welcoming truckers to park if they were hauling essential loads, so she and Chris drove through the snow into the empty Walmart parking lot.
They parked in a far corner and decided to get some rest for the night before making another relief load run the following day.
At 5 a.m., they were suddenly awakened to the sound of an airhorn going off outside their truck.
“They were blaring the airhorn to wake us up!” Angela recounted to TNN.
Once Angela and Chris rolled down the window, they were notified their truck had been booted… not once, but twice.
Ready Set Tow had placed a chain boot on the front of the tractor and another on the trailer — each boot coming with a removal fee of $150.
“I understand it was our fault, but with Walmart stating they are helping in this crisis, I would think the tow company should show a little consideration,” she commented.
She asserts the least they could have done was wake them up and give them an opportunity to move their rig out of the empty parking lot.
Chris, a 25-year trucking veteran, believes booting their rig twice was excessive, calling it both “extortion and blackmail.”
As owner-operators, they said they had “no choice” but to pay the $300 fee, otherwise they were looking at upwards of $1,000 for the rig to be towed.
Also on Thursday night, a trucker in Charlotte, NC, was threatened with an $8,000 towing and recovery charge if his carrier did not cough up more than $3,000 to remove a truck boot.
Read this unbelievable story HERE.