Traverse City Delivery Drivers Brace Themselves For Working In Freezing Conditions

“When the weather gets bad, we get busy.”

Delivery drivers are braving the elements, no matter how cold it gets.

The sub-zero conditions drive most people indoors where it’s warm.

That’s when delivery drivers usually see an uptick in calls and run in the other direction.

“It’s just hard to look out for other cars in the snow, especially when the visibility is really bad,” says Tim Tallman, a delivery driver for B.C. Pizza in Traverse City.

Tim might have started delivering pies for B.C. Pizza a month ago but he’s been driving through Michigan winters for years.

Still, the blistering wind is not making his job any easier.

“I’ve been driving in the winter since I was 17,” Tallman says. “I get less nervous about the older I get, but I guess I just try to stay calm and focused.”

He says preparing an order in a hurry is one thing, crawling through slippery, whiteout conditions is another.

Even then, he might have to wait.

“That’s hard because some people aren’t at the door right away, so you have to wait two, three minutes outside in this,” Tallman says. “When you are in that really cold spot, waiting for someone to open the door, it can get rough.”

“The worse the weather is, the more deliveries we’re doing, honestly, because who wants to go out in this?” says Angie O’Mara, general manager and owner of the Traverse City B.C. Pizza.

Angie says Mother Nature chose a tough night to ice over roads her drivers are forced to travel.

“It’s our busiest night, anyway, and so when you put, you know, combine it with bad weather, we’re just hopping all night,” O’Mara says. “I just make sure and let everybody know to come early, leave early, get where you are going early. I give extra-long delivery times for people so that my drivers are never feeling rushed.

Both Tim and Angie ask for patience — your food is coming, no matter how bad the weather gets.

“We’re used to it,” O’Mara says. “We expect to be here and we expect to make sure people get their pizza.”

“They don’t have to think about me at all,” Tallman says. “This food service, but it is, like, a little tiny role of society. You need delivery drivers to deliver people food, almost.”