SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — A mild winter across the region has some businesses wanting more.
For area body shops, like Nu-Look Collision in Syracuse, winter is normally the busiest season. Cars fighting for grip on icy roads often ends in disaster, and that’s when body shops step in to help.
Jim Roberts is one of Nu-Look’s estimators (he’s the one who assesses a car’s damage and comes up with an estimate in price for repairs) and has been in the business for over 30 years. He emphasizes how important winter is for those in collision repair in this part of the country.
“Yeah, a snowstorm affects business almost 100 percent,” Roberts said. “We’ll come in the next day and we’ll have two or three on the hook–wreckers–and we’ll have three or four dropped already at our shop.”
Roberts pointed out that even the technicians who work on the cars peek at the upcoming weather to see what kind of a workload they can expect.
“[The body technicians] actually keep track of weather and all that because they’ve been slammed with work, and they can either see a break in that work or say ‘hey, we’re getting some bad weather again,'” Roberts said. “So they actually plan their weekends according to the weather.”
At a place like Nu-Look Collision, Roberts explains that sometimes a backlog from a snowstorm won’t clear for a week–maybe even two.
“Sometimes it could be upwards of a week before people iron out who’s responsible and where they’re going to get [their cars] fixed,” Roberts said. “All of the sudden a week [after] the accidents, you’ll see cars just streaming in here, and you’ll say to yourself ‘oh yeah that was that Wednesday where we had that ice storm.'”
With snow, freezing rain, and ultimately ice all in the forecast this week, body shops like Nu-Look are preparing for more work. Even though the increase in work helps the body shop’s bottom line, Roberts points out that his line of work is not devoid of emotion.
“Job security is our winter, and I mean that’s great for us,” Roberts said. “It really is, but we don’t like to see it. Some people, this is their first accident–their first loss–and you really empathize; you really feel for them.”
AAA has tips posted on its website for how to handle driving in the snow and in icy conditions so you can avoid scheduling an appointment for repairs at an area body shop.