Let It Snow: Epic Cold Winter Continues to Drive AGRR Demand

Though the first day of Spring is just days away on March 20, many of us would not know it by looking outside our windows today. From Northern Texas to Tennessee and New England, the ongoing snow blasts continue. Yet again, the Federal Government in Washington, D.C., is closed, and Philadelphia is experiencing the worst winter in more than 100 years. All this means good news for AGRR companies, if their team can get into the office.

“If they get the snowfall expected today, they will officially have the most snowfall in a season since 1872. Normally they get 20 inches in a year, this year they are well above 60 inches,” says Kay Jacobsen, a Glass Doctor franchise consultant based out of Connecticut.

Traffic and weather is so bad that the Pennsylvania Turnpike, near Philadelphia, had a pile-up of more than 100 vehicles due to weather conditions.

“Right now my deck has at least two feet of snow on it. When I attempt to get out of my street, I cannot see if there are cars coming in either direction until I have the front of my car out into the street. We got a break in the storm today. The extremely cold air kept the storm about 15 miles to the south of us. Our New Jersey locations have suffered greatly because of the extreme snowfall and the extreme cold. Our weather today is 20 degrees below normal,” she adds.

However, demand for AGRR services might take a while to be realized after all the bad weather.

“Many potential customers are delaying work until the weather improves. Auto customers are not scheduling because they are afraid they may have additional breakage to glass and don’t want to have the job done twice. Also, they don’t want to leave their homes to come to us because of hazardous road conditions,” Jacobsen explains. 

Meanwhile, Michael Woods  of Ed & Son’s Glass Shop based in Maple Shade, N.J., says, “Our technicians have responded well to each immediate situation that the days and weather brought. The storms brought a major increase in glass repair and replacement in the automotive and trucking industry. This has led to overall improvement through 2014 due the many road hazards that have become present during and after extreme weather conditions.”

Northern Texas was just hit by an ice storm and citizens are recovering.

“Texas and Oklahoma has had one roller coaster ride of weather. One day it was literally 81 degrees and the next 18 degrees. However, this has not kept one of my franchisees closed for even one day.  In fact, my franchisee in Brady, Texas, was installing on a day where sleet, ice and snow was everywhere,” says Jamie Alberti-Reeder, a Glass Doctor franchise consultant based in Dallas.

In Wisconsin, one Glass Doctor franchisee had to close for six days this winter due to bad weather.

If trying to do a replacement in the snow, most of the professionals agree there is some simple advice.

“Try and get the vehicle to come in the office. Make sure you are dressed for the occasion. Use the appropriate urethane for the weather–cold weather products. (Dow and Sika both have them). Remember, safe driveaway time means safe. Don’t exceed the directions when it comes to weather,” notes Mark Liston, president of Glass Doctor.

“[During the storms,] we strive to either get vehicles into one of our three shops or make sure the customer has adequate shelter,” says Eric Solland, manager of Indianhead Glass in Saint Croix Falls, Wis. “If they are close enough to one of our locations, we pick them up and deliver the vehicle at no charge. Obviously, productivity is adversely affected in extreme weather, but we were more concerned about the quality of the replacement so we didn’t mind the extra time and effort to do a good job.”

This article is from glassBYTEs™, the free e-newsletter that covers the latest auto glass industry news. Click HERE to sign up—there is no charge. Interested in a deeper dive? Free subscriptions to Auto Glass Repair and Replacement (AGRR) magazine in print or digital format are available. Subscribe at no charge HERE.

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