Daredevils jumping out of windows, snow piles galore and bone-chilling temperatures set the scene in Boston, Mass. The area has been hit with more than 90 inches of snow over the last month. While all that snow might be good for business, it makes traveling to the customer more difficult. “By having 42 locations, our techs don’t have to travel as far, which is one thing that has helped us a lot,” says Maureen Confalone, chief financial officer of Woburn, Mass.-based JN Phillips.
“It’s easier for customers to bring their vehicles to us,” she adds. “They might only have to drive five miles to us. The weather has been definitely challenging. We have had to pull techs off the road during a couple of snowy days. The snow banks are extremely high and challenging to see around. The stress level of people is up.”
It also safer for the technicians to work from the shop, she notes. If the weather gets too dangerous, companies such as JN Phillips keep the technicians off the roads.
“Mother nature helps business,” says Boston-based Nik Frye, vice president of sales for Auto Glass Fitters. “We’ve gotten about 90 inches. The snow is breaking windows, which is good for business.”
“We’ve been fairly busy,” notes Butch Rosales of Stuart’s Glass in Boston.
“I think it stinks,” says Gretchen Picken of Jackson Glass in Boston. “Travel has been ridiculous.”
For technicians and automotive glass company owners working in bitter temperatures doing replacements, there are some key things to keep in mind.
“In temperatures from 40 degrees to zero, use a product rated for the appropriate minimum drive away time to meet the customer’s needs. If you switch products to accommodate the colder temperatures, be sure to familiarize yourself with the necessary primers and procedures required and follow the adhesive manufacturer’s instructions exactly,” says Dale Malcolm of Dow who is an Auto Glass Safety Council Standards Committee member.
“Most glass cleaners contain some water and if applied to a below-freezing surface, ice can form that may not be visible. Clean and decontaminate glass in the shop if possible and transport it to the shop in an enclosed vehicle. … Many primers require extra time to dry to cure at lower temperatures, so know and follow the adhesive manufacturer’s procedures for working in colder temperatures,” says Malcolm.
If at all possible, take the vehicle in a heated area to work, Malcolm suggests.
The safety of the technician should always come first, he stresses. Technicians need to dress appropriately and time procedures to build in small warming breaks to avoid frostbite and maintain finger dexterity, Malcolm notes.