Auto shops across the Ozarks staying busy

Thanks to wintry weather & slick roads
Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 6:55 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Winter weather and slick roads go hand in hand across the Ozarks. Unfortunately, so do slippery roads and some accidents that can lead to a trip to an auto body shop. Before Sunday, Devin Wolansky, owner of Ozark Body Works, says his shop was staying busy enough.

“On a normal day, we generally take anywhere from five to ten cars at the absolute max,” says Wolansky. After the wintry weather moved in? “We’ve taken in 20 to 25 cars a day now. With that huge influx, there have just been tow trucks coming in one after another, dropping cars off.”

Wolansky says the work that must be done with many cars isn’t out of the ordinary.

“With slide-offs, it’s a lot of suspension damage,” Wolansky said. “We see a lot of cars sliding into curbs, stuff like that, and damage to the wheels, suspension, axles, bumpers, sides of vehicles. Unfortunately, with the suspension damage, it causes the vehicle to become undrivable.”

When it comes to the most significant issues Wolansky’s shop and others in the Ozarks face, the first is labor.

“There’s not a lot of people coming into the industry,” says Wolansky. “With the rate this area is growing, it’s hard to keep up with not many people coming into the industry. Our amazing technicians are working 12-hour days trying to keep up with the influx.”

The second challenge? Parts.

“With parts delays, manufacturing constraints, and delivery constraints, parts couldn’t be shipped out,” Wolansky states. “Plus, many of the parts warehouses around the country shut down for the past few days. That backlog will just keep pushing everything back before we get caught up.”

For consumers that have to get their cars to a shop for repair, Wolansky keeps it simple.

“Contact your local shop,” Wolansky says. “Contact your insurance to get everything going as soon as possible. Waiting will not speed up the process to get your vehicle in.”

Plus, Wolansky wants drivers to stay safe.

“If you don’t absolutely have to go out, don’t go out,” he says. “Otherwise, keep your distance from other vehicles and be defensive.”

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