Snow and ice keep tow trucks, body shops busy


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)- When ice and snow are on the roads, it means lots of cars will be crammed inside Columbus Auto Body in New Haven, waiting to get repaired. More storms mean more fender benders, and as busy as shop owner Vin DiLauro is now, he thinks he’ll be even busier in a few weeks.

“We’re going to have, basically, I think, a very busy spring in our business,” DiLauro explained. “People are going to wait until winter goes away and then decide to have repairs done at that time.”

His family has been in this business for decades and he counts this as one of the coldest, and busiest, winters he’s seen. Now that we’re into March, he sais he has seen enough of this winter.

“When you get the wind, you get the ice, you get the cold, it makes it difficult,” DiLauro said. “It’s difficult for us, too because we have to get to work. Our people have to get to work for us to provide the service that we would normally do.”

Columbus Auto Body does more than just auto body repair, it also have a towing division. Even though those guys have to go out in these elements, we found one tow truck operator, Noel Colon, who actually likes this weather.”

“I love the adrenaline and I hope it keeps snowing,” explained Colon.

Of course, Colon is regularly called on to rescue drivers who get stranded by the weather, but there are other winter towing needs, too. Remember New Haven’s efforts to clear snow off the streets, and the parking bans that went along with them? That kept him busy, too.

“Always on the road, working 12, 14 hour days,” he said, smiling.

He likes the money, but most of his co-workers, and even the tow trucks, have had it with winter. Vin’s daughter Jennifer runs the towing division. She’s not smiling nearly as much as her driver.

“We definitely have picked up, but it also makes things more difficult,” Jennifer said. “The wear and tear on the equipment, obviously the salt and the snow isn’t good for the metal and the hydraulics.”

Salt and snow isn’t all that good for your car either, but what’s worse is getting into an accident. Just about everyone would be okay if no one needed a tow truck for a while.

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