Profiting Off Winter Storms

Published 11/25 2013 10:09PM

Updated 11/25 2013 10:44PM

With the bad weather and icy roads, car accidents were common this weekend. While drivers involved reached into their wallets to pay the expenses, owners of auto repair shops and tow truck companies racked in larger profits than they would on a typical weekend.

"We've gotten a couple more jobs since this weather came in and there's probably going to be a lot more coming in," said an employee at 'Rodney's Restoration at Sudden Impact Collision'.

It's a sad and costly reality for many drivers. On Friday alone, there were 52 accidents in Abilene. The weekend's total for the Big Country isn't conclusion yet, but one can assume it's in the hundreds.

"It's a good thing for the body shops and the business. That generates just a little more money for everybody."

Since this morning, the collision shop has gotten nearly 20 calls and started on three major repairs. One being a 2011 Chevrolet truck with damages that total to about $9,000. That's a huge payout for the truck's owner, but it's an example of the big business that repair shops experience following severe weather. The shop usually gets about 8 jobs each week, but its owners are expecting between 12-15 this week.

Auto repair shops aren't alone when it comes to reaping the 'winter storm benefits'.

"Years ago, we used to get some real bad ice storms and we'd do about 20-30 calls a week, and it was like 24 hour nonstop," said Danny Murillo, owner of 'Sudden Impact Towing', a separate company from 'Sudden Impact Collision'.

Murillo says his trucks were put to good use this weekend as they typically are whenever the area experiences bad weather.

"We definitely did a lot of small wrecks," said Murillo. "A good storm means that we're going to generate enough money to carry us through the summer in our slow periods."

By law, Murillo can't reveal how much money was made each time his drivers reported to a towing call this weekend. But consider this, earlier this afternoon, an 18-wheeler was stuck only feet away from Sudden Impact Towing and needed to be pulled down the street. It cost the driver $250 to get the job done. Typically, smaller jobs won't cost as much. But when a storm hits and cars crash, whatever the price tag may be it's another transaction business owners like Murillo can add to their receipt pads.

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