Body Shops in Area Have Long Wait Times for Repairs

DULUTH, Minn — If you’ve been out driving recently, you know the roads ae slippery and that is leading to crashes and long delays at area body shops.

“I’ve never seen it like this, not where shops are completely booked three to four months out. It’ unheard of in our industry,” says  Ryan Underthun, the owner of Bulldog Collision in Hermantown. He is just one of the many body shops that have a several month wait to repair your vehicle.

It’s a similar story throughout out the area.  FOX 21 contacted six body repair shops in Duluth and Moose Lake, and each of them were backed up between one and a half and four months

Genes Auto Body in Duluth is another repair shop backed up for months. While their guys continue working upstairs, downstairs is Get Hooked Towing. Taylor Madrinich, operator at Get Hooked, says it’s been a busy year. He watches the weathercast at night to know how busy the next day will be. “Pretty much when the snow falls and we get about an inch of more, it’s always completely busy. We always have trucks running pretty much all day,” says Madrinich.

Back at Bulldog, there’s a line of cars  in front of the building, all are covered with snow. These vehicles are un-drivable and the owners are hoping their vehicle can be squeezed in sooner than they are  scheduled.

The reasons for the delays are many. Covid restrictions meant many car parts were not being produced. That means orders for many parts are backlogged. A shortage of employees is another reason as is the fact that there ae more crashes during the winter months.

Underthun has been doing piecemeal repairs when possible, so that the vehicles can be driven. As an example he pointed out one car in his shop, “what we’re doing with this one is, we’re just getting a headlight in it get it mocked up so they can drive their car and it’s drivable. They’ve got to drive for some time with ugly on it for a little while, but what else do you do? We’re jammed up, we do whatever we can do to keep people moving. ”

Underthun says most people he deals with, understand the situation and are sympathetic.  “We want them (vehicles)  gone, just as bad as they want them back.”

One suggestion, that was given by everyone we talked with, was put good tires on your car. With good tires and slowing down, you may be able to avoid the situation where you’re faced with a months-long wait to have your car repaired.


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