T&T Collision Center moves to the hill
Heeding his grandfather's advice years ago made a profound difference in Hudson native Tom Datwyler's life.
"I was working a Duro-bag," said Tom, a young married man at the time. "My grandpa told me you got to get out of there, go to school." Charlie Datwyler, a blacksmith, helped the young couple by assisting with their rent while Tom went back to school to learn the trade of auto body repair.
"If he could see the business now," said Tom, a 1982 HHS grad, who started his business 16 years ago along with his wife Tami. The young couple moved their budding business to North Hudson a year later, where they stayed for 15 years until moving earlier this month.
On March 3, Tom and Tami opened T & T Collision Center in its new location, 1701 Coulee Road, the former service center for Gilbert Motors. They purchased the building in December.
"We have four times the size here," said Tom. "And it's like coming home, I grew up just blocks from here and Tami and I lived up here as well."
The 12,000 square foot building offers the business a larger paint booth, a larger and well lit work area, increased storage, an area specifically for insurance adjusters to work and a well appointed area for customers to wait.
Derrick Construction did the exterior work. The Datwylers and a small army of loyal friends and customers finished the interior.
"We want to acknowledge Bill Rode and his family for all the support they gave us," said Tom.
As to the industry, according to Tom, not much has changed regarding the construction of the cars since he went into the business.
"It is the office that is vastly different," said Tom. Everything is computerized, from the estimates to the billings. They can basically pull up any make or model on the computer.
"Our goals are to continue to service Hudson and North Hudson as we have for the last 16 years," said Tom. "We were sad to leave North Hudson, everyone there was very supportive."
"It's always been about the customer," said Tami.
"Our customer support is amazing," said Tom. "It's people we have known for years that are so excited about our new location."
"There is nothing greater than Hudson," said Tom. Tom and Tami have four children, Tara who is married to Chris Buege, Traci, Tommy and Tim.
T&T Collision Center is open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information you may call 715-381-5261.