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HD Repair Forum Fall Conference to Tackle Industry’s Biggest Challenges

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The Fall HD Repair Forum will take place September 26th and 27th and it will address the industry’s biggest challenges including staffing issues, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), electric vehicle repair information, new model vehicle technology advancements, and more. The complete agenda can be found here.

The advancement and adoption of electric vehicles and ADAS continues to evolve. As their presence and complexity in the industry grows, it is the HD Repair Forum’s mission to make sure the heavy-duty and medium-duty collision repair industry is prepared to handle and repair these vehicles for safe and proper repair.

Taking the stage in September is a well-known list of companies, organizations, and industry experts who will provide education, training, and insight on these key topics. Organizations represented include: Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, Big Rig Alignment, Ford, Great Dane, I-CAR, the RV Dealers Association, Penske, Progressive and many others.

The HD Repair Forum will take place alongsideTMC’s 2022 Fall Meeting and National Technician Skills Competitions, which offers attendees a chance to participate in both events. Those involved in heavy-duty & medium-duty collision repair looking to prepare yourself, your team, and your business for growth and success should make plans and head to Cleveland.

For more information on the organization, event educational sessions, and industry resources sign-up for our e-communications
To register for the event, visit the HD Repair Forum website or go here

HD Repair Forum Advisory Board Welcomes New Members in 2022

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For the past five years, stakeholders in the heavy-duty and medium-duty collision repair industry have met annually at the HD Repair Forum to discuss the greatest challenges impacting this market. Leading the conference’s focus and direction and the industry’s requests for progress is the HD Repair Forum’s advisory board; a diverse group of collision repair facility owners, managers, and executives from across North America.

This year the advisory board welcomed four new board members; Jamie Cole, President and Owner of Ace Truck Repair, Randy Johansson, Body Shop Manager at Rihm Kenworth, Bernie Obry, General Manager of Coach USA- Perfect Body, and John Spoto, Director of Collision, Premier Truck Group.

“We are very fortunate to add four dedicated individuals to our strong group of board members. Their experience and perspective sheds additional light on the industry’s challenges and drives the industry toward solutions and best practices,” explained Brian Nessen, HD Repair Forum President and Co-founder. “We are grateful to these forward-thinking and passionate individuals. It is their leadership alongside industry peers and supporting partners that is driving the industry’s progress.” 

The upcoming Fall HD Repair Forum will take place alongside the American Trucking Associations© (ATA) Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) 2022 Fall Meetings in Cleveland, Ohio. The two-day conference, taking place on Monday and Tuesday, September 26 & 27th, will address the industry’s call for staffing solutions; updates on repair demands from vehicle technology developments; repair information on substrate and material advancements; the need for industry connection, and much more. 

Collision repairers and industry stakeholders serving the heavy-duty and medium-duty repair markets, including tractors, trailers, RVs, buses, and delivery & emergency vehicles, are invited to join in on the educational sessions, conversations, and opportunities presented at the Fall HD Repair Forum. This includes shop owners, shop managers, estimators, fleet managers, dealer repair shops, commercial vehicle manufacturers, insurance providers, and service, equipment, and technology companies.

Early bird registration is available for a limited time. Discounted hotel rates are available to HD Repair Forum attendees at the Hyatt Regency Cleveland at The Arcade, recently ranked “One of the Best Hotel Lobbies in the World.”

Save money and plan ahead! Register at www.hdrepairforum.com/register 

If you would like to receive industry news and event updates for the heavy- & medium-duty collision repair industry, sign up for e-communication here

Registration Opens Fall HD Repair Forum

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The Fall HD Repair Forum 2022 conference will take place Monday and Tuesday, September 26th & 27th, 2022, in Cleveland, Ohio and will be co-located with the American Trucking Association’s Technology & Maintenance Council’s (TMC) fall meetings.

Attendees of the event will hear presentations and panel discussions that give insight and speak to trends in the heavy-& medium-duty collision repair marketplace. Speakers involved include truck manufacturers, insurance carriers, collision repair experts, and many other collision industry leaders.

The fall event begins Monday with a networking breakfast and vendor fair enabling those in attendance a chance to fuel up for the day and catch up with friends, colleagues, and industry partners. Following will be an agenda filled with educational sessions that speak to industry executives, shop owners and managers, insurance partners, and other company leaders. This year’s sessions and presentations will look deeper at topics involving ADAS repairs, Ford’s e-Transit in the medium-duty market, solutions to the technician shortage, welding newer substrates, and many other key topics and trends.

Also unique to the Fall 2022 program is the organization’s partnership with the American Trucking Association’s TMC Fall Meetings. Registration to the HD Repair Forum’s event in Cleveland will also include access to TMC’s s17 Heavy-Duty Collision Task Force’s meeting. 

The partnership with TMC speaks to the HD Repair Forum’s continuous efforts to work with all stakeholders in the market. ”Collaboration is vital to the success of an industry and we are pleased to partner with TMC this year,“ stated President and co-founder, Brian Nessen. “Hosting a collision industry event alongside TMC provides both audiences with a unique opportunity to attend a wider array of sessions.“

The HD Repair Forum is the only event dedicated to heavy-duty & medium-duty collision repair and is the only place where stakeholders in this market can gain access to available industry specific training, equipment and service providers, receive information on topics that matter most to this industry, and have important and affirming conversations with peers. 

Registration to the HD Repair Forum is now open and access to the early bird rate is available for a limited time. To access HD Repair Forum registration, go to www.hdrepairforum.com/register

For those offering equipment, services, and educational opportunities to this industry, be sure to check out our 2022 sponsorship opportunities. Or to find out how your company can get further involved in the evolution of this industry, please reach out to via email or call 281-819-2332.

7 Tips for a Successful Mentoring Program

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June 20, 2022, Overland Park, Kansas – Ninety-five percent of automotive service, heavy-duty/diesel and collision repair businesses agree: the technician shortage is here, and it is severe. 

There are precisely ZERO skilled technicians wandering the streets asking themselves, “Where will I possibly find a job?” You can poach from your competitors – which you’re probably doing already, while your competition is simultaneously poaching from you. This does not add a single new person to the technician workforce.

In the heavy-duty/diesel industry, there is an expected need of at least 32,831 new technicians for 2023 alone. Poaching technicians is nothing more than musical chairs and cannot fill the need. 

Alternatively, you can actively recruit and convince career tech students that you are the right first employer to launch their career. 

But what happens when those students enter the industry? According to research from the ASE Education Foundation, 42% of career tech graduates will leave the industry altogether within their first two years. 

The one sustainable competitive advantage is to implement a systematic and repeatable technical mentoring and apprenticeship program. Want to prove to young techs that your business is the right one for them? Being able to tell an entry-level technician (and their instructors) that you have a written mentoring program and career path sets you apart from everyone else.

“Vehicle technology is growing exponentially. Entry-level technicians need an employer who is ready, willing, and able to train and prepare them for the industry,” says Lirel Holt, CEO of Mentor Mentee. “Creating your own pipeline of technicians will differentiate the good shops from those that are going to be left behind as experienced technicians retire at an ever-increasing pace.” 

Here are 7 tips to give you the best chance of implementing a successful mentoring program:

1. Prove to your local CTE instructors that you are for real. Anyone can tell an instructor they have a mentoring program. Invite them out to your shop and show them how you will continue to enhance a young technician’s understanding, further the instructor’s training efforts, and how you develop a plan specific to each student. The rest of your competition will call up the instructor begging for their ‘best student,’ while you’re showing the instructor how you are committed to launching their students’ careers. Now who’s getting the best students?!

2. Get buy-in and understanding from staff and ownership before implementing a technical mentoring or apprentice program. Seventy percent of workplace initiatives fail due to lack of leadership commitment. If you are going to build an on-the-job training program, communicate with all stakeholders early on, get all staff to understand that there is a plan and why they should be on board. Without buy-in, staff can undermine the goal. Show them how mentoring programs create upward momentum for the business, which benefits all staff.

3. Have two plans for each mentee: long-term (what you can become) and short-term (what you’ll do daily to get there). Sell a career vision to a mentee and set realistic expectations along the way. Show – in writing – to the entry-level technician where they can go and how you will help them get there. Everyone wants to know, “What’s the plan?” Don’t forget: A plan is not a plan unless it is in writing!

4. Use a task list. This is the best way to put your day-to-day plan in writing. Many programs will start without direction or standard duties. The program’s manager and mentors should identify 30 to 50 tasks for a mentee to focus on from the beginning. Be sure to include often-overlooked items like safety, vehicle placement in bays and soft skills. Do you still have to work with what is coming in the door each day? Of course! But with a task list, both the Mentor and Mentee are looking for opportunities to work on the core, foundational tasks in front of them.

5. Track training progress against the task list. Whether you use paper, Excel, or a total software solution, it is essential to track task progress to understand what task areas mentees are winning, losing, and needing more exposure. Mentors and Mentees should work together to track the number of repetitions a Mentee has on each task, as well as their quantitative and qualitative improvement in time and quality of each task performed.

6. Use the mentee’s progress data to celebrate wins and offer incentives. You can’t do #6 if you don’t do #5! When a mentee develops a new skill, publicly point it out and celebrate. Provide incentives for Mentors and Mentees to reach their goals. These can be monetary or non-monetary incentives. Small efforts to recognize their success as a team, and to celebrate those with the whole staff builds positive feedback loops, and keeps your whole staff engaged in the success of your program.

7. Do not allow bullying. Celebrate successes, but when a Mentee makes a mistake, provide constructive feedback in private. The same goes for Mentors. And do not allow anyone in the shop to bully a young tech. The days of hazing a young technician when they make a mistake are gone. As a society, we have made bullying an unacceptable practice in school. Why would you allow it in your shop? Bullying only makes it look like management doesn’t really care about the success of their own trainees or program.

The shortage is real and will continue. But while the rest of the industry faces staff shortages, a successful mentoring program can dramatically increase your odds of success. 

Mentoring and apprenticeships have worked for thousands of years, and there are new ways to implement these programs without having to reinvent the wheel. If you can implement these seven tips, you can give new life to your business’ technician recruiting and retention efforts! 


Mentor Mentee (mentormentee.com) provides a systematic mentoring toolset that shops can tailor to their specific needs. Marc Brune serves as Business Development Manager for Mentor Mentee and helps auto service, collision, and heavy-truck businesses implement mentoring and apprenticeship programs to grow their own technicians.
marc.brune@mentormentee.com

Commercial Collision Claim Trends – Q1 2022

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The following data provides benchmarking insights and trends compiled from the PPG ADJUSTRITE® Commercial Estimating system for the 1st quarter of 2022. This data reflects information compiled from both insurance and shop estimates from the United States and Canada. For all metrics, this information excludes known total losses, estimates with only one line item, and estimates <$100. Severity for Q1 2022 averaged $12,499—a 31.4% increase over Q1 2021.

 

The Sales Mix Percent for Q1 2022, shown in Table 1, reflects percentage increases for Parts and Sublet, compared to the same quarter last year.

Table 1.  Sales Mix Percent for Q1 2019 – 2022

 

Referring to the Labor Mix Percent in Table 2 for Q1, you’ll notice there were increases in  Mechanicial and Frame Labor compared to Q1 2021.
Table 2.  Labor Mix Percent for Q1 2019 – 2022

Average Labor Dollar categories, reflected in Table 3, all experienced increases in Q1, relative to 2021—with the exception of Miscellaneous.  Body and Paint had the largest increases.
Table 3.  Average Labor Dollars for Q1 2019 – 2022

The chart for Average Dollars by Quarter shows year over year increases  for Sublet, Paint Materials and Shop Supplies. Shop Supplies had the highest percentage increase, compared to Q1 2021.   

Thank you for your continued interest in following the latest trends for commercial collision claims.

About PPG ADJUSTRITE®:
The PPG AdjustRite Commercial Estimating system is an industry-leading platform in the medium-to-heavy-duty equipment repair and claims industry. This system is a web-based, fully mobile application, driven by a comprehensive database of commercial vehicles and equipment including: tractors, trailers, trucks, boxes, motor coaches, RVs, and buses. To learn more about the PPG AdjustRite Commercial Estimating System, visit www.adjustrite.com .

The PPG Logo and Adjustrite are registered trademarks of PPG Industries Ohio, Inc. © 2022 PPG Industries, Inc. All rights reserved.

HD Repair Forum Recognizes Mark Polzin as “Collision Repairer of the Year”

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The Spring HD Repair Forum (HDRF) took place in Fort Worth, Texas on April 5th & 6th at the Historic Fort Worth Hilton. Industry leaders and executives from the United States and Canada gathered to network and participate in the only conference solely dedicated to the heavy-duty collision repair industry. 

On Tuesday, HDRF leadership recognized Mark Polzin as the Collision Repairer of the Year. This award is presented to an individual for outstanding leadership, dedication, and commitment to advancing the heavy-duty collision repair industry. Mark joins a select group of industry leaders that have been presented with this distinguished award. 

Mark is the current owner and CEO of Budget Truck and Auto in Janesville, WI. He is one of the inaugural HDRF advisory board members and continues to selflessly give his time and knowledge to the benefit of the entire industry. His contributions to the advisory board have led to greater participation and support from collision repairers, insurers, and manufacturers. Mark’s passion and desire to improve the industry is evidenced by a growing list of participation and support of various industry groups and associations. 

The award presentation was extra special as Mark’s son, Aaron, was in attendance. Aaron is also active with Budget Truck and Auto. Mark’s passion for the industry can only be rivaled by his love and commitment to his family. We are thankful for people like Mark, because they give without expecting anything in return.

About HD Repair Group
HD Repair Group offers a dedicated source of focused-information for those involved in collision repair work of heavy-duty, medium-duty, commercial, and non-commercial vehicles primarily in classes 4 – 8. This community is where industry stakeholders, such as shop owners, company executives, managers, technicians, estimators, and others can network with industry peers and find the latest news, tips, trends, and best practices in the heavy- and medium-duty collision repair marketplace. The HD Repair Group serves this industry in numerous ways including hosting conferences, distributing a monthly e-newsletter, hosting webinars, videos, social channels, and more. Dates for the Fall HD Repair Forum later this year will be announced in the coming weeks. Stay connected with the heavy-duty collision repair industry by signing up for our e-newsletter and visiting https://hdrepairforum.com/

About Budget Truck and Auto
Budget Truck and Auto has been a family owned and operated business since 1973. Starting with only one building and growing to a 40,000 sq ft repair facility. The current operation includes four paint booths with three that measure over 65 feet long, and one of the largest frame machines in the country. The company is committed to producing the highest quality repairs along with impeccable customer service. 

2021 Year-end Trends for Commercial Collision Claims

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The following data provides benchmarking insights and trends compiled from PPG’s ADJUSTRITE® Commercial Estimating system for the 4th quarter, 2021. This data reflects information compiled from both insurance and shop estimates from the United States and Canada. For all metrics, this information excludes known total losses, estimates with only one line item, and estimates <$100.
Severity for 2021 averaged $9,965—a 13.3% increase over 2020.  Severity for the 4th quarter experienced the largest increase, up 20.6% relative to Q4 2020. 

When looking at Sale Mix Percent for the past four years, the only year-over-year trend is that Sublet percent is increasing. Comparing 2021 to 2020, Parts and Sublet percentages increased, while Labor and Paint Materials decreased. All Sales Mix dollars categories saw increases in 2021.  The annual average for Parts dollars had the highest increase of 14.6%, while the lowest increase was for Paint Materials dollars at 10.1%.  

Table 1:  Sales Mix Percent for 2018 – 2021

In Table 2, the 2021 Labor Mix Percent shows an increase in Mechanical over 2020, while Body Percent continued to slightly decline.

Looking at Table 3, all Average Labor Dollar categories show an increase in 2021 relative to 2020, with the exception of Frame.  Body and Paint had the largest increases of 11.2% and 8.6, respectively.

Table 3: Average Labor Dollars for 2018 – 2021

Please note that a correction to Sublet was made for trends reported Q3 2021 and has been applied to all years. 

Average Dollars for Sublet, Paint Materials and Shop Supplies show a year-over-year increase. Compared to 2020, Shop Supplies had the highest percent increase of 14.8%. 

 

Thank you for your continued interest in following the latest trends for commercial collision claims.

 

About PPG ADJUSTRITE®:

The PPG AdjustRite Commercial Estimating system is an industry-leading platform in the medium-to-heavy-duty equipment repair and claims industry. This system is a web-based, fully mobile application, driven by a comprehensive database of commercial vehicles and equipment including: tractors, trailers, trucks, boxes, motor coaches, RVs, and buses. To learn more about the PPG AdjustRite Commercial Estimating System, visit www.adjustrite.com .

Attorneys to Highlight Educational Offerings at the HD Repair Forum

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The HD Repair Forum is excited to bring two collision industry veteran attorneys to next month’s event. Patrick McGuire has spent the past twenty years of his career helping collision repairers avoid wasting their time and money in court. Attendees will leave better prepared to protect their business and assets through this interactive session. Patrick will provide repairers with a series of best practices that will reduce reliability and grow their bottom line in the session, “An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure”.

Cory King is an expert in HR and employee related matters. As wage-hour compliance lawsuits continue to rise, is your business at risk? Cory will provide real world examples of mistakes made that were not only avoidable but preventable. Employee handbooks, hiring and firing best practices will leave attendees armed with knowledge that will undoubtedly serve them for years to come.

Brian Nessen, HD Repair Forum President commented, “We are fortunate to have presentations from two attorneys for this year’s conference. Their insight could save shop owners significant legal fees in the future. Patrick’s and Cory’s collective insight will provide valuable information for repair businesses.

These legal sessions fit perfectly with a robust two-day, multi-session program that includes presentations on the safe handling of EVs, dust mitigation, ADAS updates, calibration, and more. All of which lead to improved productivity and a more successful heavy-duty/medium-duty collision repair business.

To learn more about the HD Repair Forum’s upcoming conference, sign up for our e-communications or to go to: https://hdrepairforum.com/register

Latest 2021 Trends for Commercial Collision Claims

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February 7, 2022 – The following data provides benchmarking insights and trends compiled from our PPG ADJUSTRITE® Commercial Estimating system for the 3rd quarter, 2021.  This data reflects information compiled from both insurance and shop estimates from the United States and Canada. For all metrics, the information excludes known total losses, estimates with only one line item and estimates <$100. 

Severity for the 3rd Quarter averaged $10,172—a 13.5% increase over the previous quarter.  

This average is 16.4% higher than Q3, 2020 and 22.2% higher than Q3, 2019. Severity data for October and November 2021 indicates that Q4 severity average dollars should climb even higher.

All Sales Mix dollars for Q3 saw double digit increases over Q3 2020.  Parts dollars saw the highest increase of 20%.

Table 1: Sales Mix Percent for Quarter 3 of 2019, 2020, & 2021

The Mechanical and Frame Q3 Labor Mix Percent increased compared to the same quarter in 2020. Mechanical Q3 Labor Mix Percent trended up, while Body and Paint Q3 Labor Mix Percent continued its downward trend over the last 3 years.

Table 2:  Labor Mix Percent for Quarter 3 of 2019, 2020, & 2021

Table 3:  Average Labor Dollars for Quarter 3 of 2019, 2020, & 2021

All average dollar categories in Q3’s Labor Mix showed increases compared to same quarter last year. Body and Miscellaneous had the largest increases of 11.4% and 16.4% respectively.

We revisited our previously reported value of approximately $700 for Average Sublet Dollars and discovered a calculation error within the aggregated data set.

Our updated table now reflects year over year increases for Sublet, Paint Materials and Shop Supplies and  double digit growth compared to 2019.

Thank you for your continued interest in the industry metrics provided.  

About PPG AdjustRite:
The PPG AdjustRite Commercial Estimating system is an industry-leading platform in the medium-to-heavy-duty equipment repair and claims industry. This system is a web-based, fully mobile application, driven by a comprehensive database of commercial vehicles and equipment including: tractors, trailers, trucks, boxes, motor coaches, RVs, and buses. To learn more about the PPG AdjustRite Commercial Estimating System, visit www.adjustrite.com .

April Conference to Focus on EVs, ADAS, and Calibrations for the Heavy- & Medium-duty Collision Repair Industry

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Katy, Texas, February 16, 2022 – Electric vehicles, alternatively fueled vehicles, and those equipped with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are posing new challenges in the collision repair industry. The challenges extend beyond repair and include concerns with safety and proper handling. Collision repair shop owners and managers, particularly those dealing with Class 5-8 vehicles, are finding their technicians and insurance partners with more questions than answers. Most are not clear or are challenged with the required repair procedures, estimating accuracy, needs for scanning, diagnostics, calibrations, and more.

With vehicle production, sales, and on-the-road appearances of these types of vehicles increasing daily, accidents involving these vehicles are beginning to ramp up. This year’s HD Repair Forum will focus on the impact of new vehicle technology and prepare the heavy- & medium-duty collision repair industry for the ever increasing number of electrified and ADAS equipped vehicles on the road today. 

Taking the main stage in April is a well-known list of companies, organizations, and industry experts who will help the industry with these challenges. Organizations represented include: PACCAR, Rivian, I-CAR, the RV Industry Association, NGVAmerica (Natural Gas Vehicles for America), TEXA and many others.

Attendees of the two-day conference will gain valuable insight on the latest trends with electric, LNG and CNG vehicles, ADAS, repair safety, best practices relative to alternative fuel vehicles and new vehicle technologies, as well as provided with staffing solutions. For more information on the educational sessions, sign-up for our e-communications and visit the HD Repair Forum website to review the event agenda

The HD Repair Forum is the only event dedicated to serving collision repairers and their industry partners in the heavy- & medium-duty markets via education, information, and networking opportunities. The HD Repair Forum is scheduled for April 5th-6th at The historic Hilton in Fort Worth, TexasEarly bird registration ends this Friday and sponsorship opportunities are filling up. Companies interested in having a presence at the HD Repair Forum are encouraged to book now as sponsorships are limited. More information can be found on the sponsorship page of the website or by contacting us at 281-819-2332.