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Registration Opens for 2022 HD Repair Forum

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December 21, 2021, Katy, Texas – The 2022 HD Repair Forum is set to return to the historic Hilton Fort Worth this spring, on April 5th & 6th, 2022. Last month, advisory board members met to discuss the state of the industry and made plans for the upcoming event.

The HD Repair Forum’s program will follow a similar format as in year’s past, spanning two days with presentations and panel discussions involving OEMs, insurers, and other collision industry leaders. Early bird registration to the HD Repair Forum is now open. To access registration, go to www.hdrepairfoum.com/register

Attendees will gain valuable information on collision industry trends and insight as to how technology is redefining the industry and repairs in the future. Focused learning tracks are available both afternoons, providing attendees more in-depth information on topics that best address their individual or business needs. 

In addition to education, another focus of the event is to provide extensive networking opportunities. Collaboration amongst all industry stakeholders will advance the industry at a quicker pace and help identify solutions to challenges experienced by everyone in the market. All key reasons behind the event’s development and rapid success. 

To register for the 2022 HD Repair Forum and gain access to medium and heavy-duty collision repair information and education, equipment suppliers, and networking opportunities,  follow this link: https://na.eventscloud.com/hdrf2022

For additional information on the HD Repair Forum and its events please visit, www.hdrepairforum.com.

Sponsorship and advertising opportunities are available. For inquiries, you may reach out to Brian Nessen BrianN@hdrepairforum.com or Jennie Lenk JennieL@hdrepairforum.com.

About HD Repair Group
The HD Repair Group offers the industry a dedicated source of focused information for those involved in collision repair work of heavy- & medium-duty vehicles, found primarily in classes 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. This community is where shop owners, executives, managers, technicians, estimators, and other industry stakeholders will find the latest news, best practices for heavy- and medium-duty collision repair. The HD Repair Group offers numerous ways of delivering this information including two annual conferences, a monthly e-newsletter, webinars, videos, and social channels for networking. Learn more or sign up here to get connected today.

Latest Quarterly Trends for Commercial Collision Claims

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The following provides benchmarking insights and trends compiled from our PPG ADJUSTRITE® Commercial Estimating system. 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.

Severity for the 2nd Quarter averaged $8,644— a 7% decline over the previous quarter. However, this number is 1.8% higher than Q2, 2020 and 6.2% higher than Q2, 2019.
July 2021’s severity data indicates that Q3’s severity average dollars will climb back closer to Q4 2020 numbers.
The Sales Mix for Q2 saw a slight percentage increase in labor dollars over 2020, primarily due to a decrease in parts dollars. Sublet dollars also increased slightly.

Table 1. Sales Mix Percent for Quarter 2 of 2019, 2020, & 2021
Body and Paint categories in Q2’s Labor Mix showed slight increases compared to same quarter last year. Mechanical labor percentage experienced its first decline in a year, but still remained higher than Q2 2019.
Table 2. Labor Mix Percent for Quarter 2 of 2019, 2020, & 2021
Over the past four quarters, none of the average labor costs indicate clear trends, up or down. Given the decline in Q2’s average severity dollars, all average labor costs, with the exception of Mechanical Labor, declined from Q1. The average Miscellaneous Labor cost experienced the largest dollar decline. Compared to same quarter last year, Miscellaneous, Paint, and Body Labor costs increased, while Frame and Mechanical Labor costs showed a decrease.

Table 3. Average Labor Dollars for Quarter 2 of 2019, 2020, & 2021

 

 

 

Compared to last quarter, decreased severity in Q2 unavoidably led to average dollar decreases in Sublet, Paint Materials, and Shop Supplies.

Both Sublet and Paint Materials were down 5%, with Shop Supplies down 3%. Yet, Q2 2021’s average dollars for Sublet, Paint Materials, and Shop Supplies remained higher compared to Q2 2019 and 2020, with the latter showing the highest % increase of 9.0%.

Compared to Q2 2020, average Total Supplement Dollars were down 12.3%.

 

 

 

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. The 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 .

Agenda Details for 2021 Medium & Heavy-Duty Collision Industry Conference Released

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Details for the medium and heavy-duty collision repair industry’s 2021 conference and networking event taking place next month in Cleveland were released this week. Highlights of the two-day program include presentations from Daimler, Bendix, IMMI, 3M, and several other collision industry leaders. 

HD Repair Forum’s event coordinators announced last month that the fall event would co-locate with the American Trucking Association’s, Technology & Maintenance Council’s fall meetings, and take place on Wednesday and Thursday, September 15th and 16th.

Similar to year’s past, the event includes presentations, panel discussions, and break out sessions focused on industry challenges, opportunities, and current technical updates and business demands. Topics of interest include, frame and cab repair, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), scanning and diagnostics and business strategies to drive efficiency and profitability.

Members of the medium and heavy-duty collision repair industry interested in making connections with important business partners and staying up-to-date on the latest trends and challenges facing this industry should make plans to attend. This includes repairers, insurers, equipment manufacturers, service providers, and educators.

Information on equipment offerings and services available to this industry are also a key feature of this event. Representatives from industry partners including Navistar, AkzoNobel, Daimler, Axalta, Evercoat, and Enterprise will be in attendance along with other important event sponsors

Speakers and content for the program are a derivative of the work, input, and direction of the HD Repair Forum Advisory Board, a group of hard-working, forward-thinking, and collaborative-seeking repair facility owners and managers from across all corners of the country.  

For more information on this year’s fall program, go to www.hdrepairforum.com/agenda
For registration access go to www.hdrepairfoum.com/register

Educating the industry as a whole and providing extensive networking opportunities helps facilitate collaboration amongst all of the industry stakeholders. The HD Repair Forum was established to help speed up the advancement of the industry and develop solutions to the challenges experienced by everyone across all sectors of the medium and heavy-duty collision industry. 

Additional information on the HD Repair Forum and its events can be found at www.hdrepairforum.com.

2021 HD Repair Forum Opens Registration

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The 2021 HD Repair Forum conference is set to take place Wednesday and Thursday, September 15th & 16th, 2021 in Cleveland, OH, and will be co-locating with the American Trucking Association’s Technology & Maintenance Council’s fall meetings.

The HD Repair Forum’s program will follow a similar format as in year’s past, spanning two days with presentations and panel discussions involving OEMs, insurers, and other collision industry leaders. Registration to the HD Repair Forum does require a separate registration than TMC’s registration and is now open to the public. To access registration, go to www.hdrepairfoum.com/register

Attendees of this collision repair focused event will gain valuable information on industry trends and insight as to how technology will redefine the industry in the future. Break-out sessions, taking place at the conclusion of day one, and in the morning hours of day two will provide attendees the opportunity to choose education on topics that best address their individual or business needs. The event’s general session and break-out sessions are geared towards executives, shop owners, managers, and company leaders. 

In addition to education, another focus of the event is to provide extensive networking opportunities. Facilitating collaboration amongst all of the industry stakeholders will translate into advancing the industry at a quicker pace and the evolution of solutions to challenges experienced by everyone in the supply. All key reasons behind the event’s development and rapid success. 

To register for the 2021 HD Repair Forum and gain unique access to medium and heavy-duty collision repair information and education, equipment suppliers, and networking opportunities,  follow this link: https://na.eventscloud.com/hdrf2021

For information on equipment offerings and services available to this industry, be sure to check out our 2021 event sponsors. Additional information on the HD Repair Forum and its events can be found at www.hdrepairforum.com.

Sponsorship and advertising opportunities are available, but very limited. If interested, reach out to Brian Nessen BrianN@hdrepairforum.com or Jennie Lenk JennieL@hdrepairforum.com.

HD Repair Forum To Be Held at TMC Fall Meeting

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Arlington, Virginia – Today, the American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council and the Heavy Duty Repair Forum, announced they have agreed to co-locate their fall events at the 2021 TMC Fall Meeting and Transportation Technology Exhibition this September in Cleveland.

“We are pleased to welcome the HD Repair Forum and their attendees to join us this September,” said TMC Executive Director Robert Braswell. “Our events truly complement each other and should provide tremendous benefits for our members, attendees, vendors and sponsors.”

The HD Repair Forum is the largest conference solely dedicated to the heavy-duty collision repair industry, and with today’s announcement it will mark the first time the event has co-located with another industry event.

“Today’s announcement offers additional significance because the HD Repair Forum and the TMC Fall Meeting and Transportation Technology Forums will be our organizations’ first in-person meetings since the COVID-19 pandemic,” Braswell said. “This is another milemarker in our industry’s road to recovery and we are excited to gather in Cleveland this fall.”

HD Repair Forum President and Co-Founder Brian Nessen also said HDRF will now be held twice a year with a spring and fall format moving forward at venues and dates to be announced.

“Our attendees have asked for a bi-annual event almost since our inaugural event. And for this year, our advisory board suggested we consider co-locating with another industry event as we move back to in-person conferences,” he said. “Co-locating with TMC was a natural fit considering many of our advisory board members are regular attendees and supporters of the TMC events and supporters of their efforts to improve the industry.”

As a result of co-locating with the TMC, Repair Forum attendees and partners will have an opportunity to attend the Council’s technical exhibition, educational sessions and meetings, as well as the many events surrounding the National Technician Skills Competition, TMCSuperTech 2021.

TMC’s 2021 Fall Meeting will be held September 12-16 at the Huntington Convention Center in Cleveland. The HD Repair Forum will take place September 15-16, with a schedule of events and registration information coming soon.

For more information on this year’s TMC Fall Meeting, call (703) 838-1763 or visit http://tmcfall.trucking.org.

Bendix Announces 2021 Technical Training Sessions

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ELYRIA, Ohio – May 18, 2021 – Building on decades of industry training experience, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC (Bendix) has restarted its long-running training programs for 2021, after the pandemic required postponement of much of the 2020 schedule. Bendix is offering in-person and online training opportunities for fleet technicians, owner-operators, and others to enhance the skills necessary for keeping vehicles on the road and in safe operating condition.

In-person opportunities on the 2021 calendar cover 10 states. They include 10 sessions of Bendix’s three-day Air Brake Training class – long recognized as setting the industry training standard – beginning June 8-10 in Rosemount, Minnesota. And Bendix will hold its two-day inperson Advanced Technology Training program – introduced in 2019 – four times, with two sessions each at Bendix headquarters in Elyria and at the company’s Sparks, Nevada, location. In addition, Bendix is holding three Virtual Training sessions of its three-day Air Brake Training class, with the first being conducted May 25-27.

Registration is open for the complete schedule of both courses, shown on the last page of this news release. All in-person training adheres to the latest safety, health, and sanitization protection protocols, as applicable, including social distancing and face masks. All state, local, and company-specific travel restrictions apply.

“Like the industry as a whole, Bendix is working to overcome the challenges of last year, and resuming our technical training sessions to meet the constant need for service training – even in a reduced capacity for now – is an important part of that effort,” said Lance Hansen, Bendix vice president – aftermarket sales, fleet, service, and field operations. “A member of the ASE-certified veteran Bendix Service Engineering Team conducts every class, which will follow all health and safety protocols. In the demanding and fast-changing commercial vehicle landscape, we have our eye firmly on helping to equip teams across the industry with the technical knowledge they require. This is essential as safety components evolve and advance at a rapid pace.”

Hansen continued, “Our training program is part of our larger post-sales support commitment. It’s just one more way we help fleets face the ongoing pressure to maintain overall safety, performance, and uptime as they strive to lower their total cost of ownership – and help address the industry’s continued shortage of qualified, highly skilled technicians.”

Safety Lessons
Bendix’s Air Brake Training course is aimed at both new and experienced technicians, and covers the description, operation, and service elements for the total range of components found within dual air brake systems. Classroom topics include the fundamentals of compressed air; tactics for air system failure mode diagnosis and troubleshooting; and components such as air compressors, valves, foundation drum brakes, and air disc brakes.

Bendix recommends that students complete the Air Brake Training course before taking the Advanced Technology Training class, which covers the operation and troubleshooting of higher-level driver assistance and safety systems, as well as diagnostic software. A must for advanced technicians as more fleets and drivers adopt complex technologies like collision mitigation systems, the Advanced Technology Training sessions will address:
• Antilock Braking Systems (ABS)
• AutoVue® Lane Departure Warning System from Bendix CVS
• Bendix® ESP® Electronic Stability Program
• Bendix® Wingman® Advanced™ – A Collision Mitigation Technology
• Bendix® Wingman® Fusion™ driver assistance systems • SafetyDirect® system by Bendix CVS
• SmarTire® and SmarTire® Trailer-Link™ TPMS by Bendix CVS

The Advanced Technology Training program includes hands-on, in-depth maintenance instruction for Bendix® air disc brakes and electrical diagnostics.

“We cover a lot of ground, in terms of quantity and complexity of the products involved,” Hansen said. “For that reason, we strongly advise each student to complete either the three-day Air Brake Training course or the System Training – Air Brake Training module at brakeschool.com before taking the Advanced Technology Training class.”

Per-person enrollment costs are $450 USD for Air Brake Training, $400 USD for Advanced Technology training, and $300 USD for Virtual Training. Enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis, and class size is limited. Registration may be completed online at www.bendix.com; by phone at 1-800-AIR-BRAKE (1-800-247-2725), option 3; by email at BendixTrainingSchool@hkm.dcgcentral.com; or via fax (216-651-3261). See the full listing of dates and locations below or visit www.bendix.com.

Knowledge Base
Since 2013, the Bendix On-Line Brake School has been available as an ever-expanding 24/7/365 training resource – and the site (www.brake-school.com) now offers more than 90 free courses and numbers more than 110,000 registered users. Students can access a curriculum covering the full spectrum of braking and active vehicle safety system product topics, ranging from overall education on product features and operation to troubleshooting, diagnostics, and maintenance best practices. Through the site, Bendix also develops customized training channels, offering specialized programs for organizations spanning all segments of the commercial vehicle industry.

At knowledge-dock.com, Bendix provides an archive of post-sales product support and insight, including Bendix Tech Tips, podcasts, and blogs. Additionally, the company’s YouTube channel includes a library of Bendix Tech Talks and other resources.

Through its industry technical leadership, an ever-growing portfolio of technology developments, and unparalleled post-sales support, Bendix delivers on safety, vehicle performance, and efficiency – areas critical to the success of fleets and owner-operators. Bendix strives to lower the total cost of vehicle ownership, helping strengthen return on investment in safety-enhancing equipment and technology.

For additional information visit this page.

About Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC
Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, a member of Knorr-Bremse, develops and supplies leading-edge active safety technologies, energy management solutions, and air brake charging and control systems and components under the Bendix® brand name for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, tractors, trailers, buses, and other commercial vehicles throughout North America. An industry pioneer, employing more than 4,100 people, Bendix – and its wholly owned subsidiary, R.H. Sheppard Co., Inc. – is driven to deliver the best solutions for improved vehicle safety, performance, and overall operating cost. Contact us at 1-800-AIR-BRAKE (1-800-247-2725) or visit bendix.com. Stay connected and informed through Bendix expert podcasts, blog posts, videos, and other resources at knowledge-dock.com. Follow Bendix on Twitter at twitter.com/Bendix_CVS. Log on and learn from the Bendix experts at brake-school.com. And to learn more about career opportunities at Bendix, visit bendix.com/careers.

Repairing Hoods Made of Metton – Case Studies with Polyvance’s R&D Team

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One hot summer day, a dump truck pulled into the lot at Polyvance. The truck’s owner had heard from a local farmer friend that the company repaired broken plastic and wanted to see if they could help him with a problem he had on his hood. 

The problem he was experiencing was with the horseshoe pockets, where the hood guides bolt onto the hood of his Kenworth T800. They were both broken out. As a result, the hood didn’t sit correctly and was vibrating. The driver was not only annoyed by the noise but was sure something else was going to break on the hood if he didn’t fix it soon.

The hood on his T800 is made of Metton® , a trade name for a material called dicyclopentadiene, or DCPD. Metton is a thermoset liquid molding resin built on DCPD chemistry. It has a lot of advantages over other materials for making large parts with lots of contours and deep draws. Metton is stiff and has good impact properties. 

Compared to metal, a part made of Metton is much lighter. Light weight means better fuel economy, which is important for over-the-road trucks. However, since Metton is a thermoset material, it cannot be broken down into its constituent chemicals, melted, or otherwise recycled. So these large parts end up in the landfill where they will remain for hundreds of years. 

Metton, as experienced in this driver’s hood, is unlike fiberglass or SMC, because Metton does not have any fiber reinforcement throughout the resin, making the material relatively weak in tension, particularly when subjected to vibratory stress. As a result, the material seemed to routinely fail at the horseshoe pockets, where the hood guides mount. 

Kenworth does not make a repair kit to address this problem. The only  solution is to replace the hood. The cost of a new hood is $5,000, or  you can purchase the internal panels for about $1,800. This price does not include the eight hours of labor required for installation. Unfortunately at the time the driver came to Polyvance for assistance, an alternative solution was not available, since a band-aid approach wasn’t going to solve his problem. 

The analysis of this driver’s Metton-made hood at Polyvance however has shed light on the part’s repairability. Despite requiring a two-sided mold, thanks to the liquid resin’s low viscosity, very large parts can be filled out reliably with a cure time that is very fast – only 60 seconds – making for a part cycle time of only about five minutes. Furthermore, the injection pressures are very low (only 50 psi), meaning that the mold can be made of aluminum or even composites for short runs. 

The main problem with the hood was that the hood guides put a point load onto a thin section of the hood, and the hood itself is subjected to a lot of engine and road vibration. In order to create a reliable repair to address the problem, Polyvance engineers decided that the loads from the hood guides had to be spread out over a larger area to reduce the point load concentration at the thin section where the guides bolt through the hood. The horseshoe pocket revealed itself as the ideal structure to bond a reinforcing panel to, so Polyvance created molds to fit into the horseshoe pockets. 

After extensive testing of adhesives, Polyvance’s R&D team introduced the 2510 PlastiFix two-component methyl methacrylate adhesive as the optimal bonding agent for securing the reinforcing casting and plates to the Metton hood. 

It took over six months of development and design work to complete the kit, which was introduced in 2015. Unfortunately, the gentleman with the dump truck who originally informed us about the problem had to replace his hood. However, the insight he provided opened our eyes to the problems endured by heavy duty truck owners with respect to their Metton hoods and in general challenges with plastic repair. 

Many large trucks have hoods made of Metton, and perhaps there were others out there with the same sort of problem. It didn’t take long for our phones to start ringing about the similar Kenworth W900 models. These had the same problem but with a different geometry to the pockets. During the development process it was discovered that Kenworth has two configurations for the W900 pockets – round and square. 

Subsequent to the introduction of the W900 repair kits to the market, we started receiving calls about the T880 hoods. This problem was different – instead of the hood guide mounts, the T880 hoods were breaking where the damper struts mounted. Apparently, when the damper struts wear out, the hood slams open, putting excessive stress on the hood where the struts mount. The root of the problem was the same; the unreinforced Metton material was subjected to a repetitive point load, causing a crack that continued to propagate with each repeated vibration. 

Due to the more complex geometrical structure of the T880 hood, where the struts mount, Polyvance 3D scanned the area, giving the CAD software a perfect rendition of the surface where the reinforcement cap would be applied. The reinforcing casting conforms to the contours of the hood, spreading the shock load over a much bigger area of the Metton to restore the broken hood’s functionality, keeping potential repair costs down and the hood itself out of the landfill. 

Using Polyvance’s kits to repair damaged Kenworth hoods provides a triple benefit – they save the vehicle owner money, they create a repair that is stronger and more durable than the factory original, and they keep another large piece of unrecyclable plastic out of the landfill. 

Polyvance will continue to develop repair solutions for the heavy duty industry as we become aware of problems that operators experience. For questions about available repair kits or potential solutions, please email Polyvance’s service team at info@polyvance.com or call at 1-800-633-3047

Addressing HD Wheel Masking & Painting at the Shop Level – Issues and Remedies

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When painting a truck, bus, or trailer, repairers shouldn’t forget to paint the wheels. If the vehicle needs paint, chances are the wheels do too. While wheel preparation for the painting process is similar to the preparations for the cab, body, and chassis, there is one unique, taxing issue in wheel preparation: wheel masking.

The Issue
Traditional wheel masking is very time consuming, as one has to manually tape around each tire, hub, and lug nut. In the past, there were no “wheel masking templates” on the market, so repairers would have to spend time trying to fabricate them. Usually this has been done by cutting cardboard, which is flat and never fits, or by using excessive amounts of tape and paper.

The Remedy
A wheel masking system of pre-formed, reusable plastic maskers that cuts time and labor, and provides a professional finish with minimal clean-up now exists. This solution is known as “Tire Mask”. These wheel masking templates are available in many popular fleet wheel sizes (17.5″, 19.5″, 22.5″, 24.5″) and contour to each tire, wheel + rim component. In addition, Tire Mask users can trim or use extra tape for a custom fit. Each masker is reusable up to 20 times, and “Hubb Capps” last forever. The use of Tire Masks can reduce masking and clean-up by approximately 90%. Freshly painted wheels can drastically improve fleet appearances, while increasing resale value and decreasing DOT fines associated with neglect.

Useful Tips for the Road Ahead
When painting wheels remember, “The better the prep, the better the finish”.
Remove rust and be sure your lugs are properly torqued before painting, as this helps to avoid fresh paint in between the mating surfaces.
Follow FMCSA (DOT) Statute § 393.205 regarding wheels
Follow OSHA guidelines for painting, and the 3.5 mil paint thickness as recommended by the TMC.
As always, safety first.

To ensure the wheel masking process goes smoothly, TM Products, LLC. created a demonstration video for users to view.
For more information on Tire Mask you may visit, www.tiremask.com

Collision Avoidance Systems, Layered ADAS Technology, and Collision Repair Needs

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Due to the expected decrease in accidents, fully autonomous trucks often bring feelings of uncertainty to virtually anyone involved in the collision repair industry. However, as was discussed during the 3rd installment of the HD Repair Forum’s webinar series; there is a silver lining.

It’s true, collision avoidance systems aren’t new technology. The industry was exposed to early forms of these systems years ago with the implementation of anti-lock brake systems (ABS). However, truck manufacturers continue incorporating additional ADAS features into their vehicles at an accelerated rate. Understanding the technology and repairability of these technical features is extremely important for repairers to gain a foothold of, because accidents are still going to happen and your credibility and liability are on the line. 

A company heavily involved in vehicle technology and of increasing importance to the heavy-duty collision repair industry is component manufacturer, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems. Recently, administrators at the HD Repair Forum brought representative Jim Barber of Bendix, forward to speak directly with collision repairers in an one hour segment titled, “Evolve Your Business to Keep Up with ADAS Equipped Vehicles.” The newest OEM technical additions, the importance of proper repair and operation of the technological additions before returning affected vehicles to customers, as well as technological terms such as YAW, LAS, and SAS were just a few topics of importance that were discussed.

Although full autonomy seems to be the end goal of vehicle technology developments, it is not here yet and will not be incorporated exactly as some may perceive. Barber laid out clearly to those in attendance that the industry’s projected path in implementing all five levels of vehicle autonomy will take some time, “Today, we’re currently into level 1 systems and we’re crossing into Level 2 systems…The Level 5 systems (where a driverless vehicle will be implemented) probably won’t be a reality until the 2040, 2050 time frame.”  In fact, using the aviation industry as an example, he furthered this statement by adding, “We’ve had fly-by-wire aircraft for almost 30 years, where an aircraft can take off and land by itself… but yet the federal government still requires a pilot and a co-pilot.”

Still, the industry trend is to continue adding more sensors, gathering more information to achieve better performance, with driver lives and safety at the forefront. Thus, this educational episode was spent ensuring attendees understood the importance of getting acclimated with the latest additions in heavy- and medium-duty vehicle advance driver assistance systems) technology and that repair needs and processes are changing.

ADAS technology can be viewed as “building-block” technology, in which the newest ADAS technology is layered upon the pre-existing technology, or the ABS systems in this case. In other words, the ABS system serves as the foundation in which additional advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are built upon. An animated diagram provided during the webinar helped participants grasp the layering effect. 

Understanding the building blocks of ADAS is an important message, because it will help diagnose and repair vehicles when it enters the shop, especially when the vehicle involved has Bendix Wingman and Fusion technology. Barber further clarified that each layer of added technology provides another message for the ECU to read, thus an action to deliver.  

Essentially, the technology depends upon each other; ground-breaking comprehension in that each feature must be observed for complete functionality post-collision. The culmination of Wingman and Fusion components and technology brings the ABS, ECU (electronic controls unit), Radar and Camera together. “The camera may see something, but the radar does not, and it tells the system, no don’t worry about it, and vice versa…The system goes active when the two components agree.”

An underlying message for this webinar and even expressed as a question asked by a participant is, does a safe and proper repair begin with scanning the vehicle? Barber confirmed that every shop should have a document outlining the condition of that truck when it arrived at the shop, and more importantly the condition it was in upon delivery. The ACom Pro Diagnostics tooling and software referenced in the webinar is one such method to achieving that goal. It provides documented proof of active engine fault codes, battery voltage, and even provides technicians with needed information, such as the proper steps to recalibrate sensors. This is the documentation and proof that you need to show the fleet owner, insurance company or vehicle owner that you performed a safe and proper repair. It could mean the difference between a comeback, subsequent accident, fatality, or lawsuit. 

Additional important messages were shared during this month’s webinar and included pre-scans and post-scans, steering angle sensor recalibration needs, proper replacement of cameras on windshields, which is OEM specific, and more. 

For a complete review of the information shared in this webinar, sponsors of the HD Repair Forum Webinar Series have made this information available to the industry on demand. Simply register to watch this episode or previous episodes by following this link. 

Rally Cries Continue for OEM Collision Repair Procedures in Heavy-Duty Industry

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The “technical tsunami” that is approaching heavy-duty collision repair bays has been described as something to prepare for “in the future.” However, that future just drove up to many repairer’s doorsteps yesterday morning. 

The heavy-duty (HD) collision repair industry has been described as being as much as 20 years behind the automotive collision repair industry. Taking a look around the market, listening to repairer experiences, and gaining an understanding of the current tools and procedures available only confirms this perception. This is not a reflection of the repairers themselves; they are doing incredible work with what they have available to them. 

To say that the need for OEM repair procedures is critical to ensuring the safe and proper repair across the heavy-duty industry may seem extreme, but it is a fact. Vehicle materials are changing, new ADAS features keep showing up on all brands of vehicles, electric vehicles are entering the marketplace, and the absence of OEM collision repair procedures and documentation continues to be a challenge faced by all.

Facilities large and small, from both the independent and dealer side are dealing with the same challenges. This current state of the industry is not due to the lack of ability or desire from the shops; they want to perform safe, proper, and timely repairs for their customers. However, the urgency in providing them access to the proper repair information is still a serious problem. 

Many heads from within the industry have been asking for guidance on repair processes, procedures, training and equipment for quite some time. In fact, it was people who serve on the HD Repair Forum’s advisory board that helped get the ball rolling on the attention needed for heavy-duty collision repair professionals throughout North America. 

These shop owners’ commitment to finding solutions for collision repair procedures and documentation, access to parts pricing and availability, and proper education and training needs for their technicians has been going on behind the scenes for many years and was a driving force behind the initiation of the HD Repair Forum. 

The HD Repair Forum started providing the industry with news, information, and increased access to networking opportunities and resources in the fall of 2017. It held its first annual conference in the spring of 2018. The growth of the program and recognizable industry collaboration that has developed these past two years is a product of those individuals who spoke up and came together with others making the need for assistance known. 

Its latest offering, a six episode webinar series was developed in place of the in-person 2020 event; a way to bring the most pertinent educational sessions to the market. The latest installment aired earlier this month, brought further awareness of the lack of available repair procedures but also provided insight into some of the available solutions out there. 

John Spoto, National Heavy Duty/Commercial Manager of 3M provided perspective on how automotive collision repair best practices are available and applicable to the HD world. The webinar covered several topics, such as the repairability of high strength steel, welding best practices, use and necessity of torque specifications, and corrosion protection. While all of these topics likely warrant their own webinar, the highlight of this episode was the guidance given in deciding when to section and when to replace the entire panel. 

Also noted to those not interested in investing the time to learn more was to please remember one thing: If the truck manufacturer doesn’t provide sectioning procedures, the best course of action is to replace the entire panel at the factory seams. The example provided in the webinar explained that sectioning structural components, that are part of a monocoque cab design, could be the difference between a proper repair and one that fails in a subsequent accident. 

In addition to the bit of relief given, that there is some guidance out there, it is important to note that there is an increased awareness amongst OEMs for this growing need. In fact, John shared several examples of OEM repair information available from Daimler. 

The trucking industry is moving forward with the implementation of ADAS, and at the same time there is the growth of electric vehicles and alternative fuel vehicles. The list of tools and additional training needed to repair vehicles with these features is within itself a tall order and an expensive task.   

Those most involved and working tirelessly to drive the needed change are hopeful this represents the continuation of engagement from all of the OEM’s as they look to companies like Daimler. 

For more information on the HD Repair Forum, its committee work, or its 2020 webinar series please visit us at www.hdrepairforum.com or contact us at 281-819-2332.