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Heavy Duty Repair Forum

2022 Fall Conference Agenda

Registration LinkUse the tabs below to toggle between Day One & Day Two Agendas

This a working program agenda, that is subject to change. 

Day One: General Sessions & Networking Functions

8:00 - 9:00 AM

Networking Breakfast & Vendor Fair

Meet us in the newly renovated Huntington Convention Center at 8 :00 a.m. in Grand Ballroom C
Industry partners, peers, and the HD Repair Forum team are looking forward to sharing breakfast, catching up, and enjoying the picturesque views of Lake Erie.

Registration & Check-In opens at 8:00 a.m.


9:00 - 9:15 AM

Welcome & Overview

The HD Repair Forum is the place for heavy-duty and medium-duty collision repair updates and information to be shared with the industry. President and co-founder, Brian Nessen, welcomes attendees back to Cleveland and provides an overview of upcoming trends and recent industry progress.

Brian Nessen, HD Repair Forum

9:15 - 9:30 AM

A Word from TMC

Robert Braswell, TMC

9:30 - 9:50 AM

HD & MD Collision Repair: Industry Trends & Insight

This presentation will review Industry Trends as tracked through PPG’S Adjustrite Heavy- Duty Collision Estimating Program. PPG’s representatives will review pre-COVID metrics and compare them to the last 12 months. Topics discussed will include Average Labor Cost Per Hour, Labor to Parts Ratio, and several others.

Jim Heil, PPG
Jennifer King, PPG

9:50 - 10:20 AM

Electric Vehicle Safety and Repair

Volt, current and resistance are the 3 key ingredients to propel an electric vehicle. While most electric vehicles run on 400 Volt, industrial application runs on 800 Volt. This session will take a look at which parts are necessary in an electric vehicle,  and how those parts work together to transfer electrical energy into rotational mechanical energy. Niel Speetjens from I-CAR will explain in detail how the high voltage battery works with cell temperatures and cell balancing, and what potential hazards exist in the shop during service or after a collision.

Niel Speetjens, I-CAR

10:20 - 10:45 AM

Collision Repair - Welding with Advanced Substrates

As manufacturers continue to add new substrates, the technology to join these materials must also continue to evolve.  Learn about the current trends in welding equipment used to preserve the structural integrity of the vehicle.

Jeramy Holloway, Spanesi Americas

10:45 - 11:15 AM

11:15 - 12:00 PM

Panel Discussion: Agreed Price and Challenges in the Claims Handling Process

This panel discussion will continue on the conversation of challenges experienced in the industry, particularly as it is associated with obtaining an agreed price. Panelists will  explore how parts availability, alternative fuel vehicles, staffing, and increasing cost are playing a significant role in these challenges. Panelists share their experience and bring forward paths to improving the claims process, resulting in reduced friction and cycle times for all stakeholders involved.

Bernhard Obry, Coach USA- Perfect Body
James Svaasand, Penske
Mark Leadem, Progressive
Phil Langley, SCA Claims Services

12:00 - 12:15 PM

2023 Ford E-Transit – ADAS Technology & Collision Repair

The Ford E-Transit is overwhelming the Full-Size Bus & Van EV segment, with over 4,000 units sold since its launch in early 2022. In this session Drew Walker will discuss the advanced driver assist technologies equipped on the E-Transit that help avoid collisions. Critical collision repair and safety handling information will also be shared to ensure providers are ready for any E-Transit that may enter their shop.

Drew Walker, Ford

12:15 - 1:15 PM

Networking Lunch

Sponsored by Evercoat


1:15 - 1:30 PM

Efforts in Solving the Technician Shortage

Hear the latest initiatives taking place to get the collision industry and its career paths spotlighted to the general public, school counselors, and more. Also hear more about the opportunities for industry businesses to invest in local high school and college collision programs. Whether it’s saving your scrap/spare parts for donation to the schools, sponsoring branded uniforms for local students, and/or helping your local schools look their best to ensure they are attracting the best students … Learn how to join in on the efforts of transforming the future of the industry!

Brandon Eckenrode, Collision Repair Education Foundation

1:30 - 1:45 PM

Using Mentoring to Overcome the Technician Shortage

95% of businesses agree – the technician shortage is here, and it is severe. While many businesses look to other shops for new talent, those who use a process to develop their own entry-level technicians will have a competitive advantage for years to come. This presentation will cover the facts behind the shortage, getting the right people for your program, supporting mentoring for the long-term, and more!

Kyle Holt, MentorMentee

1:45 - 2:00 PM

Preparing Technicians for the Industry

This session will discuss the importance of developing soft skills to bridge the skills gap.  Soft skills are proving to be far more indicative of future job performance compared to hard skills and play a significant role in how a person approaches work related tasks, builds relationships, and communicates with their co-workers and customers. It is vitally important for recruiters to be able to assess them accurately.

Cindy Barlow, Wyotech

2:00 - 2:15 PM

Panel Discussion: Finding Tomorrow's Technician

Representatives from the Collision Repair Education Foundation, MentorMentee, and Wyotech come together with HD Repair Forum leadership to dive deeper into the industry’s opportunities for solving the technician shortage.

*Bring your questions for audience Q & A*

Brandon Eckenrode, Collision Repair Education Foundation
Kyle Holt, MentorMentee
Cindy Barlow, Wyotech

2:15 - 3:00 PM

Vehicle Technology Updates: Wingman Systems

Jim Barber, Bendix

3:00 - 3:30 PM

3:30 PM - 4:15 PM

Panel Discussion: Preparing Your Business for the Unexpected

This panel discussion will shed light on unexpected challenges that repair facility owners and managers have had to face. From sudden illness, to embezzlement, theft, and ransomware, the reality is anything can happen. Previous victims of unexpected crises share their experiences, lessons learned, business matters impacted, and safeguards to consider.

Jamie Cole, Ace Truck Body Repair
Aaron Polzin, Budget Truck & Auto
Ray Chatfield, Truck Collision Services

4:15 - 5:00 PM

Great Dane Smart Trailer Platform FleetPulse

FleetPulse offers a universal platform for all commercial vehicles.  It is an independent data sharing solution supporting end customer demands, leading the goods transportation industry in supply chain telematics while providing data analytics and fleet insight for equipment location and health status, Freight logistics security, Transportation safety, and Regulatory compliance.

Chris Lee, Great Dane

5:00 - 5:15 PM

Open Mic

The HD Repair Forum is opening the floor to all attendees providing, the opportunity for anyone to ask a question about the conversations of the day, bring new topics or concerns to the forefront, or share available solutions or announcements. We want everyone to have a voice at the event during open mic on Monday, September 26th & Tuesday, September 27th

Stakeholders in the Heavy-Duty and Medium-Duty Collision Repair Industry

5:15 - 6:30 PM

Industry Networking Reception


Day Two: Focused Learning Tracks, Networking Functions, and General Sessions

7:00 - 8:00 AM

Networking Breakfast & Vendor Fair


Focused Learning Tracks: Session One

8:00 - 8:45 AM

Track A: Cybersecurity Best Practices

Cybersecurity is a major issue that can have a severe negative impact on you, and/or your business. In this session Optima Worldwide’s, Mark Claypool will breakdown the identification of and definition to the types of Malware on the market, underscore the threats that online cyber criminals pose to businesses, and provide attendees with steps  to be taken for protection. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn how to protect yourself from cyber insecurity and other threats.

Mark Claypool, Optima Worldwide

8:00 - 8:45 AM

Track B: Troubleshooting an ADAS Equipped Commercial Vehicle

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems representative, Brian Screeton will be going over the components that make up a modern ADAS equipped commercial vehicle. He will review how technicians should approach troubleshooting these vehicles, whether issues arise from fault codes being logged or performance issues being reported. Attendees of this session can expect to understand how each vehicle system (engine, transmission, and ADAS) all depend on the information being delivered over the public datalink, and why it is so important to look at the entire vehicle before diving directly into troubleshooting specific fault codes.

Brian Screeton, Bendix

Focused Learning Tracks: Session Two

9:00 - 9:45 AM

Track A: More on Electric Vehicle Safety and Repair

During this session I-CAR will bring theory into practice. With the help of an Electrical Vehicle Cart used during the EV I-CAR training, Niel Speetjens will explain best practices for disconnecting, equipotential bonding testing with a milliohm meter, and insolation testing for safety and operation.

Niel Speetjens, I-CAR

9:00 - 9:45 AM

Track B: Impact to Your Bottom Line: Developing New Profit Centers

Join Matthew Aguirre of 3M in this session that discusses: monitoring the most important KPIs of your business in real-time to generate business insights; improving material profitability by better tracking material usage and inventory turns; mitigating material shrinkage; reducing time spent tracking inventory; and seamless communication ofPaint & Material needs to suppliers, ensuring you have the materials you need, when you need them. Learn to blueprint and invoice for Non-Included Materials in the main office or in the shop, also helping ensure you’re paid for what you use.

Matthew Aguirre, 3M

9:45 - 10:15 AM

Focused Learning Tracks: Session Three

10:15 - 11:00 AM

Track A: Getting Comfortable with Scanning and Calibration

With new technologies being added to heavy- & medium-duty vehicles, new and important steps need to be taken in the repair process. This session will look at pre- and post-scanning workflows, the differences between Scanning, Diagnostics, Calibrations, and Module Programming- options to address each of these, and further guidance on getting started with options for (ADAS ready vs. ADAS capable).

Chuck Olsen, AirPro Diagnostics

10:15 - 11:00 AM

Track B: Collision Repair Joining Methods: Advanced Bonding & Riveting

Rivet bonding has been used for several years in collision repair.  As manufacturing materials continue to evolve, the use of rivet bonding is becoming more popular.  Learn about the special tooling and consumables required to perform rivet bonding.

Jeramy Holloway, Spanesi Americas

Focused Learning Tracks: Session Four

11:15 AM - 12:00 PM

Track A: Ladies & Gentlemen, Start Your Search Engines

This session will provide business owners with the opportunity to truly understand the purpose and benefits to having a strong web presence and the steps to take to make it perform at its best. Topics to be covered include effective website design, meeting security standards, reputation management, actualizing search engine optimization (SEO), the importance of your business on directory listings and rankings, social media management, including consumer expectations, securing fans and followers, what to post and how often, and more.

Mark Claypool, Optima Worldwide

11:15 AM - 12:00 PM

Track B: Repairing Plastic Parts on Heavy-Duty Vehicles

Join this presentation to learn more on the various plastics used on heavy-duty vehicles, and the methods that can be used for repairing each type. Kurt will cover plastic weld repairs on thermoplastic materials like bumpers and side panels, as well as  adhesive repairs on thermoset materials- like Metton and SMC. A segment on specialty repair kits for damaged Kenworth hood will also be introduced.

Kurt Lammon, Polyvance

12:00 - 1:00 PM

Networking Luncheon

Sponsored by Evercoat


1:15 - 1:45 PM

Factory ADAS Calibration, Verification, and Application

In this session attendees are provided with information on the current factory calibration process and the verification of radars, MPCs, and Lidar systems. The overlap and applicability to aftermarket service will be explained, as will the various types of calibration: automated vs. manual vs. field calibration. Attendees will gather valuable insight into the future of ADAS systems and gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace, as these systems continue to evolve and become mainstream on newer model vehicles.

John Ashal, Big Rig Alignment

1:45 - 2:15 PM

RV Estimating and Damage Repair

Tony Yerman, Master Certified RV Technician, brings the industry’s focus to estimating and repairing damaged RVs. This presentation will leave attendees with a higher understanding of the RV industry as a whole, as well as the repair and parts processes involved with storm, vandalism, and RV collision damage. Also to be provided are some simple and less invasive repair techniques and parts acquisition strategies.

Tony Yerman, RVDA

2:15 - 2:45 PM

Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA) & A View of the Aftermarket

Collin Shaw, Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA)

2:45 - 3:15 PM

Facilitating Vehicle Data for Diagnostics and Repair

Greg Potter, ETI

3:15 - 3:30 PM

Open Mic and Closing Comments