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Heavy Duty Repair Forum

2023 Conference Agenda

Use the tabs below to toggle between Tuesday & Wednesday’s Agenda

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

Day One: General Sessions, Networking Functions, & Focused Learning Tracks

7:00 - 8:00 a.m.

Networking Breakfast & Vendor Fair

Meet us on the second floor of the Historic Hilton, where the collision industry will be meeting to share breakfast, catch up, and prepare for the event’s program.

Registration & Check-In opens at 7:00 a.m.

8:00 - 8:15 a.m.

Welcome & Overview

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

Brian Nessen, President, HD Repair Forum

8:15 - 9:00 a.m.

How to Have a Great Day Every Day

The ‘How to Have a Great Day Every Day!’ Keynote is about having participants realize that if they have a Great Day Every Day, everyone around them will benefit as a result. Participants discover that their job is not just a job, but in fact a performance on, ‘How to Be Their Best Every Day by Having a Great Day Every Day!’  

This session gives the participants the realization that they set the tone for most interactions. We provide the insights and methods to enhance their ability to make a positive difference on a daily basis in every interaction.

Being positive and the ripple effect it has on the customers, co-workers, family, friends and even strangers is discussed in detail.

Steve Beck, President, Beck Seminars

9:00 - 9:15 a.m.

Industry Trends & Insights

This session will include an overview of trends and data in areas such as Severity, Sales Mix, Labor Mix, and Average Labor Cost/Estimate and more. This data derives from PPG’s AdjustRite® Commercial Estimating System.

Jennifer King, Planning & Market Analysis Marketing Manager, PPG Industries

9:15 - 10:00 a.m.

Market Trends & Influences on Parts

Tim Meeker, Navistar

10:00 - 10:30 a.m.

Networking Break

Sponsored by

10:30 - 11:15 a.m.

Motor Coaches and the Collision Repair Industry

Motor Coach operators are in need of collision repair support. This session outlines the importance of the repair industry to this motor coach customer base. To be discussed is how to access service repair information specific to MCI coaches, and will point the industry to answers on how and where to research and order needed parts for the repair.

Tim Barnes, Director, Private Market Sales, NFI Parts

11:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Electric Vehicle Handling & Risk Analysis

Niel Speetjens from I-CAR will explain how to safely work on electric vehicles and go in depth on the Vehicle intake process at the start of the presentation. Niel will share how to determine and how to verify the state of the Battery and how to make the vehicle safe before the vehicle can be repaired. The consequence and recognition of a thermal runaway will be discussed and how to react.

Needed diagnostic and measurement tools will be introduced and explained when in the repair process has to which measurement performed.

Safety first!

After completing this training, the participant will be able to:

  • Describe a thermal runaway 
  • Explain an EV intake process and how to verify the state of the Battery
  • Describe the needed measurement and diagnostic tools
  • Understand the language of EV
  • Explain how to perform Insulation and Bonding measurements

Niel Speetjens, Sr. Manager, ADAS/EV Specialty Training, I-CAR

12:00 - 12:15 p.m.

Open Mic

12:15 - 1:15 p.m.

Networking Lunch

Sponsored by

Focused Learning Tracks: Session One

1:15 - 2:45 p.m.

Track A: Motivational Leadership

This Motivational Leadership Session is about having attendees learn how to lead in these uncertain times where everyone is asked to ‘do more with less’. They will get essential information and tools to motivate their team for greater effectiveness, efficiency and productivity. 

Participants discover that their job is not just a job, but in fact a challenge on, ‘How to Motivate Their Team to Be Their Best Every Single Day.’ A Successful Leader is someone who is respected and  whose team would do anything for them because of the trust they have in that person.

Steve Beck, President, Beck Seminars

1:15 - 2:45 p.m.

Track B: Ladies and Gentlemen Start Your Search Engines

Mark Claypool, President & CEO, Optima Worldwide

1:15 - 2:45 p.m.

Track C: Driver Assistance Systems for Tractors and Trailers

This session will leave attendees with the ability to locate and identify ADAS components on a range of commercial vehicle chassis and tractors. In addition, attendees will learn how these components operate and some dos and don’ts in the repair. The session will also provide light troubleshooting tips on the Bendix® ESP® (electronic full stability) and Bendix® Wingman® Fusion™ driver assistance systems.

Joe Lauritsen, Service Specialist, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems

2:45 - 3:15 p.m.

Networking Break

Sponsored by

Focused Learning Tracks: Session Two

3:15 - 4:00 p.m.

Track A: Understanding and Addressing the Technician Shortage

In this session George will help you explore the shortage of applicants or qualified applicants, if what you’re looking for is really what you need, and help you answer if you are actually trying to fill a gap or invest in a long-term employee. Important perspectives will be brought to light including expectations of others in your organization, turnover rates, opportunities for  business/workforce growth and more 

Do you have a shortage of applicants or qualified Applicants? Is what you’re looking for, really what you need? Are you trying to fill a Gap or invest in a long-term employee? Do others in your organization have the same expectations as you? Have you developed a plan to grow your business/workforce? Is your turnover rate so high that you may be part of the problem?

We will explore and discuss what we know and what we think we know. Ultimately what works best for your organization and is change required?

George Arrants, Vice President, ASE Education Foundation

3:15 - 4:00 p.m.

Track B: Acrylic Foam Tapes for Box Truck Sidewall and Roof Repair

Over the last couple of years 3M has partnered with a leading truck leasing company to bring innovative repair solutions to the box truck and semi-trailer industry that can reduce downtime without compromise to the quality of the repair.  This session will highlight the unique properties of 3M™ VHB™ tape and 3M™ Extreme Sealing Tape, and how they are used for replacement of damaged composite sidewall panels and partial repair of fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) roof sections.

Matt Melbye, Senior Application Engineering Specialist, 3M

3:15 - 4:00 p.m.

Track C: Creating Positive Shop Culture

If supply chain shortages were not enough to stress our businesses, let’s add on the additional weight of the Great Resignation. This session will look into what factors are driving turnover, causes of employee disengagement and how to create a culture where you become the Employer of Choice.

Jeff Rhoads, Services Consultant, AkzoNobel Coatings Inc.

Focused Learning Tracks: Session Three

4:15 - 5:00 p.m.

Track A: Scanning and Calibrations with ADAS

Joffrey Starcher, TEXA

4:15 - 5:00 p.m.

Track B: Proper Repair Procedures and Common Mistakes in Composite Repair

This session will discuss composite repair methods, best practices, and common short cuts that can impact the overall quality of the repair.

Todd Mathes, 3M
Matthew Aguirre, 3M

4:15 - 5:00 p.m.

Track C: To be announced

5:00 - 6:30 p.m.

Industry Networking Reception

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

7:00 - 8:00 a.m.

Networking Breakfast & Vendor Fair

General Sessions

8:00 - 8:15 a.m.

Welcome Back - Day 1 Recap

Brian Nessen, HD Repair Forum

8:15 - 8:45 a.m.

The Latest in Commercial Vehicle ADAS Technology

Jim Barber, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems

8:45 - 9:15 a.m.

Collision Workforce Skill Sets and the Industry's Role

Demand is outpacing a declining supply of collision technicians and their skill sets, while certifications are becoming increasingly uneven. With the intention of solving these challenges, Collision Engineering encourages collision partners to work together to develop a workforce, who will be prepared to work in the modern and evolving collision repair industry. 

John Helterbrand, Collision Engineering

9:15 - 9:45 a.m.

Isuzu Commercial Truck Repair Resources and Information

Isuzu Commercial Trucks joins the HD Repair Forum for the first time in 2023. This session will provide useful information on new and current model Isuzu model vehicles, Fleetvalue parts, repair tools and resources, as well as alert attendees to engagement opportunities like the OEM’s “Dealer Direct Advantage” Program.

Chris Bishop, ISUZU Commercial Truck

9:45 - 10:15 a.m.

Networking Break

Sponsored by 

10:15 - 11:00 a.m.

Panel Discussion - Claims Handling Best Practices and Challenges Post Pandemic

Although collision repairers and insurers share a common customer – the vehicle owner, there are challenges for both parties in the repair and claims handling processes. This panel discussion will focus on a few key issues including photos and documentation, with the goal of gaining understanding and identifying potential solutions. 

Tom Farney, Regional Claims Leader -Specialty Vehicles, National General, an Allstate Company
Michael Brown, Claims Supervisor – Trucking Division, Great American Insurance Group
Kelly Reich, Home Office Claims Manager – Material Damage, Federated Insurance

11:00 - 11:15 a.m.

To be announced

11:15 - 11:45 a.m.

Latest ADAS on Motorcoaches

Robert Hitt, Prevost

11:45 - 12:00 p.m.

Open Mic

12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Networking Lunch

Sponsored by

Focused Learning Tracks: Session Four

1:15 - 2:45 p.m.

Life-Work Balance

Life/Work Balance is about learning how to structure your life to improve performance both personally and professionally. Life continues to become more complex and move faster. Most of us are constantly accessible with e-mail and cell phones blurring the lines between work life and personal time. Sadly, many mistakenly believe that this is necessary to get more accomplished and advance careers. This course will provide new ideas to create balance in everyday life, reduce stress at home and work, and realize the importance of goal setting in all areas of their life.  

Steve Beck, President, Beck Seminars

1:15 - 2:45 p.m.

Adapting Your Legacy Management Methodology

Supply vs Demand is Business 101.  The Market has shifted.  Has your approach to your business adapted as well?  For well over a decade, the collision industry has been in a ‘sales minus’ approach to profitability.  With an abundance of work and a shortage of employees and parts/materials, plus rapid inflation, a ‘Cost Plus’ approach is necessary to survive and thrive today.  Join us to take a reflective look at your business practices and your management philosophies. This interactive program will assist you in charting a course for future success.

Ron Kuehn, Collision Business Solutions, Inc

1:15 - 2:45 p.m.

Track C: Improving Estimates

The class will discuss items that are commonly missed in the estimating process, This includes missed labor, parts, materials, and sublets in the process. Oftentimes, these commonly missed items pertain to a safety matter and/or contribute to an increase in gross profit.

Dean Hancock, Fleet Collision Solutions

Focused Learning Tracks: Session Five

2:50 - 3:35 p.m.

Track A: Mentoring- Your Opportunity Amid Crisis

Month after month, and year after year, the conversation remains the same. “There is a technician shortage.” Action is needed, and mentoring is often a lightly discussed solution. This session will consider the culture needed for successful mentoring, finding the right team members to participate, preparing career pathways for entry-level technicians, the importance of tracking progress, and much more. Mentoring is the long-term solution to technician shortage, so be prepared to do it the right way to have a chance for a return on your investment.

Marc Brune, Business Development Manager, MentorMentee

2:50 - 3:35 p.m.

Track B: Trends, Troubles & Tips for Improved Cycle Times

Tim McKinney, Evercoat

2:50 - 3:35 p.m.

Track C: Repairing You Heavy-Duty Repair Business Insurance

Your business insurance needs to identify defects and potential hazards just as much as any vehicle you repair.

In this session, 9 Risk Control Techniques will be used to identify how to approach your business insurance needs, what is essential to properly insure your business, and ensure what is implemented is working properly.

David Willett, Spark Underwriters
Billy Eddy, Spark Underwriters