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Posts Tagged ‘HD Repair Forum’

State of HD Collision Repair Industry & Automated Trucking Information Shared on Episode One of HDRF Webinar Series

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The HD Repair Forum (HDRF) kicked off the first of six webinars scheduled for 2020. These webinars are free of charge and made possible by these industry sponsors, www.hdrepairforum.com/sponsors.

Richard Bishop, President of Richard Bishop Consulting, kicked off the event with a presentation on automation in heavy-duty trucking appropriately titled, Robots on the Road: Outlook for Automated Trucking. The information shared provided attendees with a look at the evolving technology on today’s truck. Truck manufacturers are incorporating advanced driver assistance systems at an accelerated pace, and partnerships like Navistar and TuSimple’s recent announcement are another confirmation of that fact. Semi-autonomous vehicles will be in your bay sooner than later and repairers need to be prepared.  

Richard’s subtle and indirect message to attendees was very clear – your business needs to continue to evolve and embrace change. Preparing for the future starts with understanding trends and building a foundation within your business to adapt to the change. Investing in tooling, training, and equipment will ensure your business will be able to insure, estimate, repair, and service the most modern vehicles.

Following Bishop’s presentation, John Webb, President of TenPoint Complete shared a subset of the results from the HD Repair Forum’s inaugural collision industry survey. Additional results are set to be provided in a future webinar. 

“The goal of the survey is to provide benchmark data on the HD collision repair industry with the intent of expanding its content annually. The results included some surprising information on the current state of HD collision repairers,” explained Brian Nessen, HD Repair Forum’s CEO. 

87% of repairers surveyed stated that despite the pandemic, they felt positive about their business and prospect for the future. Conversely, 13% of respondents said their business was severely impacted by the pandemic. Although not shared on the call, this is in stark contrast to the automotive collision repair industry that has been severely impacted by the pandemic.

Another enlightening statistic pulled from the survey includes what can only be characterized as “great news” for progress in the industry. Less than 60% of the shops surveyed repair frame damage within their facility.

This presents a promising opportunity to educate the industry on the added value on-site frame repair can provide. As it relates to cycle time, it also highlights a problem and potential smoking gun within the industry. Could part of the reason for elongated cycle times be a by-product of sublet repairs, since so many collision shops do not have the ability to repair frame damage in house?

Another surprising statistic coming from the survey is the number of HD collision shops that do not use an electronic estimating system.

It’s alarming because most developed and mature industries have already come to wide-spread adoption of this type of  technology. These statistics could be an indication that the industry is lagging with a lot of opportunity for growth and improvement.

Much of the data found within the survey is “industry first” and uncovering this data will support businesses across the industry in their decision making process.

The HD Repair Forum continues to grow its reach and identify shops that offer heavy-duty collision repair. However, the following chart depicts the challenge it and many others have faced in answering, “How many HD collision repair facilities are there?” 17% of the shops surveyed don’t know who or where their competition is. The positive news seen below is that there may be more shops within the industry than has been suggested.

“We are committed to providing relevant and timely information to the heavy-duty collision repair industry. Our webinars are a natural extension of the annual event held in Fort Worth, Texas.” Nessen continued.

Additional insight and other results from the study presented during this one hour webinar can be found by registering for the webinar on-demand at www.hdrepairforum.com

Episode two of this six-part series is scheduled for  August 18th, 11 AM CDT. Complimentary registration, made possible by the organization’s 2020 sponsors, can be found at this link.

If you have questions about the HD Repair Forum, its webinar series, or further involvement please visit our website or contact the company’s Communications Director, Jennie Lenk at JennieL@hdrepairforum.com

HD Repair Forum Hosts Webinar on Automated Trucking; HD Collision Repair Industry Survey

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Katy, TX, July 8, 2020 – The HD Repair Forum will host a two-part online program next Thursday, July 16, that provides insight on the most current technology in today’s heavy trucks and what challenges the industry will face. The program will also present the results from a recent survey of the HD collision repair industry. 

The first half of episode 1 features 2nd Vice Chair of the American Trucking Association’s Automated Driving Study Group, Richard Bishop. His expertise in vehicle automation will provide attendees with insight on Robots on the Road: An Outlook for Automated Trucking. Four key operational settings for Goods Movement: Controlled Environments, Streets, Resource Roads, and Highway will be discussed along with some of the larger implications and key challenges automation is bringing to the industry, including impacts on estimates.

The second 30 minutes of this webinar will take a look at the results from the HD Repair Forum’s First Annual Heavy-Duty Collision Repair Industry Study. John Webb, president of TenPoint Complete, will share perspectives and insights on this benchmark data, which will include a look at some of the most recent effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This is the first in a series of webinars designed to provide attendees with important information about the heavy-duty industry in a condensed format. Those involved in heavy-duty collision repair will not want to miss this unique opportunity to learn more about the industry.  Register for free today. 

Organizers for the HD Repair Forum understand the need for the industry to remain connected during this challenging time. Although face-to-face meetings may not be possible in the coming weeks or months, industry advancement should not stop. A special thanks to our sponsors for their continued support of the industry and for making this possible. 

“These webinars are the first of their kind, specifically geared towards the HD collision industry. We look forward to providing our constituents industry-wide information in these digital formats.” states Brian Nessen, President of the organization. “We care about this industry and we’re committed to bringing these businesses repair information, networking, education, and training opportunities, as well as the resources needed to run a successful collision repair business.”

Time for Q&A is planned at the end of each presentation. 

To attend, complete the registration form, save the hour, and dial-in next Thursday, July 16th.

Questions can be forwarded to the organization’s Director of Communications, Jennie Lenk.

Employment Issues Relating to COVID-19

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We have located a resource that we believe you will find useful in answering many of the important questions you are facing right now as an employer.

A regular speaker at our HD Repair Forum, employment attorney, Cory J. King, shares some good news – Automotive supply and repair and heavy duty collision repair in particular, is considered an “essential service,” supporting the critical transportation infrastructure in most, if not all, areas of the United States. This means that heavy duty collision repairers may continue operations while of course, complying with other federal, state, and local orders regarding social distancing, group sizes, etc.

Mr. King’s firm, FordHarrison LLP, has created a special Coronavirus Task Force to assist employers through the labyrinth of new and constantly changing laws, orders, and regulations affecting their workplace. Earlier this week, thousands of employers from around the world participated in a webinar conducted by that Task Force.

The webinar covered the main issues employers are facing amid the COVID-19 pandemic and discussed best practices to help organizations mitigate the associated employment law risks.  A link to that webinar, as well as around the clock access to the firm’s extensive resources and materials, which are being updated several times a day to stay current, are designed to help employers through this pandemic and is available on the FordHarrison Coronavirus Task Force webpage.

We encourage shops to take advantage of this free online resource. If you have industry specific questions, or need further assistance related to dealing with COVID-19 in the workplace or any other employment issue, Mr. King can be reached at (858) 214-3951 or cking@fordharrison.com.

If you have any questions, are looking to connect, or would like to share information regarding additional resources that may help the industry, please contact us or reach out to the organization’s Communications Manager, Jennie Lenk.

How Heavy-Duty Collision Repair Shops are Doing Their Part

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As the world watches the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus, people and companies are doing everything possible to stay healthy, stay in business, and reduce the impact of this illness on the healthcare system and the economy.

Over the past few days we spoke with a number of shops and companies to find out what they’re doing to keep employees safe and healthy while trying to reduce the spread of the virus. The purpose of these calls was to gather information and share that with the HD Repair Forum audience.

Following are examples of the steps shops and companies across the US have put in place:

Steps for Staff

  • Every shop we spoke with has all employees wearing gloves at all times. There is a constant exchange of tools and wearing gloves discourages touching around the face.
  • Vendors and other non-employees are not allowed in shops in order to reduce contact and exposure.
  • Lunches and breaks are not at the same time for every employee, thus avoiding everyone congregating in one place at one time (physical distancing).
  • Some shops are purchasing lunch for staff; this reduces risk of bringing an illness from homes, and it supports local food-service businesses that may be surviving by pick-up or delivery only.
  • Some shops have altered work hours and created new shift times, so some employees start earlier in the day and leave earlier, while other employees come and leave later in the day. This establishes little, or no overlap while having fewer people in the shop at the same time.
  • Some businesses have opened on weekends to further spread out their staff’s time in the shop, and allowing some people, who have children at home to work more flexible hours.
  • To reduce bringing illness to the business some are offering a safe, clean place to change and asking workers to consider leaving work clothes and boots at the shop.
  • More hand-sanitizer stations are being placed throughout the business and a good supply of soap at every sink and wash station.
  • Anyone with so much as a sniffle needs to stay home until absolutely healthy.
  • If any staff can work from home, even for some hours, try to support that.
  • If a company has more than one location, no staff is traveling to other offices
  • Staff meetings in some shops are limited to no more than 6. Keep group meetings small, in open spaces if possible, and have people physically apart from one another.

It is critical to have staff buy-in for the measures you are taking. Some people are taking this situation more seriously than others, and it is very important everyone is in alignment with the steps and measures taken for the safety of all. One way to do this is to ask your team members for their ideas on how to keep everyone safe. When they feel they have a voice in the process, they are more likely to support new mandates.

Steps for Customers

  • No customers are allowed in shops. Customers are met outside and at a safe distance.
  • Some shops are requiring scheduled appointments only to spread out the number of people coming in for repair work.
  • Do not reuse pens; when a customer signs an estimate or invoice, give them the pen to keep.
  • Photo-estimating is being utilized as much as possible.
  • All vehicles are disinfected before any employee gets in a vehicle. Key touch points are wiped down including but not limited to:
    • Door handles (inside and outside)
    • Armrests
    • Steering wheel
    • Seat belts
    • Any push-button areas on the dash and doors (radio, electric windows, thermostat, etc.)
    • Cruise control and windshield wiper controls
    • Glove box and center console
    • Shift levers and knobs
    • Hazard light buttons

When all work is complete, the vehicle should be disinfected (following the same steps as above) before delivering it to the customer.
It is very important to communicate these measures with customers, so they know your procedures and feel safe when working with your company.

Steps for Leadership

  • Lead by example; if you ask your team to take certain safety measures, you should be abiding by those same measures or they won’t take you seriously.
  • Listen to your team. Many people are losing jobs right now. Kids are at home because schools are closed. Some products are not available on store shelves. All of this is creating stress. Anything you can do to give your employees some level of comfort in their roles will help with productivity and their overall well-being.
  • Look at opportunities to acquire products that your staff cannot get at a store. One shop had a large order of paper towels and toilet paper that they were able to share with their staff.
  • Stay informed of local, regional, and state mandates; they are changing, sometimes daily, and you need to be ready to make adjustments. Some states are requiring shelter in place or mandatory quarantines.
  • If possible, keep in touch with local officials. Your business may be able to help in some way.
  • Contact other shops and share ideas, challenges, and solutions. The HD Repair Forum was designed to promote networking within the industry and now is the time to take advantage of communicating with your industry peers.
  • Most importantly, keep yourselves, your team, and your customers safe. This is your highest responsibility.

In speaking with some of the vendor companies, many are cutting travel for their staff so communication and orders should be made by phone and email. Be patient with them as some of those companies are able to shift their efforts to the medical community. Gloves, dust masks, and head socks are difficult to come by right now, because they are being sent to medical establishments. Within your own shops, DO NOT REUSE THESE ITEMS! But do not be wasteful either, they are in high demand right now.

In addition to the many steps listed above, if you are taking additional actions at your place of business and you would like to share them, please let us know. Information is empowering, and this is certainly a time to help one another any way we can.

If you have any questions, are looking to connect, or would like to share the additional steps you are taking, please contact us: www.hdrepairforum.com/contact-us/

HD Repair Forum Cancelled Amid Evolving Concerns for Health and Safety

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Katy, Texas, March 13, 2020 – The 3rd Annual HD Repair Forum, originally scheduled for March 24th-25th in Fort Worth, TX, has been postponed, due to the evolving situation with the COVID-19 outbreak and efforts associated to reduce rapid spreading of the virus. 

Organizers of the event are in the process of rescheduling the Forum to take place later in the year. Announcements for new dates and hosting venue, for the largest gathering of heavy-duty collision repair professionals, industry leaders, and executives will be made in the coming weeks. 

“We apologize for any inconvenience but, under the circumstances, this is the best decision for everyone involved. The health and safety of our attendees, their families, and their colleagues is our first priority,” stated Brian Nessen, HD Repair Forum President. “We look forward to hosting the event in the coming months where we will continue the networking, collaboration, and industry progress that our sponsors and attendees have grown to expect.”

The HD Repair Forum will continue to provide industry information through the monthly HD Repair newsletter, the organization’s social channels, and its website, www.hdrepairfourm.com

For questions, please reach out to the organization’s Communications Manager, Jennie Lenk.

Steve Beck and Aaron Lowe Showcased at HD Repair Forum 2020

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Steve Beck will have a significant presence at this years’ HD Repair Forum. Beck’s motivational and entertaining keynote speech will provide attendees with tips and suggestions on how to have a Great Day, Every Day. He will guide the audience through understanding our ability and influence to make every interaction a positive one. His insightful, energetic, and passionate approach will be on full display day one. 

After addressing attendees at the general session, Steve will deliver a fast paced ninety-minute seminar on “Coaching Employees”. Beck’s approach to coaching employees will leave you with tools and action items you can immediately implement in your place of business to get the most out of your team. Beck’s breakout session takes place during the fist of six afternoon break-out sessions taking place over the course of the program.

Right to Repair legislation dominated industry headlines almost ten years ago. It also changed the face of the industry. Aaron Lowe, Senior Vice President of Regulatory and Government Affairs at the Auto Care Association was at the forefront of that legislation. He led an effort to ensure the industry had access to the data needed to properly repair vehicles. 

Many years later, Right to Repair is taking center stage yet again. The latest advancement in technology specific to telematics is causing shock waves across the country and in Washington D.C. Aaron will provide an update on what is happening in Massachusetts and in Washington D.C., and what impact it will have on the heavy-duty collision repair industry. 

Collision repairers, shop owners and management, fleet repairers, OEM/manufacturers, insurance professionals and appraisers, equipment/service/technology companies, and any others serving the heavy-duty collision repair industry are encouraged to attend the HD Repair Forum, taking place March 24th & 25th in Fort Worth, Texas. 

Online registration is available. www.hdrepairforum.com/register
For additional information on the complete two-day agenda: www.hdrepairforum.com/agenda

Additional Inquiries may be sent to Jennie Lenk: jenniel@hdrepairforum.com.

HD Repair Forum Announces Formation of Committees to Address Collision Industry Setbacks

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HD Repair Forum, the collision industry’s largest gathering of heavy-duty repair executives and leaders, is proud to announce the creation of four committees: Education, Technology, Parts, and OEM Repair Standards.

These committees have been established to address the macro-level issues found throughout the heavy-duty collision repair industry and are co-chaired by leaders from various segments of the market. Insight on the direction of each of these committees will be presented during the 2020 HD Repair Forum being held March 24th – 25th in Fort Worth, Texas.

“The purpose of these committees is to address challenges and solve problems throughout the year, not just during the HD Repair Forum. The key to the success of these committees is strong leaders who share a passion to drive change and a vision for a path that improves the industry for all stakeholders.” Brian Nessen, HD Repair Forum President and co-founder shares. “We are fortunate to have this diverse group of leaders pave the way for a brighter future.”

Education Committee Co-Chairs
Doug Schlueter – I-CAR
Brandon Eckenrode – CREF

OEM Repair Standards Committee Co-Chairs
Kevin Clary – Daimler Truck North America
Rohit Mathew – Carlisle & Co.

Parts Committee Co-Chairs
T.J. O’Hanlon – Navistar
Mark Polzin – Budget Truck & Auto

Technology Committee Co-Chairs
Chuck Olsen – AirPro Diagnostics
Aaron Polzin – Budget Truck & Auto

A complete list of committee members and mission statements are available on the committee pages of the HD Repair Forum’s website.

Collision repairers, shop owners and management, fleet repairers, OEM/manufacturers, insurance professionals and appraisers, equipment/service/technology companies, and any others serving the heavy-duty collision repair industry are encouraged to participate. If you are interested in learning more about the committees or contributing, you may send your inquiries to Jennie Lenk. As evidenced by the diverse cross section of companies and individuals currently serving on committees, all industry stakeholders are welcome to participate.

2020 HD Repair Forum Opens Sponsorship Positions

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Plans for the third annual HD Repair Forum have been confirmed. The 2020 event is scheduled for March 24-25 at The Worthington Renaissance Fort Worth Hotel. Registration is now open and sponsorship opportunities are already being booked. 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.

“The HD Repair Forum brings together the stakeholders of the heavy-duty collision repair industry in an effort to provide attendees with a unique opportunity to discuss trends, address industry challenges, and evaluate key business strategies.” explains Brian Nessen, President of the HD Repair Forum. 

The 2019 event saw significant growth from its inaugural meeting. With the guidance of advisory board members and constituents, the HD Repair Forum is addressing the needs of the industry. A few highlights from the 2019 event include presentations from Daimler, Navistar, Peterbilt, Volvo, Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA) and I-CAR. Session topics focused on a myriad of industry issues such as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), electric and hybrid vehicles, liquified and compressed natural gas vehicles, and a panel of insurance executives discussing claims handling and industry collaboration. 

Throughout the two days, there will be extensive networking opportunities allowing shop owners, insurers, appraisers, OEMs, paint manufacturers, information providers, and equipment and service companies to build relationships, conduct business, and solve problems.

Companies interested in sponsoring, getting more involved with this industry, or even hosting a co-located event can send inquiries to Brian Nessen BrianN@hdrepalrforum.com or Jennie Lenk JennieL@hdrepairforum.com 

Visit the website for more information or contact us at 281-819-2332.

Registration Opens for the 3rd Annual HD Repair Forum

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Registration for the HD Repair Forum is now open. Last year’s event experienced a forty percent increase in attendance and has quickly established itself as the can’t-miss event for the heavy-duty collision repair industry. 

The third annual conference is set to take place Tuesday and Wednesday, March 24th & 25th, 2020 in Fort Worth, Texas, at the Worthington Renaissance Hotel. The program will follow a similar format as last year’s event, spanning two days with presentations from OEMs, insurers, and other industry leaders during each morning’s general sessions. 

Attendees will gain valuable insight into industry trends allowing them to make better business decisions today and in the future. Afternoon break-out sessions will provide attendees an opportunity to choose classes that best address their individual or business needs. These sessions are geared towards executives, shop owners, managers, and company leaders. 

Throughout the two days, there will be extensive networking opportunities allowing shop owners, insurers, appraisers, OEMs, paint manufacturers, information providers and equipment and service companies to build relationships, conduct business, and solve problems.

To register for early bird rates and gain unique access to equipment suppliers, break-out sessions, and networking opportunities dedicated to the commercial vehicle collision repair industry, follow this link: https://www.eiseverywhere.com/hdrf2020

For additional information, please visit www.hdrepairforum.com or contact us at: www.hdrepairforum.com/contact-us

Sponsorship and advertising opportunities are now available. Reach out to Brian Nessen or Jennie Lenk.

About HD Repair Group

HD Repair Group offers a dedicated source of focused information for those involved in collision repair work for heavy-duty/commercial vehicles, primarily in classes 5, 6, 7, and 8. This community is where shop owners, executives, managers, technicians, estimators, and other industry stakeholders will find the latest news, tips, tactics, trends and best practices in the heavy-duty collision repair industry. The HD Repair Group offers numerous ways of delivering this information including an annual conference, a monthly e-newsletter, webinars, videos, and social channels for networking. 

Heavy-Duty Collision Repair Gaining Attention and Support

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Collision repair is a segment of the transportation industry that does not get a lot of attention. Historically, there has been a lack of training, information, and support. For many similar collision repair industries, including automotive, emergency, commercial, and recreational vehicles this has been the case. Why?

Collision repair is usually an afterthought. Energy and investment is placed on developing new vehicle technology. There is a never-ending race to make vehicles lighter, stronger, safer, and more fuel efficient. Recently the term ADAS was nothing more than some jumbled letters on a Scrabble game board. Today you can’t go to a trade show or read an article without being exposed to advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and electric vehicles. Another important trend in this industry; Autonomous vehicles.

While all of this technology is absolutely necessary and part of the evolution of the industry, at some point, these vehicles will need to be repaired. The industry has done a great job ensuring that technicians (mechanics) are prepared to service and maintain trucks. Keeping these vehicles on the road and operating is vital to our economy and to those that rely upon this industry to make a living. A truck sitting in a service bay is costing someone money.

Understanding that a vehicle out of service is lost revenue, more attention needs to be placed on the truck sitting in a collision repair facility awaiting parts. And what about the truck that has tens of thousands of dollars in collision damage awaiting repair from a technician that does not have any information on how to properly repair it?

As vehicles become equipped with more safety features, such as ADAS, or newer substrates that are lighter and stronger, information and training has never been more critical. In today’s collision repair facility, it’s a daily struggle to find and order parts and identify proper repair procedures. An independent collision shop could wait several days just to obtain parts prices. If you talk to insurance companies, they will tell you that the single biggest concern they have for their insureds is cycle time. Cycle time is defined as the number of days it takes for the vehicle owner to get his/her truck back on the road. For those that have had their vehicles in a collision shop, it would not be uncommon for a truck to be down for weeks. In some extreme examples it could be months.

As an industry, we need to work together to address these issues. We should be seeking solutions to reduce cycle time and put vehicles safely back on the road. We should continually be looking for solutions that ensure technicians have the knowledge and equipment needed to properly repair vehicles.    

In the spring of 2017, a dedicated source of focused information for the heavy-duty collision repair industry, the HD Repair Forum, was established to address these challenges. The HD Repair Forum’s purpose is to improve the narrative for repairers, insurers, OEM’s, paint manufacturers, parts suppliers, dealers and other industry stakeholders via a website, newsletter, conference, and other information tools.

The first HD Repair conference was held in April 2018 and featured technical and management training from some of the most well-respected companies and presenters in the industry. Executives from Navistar and Peterbilt discussed their new vehicle technology and the challenges repairers will face in the future. Co-located meetings, such as AkzoNobel’s 20 Group, were held during the same week and brought in some of the best repairers from the United States and Canada. The vendor expo gave high visibility to organizations committed to serving and improving the industry.

“Our goal is simple,” states Brian Nessen, President of the HD Repair Forum. “Provide the heavy-duty collision repair industry with an avenue for obtaining information and encourage collaboration. We want to facilitate safe, proper, and efficient repairs of all vehicles, and help the industry prepare for the future.”

The HD Repair Forum provides individuals and companies an opportunity to meet others, share experiences and best practices, and gain knowledge from manufacturers, trainers, and educators. The 2019 conference was held last April and experienced a 40% attendance increase, and brought in increased support and participation from several OEM’s including Daimler Trucks North America, Volvo, Navistar, and Peterbilt.

The 2020 conference returns to Fort Worth on March 24th & 25th. Companies like Axalta Coating Systems and AkzoNobel will also be co-hosting their spring Business Council and 20-Group meetings that same week.

To stay up to date on participation opportunities as an attendee, vendor, or consultant, sign-up to receive the organization’s monthly e-newsletter here