Mobile Toggle

Posts Tagged ‘HD Repair Forum’

Four OEMs to Speak at HD Repair Forum

Posted by

Houston, Texas, March 21, 2019 – Four commercial vehicle manufacturers have signed-on to present at the second annual HD Repair Forum. Volvo Group North America, Daimler Trucks North America, PACCAR, maker of Peterbilt, and Navistar, manufacturer of International and IC Buses understand the value in providing the heavy-duty collision repair industry with increased communication.

Each of the leaders’ presentations during the two-day event will deliver key insight on new vehicle technology, which will have a profound impact on both the collision repair and transportation markets.

Until recently, the heavy-duty collision repair industry did not have an event dedicated to businesses needs, education, and interests of the market. The HD Repair Forum now provides industry leaders a place to gather, communicate, collaborate, and network with peers, stakeholders, and key influencers

Beyond new vehicle technology, the OEMs will also discuss solutions to parts identification, availability, and pricing. All of which are areas of concern for repairers today.

The HD Repair Forum aims to foster growth and progress in the heavy-duty collision repair industry through the exchange of knowledge, experience, and feedback from all industry stakeholders. Repair facility owners and managers, insurance representatives and appraisal companies, OEMs of commercial vehicles, and those who manufacture parts, equipment, or services for those vehicles will gather April 2nd- 3rd in Fort Worth, Texas at the Hilton Fort Worth.

To take part in this year’s industry changing event register at hdrepairforum.com/register2019

A complete agenda for the HD Repair Forum can be found at:
www.hdrepairforum.com/agenda

Speakers from participating OEs are below. A complete list of conference speakers can be found at hdrepairforum.com/speakers

Replacing Foams, NVH Materials and Other Products in the Heavy-Duty Truck Collision Shop

Posted by

There are several functions that foams and NVH materials perform in the Heavy-Duty Trucks and Commercial Vehicles of today.  Reducing noise, vibration, and harshness(NVH) are the most obvious.  The performance of these products has a significant impact on the driving experience for the vehicle operator and occupants.  Vehicle foams stiffen the body structure and help control twisting and flexing of the vehicle. Additionally, foams have an influence on the design and affect the performance of energy management in the event of a collision.  So, ultimately, these materials impact the crash protection and safety of the occupants of the vehicle. It is important in the collision repair process to inspect and replace these Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) materials as needed to ensure the quality and performance of the vehicle following the repair.  Replacing the foam is a process that can be easily overlooked or skipped. Failure to restore the form and function of the foams can have a significant impact on the trucks daily operation (noise and comfort) and crash worthiness (occupant safety).

When we talk about foams and NVH material, what exactly are we talking about?  Structural foams typically come in or on the replacement part, as these foams are not available in an aftermarket product format.  The replacement foams fall into two categories; Rigid Foams and Flexible Foams.

  • Rigid foams, like 3M™ Pillar Foam PN 08458, are designed to provide reinforcement and stiffness to vehicle structures such as posts, pillars, cab corner extensions, and other cavities. These foams provide stiffness which reduces twisting and flexing of the vehicle structure, panel flutter, and metal fatigue. Rigid foams should be used on repairs wherever OEM rigid foams were originally utilized.  
  • Flexible foams, such as 3M™ Flexible Foam PN 08463, are designed and used to absorb and control sound, block air movement, and fill large cavities. Typical locations for this type of foam are floor pans, rockers, cab corner extensions, and other body cavities. Flexible foams should be used on repairs wherever OEM flexible foams were used.  
  • Structural foams are very dense foams utilized for collision energy management.  They are typically found in rails and pillars.

 

 

 

 

 

Examples of common foam applications
Images courtesy of John Spoto

Another product used in these applications is NVH material, such as 3M™ NVH Dampening Material PN 04274.

                                            

 

 

 

Example of NVH Dampening Material
Image courtesy of John Spoto

This material is designed to be used for replacing or re-installing factory NVH sealants and foams. They can eliminate vibration and reduce noise between panels, braces, and intrusion beams.  The NVH Dampening Material performs well in attaching existing foam to panels, filling small gaps where foam cannot be used or easily replaced, and for sealing edges of cut, open, or damaged foam (see picture below).
                                 

                                                       

 

 

Image Courtesy of I-CAR

The repair and replacement process should begin by identifying the OEM location of the foams for that specific vehicle make and model.  This information should be identified through the OEM website, technical bulletins, and recommended repair procedures. Identify the location and type of foams on the repair vehicle.  Inspect the condition of the foam for damaged material that will need to be removed and replaced. Determine the best replacement material based on foam type, cell structure, compression, density, and texture. Foam Flow Rate and Foam Time should also be considered based on the access point and location where the foam is needed.  The volume of foam needed can be calculated using the expansion rate of the foam and the volume of the area being filled. Remove any damaged foam, undamaged foam can be left in place. Abrasives, chisels, knives, scrappers, and rolling the foam off by hand are all methods used to remove foams. Heat can be useful to remove undamaged foam for reuse.   If welding will be performed in the area, remove all foam, regardless of condition, to reduce the risk of a fire and toxic fumes. Clean and dry the surfaces that will be receiving foam with a water-based and solvent -based cleaner being careful to avoid getting liquid on any existing foam. Prime all bare metal with an epoxy or other approved 2K direct-to-metal primer; never use 1K aerosol primer. Once the primer has dried according to the product data sheet, install the foam.  The use of an extension tube may be necessary to access the cavity. A dam may also be needed to hold the foam into a specific area.
                                  

                 

 

 


Example of a Dam (Left) and Extension tube being used to increase access (Right)

Images Courtesy of I-CAR       

As with any repair process, proper PPE should always be worn.  A respirator, chemical resistant gloves, eye and face protection, and a paint suit are all safety equipment that should be used when working with foams and NVH materials.  Expandable foams are flammable, caution should be taken, and a fire extinguisher should be available when a heat source is being used near foams.

High quality foams that are designed for the collision repair industry are typically 2-part urethane closed-cell foams.  This type of foam is needed to meet OEM performance requirements such as temperature and moisture resistance. Consumer foams that are found at home improvement stores should not be used for vehicle collision repair applications.  These foams are typically one-part, open-cell urethane foams that require moisture to cure. If this material is applied to a part or inside a body panel where moisture isn’t present, the foam may never cure and can result in voids or hollow spots.

                                             

 

 

 

Open cell, consumer foam, Image Courtesy of I-CAR

Being an open-cell foam, this material can absorb and hold moisture which may cause corrosion issues.  Another limitation of the consumer foams is vibration resistance, these foams can break down from the excessive vibration found in today’s heavy-duty trucks and commercial vehicles.   

Sound deadening pads are another product commonly found on heavy trucks and commercial vehicles.  These pads, such as 3M™ Sound Deadening Pads PN 08840, are placed on a variety of interior panels to block and reduce road noise, engine sounds, panel vibration, and other noises.                        

 

 

 

 

 

Sound Deadening Pad use in a Truck Cab Roof, Image courtesy of John Spoto

These pads are easy to install (cut to size, peel liner, apply to the surface) and should be replaced as necessary on any collision repair.   

Heavy-duty truck and commercial vehicle OEM’s also apply other materials in strategic locations to reduce noise, vibration, and harshness.  One example of this would be the “doghouse” area on the cab floor above the transmission (see picture below).

                                                

               

 

 


“Doghouse” cab floor area with OEM applied sound deadening materials, Image courtesy of John Spoto

These materials will have a pattern or texture from the OEM application method. The appearance of these materials may be matched during the repair process using products discussed above, or another product such as 3M™ Heavy-Bodied Seam Sealer PN 08308.  This product is a two-part epoxy that has NVH properties as well as excellent tooling properties. A variety of tools and materials can be used to manipulate this seam sealer to replicate an OEM appearance.  These include:

  • Placing notches in an adhesive spreader and running it over the seam sealer to match a linear pattern. A comb could also be used  
  • Dabbing the surface of the seam sealer with a 3M™ScotchBrite pad is another method that can be used to match an OEM texture.  
  • Utilizing the seam sealer gun in a push/pull or side-to-side method can produce a specific pattern as well.  

Using these products and a little creativity, many of these OEM textured surfaces can be matched very effectively.

 

 

 

 

 

Samples of textures reproduced using seam sealer
Image courtesy of Todd Matthes

Conclusion

The products and processes to inspect, repair, and replace foams, NVH material, and sound deadening pads are an important part of performing a quality repair.  IMPORTANT NOTE:  There are of course many factors and variables that can affect an individual repair, so the technician and repair facility should evaluate each specific application and repair process, including relevant vehicle, part and OEM guidelines, and determine what is appropriate for the repair.  For more Heavy-Duty Truck and Commercial Vehicle Collision Repair product information, Standard Operating Procedures, and Videos, please visit our website at 3M.com/truck.

Axalta Coating Systems Brings Experience & Business Council Members to 2019 HD Repair Forum

Posted by

Houston, Texas, March 11, 2019 – Axalta Coating Systems, a provider of OEM coatings for seven of eight North American commercial vehicle manufacturers and leader in coatings for collision repair, increases its support of the annual heavy-duty collision repair conference, HD Repair Forum.

North American Sales Manager for Axalta’s Commercial Transportation Division, Richard Cecchini states, “The idea of the forum is to bring influential people in to examine the state of the industry including trends and issues, understand the impacts on repairers and other industry stakeholders, such as insurance companies, and discuss what we need to do to prepare for the future.”

He further added, “Axalta is committed to advance and improve the heavy-duty collision repair industry. The HD Repair Forum provides individuals and companies an opportunity to make a difference, and we are thrilled to be a part of it.”

Earlier this year, Axalta committed to their continued involvement and support, with an increased sponsorship level of the HD Repair Forum. It also wholeheartedly supports their Business Council Member’s unanimous decision to host their spring meeting alongside the program.

Axalta Coating Systems has two Commercial Transportation Business Council Member groups, one designed for Truck and Fleet based collision repairers and another geared towards RV and Emergency Vehicle collision repairers. “The goal of our councils is to promote an environment where owners and managers can interact with other professionals, share best practices and further develop their business management skills,” explains Cecchini. “Joining an Axalta Business council is a solid commitment by owners and managers to continuously improve their businesses. Our council members are the best of the best, true leaders in the industry.”

Business council member, Steve Wolfe, President of Diversified Body & Paint in Colorado, was in attendance at last year’s inaugural event and has secured his registration for this year. “During the 2018 HD Forum I learned so much and met some wonderful people. The event restored my faith in our industry’s growth and potential,” he explains. “The topics covered, networking time provided, and products showcased are what all of us are looking for, each and every day in our businesses. Time and cost is very important to our group, so holding our council meeting alongside the HD Repair Forum is a ‘Win, Win!’.” Wolfe continues.

The HD Repair Forum aims to foster growth and progress in the heavy-duty collision repair industry through the exchange of knowledge, experience, and feedback from all industry stakeholders. On April 2nd & 3rd, 2019 heavy-duty collision repair professionals, insurance parties, OEs and equipment and service providers from across North America will gather at the Hilton in Fort Worth, TX. They will obtain information on the latest trends and industry issues and learn about the newest vehicle technology, solution-based services, and training opportunities available to the market.

“I’m looking forward to hearing about topics this year like OE repair information, parts sourcing, and identifying equipment that fits my needs. For myself, other members in my council, and repairers in my industry these are all high on our need lists.” Wolfe concludes.

The complete agenda for the HD Repair Forum was released early last month and can be found here.

Heavy-Duty Collision Repair Event Schedule:
Tuesday, April 2nd
6:30 AM Registration Opens
8:00 AM-5:00 PM Conference
5:00-6:30 PM Networking Reception
Wednesday, April 3rd
8:00 AM-5:00 PM Conference
Thursday, April 4th
Axalta Coating System’s Business Council Meetings

Many other industry stakeholders, including truck manufacturers, equipment suppliers, insurance companies, independent appraisers, and heavy-duty repair facility owners have already marked the second annual HD Repair Forum on their calendars.

Limited sponsorship opportunities are still available. Visit this link call 281-819-2332 for more information.

Online Registration can be found at HD Repair Forum Registration

For more information about the conference, please visit www.hdrepairforum.com

About the HD Repair Forum
Created as a dedicated resource for heavy-duty collision repair information for shop owners, managers, estimators, appraisers, insurance personnel, manufacturers, educators, and consultants. The HD Repair Forum offers a monthly newsletter, a website, news articles, webinars, and an annual conference that brings all industry stakeholders together. The HD Repair Forum’s conference will take place April 2-3, 2019 in Fort Worth, TX with numerous classes and panels dedicated to education and problem solving.

About Axalta Coating Systems
Axalta is a leading global company focused solely on coatings and providing customers with innovative, colorful, beautiful and sustainable solutions. From light OEM vehicles, commercial vehicles and refinish applications to electric motors, buildings and pipelines, our coatings are designed to prevent corrosion, increase productivity and enable the materials we coat to last longer. With more than 150 years of experience in the coatings industry, the approximately 14,000 people of Axalta continue to find ways to serve our more than 100,000 customers in 130 countries better every day with the finest coatings, application systems and technology. For more information visit axalta.com and follow us @Axalta on Twitter and on LinkedIn.

Time to Complete a Heavy Duty Business Opportunity Audit

Posted by

Everyone is becoming very aware as to the many challenges that lay ahead for the independent HD aftermarket. Challenges can turn into incredible opportunities when approached properly. We are now moving into a new era where the “Trade” days are coming quickly to an end and our “Profession” will step out into the economy and WOW the commercial client. It will also attract the millennials when they see the exciting technology and opportunities for them to be involved in moving our sector forward. As a Profession we will finally elevate the HD aftermarket to an income level that mirrors other high end economy segments. Exciting days are ahead but detailed planning is now required to make sure we can embrace the future.

Consider this list and address how each one affects your business and list the solution required so the shop can continue to move forward.
Business Opportunity Audit:
1 We face increased competition from the HD Dealerships and/or shrinking margins so our focus must shift within the business to selling our knowledge. Billed hours must be our focus. To achieve this it must be recognised that client relationships and earning their trust is so important. Educate as to the value and importance of investing in at least two comprehensive inspections on the HD vehicle each year. The purpose of the comprehensive is to have a full picture of the condition the vehicle is in for safety, reliability and efficiency. You then counsel the client the timing of the required work, based on how they use the vehicle and their annual mileage as to what is in their best interest to insure vehicle safety, reliability and efficiency are properly maintained.

2 We need to better understand our target clients…who they are, why they buy and what they really want. Analyze your data base as to who are your top commercial clients. What type of work do they have done on their vehicle meaning are they a break down and repair client or a vehicle preventative maintenance client? You have a solid relationship with all these people so have a conversation as to why they come to your shop specifically and what are they looking from you moving forward? These are the people who most likely will recommend you so listen carefully, take notes and improve the service level where required to meet their total expectations.

3 Some of our current and target clients are not aware of all the value we offer. Have you educated your clients as to what makes your shop “uniquely” different? This should be where your advertising/marketing dollars are spent. Differentiate yourself from the HD dealership arena “in writing” and make sure clients and potential clients “experience” that differentiation when they come into your operation. Differentiation can mean strong value to a client if you work on and remember that EVERY visit for them is about their experience with your business.

4 We don’t charge as much as we should, because of a lack of confidence in our value, or for some other reason. Have we got our emotions in check? Do the real math and establish the right labor rates for the competency and value we bring to our clients. Acknowledge that your labor rate represents your shop’s competency. You are in a knowledge based business and competent staff, from the technicians to the front counter are worth more. Review your structure to make sure you have the right rates in place for maintenance, diagnostic and re-flash labor. Once again proper education of the client is critical here. Think about this example….introduce to the client the lead technician that will be working on the client’s vehicle. This is all of a 2 minute introduction. Have a small training session with the technicians as to how the technician should handle him in front of the client and why this is important. This can build incredible relationships and trust when a client actual can put a face and “personality” to the person working on their vehicle. Remember as I said before, it is about the “experience” on each visit.

5 Our industry faces trust or image issues that we must overcome to create client confidence. This is a great opportunity for the HD independent sector to embrace. To create client confidence, you must slow down and actually make time for the client so you can engage in a constructive and positive conversation with them. Review all the facts you have on that client file proving you understand their situation. You know whether they own or lease the vehicle, how they use the vehicle (city, highway or a lot of off road driving due to their physical location) confirming they drive X amount of miles per year and understanding their expectations with their vehicle. MANAGE the vehicle based on their facts and remind them that your recommendations are for safety, reliability and efficiency to achieve the client’s ultimate expectations.

6 We need a clearer Vision for the future of our business…and a written Plan to define it and how to get us there.

This is one of your greatest exercises in an opportunity audit because you now confirm the 5 building blocks required for a successful culture and building a profitable business. All these should be fully written out and properly documented in detail. The 5 blocks are 1. Vision – what will the business look like in 3 years? From facility appearance to staff appearance to work flow management to maximize bottom-line profits. How will it differ from today? 2. Do we have or understand what talent do we require to fulfill the vision? Have you got the knowledge depth on your team that is required today? If not do they have the desire to learn what they must know to be part of this business? Where is the right training available? 3. Does the team “believe” in the vision to be achieved? In other words are they motivated because they like the direction the business is going and want to be part of it? Never ask the team to “buy into” the business, you want and need them to “believe” in the business. 4. Provide all the resources to achieve the vision. This relates to on-going and specific training the team needs, equipment and software upgrades where required and an efficiently laid out facility to maximize productivity. 5. A proper measuring document. This means to have a proper measuring document to confirm the journey is going in the right direction or point out where attention must be paid to keep the business on track.

The above six examples are but a few opportunities in the audit process but as you can see when you approach the business with a positive mind-set you are in control of the future because you are thinking of where “opportunities” lay within your business. Get the team involved as well, especially millennials who love to be part of the building blocks. Listen carefully to them; you may be very surprised as to what great in-put they can give form “their” perspective, your future customer and client base.

2019 is the start of the future. Lay down a solid foundation of thought and planning now and the next 3 years will be a start to an incredible and exciting journey.

Agenda Released for 2019 HD Repair Forum

Posted by

Houston, Texas, February 12, 2019 – Earlier this month, HD Repair Forum’s development team released the agenda for its 2019 heavy-duty collision repair conference, being held April 2nd- 3rd in Fort Worth, Texas.

“Last year, as a first-time event, we were very satisfied with the feedback we received on the program. Repair facility owners, fleet and body shop managers, insurance partners and other industry leaders were pleased with the information and opportunities that were uncovered.” explains Co-founder and President of the HD Repair Forum, Brian Nessen.“It is based on this feedback and the requests and direction given from our advisory board, that this year’s conference follow a similar format.”

The 2019 agenda will assist repair facilities in the heavy-duty collision repair market improve their processes and profitability, bring further clarity to solutions available for parts sourcing and pricing, educate the industry on the newest vehicle technologies entering this market, while continuing conversations on other industry challenges, including access to OEM repair procedures.

Until recently, this group of collision repairers did not have an event dedicated to their business needs and interests. The HD Repair Forum now provides industry leaders a place to gather, communicate, collaborate, and network with peers, stakeholders, and key-influencers. “We look forward to offering the heavy-duty collision repair industry the opportunity to come together and drive change that benefits all the stakeholders and most importantly, their mutual customer.” concludes Nessen.  

Below is an overview of the 2019 HD Repair Forum agenda:

2019 HD Repair Forum Day One – Tuesday, April 2, 2019

General Sessions
Keynote Speaker – Mike Jones
OEM New Vehicle Technology
Clean Energy in the Transportation Industry
Panel Discussion: Finding Parts – Is There an Easier Method to the Madness?

Focused Learning Tracks – Breakout One
Track A: What Happens in 100 Milliseconds During a Collision
Track B: Estimating Made Easy
Track C: Building a Successful Alignment and Safety System Calibration Program

Focused Learning Tracks – Breakout Two
Track A: Develop Standard Operating Procedures for Efficient Results
Track B: Composite Repair in the Heavy Duty Truck and Commercial Vehicle Market
Track C: Heavy-Duty Truck Collision Damage Analysis

Focused Learning Tracks – Breakout Three
Track A: Discover Leadership
Track B: Commercial Vehicle Scanning – What Tools and Software Do I Need?
Track C: I-CAR Training

Networking Reception

HD Repair Forum Day Two – Wednesday, April 3, 2019

General Sessions
Industry Trends and Insight
New Vehicle Technology Now and Beyond
Opportunities for Equipping the Industry with Training and Technicians
Data Privacy and Liability After a Collision
Panel Discussion: A Dive into Successful Operations in Heavy-Duty Collision Repair
Panel Discussion: Understand Insurer Challenges & Opportunities to Work Together

Focused Learning Tracks  – Breakout One
Track A: What Happens in 100 Milliseconds During a Collision
Track B: Heavy-Duty Truck Collision Damage Analysis
Track C: Elevating HD Service Excellence with Mathematical Measurements

Focused Learning Tracks – Breakout Two
Track A: Extreme Communication
Track B: Composite Repair in the Heavy Duty Truck and Commercial Vehicle Market
*Track C: Elevating HD Service Excellence Continued

Focused Learning Tracks  – Breakout Three
Track A: I-CAR Training
Track B: HR Matters
*Track C: Elevating HD Service Excellence Continued

For additional details on speakers, sponsors, and event details visit www.hdrepairforum.com/agenda

Conference days are Tuesday & Wednesday, April 2nd & 3rd, 2019 in Fort Worth, Texas. To register for early bird rates through Friday, February 15th follow this link: www.etouches.com/hdrepairforum2019

Every Choice You Make Keeps You On A Path

Posted by

Heavy Duty Shop owners and many business owners in general, don’t seem to realize that NOT moving their business forward and still doing the same old thing over and over is still a choice. The issue is what path did their choice take them over time?

Our dynamic Heavy Duty Service industry demands that change remain constant within the business year over year and when one shop doesn’t embrace change, they are literally out of sync within 3 years.  WOW, now that is pressure, or is it?

The pressure can be greatly minimized when management is progressive in their thinking and actions; when management has a vision for the business that they can clearly communicate to their Team; when the Team BELIEVES in the vision and wants to become part of it; when management and the Team become accountable to each other.

Now for the HD service shops that don’t want anything to change within their business to keep up with or ahead of the wave of change, “because I’m the boss and I will do whatever I want” well, they are the problem shops the Industry has to deal with.  This is when we say “Come on succession let’s get the younger managers/owners in here now”.

As a good friend once said to me “Remember, you either go forward or in circles; there is no standing still.”

AkzoNobel Coating Increases Support of the HD Repair Forum in 2019

Posted by

Houston, Texas, Jan. 9, 2019 – The HD Repair Forum is pleased to announce that AkzoNobel Coatings will continue to be an active partner in building a community and platform-for-progress in the heavy-duty collision repair industry.

At the inaugural conference in 2018, AkzoNobel Coatings hosted its spring 20-Group meeting alongside this unique heavy-duty collision conference and shined as a premier sponsor.

“The company’s involvement and enthusiasm for the heavy-duty industry was obvious. Attendees knew their products and were proud to discuss the benefits they received from being involved with AkzoNobel.” explains Brian Nessen, President and Co-Founder of the HD Repair Forum.

The company committed early last week to join Navistar as one of the two exclusive Elite Sponsors for the 2019 HD Repair Forum.

The Forum’s aim is to foster growth and progress in the heavy-duty collision repair industry through the exchange of knowledge, experience, and feedback from all industry stakeholders. Heavy-duty collision repair professionals from across North America will gather in Fort Worth, TX, April 2nd & 3rd to obtain information on the latest trends and industry issues. They will hear about the latest technology, solution-based services, and training opportunities available to the market.

“Our 20-group members find great value in attending the HD Repair Forum. At our Fall meeting in 2018, members voted unanimously to once again host the spring meeting upon completion of this conference.”  explains Jimmy Harris, co-facilitator to AkzoNobel Coating’s 20-Group.

“Having this group for 2019 confirms the importance of bringing the industry together. We are pleased to hear of their enthusiasm and take pride in being able to further assist this already strong segment of the industry,” continues Nessen. “Their decision supports the ongoing plan for industry collaboration and fits with the direction of the HD Repair Forum, to bring the heavy-duty repair industry together for education and networking.”

Many other industry stakeholders, including truck manufacturers, equipment suppliers, insurance companies, independent appraisers and heavy-duty repair facility owners have already marked the second annual HD Repair Forum on their calendars.

Heavy-Duty Collision Repair Event Schedule:

Tuesday, April 2
7:00 AM Registration
8:00 AM-5:00 PM Conference
5:00-6:30 PM Networking Reception

Wednesday, April 3
8:00 AM-5:00 PM Conference

Thursday, April 4
AkzoNobel Coating’s 20-Group Meeting 

Road to Green: Rotten Apples or a Rotten Barrel

Posted by

We’ve heard the saying many times, “A bad apple spoils the barrel.”
That’s very true in so many cases and in business that’s why Management must focus on building the right culture with the right team and partners in place. It’s not an easy thing to do but it must be an on-going process in the business today. That is why a detailed VISION plan is required which not only lays out what the business will look like in 3 years’ time, and the road map it is going to follow to achieve the vision (the quality of the barrel), but also what will the Team (the apples) look like in terms of quality and quantity.

There’s also another aspect to consider that’s not talked about in our HD industry at all—sometimes, at some point, you have to acknowledge the barrel is spoiling the apple!

This means the entire process of how business is being done in the HD shop is completely broken and no matter how talented the staff is, the culture the shop runs under is not going to work. With a bad culture in place, finding the right people is a constant and nearly a full time job; good people that are hired do not stay with the company as good people leave because management allows bad people to stay; attitudes are negative; a team atmosphere of having each other’s back does not exist. Those are just some basic examples. The entire business must be revamped or the odds of survival may not be in that business’ favour.As the CEO of your HD business, have you clearly defined your culture and how it is developed and maintained? 2019 is going to be an exceptional year for the HD shop owners that get it.

Registration Opens for the Second Annual HD Repair Forum

Posted by

Registration for the 2019 HD Repair Forum is set to open Monday, December 10th, 2018. Last year’s premier event proved a milestone for the heavy-duty collision repair industry. Co-founder and Director of the HD Repair Forum, Brian Nessen explains why.

“Up until to the 2018 event, this group of collision repairers simply did not have an event dedicated to their businesses’ needs and interests.” This void eliminated opportunity for the niche group to gather, communicate, collaborate, and network with peers, stakeholders, and key-influencers of their industry.

The inaugural HD Repair Forum proved a great success. “Attendees, speakers, industry leaders, and sponsors alike were relieved to see the heavy-duty collision repair industry come together and begin to gain momentum in the progress to alleviate gaps that exist within the heavy-duty collision repair process.” Nessen continued.

This year’s conference will follow a similar format to last year’s event with keynote speakers, presentations from OEMs and other industry experts, followed with unique access to equipment suppliers, break-out sessions, and networking opportunities. “From the conversations we’ve had with many individuals within the industry, it was obvious an event geared towards education and information was necessary for the industry’s growth and sustainability.”

The event is set to take place Tuesday and Wednesday, April 2nd & 3rd, 2019 in Fort Worth, Texas. To register for early bird rates follow this link:

www.etouches.com/hdrepairforum2019

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

Women in Trucking – Another Opportunity for Women to Impact an Industry

Posted by

Photo courtesy of Deb Schroeder- Women in Trucking

The advancement of women in the workplace is an ongoing theme in the trades world. Organizations like Women’s Industry Network, TED Women, Women Auto Know, and others have come into existence in the last decade or more. These organizations empower women by providing guidance in overcoming adversity. In the trucking industry, a workforce that has been historically male-dominated, Women in Trucking has emerged.

Women in Trucking’s (WIT) mission is dedicated to encouraging the establishment and promotion of women as professionals within all sectors of the trucking industry. This includes professions ranging from logistics operations, to OEM engineering positions, to administrative or leadership roles with suppliers of the industry, to even truck drivers themselves.

The organization supports its aim by assisting in this transition. WIT identifies and eliminates obstacles that inhibit women from involvement or progression. WIT takes the mission a step further and also celebrates female leaders already within the industry and purposefully recognizes companies that support diversity.

Earlier this month a group of nearly 800 women and men, from different sectors of the trucking industry gathered at the Embassy Suites in Frisco, Texas for the WIT Accelerate! Conference. In its fourth year of execution, the conference saw an almost doubled increase in attendance from the year prior. The increase in attendance alone boasts the progress of women within this industry. Conference offerings included a small trade show-style floor, networking opportunities, educational sessions for professional development, and informational sessions clarifying the state of the industry.

Women in leadership positions, like Kelly Goebert and Lauren Attainasi from Daimler Trucks North America, spoke to attendees about the progress the OEM has made in both technological and electrification advancements on its trucks. They also shared the hand they have in that progress and discussed how they manage such influential changes in their professional and personal lives.

The conference celebrated women’s progress in transportation with two evening receptions. One, which was preceded by an award ceremony recognizing WIT’s “Top 50 Companies for Women to Work for in Transportation”. According to the event website, the companies receiving the award have established “corporate cultures that foster gender diversity; competitive compensation and benefits; flexible hours and work requirements; professional development opportunities; and career advancement opportunities.”

WIT continuously looks to promote the opportunities for women within the trucking industry. A recent notable endeavor is the execution of a longtime aspiration of WIT founder, Ellen Voie; the creation of Clare, the Trucking Doll. Clare’s purpose is to provide young girls with a new perception of the trucking industry. One that fosters the understanding that, “The world is wide open for girls today… (and) whatever they want to be is just great – whether that’s a teacher or an ad exec or a professional driver.” Clare can be purchased via this link or through AmazonSmile.

For more information visit www.womenintrucking.org