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Posts Tagged ‘Heavy-duty collision repair’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2021 HD Repair Forum Opens Registration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Latest Quarterly Trends for Commercial Collision Claims

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The following provides benchmarking insights and trends compiled from our ADJUSTRITE® Commercial Estimating system. The data reflects information compiled from both insurance and shop estimates from the United States and Canada. For all metrics, the information excludes known total losses.

Severity over time graph

In Q1 2021, severity averaged 8.1% higher than Q1 2020 and numbered approximately $9,100, similar to the previous quarter. However, taking into consideration seasonal severity, the current trend indicates an increase from quarter to quarter.

Q1 Sales Mix Percentage Graph

Sales mix in Q1 shifted to parts from labor, sublet, and paint materials.  The largest negative swing occurred in sublet, a trend that began in Q2 of 2020 when the sublet percentage was 7.3%. 

 

Table 1 – Sales Mix Percent for Q1 of 2019, 2020, & 2021

 

 

 


Labor mix in Q1 further indicates a growing shift towards mechanical work, a trend noticed since Q2 2020.  Paint experienced the largest negative swing in the labor mix for Q1.

Table 2 –  Labor Mix Percent for Q1 of 2019, 2020, & 2021

 

 

 


Average labor dollars for body and paint in the first quarter saw increases of 7.2% and 4.7%, compared to Q1 2020.  Average labor dollars in the frame, mechanical and miscellaneous categories all experienced declines.

 

 

 

 


Table 3 – Average Labor Dollars for Q1 of 2019, 2020, & 2021

 

 

 

 

Compared to last year’s first quarter, Q1 2021 saw increases in average dollars per estimate for sublet, paint materials, and shop supplies, with the latter experiencing the largest increase of 9.4%.  Sublet in Q1 2021 showed its first percentage increase since Q4 2019.

Thank you for your continued interest in studying the latest industry metrics for commercial collision claims.

About AdjustRite:
The AdjustRite® Commercial Estimating system is an industry-leading platform in the medium-to-heavy-duty equipment repair and claims industry. The system is a Web-based, fully mobile application, driven by a comprehensive database of commercial vehicles and equipment including: tractors, trailers, trucks, boxes, motor coaches, RVs, and buses. To learn more about the AdjustRite Commercial Estimating System, visit www.adjustrite.com.

HD Repair Forum To Be Held at TMC Fall Meeting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Axalta’s Commercial Transportation Team invests in Remote Training Capability

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As manufacturer of the leading and most durable coatings in the commercial transportation industry including the iconic Imron® brand, Axalta is dedicated to developing new products and processes as well as continually improving existing products to meet evolving customer needs.  As the importance of training continues to grow while the logistics of face-to-face meetings becomes increasingly difficult, Axalta is proud to introduce a portfolio of over 25 remotely accessible educational resources that aid in the professional application of Commercial Transportation Finishes. These educational resources are designed to develop and improve application skills, reinforce proper repair procedures, and enhance capability to select and mix the optimum products to exceed the expectations of vehicle owners.

Via this investment in remote learning, Axalta aims to help customers gain proficiency in the selection in use of our products and increase productivity via correct application and use of the most efficient processes. 

A comprehensive set of Commercial transportation training programs has been created as E-learning modules and Self Study Courses to allow both shop and distributor personnel to gain needed expertise at their own pace when time permits.  Our on-line learning resources can be found in Axalta’s Learning Campus at  

Axaltalearningcampus.com

For first time users, a Learning Campus profile can easily be created for free by clicking on the “Create a Learning Profile” link right below the Sign-in area. 

To find the Commercial Transportation Courses, click on “Commercial Transportation” at the top of the home screen after signing in.  

Current E-learning Modules

  • Axalta Commercial Transportation Understating Commercial Coatings
  • Axalta Commercial Transportation Undercoat National Rule
  • Axalta Commercial Transportation Undercoat Regulated
  • Axalta Commercial Transportation Topcoats National Rule 
  • Axalta Commercial Transportation Topcoats Regulated 
  • Axalta Commercial Transportation Basecoats & Clearcoats National Rule 
  • Axalta Commercial Transportation Basecoats & Clearcoats Regulated 
  • Rival Commercial Transportation System 

Current Self Study Courses

  • Axalta Commercial Transportation Air System Components
  • Axalta Commercial Transportation Spray Equipment Set-up
  • Axalta Commercial Transportation Surface Preparation
  • Axalta Commercial Transportation Abrasives & Sanding Best Practices

Current Lunch & Learn Presentations (Short training sessions designed for local Axalta reps to present to distributors and shops at their location over a lunch break) 

  • Axalta Commercial Transportation Undercoats National Rule Lunch and Learn
  • Axalta Commercial Transportation Undercoats Regulated Lunch and Learn
  • Axalta Commercial Transportation Topcoats National Rule Lunch and Learn
  • Axalta Commercial Transportation Topcoats Regulated Lunch and Learn
  • Axalta Commercial Transportation Basecoat / Clearcoat National Rule Lunch and Learn
  • Axalta Commercial Transportation Basecoat / Clearcoat Regulated Lunch and Learn
  • Axalta Commercial Transportation Rival System Lunch and Learn

Commercial Transportation Video Series

  • Commercial Transportation – Blending CT Systems
  • Commercial Transportation – Clearcoats
  • Commercial Transportation – Undercoats
  • Commercial Transportation – Spray Equipment Setup
  • Commercial Transportation – SS Topcoats / Basecoats
  • Commercial Transportation – Surface Preparation

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Look at Commercial Collision Claim Trends

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To aid those weathering the uncertainties of how 2021 will impact the commercial collision industry, we at PPG are sharing some benchmarking insights and trends, compiled from our ADJUSTRITE ® Commercial Estimating system, from 2018 thru 2020— including both insurance and shop estimates from the United States and Canada. For all metrics, except severity, the information excludes known total losses.

Severity trends reflect an industry experiencing increased complexity or
year-over-year increases.
In contrast to the approximate 4.7% increase in claim severity from 2018 to 2019, excluding total losses, there was a 2.7% increase from 2019 to 2020. The average claim severity in 2020 was $8,620.
(For all estimates including total losses, there was a 10.4% increase in severity in 2020, compared to 2019, with an average claim severity of $10,288.)

Total parts’ dollars also showed year-over-year increases. For 2018 to 2019, the average total parts’ dollars increased 3.3%. There was a 2.9% increase for 2019 to 2020.

Average total parts ‘dollars per estimate in 2020 was approximately $4,120. Total labor dollars also saw increases year-over-year.

 

 

 

From 2018 to 2019, total labor dollars increased 6.3%, and there was a 3.7% increase in 2020, over 2019. Table 1 provides a 3-year view of sales mix percentages.


Table 1:
Sales Mix Percent for CY 2018 – CY 2020

 

 

With labor dollar increases outpacing others, it is critical to review the labor mix percentages over the past three years, which averaged 61.8% body, 3.5% frame, 10.7% mechanical, 0.2% miscellaneous and 23.8% paint.

The 3-year trend saw a move of less paint and body to more mechanical and miscellaneous labor percentages. Table 2 provides a view of each year.

Table 2: Labor Mix Percent for CY 2018 —CY 2020

94.0% of estimates with body labor. The 3-year average percentages of estimates for each labor type were as follows:

    • 7.9% with frame labor
    • 23.9% with mechanical labor
    • 1.2% with miscellaneous labor
    • 71.0% with paint labor.

From 2019 to 2020, there were increases in estimates with frame and mechanical labor, and a decline in estimates with paint, body, and miscellaneous labor. Table 3 provides a view of each year.

Table 3: Percent of Estimates with Each Labor Type for CY 2018—CY 2020
Table 4:
Average Labor Dollars for CY 2018—CY 2020
A review of the 3-year trend for average labor dollars shows that all labor types experienced a year over year increase except frame and mechanical labor dollars. Frame labor dollars were flat from 2018 to 2019, however were down 5.4% from in 2020. Mechanical labor dollars increased in 2019 over the previous year, however remained flat in 2020. Miscellaneous labor dollars saw a double- digit increase of 11.5% from 2019 to 2020. Table 4 provides a view of each year.


In the parts count category, the 3-year average for number of parts per estimate is 23, with OEM parts used 95.5% of the time. When comparing average parts dollars for 2020, the OEM average part cost was $247—recycled parts was $1,433, and aftermarket new was $335. The split between repair and replace labor dollars in 2019 and 2020 amounted to 42% for repair and 58% for replace. “Front” was the most often flagged primary impact area in 2020, followed by “Right Front” then “Left Front.”

The 3-year average for sublet dollars per estimate is $711, with the average down 1.5% in 2020. From 2018 to 2020, paint and material dollars showed year over year increases of 6.6% and 5.2% respectively. Average paint and material dollars per estimate in 2020 numbered $547. Average shop supplies per estimate in 2020 was $168, an increase of 6.2% over 2019.There was a larger increase in shop supplies in 2019, over 2018.

Since 2018, the total supplement amount per estimate has continued to rise, increasing by 8.2% in 2019 and 34.8% in 2020. The average total supplement cost was approximately $3,800 in 2020 The percent of estimates with supplements increased from 25.9% in2018 to almost 28% in 2019. Last year saw that percentage drop to 24.2%, with 71.9% of those estimates having only have one supplement. Supplement dollars represented 33 – 34% of severity in 2018 and 2019, while 2020 saw that number increase to 44%.

 

Thank you for allowing us to provide you with insights compiled from our AdjustRite Commercial Estimating system. All of us at PPG Industries wish you the best of success in 2021! If you have any questions regarding our commercial estimating system, feel free to contact Ryan Woolfenden, PPG marketing manager, commercial programs, at woolfenden@ppg.com.

About AdjustRite:
The AdjustRite ® Commercial Estimating system is an industry-leading platform in the medium-to-heavy-duty equipment repair and claims industry. The system is a Web-based, fully mobile application, driven by a comprehensive database of commercial vehicles and equipment including: tractors, trailers, trucks, boxes, motor coaches, RVs, and buses. To learn more about the AdjustRite Commercial Estimating System, visit www.adjustrite.com .

SCA Appraisal Sending Free PPE and Speeding Appraiser Pay in Advance of COVID-19 Spikes

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Burbank, CA – In anticipation of an accelerating spike in COVID-19 cases and in the interest of safety for its nearly 800 franchise and network appraisers, SCA appraisal has launched a second round of up to $25,000 of complimentary COVID-19 PPE directly to field appraisers as an effort to mitigate potential exposure to COVID-19 and mitigate any possible exposure to clients.  Additionally, SCA is accelerating pay to appraisers and increasing the frequency of payments to help assist with any financial challenges associated with potential shutdowns.

“As a society and as businesses, we learned a lot about the impact of CVID-19 spikes and related shutdowns throughout 2020.  SCA wants to ensure we are doing all we can to promote safety and assist with financial stability in the event the increased COVID-19 cases being reported nationally translate into further business disruption.”, says Timothy Davis, Jr., president of SCA Appraisal.  “Nothing is more important to us here at SCA than our people, our franchise network and our clients’ vehicle owners.  The PPE and accelerated compensation is our small way of cementing the commitment to the industry that SCA has proudly-served for over 40 years.”

“For our franchise and network partners, getting them paid is more important now than ever and SCA has committed resources to expediting these payments.”, states Monica Warner, CFO.  “We know times may have been tight for some in the industry and we are proud to be able to extend payments faster than ever.”

Additional information regarding this program can be obtained by visiting SCA’s dedicated website at:  http://sca.claims/ppe

For inquiries:
Phil Langley
plangley@sca-appraisal.com / 214-914-0187

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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