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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