“From a customer’s point of view it’s great—they know all the technicians have been trained to Toyota factory standards as well as ASE and I-CAR,” said Iaco.
Part of the requirements for the certification are for the body shop to have the most cutting edge equipment, including welders, spray booths and lifts. Chatham uses two Blowtherm ultra-mix down-draft spray booths.
Iaco said Chatham is the only Toyota Certified Collision Center in the low-country Savannah area. Their equipment and level of technical knowledge is what sets them apart from their competition.
Chatham switched to PPG waterborne paint in 2009. According to Iaco, the paint distributor for PPG made the change very easy by providing on-site technical support throughout the transition from solvent-based paint.
“We always welcome the opportunity to use a “greener” product and improve quality at the same time,” said Chatham’s Fixed Operations Director Tom Ryals.
The distributor provided on site technical support for Chatham as long as necessary, accoding to Iaco.
The paint technicians really like the new waterborne system. Lead painter Jeff Cooper said “the paint match is a lot easier than with solvent-base. You don’t get dye back or shrinking like with solvent-based paint.”
Painter Bob Emiry added “What you see is what you get—a quality finished product.”
“These guys here really love it,” Iaco said of the waterborne paint system, “they had a really easy time making the switch.”
Iaco also believes the collison industry is a great career route for women that is often overlooked; she worked her way up through the ranks at JM Lexus in Margate, FL, for 17 years before moving up to Savannah about 6 months ago. She originally wanted to work as a title clerk for the dealership, but got hired in the body shop instead.
“I really enjoy it; this is a great shop, a great area and the technicians are all wonderful,” said Iaco.
The technicians work in teams on the shop floor at Chatham, making finishing the heavy work load this shop brings in easier for everyone.
“We do a lot of Lexus work here, so that quality just has to be there,” said Iaco. Chatham focuses on quality and they believe that starts with their technicians.
Chatham Parkway Collision Center
41 Park of Commerce Blvd.
Savannah, GA 31405