Tuesday, 02 April 2019 15:27

Truck Topics: Truck Vs. Auto Collision Repair – An Overview

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They have only been looking at the collision side of things for the last year or so and are making headway. However, as Legler puts it, “We’ve seen more changes in the trucking industry in the last 10 years than the previous 35 years.” (Sounds a lot like the auto side!)


The Technical and Maintenance Council’s “S-16” study group is working with OEs and companies that supply engines, transmissions, axles, springs, electronic components and others to come up with best practices and procedures for making safe and complete repairs.


Legler noted, “Unlike the auto industry where the OE provides a one-stop place for all information regarding the vehicle, repair information for a heavy truck can come from a number of different sources and in several different formats. It’s often difficult to find and when found, can be rather vague or of little help. It is fortunate that we all get along and work together within the industry. Representatives of the OEs as well as other component providers all serve on our committees and study groups.”


When asked what the biggest challenge was today in the world of collision repair for heavy trucks and equipment, Legler was quick to reply with, “New technology. It’s coming at us faster than we can deal with it. That includes electronics, new frame alloys and composite materials for the cabs. Some of the electronic components on these trucks hold a high electrical charge and if approached the wrong way can seriously hurt the truck and the technician.” (This should sound familiar to those on the auto and light truck side.)


Legler went on, “Many of the latest trucks are aerodynamically designed to optimize fuel economy. Today’s body technicians need to restore that truck’s aerodynamic design for optimum fuel economy. That’s a big deal when that truck travels 100,000 miles per year.”


When asked how the industry was dealing with ADAS systems, Legler said, “We have only had to deal with that for the last couple of years. But we have to come up to speed quickly. It’s only a matter of time before autonomous trucks using these technologies start hitting the road.”