Tuesday, 02 April 2019 15:27

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

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The equipment needed to work on heavy trucks carries a proportionally large physical size and cost. Getting into the business is not for the faint of heart. Some of the challenges encountered while performing a heavy truck repair are conversely diminutive, yet equally important. Many truck bodies are made of aluminum to save on weight. (This should sound familiar to the auto repairers.) So when a lamp is attached to a body, or screws are needed to hold two body panels together, it’s crucial to use stainless steel screws to prevent galvanic corrosion.


Just like the auto side, as one might expect, the paint companies have taken a lead role in supporting the HD collision repair industry.


Axalta has its legendary Imron coating. Introduced in the early 1970s with about 12 different basic colors, it is now available in more than 25,000 colors and is the coating of choice for 5 out of 6 U.S.-based heavy duty truck manufacturers. Its coatings used on the production line and in the field are identical making an “original factory finish” possible in the field.


Axalta also has what they call a “Business Council” in which non-competing shop owners can come together, learn from each other, share experiences and receive words of wisdom from Ron Kuehn.


Sherwin-Williams has its own line of polyurethane topcoats specifically for heavy truck and equipment use. According to its website, in 1939, Sherwin-Williams was instrumental in devising the color we know today as school bus yellow as the standard color for all school buses.


BASF has its own line of commercial paint and will even custom-create a special color for an individual fleet.


In addition to its durable commercial coatings provided through its Sikkens brand, AkzoNobel provides analysis and recommendation for fleets to minimize down time for maintenance and repair and a coaching and training program for individual shop employees.


To summarize … are there differences between heavy truck and auto collision repair? Sure. But it seems there are just as many similarities. Fortunately, in both truck and auto repair, there are a handful of dedicated industry leaders working toward the betterment of each side of the industry---to identify and find solutions to problems to effect a safe and complete repair for the customer.

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