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Friday, 31 May 2019 16:47

Truck Topics: The HD Collision Market – Challenges and Opportunities

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Repairers won’t have years to catch up. Training is paramount and needed now. ADAS systems are installed on the majority of new Class 8 and 9 trucks and they need repair and recalibration. All-electric trucks are now operating on our highways. An inexperienced or untrained technician, making the wrong move, working on such a truck could injure or kill the technician, Sterwerf said.

 

“CNG, LNG, Hydrogen and Propane are explosive fuels that shops need to be trained on to keep employees, property and neighbors safe,” he added. “ELD (Electronic Log Data) equipment and tracking can be difficult to deal with. Safety systems must be integrated with the tractor/power unit from the trailer and, or utility bodies. HD collision technicians need to know how to deal with these systems.”

 

Here are a few other challenges and opportunities HD shops create.

 

Challenge: Within the HD collision world, there is little to no formal training available.

 

Opportunity: I-CAR has created new training content. I-CAR has also adapted existing training materials to accommodate the HD collision world. In April, Penske Collision Repair in Norcross, GA, became the first HD shop to achieve Gold Class status. It is now up to the industry to support I-CAR’s efforts, allowing them to grow and expand.

 

“It might be possible to get collaboration between I-CAR, ASE and TMC, so the wheel doesn’t have to be reinvented, possibly creating delegations from various associations,” Sterwerf said. “The HD Repair Forum could also guide policy, creating organizations like I-CAR or TMC to create training for HD repairers.”

 

Challenge: According to some in the trucking industry, ADAS systems threaten to make trucks completely autonomous—eliminating drivers and making accidents almost non-existent—greatly reducing the need for HD collision shops.

 

Opportunity: In her address to the HD Repair Forum held in April in Fort Worth, Texas, Susan Alt, senior vice president of public affairs for Volvo, said fully autonomous cars and trucks of sci-fi movies will be a long time coming, if ever. Alt said airplanes have had autopilot since the 1940s; yet, we still have pilots.


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