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Friday, 31 May 2019 16:47

Truck Topics: The HD Collision Market – Challenges and Opportunities

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Trains run on a very narrow pathway and can operate with little or no human intervention. However, engineers still are needed when negotiating populated areas or rail-switching yards. In addition, trucks can operate with little to no driver assistance on open highways; but, in a construction zone, warehouse yard or loading yard, a driver is still needed. The opportunity to make collision repairs will still exist, but the nature of the repairs will change. Gone will be the horrific crashes creating bent and twisted frames; much of the damage will be small. The biggest challenge will be the proper replacement of sensors, cameras, etc. to allow the ADAS system to operate properly.

 

“Mother Nature—weather, animals, road infrastructure, etc.—still damages vehicles and creates the need for HD shops,” Sterwerf added. “These trucks will always need corrosion protection and reimaging—operations performed by HD body shops.”

 

Challenge: Communication and cohesiveness between HD shops, except for shops operating in the same city, seem to be lacking. There is a gap both in communication among shops and a lack of knowledge about what is happening within the industry.

 

Opportunity: The auto side of the collision industry operated the same way from 1946 to the early 1960s. Three things happened almost simultaneously to promote communication and cohesion within the industry. One, trade magazines began to emerge giving the industry a voice. Two, trade associations began to emerge to represent an industry as a unit and three, leaders within the industry began to emerge. On the HD side, AutoBody News has begun to bring you news of the industry. It is one column per month, but it’s a start. Trade Associations such as the TMC has begun to recognize the collision side of the business. Leaders like Joey Fassett and Chris Sterwerf have begun making strides towards consistent and safe collision repairs.

 

Challenge: Currently, no codified collision repair procedures exist for the HD market, which is dangerous. Some shops may be making safe repairs, but others may not. Ultimately, the shop is responsible for the repairs they make and any subsequent problems that may arise.


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