Toby Chess

Toby Chess is an I-CAR program instructor, training specialist, and former salvage yard operator. Toby is universally known in the collision industry for his work with first responders and advocacy for body shops and consumers. He can be reached at tcspeedster@gmail.com.

Thursday, 21 October 2010 17:19

A Reader Unpacks his Baggage on the Industry

Hey Toby—I have never written a letter to a magazine or newspaper until now. I’ve read many of your columns and I want to thank you for the work that you do for the collision industry. I am a second generation shop owner and I am so frustrated that I don’t know what to do.

Hey Toby—We are repairing at 2007 Porsche Cayman and the insurance company wants us to recon the wheel. Do you know if Porsche has a position statement on reconditioned wheels? —Mick from Marina Del Rey.

Aloha Toby,

I just got done reading your article (Heat? On a Toyota Front Frame Rail? No Way !) in the July edition of Autobody News. I’ve always considered myself fairly smart and up to date with repair standards but after taking the “test” and feeling a bit foolish, answering only 7 correctly out of the 15 question, I have to agree with you that we can no longer repair vehicles the way we used to. Acquiring the vehicle manufacturer’s repair procedures before you start the repairs and following their recommended repair procedures is the only way to go. Thanks for all that you do, for all of us in this industry… keep up the great work that you do!

Dale Matsumoto
Auto Body Hawaii

Hey Toby:  Can you tell me how much heat can be applied to the front frame rail on a 2008 Toyota Tacoma.  I had an adjuster said that I could use low heat if I monitored it.
—Mario from Whittier

The first thing I would like to start this month’s column with is an update on the shops that have started to implement the lean process. 

In a recent article I discussed the lean process and how we can eliminate waste. I recently taught I-CAR’s Cycle time class in Downey and San Jose. Greg Gunter, owner of Greg’s Autobody in Whittier, CA, asked me for help in starting the lean process in his shop. I spent about 4 hours with his staff prior to the 4th of July holiday discussing the lean process and what we were going to accomplish, but before we got started, we did a walk-through of the shop as a group and identified all of the items of waste.

Toby Chess, well-known I-CAR instructor and consultant, was the featured speaker at the California Autobody Association’s (CAA) East Bay chapter meeting, held at Scott’s Seafood restaurant in Walnut Creek, CA, on May 19th.

Hey Toby—I read your articles on lean production and I would like to set up my shop as a lean facility. I know I-CAR has a class on cycle time improvements. I checked with a consultant on helping me but the cost was prohibitive. What do I need to do first?
        —Thanks, Old Time Shop Owner, Los Angeles

Hey Toby—I thought that all high voltage wires on hybrids are orange, but an adjuster told me that there are other colors. Are there more that one color for high voltage wires?
    —Dan from Fresno

With summer only a few months away, I’ve been receiving a number of questions dealing with automobile air conditioning. It’s a good time to answer them. To read this article in PDF format with photos, click here .

 Hey Toby—My repair center recently repaired a vehicle that was involved in a front end collision. The vehicle was not running and towed in. After the repairs were completed, I took the car for a test drive and turned on the air conditioning system to check it out. I was blasted by a foul smell coming from the air conditioning vent. Did we do something wrong?
        —Jose from Scottsdale.