Collision repair might be experiencing a lot of change and uncertainty right now — but at least you can count on that it’s hiring.
A north central Alabama community college has reported demand for collision repair technicians has come from as far as the Florida Panhandle, and two other companies recently announced hiring and training pushes.
“I’ve never had this many jobs available for students. It’s hard to fill all of the requests. Technicians are getting older and retiring and a lot of younger guys aren’t there to fill the holes,” Wallace State Community College Collision Repair head Tim Grace said. “Technology is changing and the way we are doing things is changing. That keeps it from being a dead end street. The need for strong technicians is getting greater and greater. The job field is very broad, and there are good wages to be made out there.”
The college, citing I-CAR, said the annual technician salary in 2013 was $52,000. Wallace State also said some shops were paying — they might have meant charging — $52/hour for body repair/painting, $62/hour for frame repair/measuring and $72/hour for mechanical work.
Millions of good-paying jobs are opening up in the trades, including auto collision repair. And some pay better than what the average college graduate makes.
With so many boomers retiring from the trades, the U.S. is going to need a lot more pipe-fitters, nuclear power plant operators, carpenters, welders, utility workers, auto collision repairers — the list is long. But the problem is not enough young people are getting that kind of training.
We need to be preparing a lot more young people for good, well-paying jobs in the trades.
Both online attendee registration and housing reservations are now open for NACE and CARS 2014, part of Industry Week starting July 27 in Detroit. These include many board and association meetings Monday, July 28; the CIC summer meeting on Tuesday, July 29; the I-CAR Conference and Gala 35th Anniversary Networking Event on Wednesday, July 30; and features the NACE | CARS 2014 Conference + Expo, Wednesday – Saturday, July 30 – August 2 The Expo will be held Thursday and Friday at the COBO Convention Center.
Expo Passes to access the show floor only can be purchased for $35/each; individual, 90-minute conference sessions are available for $75/session or individual 3 or 4 hour conference sessions are available for $150/session; a Day Pass is $250, and Saturday Mechanical Sessions are $150; a full-access Super Pass is $315 for members and $365 for non-members. All prices noted reflect Early Bird pricing, which is in effect through June 14th. Add-On Education from I-CAR, as well as the CRES/MSO Collision Repair Executive Symposium and TTF Technology & Telematics Forum events are available at an additional charge.
New this year, all registration options include the NACE and CARS Show Floor Receptions on Thursday and Friday evening, the Opening General Session Thursday morning and The Assembly – Industry Forum on Wednesday afternoon. Additional details on these events will be released in the near future.
“As the automotive collision and mechanical industry’s premier networking and training event, we are so pleased to include the Show Floor Receptions, Opening General Session and The Assembly – Industry Forum in every registration this year, as it reflects our desire to create an event that fosters networking and community interaction among our attendees,” stated Dan Risley, Automotive Service Association President.
Article details ways repairers may be able to manage how “data pumps” access file information
Many repairers are unaware of the breadth of data being extracted from their servers, where it is being extracted from, what settings they could employ to better control the flow of information, or even how that information may be used beyond its intended purpose. For years, the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) has alerted its members about the potential risk and liability associated with inadequate control over estimate data and business information.
As one recent example, SCRS was notified of growing concerns relative to the collection of data through participation in the PartsTrader parts procurement program. As the program rolled out across the nation, more questions began to arise when end-users noticed key identifying information from non-State Farm estimate files populating their PartsTrader dashboard. The repairer concern surrounds the amount of non-voluntary information being provided through the data collection process which could offer valuable information surrounding market volume and shop volume, raising further concerns over the potential of violating agreements with non-involved carriers by sharing information with an unrelated third-party.
SCRS researched the issue with PartsTrader and each of the estimating system providers to identify the means and extent in which the data is being accessed and collected; and inquiring if repair facility end-users have options to restrict non-required data from being collected, accessed or shared. As a result of that research, SCRS issued an article outlining the resulting responses from each of the technology organizations. The article concludes that:
- Technology has increased the ability to communicate information amongst businesses; however, the increase of applications that indiscriminately extract data in the background for unknown or unintended purposes is a concern for repairers who have obligations to protect data generated by their business.
- There are advancements being made, or already in place, from some estimating system providers which allow collision repair facilities to maintain better control over the data files being exported from the estimating systems to other data collection sources.
- The solutions and options for each estimating system vary, so it is important to compare capabilities of the software programs relative to features that allow greater control over unwanted data transfer, and to make any necessary profile changes in line with individual business practices.
I-CAR has added a new Live, instructor-led course to its catalog, Full-Frame Partial Replacement (FFR01). This course provides information on OEM repair procedures and welding requirements for full-frame vehicles.
The three credit hour course meets training requirements for Steel Structural Technicians, Auto Physical Damage Appraisers and Estimators in I-CAR’s Professional Development Program. FFR01 replaces I-CAR’s Steel Full-Frame Sectioning (SPS03) and Steel Full-Frame Technologies and Repair (SPS08) courses, resulting in the need for three less credit hours of training for certain repair professionals. Anyone who has previously taken either SPS03 or SPS08 will not lose training credit that has been earned.
“Properly repairing today’s full-frame vehicles requires a command of an array of considerations. The content in this course can be applied on the job immediately following completion, resulting in increased savings for the shop and the vehicle owner alike,” explained Josh McFarlin, I-CAR Director of Curriculum & Product Development.
Technicians will learn how to identify full-frame designs, partial replacement options and repair considerations for full-frame attachments during the course. They will also have access to HD-quality videos on full-frame partial replacement procedures for some of today’s most popular full-frame vehicles, including Ford F-150, General Motors 1500 frames, RAM 1500 and Jeep Wrangler.
By Bradford Wernle, Automotive News
Michigan Ford dealer Ed Joliffe has been calculating the cost of getting his body shop ready for the 2015 aluminum F-150 pickup, and finds the numbers sobering.
“It’s going to cost anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000. That’s a hell of a chunk,” says Joliffe, who owns Gorno Ford in suburban Detroit.
“I don’t think it’s for the faint of heart. All the small shops won’t be able to touch it.”
He figures it could take five to seven years to recoup that investment, which he deems essential to stay in the body shop business.
Ford is targeting dealers with large body shops as it attempts to organize the F-150 aluminum body repair system. For those dealers, the investment will exceed the $30,000 to $50,000 Ford has cited for a single repair bay. Like Joliffe, many dealers say the cost could be $70,000 or more.
Ford’s effort is creating the Ford National Body Shop Network of dealers and independent shops capable — Ford shies away from the term “certified” — of large structural repairs. The network, whose members have the proper tools and training, will be Ford’s conduit for insurance company repair referrals.
Ford wants to assure customers and insurance companies that collision repair rates will be competitive with rates on the current steel-bodied truck. Those dealers and independent repair shops who invest in equipment and training can hang a Ford National Body Shop Network sign in their showrooms and will be listed on a body shop locator on ford.com.
By year end, Ford wants a network of about 1,500 aluminum-capable body shops, including its 460 dealerships and more than 1,000 independent shops.
By Bradford Wernle
NADA pitch aims to reassure dealers on repair issues
It wasn’t your typical convention display: a color-coded body-in-white cutaway of the Ford F-150 pickup that looked like an oversized Fisher-Price toy.
But Ford Motor Co. was using the toy store approach to make a serious point to dealers: The economics of an aluminum truck – both the repair costs for the customer and the body shop operations for the dealer – make sense.
“We’ve made a lot of really significant changes for repairability,” Jim Farley, Ford global vice president of marketing, sales, service and Lincoln, said at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention here. “They will help save a lot of labor costs.”
For those with an engineering bent, the display provided a fascinating first look at how construction and repair of the nation’s top-selling vehicle will change with the aluminum redesign.
Visit http://www.crashrepairinfo.com/ and tell your customers about it.
This is a great resource for our members who work so hard to advocate for the consumer and provide them with information that supports proper repairs.
Please feel free to share your feedback on the site to the SCRS, and they will make sure it is communicated back to the OEM Collision Repair Roundtable.
Executive Director | Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS)
I-CAR is happy to inform you that Kia Motors has released its first comprehensive collision repair manual in the United States!
The manual for the 2011-2012 Kia Soul provides a wealth of information valuable to collision repair professionals. It includes body panel repair procedures, sectioning and attachment method instructions, seam sealer and corrosion protection information, body dimensions and plastic part repair instructions. You can find it at www.kiatechinfo.com under Service Materials > Body Dimensions > 2011-2012 Soul (AM) Body Dimensions.
In the same section of the site, Kia has also posted repair manuals for the 2004-2009 Amanti, the 2007-2010 Rondo and the 2005-2009 Sportage that give details on unibody structure replacement procedures, seam sealer information and plastic part repair instructions. Dimension information for several other Kia vehicles is also available.
I-CAR has been encouraging Kia to publish more of its repair information in the United States for some time. So we’re proud to report that the Soul manual is among the most detailed and technician-friendly manuals we’ve seen from any manufacturer to date. We’d like to thank Kia for its efforts to provide this valuable information.
We look forward to updating you on other OEM collision repair information as it becomes available. I-CAR’s ongoing work as a linking pin between OEMs and the industry is just one aspect of our growing Repairability Technical Support Initiative to help collision repair professionals perform complete, safe and quality repairs.
Director, Industry Technical Relations
OVER $200,000 IN SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS AVAILABLE TO COLLISION STUDENTS THIS SPRING THROUGH THE COLLISION REPAIR EDUCATION FOUNDATION
FIRST 500 APPLICANTS TO RECEIVE A COMPLIMENTARY TECHNICIAN SHIRT AND PAIR OF SAFETY GLASSES
Secondary and post-secondary collision students attending career and technical schools and colleges have the opportunity to apply for the over $200,000 in available scholarships and tool grants available through the Collision Repair Education Foundation and the organization’s industry supporters. The spring 2014 opportunities include:
- 3M Hire Our Heroes Veteran Scholarships & Tool Grants
- Alliance of Automotive Service Providers Massachusetts (AASP-MA) Tool Grants
- ABRA Auto Body & Glass Tool Grants
- Atlanta I-CAR Committee Scholarship
- Caliber Collision Center Scholarship & Tool Grants
- CCC Michael Salvatore Memorial Student Repair Technician Scholarships
- Chicago Pneumatic Student Tool Grants
- Collision Repair Education Foundation Board of Trustees Scholarships
- GEICO Scholarship & Tool Grants
- I-CAR Northwest Regional Scholarship
- Ingersoll Rand Tool Grants
- The Lon Baudoux Legacy Scholarships
- PPG Automotive Refinish Scholarships
- Robert Author Smith Memorial Scholarship
- Service King Scholarship & Tool Chest Grants
- Van Tuyl Group Scholarship & Tool Grants
- Western Michigan Body Shop Association Scholarship & Tool Grants
As an added incentive to apply, the first 500 collision students to complete the application will receive a technician shirt (sponsored by CAPA) and pair of safety glasses (sponsored by LORD Fusor).
The scholarship and tool grant application is available through the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s web site: www.CollisionEducationFoundation.org, with a deadline of February 13, 2014 to apply. Winners will be selected by members of the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s Board of Trustees Selection Committee and notified by mail and phone. For more information, please contact Director of Grant Programs Melissa Marscin at email@example.com or 888.722.3787, Ext. 282.
June 22 - June 26
July 20 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
July 21 @ 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm
July 29 - August 2
November 3 - November 6