With the preference for larger vehicles becoming stronger over recent years, the discussion about repair cost and extent of damage is no stranger to most car owners. In fact, last 2017, the demand for light-duty trucks were up by 4.3%. The sales of pick-up trucks and sports utility vehicles are also in an increasing nature. In contrast, sedan sales fell in as much as 17%. And with more large vehicles hitting the road, auto body shops should anticipate the demand for related repairs.
The need for auto repairs nowadays is no longer contained to small vehicles alone. Auto body shops have to update their techniques and stock materials in order to fulfill future needs. Here’s why there’s a big difference between repairing a small car and handling larger trucks and SUVs after a collision.
The frame damage should be the priority
When it comes to trucks and SUVs, frame repairs have to be done first. This is because the frame acts as the foundation of the entire vehicle. If bodywork proceeds without addressing the frame first, the repair will be haphazard and potentially inefficient.
Also, if the frame isn’t squared properly, the body will look crooked and malformed. Driving safety will be compromised here, not to mention the local codes that the shop might violate.
Frame machines are needed
Unlike usual benches and frame racks, repairing a truck or SUV after a collision will require frame machines. This is necessary so the technicians can work on center sections properly. Also, frame machines have large workspaces that fit most large vehicles and multiple technicians.
Aside from that, frame machines also prevent ripping and tearing since simultaneous pulls can be done. Compared to traditional equipment, it’s also way stronger and durable when it comes to handling high-strength metal usually found on large trucks and SUVs.
Auto body shops need to adjust to the trend
While there will still be sedans that will figure in collisions, there’s a higher chance that trucks will fill the majority of the shop’s parking space. This influx of large vehicles needing repairs means the shop will have to train their manpower for a new level of collision repairs. Additional equipment will also be imperative, something that small shops may not afford.
Such a thing spells losses on the part of the repair shops. Although they won’t shut their doors entirely, failure to keep up means losing potential clients. And even if the shops get to acquire new skills and tools, expect that the fees will also increase in the process. With this, some customers may shy away from availing the service.
Not just that, the shop itself might be forced to turn away customers who bring large vehicles. However, knowing the pulse of the automotive trend will let these shops adjust and prepare ahead of time.
Investing in new machines will cost a lot, but this will be worth it once large vehicles are driving in and out of the shop. With that, more referrals will stream into the business.