Hail season is considered to be from mid-April to mid-September.
It is during this time when body shops expect a rush of business with damaged cars flooding in. Auto body shops are slammed with work as inclement weather surfaces throughout the region. Shop owners are often looking for ways to quickly repair these damaged vehicles.
Paintless Dent Repair (PDR), used for hail damage, minimizes the steps needed to perform a repair on the body of a vehicle. Dentsmart, a company that provides PDR, is committed to providing comprehensive education on this process to all technicians.
“PDR is a skilled process of manually removing dents without damaging the automobile’s finish,” said Jeff Williams, Dentsmart partner. “While it is a specialized repair process, a majority of repairs are completed by hand. Standard tools include lights, hand tools, glue-pulling systems and hammers.”
Keith Volquardsen, a PDR expert with The Claims Bridge, shows body shops how to make money performing PDR services when a hailstorm takes place. He warns businesses to be prepared when a hailstorm comes. When hail happens, shop operations can get busy which is why PDR services are necessary, he said.
“Vehicles that require paintwork can overload a shop’s paint booths, so working closely with the PDR company to minimize work blockage is critical,” Volquardsen said. “Body shops that offer hail repair should consider operating two shifts to minimize the effect on the daily operation and to expand their paint booth capacity.”
Williams has seen the PDR industry change in several important ways that benefit both shops and customers. New technology and specialized tools have changed the repair process, he said.
“The introduction of panel shrinking devices has caused heat to shrink and metal to stretch,” Williams said. “While effective, they can be intrusive.”
PDR does require a technician to touch the vehicle physically, so we’ve seen little to change the process; however, specialized tools have become available.
“Many of these tools come in various shapes and sizes, different materials and have interchangeable working surfaces,” he said.