Ford body shops gear up for aluminum

The first 2015 aluminum body Ford F 150 pickup will hit the road in December, but Ron Needham and his crew of technicians at the Prestige Ford collision shop in Garland, Texas, expect to Canada Goose Online see their first repair job much sooner than that.

That’s because a few pickups will sustain minor damage en route to dealerships. And Needham’s shop canada goose uk outlet plans to be ready for them.

All Ford vehicles destined for Ford’s Southwest region come to a railyard in Mesquite, Texas, where they are transferred to trucks. Occasionally, vehicles get dinged coming off the trains.

canadian goose jacket When that happens, they’re trucked 12 Canada Goose online miles to Prestige Ford, where collision technicians perform body and paint repairs for American Road, an insurance company that covers Ford vehicles against damage while they’re in transit to dealerships. canadian goose jacket

canada goose clearance sale Prestige Ford is just one of more than 1,500 dealers and independent shops gearing up for Ford’s aluminum revolution with the new F 150. The investment is significant, but they see solid opportunities as aluminum changes the landscape of the collision business. canada goose clearance sale

canada goose store “We repair all their vehicles damaged in transit,” canada goose uk black friday says Needham, the affable fixed operations director Canada Goose Outlet at Prestige Ford. Though no pickups have arrived in dealerships yet, Ford has begun producing them at its cheap canada goose uk Dearborn Truck Plant, so Prestige Ford is likely to see damaged vehicles even before the first one gets tagged in a fender bender. canada goose store

Hone their skills

canada goose The early work will give Needham and his crew a chance to hone canada goose uk shop the skills they learned earlier this year in aluminum training sessions organized by I CAR, the Inter Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair. canada goose

The 2015 F 150 is a big deal because no company previously has manufactured uk canada goose outlet a buy canada goose jacket cheap mass market pickup with an aluminum body.

Aluminum has less “metal memory” than steel, meaning it does not regain its shape as easily when it is bent or deformed. Also, collision shops buy canada goose jacket need separate work areas for aluminum. Dust or filings of aluminum can damage steel in an electrochemical process call galvanic corrosion.

canada goose clearance That means dealers who want to repair the trucks need to buy special tools canada goose store and train technicians in aluminum techniques. Prestige Ford has invested about $56,000 to buy equipment including a special rivet gun, a vacuum for aluminum dust, a toolbox and floor to ceiling vinyl curtains to capture dust. canada goose clearance

canada goose coats Since rolling out its training plans Canada Goose Coats On Sale to dealers at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in New Orleans early this year, Ford has encouraged dealers and independent repair shops to prepare for the aluminum pickup by training technicians, purchasing aluminum specific equipment and joining the company’s aluminum repair network. canada goose coats

Paul Massie, Ford powertrain and collision marketing manager, said: “We have over 750 dealers canada goose coats enrolled, and our target was 750” for the network. “Our target for the independent shops was 750 also, and we’ve got well over 800. The majority of the Canada Goose Outlet dealers already have canada goose factory sale the equipment. Even more of them have their canada goose technicians trained.”

Ford has walked a tightrope with aluminum repair, emphasizing that repairing aluminum requires some special equip ment and different techniques than fixing steel bodies. At the same time, Ford has said that any body shop still can perform most canada goose clearance routine repairs. The special equipment is necessary primarily for larger structural jobs.

canada goose coats on sale Until now, aluminum body vehicles primarily have been the province of luxury makers, such as Jaguar Land Rover and Audi. canada goose coats on sale

Canada Goose Outlet Says Massie: “If you look at the older aluminum programs out there, some of them were very costly, so there were very few body shops that were in the aluminum repair business. I think with the program we’ve put together, we’ve made it more accessible to the dealerships and independent body shops.” Canada Goose Outlet

Canada Goose sale Later this year, Ford will make available for customers a list of aluminum ready body shops. Massie says Ford doesn’t have a certification program but that dealers who want to be on the list have canada goose black friday sale to demonstrate they bought the equipment and trained technicians. Canada Goose sale

Canada Goose Jackets “We’ll have a body shop locator available, primarily to our customers,” he says. Canada Goose Jackets

buy canada goose jacket cheap Randall Reed, president of World Class Automotive Group, which owns Prestige Ford and four other Ford dealerships in Texas, decided early to make the commitment. Reed believes aluminum repair will change the competitive dynamics of the collision repair business and give groups such as World Class Automotive a business opportunity. buy canada goose jacket cheap

Canada Goose online “I think you’re going to see a lot more of the trucks coming back to the dealerships. Let’s face it, there are not a lot of mom and pop shops investing in aluminum repair.” Canada Goose online

Reed estimates he has spent about $250,000 on aluminum repair equipment for his five stores. Prestige is the first of the group to be up and ready for canadian goose jacket business.

canada goose deals At Prestige Ford, Needham made sure the basics were in place in preparation for the first repair jobs. canada goose deals

canada goose black friday sale All 22 employees 11 metal technicians, 10 paint prep specialists and one mechanic received aluminum repair training at about $700 per person, he says. canada goose black friday sale

cheap Canada Goose “I knew this was coming about 18 months ago,” says Needham. cheap Canada Goose

Canada Goose Parka Prestige Ford’s 28,000 square foot collision shop does about $500,000 per month in repair orders, and a lot of those are F 150s in truck crazy Texas. That’s 165 repair tickets per month. The numbers don’t include the work that the body shop does to recondition trade ins for the used car lot. Canada Goose Parka

Though Ford offered to pay for the training of uk canada goose one technician per dealership, Needham made sure all of his collision repair technicians got the training.

Needham says Prestige Ford did not add new repair bays for aluminum vehicles but set aside a corner of the existing collision shop.

buy canada goose jacket “I think you’re going to see a lot more of the trucks coming back to https://www.getcanadagooseoutlet.ca the dealerships. Let’s face it, Canada Goose Parka there are not a lot of mom and pop shops investing in aluminum repair.” buy canada goose jacket.

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