PDR Tech of the Month
Jesse was born in a small town in Ohio. At age 9, he and his family moved to Charlotte, NC. Other than a couple of years in Nashville, TN, he has been in Charlotte ever since. Jesse plays a lot of ice hockey as a goalie when he’s not chasing hail. He also enjoys cooking and practicing yoga to stay flexible. Despite all the salads he posts on Facebook, Jesse also eats meat.
Before getting into PDR, Jesse did custom car audio installation and some sales at a local high-end audio video store. When he was 17 he called the manager once a week for 2 months before he gave in and gave him a chance. Jesse learned a lot on the sales floor and installing that has helped him in PDR.
In the spring of 1998, Jesse’s best friend got hail damage on his car. This led him to meet Jamie Hawkins who recommended him to some Dent Wizard guys in Charlotte. Jesse watched them repair his friend’s car and was instantly interested in a career in PDR. A month later, he applied at Dent Wizard and soon after was at the Nashville Auto Auction fixing Ford Taurus “karate chop” door dents.
After learning a few things, Dent Wizard asked Jesse to run a dealer/wholesale route in Hickory, NC. In the winter of 2000, with the help of Mike Brown and James Hastings, Dent Wizard put together a corporate hail team. Jesse worked some hail sites with them as a local tech and was invited aboard the hail team. Jesse has been chasing hail ever since.
In the future, Jesse would like to open a retail shop doing dents and SMART repairs, minor cosmetic stuff. He really likes what some guys around the country are doing with their shops. Eddie Martin with Dent Devils, John Highley with Dent Magic John, and Shane Jacks with Dent Pro Upstate are a few of the guys that are inspiring Jesse to want a shop of his own, but for now he’s sticking with chasing hail and watching the industry and its players play the game.
Jesse on his view of the future of the industry, “I think PDR has been going through some growing pains. In my opinion, the current state of affairs in PDR is like transitioning from middle school to high school. We have a new “class structure” of familiar faces in place with new industry players who are taking more control of the entire process. Old-school, well-seasoned techs are frustrated as the game rules change, often quickly and drastically. DRP rules, new matrixes, higher shop percentages, and what seems like hoards of new, sub-par techs and dent companies filling the voids of ever lower and lower wholesale bidding, but even worse than all that, a lack of quality and integrity. I really believe that how you choose to participate in this industry determines the direction this industry goes and the changes it makes; for better or worse. All aspects of PDR, from sales to tooling, are evolving in one way or another. Guys are introducing some really cool and very functioning tools. From blending hammers to LED lighting to motorcycle tank stands. Dents that were not thought repairable years ago are a daily fix for some. I really enjoy working around other techs and trading knowledge with great techs that I’ve met in my travels. Thanks to everyone whose ever helped me along the way!”
Interpreting the Preliminary Estimate can be a daunting task for some. Some of you may be well-versed on collision estimates provided by insurance companies or collision repair shops and find it can still be difficult to comprehend. Some of you may have never seen a Preliminary Estimate and would not know where to begin. This article is a brief explanation of a sample Mitchell's collision estimating software Preliminary Estimate format and some informative details you should be aware of when you make a review (See PDF Illustration
Each estimating software vendor has a unique layout for their Preliminary Estimate form. However, most software vendors follow the same basic format, a Header, Customer Information, Repairer Information, Vehicle Information, Claim Information, Line Items, Totals Summary and Disclaimer. The Header area is where the Company providing the Preliminary Estimate is shown and the Document Title. Sometimes special instructions or company contact information will also be included in this area. In this example, the Estimate Date, ID, Version, Supplement, and Profile ID are all shown in the top right of each page. Customer, Claim, Repairer, and Vehicle Information are standard data that you will find included in most Preliminary Estimates. Some important details to look for when making a review of a Preliminary Estimate are Labor Rates, Taxes, Deductible Amount, and most importantly the Estimate Key. The Estimate Key provides an explanation for special characters or abbreviations used in the line items, such as *, #, C, or some other form definitions that must be disclosed. For example, in this sample estimate
, the Estimate Key noted that "Paintless Dent Repair amounts are based on a user defined matrix."
An important detail that I have found when working with customers, is explaining the costs involved in performance of the operations to a particular panel. When we calculate Body, Sublet or Sheet Metal costs the formula is fairly simple, Hours x Labor Rate = Sub-Total Repair Cost. Part Cost is usually indicated on the same line as an R&R operation. Generally, Paintless Dent Repair is entered on an estimate as a total dollar amount, including Mark-Ups for Aluminum, Large Roof Panel, or Double Panel. There are cases where the Mark-Up is not calculated in the Line Item. Be sure to check that the appropriate Line Item Mark-Up has been applied to the Total (Dollar Amount in this example). Refinish Costs are not quite as simple to calculate as other Labor Operations. What we have to remember to take into account, is that Paint & Materials is also calculated by using Refinish Time, but is usually found on a separate Line Item. To accurately calculate the Sub-Total Cost of Refinish Line Items we can use a simple formula, by adding the Refinish Labor Rate and the Paint and Materials Rate together, then multiply that by the Refinish Time in hours listed on the Refinish Line Item [(Refinish Labor Rate + Paint & Materials Rate) x Refinish Hours] = Sub-Total Refinish Costs (See PDF Illustration
.) If you have any questions or would like to share some pointers, please visit us at
For a full list of common abbreviations found in Preliminary Estimates you can visit the link below.
Big Pulls With Little Tabs
by Gene Fetty