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|Introduction to Dent Estimation|
|Recognising Hail Dent Damage|
|Dent Estimator and Dent Size|
|Estimating Dent Depth|
|Limitations on PDR Viability|
|Dent Count and Categorisation|
|Understanding Panel Sections and Diagram|
|Understanding the Dent Matrix|
There are specific factors that can limit the viability to repair specific panels and also in some case a whole vehicle. Remember, the whole concept of PDR was for an alternative, quicker and less expensive method of repair. There is a limitation however on what constitutes work classified as PDR. If the cost gets too high on a panel or vehicle, then other methods of dent removal need to be considered (basically conventional panel beating or push to paint). You may lose that job due to cost but don’t despair. Such a decision is crucial in managing work you can and cannot OR should NOT attempt – once you accept the work, and it may have been higher than borderline repairable, efficiency and profits decrease dramatically. You may be stuck with that vehicle repair and in the same time of period, you could have repair 2 to 4 other vehicles. This is again where the matrix comes in handy.
In the inspection and quotation process, the following factors need to be considered:
Too many dents
In certain parts of storms or in specific slow moving storm events, some or all panels sustain countless dents. Whether they are small repairable dents or not, there is a maximum number of dents you may wish to handle based on time factors.
Dents close to each other
If two or more dents lie close to each other, repair of the panel may not be possible. You may push the dent in place but due to wavy nature of the multiple dents the stretching of the panels prohibits possible repair of the panel and the dents may pop back and re-appear once more. Push to paint may be the only alternative PDR approach.
Extreme large or deep dents
Particularly in the case of deeper dents or sharp dents, the paint may be beyond the point of repair. The metal panel has been stretched beyond the point of repair and pop back and forth. Sometimes it is only the one dent that destroys it for the whole panel. The best you can do in some cases is push to paint. Where several deep dents occur on one panel, the cost of repair may be higher than the replacement of the part. The matrix is a good guide for these situations.
Dents near edges or lack of access
PDR techniques require access points for tool leverage or sufficient metal to glue and pull. If there is no access or dents are too close to edges, it becomes rather difficult to repair. In some cases, the repair may even damage the edges. Even if it is the case that one dent has caused such a situation, you may have little choice but to let it go. It is important to remember that you are offering a guarantee for all your work for the life of the vehicle with that owner.
Parts Damaged and replacement Required
In particularly large damaging hailstorms, there often is required the replacement of parts. These can have an impact on the process of viability – sometimes parts are hard to come by on rare vehicle or in short supply in very intense and widespread hailstorms.
Vehicle written off
As is the case in panel beating, even if PDR is less expensive, there is a threshold determined by the valuation of the vehicle as well as the excess payable in the case of insurance work that the cost of PDR renders the vehicle to be written off. You will gain experience in this area and in borderline cases, you may require to decrease your repair cost to win the job. If you do decide to try winning the job, your quote needs to be prepared and adjusted prior to submission! Again this will come with experience on how valuation works.
Old damage (including previous hail damage)
It is extremely important to note any old damage on your quotation as customers either knowingly or unknowingly point it out during the final pick-up and inspection process. You need to avoid any confrontation with customers and point any damage out as old damage or non-hail damage during the quotation period even if you are kind to them and decide to repair it as a kind gesture. Always note down the old damage in your notes on the quotation sheet.
Old and faded paint
There is a specific use-by date for paint just like items we buy in the shops. Even if the job is a gem, and half a day’s work, when you repair a vehicle, you are guaranteeing the work you do for the life time of the vehicle for that owner. Old paint becomes brittle and will crack once you apply PDR to it an it will do do giving you the nightmare. Work on such vehicles must be avoided and an explanation provided why PDR is not suitable as most owners do not understand how PDR works.
Old vehicles with thick gauge metal
Once again, old vehicles with stronger gauge metal can be difficult to work with and the valuation often have decreased immensely. It most likely is not feasible to work with such vehicles. In some cases as for the reasoning above, paint may also crack on these type of vehicles.
False or fraudulent claims
Every hailstorm have them: the owner of the some vehicles get out the hammer or sock with golf balls in them and pounds their vehicle. Unfortunately for them, most get caught as hailstone damage is very unique. Fraudulent claims need to be reported to the insurance companies as it is an offense!
Push to Paint
Push to paint is a process where PDR is applied to specific panels to prepare the panel to be repainted. In some case such as where paint has been cracked, panels have to be re-painted. It may still be viable to push to paint ie repairing the panel and getting it painted may be less expensive than to replace the part for instance! In other cases, the cost of removing the panels due to welds or affecting several other parts may also be more expensive than to PDR.
Aluminium has for quite a few years been used on vehicles particularly on Subaru vehicles – namely roofs, boots and bonnets. Aluminium is a weaker metal and has to be treated differently during the PDR repair process. In some cases, the panels require push to paint or complete replacement.