Collision repairers recently gave Auto Body Repair Network a pretty comprehensive list of what equipment might be worth the cost to your shop this year.
Not surprisingly, about a third of the recommendations from its Top Shops winners are related to the aluminum tools you’ll need to fix the Ford F-150 (and other aluminum vehicles and parts), though ABRN notes that Ford must sign off on what you buy before it’ll sign off on you fixing its baby.
If you don’t have it already, that stuff won’t be cheap. A Ford guide made available by I-CAR puts the price tag from more than $32,000 to nearly $81,000 (and notes shipping and handling is extra).
Other interesting picks:
The Matrix Wand. This intriguing gadget digitally checks a battered vehicle’s dimensions versus manufacturer specifications, giving you a much more precise estimate of damage and your coworkers a good laugh while you wield it like a title belt. According to Matrix Electronic Measuring, one study found that the wand detected an extra three billable hours worth of damage on average. (It better. Fender Bender put the wand’s cost at $30,000.)
A supplied air respirator. Given what we’ve learned about isocyanates and skin contact, it seems like this is a necessity to keep your paint technicians safe and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration off your back.
Waterborne paint. ABRN notes that even if you adopted it a few years ago, the formulas have changed a lot since then and it might be time to either follow-up with your vendor about anything new or switch altogether.
Auto Body Repair Network, Jan. 23, 2015
Featured image: Auto Body Repair Network’s Top Shops winners offered a 2015 shopping list for collision repairers. (Peter M. Fisher/Fuse/Thinkstock)