BC’s More Hours/More Money Scramble
The BC collision repair world has in the last few months gone completely out of control with an unsustainable more hours/more money frenzy. The industry has relinquished control of all processes, including quality control and safety decisions, to the techs on the floor.
These techs are able to focus on
the hours and dollars because they have no accountability for the quality of their work — the limited regulation that exists is not enforced. If a shop owner asks for more quality and the tech does not want to work to that level, that tech can go to another shop tomorrow. If he is pumping out the work, standards are overlooked. Many shop owners are happy with this as they too measure success only in hours and dollars today
At Tsawwassen Collision, we are making the case for a different approach. If we were like so many of the other collision repair facilities we would have no choice but to participate in the more money more hours scramble. However, we are not at all like the majority of the facilities.
The Opportunity at Tsawwassen Collision
The lead repair tech role at Tsawwassen Collision is the opportunity to earn a very good salary based on competent, honest work, with support provided when the work is new or unusual. It is the work of the future in the work environment of the future.
This is what Tsawwassen Collision offers while rest of the industry is caught in the more hours/more dollars frenzy, with the only measure of success being hours and dollars today. In that more hours/more dollars frenzy quality is secondary, working conditions are not given the respect required and there is little thought to the future.
Tsawwassen Collision’s approach to workflow
The workflow at Tsawwassen Collision is unique. Unlike others with two team systems, we have been operating with a three team system for over 10 years with all pre-repair disassembly done by a mechanical /electronics team. The vehicle is then transferred to the repair team for structural and surface repair work. From repair the vehicle is sent to paint and from there back to the mechanical/electronics team for assembly.
Trim, lights, interior parts, glass and all related electronic settings and verifications are done by the assembly team.
The mechanical/electronics team works in a third building, with separation from paint and repair. The equipment in that building is based on their assembly and mechanical needs and includes everything needed to complete the work without sublet, including all air conditioning, wheel alignment, tire change and wheel balancing, all suspension work as well as all electronics and most calibrations.
Correct, safe and productive repair is simply too much to ask of one person. It may have worked 20 years ago but
it does not work with the complexity of modern vehicles. For the repair team there is the ever growing challenge of working with different materials, including many types of steel and aluminum, composites and plastics and different bonding methods, including welding, riveting and bonding adhesives, with many of these used in combination. Keeping current with all this, along with the ever increasing precision in measuring and fitting is more than enough for one technician. The disassembly/assembly/electronics team have their own equally challenging demands.
Our technicians are supported by a strong estimating and production management team, with all information needed for the correct repair researched ahead of time.
Our Repair Equipment
- Our repair area is shared by two techs, equipped with two Car-O-Liner Bench Racks with standard pinch weld clamp set ups, truck clamps EVO 1,2 and 3 anchoring and fixturing, and mounting systems for VW, Audi, BMW, MB and Tesla.
- In addition to the two Car-O-liner benches, there is a Car-O-Liner Speed hoist, with basic pinch weld anchoring capabilities, and also a mid-height scissor hoist. With these four pieces of equipment, all work is done off the floor, at a safe working height. There are no floor tiedowns or chains used anywhere.
- Our shop features a Eurovac central dust extraction system, with Mirka electric sanders adapted to the extraction system.
- Techs can use full aluminum equipment, including a Pro- Spot SP2 wire feed welder (which also has a silicon bronze head), a ProSpot Dent Repair Station and a Ford Rotunda aluminum specific hand tool set.
- There is a Betag steel repair system.
- A Pro Spot PR5 self-piercing rivet gun with a blind rivet adaptor and the dies needed for most cars including Tesla.
- The repair area is in a separate building from the paint department and disassembly/assembly department and there is no cross contamination of dust, fumes or noise.
- Tsawwassen Collision is a certified Tesla Repair Centre, with all equipment needed to do complete repairs on Tesla vehicle.
The Objective at Tsawwassen Collision
At Tsawwassen Collison, the first objective is to repair cars properly. The equipment that we have along with the division of labour allows us to do that in an excellent work environment and compensation that is in line with industry. We ask that the technician do a steady and efficient day’s work, then come back the next and do it again. There is no need to rush, no need to worry about who gets the next ‘good repair’ and no need to do work outside of the main area of expertise. With team members all able to concentrate on what they do best, the productivity is there along with quality and without the competition.