The Heavy Collision Repair Grind
Story by MAX REID
For most drivers, their thoughts on trucking and buses don’t often go beyond the best ways to avoid them on the road, out of justified concern for personal safety, mind you. These vehicles are obviously extremely heavy.
That said, heavy vehicles are almost treated like wild animals by the public and the collision industry in general. Most people don’t have the knowledge or the wherewithal to handle them properly, so they leave them to those who can.
But times are changing and truck repair is not forbidden knowledge. Sometimes all it takes is a fresh look and a little initiative, which Kenton Schultz, President and CEO of BRC Group of Grande Prairie, Alberta, has in spades. “It was a complete cold call,” Schultz said on the phone with Collision Repair, describing his pitch to the owner of Big Rig Collision.
“I was working on my MBA at Queen’s University. We were working on a project where we created a modeled extension that could be applied to Big Rig Collision Grande Prairie.
“After doing the project, I thought it might become a reality,” Schultz said. His pitch appealed to the former owner of BRC’s Calgary branch, who was receptive to a positive succession plan and an opportunity to cut expenses.
In September 2021, Big Rig Collision entered into an agreement that brought together the Grande Prairie and Calgary sites, as well as a coach and transit repair business in Las Vegas, all under the same BRC Group Ltd banner. .
In planning this bold merger proposal, Schultz took note of some changes that were happening within our own industry.
“Looking at what’s happening in the collision market right now with consolidation, there’s not much of the same happening in the heavyweight space. My thinking on this was whether we take the initiative and network ourselves or get consolidated into someone else’s group.
He attributes this lack of consolidation in truck repair in part to the increased costs that come with working on larger-scale machines.
President of Centennial College’s Automotive and Motorcycle Program and 26-year body repair veteran, Paulo Santos confirmed that much of the basic collision repair process is consistent between a passenger vehicle and an 18-wheeler – the main difference is the size of the tool used to pull the dent.