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Caroline Lacasse has taken her career to new levels


28 Summer 2018





A couple refinishes cars using wood, Lakeland College’s innovative education program and much, much more!

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cover story 13 No Limits! Caroline Lacasse’s unique journey through the industry.

regulars 6 Publisher’s Page by Darryl Simmons

Rare Repair: Racecars Ever wonder what it’s like to repair a racecar right on the tracks, in the middle of the action?

8 Educator Insight by Cecile Bukmeier

10 Motivated Painters by Gabriel Merino

44 News Centennial College hosts info session for students, PPG’s new training schedule and more!

46 Final Detail by Erin McLaughlin



Future Shock

Career Profile

Four new pieces of technology you might see on the shop floor in the next four years.

Mark Weeks’ journey from the shop floor to the executitves’ room.

features 17 Got Skills?

36 The Past Presents

Canadians across the country compete to place as best in their province.

How historical predictions of modern vehicles measure up to reality.

25 Black Magic

39 Lakeland College

Carbon fibre is making its way into the shop floors. How will it impact you?

Lakeland College’s unique autobody repair program.

Win With 3M and Bodyworx!

on the cover: Caroline Lacasse, consultant with Upsylon.

28 Wood if I Could The owners of Coventry Woodworks restore vehicles... using wood!




BOUNDLESS OPPORTUNITY A career that lets you grab life by the horns DARRYL SIMMONS


elcome to another exciting issue of Bodyworx Professional magazine! As you read through these pages, you will see that they are a celebration of the many rewarding career opportunities in collision repair, and in the automotive aftermarket in general. It is filled to the brim with stories highlight-

one who knows a lot about travelling down an unusual career path. In his view there is no shortcut to success that skips over the need to do hard work, and there is no limit to the rewards reaped by those prepared to do it—particularly for those with the drive to succeed in the automotive aftermarket.

This is an exhilarating time in the collision repair industry—a time of unprecedented change and unlimited opportunity.

PUBLISHER Darryl Simmons 647.409.7070 PUBLISHER’S ASSISTANT Laura Jensen 647.998.5677 EDITOR Erin McLaughlin 905.370.0101 ART DIRECTOR Michelle Miller 905.370.0101 VP INDUSTRY RELATIONS & ADVERTISING Gloria Mann 647.998.5677 MANAGING DIRECTOR IMM/DIRECTOR BUSINESS SOLUTIONS & MARKETING Ellen Smith 416.312.7446 CONTRIBUTORS  Cecile Bukmeier, Harland Goulbourne, Tabatha Johnson, Gideon Scanlon, Gabriel Merino, Allison Preston, Alex Dugas, Tom Davis, Waun Broderick SUBSCRIPTION One-year $29.95 / Two-year $49.95

Bodyworx Professional™ is published bi-monthly, and

ing the immense variety of career options you’ll find—from custom painting and design positions to roles overseeing the work of many industry professionals. It also includes a look at some of the many people who have journeyed from the shop floor to the corner office. While the collision repair industry offers many very different types of positions, there is one common quality required by those with the drive to succeed in any of them: passion. This edition’s central feature highlights this point by telling the story of one of the industry’s many visionary leaders, Caroline Lecasse, PhD. Now the chair of I-CAR’s Quebec board, she has put everything she has into the industry, and has drawn inspiration from it in her academic research in psychology. Caroline is, like many of the people whose stories have been included in this edition of Bodyworx Professional, is proof that there is no upward limit on a career in collision repair. It is a point that is also made in Gabriel Merino’s debut column. As the founder of Motivated Painters, Gabriel is some-



A career path feature is also found in these pages, with information on what careers lead where. While it’s a start, do not forget that the careers we outline are but a drop in the ocean of what this industry has to offer. We are simply not a big enough book to truly represent every opportunity available—hundreds of pages would be required for that. It is our honour to tell these stories, and it is our sincere hope that our readers will share this magazine with friends, family and, most importantly, with teachers. I am never more proud to serve as the publisher of this magazine than when I receive a note from an educator, often guidance counselors, thanking us for helping to stir up interest in automotive repairing in students struggling to decide on a long-term career path.

is dedicated to serving the business interests of the collision repair industry. It is published by Media Matters Inc. Material in Bodyworx Professional™ may not be reproduced in any form without written consent from the publisher. The publisher reserves the right to refuse any advertising and disclaims all responsibilities for claims or statements made by its advertisers or independent columnists. All facts, opinions, statements appearing in this publication are those of the writers and editors themselves, and are in no way to be construed as statements, positions or endorsements by the publisher. PRINTED IN CANADA ISSN 1707-6072 CANADA POST CANADIAN PUBLICATIONS MAIL SALES PRODUCT AGREEMENT No. 40841632 RETURN POSTAGE GUARANTEED Send change of address notices and undeliverable copies to: 317 Reid St., Peterborugh ON K9J 3R2

“We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada.”

Bodyworx Professional is published by Media Matters Inc., publishers of:




et’s face it, vehicles are complex machines, with thousands of parts working together to achieve better fuel economy, passenger safety and unique aesthetics. Because of this, it is increasingly important to keep up to date with training in the collision repair industry. The days of repairing this year’s vehicle like last year’s is a thing of the past. Early vehicles did not have the same repair parameters that modern vehicles require. Vehicles were initially styled after carriages, constructed mainly from wood. A few even had their frame rails made from wood. The material had limited design abilities as it could only be bent into simple designs using steam and pressure. Most early vehicles were box shaped and simple. Development of large steel sheets of metal allowed a variety of different shapes to be made around the frame. New ways of forging and stamping metal were discovered and all-steel vehicle bodies became common. The all-steel body was lighter, stronger and faster to make. In these days paint finishes from the factory commonly had runs and other flaws. The paint used was not very durable and it was common for the vehicle owner to repaint their own vehicle by hand. There was not a big demand to send vehicles to a qualified repair centre to fix minor body damage. As time went on, vehicle manufacturers began to focus more on the styling of vehicles, ensuring that newer, sleeker models were introduced to the public to increase sales. Each year new engines, body shapes and colours became available. Appearances, ride quality and handling became more important for consumers. Quality of panel fitment and paint began to increase from the factory. Vehicles became even lighter, more intricate and unique each new model year. New designs, comforts and gadgets were added to increase buyer interest. Manufacturers made both economy and luxury



vehicle models to suit the needs of all social classes. Having a vehicle was a way of life, with households owning at least one registered vehicle. With more people driving, a high rate of injuries and fatalities became a concern. A significant book, Unsafe at Any Speed by Ralph Nader, criticized vehicle manufacturers’ focus on comfort rather than safety.

ments played a huge role in developing modern repair processes. Materials and repair practices that were once standard became outdated and even hazardous as vehicles became more complex. There was as much industry concern with the introduction of the 1982 Cavalier with its high strength steel components as the introduction of the all-aluminum F-150s for the 2015

Air pollution, governmental regulations, social attitudes and technological advancements played a huge role in developing modern repair processes. This book led to the introduction of design regulations and safety standards. A year after it was published, congress enacted the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act. Vehicle manufacturers were faced with many changes imposed upon them from the government. Important strides were made in occupant safety throughout the following years. Steering wheels retracted with force, knee bolsters and padded interiors were used to protect passengers inside the vehicle. Urethane was used on windshields to gain structural integrity. Seatbelts and airbags were introduced to hold and cushion the occupants. Manufacturers began to develop crush zones. Different materials used in various locations helped increase rigidity and reduce weight. Repairs became more precise and needed to meet high quality levels to maintain strict manufacturer tolerances. New processes required training to understand where the materials were used and how to safely complete repairs. Air pollution, governmental regulations, social attitudes and technological advance-

model year. Even paint has had its technological changes that have needed new procedures to be used properly. It needed to be thinner, more durable and evenly applied to protect the vehicle panels from environmental effects. Special pigments and additives were used to create unique, eye catching colours to highlight vehicle style lines and create consumer attraction. Environmental regulations forced the development of higher solids paint and high volume low pressure spray equipment. These changes had many learning curves for paint and spray equipment manufacturers and paint shop technicians. Ingredients for paints became more complex and processes needed to be followed systematically to ensure a lasting coating could be applied. Paint products are constantly updated or changed because of advancements in chemistry and government requirements for lower VOC content. Processes change frequently. Following the guidance of someone in the shop who read the tech sheet two years ago can cause expensive mistakes. Yet


many apprentices say that their journeyman told them the process from memory, so the repair will be sufficient. Coating and repair material companies put a lot of time and money into testing their products. Technical information sheets are created within specific parameters and guidelines, so the quality can be duplicated. Following their product data sheet will ensure a quality repair can be made and warrantied. As weight reduction became the focus of vehicle manufacturers to increase fuel economy, thin steel and plastic became the most popular materials. Thinner metal could not take the heat required for lead body soldering or oxyacetylene welding. The use of plastic allowed for more complex shapes and a streamlined car body. They made vehicles lightweight and aerodynamic, which contributed to better speed and handling. Technicians need a greater set of skills to be able to conduct safe, quality repairs. If special considerations are not taken, the integrity of the vehicle can become compromised. Repairs need to be sufficient enough to continue to not only protect the passenger but to protect the vehicle structure. New materials are used in different locations which have specific procedures for technicians to observe. The use of aluminum, carbon fibre, high-strength steel and magnesium alloys help to further decrease vehicle weight and fuel consumption while maintaining strength. Distinct repair processes must be followed to maintain the durability of these materials. Repairs are more expensive and time consuming. Specific tools and techniques must be used to repair the materials. For example, the use of aluminum has become common for many vehicle manufacturers. Cross-contamination must be avoided, which calls for separate tools, a separated repair area and a separate set of skills for the repair of aluminum. Many of the parts are riveted or

bonded together with adhesives. Having the knowledge of the repair processes recommended by the vehicle manufacturer is extremely important for a sufficient repair. Knowing types of adhesives and their best function will attain an ideal repair. More sensors are being used on vehicles for collision avoidance, backing up and blind spot detection. The importance of vehicle diagnostic scanning has been heavily promoted. Pre-scanning is necessary for the repair facility to help scope and estimate the processes required for a safe and complete repair. The electronic safety systems used in modern vehicles are very important for occupant safety and must be checked after a repair for functionality. Each sensor must work properly before the car is returned to the customer. As vehicles become more reliant on technology, so does the importance of knowing what to do with each individual vehicle. The shop manager, estimator, technician and administrative staff should be equipped with the knowledge and technology to provide them with the right information to complete a quality repair. Managers should invest in training their employees. It is critical to be able to research OEM processes every time to ensure repairs are to their standards. The estimator can benefit from the same training to better understand unique considerations of each vehicle. Since interactions between a shop and an insurance adjuster are more reliant on internet communications and photos, the estimator can often benefit from training in effective communication. Often, the adjuster does not physically see the vehicle; they approve repairs to be made based on the photos and information they receive from the shop estimator. Learning how to take effective, descriptive photos and justify each item on the sheet is important to be able to be fairly compensated for the repairs.

There are many different courses offered across the country from I-CAR, OEMs and product manufacturers that will give the knowledge on how to properly follow repair procedures. Some of this training can be very quick and easy. For example, updating and re-reading product manufacturers’ technical sheets on a regular basis will inform the technician of any subtle changes of processes as well as refresh their memory on the basics of the product. The knowledge gained from any of this training will improve repair processes, customer satisfaction, job cycle time and can give businesses a competitive edge. Vehicle repair processes are changing at a higher rate than ever before. Training strengthens the skills that a technician already has and allows them to operate on a higher level and with more confidence. Going to courses should be done with intent, there is always a new process, technique or trick to learn. Technicians who attend the training should participate and try out new materials and processes. Certificates of completion should not be given because of attendance but by the result of the trainee and trainer’s efforts. Developing a culture of learning is imperative for the industry to stay competitive and relevant. Complex vehicle designs, unique safety features and high-tech electronics have become mainstream. This current technology has provided our industry with an opportunity. Our ability to confidently and efficiently repair these vehicles shows the general population how essential and valuable our industry is.

Cecile Bukmeier is an autobody instructor at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. You can email her at




BUCKETS OF LUCK Hard work always pays off BY GABRIEL MERINO


y family owns a cleaning business that does commercial plants and offices. One of the cleaning processes they have come up with for deep cleaning floors involves using two buckets: one with dirty water and one with clean water for rinsing. Why am I telling you this? Well, those two buckets have taught me a lot of great lessons. One of those lessons is that together they create luck. Even though another method might be faster or take less work,

the options that are in front of us without exploring alternatives. This can result in workers continuing to use the same faulty methods they have been using, which leads to discouragement and frustration. You see, I don’t like option A or B, I love option C. Option C is the option that doesn’t often get considered and is left lonely in the dark never to be found or explored. Therefore, workers forfeit the benefits option C brings without even realizing it, and instead stick with the more obvious and easier to obtain

paint a car for the next day. At the time, I was prepping and decided to stay late and work overnight. Did I need to do that? Not at all! I could have apologized and told my boss I couldn’t, I could have even said that I don’t get paid enough for that. But I did it and got the job done. I was so proud of this because it had nothing to do with management or being told what to do. It had only to do with my own dedication to my craft and my work ethic. So start working for yourself—not for your boss, or

It seems like the harder I work the luckier I get—the more action we take to do a good job, the more luck we seem to find.

floors are cleaned better with this process, customers are happier with the results and they continue to bring their business back to my parents’ company. In some ways, it seems like the harder I work the luckier I get—the more action we take to do a good job, the more luck we seem to find. Usually someone who is determined enough to keep going even when they aren’t given immediate results is always glad that they were persistent. This is because it got them where they are at that moment, often better off than where they were before they began. This can go both ways. Constantly making bad decisions and adopting a lazy attitude will also get you somewhere, but you certainly won’t be glad you are there. Have you ever heard the saying: “work smarter, not harder?” We often settle for



“solutions.” In other words, A and B are the low hanging fruit of solutions—short term fixes, excuses, etc. Option C, while, harder to obtain or even see, can be the ultimate fix. They do say the best things don’t come easy. My hope for you is that you find the hard work that needs to be done and do it smartly, because it always pays off. It might take some time, it might take making some mistakes or having to backtrack and make some changes to your plan, but it will be worth it. The great thing about mistakes is that it’s hard not to learn from them. So, get creative, dig around and find your option C. Make it come out of the shadows where others have left it and bring it into the light. You will be better for it! A few years ago a co-worker was going on vacation, and I was told I needed to

management or even your customer. Do a good job for your sake and your pride. Do the hard things now and you will thank yourself for it later. Hard, smart work is waiting for us—just like these two buckets are always waiting for me. Life is too precious to waste it by not doing the best you can at everything you do. The payoff is worth it. The bestselling book of all time puts it this way: “It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops.”

Gabriel Merino is the founder of the movement Motivated Painters. He is also head painter at Budd’s Collision. To get in touch with Gabriel, email him at


No Limits

Caroline Lacasse has taken unique and winding career paths


Caroline as a student (1996)



veryone in the industry has a toolbox filled with tools, small equipment and other bits and pieces needed to excel in ones’ career. They’re vital aspects of a repair technician’s job—things that are used again and again throughout the day. But what about your invisible toolbox—the one that lives in your brain, carrying your skills, knowledge and understanding of the world? The size of it is limitless, but adding to it is not as easy as a simple trip to the hardware store. It takes dedication to learning, curiosity and hard work for the resources inside it to expand. The benefits of building on it, however, are immense. Packing such an invisible toolbox is something that Caroline Lacasse, past autobody repair technician and now training and organizational development specialist, has devoted many years of her life to, through education and educating others. She has received a diploma in electronics repairs and installation, a diploma in collision repair, a certificate in pedagogical training and most recently an honour’s and master’s in psychology and a doctorate in industrial and organizational psychology. She notes that having a PhD does not make you a superhero, it just “adds more to your toolbox.”

The variety in Caroline’s education has allowed her to lead an interesting career filled with different but complementary jobs.





“I’ve always tried to create my own environment and my own job.” - Caroline Lacasse

Caroline working at Volvo Mercede (1998)

Variety in Caroline’s education has given her the flexibility to lead quite an interesting career. She has been an electronic technician, an autobody technician and painter, an I-CAR instructor, a collision repair teacher, a lecturer at the Université de Montréal, and she is now an organizational psychologist. Caroline is also the chairwoman of the Quebec Committee. While these careers are quite unique from each other, Caroline has been able to extract skills and experiences she’s gained from each and apply them to her other careers. Having real understanding of auto technology has aided her teaching, and teaching helps her communicate with clients in her current career.What one learns is never isolated to one profession—it sneaks out and helps in many aspects of your personal and professional life in ways one might never expect. Today, Caroline has many projects on the go. As a consultant, she works with collision repair facilities and other enterprises to help them find ways to improve their performance. Businesses call her because they might, for example, have a high turnover rate. Because it’s expensive and time consuming to replace someone, this is something to be avoided. Caroline will work with these businesses, by defining their needs and then, she will extract data by interviews, observations or surveys. Subsequently, she can make suggestions to management on how they can improve the business. It could require to develop new skills by training, coaching, some change management, etc. It can also require to change some processes.Those recommendations may apply 14

for the workers as well as the managers. She is also sometimes requested to create specific training content. Her experiences in autobody have proven to be particularly useful, here. “When I have to create technical content, I worked with subject matter experts in collision repair even if I still understand some part of the job. If I have to create content related to management skills, my experience and education in organizational psychology help me choose the right approach and topics.” Pursuing higher education is as intimidating


as it is difficult. So why do it? “I think I have, like anyone in this industry, my own collision repair toolbox and like anyone else, your toolbox can never contain enough tools. In some ways this can make a difference to the work I do because I can use technical and scientific knowledge, along with my own experiences, to come to the best conclusions and recommendations for my clients” says Caroline. Accomplishing an education can be made easier if students make an effort to nurture and follow curiosity, and pursue their wildest

Teaching I-CAR course (1999) Accomplishing an education can be made easier if students make an effort to nurture and follow their curiosity, and pursue their wildest dreams and ideas.

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Hitting up NACE Nace (2000)

dreams and ideas. The questions that pop into your mind may feel out there or not worth thinking about for longer than a few minutes, or even seconds. But grabbing your curiosities by the reigns will not only heighten your enjoyment of education, it will help lead the industry to greater places. “To achieve a higher education, if you’re not curious at all, can be really difficult,” says Caroline, continuing, “Because in this industry everything is changing so quickly, if you’re not curious you won’t feel like keeping up with your job. I think every job in this industry requires curiosity. I like to understand more and learn always.” Caroline has two different sides of her that at first don’t seem to complement each other, that is, an interest in manual labour as well as academia. “Too many people force themselves to choose between one or the other and fit themselves in a box. You can be both and that’s okay.” Finding ways to utilize both can give someone more variables in their career. If you love many things, why make yourself pick just one? What seems to have really benefited Caroline’s career and educational journey has been her willingness to do what has never been done before, and do what others tend to not like to do. “I never wanted to be like someone else. I always wanted to do things no one else really liked.” This led her to spending a lot of time teaching and learning about statistics and psychometric test, something she says her university students didn’t often enjoy learning about. This willingness to look outside what is currently accepted as

normal is what allows to her to be innovative and unique in both her work and perspective. However, Caroline’s natural inclination to “pursue the unpursued” hasn’t always been the easiest route. “When I was in high school, I wanted to be a specialist in car electronics. This was back in the 90s, and people told me that it wasn’t a real job. This was almost true back then. But today someone could definitely get a

job in that and work a lot. To be told your dream job is out of the question can be discouraging to say the least. Caroline recommends students keep dreaming when they have an idea. The job or technology may not exist now, but could in five to ten years. Heck, you might even be its inventor. Nothing is impossible. “I’ve always tried to create my own environment and my own job,” says Caroline.

Caroline receiving the top electronic instructor certificate (2000)




Got Skills?



Everything you need to know about the Skills Canada competitions.


hile most people in collision repair are aware of the Skills Canada competitions, only those who organize them or compete at the provincial and national levels truly get a sense of what it means to live and breathe Skills Canada. Demanding, difficult but truly empowering, the annual competitions give everyone involved a heavy dose of what it means to be utterly devoted to something bigger than themselves. For students involved, the benefits of the Skills competitions reach far beyond the feeling of pride that comes with winning a metal. For instance, competing may be the first time many students get the chance to see what the industry is really like—the fast paced and technologically driven environment, the industry leaders and up-and-comers they may one day work with, all in a supportive, helpful environment. “They have a great time and enjoy working alongside their peers, who share the same passions,” says Leanne Jefferies, director

of the Collision Repair Skills Canada Program. “They get to try out all the latest and greatest equipment and tools and have the opportunity to advance in their careers through the contacts they make throughout the competitions.” Competitors have a unique and valuable opportunity to simultaneously learn about their respective industries while making strides to establish a bright future. Bill Speed, chair for Skills Ontario, also advocates for connections made during the competitions, as a benefit to both competitors and potential employers. “I have one student who competed at nationals two or three times, and at the end of each she left with about ten business cards.” What could be a better place to look for new talent to bring into your workforce than a competition that highlights the best in the industry? Speed adds, “It’s not just about learning skills they’ve already encountered in school. It’s about pushing the envelope—introducing them to things they’ve never been able to work with before.”




INSIDE SCOOP Carrie Long, winner of the Skills New Brunswick car painting competition and refinisher at CSN Dana’s, echoes Bill’s sentiment. “Some of the materials used in the competition were different than the ones I am used to,” which she found to be a challenge when competing, but enlightening in terms of what she might eventually be dealing with on the job. Her experience at the competition also helped her realize her goal of becoming competent in all areas of the industry. “The biggest challenge I have faced is only being great at my specific area, which is not what it is about. Collision repair is a whole lot of specialties put together and I could use some improvement in certain areas.” Like the rest of the industry, Skills Canada is working hard to keep up with the current environment of change in autobody repair. In

In Saskatchewan. Skills Saskatchewan introduced the first ever on-site paint booth in Skills Canada history.

“It’s not just about learning skills they’ve already encountered in school. It’s about pushing the envelope—introducing them to things they’ve never been able to work with before.”

Ontario competitions. Like the rest of the industry, Skills Canada is working hard to keep up with the current environment of change in autobody repair.

- Bill Speed recent years the organization has implemented new tasks into the competitions to represent relevant trends, including aluminum welding. “We want the Skills competitions to reflect today’s workplace, especially in terms of new technology,” says Leanne. Some of the new tech seen at competitions in Ontario included a 3D measuring system, a silicone bronze welder and an aluminum welding machine. “Autobody techniques have updated in the industry, so Skills has new technology to reflect this,” says Sean Slaven, a volunteer at the competitions. Sean adds, “All the students were really grateful for the opportunity to use this new tech. I had students come up to me and thank me for our work, it was so rewarding.”


Competitors in Ontario. Some of the new tech seen at competitions in Ontario included a 3D measuring system, a silicone bronze welder and an aluminum welding machine.


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INSIDE SCOOP Skills Saskatchewan introduced the first ever on-site paint booth in Skills Canada history, a giant leap toward exposing students and potential technicians to the industry— one of the major goals of getting collision repair involved with Skills Canada. Leanne comments, “The Skills Canada Collision Repair Program exists to ensure the collision repair industry is visible at skills competitions across Canada, to support the committees in the work they do and help coordinate supplies, parts, paint and materials.” It’s not just the competition’s available technologies that have changed with the times, but also the competitors. “Just ten years ago there were no women in the competitions and fewer women in the industry,” says Leanne. But this year there were more women than men in the car painting competition. “All the young women coming through the competitions as attendees will see other young women in the industry competing, and think to themselves, ‘I can do this, too.’” While the volunteers at Skills Canada do their best to make each year’s competitions the greatest yet, they could use some help. “All our plans require bodies. All the activities we’d like to do require manpower that

A shot from the New Brunswick competitions. Competitors have a unique and valuable opportunity to simultaneously learn about their respective industries while making strides to establish a bright future.

we don’t have, considering we’re reliant on volunteers,” says Bill. The need for volunteers, and positive influences to inspire potential repair technicians is greater now more than ever. “There is a huge labour shortage in the industry. Most of the technicians who are in

the industry are over fifty and will be retiring soon,” Bill says. “On top of that, we’re competing with all the other trade jobs that allow students to use their hands and minds, and also pay much better. Volunteers can help put a positive face to the industry.”





QUICK FIX Collision repairers take on the F1 race track


[TOP] Pit stops are often planned before a race, based on track characteristics and the positions of other cars in the field.



he Montreal Grand Prix has always been a crowd collector and city favourite, and F1 racing tournaments are known to attract people, businesses and famous personalities from around the world. Last year’s Grand Prix was no different, with excitement pouring onto every street as proud owners paraded their deluxe buggies around town. While glamour and prestige undoubtedly hold a grand presence during this fast-paced event, much can be said about what happens behind the scenes, or rather, on the track. Racecar drivers often get most of the attention, although racing remains a team sport that requires a great deal of players with various roles, most of which do not include sitting behind the wheel. As a car sport, F1 racing requires auto repair specialists as vital team players, and consequently, training for repairing is an intensive feat. Paul Walker, a human performance specialist who is heavily involved with the training and


organization of the pits top crew commented, “We have four pit stop practices in one race weekend, and that’s every race weekend. When we’re back at the factory we’ll have practice sessions at the factory, and a specific training area where the guys can work on really refining and improving their technique. But then you’ve got gym sessions and training sessions with the guys. This has a health focus but is ultimately designed to improve their repair work. You can draw the net even wider and take into account the way we way tailor nutrition, get people to travel better and sleep better—all of these things have an indirect impact on the pit stops.” Pit stop repairers take their place right on the tracks and more specifically, in the pit stops. This is where auto repair professionals rush to perform tune-ups, tire changes, replace damaged parts and make adjustments in a matter of seconds to some of the fastest cars on the planet. These days, pit stops are precisely timed and well choreographed, though this was not always

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“We plan everything in as much detail as we possibly can.” – Paul Walker, human performance specialist

A pit stop repairer’s tasks include changing the tires, adjusting the wings, replacing damaged bodywork and clearing debris from the car’s intake.

the case. In fact, pit stops were disorganized and often chaotic up until the 1970s. With today’s modern technological advances, which allow car-to-pit communications, pit stops are breathtaking in their timing and efficiency. In terms of collision repair, many different elements must receive the attention of the pit stop crew. Mainly, their tasks include changing the tires, adjusting the wings, replacing damaged bodywork and clearing debris from the car’s intake. These four tasks, all done under ten seconds, ensure that racing strategies are maintained and contribute to the driver’s overall performance during the race. Timing is equally significant in terms of strategy. Pit stops are often planned before a race, based on the track’s characteristics, the car’s grid position as well as the positions of the other cars in the field. Strategies often change during the race based on weather conditions. “We look at the track, what possible things could come up in a specific race, what has historically happened at specific races and we take these into account in our training,” said Paul. “We plan everything in as much detail as we possibly can. We have procedures for a lot of different things so we’re not panicking mid-race when something happens. We have many procedures in place and the guys are well practiced in it.” The car is guided to the pit by the ‘lollipop man,’ named for the distinctive shape of the long ‘first gear’ sign she or he holds in front

of the car. The vehicle is immediately jacked up front and rear so that its tires may be changed. Three mechanics are involved in this task. One removes and refits the nut with a high-speed air gun, another takes out the old wheel while a third mechanic fits a new one. Wheels are arguably the most important component of an F1 car as they are the only part to touch the track. Strategic tire changes play a crucial role in the outcome of a race. Other repairs are routinely carried out during pit stops, such as altering the angle of the wings front and rear in order to in-

crease or decrease down-force levels. Bigger tasks, such as the replacement of damaged bodywork, will typically take longer. One of the most frequently broken components, the front nose cone, is designed with quick changes in mind. This year’s Grand Prix saw Montreal’s own Lance Stroll racing for the British team Williams, and scoring his first points of the season at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve. Stroll also helped Williams’ pit crew set a new standard for the other teams to aim at in 2017—a full pit stop in just 2.17 seconds.

Auto repair professionals rush to perform tuneups, tire changes, replace damaged parts and make adjustments in a matter of seconds.




INDUSTRY INNOVATION The chassis of the Alfa Romeo 4C, an Italian high performance supercar: Monocoque in carbon fibre with aluminum frame.

Future Shock

Four pieces of tech you’re about to see in the shop



ave you ever wondered what the work of automotive technicians will look like in a decade? Well, no one can know for sure, but one thing is certain: the bridge between mechanics and techies is closing, and quickly. As with previous revolutions in automotive technologies, you can often get a glimpse of the future by looking at current racecars. Technology that is being touted as ‘groundbreaking’ in today’s road cars is usually five plus years old in the racing world—it takes time to trickle down. In nearly every automotive application the use of computers is becoming increasingly paramount. From issues being diagnosed and fixed by plug-in updates the manufacturer supplies online to shops going paperless with the use of tablets and synced devices to make the repair process more streamlined, computers are everywhere. In the spirit of innovation I have compiled a list of four groundbreaking inventions which may be seen on the road cars you’re repairing in the next four years.

The Zytek Lotus Elise, pictured here, has an extruded aluminium space frame and a lightweight composite body shell.


1. Composite Work The McLaren Formula One team first pioneered the use of a full carbon fibre monocoque in their 1981 MP4/1 cars, driven by John Watson and Niki Lauda. This was something that was touted as ‘could never be done.’ In the beginning, carbon monocoques were thought to be death traps because they were so much thinner and lighter than traditional chromoly or steel structures. Fast forward almost 40 years and we have realized how much safer these structures are in high impact scenarios. Composites are already heavily used in luxury and sports cars, but they could become streamlined products used in everyday cars. At some point, the increased efficiency and safety requirements that consumers demand will require a material other than the steel and aluminum being used today. Especially with the electrical revolution, weight is key to efficiency and mileage. As more composites are produced the cost to manufacturers is dropping, so we may find them in affordable daily drivers within the decade.




2. Battery Technology The pace of battery innovation is insurmountable. What seems new today has been in the racing pipelines for nearly ten years. In 2006, Formula 1 mandated that teams would use a KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) starting for the 2009 season to decrease environmental impact and increase efficiency. With three years of in-house development and engineering, the 2009 Formula 1 season saw teams using KERS systems to harvest energy that was generated under heavy breaking to spin a flywheel system which charged batteries. The boost was deployable at any point via a button on the steering wheel.

Skip forward to 2018 and we see the use of ERS (Energy Recovery Systems), combining generating energy from the heat produced by the turbo and kinetic energy from under braking. With the hybrid systems they are able to produce just under 1,000hp out of a 1.6L V6 Turbo that revs to 15,000rpm. In the World Endurance Championship Factory, LMP1 teams like Toyota are producing more than 1,000hp with their hybrid machines. We are just starting to see this technology crossover from racecars to the streets. So the question is if this battery technology is so good then why hasn’t it be transferred

over yet? The answer is it’s still in development; most racecars are living prototypes, especially in Formula 1 and World Endurance Championship. Batteries in racecars only have to last a few races compared to that of a road car, which are expected to last the life of the car. Batteries will become just as integral as the motor on a car—they will be tied together until we switch over to exclusively electric platforms. In both cases automotive technicians will have to be familiar with battery technology, upkeep and how to diagnose problems relating to batteries.

3. Hybrid Drivetrain Efficiency Toyota 1.3 Litre Atkinson-Cycle gasoline engine is Toyota’s most efficient engine with a 37 percent thermal efficiency value while the Mercedes 1.6L V6 from the Mercedes AMG F1 M08 EQ Power+ has an efficiency value of 50 percent on a dynamiter in late 2017. In the last five years the gains that hybrid technology has seen is off the charts. In thermodynamics, thermal efficiency is a dimensionless performance measure of a device that uses thermal energy (i.e. combustion). To put this into perspective, the most modern gasoline motors on the street have an efficiency value between 25 percent and 35 percent. This is especially important as Formula 1 regulations state the max fuel flow rate at any point is 100kg/hour and cars are only allowed a max of 105kg of fuel over a race distance. They can accomplish this mileage requirement from the prototype engine technology that includes direct injection and massively high compression ratios as well as the deployment of the energy recovery system.

Toyota 1.3 Litre Atkinson-Cycle gasoline engine is Toyota’s most efficient engine with a 37 percent thermal efficiency value while the Mercedes 1.6L V6 from the Mercedes AMG F1 M08 EQ Power+ which achieved an efficiency value of 50 percent on a dynamiter in late 2017.

4. Streamlined and Active Aerodynamics Have you noticed the styling on cars changing? The answer would obviously be yes, but have you realized it’s not simply to improve looks over the previous model? Automotive manufacturers are not only improving the efficiency of vehicles by changes in the motor but also in the aerodynamics and flow of the car. On everyday cars, devices like active shutter grilles make better fuel mileage possible by closing off open air pathways that would otherwise be a source of drag. The Ford GT exhausts the air that is fed into the fender-mounted intercoolers above each rear wheel to the rear where it exits through the centres of the taillights. Manufactures are not simply styling cars for aesthetics; if an element is there, it probably has a purpose.



According to Adrian, the best part of working at Assured is the team environment.

TEACH AND BE TAUGHT At Assured South Barrie Collision Centre, the learning never ends


drian Gaspell has worked at Assured South Barrie Collision Centre for more than twelve years. But if you had told him that this would be his career path fifteen years ago, he would never have believed you. Indeed, passions and dreams take you in unexpected directions, but today Adrian knows that he was meant to repair vehicles back to OEM specifications. “Assured started out as just a summer job for me. I didn’t intend to stay there any longer or come back. In fact, I was planning on doing a completely different college program.” There was something special about his work at Assured that Adrian couldn’t quite shake, though, and he quickly realized that it was there where he wanted to be. He has pursued autobody ever since, studying at Centennial College and continuing his lucrative career at Assured Automotive. “I love what I do and I love the trades,” he says. Though Adrian has technically captured his dream, his work is far from complete.

Learning, and in turn teaching others, is an ongoing responsibility good technicians in autobody must possess in order to keep up with the pace at which modern cars are changing.

Learning, and in turn teaching others, is an ongoing responsibility the best technicians must possess in order to keep up with the pace at which modern cars are changing. “Knowledge is the most important part of my job. You need to take every opportunity you have to learn, to avoid staying stagnant. You need to keep out of that rut.” Working at a business like Assured, a company that is dedicated to teaching its staff everything they need to know to do their jobs well, including equipping the team with the best and latest tools, certainly helps Adrian and his team keep ahead of the curve. “To stay up-to-date we take I-CAR courses, and Assured is pretty flexible with allowing me to take different courses.” Apprentices at the facility receive top-notch training as well. “When we get apprentices, they’re placed with a good trainer who we think they will work best with. That way they can move through the training process effectively.” Adrian is also a part-time teacher at Centennial College and is on the Ontario College

of Trades board as chair of the autobody and collision damage repairers trades, in an effort to both improve the trades and help others learn about the trades. “I want to be able to pass knowledge onto others and encourage up-and-comers to get in the trades so we can all work together to make it better. Teaching also allows me to learn. If a student asks me a question I don’t know, I’ll find the answer.” The shop he works at is one of the largest in Ontario, and so its sense of community is hard to ignore. “Our team works together to help each other out. There is a sense of comradeship—we all get along.” Assured encourages the staff to engage in after-work activities together, something the staff embraces. “In the summer we play baseball together every week, and we’ve gone to Blue Jays games together.” To describe his career in one sentence, Adrian said, “I would say it’s a hands on, technical job that requires problem solving, applying yourself and a willingness to learn.” He continues, “Everyday there are new challenges.”

Adrian Gaspell (left) has worked at Assured South Barrie Collision Centre for more than twelve years.




Carbon nanotubes being spun to form a yarn nanotube.

The Art of

Black Magic Carbon Fibre makes its mark on competitive repairing BY HARLAND GOULBOURNE


e all know what it is. That guy with the ‘98 Civic says he has a hood made out of it and, whenever you see it, you have to run your hand over it and tap it to validate its authenticity. It is carbon fibre. The material in its most basic form was created in the late 1950s by Union Carbide from experiments weaving carbon molecules into fabric. The first application into vehicles did not come until 1981 when John Barnard, head designer at McLaren Formula 1 team, proposed that to shed weight and add strength they implement a full carbon monocoque, which is a fancy racing term for chassis. At the time the decision was met with scepticism, not only down the Formula 1 pit lane, but outside in the composite manufacturing industry as well. Carbon fibre was early in its development phase and had been tested by Rolls Royce in the form of air compressor blades. The material was found to shatter in bird impact tests, however. Many thought the use of carbon fibre composites on race cars was far too ambitious and that the material would ‘vaporize’ in the event of a crash.

John Watson with team boss Ron Dennis and chief designer John Barnard.





Unfortunately, at the 1981 Italian Grand Prix John Watson would find himself testing the structural integrity of the new man-made material. In a BBC article Watson said, “Had I had that accident in a conventional aluminum tub, I suspect I might have been injured because the strength of an aluminum tub is very much less than the carbon tub.” The carbon fibre based MP4/1 chassis not only proved to increase strength and safety with the lightweight material, but also proved to be a performance advantage, winning six races and marking the transformation of materials in the Formula 1 paddock, which eventually trickled down to road cars. McLaren brought the same innovation in its 1992 McLaren F1 Road Car and forced other supercar manufacturers like Ferrari and Lamborghini to follow suit. Fast forward 26 years and we see carbon composites becoming an increasing feature beyond simply multimillion dollar hypercars and supercars. The price point of $26.4/kg compared to that of less than $2.20/kg for steel has relegated carbon fibre composites to mainly aesthetic touches for everyday road use. However, cars like the Alfa Romeo 4C, BMW 7 Series and Corvette Z06 all feature carbon fibre elements beyond simple aesthetics. With the electrification of vehicles and the focus on fuel efficiency, manufacturers are looking for every edge to push their cars further. Currently the price point of carbon fibre composites makes it economically

The Alfa Romeo 4c. This car model finds use for carbon fibre that reaches far beyond aesthetics.

unfeasible to implement in average priced vehicles, but with economies of scale, at some point it will come down in price and then be implemented more commonly. In a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) article, Anthony Vicari, an analyst at Lux Research who studies the adoption of carbon fibre composite materials, said: “It’s a matter of all the relative prices for all the moving goal posts, multiple interrelated moving goals and cost curves make it very difficult to predict when the materials might jump from

Full carbon monocoque of the McLaren MP4-1 beside the full carbon monocoque of the McLaren 12C road car.



exotic sports cars, EVs, and high-end luxury vehicles to high-volume cars produced in quantities of 100,000 units a year. My best guess is ten years.” The transition will be slow, but carbon fibre elements on cars will soon have to be repaired. It is important to realize the standard collision shop will be making structural repairs to cosmetic carbon fibre panels. They will be repairing the outer shell of a vehicle, if there is a scratch on the bumper or a hole in the door panel. For example, a brand new Fiat Abarth 124GT comes into the shop with a scratch in its carbon roof. The shop technician will need to identify if the scratch is simply cosmetic and re-painting will solve the problem, or if the damage is structural and has actually torn the fibres to a degree which a patch will be necessary. The decision tree to repair or replace a carbon fibre component is the same with any metal or composite component. Analyze the damage and estimate the length of time it will take for repair vs. the cost of a replacement part. The most realistic look of pricing comes from Porsche GT3 Cup cars which are the most widely produced race cars on the planet—i.e. economies of scale for parts production will be the most accurate amount currently available. A current set of Porsche GT3 Cup doors will cost you $3,400. A front bumper will cost you $1,700 the splitter will be another $1,200 before taxes. With prices so high to replace parts, there will be a market to repair such items.


FUTURE DAYS The aviation industry has been repairing carbon fibre based parts with great success for years. There repairs are often done in very short time periods because of the required fast turnaround. The repair processes have the same success as repairing traditional metal, but require a significantly different set of tools and skills. Technicians must be vigilant of the true extent of damage. Carbon fibre shatters, so there may be more damage than what appears on the surface—guidelines state technicians must clear a one foot radius around the damage, and look at the underside to assess the full extent of damage. There are varied weave patterns depending on where the broken part is located—different weaves provide different levels of strength and therefore vary for each part of the car. Selecting a type of resin, bagging process and curing must all be done correctly to ensure the material retains its factory engineered integrity. I-CAR Canada offers courses specifically in carbon fibre repair and damage analysis. It is intended to be a starting point in learning the basics of working with carbon fibre. It explores the different types of composites, manufacturing processes and current vehicles that rely heavily on carbon fibre.

[TOP] You can clearly see there is a gap in the carbon layout. The impact has broken fibres and will require a structural fix. [RIGHT] There is a scratch on the surface and no fibres have been broken, so only a cosmetic repair is necessary.

Andrew Shepherd, senior director of industry programs and executive director for I-CAR Canada, says, “Although many repairers aren’t seeing carbon fibre in the shop today, there is no doubt that manufacturers will continue to reduce vehicle weight with a variety of new materials and material combinations. Carbon fibre will

certainly be a repair consideration on more and more vehicles going forward—courses like CFR01e are essential for learning the characteristics, uses and repair considerations of carbon fibre.” Repairers who really want to get ahead will race just to get to the starting lineup on carbon fibre repairs.





A 1960 Minor Traveler in mid-restoration.

The duo’s woodworking studio restores vintage cars with a special focus on old English vehicles.

Wood if I Could Coventry Woodworks restores vintage cars with wood



oventry Woodworks, a studio in Cobblehill, B.C., is no stranger to the wonderful world of cars. Owners Cam Russell and Karen Trickett have spent decades working with wood in a surprising way that incorporates their love of cars. “Being a cabinet-maker, and wood-based, old cars always appealed to me,” Karen said, commenting on the seemingly incompatible art forms. The woodworking studio restores vintage cars with a special focus on old English vehicles, but their portfolio expands into other styles, as well. Coventry Woodworks has restored vehicles of all sorts, from an





A 1960 Morris Minor Traveler that Karen Trickett re-wooded for a customer.

Karen at work. She began restoring cars professionally when she was fresh out of woodworking school.

English 1976 Morris Traveler to an American 1947 Chevrolet Fleetmaster. Sometimes the couple works on the body of cars, but more often they refinish, repair or restore vintage car parts sent to them by high-end bodyshops, as well as customers who filter-in from all over the world. They have completed projects for people as far away as London, Ontario in Canada, and California and Oregon in the U.S. One car repair Trickett remembers fondly was the body of a 1955 Jaguar Mark 5, a vehicle with doors primarily made of wood. “When the car is in position, you don’t know

they’re wooden doors,” she explains. Trickett and Russel have always had an interest in working with cars. Trickett spent her childhood working on a farm, and when things stopped working, she had to fix them herself. “Being in the hobby I’ve always had old vehicles, so you learn how to maintain them,” she said. Trickett first started working on cars professionally when she was just out of woodworking school. For her first job after school she was contracted to repair two electric streetcars for B.C. transit. The cars are still functional and are operating in Nelson, B.C.

This coming winter, the duo is planning on restoring a car of their own, a 1957 Morris Traveller. Currently, the vehicle is an unrecognizable pile of disassembled pieces. They are completely redoing the wooden parts of the car, from the flooring to the doors. “Once you disturb the wood in them, you are usually doing an extensive repair to get it back on,” said Trickett. When finished the couple plans to take their Morris Traveller to old English car shows. Anyone interested in talking with Trickettare encouraged to call (204) 748-2354 or visit their website at





Onwards and Upwards Possible First Steps


A part-time placement opportunity is usually offered to high school students wanting to learn about a career in autobody repair, automotive paint and refinishing and damage analysis. At the programs, students are assigned mentors to teach them, and they perform light duties during their assigned work term. This is a great way to get a “taste” of a career in this field, and discover if you have a knack for it that you are willing to nurture.


On average, a four-year contract between the provincial trades licensing body, the collision repair centre and the apprentice will provide the mandated skills-training and learning opportunities for the apprentice to qualify for certification. Apprentices are also required to complete a four to eight-week college course for every level of their apprenticeship, and should complete the program with a thorough understanding of working in an autobody repair facility.

Possible Second Steps

Licenced Autobody Collision and Damage Repairer

This individual is responsible for repair planning, structural repairs, and refinishing. These tasks require extensive skill and knowledge, and thus these individuals need to be extremely well trained. They may specialize in various OEM steel structural and aluminum structural certifications. Doing so can open job opportunities immensely.



Licensed Autobody Repairer The licensed autobody repairer is responsible for repair planning, non-structural repairs, and refinishing.They can capably handle almost all needed tasks, with an exception of structural repair.


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CHARTING CAREERS IN COLLISION Unlike many other industries, collision repair has many executives whose careers started not with degrees, but with practical experience on the shop floor. No matter where your career begins in this industry, whether it starts with prepping cars for paint or washing them after a repair, there is a wide world of opportunity ahead to suit your interests and aspirations. For those with the ambition and drive to keep up with this fast-paced industry, whether they enter it from the business side or through the shop floor, the promise of a rewarding career is almost assured. Here is a look at some of the first steps someone can take in building their career.



license and the ability to operate both standard and automatic

inventory for production. On the job training should be provided.

This is a labour intensive intensive job(s) that require a driver’s

The parts clerk is an administrative position. This person is responsible for ordering and receiving parts, as well as maintaining

transmission. On the job should be training provided.

Licensed Automotive Painter

Licensed Automotive Service Technician

This person is devoted to refinishing and painting vehi-

Responsible for diagnostic troubleshooting and mechanical repairs,

cle components. On top of these tasks, they are usually

the licensed automotive service technician is vital to those first few

responsible for matching colours, removing exterior trim and

steps of getting a repair done—determining what is damaged, the

hardware, mixing paints and preparing surfaces for painting.

repairs needed and the costs and time necessary to do so.

The above positions may lead to more senior positions, administration, management, corporate or ownership roles. Stay tuned for upcoming issues of Bodyworx Professional magazine to get the details.




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Posing with the Fix Auto team. In 2008 Mark and his family became the first collision repair facility in Atlantic Canada to join Fix Auto.

Make it Happen T

rying to learn much about the world by peeking through a keyhole will not get you very far. To understand anything, you must open the door. For Mark Weeks, who has progressed from working as a junior detailer to a strategic partner developer at Fix Auto Canada, his experience in different areas of the company has been something that has opened a lot of those doors. Today, he navigates the autobody industry with a deep understanding of the needs and concerns of all those he works with—from the technicians in the back to the executives in the boardroom. “There is something to be said for when you can throw on work boots and walk into a shop,” says Mark. “Having a background working in a collision repair facility gives you instant credibility. I know the struggles of running a business. I know the experience first hand. It’s not all textbook knowledge.” Mark’s introduction to the auto repair world came early, as a young kid hanging out at his parent’s shop in Pleasant Valley, P.E.I. In his teens, Mark started working there through the summers, though his duties were initially limited to sweeping.

Employ your unique experiences BY ERIN MCLAUGHLIN

A young Mark working on a car.





Mark’s primary responsibility as strategic partner developer involves helping Fix Auto franchises grow in their success.

Eventually, Mark’s older brother Paul began helping him cultivate his auto painting skills, which he quickly discovered he had an affinity for. “My brother would let me go in and put the first coat of paint on. Once I got good at that, he let me do the second coat.” And so it went. In adulthood, the business Mark had spent so much of his life in transformed—a change that would heavily influence the course of Mark’s career in ways he, at the time, would have never expected. In the years leading up, Mark managed the business and painted vehicles. “I loved laying down a nice coat of paint. I have a lot of pride and passion for what I do. I didn’t just want to be a painter. I wanted to be the best painter.” In 2008, the change arrived, and Mark and his family became the first collision repair facility in Atlantic Canada to join Fix Auto. Wanting to make the most of this new arrangement, Mark took up various responsibilities within the Fix Auto sphere. He sat on the advisory board and the national marketing board. In doing this, he fostered an early relationship with the current president, Steve Leal.



Having the perspective of someone who started on the shop floor, Mark has a deep understanding of the partners he works with.

CAREER PROFILE In 2014, Mark’s brother decided to close the family business, but Mark’s story with Fix Auto was by no means over. Soon after, he received a call from Paul Randles, general manager of Fix Auto in Atlantic Canada, who asked him to join the corporate team. Mark accepted. “They took a chance on me, and it worked out,” he says. “It felt like closing the doors to one chapter of my life and opening doors to another. It felt natural and easy.” And so it went. Taking on the role of strategic partner developer was a seamless transition. “I was always the more vocal one in board meetings, so it was a natural fit.” His primary responsibility as strategic partner developer involves helping Fix Auto franchises grow in their success.

“I didn’t just want to be a painter. I wanted to be the best painter.”

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In the paint booth. Mark Weeks, has progressed from working as a junior detailer to a strategic partner developer at Fix Auto Canada.

“There is something to be said for when you can throw on work boots and walk into a shop,” says Mark.

– Mark Weeks

“I enjoy making a difference in the industry one small shop at a time, and strengthening our franchises and team to push us forward,” says Mark. Taking on the job also fulfilled a dream that had rattled around in Mark’s mind since he was a kid. “I always wanted to wear a suit and tie to work every day.” Having the perspective of someone who started on the shop floor, Mark has a deep understanding of the partners he works with. Though when asked if he had any advice for young people trying to pursue a meaningful career in the collision repair industry, Mark said something rooted in a limitation he feels he has—that is he regrets not having done more schooling. “I wish I had gone through university or college and studied business. I would encourage anyone to study, especially if they wanted to have a corporate job. With education in autobody and business, you could be a highly employable person. And it can be easily done. Within a couple years of graduating high school you could have a pretty great resume.” Take advantage of the skills you have cultivated in your job or career. Even detailing might ser ve to push you upwards in surprising ways. And besides, someone is going to change the world—it might as well be you. As Mark put it, “You can do anything with hard work, dedication, par ticipation, and a thirst for knowledge.”





THEN PAST, MEET THE PRESENT Sizing up a modern vehicle to predictions of personal helicopters


In February of 1951, Popular Mechanics magazine featured a compact yellow personal helicopter on its cover.


reparing for and thinking about the future is something humans have indulged in for thousands of years. Given the nature of time, these predictions of a distant and mysterious future have turned into depictions of our present. Often the past presented the future as weighted with whimsical, imaginative and highly advanced technology that, frankly, lacked the kind of technological feasibility and safety measures that vehicles require to get out on the road. Bodyworx Professional magazine has plucked depictions from past artists, media and science and technology sources to size them up against the reality of today.

THE PAST PRESENTS In the middle of the 20th centur y, flying vehicles, or at least the idea of them, were quite popular. Mirroring the general public’s fascination with the possibility of this odd method of transpor tation, in Februar y of 1951, Popular Mechanics magazine featured a compact yellow personal helicopter on the cover of its magazine. Designed by Stanley Hiller, who developed the wor ld’s fir st successful coaxial helicopter, the cover


and accompanying stor y showed the prediction that per sonal helicopter s would start appearing in neighborhoods, cities and rural areas. The design, a mostly glass small two-seater with quiet ramjets to keep the rotors moving, was described as practical and foolproof—which is pretty important when you’re allowing the general public to speed freely throughout the atmosphere. The image appears to show a suburban


commuter fitting their helicopter snugly into their garage, indicating the helicopter would be able to fit conveniently into a one-car garage, rotors and all. One would not need a landing pad in their backyard to own a helicopter—a vehicle of this sort would be accessible to all. The helicopter would be able to burn any type of fuel, from gasoline to stove oil, pointing once again to the accessible nature of the flying helicopter… no aviation gasoline or diesel required.


Able to operate on four different gasses, the Brazilian Fiat Siena Tetrafuel 1.4 L is the world’s first multi-fuel production vehicle.

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THE FUTURE’S REALITY The Brazilian Fiat Siena Tetrafuel 1.4 L is the world’s first multi-fuel production vehicle, but that’s about all it has in common with Popular Mechanics magazine’s personal helicopter. The 1.4 liter engine can operate on moisturized alcohol, ethanol, pure gasoline and natural gas. Interestingly, the vehicle uses an electronic control unit to automatically select the most economical fuel at any given moment, with natural gas being its first choice, in an effort to remain environmentally friendly as often as possible. The vehicle has done quite well. When it was released to the public in October 2006, its sales projections were at 200 a month. The company ended up selling about 700 a month. Clearly, the multi-fuel concept bodes as well in real life as it did on paper. Will the future hold a vehicle even closer to that of Hiller’s technological designs? Only time will tell.

Interestingly, the vehicle uses an electronic control unit to automatically select the most economical fuel at any given moment, with natural gas being its first choice, in an effort to remain environmentally friendly...





The program places an emphasis on not only fixing cars, but restoring them, also.

Education Restoration Lakeland College’s Street Rod Technologies program prepares students with a deeper look into the collision repair industry ERIN MCLAUGHLIN & TABATHA JOHNSON


he Street Rod Technologies (SRT) program, offered at Lakeland College’s Lloydminster campus is not your typical collision repair course. While students get all of the same overview knowledge they would from any collision repair program, SRT attendees are also treated to the distinct focus on restoring and customizing vehicles, building cars and car parts from scratch instead of just repairing a vehicle after a collision. The certificate takes eight months to complete, separated into two semesters. On average, students spend six hours a day in training. The first semester focuses half on theory and half on practical skills, shifting to full-time hands on training in the second part of the course.

“From what I’ve researched, no other program across Canada can compete with Lakeland’s SRT,” says alumna Ricki McCance, who graduated from the program in 2017. “Plus, being able to work on your own vehicle as a class project is a huge bonus.” An interesting feature of this program is what the school calls “competency based training.” Students are not kept on a strict schedule based on time limitations, but rather work through the course objectives, mastering each one with as much time as they need. If one student takes longer to learn a concept, he or she may spend an entire week focused on its study, whereas other students may spend only a day or two. In this way, the course takes on a different experience for each student. SUMMER 2018    BODYWORX PROFESSIONAL




“By allowing students to go at their own pace we can ensure their skills are at industry standards.” - Stuart Ribey

“Everyone works at a different pace,” says Stuart Ribey, program head of Street Rod Technologies. “The lost or gained time is added or subtracted to how much time each student has to work on their own vehicle come the end of the program. By allowing students to go at their own pace we can ensure their skills are at industry standards.” Recent graduate Norman Stevens, who works as the senior manager for Apprenticeship and Industry Training, mirrors this sentiment. “The instructors are awesome,” he says. “They have all of the patience in the world and they’re here to coach and see us through our frustrating moments.” Stevens continues, “I’m not necessarily interested in autobody, which is more about collision work. The reason I took Street Rod Technologies is the program is about saving old vehicles, turning rust into gold and putting cars that need a new life back on the road.” For the most part, the students who attend the program seek employment in the field of vehicle restoration upon its completion, but the college does see a few hobbyists now and then, according to Ribey. By the time students complete the course they are not without the knowledge one would need in any standard collision repair facility, however, this course gives graduates more flexibility in the careers they decide to


pursue. According to Ribey, “In autobody you primarily replace and refinish, but this course teaches panel development, shrinking and stretching and ‘weld in’ in procedures.” Taking this course will enhance your employment options in the “real world!”


Ricki McCance graduated the Street Rod Technologies program in 2017.

The students are taught extensive welding skills, beginning with basic sheet welding. Students use MIG welding techniques to weld sheets together. They also conduct TIG welding, along with advanced sheet welding and shaping.

SCHOOL PROFILE Despite its niche focus, the school makes sure to keep on top of modern innovations, and keep its students on top of them, too. “We are teaching how to restore some carbon fibre and composites, so students won’t be left in the dark when it comes to new technology,” says Ribey. Being future focused is essential. In this day and age, no matter how interesting a program is, if it doesn’t accommodate the needs of future vehicles, the program will quickly prove itself useless to students in a repair facility. Getting their heads out of the books, lessons are reinforced and concepts solidified with hands-on projects in the facility’s different labs. The space is 1,115 square metres and features a cross draft mixing booth, 12 MIG welders and 12 TIG welders among plenty of other welding and non-welding tools. “I learned a lot at Lakeland—not only the various techniques, but also the different processes. I now have a stronger understanding of how metal works,” reflects McCance. Lakeland College’s SRT program helps students develop a unique set of skills and knowledge while still remaining relevant to collision repair. For more information please visit


Instructors allow students to take the time they need to master a skill before moving on.





The future trends module will preview the Lucid Air, a trail ride for Toyota and a new Volkswagen microbus.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR COLLISION REPAIR? I-CAR’s new course looks to the future

holds the potential for much technological advancement that will impact how you do your job. To help prime technicians for what is ahead this year, I-CAR has developed the Vehicle Technology and Trends 2018 course. It is a one-hour online course that covers new automotive features and collision repair procedures for a handful of 2018 car models. This includes North American, Asian and European vehicles. It also covers increasing manufacturer trends—focusing on the growing number of car makers turning to electric propulsion and more seriously considering autonomy in their vehicles. As well, it overviews advanced safety features, which are quickly becoming a staple in modern vehicles. The course consists of five modules. Module one, titled “Trends and Industry Influences” kicks off with an industry overview of new technology. Topics of discussion include using steel for lightweighting, directing the front upper rail downward, the trend toward pure electric vehicles, the ability to communicate with vehicles through smart phones and the growing standardization of advanced safety features.



Module 1 – Trends and Industry Influences Module 2 – North American Vehicle Makers Module 3 – Asian Vehicle Makers Module 4 – European Vehicle Makers Module 5 – Near Future Trends In module one, new equipment, materials and procedures are also covered for technicians using bumper tab pliers, nitrogen welding plastic and 3M Aerosol Cavity Wax. The next three modules focus on regionspecific vehicle manufacturers. Module two, titled “North American Vehicle Makers” explores Canadian and U.S. vehicle manufacturers, including companies Ford Motor (the F-150), General Motors (the 100 percent steel Chevrolet Traverse) and Tesla Motors models with self-driving hardware. Module three, titled “Asian Vehicle Makers” provides an overview of the Asian automotive market. It looks at Honda and Acura, and gives us a look at the 2018 Odyssey and three members of the Honda Clarity family. It


examines Toyota’s high-selling Camry model for 2018 and Nissan’s new hybrid. “European Vehicle Makers,” module 4, delves into vehicles from across the pond. Included in the conversation are the mixed-material Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe and Audi A8 for 2018. It also looks at the 2018 Volvo XC60 and Volvo’s commitment to go electric. Module five is titled “Near Future Trends,” and participants of the course will study just that. This module previews the Lucid Air, a trail ride for Toyota, a new Volkswagen microbus and Mercedes-Benz high-definition headlamps. I-CAR’s course can be a great solution for technicians and shop owners who want to stay ahead of the curve in this fast moving industry.



SHE’S GOT THE SKILLS Carrie Long of CSN Dana’s takes gold in the New Brunswick Skills competitions BY TABATHA JOHNSON

Carrie Long, autobody painter at CSN Dana’s Collision Center. Despite coming out on top, she says she was not in it for the competition. Rather, she just wanted to do what she loves, and do it well.

“The people I work with have taught me so much and have been so helpful along this journey. This is the only job in the industry that I have ever had, so I would be nowhere without my co-workers.” — Carrie Long


arrie Long’s path in collision repair has already taken her further than she would have ever expected. While Carrie recently became a Skills Canada champion in New Brunswick for car painting, moving on to compete in the national rounds this June, she initially had no intention of competing at all. “I was not fully aware of the Skills competitions until Dana brought them to my attention and signed me up to compete. I was not expecting to participate,” Carrie says. The “Dana” she is referring to is, of course, Dana Alexander, owner of CSN Dana’s Collision Center in Fredericton, New Brunswick, where Carrie has been employed as a refinisher onand-off since her high school co-op days. After graduating from a pre-employment autobody course with honours in 2016, Carrie started working at the shop fulltime and has remained there to this day. To those who know her, Carrie’s endeavours in autobody are no surprise. She has been interested in automotive work for as long as she can remember. “I have always been into cars, but I knew that I did not want to do engine work. I wanted to get into the aesthetic side of vehicles and I wanted to make them look pretty.” When asked how she found her Skills experience, Carrie says, “The competition process was unexpected. It was not what I thought it would be like. I found myself rushed through a lot of the process, but they did touch on all the key points of

the trades, which is most important.” She continues, “Some of the materials used in the competition were different than the ones I’m used to, so it made it difficult to work, but besides that I felt very prepared.” Even though she came out on top, she says, “I’m not in it for the competition, I was not focused on that. I was focused on doing what I love the best that I could.” In preparation for the national level, “I keep busy at work,” she says. “I’m getting moved around more at Dana’s, learning lots and hoping to find my favourite part about working in this industry. I have not done enough of everything to know what I like best, but I really enjoy what I do.” Along this vein, Carrie feels that so far her biggest challenge has been her limited exposure. “Collision repair is a whole lot of specialties put together and I could use some improvement in certain areas.” In the future she hopes to be able to “do everything and be decent at it.” In the meantime, she says she owes a lot to her co-workers. “The people I work with have taught me so much and have been so helpful along this journey. This is the only job in the industry that I have ever had, so I would be nowhere without my coworkers.” For other students interested in the repair industry, Carrie offers a word of warning: “It is harder than it looks. Once I was in it, I realized there is so much involved, but it is also fun because there is so much going on, and so much to learn.”





Collision 360 hosts aluminum rivet bonding course Collision 360 recently hosted a training event at its training centre in Toronto. Anthony Iaboni, owner of Collision 360, says, “I get asked on a regular basis about repairing the new F-150.” In response, he decided to host a training event where a set of repairs could be performed on the vehicle live. His hopes for the event were that when attendees left, “The techs will know what to do when they get the F-150 in their shops.” Beforehand, Iaboni acquired a complete aluminum F-150 box. During the event, Iaboni guided the 50 shop owners and technicians who attended the course through the repair procedures live, following the repair data from ALLDATA. Iaboni partnered with team members Tom Widmer and Juan Cordova from SEM, Art Ewing from Pro Spot and Russel Duncan from Color Compass and PBE to provide the training on the F-150 and the necessary aluminum rivet bonding. SEM gave attendees the inside scoop on its adhesives for rivet bonding and Pro Spot demonstrated how to remove and replace the rivets. To the benefit of those in attendance, two replacement F-150 box sides were donated by The Humberview Group specifically for use during the training event. Cordova, the eastern regional sales manger for SEM, says, “It’s not about selling the product alone. It’s about training the customer how to use the product. Anthony provides solutions for the technicians. He is extremely passionate about training and partners with manufacturers who support his training in the industry.”



From left to right: Tom Widmer, Art Ewing, Juan Cordova, Anthony Iaboni and Russel Duncan.

During the event, Iaboni guided the 50 shop owners and technicians who attended the course through the repair procedures live, following the repair data from ALLDATA.



Color Compass hosts diagnostic scanning event Color Compass recently held a diagnostic scanning event bringing in over 100 shop owners and technicians. “The response from attendees of the show has been extremely positive. Feedback from those who already purchased the units often said they were unaware the scanner could complete all the functions it can. There have also been requests for the advanced training modules already. Demo requests for the scanners are high, with a week wait or more currently,” says sales manager Sean Skoropat, White & Peters. Going into the event, many shops had already expressed an interest in the scanning equipment and the discussion surrounding it. In fact, extra chairs had to be brought in to accommodate a larger than expected crowd. Those present included existing users of the scanning technology, looking to learn more about the tool’s functionality, and new buyers looking to compare with other diagnostic equipment. “Some shops who were comparing scanners have opted to order the LAUNCH tech based on what they saw during the presentations,” says Skoropat. The presentation showcased many of the tool’s features, including its remote tech access. The presenter connected to the vehicle and completed the initial report and functionality tests from his scanner while the tech watched and assisted in the vehicle. During the live scanning presentation, one of the scan techs stood across the street to demonstrate the range of the Bluetooth connector, activating the lights and horn on the vehicle from his distant vantage point.

The LAUNCH product booth at the event.

The presentation went through the three training modules set to be run at Color Compass University in April. Each of the modules explores the different levels of functionality of the tool and works through the more advanced testing, diagnosis, sensor re-learns and recalibrations. Skoropat concludes, “Overall, to have such a good turnout when many shops are experiencing equipment overload shows us that the need for these types of events is there. Collision repair is rapidly evolving and equipment sophistication increases alongside. After sales support, training is key to ensure the shop realizes the full potential of the investment and that customer confidence in the brand remains high.”




MOUNTAIN CLIMBER Keep working toward achieving those goals ERIN MCLAUGHLIN


he mountain you want to climb always seems too tall when you’re standing at its base, looking up. The sky-rise seems endless when you’re craning your neck to get a glimpse of its impossibly high top floor. Just as reaching these heights may seem

tial sleepless nights. But every hour you put in, is an hour closer to your dreams. The really neat thing about this industry, which you may have noticed as a trend throughout the stories in this issue of Bodyworx Professional magazine, is that there are hundreds of doors open to you. With

reer paths for several issues, until we have developed a comprehensive map outlining all of the potentials this industry has to offer. Another piece explores not just your future but the industry’s at large, looking at five pieces of technology that might be found on the shop floor in the next five years. This

The progress you make, even if it is slow or difficult, is progress nonetheless. impossible when you’re still at the bottom. Your wildest dreams and biggest goals may seem like pipe dreams when you have yet to even begin your journey toward accomplishing them. But, if you start climbing that mountain, that staircase—start taking small steps toward accomplishing your greatest wishes, you’ll start to find it’s not as difficult to manage, and that it’s actually very achievable. There is nothing standing between you and all the extraordinary things this enormous industry has to offer. That two kilometre high mountain? It’s not going to stay that tall forever. It shrinks with every step you take. The progress you make, even if it is slow or difficult, is progress nonetheless. It is easy, at least in my experience, to forget that. A big task, before you actually get started on it, can feel impossible to complete. This is especially the case when it entails years of education, hours of work (which may include menial tasks like sweeping the floors or prepping vehicles) and poten-



such a variety of opportunities available, chances are you will find something that suits your personality and interests. Careers in teaching, technology, management, sales, communications and ownership are all very real possibilities for anyone in this industry who is willing to work hard and learn. The great thing about working hard and learning is that, well, you don’t need to have superpowers to do it—anyone can. The fact that one does not need any special ability to achieve something amazing is exactly the sentement that Caroline Laccasse leaves us in her story, Hard work and a willingness to learn and accept challenges with open arms is all you need. The career outline featured in this edition of bodyworx Professional magazine shows just some of your options when you are just starting out in this career--outlining alternative arrangements from completing a high school co-op to starting out directly in the shop working on more simple but equally important to any shop’s day to day success. Our hope is to continue to publish these ca-

technology is not science fiction. What you are reading is very much a possibility that will directly influence your job, what’s needed to complete it, and how. Technology induce the strangest mixture of feelings—interest, anxiety, fear, optimism: but how it really will impact the industry will remain unknown until the future is actually here. In the mean time the least we can do is be prepared. Like getting all the equipment and information necessary to summit a mountain, we need anticipate our business’ and clients’ needs the best we can before technology comes knocking — or beating down the door with a steel boot toe. The world is an exciting place, and so is the potential inside of you. There is nothing standing between you and all the incredible opportunities this world has to offer. So lace up your hiking boots and see how far you can go. Erin McLaughlin is the editor of Bodyworx Professional magazine. She can be reached by phone at 905370-0101, or emailed at

Bodyworx Professional 5#2  
Bodyworx Professional 5#2