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How can I Assess Paintless Dent Repair Technicians?

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We’ve had a lot of hail lately. What can I do to assess paintless dent repair (PDR) technicians to make sure they can perform quality work?

Jeff Herman, president of TopTech Finder

Shops often experience problems when large hailstorms hit their area. The PDR technician they typically work with might be unavailable due to an unusually high demand for work.

In those situations, shops often get bombarded with work requests from out-of-state PDR technicians who follow storms throughout the country. Shops get flooded with phone calls, faxes and business cards.

Gauging a PDR technician’s artistry and expertise is challenging. But there are a few simple things you can do before hiring them for a job:

• Assess past work performance. Ask them for letters of recommendation and references. That allows you to speak with other shops that have previously worked with the technician to get their honest assessment and opinion regarding quality. It’s also helpful to ask for a portfolio of photos that illustrate the technician’s past repairs.

• Know their years of experience. PDR is a craft that takes a fair amount of time to learn to do well. It’s better to hire someone with 10 to 15 years of experience rather than someone with only a few years under their belt.

• Analyze certifications. Ask technicians for a résumé that highlights all certifications they’ve earned, such as Vale Training Solutions. Vale is the only independent organization that certifies PDR technicians. That helps you know that the technician at least has a minimum proficiency to meet Vale’s requirements.

• Know where they were trained. It’s not a good idea to hire a technician who says they learned the trade on their own. Some large, national companies have their own internal certification and training programs, such as Dent Wizard or PARS. That helps you ensure that the technician obtained a certain level of repair standards and quality before being allowed to work. You can also look for proof of training from several organizations such as Mike Sewald’s Gateway PDR Training, or apprenticeships with a master technician.

• Identify membership with national organizations. Identify whether the technician is a member of the National Association of Paintless Dent Repair (NAPDR), or the Automotive Service Association (ASA). That indicates the technician takes their work and profession very seriously.  

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