Basin Collision Repair

April 1, 2015

Photo courtesy Basin Collision Repair

SHOP: Basin Collision Repair  LOCATION: Vernal, Utah  OWNER: Roger Hutcheon

SIZE: 11,300 Square Feet STAFF: 13 MONTHLY CAR COUNT: 100 ANNUAL REVENUE: $2.8 million

Located in rural Vernal, Utah, Basin Collision Repair helps serve the workers in the oil and gas industry by offering rapid turnaround times and neighborly service. 

Owner Roger Hutcheon speculates that 70 percent of his business comes from servicing trucks owned by the blue collar workers in the area. With an average turnaround time of under five days, Hutcheon is able to keep vehicles flowing through the shop at a steady clip.

1) Hutcheon doesn’t believe in service bays for his shop. Rather than committing one technician to one job in one bay, he keeps his techs mobile so they can go to a specific job whenever they are needed. He says this keeps disputes between techs down, and gets the cars out of his shop quicker, which is key to his turnaround time. 

“Toolboxes have wheels for a reason,” Hutcheon says. “We all have rollaway toolboxes and the tech is able to roll his tools whenever a car is positioned. This way, the techs aren’t working on cold cars, they don’t fight over stalls to work in. They get to the garage every day and commence. We’re in a rural market, we’re doing more than double what is projected from this location.”

2) In his previous shop, Hutcheon used solvent-based paint. Now, with a new Garmat downdraft booth, Hutcheon has converted to waterborne, and he says he hasn’t looked back. 

The booth is placed at the front of his shop, so cars can make their natural progression from the back of the facility to the front during the repair process. When a car is placed in the shop, Hutcheon and his staff do so strategically, to minimize the amount of times that car is moved around the shop, and eventually into the completed lot. He says the fewer times an engine is started in his shop, the better. 

“It drives me crazy to have a tech behind the wheel when he should be under the hood,” Hutcheon says. “I staff guys to position cars, but anytime we had to paint a car [in the previous shop] it ceased production. Everyone had to get in a car and move it around. Now, we position cars based on where they are in the repair process and what needs to get done.”

“The Garmat downdraft—it’s the first and only one within 100 miles,” he adds. “When we built [the shop], I jumped in feet first and committed to water [based paint], and I love it. I wouldn’t change back. People come in and say, ‘Holy cow, it doesn’t smell like a body shop.’ There’s zero odor and that’s where the technology is going these days. It has a frame rack, a laser-measuring system. I almost spent as much on equipment as I did on my facility when we first moved here.”

3) Hutcheon didn’t just have final say on how his new facility was set up, he also had his way with how the office and lobby were getting built. In a small town, Hutcheon says, everyone knows each other’s names, and the intimate seating arrangement at the front desk in his lobby is meant to reflect that. 

“I like the bar look, it’s more of an idea so customers can sit and feel comfy,” Hutcheon says. “Also, we did a raised bar because it hides the computers and papers and other clutter at the front desk. It’s a comfortable environment where customers can sit and talk while we do their estimates in front of them.” 

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