Collision Repair Training, Sans Contact

Oct. 22, 2020
Ulmer's Auto Care is offering socially-distanced, hands-on training for anyone in the industry.

This fall, Ulmer’s Auto Care has charged full speed ahead with technical training courses at its ADAS Center of Cincinnati. At a time when crowds are hard to come by, personal hands-on training has never been more elusive. 

Before the pandemic, advanced driver-assistance systems training was hard to find due to a lack of standardization and general information. Annual events, seminars, and everything in between have been cancelled or postponed, leaving many in the industry with the same question: What now?

ADAS training is a fast-growing segment that’s finding a strong market of technicians who want to stay up-to-date on repair trends.

The training center hosted its first onsite course at the beginning of September, taught by Niel Speetjans, a technical trainer for the ZF Aftermarket. Bryan Kauffeld, vice president of Ulmer’s, says the first class hosted a group of 12 technicians, most from around the area, to learn about ZF eight-speed transmissions and ADAS calibrations across OEMs. 

Reviews of the course were overwhelmingly positive and there was enough interest for an even larger class, Kauffeld says. 

The first weekend in October hosted around 20 socially-distanced techs at the training center for courses taught by industry professionals Scott Shotton and Eric Ziegler. Shotton is owner of The Driveability Guys and holds more than two dozen ASE certifications. Ziegler, a master technician and automotive trainer, owns EZ Diagnostic Solutions. The weekend of Oct. 3 and 4 was jam-packed for attendees with four courses total. 

The first full-capacity class at the ADAS Center of Cincinnati, titled “Scan Data Analysis for Driveability Diagnosis,” was taught by Shotton and educated technicians on how to successfully diagnose low power problems, misfire and fuel trims, volumetric efficiencies, and employ a variety of OE and aftermarket scan tools.

The second course, “Essential Diagnostic Steps for Driveability and Electrical Issues,” taught by Ziegler, used basic, as well as high-tech tools in order to give the technicians a rounded education and a foundational understanding of how the procedures should go. 

Ziegler’s second course was an encore of the first, further detailing more advanced diagnostics techniques while maintaining a “common sense” approach to eliminate problems.

The final course of the weekend, “Diagnosing Network and Communication Issues Effectively,” led by Shotton, taught technicians how to understand the basics of computer-to-computer networks and solve communications issues in the hope that shop owners and technicians develop a game plan, or at least the confidence of one, for the next time an issue occurs. 

The weekend-long courses were priced at $250 per day, or $400 for the two-day package. Ulmer’s training courses are usually announced on its Facebook page and are open to anyone in the industry who wants to remain at the cutting edge of automotive procedures and technology.

“At the end of the day, no one wants to send their technicians to training after a full day of work,” Kauffeld says, “But the end goal is to train techs and ultimately bring training back to us.” 

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