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March/April 2002

Expert Advice     pros who know

Pre-Qualifying the Repair
                            by Dave Shores

Everywhere I go lately I hear the same comments, "There are people in my area that do really poor repairs." Many of these technicians tell me that they have seen windshields that were supposedly fixed, but did not look like they were even touched, let alone repaired properly.

There are too many companies selling windshield repair equipment that do not provide any training except for a poorly done training video. 

A repair is more than just squirting some resin into the break. A windshield repair is a three-step process 

    1. The complete evacuation of the air in the break;
    2. The complete fill of the break with a resin that is optically matched to the glass once cured; and
    3. The complete curing of the resin.

If you fail to do any of the steps completely, you have wasted your time because you have not completed a repair. You have also cheated your customer if you charge them. I know that there are people who do that every day. Then we wonder why we have such a poor reputation as an industry. Who is at fault when we have people in the field doing poor repairs?

Many people feel that it is primarily the manufacturer's fault. Some of them have suggested that any windshield repair kit that is sold should include mandatory training. Personally I feel that this is a good idea. However, there are manufacturers that don't have a training program set up and don't plan to start one. 

Another option is for insurance companies to require any technician that is doing a windshield repair for them to be certified by the NWRA National Auto Glass Certification Program. 

These plans are wonderful but they may take some time to implement, so what can we do now about this subject? As technicians, you need to take responsibility for your own destinies and for the success of your own businesses. Take the time to get all of the training you can. The knowledge and experience you will gain will benefit you in unimaginable ways—not only in the quality of your repairs, but also in your confidence level while dealing with your customers. Attend a quality-training program to learn the latest techniques and become certified. Contact the NWRA for details about the program. 

Remember, the success of your business and the reputation of the industry as a whole is at stake. 

Dave Shores is vice president of Glas-Weld Systems of Bend, Ore., and a member of the National Windshield Repair Association board of directors.


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