Knowing a renowned and reliable truck body shop is one of those things you never really think about until you need it. But once you find a body shop that you can trust, you’ll never leave home without a business card in your pocket.
Driving a truck can give you a false sense of security. Nothing bad can happen to your massive, high-tech vehicle. But, here’s the hard truth: breakdowns and collisions can happen anytime, anywhere, and to anyone.
Being in a truck collision is a terrifying experience as it is. In addition to assessing the level of damage on your truck, you also need to think about police reports, insurance claims, physician visits, and medical payments. The last thing you need on your mind on top of all of that is worrying about finding a good truck body shop to handle the repairs.
Making a good decision in a moment of such confusion can be hard. Countless questions go through your mind as you select a collision repair shop. Have I made the right decision? Can I trust their services? How much will the repairs cost me? How quickly can I get back on the road?
To help you avoid making a decision you’ll regret, we’ve put together a list of things to consider before choosing a truck body repair company.
10 Tips to Help You Choose a Reliable Truck Body Shop
1. DON’T LET THE INSURANCE COMPANY PICK A TRUCK BODY REPAIR SHOP FOR YOU
Insurance companies often try to force drivers to go with a certain collision repair facility or body shop within their own network. Most drivers trust the recommendation of their insurance providers and send their trucks to whatever company suggested, without doing any research of their own. But, here’s the thing: insurance companies have contracts with truck body shops, and their recommendations aren’t always in your best interest. It’s best to refuse your insurance company’s suggestion politely and get estimates from reputable truck body shops based on your own research. Consumers have the right to refuse Direct Repair Program suggestions from the insurance company and get estimates from the shop of their choice.
2. PAY ATTENTION TO WORD OF MOUTH
Any business can advertise, but it’s important to choose a truck body shop or repair facility that has proven to go above and beyond for customers. Get recommendations from your own network, check online reviews, and look at their portfolio or work examples on their website before requesting an estimate. A good body shop will provide competitive prices, stellar services, and peace of mind that your truck is in good hands. If possible, ask other clients or look for reviews about how their rigs have held up to get an idea of how the shop’s work quality holds up.
3. MAKE SURE THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK BODY SHOP IS PROPERLY INSURED
It’s crucial to check and make sure that the body shop has insurance coverage to protect your truck while it’s being repaired. This will ensure that any damage that may occur during the repair process is covered and won’t come out of your pocket.
4. CHECK FOR BODY SHOP CERTIFICATIONS
In addition to insurance, make sure that the truck body shop has all the necessary certifications and licenses to operate legally. This includes ASE certifications, state licenses, and any other relevant certifications. A reputable truck body shop should be prepared to provide proof of certification without hesitation.
5. LOOK FOR A TRUCK COLLISION REPAIR SHOP THAT OFFERS A WARRANTY
Your insurance company will probably tell you that they won’t cover a warranty on your repairs if they are done at a different center than the one suggested by them. Don’t listen to them – that’s just a scare tactic. A reliable truck body shop will provide you with a warranty for repairs. This will provide you with peace of mind and protection in case any issues arise after the repairs are completed.
6. UNDERSTAND ORIGINAL MANUFACTURER VS. NON-FACTORY TRUCK PARTS
There’s a huge difference between original manufacturer (OEM) truck components and non-factory truck parts, and it can have a big impact on the quality of your truck repair and performance. It’s not only that OEM parts are of higher quality, but they are also patented and cannot be replicated. It’s recommended to choose a collision repair shop that only works with original manufacturer parts.
7. LOOK INTO THE TRUCK BODY SHOP FACILITIES
Check on the facilities of the repair shop. Make sure they have the necessary equipment to work on your type of truck and handle all of the repairs you need. Most reputable repair shops will have details about their facilities on their website, but you can also visit the shop in person and ask to check things out for yourself for added peace of mind.
8. CHECK THE AVAILABILITY OF THE TRUCK REPAIR SHOP
The longer the truck repairs take, the longer you’ll be out of work. Choose a shop that can accommodate your schedule and provide repairs in a timely manner.
9. LOOK FOR AN EXPERIENCED BODY REPAIR SHOP
Experience is another essential factor to consider when looking for a truck body shop that can handle the necessary repairs. Hidden damage can exist but go unnoticed by the untrained or inexperienced eye. Make sure they not only have extensive experience repairing trucks but also experience working with your type of truck and the specific types of repairs that you need.
10. ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
Don’t go with your wallet open when choosing a truck body repair shop. Be smart and ask them the right questions. Asking these questions will also give you a sense of their customer service and responsiveness. Possible questions to ask include:
- Can they provide a detailed price estimate?
- Do they provide a written warranty?
- What does it cover and for how long?
- Do they have insurance?
- Do they have the required certifications and licenses?
- What materials and parts do they intend to use?
- Do they have the necessary experience and facilities to handle the specific type of truck repairs you need?
- How many coats of paint will they use?
- What is the turnaround time for repairs?
- Plus anything else you’re curious about!
What if You Need a Semi Truck Body Shop?
If you have a semi-truck in need of repair, there are a few extra things to consider, as not all truck body shops will be able to handle such a big rig. Ideally, look for a semi-truck body shop that has specialized experience repairing and maintaining semi-trucks. Semi-truck body shops typically have larger facilities and more advanced equipment to accommodate the size and complexity of semi-trucks. For example, here at PTC we have a 40-foot and 60-foot paint booth, so we can easily accommodate painting any size truck, from F-150s to concrete trucks, 53-ft flatbed trailers, motor homes, and anything in between. Additionally, semi-truck body shops may have technicians who are specifically trained to work on the engines, transmissions, and other complex components found in semi-trucks.
Invest in Upgrades from a Commercial Truck Body Shop
Perhaps you’ve been on the fence about upgrading your fleet. If you’re bringing your work truck into the shop for repairs, it’s the perfect opportunity to take care of those upgrades you’ve been dreaming about. Collision repair shops doubling as body shops (like PTC!) can provide upgrades while the fleet is stripped, which will help minimize the costs and time needed for the upgrades to be completed.
Possible truck customizations could include:
- Heating elements
- Paint jobs
- Vehicle wraps or graphics
- Interior work
- Hitches and lights
The Importance of Quality Truck Parts
Some truck repair and body shops are known to cut corners by offering low-quality parts. Sometimes this is at the request of the fleet owner. Other times, it’s part of an aggressive sales tactic. Check their website and shop literature to know what brands they use. Then, compare online reviews and discussions to ensure their quality.
We recommend looking for quality brands, including the following:
- Adrian Steel
Quality parts may cost extra but you get longevity. You’ll experience fewer unexpected expenses and less-frequent breakdowns. Plus, better parts typically come with better warranties.
At Pacific Truck Colors we work hard to give our customers only the best services for truck collision repair in Portland, OR. Our skilled service technicians will make sure that your truck works like new and you are completely satisfied with the results.
Pacific Truck Colors is a Truck Body Repair Shop You Can Count On
From ding and scratches to bodywork and upgrades, Pacific Truck Colors is a truck body shop you can count on! Our commitment to customer service and quality is the reason so many in the Pacific Northwest have chosen us since 1992. Give us a call (503-692-7247) or request a free quote to get started. We’re here to take care of all your collision repair needs!