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The Newsletter of the PDR Industry

PDR Tech of the Month

Jesse Brause

                Jesse was born in a small town in Ohio. At age 9, he and his family moved to Charlotte, NC. Other than a couple of years in Nashville, TN, he has been in Charlotte ever since. Jesse plays a lot of ice hockey as a goalie when hes not chasing hail. He also enjoys cooking and practicing yoga to stay flexible. Despite all the salads he posts on Facebook, Jesse also eats meat.
                Before getting into PDR, Jesse did custom car audio installation and some sales at a local high-end audio video store. When he was 17 he called the manager once a week for 2 months before he gave in and gave him a chance. Jesse learned a lot on the sales floor and installing that has helped him in PDR.

                In the spring of 1998, Jesses best friend got hail damage on his car. This led him to meet Jamie Hawkins who recommended him to some Dent Wizard guys in Charlotte. Jesse watched them repair his friends car and was instantly interested in a career in PDR. A month later, he applied at Dent Wizard and soon after was at the Nashville Auto Auction fixing Ford Taurus "karate chopS door dents.
                After learning a few things, Dent Wizard asked Jesse to run a dealer/wholesale route in Hickory, NC. In the winter of 2000, with the help of Mike Brown and James Hastings, Dent Wizard put together a corporate hail team. Jesse worked some hail sites with them as a local tech and was invited aboard the hail team. Jesse has been chasing hail ever since.

                In the future, Jesse would like to open a retail shop doing dents and SMART repairs, minor cosmetic stuff. He really likes what some guys around the country are doing with their shops. Eddie Martin with Dent Devils, John Highley with Dent Magic John, and Shane Jacks with Dent Pro Upstate are a few of the guys that are inspiring Jesse to want a shop of his own, but for now he's sticking with chasing hail and watching the industry and its players play the game.
                Jesse on his view of the future of the industry, "I think PDR has been going through some growing pains. In my opinion, the current state of affairs in PDR is like transitioning from middle school to high school. We have a new "class structure of familiar faces in place with new industry players who are taking more control of the entire process. Old-school, well-seasoned techs are frustrated as the game rules change, often quickly and drastically. DRP rules, new matrixes, higher shop percentages, and what seems like hoards of new, sub-par techs and dent companies filling the voids of ever lower and lower wholesale bidding, but even worse than all that, a lack of quality and integrity. I really believe that how you choose to participate in this industry determines the direction this industry goes and the changes it makes; for better or worse. All aspects of PDR, from sales to tooling, are evolving in one way or another. Guys are introducing some really cool and very functioning tools. From blending hammers to LED lighting to motorcycle tank stands. Dents that were not thought repairable years ago are a daily fix for some. I really enjoy working around other techs and trading knowledge with great techs that I've met in my travels. Thanks to everyone whose ever helped me along the way!


Estimating Basics:

Interpreting the
Preliminary Estimate

Interpreting the Preliminary Estimate can be a daunting task for some. Some of you may be well-versed on collision estimates provided by insurance companies or collision repair shops and find it can still be difficult to comprehend. Some of you may have never seen a Preliminary Estimate and would not know where to begin. This article is a brief explanation of a sample Mitchell's collision estimating software Preliminary Estimate format and some informative details you should be aware of when you make a review (See PDF Illustration). 

                Each estimating software vendor has a unique layout for their Preliminary Estimate form. However, most software vendors follow the same basic format, a Header, Customer Information, Repairer Information, Vehicle Information, Claim Information, Line Items, Totals Summary and Disclaimer. The Header area is where the Company providing the Preliminary Estimate is shown and the Document Title. Sometimes special instructions or company contact information will also be included in this area. In this example, the Estimate Date, ID, Version, Supplement, and Profile ID are all shown in the top right of each page. Customer, Claim, Repairer, and Vehicle Information are standard data that you will find included in most Preliminary Estimates. Some important details to look for when making a review of a Preliminary Estimate are Labor Rates, Taxes, Deductible Amount, and most importantly the Estimate Key. The Estimate Key provides an explanation for special characters or abbreviations used in the line items, such as *, #, C, or some other form definitions that must be disclosed. For example, in thissample estimate, the Estimate Key noted that "Paintless Dent Repair amounts are based on a user defined matrix."

                An important detail that I have found when working with customers, is explaining the costs involved in performance of the operations to a particular panel. When we calculate Body, Sublet or Sheet Metal costs the formula is fairly simple, Hours x Labor Rate = Sub-Total Repair Cost. Part Cost is usually indicated on the same line as an R&R operation. Generally, Paintless Dent Repair is entered on an estimate as a total dollar amount, including Mark-Ups for Aluminum, Large Roof Panel, or Double Panel. There are cases where the Mark-Up is not calculated in the Line Item. Be sure to check that the appropriate Line Item Mark-Up has been applied to the Total (Dollar Amount in this example). Refinish Costs are not quite as simple to calculate as other Labor Operations. What we have to remember to take into account, is that Paint & Materials is also calculated by using Refinish Time, but is usually found on a separate Line Item. To accurately calculate the Sub-Total Cost of Refinish Line Items we can use a simple formula, by adding the Refinish Labor Rate and the Paint and Materials Rate together, then multiply that by the Refinish Time in hours listed on the Refinish Line Item [(Refinish Labor Rate + Paint & Materials Rate) x Refinish Hours] = Sub-Total Refinish Costs (See PDF Illustration.) If you have any questions or would like to share some pointers, please visit us at
 For a full list of common abbreviations found in Preliminary Estimates you can visit the link below.

Next month....

Big Pulls With Little Tabs

by Gene Fetty

The first host cities for Certification

San Diego, CA - Myke Toledo
Kansas City, KS - Kirk Stanton 
Central Ohio - John Highley 
Greenville, SC - Shane Jacks
Peterborough , UK - Jordan Fisher
Brisbane, AU - Jon Speller

To sign up and reserve your spot you can register here:

Retail Shop Spotlight:

Ray's Dent Shop

                Ray Cruz, master PDR technician is the owner of Ray's Dent Shop located at 20 Hillside Ave. Manheim, PA serving Lancaster County and surrounding areas in PA. His business relies on word of mouth and superior service and quality is top priority at Ray's. Ray's has remained "small by choice as he believes that something is lost in mass production. Ray feels if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. With this motto, Ray's has maintained exceptional quality and customer satisfaction. Ray has been pushing metal since 2001 and opened Ray's Dent Shop 2006.

                Ray's Dent Shop services wholesale and retail customers primarily door dings and side damage. Ray has worked and ran a few hail storms over the years. Ray's is strictly a PDR shop and thrives by being a master at the trade.

                Ray says one pro to having a shop is customers know where you are and can drop off at their convenience. No downtime driving from job to job and the ability to have multiple jobs in the shop at once is a big plus for Ray. Having a controlled environment where the climate is not a factor helps keep Ray working as well.
                There are a few cons to having a shop, according to Ray, like overhead expenses such as rent, electric, phone, cable, etc. Maintenance for both the grounds and the building are ongoing and should be figured in your budget. You must persuade customers to come to you through your advertising as well.

                Ray gave some advice for techs thinking of opening a shop, "Location, location, location. Choosing your location is the most important step in making your retail shop come true. Be aware of your surroundings and take your time choosing the perfect location; not just because its close to your house. Write a business plan, determine the legal structure of your business, and get business assistance and training. Customer service is key to any successful business. Customer service isn't just telling a customer "hello, its also about helping them to their car and making sure they had a great experience while waiting in your shop. Treat your customers with respect and always go the extra mile for them. Any smart business owner will tell you that customers are gold and should be treated as such. Word of mouth is priceless,your best advertising can come from a happy customer and all it costs is your time.
 Check out upcoming newsletters as PDR Nation spotlights retail shops from across the country!


Thanks to our Affiliates! 

Atlas TabsADT, Hail Company,
Xtreme PDR, National Auto Hail,
IndentAuto WorksTDNDent Trix,
National DentDent Magic John,
Doug Brown, Tri-State Dent,
Dent DialAffordable Dent Removal,
Kirk Stanton,  Myke Toledo, 

Sal Contreras, Gary Hoesing,
John Highley, Ryan Hampton,
Jason Allen, Daniel Ontrop,
Matt Erickson, Timothy O'Neill, 
and The Dent Network.