Property Damage Appraisers (PDA) announced that all franchise owners are now certified through the company’s Heavy Equipment Training School.
According to PDA, when franchise owners leave the school they are fully equipped to write estimates on tractor trailers, school buses and almost any type of over-the-road heavy equipment and more importantly, pass on the wealth of knowledge to their staff of appraisers.
“The heavy equipment training curriculum was developed to fine-tune the estimating process for heavy equipment to build consistency and accuracy throughout the PDA franchise network,” said Jason Brown, manager, PDA Heavy Equipment Training School. “The week-long course includes ‘real steel training’ in the salvage yard and repair shop, as well as in-the-classroom training on processes and functions like reporting and documentation for an accurate and complete estimate package.”
Heavy Equipment Training School attendees become more than technical experts, they are able to guide clients and insurance companies through the estimate process, PDA said. In-person evaluations of heavy equipment such as tractor trailers allow franchisees to see vehicles in mid-repair and communicate with repair shop techs to get insight into the process.
“I love the idea of getting together and developing a mindset that’s consistent. A philosophy of how to do this, so that we’re all on the same page,” said Tom Diehl, managing appraiser, PDA. “We’re all facing the same questions, the same way. Through this training we’re coming up with a cohesive answer across the country and we’re able to deliver the same product from state to state.”
With at least one heavy equipment certified appraiser at every PDA franchise office, claims that are filed across the country have a consistent look and the details are the same which expedites the process to resolve them faster, according to PDA.
Another focus of the course is on alternative parts usage (APU). A component of this is demonstrating how to find the price of used parts immediately online, as opposed to waiting on a truck dealer to reply back about the cost of original manufactured parts (OEM), making the claims process more cost effective and reducing cycle time.
Attendees are taught to reduce overlap in estimates to ensure accuracy, which includes details such as labor pricing and refinish labor. Heavy equipment estimates, just like car estimates, should be written on-site to save time and also produce the most accurate estimate.