The History of Automotive Repairs – Why We Need Trained Technicians in the Collision Repair Industry

Vehicle History Overview

They don’t make them like they used to.
The First Cars

The first motor cars were nothing more than a buggy and engine (Generally repaired by blacksmiths and carpenters. These cars were very expensive, which only the wealthy could afford)
Model T was the first car mass production on an assembly line in 1908 (Ford’s Vision was to produce an affordable car the average person could purchase)
Model T’s came in black only to keep the costs down. (The price came down once the assembly line was streamlined, but in 1908, the cost for a Model T started at $825. By 1913 the cost of the car reduced to $550)
Cars in the 1960s

Cars were made the same basic way up through the 60s

Body Over Frame
Rear Wheel Drive (Same concept, but the cars were very big, bulky, and heavy)
Except people in the 60s wanted SPEED! They achieved this with Big Block Motors, which created a lot of Horsepower. (The Birth of Hotrods, Rat Fink, Flames, and Pin Striping).

Cars in the 1970s

The government place strict fuel economy and emissions control laws
Customers demanded cars with increased fuel economy
New laws and customer demands started the automotive explosion of engineering ideas and changes in the automotive industry
Changes to comply with Demands and Laws

Smaller bodied cars and smaller engines
Aerodynamics (Increase Fuel Mileage)
Lighter cars by using different materials and designs
More work-hardened areas created during formation of panel (Body Lines)
Safety
Construction of Interstate Highways + Higher Speed Limits + More High Performance Cars = Accidents and More

Deaths from Auto Accidents

Federal Laws were passed to regulate safety. These laws included:

Installation of seatbelts
Safety glass windshields
Head restraints
In 1979, the first driver side airbag was introduced
Airbags are mandatory in motor cars produced after 1990
Unibody Torque Boxes: Allow controlled twisting and crushing
Crush Zones: Made to collapse during collision (To act as an absorber, absorbing the impact)

Types of Automotive Lifts

Here are the different types, available from garage equipment supply dealers:

In-Ground

This type of vehicle lift is assembled below the garage floor. It consists of one or more pistons, depending on the maximum weight capacity. Lifts with one or two pistons are used for compact, mid-sized and full-sized cars. Lifts with three or more pistons are used for larger vehicles, such as buses and RV’s.

Two Post Surface Mounted

The most common vehicle lift utilized today is called a Two Post Surface Mounted lift. On each column, there are lift arms. These are controlled mechanically, electronically or hydraulically.

Multi-Post Runway Automotive Lift

The most common type is the four-post mounted lift, which is extensively used by oil change, transmission, and muffler service shops. You’ll find this type of auto lift in wheel alignment service stations as well. The car is driven onto the two runways and raised, exposing its underside.

Low/Mid Rise Frame Engaging Lift

This type of vehicle lift engages the vehicle’s frame in lifting. There are two ways this type may operate. One way is scissors-style, moving straight up. Another is parallelogram-style, moving forward or backward, while raising or lowering. This type is commonly used for brake, tire, and wheel services as well as auto body repair.

Drive-On Parallelogram

The Drive-On Parallelogram is a surface-mounted vehicle lift. It has two runways where the wheels of the car should be placed. It has a lifting mechanism that moves the vehicle a short distance forward or backward while raising or lowering. The direction depends on the way the lift is mounted.

Scissor Lifts

The Scissor Lift can either be of a fixed pad type or a roll-on frame/underbody engaging type. It has a lifting mechanism that’s similar to the parallelogram lift. Their main difference is that the scissors lift goes up and down on a straight vertical path.

Are Automotive Ad Agencies on Board With Social Media?

Simple truth is no. So here are some stats on Social Media that you should be aware of.

Is Social Media here to stay?

Yes, if you believe this information.

230 million -posting each and every day to social networking websites

+83% – the growth of time between 09 and 10 that people in US spent on social networking sites

+145% – the growth of US Facebook users from 2009 to 2010

+3712% – growth of US Twitter users from 2009 to 2010

25% -One in four US Internet page views occurred at one of the top social networking sites in December 2009, up 83% from 13.8% in December 2008
Here’s another stat that should put a fire underneath you.

What are your competitors doing?

In 3 Hours of announcing our Social Media Webinar we had 25 registrations.

Your competition is hungry for information. Most automotive ad agencies are not engaged in social media. That’s why dealers are searching for the right program and approach on their own.

I have never seen this kind of response. I’ve been doing webinars for over 12 years and this really blows my mind. I knew dealers were wondering and watching but the sleeping bear is awaking.

Here is my final piece of advise. If you’ve been reading up-your-ups for long you know I provide valuable information and relevant information to the dealer world. So here goes, don’t let your competition get ahead of you. Get on the move!

Electronic Health Record: Can Physicians Ignore the HITECH Act?

Back in 2004, President George W. Bush decided that all physicians and hospitals should adopt electronic health record (HER) technology within 10 years. To do the math for you…that’s 2014. If you haven’t already started, now is the time to get your electronic health record system.

What is the HITECH Act?

It’s part of the Stimulus Bill, officially known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. ARRA was not considered to be health care legislation, but a portion of it was devoted to the electronic health record vision of President George W. Bush. When President Barack Obama signed the Stimulus bill on February 17, 2009, it included $19 Billion as incentive money for the adoption and the meaningful use of electronic health records. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act is the sub-provision of ARRA which deals with health information technology.

EHRs are electronic medical records on steroids. Electronic medical records deal with automation within a facility. Electronic health records include HIPAA protection and the ability to exchange records between medical providers and pharmacies.

The HITECH Act passed in 2009 should not be confused with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) passed in 2010. PPACA, referred to as the Health Care Reform Bill has entirely different funding. Funding that has been bitterly contested. If, for some reason, this PPACA is repealed, it will not affect the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) electronic health record initiatives. Nor would it affect the incentive money allocated to help physicians and hospitals with the transition.

WIIFM? or What’s In It For Me?

If you buy your EHR system now, you can qualify for some of the $19 Billion that was appropriated in the HITECH Act. These CMS incentive funds will be paid in annual installments starting in 2011. Medicare doctors can receive a total of up to 44,000, paid over 4 years. Physicians qualifying for Medicaid incentives money can receive up to $63,750 paid over 6 years.

ALERT: Medicare physicians need to act now. If you wait until 2013 to begin qualifying, your maximum incentive payments will be reduced.

What if I ignore the HITECH Act?

The penalties start in 2015. You’re probably already thinking that you don’t get paid enough from Medicare. Well, in 2015, your Medicare reimbursements will be reduced by 1%, in 2016 the reduction is 2% and by 2017 the reduction is 3%…That is, if you haven’t implemented your system and /or met the meaningful use criteria.

Five Ways to Save Money on Health Insurance

u are not alone when the health insurance renewal arrives and you are faced with another increase in premiums. Many people don’t take the time to look at alternatives or are afraid to make a change in fear of losing benefits or reducing coverages. Unfortunately, they may be paying in the form of higher premiums for not making the effort to explore other options. The following are five suggestions that may save you a sizable amount of money when reviewing your health insurance.

Don’t Pay for Benefits That You Typically Won’t Use – Get involved with your health insurance plan and find out what benefit options are available. Try to match the plan benefits with your most likely needs. If you are healthy and visit the doctor once a year for a physical exam don’t look at plans that provide doctor’s office co-pays. Most plans cover annual preventive benefits at 100%. If you need to see the doctor for an illness or injury, you are entitled to the contracted rate your insurance carrier has negotiated with the doctor. The contracted rate in many cases is not much higher than a co-payment benefit that you are paying additional premium to have. Don’t use prescriptions? Look at plans that offer deductibles before the prescription benefit applies. Also consider higher deductibles and self insure the minor expenses.

Explore Individual Coverage for Spouse and Children – The common way that most families are insured is through an employer sponsored group health insurance plan. The employer pays a good portion of the employee cost as a benefit to attract and retain good employees. The dependent cost for spouse and children is paid by the employee through payroll deduction. This coverage for dependents is typically 30%-50% higher than a personal individual plan because of state mandated benefits for group coverage. Comparing premiums and benefits for your dependents with quality individual insurance carriers can make a huge difference in the amount of take home pay.

Compare Worst Case Scenario – Let’s face it, health insurance was never intended to cover minor scrapes and hang nails. The main purpose should be to avoid the unforeseen major expense that can result in medical bankruptcy. When looking at comparing your current coverage to alternates look at worst case scenario. Start by making a side by side cost comparison of each plan. List the monthly premium first and multiple it by 12 months. Next, assume a catastrophic medical problem and list plan maximum deductible and out-of-pocket expenses. Add this to the annual premiums and compare the two plans. Now you can weigh the premium cost with the maximum exposure to make a more informed decision. Keep in mind that some plans continue to assess co-pays even if the maximum out-of-pocket has been reached. Others cover you at 100% after the maximums have been met. One last point on this topic…make sure to be aware of whether the deductible is a calendar year or policy year deductible. Plans with calendar year deductibles reset the deductible the first of the new year.

6 Ingredients to Health

Happiness: As simple as it seems just being happy on a consistent basis generates a physiological response that brings a balance to our body. Studies indicate that smiling and laughter help reduce side effects of the aging process. From external appearance to internal hormonal balance being happy actually helps the overall health process. When is the last time we actually laughed out loud or even smiled on a daily basis? Being genuinely happy brings a sense of calmness and stress relief that our bodies desperately need. As with many other aspects of health, being happy becomes a choice or maybe better stated a habit. The all work and no play mentality only works for so long before it catches up with us, so allow enough time in each day to find enjoyment and you will be on the right track to improved health.

Excitement: Do we have excitement in our daily life? This may seem like a strange question at first but being motivated may be the most important thing there is when it comes to achieving and maintaining health. It is difficult to maintain motivation if we are not excited about something. We should have clearly defined short-term and long-term health goals that give us an opportunity to experience positive feedback of success along the way. This progress gets us excited and allows us to stay the course and that is why staying plugged into a group dedicated to similar health related goals is so important.

Arithmetic: It is important to understand that achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is for the most part, a simple math equation. While it is true that genetics and other factors certainly can attribute to issues of weight and health challenges, it is the caloric count that for most of us that becomes the main subject. We need calories for fuel or energy for our bodies. If we eat too many calories that we cannot use or burn up by way of our bodies metabolism and slowly we begin to gain weight. Also not all foods are created equal. Ideal foods are those with high water content such as fruits and vegetables. Foods with high fat content tend to stay with us when we eat more calories than we burn off. So really it does become a choice and a math problem, calories in versus calories out. If these are out of balance the choice becomes eat healthier or exercise more frequently, for the best results of course do both. The longer the arithmetic is correct the more results will be seen and the longer lasting the results will become toward improving your overall health.

Love: Initially the incentive to get into shape and improve our health may be somewhat self-serving. After all it is our body and we may want to lose a few pounds to look better in clothes or to just be more active to do the things that we enjoy doing. However, over the long-term our health goals need to be about something more concrete than how we look in clothes. Love is a strong motivator and as such has been included in this section to focus on the fact that achieving and maintaining health is a long and difficult process. Therefore, we need to find a reason beyond today or tomorrow that will make the commitment of healthcare worth it.

Health Coaching – The Key to Replacing Bad Habits With Good

Too many people are quick to take physical well-being and fitness for granted until it is too late and they find themselves without it. It is a familiar story. No matter how many examples individuals see of the impact such things as lack of exercise, poor nutrition, harmful lifestyle habits and preferences and stress on the health and well-being, physical and mental of others, they have a tendency to ignore it. They tuck it out of sight and out of mind, categorizing it as “someone else’s problem” – that is until it comes home to roost over their own door.

Yet, although you may have the best of intentions, it is never easy to replace old habits with ones that optimize both your fitness and energy levels. This is particularly true if you feel you have little or no support in the task. This is where a health coach comes into play. Health coaching is a wonderful way of helping us get onto the right track and staying there. The role of a health coach is to act as both your guide and champion. This results in a strong basis of motivation and makes it much easier for you to locate what you need to achieve your short and long term goals concerning health and fitness.

One of the biggest problems individuals face is their own unrealistic approach to the problem. They set goals to improve their overall fitness and health or to simply address a specific health issue that are not probable. They are unrealistic and can make it difficult and stressful to achieve. This increases the level of disappointment and sensation of failure. The result is a resurgence of the old habits. If, however, you work together with a health coach, you will be guided through a process of identifying, selecting and implementing distinct and achievable objectives. A life coach will also help you through the process and, in doing so you will acquire the basic tools you need to create for yourself an improved quality of life.