Collision Shop Renovations Complete
If you walk into our collision shop facilities at 2071 South Service Rd West you will be greeted by either Sam or JR, or another one of the Budds’ Collision employees coming to you through the vast high ceilinged space. The large automatic garage opens for anyone who cares to drive up so you can have your vehicle appraised in the heated space, no matter the weather conditions. Nothing compares to 42 years experience: starting as a licensed body-man and painter, Sam Piercey runs the collision and paint shop in Oakville, which opened in 1983. He reminisces over having had the opportunity to paint an Avro Lancaster just before he started with Budds’ and Margaret Thatcher came to christen the plane. It was Sam’s duty to take the Jag she was to be driven around in up to the airport and she was going to do a speech about the Falkland Islands and she christened the bomber at the same time. It had taken 5 or 6 of them to paint it and they did it piece by piece. No lead could be in the paint because it would add too much weight, and each piece was painted with great measure and over a long period of time – that same type of precision and attention to detail is taken now every day in the shop with each vehicle, the only difference is we have the technology to bring it to absolute perfection. In addition, we have 22 in house rental cars so when our customer drops off their car for repairs, we have cars available for their convenience.
When cars are dropped off for repairs, the exteriors are shampooed and washed in order to make sure no damage is missed, and all “prior damage” is revealed. One of the latest upgrades that Budds’ Collision has added to the already state-of-the-art facilities is a switch to PPG Envirobase paints, which are a top of the line auto body paint made with 100% water so they won’t go stagnant. The only thing that could spoil this paint is it could freeze, but we make sure that doesn’t happen. PPG, as a company, keeps us updated with new colour chips and mixes when available so that we can make sure any vehicle that comes in will have a direct match.
Additionally we added the Wolf Spray Boost rooms for painting, which is a superior technology allowing a shorter cycle time, doing more cars in an eight hour shift. The cars dry faster and the system is more conservative on fuel, knocking 40%-60% usage off the Union gas bill. Recirculating the air instead of letting it exhaust from the building after one use helps. The computerized infrared scan can tell you the temperature of the vehicle, then can calculate output into exact figures. You paint it, then bake it at 160 degrees, for 20 minutes, and the computer can tell what part of the car needs to come up to temp. The state of the art Wolf Spray Booths create a “Practical OEM Finish”. Meaning the car can be exposed to the outside elements right when it comes out of the booth. Speeding up our “cycle” time and increasing our” touch” time. Which most insurance companies are watching in order to measure performance.
We upgraded the aluminum room again: Jaguar, Range Rover, BMW, Ford, and other makes utilize aluminum for much of the current model body manufacture, and other local shops sublet their aluminum work to us because we have the space. Aluminum bodywork requires that the room be separated from any other welding going on, and requires a high level of cleanliness and knowledge due to its tricky melting point and ease in damage due to oxygenation. We have even had cars shipped from Calgary to be worked on, and other shops are now catching on and investing in aluminum facilities.
In the latest renovation we also dug down 7 feet to make way for downdraft technology, which helps to dry cars that have water on them. To dry cars fast you need lots of air movement. This downdraft chamber allows for reuse of the air to circulate around the vehicle, giving us lots of air volume, making the process more efficient when a vehicle comes in.
The latest and best technology to deal with the large wrecks that other shops simply don’t have the capacity to handle, is Celette dedicated repair jigs that allow unibody frame fixing. After fitting the frame on Celette’s technology we can pull it back to the factory standard shape, then we use another technology, the Caritronics measuring system to find out to the millimeter where we are not at factory standard, so that we can return the vehicle 100% to original spec. It creates a computer printout diagnostic showing the body damage, then shows how far you have to go to perfection. Together these technologies allow us to be top of our game when handling large structural repairs, and ensure we are able to handle any collision repair required, happily.
Because we deal with 70% work that can’t be done at the local shops, we are very much on the cutting edge of body repair work and continue to be ahead of our suppliers in what the next step for repair work is. Throughout the last twelve years, we improved little bits here and there over a period of time, but for someone to try to create and invest in building the facilities that we have here, it would be too large of an investment up front, they would be challenged to justify the investment. So people come here for repairs.