June 2014 Issue 19

Tech of the Month

Freddy Janson

My name is Freddy Janson and I was born in Hannover, Germany in 1962. I have 2 daughters both working for VW Germany. After finishing school, I started my apprentice ship at Drew’s Hannover Body Shop as a spray painter and panel beater for 3 years. After finishing my Air Force training I started my own small panel garage. In 1986 I got the chance to work for VW Hannover in the production body shop, final assembly and rework area. Big thanks to Axel Schaper of VW Hannover who taught me PDR Factory finish. I learned this by accident; I was not supposed to do the course.

In 1997 VW Wolfsburg development plant signed me into the VW Task force. This made me see and work in many countries in the world, building new cars, production starts, and live with many different cultures, what a highlight.
My work took me in 1999 to Port Elizabeth, South Africa and this changed my life. Nice warm weather, the Indian Ocean, and I meet my soul mate, Minette. I was on the hook and we got married in 2000. The year 2004 made me resign at VW after 18 years. Burned out but one month later I immigrated to South Africa with a job offer from a company called Ding Gone, to manage the Hail Disaster Team. What a waste of time.
June 2004 the time was right to start with Janson Paintless Dent Removal cc. Disappointed and without work in South Africa, I had all my dent repair tools. I printed 500 business cards, visited car dealers and showed them what I can do. Minette and I are working for car dealers, rental companies, and insurance for the hail. We have a one stop business for dent repair, valet, and polishing on all vehicles.
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Looking back the last 20 years and remembering the first real big hailstorm in 1975, in Munich, our industry has grown fast and big but it is complete uncontrolled. I don’t want to step on some ones toes, a panel pusher is not a dent technician. A fly by night can’t handle a whole storm. I know everybody must make his living but not on the cost and the quality towards our clients. Quality, honesty, and real professionalism are the keywords for our industry. This is what I stand for and that’s why I am a Member of PDR Nation.
I hope that every insurance company will realise how important we are in the car industry and will support us, treat us with respect, and give us the same status as a panel shop. We have the skills and they have damaged cars. Without us they will lose billions every year. With trained and certified PDR technicians they will save a lot.
At last, this month I am 10 years in South Africa and 10 years anniversary for Janson Paintless Dent Removal cc. I enjoy my life, family, and I am thankful.

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1. the state of being one; oneness.
2. a whole or totality as combining all its parts into one.
3. the state or fact of being united or combined into one, as of the parts of a whole; unification.
4. absence of diversity; unvaried or uniform character.
5. oneness of mind, feeling, etc., as among a number of persons; concord, harmony, or agreement.
Unity is something that is lacking in this industry. Without it the PDR industry will continue to spiral in a direction we don’t want it to. The majority of our industry is composed of small independent technicians and companies, yet the minority and outside entities control our industry’s future to a far greater extent than we do. It’s far past time to change that.
I know it’s a farfetched idea to get everyone in this industry on the same page all of the time but there are many issues most of us agree on to one extent or another. From percentages to lack of rate increases to the matrix, we all have skin in the game. What’s it going to take to see things change for the better? I can tell you one thing for sure, complaining and pointing fingers isn’t going to get it done.
Coming together in a professional manner and supporting others with advice and constructive feedback on ideas is a start. Joining and supporting organizations like PDR Nation and NAPDRT is another positive step. Don’t just join and sit back, get involved, speak up, and step up when you see an issue that needs to be addressed. These organizations are not perfect and can’t fix all our industry’s problems but both have the best for the industry in mind and both are ran by technicians, just like yourselves, completely voluntary. To be successful we need more willing to step up and let their ideas and voice be heard. We need more willing to volunteer time and skills to help reach our common goals. It’s not about a few of us, it’s about ALL of us. Let’s all unite and put our industry back on track and protect the future of the PDR industry.

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Hail Season is Here

Hail season was slow to start but is finally off with a bang. A much needed season for many technicians. It is nice to hear of many route/retail technicians getting damage in their areas and chasers working with them to handle the storm. The use of forums like Doording and Facebook have made this a much more common occurrence than in years past. This is a positive step in our industry and shows a sign of unity that is much needed.
The storms we are seeing this year have been producing some serious damage. I’m sure there are a few honey holes out there, but what I’ve seen, heard of, and worked on has not been for the faint at heart. This is the type of damage that can separate the men from the boys, so guys bring your A game. These type of storms can turn good techs to great techs, but can also be disheartening to new techs trying to get started. If you’re not up to the level where you can repair the damage in front of you, be honest about it. Look to team up or work with someone who is and is willing to help you get to that level. Push yourself to bring the quality you know can and should be done.
It’s nice to have a strong season where most everyone who wants to work is working. These are years that can be used to make our industry stronger. Stick together guys and stick to your guns, there is plenty of work to be done. I wish you all a prosperous hail season and year. Get it done guys, one dent at a time.