The meeting was opened by Chris Shepherd reading the Anti-Trust law. Dick McDaniel with Car-O-Liner led a prayer and then Randi and Abigail Shepherd led the Pledge of Allegiance. Shepherd welcomed DeMarcus Robinson, Northwest Louisiana Technical College’s new collision instructor.
Shepherd went over the schedule of both the SKILLS USA High School and College competitions. The SKILLS USA High School competition will be held in Houma, Louisiana this year April 6-8 at the Terrebonne Career and Technology Center. For more information about the SKILLS USA High School competition, go to skillsusala.org. The college competition will be held at Northwest Louisiana Technical College in Shreveport, LA on April 21 and 22. Anyone wanting more information about the contest should contact Bill Burnside.
Jackie Boyd made a motion to donate $150 for refreshments at each SKILLS USA contest. Kevin Adams seconded the motion, so NWLCRA will donate that amount for refreshments at the SKILLS USA competitions for the High School and Post Secondary in Louisiana.
The Southern Automotive Repair Conference will be on April 8 and 9. Since this follows the SKILLS USA High School competition, several were discussing a “road trip.” It would be a short drive from Houma to Biloxi, so anyone interested in making these two events, contact Burnside. For more information and the SARC flyer, click here.
The association is still looking for speakers. If anyone is interested in speaking to the Northwest Louisiana Collision Repair Association, contact Burnside. April and May are already scheduled and there are only a few open spots available.
There have been a few remarks about the change in the refrigerant regulation and certification. The association is considering having a meeting where the new regulation would be discussed and then test for the certification. The meeting would have to be at a location where computers would be available, so those taking the test would have their own station. If your shop would be interested, contact Burnside. We need to be able to know how many people to accommodate. Other possible topics for future meetings would be “hands-on” types, and would-be primer class, front-end alignments, etc. Feel free to reach out to the association to let them know what you think about this new format for the meetings and if you would be interested in meetings of this type.
The guest speaker on March 1 was Jason Bartanen, I-CAR’s technical lead for their OEM section. This new initiative of I-CAR is a Repairability Technical Support or RTS. This puts the technician repairing the vehicle in contact with the vehicle manufacturer. Currently, the RTS portal is a free service for anyone with a user ID and password for I-CAR’s website. If you don’t have a user name and password, go to I-CAR’s website and sign up. Then you will be able to use this free service. If you would like to see it in action, visit rts.i-car.com. There are multiple articles from vehicle manufacturers and I-CAR is heading for a goal of adding an article per day to this new portal. There are videos showing how to perform various processes along with step-by-step instructions. The technician with a user ID and password to I-CAR can use their own smart phone to use this Repairability Technical Support portal to review the documentation while standing in their stall with the vehicle. This brings a new level of training from I-CAR to the technician. Now they are able to see how the manufacturer recommends the repair to be made without leaving their work area. This will be a time saver for many. If you are unable to find what you are looking for, you have the ability to submit your request to the technical team of I-CAR’s RTS. You can make this request online or by calling I-CAR at 1-800-832-4990 option 1, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST. Someone from I-CAR’s RTS will respond to you in a timely manner. A vast amount of OEM information can be downloaded or printed from this portal. The NWLCRA thanks Bartanen for a very informative meeting about I-CAR’s new Repairability Technical Support portal.
For more information, visit www.nwlcra.org. Bill Burnside can be reached at 318-208-3895