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Hail on the Radar and the Paint Shines

Smart Repairs Australia works on hail damaged vehicles, which means the business regularly moves to where the hail fell. Speaking from Sydney, business manager Greg Elliot explains the complexities and challenges of his work.

“We did 6,000 jobs in Melbourne last year and then there was a massive hailstorm in Sydney on 15 and 20 December, and another on 14 March. The size of the Sydney storm will go down as the largest hailstorm on record in Australia.”

As a result, Smart Repairs Australia was allocated about 12,500 insurance company claims and is now based at its largest facility in Smeaton Grange, southwest of Sydney. Assessments were done in January and February this year, followed by repairs from March. The business is averaging about 350 cars a week and on a Saturday in mid-July, the number of cars repaired reached 7,000.

Employees fluctuate between 60 to 64 at Smeaton Grange, and total staff numbers are about 200 across all four Sydney facilities. The Smeaton Grange warehouse is 9,000 square metres inside and has three nine-metre drive-through booths. Greg says it’s the company’s biggest ever bake facility.

“The speed of drying without the need for infrared lighting or UV curing is important. The speed and efficiency of the Standox technology is fundamental, given what we need to do. We need exceptionally fast turnaround times. There is no doubting the quality of the Standox product, or the speed and efficiency of the technology. The Standox Xtreme System is the dominant product on the market. The clears and the primer technologies are a great match for our requirements.”
Echoing Greg’s comments on the Standox Xtreme System, Smeaton Grange paint shop manager, Brad Lindsay, said the drying times of the basecoat and the Xtreme Clear enable turnaround in the booth much faster than any other product he’s ever used.

“I’ve been painting cars for 20 years and the build is fantastic. Drying time is two hours and then we can get the car back together, buffed and ready to go. With most other products, I’d have to wait to the next day. As a result, average cycle time for paint and dent repair is three to four days.”

Greg is expecting a volatile season again this year. “It’s on the radar,” he said.