interviewed and written by Richard Routson
Started PDR in 2010
Hail technician (United States)
Lives in Danridge, Tennessee USA
PDR Nation certified in 2013
Vale certified in 2015
Dan was a BMW technician from 2003-2010. He always noticed the “dent guys” that serviced the dealerships he worked at but never really thought about the monetary value of dent repair. It wasn’t until two hail cars came through the service department that Dan realized how lucrative PDR can be. Dan was assigned the R&I on the two cars. When he turned in his hours for the service tickets, Dan happened to see the PDR invoices for the hail damage repair.
“I thought I was making killer money on the R&I…..When I saw his invoices for the hail damage repair, I was blown away……That’s what basically lit my match. I researched PDR for about a year before I went to to California for 1 on 1 training with Myke Toledo.”
After training, Dan had no intentions of chasing hail. He wanted to stay local and try to establish a dealership route. That first year was extremely challenging. Dan only managed to acquire one consistent account in his small farming community in Ohio.
“I underestimated the market. The dealerships had a long time local guy who wasn’t that great. I thought I could take a few accounts, but they were super loyal……After a year it was looking really bleak. I was fixing dents whenever I got a call. I did some mechanic work, odd jobs, and even worked on my dad’s farm just to scrape by. I actually started putting in job applications for part time jobs that would still allow me to push dents.”
Everything changed in May of 2011
“I probably don’t have to tell any dent guy what happened in the Spring of 2011. It hailed like a mother. The one dealership that I serviced got hit directly with hail. I went from starving and looking at going back to turning wrenches, to Holy Shit! Now what? I had never fixed a hail car. I wasn’t set up for it. I didn’t have a light, no hail tools. I was using a line board.”
Dan contacted a former local route tech turned hail chaser that he had met a year earlier when he was researching the industry. Mike Criner came back home and basically took Dan under his wing. He set up the deal and gave Dan a 3 month long crash course in hail damage repair. After buying the proper tools and transitioning from lines to fog, Dan eventually picked up his pace and started to make decent money on the cars, and the rest is history.
“Mike was a hardass. He made me glass every dent before I moved on to the next car. He told me to get the making money idea out of my head. I needed to learn how to fix every dent in front of me. I would spend a whole day on a hood that would now take me 1 and a half hours. I’m so happy Mike was so tough on me. It made me the tech I am today”