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Paintless dent repair was actually developed by an employee of Mercedes Benz in Germany in the mid-sixties but really didn't take root here in the states until the early to mid-nineties. And here in the USA it is against federal regulations to use any type of body filler outside of mig weld to repair a new vehicle in the manufacturing plant. I really can't tell you what the automotive plants did with their damaged panels before the use of P.D.R. but I can tell you that I was hired by Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Indiana in March of 2000 as a body weld team member. In there I learned the basics of P.D.R. via on the job training in a controlled offline setting and after 3 or 4 months I was repairing dents online while the Tundras were moving. This really wasn't unique in there because they had team members in body weld, the paint shop and assembly where I worked doing P.D.R. on moving vehicles. In 2002 I was promoted to repair team leader and moved to the east plant which was brand new and was built to build the Sienna. This is where I learned P.D.R. because our new plant was tooled to build the new model Sienna that was previously built in Lexington KY and was very much in demand. So as you can imagine the troubles we had by moving half of the team members from the west plant where they had only built Tundras and Sequoias and the other half were new hires with zero experience in automotive manufacturing. At that time the economy was rockin' and our tact time meaning the time every team member had to do their specific job was 68 seconds. This meant that every 68 seconds a Sienna was being stamped out of rolled steel back in the press shop and at the same time every 68 seconds a Sienna was rolling off the final line in the assembly shop. Now TMMI probably won't appreciate what I am going to share but I am no longer employed by them so here goes. I really can't remember the exact numbers but I am pretty sure that we were building 420 Siennas per shift only running two shifts and I dare say that at least one third of them reaching the final line and sometimes nearly all of them had some kind of damage due to manufacturing. I had a four bay offline area that I could house four damaged Siennas and it pretty much stayed full, the rest had to be repaired online and believe me they frowned on stopping the line. In fact it pretty much didn't stop so after eight years I became pretty efficient in door ding repair and sometimes a lot more involved P.D.R. But I do have to give Toyota credit, their fit and finish standards are very high. In about 2005 after a lot of request from fellow employees I bought a few of my own tools and started doing P.D.R. on my days off, then started chasing hail storms on my vacation days. Wasn't long I was chasing hail storms all over the US and in 2010 I decided to part ways with TMMI. Rochelle and I started our own business and this is where I taught myself what I call EXTREME P.D.R. this entails very large dents, compound creased dents, rippled and pinched panels, damage that most body shops would only replace parts. Now this type of damage is not very desirable to repair and by no means am I trying to promote it but I am telling you that given enough time and the paint finish still intact and undamaged I can repair just about any damage on any panel out there.
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