Specialized procedures for commercial vehicles
All of the work that you perform in a body shop – aluminum and composite panel repairs, seam sealer removal and installation, headlight restoration, corrosion protection – becomes larger and more important with the size of the job. Whether you’ve only started repairing heavy truck bodies or you specialize in heavy duty truck repair, you know how true that is. So, 3M has developed a collection of standard operating procedures and technical tips for repairing heavy duty trucks. This knowledge is designed to make the big job of heavy truck repair, repairing medium duty trucks, commercial fleet and utility trucks and semi trucks, as efficient and cost-effective as any other segment of collision repair.
For all the processes critical to heavy truck collision repair, 3M provides standard operating procedures (SOPs) to help you work faster, better and more efficiently. You’ll find clear procedures and best practices for seam sealer removal and installation, truck panel repair and reinforcement, corrosion protection and more.
3M technical staff provides the knowledge and experience to guide the effective repair of heavy duty trucks. These tips represent some of the most frequently asked questions from repair shops. You’ll find information on jobs which are unique to truck repair, including products and methods for SMC, FRP and composites.
Cosmetic repairs are some of the most common procedures in heavy duty truck repair. These SOPs cover the basics of cosmetic repair for trucks, from cleaning, rough grinding and feather-edge to final sand and inspection. These SOPs contain the procedures for repairing the front side of SMC, FRP and composite materials common on utility and heavy trucks. You’ll also find helpful information on which substrates require the use of adhesion promoters. SOPs include the 3M products and tools for cosmetic heavy duty truck repair.
Download English Cosmetic Repair Details (PDF, 1.7mb)
These SOPs detail the procedures for working with fiberglass matting and mat adhesives to repair SMC, FRP and composite parts on heavy trucks. You’ll find details on cleaning and surface prep as well as product application. SOPs include the 3M products and tools for back side reinforcement.
English Download: Back Side Reinforcement (PDF, 178 KB)
These 3M SOPs address the challenges associated with effectively removing creases and dents from metal panels on heavy duty trucks. Included are the tools, products and best practices for pre-cleaning, surface prep, dent pulling and grinding.
English Download: Metal Working (PDF, 194 KB)
Review the critical procedures for spot welding using bonding adhesives in heavy duty truck repair. Follow OEM and/or welder manufacturers’ recommended procedures for making and testing welds, and refer to 3M internal corrosion protection processes.
English Download: Weld Bonding (PDF, 173 KB)
Here are the steps and best practices for achieving properly sealed welds in heavy duty truck repair. Follow OEM and/or welder manufacturers’ recommended procedures for making and testing welds, and refer to 3M internal corrosion protection processes.
English Download: Weld Sealing (PDF, 172 KB)
Review best practices for large area metal panel repair on heavy duty trucks. These 3M SOPs include pre-cleaning, sanding, and the mixing and application of filler and glaze, as well as final sanding and inspection before primer and paint.
English Download: Large Damage Repair (PDF, 168 KB)
These SOPs cover the steps for preparing small areas of metal panels on heavy duty trucks. They include pre-cleaning, final metal prep, sanding, and the proper mixing and application of filler and glaze, as well as final sanding and inspection before primer and paint.
English Download: Small Damage Repair (PDF, 215 KB)
These standard operating procedures help make for smooth removal and rebonding of heavy duty truck panels. SOPs include cleaning and drying of parts, the tools and steps for heating and surface prep, and adhesive application and bonding of composite panels.
English Download: Composite Panel Removal & Install (PDF, 166 KB)
Spanish Download: Composite Panel Removal & Install (PDF, 227 KB)
These SOPs outline the steps for replacing steel parts on heavy duty trucks. You’ll find information on panel cutting and separation and helpful tips for critical seam sealer, coating and weld removal, as well as replacement MIG weld dressing, grinding and cleaning.
English Download: Steel Part Replacement (PDF, 431 KB)
These valuable standard operating procedures detail methods for repairing cosmetic damage to flexible materials commonly used for heavy duty truck bumpers and panels. Review prep and final sanding as well as the proper application of flexible fillers.
English Download: Cosmetic Repair (PDF, 161 KB)
These standard operating procedures detail the repair of significant cracks, holes and punctures in flexible parts and plastic bumpers. Step-by-step procedures outline the use of reinforcement material and flexible filler as well as proper sanding and grinding.
English Download: Two-Sided Bumper Repair (PDF,177 KB)
3M SOPs cover repair of bumpers and flexible heavy duty truck panels using reinforcement patches and flexible repair material, such as 3M™ Flexible Patch and 3M™ EZ Sand Flexible Parts Repair. Steps include initial grinding, application and sanding.
English Download: Flexible Patch Non-Structural Repair (PDF, 153 KB)
Spanish Download: Flexible Patch Non-Structural Repair (PDF, 209 KB)
3M SOPs detail the recommended steps for cleaning and sanding new, primed heavy duty truck bumpers and other parts. They include products, abrasive grades and tools for the application of sealers and paint following paint company recommendations.
English Download: New Primed Bumper Repair (PDF, 218 KB)
Here are the recommended steps and products for cleaning and sanding hard e-coated heavy duty truck panels. SOPs include information on avoiding burn-through, as well as tools for applying top coats following paint company recommendations.
English Download: E-Coat Panel Prep (PDF, 232 KB)
These 3M SOPs include the steps and techniques for cleaning and sanding heavy duty truck bumpers during refinishing. They include products, abrasive grades and tools for the application of sealers and paint following paint company recommendations.
English Download: Refinish Bumper Repair (PDF, 232 KB)
Review SOPs for proper surface preparation and sealer application for primed heavy duty truck panels. They include recommended 3M urethane, MSP (modified silane polymer) and epoxy seam sealers as well as application tools.
English Download: Seam Sealer Installation Over Primer (PDF, 163 KB)
Spanish Download: Seam Sealer Installation Over Primer (PDF, 217 KB)
Direct-to-metal (DTM) seam sealer SOPs include preparation, application and tooling of seam sealers for heavy duty truck repair. They also include important information on ensuring joints are properly sealed before tooling.
English Download: Seam Sealer Installation Direct-to-Metal (PDF, 163 KB)
Spanish Download: Seam Sealer Installation Direct-to-Metal (PDF, 200 KB)
Applying cavity wax is strongly recommended following any heavy truck body repair. These 3M SOPs provide simple procedures to protect areas that, if left untreated, could be susceptible to corrosion.
English Download: Corrosion Protection (PDF, 136 KB)
Here are 3M SOPs that include two different and effective methods for removing seam sealers. This SOP includes recommended cleaners, masking, and abrasive products and tools to efficiently complete the job.
English Download: Seam Sealer Removal (PDF, 193 KB)
Here are the steps for the effective removal and reapplication of liquid applied sound deadening material in heavy duty truck repair. These SOPs for Liquid Applied Sound Deadening (LASD) replacement include the techniques and products used in pre-cleaning and surface prep.
English Download: LASD Replacement (On-Body) (PDF, 169 KB)
These SOPs cover best practices for applying undercoating during heavy duty truck repair. They include the process and products for pre-cleaning and the tools for crucial surface preparation, plus tips on inspection of the cleaned surface and undercoating application.
English Download: Corrosion Protection Undercoating (PDF, 189 KB)
Spanish Download: Corrosion Protection Undercoating (PDF, 216 KB)
Review the basics for effective masking for smoother, better paint work on heavy duty trucks. Excellent for masking larger panels, these SOPs describe critical edge masking with fineline tape, as well as products and techniques for overspray protection.
English Download: General Masking (PDF, 224 KB)
These SOPs are developed specifically to help prevent paint from drifting and settling into larger openings commonly found on heavy duty trucks. They include back masking, foam tape masking, overspray protection, trimming and sealing openings after general masking.
English Download: Mask Openings (PDF, 195 KB)
Here are the recommended steps for masking around smaller repair areas. 3M standard operating procedures detail techniques for cleaning, back masking, foam tape masking, overspray protection and sealing before primer on heavy duty truck small damage repair jobs.
English Download: Primer Masking (PDF, 219 KB)
Review the 3M SOPs for a key part of heavy duty truck panel preparation. Included are products, procedures and abrasive grades for feather-edging and masking for primer, as well as primer application and effective block sanding.
English Download: Feather Prime Block (PDF, 208 KB)
These SOPs present the specific steps recommended to prepare heavy duty truck panels for waterborne paint. They include the extra DA sanding steps vs. non-waterborne paint, as well as recommended abrasive grades at each step.
English Download: Feather Prime Block Waterborne (PDF, 217 KB)
Spanish Download: Feather Prime Block Waterborne (PDF, 239 KB)
These 3M SOPs contain recommended steps, tools and abrasive grades to blend repair areas and adjacent panels during heavy duty truck repair. They include products and techniques for hand scuffing and DA sanding as well as cleaning and inspection.
English Download: Blend Panel Sanding Process (PDF, 218 KB)
These SOPs cover surface preparation for new heavy duty truck parts to be painted. Included are steps and procedures for proper cleaning and scuffing. Also included are tools and products for the application of coatings.
English Download: Prep New Parts (PDF, 225 KB)
Here are 3M standard operating procedures on preparing truck panels for paint, featuring the steps, techniques and tools for sanding and priming. SOPs apply to truck repairs on aluminum, SMC, FRP and composites.
English Download: Prime Parts (PDF, 224 KB)
Here is everything you need to use our 3M™ PPS™ paint preparation system for applying primer and paint to heavy duty truck panels smoothly and efficiently. Included are the components necessary for spot, 1-panel, 2-panel and 3-panel repairs.
English Download: 3M PPS Paint Preparation System (PDF, 404 KB)
Spanish Download: 3M PPS Paint Preparation System (PDF, 455 KB)
These SOPs provide a guideline for an important but often overlooked step in the entire heavy duty truck repair process: final cleaning. They help you ensure that each truck leaves the shop not just repaired, but sparkling inside and out.
English Download: Clean-up Process (PDF, 219 KB)
Here are the 3M standard operating procedures for repairing paint defects on heavy truck body panels over large areas. They include steps for texture matching, scratch refinement, compounding, polishing, and swirl removal.
English Download: Paint Finishing Large Areas (PDF, 387 KB)
These 3M standard operating procedures cover the repair of paint defects to small truck panel areas. They include steps for initial defect removal and scratch refinement as well as compounding, polishing, and swirl removal.
English Download: Paint Finishing Small Areas (PDF, 387 KB)
This simple heavy duty truck repair can make a tremendous difference, on the road and for your customers. Included are procedures, tools and materials for removing yellowing and restoring truck headlight lenses without replacement.
English Download: Headlight Restoration (PDF, 227 KB)
Get more process guides. Download the full SOP books for these three areas.
These heavy duty truck technical tips are just a small sample of our specialized knowledge in commercial vehicle repair. Our technical team is here to help meet your technical challenges in the repair of heavy duty trucks.
Customer Challenge: Much of our work on heavy truck collision repair involves composite panels. What should we be most aware of to ensure effective panel removal and installation?
Technical Tip: It’s important to know that SMC/FRP panels should be cleaned only at the beginning of the repair process. Cleaners should not be applied after the initial cleaning through the rest of the repair. If you use flame heat to help separate composite panels, you must remove the afterburn with a P80 abrasive. If you are using an adhesive such as 3M™ SMC/FRP Repair Adhesive and you need to adjust the panel during installation adjust it by sliding the panel to avoid causing air bubbles in the adhesive. Finally, do not over clamp during part mating, as this can result in too much squeeze-out and can reduce the strength of the bondline.
Customer Challenge: As a 3M distributor, will I need to update my 3M product selection for heavy duty truck repair accounts?
Technical Tip: The main differences between truck repair and repairing smaller vehicles are the size of the vehicle and the higher frequency of composite panel materials. Heavy truck repairs require many of the same sealers, cavity waxes, metalworking and aluminum repair products as the smaller vehicles many shops work on every day. Therefore, you should not need to make major changes to your product mixes, though you may require larger amounts.
Customer Challenge: What are the advantages of using bonding adhesive in conjunction with metal mechanical fasteners on large truck panels?
Technical Tip: In most cases, bonding adhesives can be used with rivets or other mechanical fasteners to enhance the strength of the bond between metal parts. (You should always use a bonding adhesive if it is specified by the vehicle OEM.) When the addition of an adhesive bond is not required, a high-quality bonding adhesive can also be very useful as an isolator when working with dissimilar metal panels and fasteners during heavy duty truck repair. This involves simply applying the adhesive to bare metal on mating flanges and allowing it to cure. The adhesive can also be applied to drilled holes where dissimilar metals and rivets come into contact to help prevent galvanic corrosion.
These 3M resources are meant to help you save time, save money and get the most out of your collision repair operations. If you have additional questions about heavy duty truck repair or anything related to 3M collision repair products and solutions, we’re happy to help. You can send us a message to the right. Or, if your needs are more immediate (or if you just want to talk shop), we’re ready to chat. We look forward to working with you!
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