Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ) Legislative Committee Chairman Brian Vesley, owner of Valtek, Inc. in Paterson, is the first Garden State-based operator to receive the recently enacted heavy-duty repair endorsement in the New Jersey Auto Body License Law.
The endorsement, officially in effect since April, holds heavy-duty repair facilities accountable to comparable standards established for regular auto repairers when the License Law went into effect in 2001.
Pleased to see the endorsement finally implemented, Vesley notes that the revisions came after years of exhaustive campaigning by association members. “When the original Auto Body License Law went into effect in 2001, there was a provision in the law that the Motor Vehicle Commission would provide for a separate heavy-duty enforcement for the license that would govern the repair of trucks [and] heavy-duty vehicles,” he says. “That wasn’t acted on by the Motor Vehicle Commission until this April.
“Without some kind of a distinction between a shop that’s equipped to repair large trucks or trucks over 14,000 GVW and shops that are better equipped to handle automobiles rather than trucks, there is no protection for the public,” he adds. “There were no standards that governed the repair of heavy-duty vehicles compared to cars.”
Vesley is hopeful that the new endorsement will clear up any existing ambiguity over a heavy-duty shop’s legal responsibilities when operating in the state.
“Some heavy-truck shops took the position that the regulations and requirements didn’t apply to them because they didn’t repair cars – they only repaired trucks,” he says. “Now, the Motor Vehicle Commission has made it clear that if you do auto body work on trucks you have to have an auto body license with this endorsement. You have to meet the auto body standards and the heavy duty standards in order to qualify for a license.”