Sonar … radar … electric toothbrushes. Probably only the most diehard fans of Jaws, the blockbuster movie from 1975, can immediately identify that line as one uttered by the salty sea captain Quint in the flick about a great white shark that terrorizes the seaside community of Amity Island.
Quint utters that line in defiance of the modern technology that a young upstart marine biologist named Hooper wants to bring aboard Quint’s boat to help him hunt down and kill the shark.
Quint is an old-school fisherman who doesn’t believe in the high-tech gadgetry that the younger Hooper employs. In fact, when Hooper’s assistants attempt to load an anti-shark cage onto the boat, Quint utters another one of his snippy lines: “Whaddaya got there — a portable shower or a monkey cage?”
Ironically, it is this new technology that Quint eschews that ultimately destroys the shark at the end of the movie when all else fails. After the shark proves too big and tough for old-school methods of capture, Quint finally concedes, asking Hooper, “What exactly can you do with these ‘things’ of yours?”
I think the lesson the collision repair industry can draw from one of my favorite movies of all time is: Don’t be Quint. Modern vehicles equipped with advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) have changed the game as far as repair goes. New, exotic substrates have altered repair plans and methodologies. We can’t be stubborn and hang onto the past; instead, we must embrace new tooling and technology to see what it can do for us. We really have no choice unless we want to put families back in unsafe vehicles. It’s a sobering and humbling revelation when we think we know it all, only to find out we have to relearn everything due to the computers on wheels rolling off assembly lines today.
As you may recall from the movie, Quint ended up getting swallowed whole by the relentless shark at the end. I think we can avoid a similar fate if we take on a positive attitude toward learning and education.