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“The Foundations, on which I built a World Class Dent Repair Service"

A (not-so) brief history of  Woodpecker UK Ltd

We are all a product of our past experience and this is mine…

Woodpecker UK Ltd. is a company registered in England which is owned and operated by Colin Wood. (That’s Me!) I grew up in Manchester, England and from a very early age, while my friends were out playing football or sat on the couch watching ‘Scooby-Doo’, I elected to spend most of my time in the garage with my hard working, self employed mechanic father, to whom I will be forever grateful for the mechanical knowledge, technical ingenuity, attention to detail and can-do attitude that he instilled in me. My wonderful, tireless mother looked after us and my elder sister without question. When we had a deadline to meet, perhaps a truck needed a new clutch fitting before the next morning so as its owner could meet his own delivery deadline, me and dad would continue to work until the job was done right, then we would walk back in the house exhausted, late in the evening, covered in oil and grease and sit down to a wonderful home cooked meal. This may not be an average family scenario, but it worked well for us, and I believe it has made me a better person with a great attitude to work. My parents did good and I admire them immensely. 🙂 x

I left school at 16 and got an apprenticeship working on heavy machinery as a maintenance fitter during which time I attended technical college and attained the City & Guilds Silver Medal award for MEM205/2, arguably my best academic achievement! I loved the job and the people I worked with, but after 5 years in the same place, I wanted a change of scenery so I got a job alongside my brother in-law as a recovery driver, attending vehicle breakdowns and serving the police RTA rota for the South Manchester area. I passed my Heavy Goods Vehicle driving test and In 1989 the company bought a new covered transporter (it was actually the first of its kind in the UK!) which was to be my own truck where I got to transport all the vintage and classic cars around the country. Throughout that time I had handled a huge range of very special vehicles from say a £1,000,000 worth of Ferrari F50, through classic V12 E-Type Jaguars, to a 1906 Supercharged Bentley racing car, bought for £750,000 (Can’t imagine what they would be worth in todays market) After a disagreement with my cheating crook of a boss (whom I heard subsequently went bankrupt under different names no less than 4 times after I left, costing other companies huge amounts of money in the process) I had another couple of jobs in transport and mechanic based roles, then on to maintenance manager for a local coach company where I obtained my bus and coach driving licence. The owners split up, one left (the one with the brains) and the remaining one had no idea how to run the company. Every cloud has a silver lining though as this led me to look for something else and I applied for a job with Dentmaster UK Ltd. and at the same time, I also applied for a job as a fork truck mechanic, where I had been working for almost a month before getting my interview and job offer with Dentmaster! The job at the fork truck company was a decent job and they were a decent company, but it was an easy decision, I knew there was a huge market for this new technology for repairing dents without paint. I started my PDR training with Dentmaster UK back in January 1994, together with the owner Lance (who was undoubtedly the best boss anyone could wish for – hard but fair!) and his first three technicians Robbie, Reza and Andy, my fellow trainee Paul and I were the 4th and 5th technician for what was to become a hugely successful company. In 1996 I was made regional manager for the UK North and by the time I left in 1999, there were 26 technicians in that region, around 120 throughout the UK as a whole and that was replicated through 5 countries around Europe. When Dentmaster UK was merely 5 or 6 years old, we were the biggest and best PDR company outside the USA and was bought out by an American company called Dent Wizard, at which point, I left and became self employed, as did many of my colleagues, with whom I still keep in regular contact.

In May 1999, Woodpecker UK was born, where I served trade and retail customers with Paintless Dent Repair services around the whole of North Yorkshire. I never advertised anywhere, I just made sure I did as good a job as I could and the customer would become my advert. That worked very well for me, right up until 2008, when the financial crisis hit the world. Once I had caught up with any refurbishment needed on cars sat on my trade customers sales pitches, my turnover dropped by 50% almost overnight. I still had bills to pay so needed to find more work. Luckily, one of my ex Dentmaster technicians called asking if I could spare him a few weeks as they had a huge amount of work to do over in Germany. I was sceptical, but decided to give it a go. To my surprise, it worked out really well for us and from then on, I concentrated on European Hail Repair during the summer months, returning to the UK in the Autumn, where I continued to serve private customers and a select number of trade customers that valued the premium service I offered and they were willing to wait for my return to the UK so they could use my services. In 2013, we incorporated and became ‘Woodpecker UK Ltd.’ and in June of 2017 my partner and I moved with our two sons to North Lincolnshire where we are busy building the next chapter in the Woodpecker story, which has brought a new arm to the business in the way of PDR tool sales.

We still specialise in the repair of dents in vehicles that have been caused by hailstones, which prior to Brexit, meant working in and around Europe each summer, though that business model is still a work in progress with regards to work permits etc. The changing climate however means the UK is increasingly witness to some of this damaging hail each year, so it may not be always necessary to travel to Europe to continue my chosen profession.

Outside hail season we continue to work on our PDR Tool design, manufacture and sales business and are always available for the repair of minor impact dents to private cars, vans and trucks to both local private individuals, trade and fleet customers together with the handful of extremely loyal customers that travel to us from far and wide or wait patiently for the time when we can visit them to have their dents repaired by the company they have known and trusted for decades. 

We truly believe that every day is a school day and we are always learning new skills, trialling new emerging technology to see if it can further our industry or trying to find alternative and better ways to do things. We proudly network with other like minded professionals from across the world, sharing information and pushing each other forward ensuring that we are always up to date with the best techniques and processes with the aim to give the best possible service to our customers. We attend training courses, seminars and openly invite external examination to ensure our place in World Class Paintless Dent Repair services.

We are really proud to say we are accredited by the Institute of the Motor Industry as a cosmetic paintless Dent Repair Technician and I have achieved the Level 2 IMI EV qualification to ensure your Hybrid or Electric Vehicle can be powered down safely and repaired without risk to you or your car so you can be assured of a quality service by an experienced and fully qualified professional.

Don’t take Our word for it – Listen to what our CUSTOMERS have to say!

“Colin and his team are amazing and what they do. I would highly recommend as I’m one satisfied customer!”

(Daniel H. – Bedfordshire, UK – December 2020)