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Tips for Choosing a Inspection Equipment

Business Partner
Cutting edge manufacturers do more than sell great products. They offer a partnership to help grow your business. Consult with the manufacturer to determine if they are a true partner with your business before choosing to use them as your preferred vehicle inspection equipment provider.
 
Long Term Cost of Ownership
Always be sure to consider the long term cost of ownership when investing in vehicle inspection equipment. Some products seem like a great deal at first but require monthly fees for the lifetime of the equipment. These monthly fees can rise and stack up quickly. Look for products that only require a one-time investment.
 
Integration
The most profitable equipment integrates inspection results with leading automotive software providers. Choosing the right vehicle inspection equipment, that can be integration-ready will maximize your profit potential.
 
Facility Design
Incorporating inspection equipment into your business requires thoughtful, intelligent facility design. Investigate if the manufacturer offers innovative facility design services and tools to enhance your service capabilities.
 
Speed & Ease of Use
You have no time to waste! Go for the equipment that uncovers profitable repair opportunities in seconds and is so simple to use that it requires little or no instruction.
 
Durability
Drive over tread depth measurement equipment has a hard life. It is driven over regularly and covered in dirt, water, and snow. Look for the equipment that is self-cleaning and ready to handle all types of weather conditions.
 
Management Tools
Inspection equipment should be easy to track and manage. Make sure the equipment has the ability to store results, track trends and generate management reports. You will save lots of headaches and time with the right equipment.
 
Legitimacy
Customers are often skeptical of service recommendations. You can establish trust by performing inspections based on legitimate OEM specifications. Check to make sure your equipment uses OEM specifications for the appropriate inspection items.
 
Sales Training
Inspection findings and recommendations must be effectively communicated to vehicle owners to maximize your service acceptance rate. Verify the manufacturer provides sales counter tools, local training and support with their products. Online videos don’t compare to custom-tailored, on-site training.
 
Local Service
Shop equipment requires maximum uptime so you can keep your bays full and profits high. Before investing, be sure the manufacturer provides local same or next day service.
 
References
The best vehicle inspection equipment is often widely trusted. Ask your manufacturer for a list of local references.

 

When choosing your next piece of vehicle inspection equipment, contact a Hunter Engineering expert.

Tips for Choosing a Tire Changer

How Durable is the Tire Changer’s Side Shovel?

The side shovel arm and mechanism is the most abused component on a tire changer. The size and heft of this system is an “easy-to-spot” indicator of the tire changer's durability.
 

How much does the Tire Changer Weigh?

While there is not a direct correlation between weight and durability, stronger tire changers generally weigh more.
 
Does the Tire Changer have a Press Arm Option

More difficult tires usually require press points. Verify that press arms are available for any model you select. Are they available as an upgrade? You may want them later.
 
What is the Breadth of the Product?

Various tire changers are optimized for certain types of tires. The best companies offer varying styles of equipment, not “one-size-fits-all” offerings.
 

The Best Tire Changers offer Wheel Protection

This is vital with today's high performance specialty wheels. All reputable equipment has wheel protection built into every contact point with the rim or tire.
 

How Powerful is the Tire Changer?

Today's tires take more torque to service than historical equipment. Pay particular attention to the power choices available, especially 220V options.
 

How are the Filters, Lubricators & Regulators?

High quality tire changers use high quality air conditioning components to ensure proper operation and long service life.
 

Does the Manufacturer offer training Assistance?

Does the manufacturer offer training at installation, on-site training, training videos, a decent operation manual, etc.?
 

How is the Tire Changer’s Warranty?

Tire changers have a rough life. The warranty agreement is a statement of confidence on the part of the manufacturer.
 

Does the Manufacturer Offer Service & Support?

All products break or need adjustment over their lifetime in the shop environment. Be sure to purchase from a manufacturer with a solid service organization.
 

Is the Tire Changer Manufacturer Knowledgeable?

Study your choice of supplier. Do they demonstrate knowledge of tires, wheels and proper service techniques? Do they have knowledge resources available? Do they challenge themselves by demonstrating difficult assemblies? Or are they simply a reseller? There are enough specialized tire changer companies with broad product choices – there is never a reason to choose a "reseller" option.

 

Get more Tire Changer Tips from a Hunter Rep

Choosing the best tire changer for your shop is an important decision, and Hunter Engineering’s experts are here to help answer all your questions and provide even more tire changer buying tips. Contact us today to learn more about how we can offer the best tire changer on the marketplace today and schedule a free demonstration!

Tips for Choosing an Alignment Lift

What is the Wheelbase and weight capacity of the Alignment Lift?

These two factors are often considered the two most critical decisions in selecting an alignment lift. However, drive-on height should be considered the third. Newer sedans can have ground clearance concerns similar to sports cars. Damaging a spoiler or rocker panel will tarnish your shop’s reputation and decrease the profit of many jobs to come.
 
Does the Manufacturer Understand Instrumentation?

Does the brand you are considering also manufacture alignment instrumentation? The wheel alignment lift is a critical component of the alignment system. Don't entrust your work quality to a company that doesn't understand the entire process.
 

What is the Alignment Lift’s Mass?

The most durable and strongest alignment lifts are generally the most heavily built. Wherever possible, look at a lift in service if you can. Your local representative or distributor should be able to direct you to an in-service lift in your area. If they can't, is that a brand you want to consider?
 

How heavy is the alignment lift?

Don’t substitute evaluating shipping weight specs for actually seeing a product first hand. Shipping weights are often misrepresented for automotive lifts.
 

What Technology does the Automotive Lift Use?

Wheel alignment lifts often do much more than just go up and down. Many include features that drive productivity in the service center by saving time, effort and increasing accuracy.
 

What Type of Jacks is the Automotive Lift Equipped With?

All wheel alignment lifts should be equipped with two wheels-free jacks as wheels’ free operations are often necessary. Make sure the jack capacities match or slightly exceed the capacity of the lift.
 

How Durable is the Jack?

Look at your jack choices very carefully. Reach, max lifting height, safety and durability are critical measures. Direct acting air style jacks are generally more durable than air to hydraulic style jacks.
 

What is the Reputation of the Automotive Lift Manufacturer?

Lifts are still "old style" products made by traditional manufacturers in many ways. Great lift companies have developed reputations over many years. In most cases these reputations are well deserved and should be respected.
 

Does the Lift have ALI Certification?

No lift purchase should even be considered that isn't ALI listed for both electrical and mechanical certifications. Lifts are safety devices and should be viewed as such.
 

Does the Lift Manufacturer Offer Service & Support?

All products break or need adjustment over a lifetime of use, even lifts. Be sure to purchase from a manufacturer with a solid service organization.
 

What will be the Footprint of the Lift in Your Shop?

The alignment lift you select will often be dictated by the space available. Generally, you get more lifting capacity for your dollar with a 4-post style, but at the cost of space. Scissor lifts are very space efficient but cost a little more. Flush mounting can reduce the footprint further.

 

Get more Alignment Lift Tips from a Hunter Rep

 

Choosing the best alignment lift for your shop is an important decision, and Hunter Engineering’s experts are here to help answer all your questions and provide even more alignment lift buying tips. Contact us today to learn more about how we can offer the best alignment lift on the marketplace today and schedule a free demonstration!

Tips for Choosing an Aligner

Does the Alignment Machine have a OBD2 Interface?
 An increasing number of modern vehicles have advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) such as electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, traction control and many others. These systems can be affected by mechanical wheel alignment adjustments. This has led many manufacturers to require electronic resets for these systems, after a mechanical alignment is performed. Does the wheel aligner you are considering allow you to meet these safety requirements?
 
Does the Alignment System have Vehicle Protection Features?
Does the equipment protect the wheel and rest of the vehicle from damage? Can it handle the range of vehicles you will see in your facility? Does it reference a solid, adjustable vehicle surface like the wheel? Make sure you consider the overall vehicles protection when choosing a wheel aligner.
 
Does the Alignment Machine offer Vehicle-Specific Procedures?
Vehicle manufacturers have set specific alignment specifications for every vehicle. Some wheel aligners know what adjustments are available, and guide the technician through the correct procedure for alignment adjustments.
 
Does the Alignment Machine offer Training Assistance?
Even the most experienced technician may see unfamiliar vehicles at times. Knowing what adjustments are available and how to use them can save valuable time. Advanced wheel alignment machines also offer on-board video and animations to assist the technician.
 
Does the wheel aligner have cutting-edge Software/Tools?
Measuring camber, caster, & toe are important, but does the wheel alignment equipment you are considering feature any software tools to make common adjustments easier, reducing the skill and effort required to complete the wheel alignment on common vehicles?
 
Is the Wheel Aligner Efficient?
You only get paid for the wheel alignments you complete. While wheel aligners are designed to complete the job, some do it more efficiently than others. How long does it take to get accurate measurements with this wheel aligner? How long does it take to complete the wheel alignment? The answers to these questions are often greatly affected by the wheel aligner’s software and hardware.
 
Does the Aligner have Vehicle Manufacturer Approval?
Knowing the job was done correctly is important. In the equipment world, vehicle manufacturers test equipment to ensure it is capable of measuring vehicles to the appropriate level of accuracy. Has the equipment been tested and approved by any third party, such as the vehicle manufacturers?
 
Does the manufacturer have proven service capabilities?
Even the best equipment will need service, whether it is a maintenance checkup or a repair. Who provides service for the equipment? What is their typical response time? Do they have expert support in your community?
 
Is the Aligner Upgradable?
Is the equipment able to grow with your business and be easily upgraded, or is it a piece that is forever stuck in time, like most shop equipment today?
 
Is the Wheel Alignment Machine for sale proven to provide ROI?
Many times, a wheel alignment machine is the most expensive piece of equipment a shop purchases, but it can also have one of the fastest returns on investment. Consider the true time of return on investment that can be affected by many of the factors above.

 

Get more Wheel Alignment Tips from a Hunter Rep

Choosing the best wheel alignment machine for your shop is an important decision, and Hunter Engineering’s experts are here to help answer all your questions and provide even more wheel alignment buying tips. Contact us today to learn more about how we can offer the best alignment machine on the marketplace today and schedule a free demonstration!

Tips for Choosing a Wheel Balancer

How's the Wheel Balancer's User Interface?

Is the system intuitive? Wheel Balancer technicians suffer from high turnover rates – an intuitive, easy-to-use interface will increase employee effectiveness.
 

How is the Wheel Balancer’s Wheel Centering Accuracy?

Centering errors are a major cause of wheel balancing mistakes and customer comebacks. Make sure the wheel balancer you are considering can easily verify a wheel is centered properly.
 

Does the Wheel Balancer offer Vibration Diagnostics?

A properly balanced wheel doesn't always roll smoothly. A machine that can “take the assembly for a test drive” will ensure satisfied customers.
 

Does the Manufacturer of the Wheel Balancer offer Instructional Videos

A wheel balancer with included training assistance increases the value of your investment. On-board training videos simplify training, improve balancer results and prevent costly mistakes.
 

Does it have a TPMS Database?

TPMS systems are a fact of life when dealing with modern wheels and tires. A resident lookup database will make technicians faster and more efficient.
 

Is the Balancer Shaft Durable?

A balancer shaft will wear over time and since tolerance between the cone and shaft is critical to proper balancing it is important to verify that the wheel balancer you are considering has a durable balancer shaft that is designed to last for the life of the machine.
 

Does the machine have Tire Pull Diagnostics?

Radial tire pull can be difficult to diagnose. A wheel balancer that can measure it can allow your tech to find a pull problem before your customer does.
 

What is the Reputation of the Wheel Balancer and the Company Selling it?

Make sure the company you are buying from has a good reputation among its customers. Anyone can make a wheel balancer, but not every manufacturer stands behind their products.
 

Does the Manufacturer offer Service & Support?

Even the best quality wheel balancer machines break or require maintenance. Make sure that the manufacturer has a trained service organization that can get you up and running quickly.
 

How is the Wheel Balancer’s Warranty?

A quality machine will have a quality warranty.

 

Get more Wheel Balancer Tips from a Hunter Rep

 

Choosing the best wheel balancer for your shop is an important decision, and Hunter Engineering’s experts are here to help answer all your questions and provide even more wheel balancer buying tips. Contact us today to learn more about how we can offer the best wheel balancer on the marketplace today and schedule a free demonstration!

Tips for Choosing an On-Car Brake Lathe

What is the Brake Lathe’s Horsepower Capabilities?

Turning rotors on the car takes power to overcome drivetrain friction. Greater horsepower will allow you to turn more vehicles with your brake lathe.
 

How Much Chatter Does the Brake Lathe Produce?

When turning rotors they will often “sing” or “chatter.” Does the on-car lathe you are considering prevent this?
 
Does the Brake Lathe Operate in Reverse?

Some vehicles have less drivetrain friction when turning in one direction versus the other. You are much better off if you can easily change directions when needed.
 

Does the Brake Lathe Offer Speed Control?

Some differentials will lock up when spun too quickly requiring you to drop the driveshaft to turn the rotors. Avoid this hassle by purchasing a lathe that can operate below this RPM.
 

Does the Brake Lathe Operate Upside Down?

When turning the opposite side of the car, the lathe must be flipped over. Ensure that your lathe doesn't require you to work upside down to get the job done.
 

What is the Brake Lathe’s Rotor Finish Like?

Cutting a continuous groove from beginning to end can create a “record player groove” that causes the pads to walk out and creates a shudder when breaking. Lathes that break this continuous groove will give better results.
 

How well does the Brake Lathe “Travel”?

Technicians often walk away or get distracted when making cuts. Make sure your lathe won't “crash” or damage the vehicle when it hits something solid.
 

How are the Gears?

When using a brake lathe, it is likely the technician will “crash” the bits into things like rotor hats. Make sure the internal drivetrain is designed to handle this without expensive repair.
 

Does the Lathe Manufacturer Offer Service & Support?

It is important to purchase from a manufacturer that will provide timely service for your lathe, when needed.
 

How well does the Lathe Expand?

Rotors on certain vehicles are very large. Be sure to choose a versatile lathe that can be expanded to handle these unique rotors.


Get more On-Car Brake Lathe Tips from a Hunter Rep

Choosing the best brake lathe for your shop is an important decision, and Hunter Engineering’s experts are here to help answer all your questions and provide even more brake lathe buying tips. Contact us today to learn more about how we can offer the best brake lathe on the marketplace today and schedule a free demonstration!