ArchivesDecember, 2010 | Car Lift Blog

New Trends In Auto Shop Equipment For 2011

December 31st, 2010

Happy New Year! would like to thank all of you who made 2010 a huge success for us. Our customers are the best because they are loyal, smart shoppers who know a good deal, and who appreciate a company that is honest with them.
For 2011, we plan on more of the same. Great products at great prices along with great service. No need to make things complicated. Business is really simple if you let it be.
Trends in the automotive equipment industry for 2011 will be something interesting to look at. Technology is always improving. Expect more of the larger rims with low profile tires. They just seem to keep getting larger every year. This causes every tire shop to have to purchase a new Tire Changer every other year to be able to handle these new wheels.
Nitrogen tire fillers are also all the rage now. People are always looking for ways to save money on gas.
AC Service Machines will need to be upgraded to SAE-J-2788 compliant requirements. Alignment machines will trend toward wireless models using the latest, state of the art, bluetooth technology. Automotive Lift manufacturers will attempt to come out with new, innovative types of lifts that meet individual specific niche needs. Lift manufacturers will also trend toward getting their two and four post Automotive Lifts ALI Certified, as it has proven to be a highly desired trait in lifts. Scissor alignment racks are also gaining in popularity because shop owners want an alignment rack that doesn’t take up a lot of floor space. Floor jacks will also be specialized to fit specific needs. More and more manufacturers are creating low profile jacks to fit under lowered cars. Many are also catering to the aluminum racing jack market, for those who demand a lightweight jack. Air compressors will trend to be more quiet. Rotary screw compressors are the most quiet, but there are manufacturers now who are fabricating shrouds to place over the motor of their reciprocating compressors to make them more quiet. And some are reinventing the wheel by re-designing the motor to make it less noisy.
As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. And automotive shop equipment manufacturers are constantly innovating to make shops more productive. You can’t stop progress.
What innovative ideas do you think will take shape in 2011? Let us know by posting a comment below.

Tire Changer

Ford Decreases Ownership In Mazda

December 30th, 2010

Ford Motor Company is no longer the majority shareholder in Mazda Motors. They recently reduced its ownership in Mazda Motors down from 11 percent to 3 and 1/2 percent.
They did indicate they would remain aligned in a strategic partnership for common interests.
Mazda and Ford both have a relationship with Chinese company, Changan Ford Mazda. There will be changes coming soon in this relationship as well, pending approval from China’s government agencies that oversee the auto industry there.
Both companies see the emerging markets as a lucrative market for them to tap into to expand their base. And China is the largest untapped market of all. China has over a billion consumers who’s status and wealth are increasing as this growing giant economy has already overtaken Japan as one of the largest economies in the world.
Many of our products, including some of our floor jacks, Automotive Lifts, and tool boxes are manufactured in China. They have improved their quality control to the point now of having one of the most productive manufacturing facilities in the world. Most economists predict China will overtake the US to have the largest economy in the world sometime within the next 20 years.
What do you think? Will China have the largest economy in the world in 10 to 20 years? What should we do to keep America on top?

Waterloo Toolbox Lines

December 29th, 2010

Waterloo Industries is the premier tool box manufacturer in the world. They have been around over 80 years and are respected for their quality and durability. Most of the Auto Shop Tool Box models we carry continue to be manufactured here in the USA.
They have one of the most extensive lines of tool boxes out there, ranging from the extreme top of the line Magnum Series boxes, down to some home / hobbyist models. We concentrate on their industrial and commercial quality boxes that are made for professionals. Our customer base demands a certain quality and features that you won’t find on the home hobby models. Some of those features revolve around the load capacity of the boxes and features like high quality ball bearing drawer slides.
As stated earlier, the Magnum line of tool cabinets and boxes are the top of the line. Very few manufacturers offer a line so advanced and durable. They are designed for extreme use and heavy loads. They boast a monstrous 2000 to 3800 lb. load capacity, have a rigorous roll cage construction, industrial quality gas struts, and the Posi-Latch drawer securing system. They have the best warranty in the industry – a lifetime warranty. They are intended for the professional auto shop technician who wants the absolute best that money can buy.
The next step down the scale is the TRAXX series of tool carts, Tool Cabinets and boxes. It has premium features like sidewall post construction, 1200 lb load capacity and the – drawer securing system. Warranty is a healthy 7 years.  These would be the top of the line boxes for most manufacturers product lines.
Nest is the Pro Series. Designed for the professional, these tool boxes and tool cabinets have a hearty 1200 lb. capacity, double wall construction, along with ball bearing drawer slides. Warranty is five years.  Any professional would be proud to own them.
We’re sure there’s a box to meet any garage technician’s needs in this line-up. Check them out and get back to us with any questions.

Auto Shop Tool Box

Solar Battery Testers

December 29th, 2010

 Technology when it relates the the automotive service equipment industry is always changing. It’s no different with battery testers. The old carbon pile load battery testers were great in their day, and they can still perform an important task, but the new battery testers are superior in many ways. These new testers function with a conductance system, and have a screen that allow you to perform various tests on the entire electrical system. You can gain a thorough knowledge of the charging and electric system condition with these new system testers more efficiently.

The Solar1855 Carbon Pile Load Tester is made for professionals and the serious DIY crowd.
Ir is a variable load carbon pile tester that offers complete and reliable accuracy when performing battery load tests.
It has an 800 amp load test for 12 volt batteries, alternators, starters and  regulators. It tests batteries all the way up to 1600 cold cranking amps, has color coded full size voltmeter and ammeter to clearly monitor testing process, super grip heavy-duty battery clamps and a one year warranty.

For those who want to be on the cutting edge of battery testers, there is the SolarBA327 Digital Battery Tester and System Tester with Integrated Printer. It is a complete testing solution for 6 and 12 Volt batteries and 6, 12 and 24 Volt charging systems. It’s compatible with a wide variety of battery types,
it has easy, intuitive operation with accurate, and speedy assessment of battery condition and starting and charging system performance. Can test up to 2000 cold cranking amps, has an LCD display, 10 foot cables, polarity protection, and an integrated printer. All this in one small 5 lb. package. It is multilingual, is compatible with most battery types, including flooded, AGM and Gel Cell. It has a back lit LCD screen for low light conditions and a case for safe storage. It can even compensate for temperature.

As you can see, when you jump from old technology to the latest, state-of-the-art technology, you can enjoy some valuable benefits. What type of battery / starting system tester does your shop have? Are you happy with it’s features? Are there certain features you need?

Solar BA327 Battery TesterSolar 1855 Carbon Pile Battery Load Tester

Driverless Car

December 27th, 2010

If Google has it’s way, there may be a time in the not too distant future when you can just jump in your car, tell it where to go, and sit back and let it take you there. Then maybe you can get some work done, read a newspaper, put on your make-up, or just relax. Well, maybe that’s hoping for too much. You’ll probably want to monitor your progress and make sure you’re traveling safely. They’ve pioneered a technology that allows an automobile to safely drive itself.
Google believes this technology will eventually make driving safer, potentially eliminating “driver error”. Speaking for ourselves, we trust our own driving more than we would a computer, however we’re not so sure about everybody else. We’ve seen too many people DWD (driving while distracted). Lots of cell phone users, moms yelling at children in the back seat, women applying makeup, and even guys reading the sports page.
Most of the cars you’ll find in auto body shops across the country that are in there for repairs sitting up on the Automotive Lift because of human error. So it stands to reason that if you remove that problem from the equation, you should be able to lower the statistics.

What do you think? Would the roads be safer with cars that don’t have human drivers?
Check out the collection of accidents below.

New More Strict Proposal For Burning Waste Oil

December 26th, 2010

If you are an auto shop owner who has a waste oil heater and uses it to save money on both disposing of your waste oil, along with saving money on when it comes to heating your shop, you may want to pay attention to this story, because it could affect your bottom line dramatically.
The Environmental Protection Agency recently considered a proposal for new rules regarding the burning of waste oil. The proposal is considering whether the fuels are considered solid waste or not and the answer to that question could have huge ramifications for the automotive industry. If they waste fuels are defined as solid waste, under the RCRA act, (Resource Conservation & Recovery Act) then any combustion unit that burns it will be required to meet more strict emissions standards. The EPA is proposing requirements on air emissions for Industrial, Commercial and institutional boilers and process heaters under CAA rulings for waste incineration units.
Given the onerous costs and regulations that small automotive shops must meet, any new rulings of this type could have a burdensome impact on profits. Many shop owners in colder climates rely on waste oil heaters as a secondary or even primary source of heat. When service technicians have an automobile up on the Auto Lift, they need to be comfortable in order to remain productive. The government authorities have to weigh the impact of these units on the environment along with the impact on the shop owner’s bottom line.

What do you think? Should the waste oil burners that auto shops use be required to pass more strict emissions standards?

Automotive Shop Equipment

It’s Christmas – Now Is The Time To Give To Those Who Sacrificed

December 25th, 2010

We’ve had another great year thanks to great customers like you. We’ve sold plenty of Automotive Lifts, Floor Jacks, Air Compressors and Tire changers over the past 12 months. We’ve truly been blessed. One way we share our blessings is by donating to our favorite cause – Homes For Our Troops. You’ve heard us talk about it before. You’ve seen links to them on our web site. We won’t stop talking about them until they’re no longer needed.
They fabricate specially adapted homes for injured and disabled veterans returning from recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. They’ve recently completed construction of their 100th home. They are supported by celebrities like Billy Joel and Phil Mickelson. They are highly rated by major charity watchdog groups. Only 8% of funds raised go toward fundraising and administration. Please take the initiative to help those who have made great sacrifices for the security of our nation. We cannot think of a better cause. Check out the video below.

Homes For Our Troops

US Car Sales Jump In November

December 24th, 2010

After a brutal two years that saw the worst conditions for the automotive industry since the great depression, things have finally turned around.
Car sales in the USA in November were very strong, growing at a pace of 17 percent, and leading experts to revisit their estimates for sales in 2011.
The pace is much stronger than last year, when sales in the US were at a mere 8.6 million new cars.
Still, for all of 2010, sales are currently at only 11 million or so. Not anywhere near where they were just a few short years ago. The slowest of all the major manufacturers was Toyota, still reeling because of it’s own self  induced problems due to it’s recent recalls brought on by safety issues. Most other manufacturers saw gains of better than 10%.
At Ford for instance, sales were very strong, especially for trucks and the Ford Fusion.
These figures come at a time that US car makers needed. After the bailouts, there were dire predictions for US auto makers. Consumers will eventually have to purchase cars at a higher rate, and the population grows and the economy continues to recover.
Still, industry analysts don’t expect to go back to the good old days of 17 million cars sold any time soon. Most have kept their expectations to somewhere around 13 million for 2011, and not reaching it’s old highs again for another four to five years.
There are also many used vehicles on the road today, a much higher percentage historically than usual. This means people will need spend more to repair and maintain their cars. When they bring their vehicles in to their local auto dealer, or repair shop for service, and the car is up on the Auto Lift, there is an increased likelihood that they will need major service. At some point, they will weigh the costs of repair vs the cost of a new vehicle, and a decision will be made to purchase a new vehicle. It’s just the nature of the American public. Car sales will eventually pick up.

Car Falls Off Car Lift

December 23rd, 2010

Check out the video below. It shows what happens after a car, (in this case a Ford Taurus) falls off a two post Car Lift. A two post lift is one type of lift that you must take extra care with.  It is important to position the vehicle properly on the lift. Try to keep the center of gravity as close to the columns as possible. If you are going to remove a heavy component, such as a transmission, be careful to place tall jack stands under the vehicle. Any sudden shifts in weight could cause the vehicle to fall off the car lift, as it apparently did in this case. Also be careful to place the lift pads on the proper automobile jacking points, as designated by the manufacturer.
Based on the text in the video, it appears that perhaps the cause in this case was a shift in the weight distribution of the car as parts were removed.
There is always potential for a catastrophic disaster if proper safety procedures are not followed. You can view more about two post lift safety procedures on one of our previous posts.


More New Customer 2 Post Lift Pictures

December 21st, 2010

Customers love to send us their pictures of their auto shops and garages. They like showing off their Automotive Lifts in action and we love seeing them. The latest is from a customer in South Carolina who has a fabrication shop. They purchased our BendPak XPR-12FD Two Post Lift. And check out the truck they modified in the pictures! Very Cool. This is the kind of stuff we like.
Here’s what they said –

“I’ve attached several pictures of the lift, both in use and not. The truck weighs 6700 lbs. and has a 675 HP engine. And, yes, it will go through the mud. My son, Matt, who is pictured in one of the photos built the truck and is doing some of that kind of work, among many other metal fabrication projects in our shop. Thanks for working with us.”

Johnny Bonnette
Bull Swamp Fabrication LLC
Orangeburg, SC 29118
Two Post Lift