Archives : 2011 : March
We notified you on previous posts that several of our manufacturers were having price increases starting April 1st. This is just a friendly reminder that this Thursday, March 31st is your last chance to get in at 1st quarter pricing. We feel confident you won’t see these prices ever again. Every single manufacturer we carry has been increasing prices lately, or has a price increase coming soon.
The three manufacturers that have price increases on April 1st are – BendPak, Dannmar and Thermal Dynamics.
BendPak Lifts are a staple in our product lineup. They are tough to beat when it comes to quality, features and price. Plus they have one of the widest selections of varieties we’ve ever seen.
Dannmar makes some pretty darn good lifts too. Their clearfloor two post lifts just got ALI Certified, so that’s an exciting new development.
Thermal Dynamics is one of the largest and best welder and plasma cutter manufacturers. Top quality, some units made in USA and some made in Italy.
Don’t delay. Prices will never be at these levels again.
This post continues the theme of auto shop essentials. Part 1 went over the many different types of car lifts available on the market today. Here are some more pieces of garage equipment that are vital to any auto shop –
Tire Changers and Wheel Balancers –
If you want to be able to change tires, you’re going to need these pieces. There’s lots of money to be made in changing tires. Especially with the growing popularity of the low profile and high performance tires. Many auto shops don’t have the capability of handling these kinds of wheels, and that means more profits for those shops that do. And these are customers who are willing to spend their money. The main concern with a tire changer is you want to get a machine that will not damage the expensive alloy wheels. If you want to handle expensive low profile wheels and high performance tires, you need a mounting helper arm, or you’ll end up spending that extra money on replacing your customers rims that you damaged.
Get a good reliable Tire Changer with a mounting helper arm for low profile tires and pair it up with an accurate dependable wheel balancer. Accuracy is paramount when it comes to a wheel balancer. You don’t have to get one with all the bells and whistles, but make sure to get one that is accurate and reliable.
Floor Jacks –
Every shop needs a Floor Jack. There are going to be times when your lift is being utilized for another job, and you need to raise a vehicle to service it. Or you have a disabled vehicle out in the lot and you can’t bring it in to your lift. Or maybe your car lift is being serviced or is down. Tips on obtaining the proper jack would include making sure the jack has sufficient capacity to fit a wide variety of automobiles. A 3 ton capacity jack is usually adequate for most vehicles. If you need to lift a full size pick up, you don’t want a light duty jack made for sports cars. By the same token, if you are servicing sports cars exclusively, you better have a low profile floor jack. One that can reach under a low profile sports car. Make sure your jack is able to raise the vehicle high enough as well. Some customers get a jack that only raises 19 inches and are disappointed to find out that a truck they need to lift must be raised 21 inches in order to get high enough to get the wheels off the ground. Also, make sure it is a commercial quality jack that is rebuild-able. If you can’t get new seals for a leaky hydraulic cylinder, it’s just a throw – away. Unfortunately, more and more jacks these days are throw-aways.
We frequently get asked by our customers, “I’m starting my own auto shop and I don’t know what equipment I need”. There is no definitive list of garage equipment, because every shop is different and has different needs. And budget will always be a factor. But there are some basic essentials that should be part of any auto shop comprehensive lift of must-have tools and equipment. Below is part 1 of our suggested list of essentials –
Automotive Lift –
This is a no brainer of course. Every auto shop needs a lift. But what kind? Should you get a two post lift, a four post lift, or some other kind of automotive hoist? There are many factors that should influence your decision. Each type of lift has it’s benefits and shortcomings. No one type of lift is perfect for every application. Of course, if your budget allows for it, you get get several different lifts to allow you to meet any application.
A Two post Lift will give you the greatest ability to access the vehicle for servicing. They give you a full rise lift and allow you to get at every inch of the underside of the vehicle, along with the wheels as well.
But sometimes, you may prefer the stability and speed of a four post lift. You can just drive on and off quickly, for oil changes, plus you have more stability when performing major jobs like removing a transmission. And with rolling jacks, you’ll be able to access the wheels for tire rotations as well.
Then there are a variety of other types of lifts for specialty applications. Will you be performing alignments? There are four post alignment lifts and scissor alignment rack.
Maybe you’ll have a lube shop with a pit and you’ll need a pit lift. For brake shops or tire shops, you may want to get a low rise pad lift that allows you to remove wheels quickly.
If you are a larger garage with multiple bays, you may have the luxury of obtaining several types of lifts to meet every application. Just make sure you purchase a reliable lift from a major brand name manufacturer. There are many inferior quality auto lifts on the market today and we’ve heard many stories from our customers about the bad experiences they’ve had when they tried to cut corners and purchase one of those “bargain” no name lifts out there.
Here is yet another in a long line of happy ASE customers who felt compelled to share their experience with others by submitting some pictures of their new car lift along with a testimonial. You can’t blame them for wanting to show off a little. We all wish we could have a large garage with ample floor space and ceiling height to allow us to place a four post lift to store one vehicle over another. He purchased a BendPak HD9XW Four Post Lift. This is a 9,000 lb. capacity lift that is extra wide, extra high lifting and extra long, giving him the greatest versatility.
Here’s what he had to say –
“I recommended you to a few of my buddies – you should throw me a commission. Anyway started Saturday morning putting the lift together and by Saturday evening the lift was in operation. I pretty much did it myself and the help of an engine hoist. Everything fit together perfect with no problems. I mounted the power unit on the front of the post…. seems to be working just fine. It seemingly took longer to get the stuff at Home Depot to wire in my 230V outlet and dump 3 gallons of Dextron 3 into that tiny hole in the reservoir. I got a little touch up painting to do when the weather warms up a bit from some shipping scrapes but all in all a very pleasant experience. My buddies who were not around to help….. (go figure) really like to see me demonstrate the lift and drink my beer after all of the hard work was done… and of course I volunteered to help them if they buy. Thanks to you, I chose the right lift and It sure is heavy duty and appears to be a great value. Here are a couple pics”.
Post Falls, ID
What do you get when you cross a pallet jack with a forklift? No that’s not an opening line of some lame old joke. That’s the question you ask right before someone answers, ” The model MSC-6K portable lift“.
It combines the features of a pallet jack and a forklift. It can be rolled around and transported like a pallet jack, and can be rolled under the side of a disabled vehicle, and then the arms positioned under the car’s jacking points, and then raised all the way up to a full lifting height.
It is rare to have an Automotive Lift that is portable, also raise a car to a full lifting height of 69 inches. That’s what makes this lift so popular. It has features that most other lifts don’t have. You can even drive one side of the vehicle over the arms, so it isn’t always necessary to roll the lift under the car. It’s rated at 6000 lbs. capacity and is powered by 110 volts AC. The lowered pad height is 5 inches and can spin up to 9” to adjust for taller vehicle jacking points.
While any lift requires care and vigilance when it comes to safety, portable lifts require extra care, especially when it raises to a full height like this one. Common sense should tell you that something that is mounted to a concrete floor will be more stable than something that is not.
This one is extremely popular with the salvage yards, and we get great feedback on it. Let us know if you have any questions.
The quest to find an alternative AC refrigerant for automotive Air conditioning systems is growing legs as GM is the latest auto manufacturer to announce that it will be using a new refrigerant, HF-1234yf, in many of their main auto models. The move is going to happen in 2013, as numerous models will make the shift, including mainstays such as Cadillac, Chevy and Buick cars.
The new refrigerant is HF-1234yf, and has been created by Honeywell.
Manufacturers are searching for a more environmentally friendly alternative to R134A, which has been in use for nearly two decades. This new refrigerant is 97% better for the environment. It is proven to have lower lifetime GHG emissions than HFC-134a or CO2. It also requires only minor modifications to current vehicle AC systems, compared to some other new refrigerants, which require a higher pressurized system.
Before R134A, R-12 was the refrigerant of choice for decades. The new refrigerant breaks down much quicker than R134A, which means less ozone depleting properties. Auto manufacturers are scrambling to come up with viable alternative to meet new, and increasingly strict EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) regulations on greenhouse gas production. The EPA just recently approved the use of this new refrigerant in February 2011. So the next time your car is up on the Garage Lift at the local auto shop, you may be a candidate for this new product.
Auto shop owners and individuals who own an Automotive Lift should inspect their lifts on a regular basis. There are monthly maintenance checks as well as daily safety checks you should inspect for each day.
Most reputable car lift manufacturers include an owner’s manual which should outline a recommended checklist of routine inspection points.
The Automotive Lift Institute (ALI) also issues literature with every ALI Certified lift which advises proper safety procedures, inspection and maintenance for all the various types of lifts.
Daily inspection checklists should include, but are not limited to the following –
Cracking of the concrete floor around the base of the columns.
Look for mounting anchors pulling up at the base of the columns.
Look for wear at any part of the lift, paying particular attention the moving parts, (ie: cables, pulleys etc..).
Ensure that all locks and safeties are functioning properly.
Confirm that arms, runways, posts are not sagging or deformed in any way.
Inspect hydraulic cylinders for any leaking hydraulic oil.
Make sure all electronic components are functioning as necessary.
Listen for any tell-tall noises that might indicate the potential for trouble.
Watch for stuttering, or uneven lifting.
Watch for signs of wear near moving components, such as metal shavings or dust.
If any of these concerns are present, contact a qualified professional to inspect your lift further. You might be tempted to troubleshoot and diagnose the problem yourself, but take our advise and seek a professional technician who knows what he’s doing. Safety is too important.
The Automotive Lift Institute (ALI) has warned that they have received specific reports that certain lift manufacturers are making false claims that their lifts are ALI Certified. Reports have surfaced in several areas, including England as well as the USA of lift distributors making these misleading claims. ALI has a special page on their web site dedicated to pointing out these offenders and shining the light of truth on the situation. They point out numerous circumstances of manufacturers and distributors from across the globe of similar circumstances under the heading – “Buyer Beware”.
It is vitally important that all instances of fraudulent Certification claims be vetted out and shown to the buying public. If allowed to go unchallenged, false certification claims would lead to consumers purchasing potentially inferior lifts, all the while assuming that their lift meets all the various safety and quality standards that ALI is so well known for.
If a distributor tells you their Car Lift is indeed ALI Certified, but you’re not certain, you can confirm it by going to the ALI web site. They have a section there that lists every manufacturer and every single model lift that is ALI Certified. Don’t get taken by an unscrupulous salesman. Verify what they are telling you is true. It’s unfortunate that consumers still cannot trust everything a company tells them these days.
There’s no denying it. Commodity prices are going up. Steel, plastics, metals of all kinds, and of course, the big one, oil. Of course oil costs going up means one major thing, increasing shipping costs. This effects every industry in every way. Nobody is immune. We’re seeing nearly all of our major manufacturers increasing prices on us. We’re doing everything we can to maintain prices at our current low levels, however there are times when we can’t bite the bullet any longer.
This is one of those times. There’s a significant price increase scheduled for April 1st for all of our Dannmar Automotive Lifts. Prices will be going up at a significant pace. Factor about a 3 to 5 percent increase in most cases. This means every Dannmar 2 post lift, Four Post Lift and even the very popular MAXJAX portable two post lift are all going up in price.
The current prices are already extremely competitive, and when it comes to their two post lifts, we doubt you can find a more affordable ALI Certified lift. That’s saying something pretty significant. They’ve already got all the features of a top quality ALI certified auto lift, but a price that puts it within reach of the budget minded garage owner.
Plus their Commander D-7 Four Post Lift is our most popular lift of all for the home / hobbyist looking for a service / storage solution.
You know the old saying, “He who hesitates is lost”. Well that’s never been more appropriate than now. Don’t wait, or you’ll miss out on the best prices you will ever see these lifts at.
It’s their model 520A-PE bench top charger. It’s one of our most popular models, and for good reason. It’s got all the features you would want in a professional Battery Charger. It’s got a fast 10 amp charging rate, as well as a low 2 amp rate for trickle charging. It’s got easy to read color coded gauges with an analog meter. It has reverse hook up safety, and best of all, it’s fully automatic, so it will turn on and off as needed. Go ahead – leave it hooked up indefinitely. Just like they say – set it, and forget it. Don’t worry about overcharging your batteries.
It’s got a durable impact resistant plastic case, 6 foot cables and sure grip clamps so you can grab onto those smaller side terminals that are so difficult to keep your clips on. Plus it has a convenient handle for carrying it.
It is an affordable unit that is a great value for smart shoppers.
Plus, don’t forget, it’s made by the best name in the battery charger industry – Schumacher Electric. They’ve been manufacturing some of the finest products for decades.
Our normal price for this model is $63 with free shipping. For a limited time, we are offering them at $15 off our regular price. Your cost is $48 with free shipping.