ArchivesMarch, 2011 | Car Lift Blog - Part 2

Your Auto Shop Garage And Liability

March 17th, 2011

Auto shop owners and car dealership service department heads have a major consideration when it comes to liability insurance. There are the obvious coverages that you will purchase on your liability policy, such as incidents that happen on the premises, whether it be damage to a customers vehicle caused by a careless service technician, or a piece of machinery that malfunctions, such as a car falling off the Two Post Lift.
Every shop has had a claim or two over the years. But there are other possibilities that you need to be prepared for. For instance, What happens when your technician takes a car out for a test drive and he gets in an accident? What happens if you send the car to another shop to have them perform a service that you don’t cover? Are you covered while it is in their possession? Furthermore, what happens if the technician who drove it has a DUI or a suspended license because of multiple speeding infractions, and then he gets into an accident? You need to be aware of your employees driving records. If they are behind the wheel at any point, you need to check on their driving record. Ultimately, it comes back to being your responsibility.
What about if the car malfunctions because of a real, or perceived error in the repair that your technician performed. You need to protect yourself. Make sure you’re covered for any possibility, because your business can be irreparably harmed by just one unfortunate event.

Two Post Lift

AC Service Considerations

March 17th, 2011

Summer is  coming sooner than you realize, and one of the most common services technicians perform during the warmer months is AC system service. It can be a profitable service for the repair shop owner, and a vital service for the customer. But it is more important than ever to assure that the service is performed properly, as government regulations are becoming more strict each year. Add to that the increasing cost of refrigerant, and there’s plenty of reasons why you don’t want to let any escape into the atmosphere. Another major concern is mixing refrigerants.
(MACS) the Mobile Air Conditioning Society has issued a reminder for all technicians across the globe to use a refrigerant identifier when servicing an AC system to make sure the improper mixing of refrigerants does not occur, and to assure of the purity of your refrigerant. The standard that AC Service Systems must conform to these days is SAE J-1771. If you don’t verify the refrigerant, you risk contaminating systems, and having a costly headache on your hands. If an improper refrigerant is introduced to a vehicle’s AC system, you risk anything from minor, to severe issues, including reduced cooling capability, corrosion of hoses and seals, up to and including total system failure.
We carry two different manufacturers of AC Service Machine, YellowJacket and RTI. They are packed full of features, boast the finest quality, and are affordably priced. Both are made in the USA, are durable, reliable, and accurate. And both comply with SAE standards. Check them out.

AC Service Machine

The Japan Disaster And The Auto Industry

March 15th, 2011

The disaster in Japan has widespread repercussions for the citizens in that country, and our hearts go out to all affected. But the effects go far beyond the borders of Japan. This event has far reaching ramifications for the economy, including the automotive industry.
Of course you have the major car manufacturers, Honda, Toyota, and Nissan. Toyota was perhaps the hardest hit, as they have many plants in the vicinity. Many manufacturing plants cannot produce products anywhere near full capacity since there are rolling blackouts due to the nuclear power plants being off line.
Parts for other auto makers are manufactured in Japan, and supply disruptions are expected.
The port facilities that help load the ships that bring the product over to the US have diminished capacity as well. Some ports will be out of commission for months.
Tire manufacturer The Bridgestone Group has pledged 3.5 million dollars to aid in the relief efforts in Japan. Toyo Tires Group indicates that even though they have a plant right near the epicenter of the vicious quake, they sustained little damage to their facilities and can continue operations as normal once the blackouts are over. Many customers may need to wait to get tires mounted on Tire Changers if this disaster disrupts service for too long.
Stocks on Wall street in all effected industries have taken a significant hit due to this disaster, and continued uncertainty is expected.
There is speculation that this event could disrupt the auto industry greater than anything since WWII. Our prayers are with the people of Japan.

Japan Earthquake

Photo Courtesy BBC / UK

Distracted Driving – A Growing Concern

March 14th, 2011

Back in the “Good Old Days” as my grandfather used to call them, they didn’t have all these new-fangled contraptions to play with while driving. In his day, they had a radio, (AM only) and a heater. OK, windshield wipers too. But not so many products that they couldn’t concentrate on the task at hand: looking at the road in front of them.
It’s different these days. There’s a plethora of potential distractions that can lead to overload of the senses. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that over 760,000 drivers are not giving the road their complete attention. This is increasingly due to modern electronic appliances meant to increase productivity.
Common culprits are Smart Phones, PDA’s, GPS mapping devices and other personal electronic appliances. Most states have instituted legislation prohibiting the use of these devices while driving, but police still summons countless drivers each year who were involved in an accident because of their lack of attention to the road ahead of them.
Fortunately, car manufacturers are coming up with ways to protect us from ourselves. New technologies are coming that are aimed at decreasing accidents that are caused by driver inattention. When added to a vehicle, these systems can actually prevent accidents by actually slowing the vehicle down or stopping in the event the system senses an obstruction ahead. Moreover, they can also aid in preventing rollovers when the car is turned too quickly by altering the suspension of the car and by altering the steering as well. There are systems to warn a driver who may be dozing off, by waking them up. Plus, there are systems that utilize cameras to warn the driver of things behind them, or in blind spots.
Of course, all this new technology means two things; increasing vehicle costs, and more things that will need to be serviced. Auto shop owners will be pleased with that last fact, as it will create yet another revenue stream.
Hopefully, these advances will prevent your car from making a trip to the auto shop, and being placed on the Four Post Lift.

Sale On ESCO Cyclone Tubeless Tire Bead Seater

March 13th, 2011

After you have finished changing a tire on your Tire Machine, you sometimes may find that the jet blast system on the tire changer cannot seat the bead of the tire on the rim. There’s just not enough air.
That’s where the ESCO Cyclone tubeless tire bead seater comes in. It supplements the existing jet blast delivery system on your tire changer.
It’s a common complaint among wheel service technicians when it comes to particularly large wheels. The jet blast just doesn’t supply enough air for the tire to inflate rapidly enough to seat the bead.
When this occurs, you need a supplemental air tank that has an effective jet blast delivery system that will shoot a large and rapid blast of air into those hard to inflate tires. The ESCO Cyclone tire bead seater is the perfect addition to any tire shop. It is balanced perfectly, lightweight and easy to handle. It has a 5 gallon ASME tank and a gauge that’s easy to read. It’s nozzle is designed perfectly to deliver the maximum amount of air, where you want it, when you need it. The specially designed butterfly valve opens up faster than a traditional ball valve.
Now there’s no tire that’s too tough for your shop.

Cyclone Tire Bead Seater

Sale On CAS Rotary Screw Air Compressors

March 12th, 2011

We carry several different manufacturers when it comes to air compressors. And they’re all great, solid and reliable commercial quality compressors. But when it comes to Rotary Screw Air Compressors, nobody has a greater selection of top quality models to choose from than CAS.
CAS (Compressed Air Systems) is one of the premier Air Compressor manufacturers in the industry. They’ve been manufacturing quality compressors for decades and we have been carrying them for several years now with overwhelming positive reviews. And for good reason. They’re packed with features, the finest quality components, and workmanship second to none. Plus their prices are extremely competitively priced. You will not find a comparable model when it comes to quality, features and price. Especially right now. All CAS rotary screw air compressors are on sale until the end of March.
The benefits of rotary screw compressors over reciprocating air compressors is compelling. The run at lower rpms, with less heat and less moisture buildup, and you can expect greater longevity. They have a higher price than their reciprocating counterparts, but the operating costs more than make up for that.
They have a huge selection of models to choose from. They have models ranging from 5 HP all the way up to 50 HP.  They are assembled in the USA and they have elite models available with all the bells and whistles, including vibration pads, air / oil cooler, auto tank drain, timed shut down, and much more. Call us today for more information and we’ll set you up with a model that’s right for you.

CAS Rotary Screw Air Compressor

The Fight For Fair Competition In the Automotive Service Industry

March 10th, 2011

There is a battle brewing across the nation in the automotive repair industry. On the one hand, you have the automotive manufacturers and  dealers, and on the other, the independent repair shops and aftermarket parts manufacturers.
The local independent shops are lobbying to gain access to the valuable proprietary information that the manufacturers have for repairing vehicles. The independent shops cannot access important repair codes and information that is locked in the computers. This locks them out of servicing vehicles for many ailments that are often some of the most lucrative jobs. As vehicles become more complex and computerized, more jobs are required to be performed at the dealerships.
Many independents and related industry organizations are getting together to lobby lawmakers across the nation to gain access to this important information so that they can compete with the big boys.
Another player in this game would be the aftermarket parts manufacturers. They also want access to information that would allow them to replicate OEM vehicle parts. They feel that they need a foothold to manufacturer more affordable parts that customers would welcome because they typically are less expensive. The auto manufacturers argue that this is proprietary information, and that the quality also suffers with these cheaper aftermarket parts.
Some lawmakers argue that their main concern in all of this is the consumer. They want the consumer to have access to parts and service at a more affordable price, but they also want the service and parts to maintain a high level of quality. When a customer’s vehicle is up on a Four Post Lift, he wants some assurance that the technician is capable of doing the job right, and that the parts they are installing are of a reasonable quality.
The auto manufacturers have a valid point in that they manufactured the vehicles and they should have the right to keep proprietary information just as many manufacturers of other types of products do. After all, they were the ones who spent all that money on the necessary R&D to develop the product.
It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. There are implications in many areas, and there’s a lot of money on the line.
What do you think? Do you have any comments on the subject?

Four Post Lift

BendPak / Ranger Price Increase Scheduled For April 1st

March 9th, 2011

Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Customers who are on the market for Tire Changers, Spray Wash Cabinets, Floor Jacks and Automotive Lifts should review models on our web site before April 1st. BendPak / Ranger, one of our primary manufacturers we distribute have a price increase coming on April 1st.
Some of the most popular and best models will be going up anywhere from 3 to 5 percent. BendPak / Ranger has a wide variety of products. They are best known for their truck and car lifts from their BendPak lineup. But they are also well known for all kinds of other auto shop equipment from their Ranger line of products. They manufacture everything from brake lathes, engine hoists, bearing presses, transmission jacks, wheel balancers and much, much more.
They also manufacture the best exhaust tube benders under their BendPak label.
You’ve seen the headlines in the news. Commodity prices, such as steel, copper, and aluminum costs are rising rapidly. Freight carriers are increasing their fees due to the rising costs of fuel. So now is the time to shop for the best deals you will find for 2011. Most likely, we will never see these prices again. If you were considering a purchase for any time this year, this is the time.


Geneva International Motor Show 2011

March 8th, 2011

The Geneva Motor Show runs from March 3rd through 13th. It’s been a staple in Europe for over 100 years. We realize that most Americans reading this post won’t be able to attend, but it’s still a very interesting look at some of the most imaginative, daring and creative concept cars that you will find, so it’s worth a look. Personally, we would rather take a look at some of the earliest exhibits from the show’s early days back around the original 1905 show. Imagine how all those spectators back then would marvel at the current crop of cars on display.
Some of the more notable exhibits would be the first Infinity hybrid car, the Jaguar sedan concept called the B99, the Rolls Royce Phantom Experimental Electric Car, Ferrari FF, Porche Cayenne Turbo and the BMW Vision Concept Car. Plus, they were even giving away a new Peugeot 308 car.
They are also pushing their “Green Vision” as well with more than 36 electric cars  which can even be driven. Expect this trend to accelerate in years to come. They’ll even have some Automotive Equipment there as well, to display certain aspects of servicing these automobiles.
If you do get a chance to visit the show, send us a picture or two and tell us a little about it. We’d love to hear from you.


Flying Cars Not Just Science Fiction Anymore

March 7th, 2011

People have been predicting the coming of flying cars for decades. And it always seemed like such a distant future. Like something out of the Jetsons.
But we seem to be getting closer and closer each year. There is a constant barrage of prototypes that hit the press release wires each year that bring hope to all those dreaming kids that dream of a day when they’ll be able to fly their own vehicle.
But let’s face it, there are some practicality hurdles to overcome. First, there’s price. Any flying car that hits the market must be affordable if it hopes to sell with any reasonable volume. Next, there’s the fact that anybody who purchases a car that can fly also will need to be an able and licensed pilot. So that limits the market considerably. Let’s face it, there aren’t that many pilots out there.
The government have actually just recently approved a new “Sport Pilot” certification that allows for flying cars and is not as strict as a typical pilot license. Aviation schools are offering more affordable programs to certify these potential fliers.
The roadblocks aren’t discouraging all the entrepreneurs out there. The Maverick is manufactured by Beyond Roads and has a powered parachute, Subaru engine, and is not only actually street legal, but it’s also legal to fly as well. Price is somewhere around $84,000.
There are some MIT graduates that are collaborating on a flying car project called Transition. They claim to have orders for over 80 already and sale price is running around a quarter of a million dollars.
Then there’s the Pentagon’s Transformer. No, not quite like the movies with the robots. It’s an armored combat vehicle that can also fly.0 Sounds cool – huh? They expect to have a prototype by 2015. As with everything the government does, the price tag is not cheap. Expectations are for the final project to cost billions in R&D.
We just wonder what kind of Automotive Lift will be needed to lift these things.

Flying Car

Source – Smartmoney Magazine