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AAPEX & SEMA Shows Boast Huge Attendance

November 13th, 2011

AAPEX and SEMA are the two largest automotive industry events each year. They were held this year in Las Vegas from October 1st through November 3rd. We attended this year and can verify first hand that there were plenty of participants / exhibitors as well as attendees. The figures aren’t in just yet, but last year, over 51,000 people attended the AAPEX show. The AAPEX trade show was held at the Sands EXPO Center, while SEMA was held at the Convention Center. There were many cool cars with plenty of beautiful models to attract attention. Word is that someone managed to make off with one of the exhibit cars on display. We can’t imagine how that was possible. Exhibitors at both shows represented a wide variety of automotive industry heavy weights, in many different areas, such as; automotive lighting, wheels and tires, brakes, chemicals and waxes, suspension, engine components, exhaust, and of course, our particular area of expertise, automotive shop equipment. Most of our suppliers were there – BendPak / Ranger, BelAire, Waterloo, American Forge & Foundry, John Dow, RTI, Dannmar, Clore Automotive, and many others. These manufacturers represent products such as Car Lifts, floor jacks, air compressors, tool boxes and many other categories. If you weren’t able to make it this year, perhaps we’ll see you there next year.

SEMA / AAPEX Show in Las Vegas

BendPak Holds The Line On Prices for Q4

September 20th, 2011

BendPak / Ranger, one of our largest manufacturers, announced on Monday that they plan on holding their prices at their current levels for the next two quarters. BendPak / Ranger is a manufacturer of such essential auto shop products as auto lifts, tire changers, exhaust tube benders, floor jacks, air compressors and much more. They have been manufacturing these types of products for over 40 years and are known throughout the industry as a leader in their field.
This announcement is significant as many of our manufacturers of automotive service equipment have recently increased their prices or have indicated they will be increasing prices in the near future. It’s no secret that commodity costs have increased dramatically over the past year which has had a noticeable impact on products that require steel, rubber, plastic and other raw materials. On top of that, labor costs have also risen in China and other countries. This has raised costs for many manufacturers who moved much of their production over to Asia in an effort to reduce costs and remain competitive.
BendPak’s decision shows that it is possible to hold the line on costs and remain competitive. They have shown true leadership on this and many other issues over the past 15 years that we have been carrying their products. That is one of the many reasons we are proud to carry their product line.

BendPak Logo is now on Twitter

August 7th, 2011 is now on Twitter! We know what you’re thinking – what took you so long? Well, to be honest, we don’t know. We were a bit slow to jump into this new media. But we finally have jumped in with both feet. And you can benefit by staying tuned, because we will be providing you with all kinds of information about what’s going on here, along with special deals and breaking news. Deals will include all of your favorite products, car lifts, air compressors, tool boxes and much more. So sign up for our tweets and stay informed, and more importantly, get in on some of our hottest deals.

You can find us at –!/asedeals

Twitter Logo

The Importance Of Your Auto Shop Equipment Warranty

June 3rd, 2011

Many customers who call us never stop to ask us about the warranty of the product they are interested in. They will ask us about the features and specifications along with other factors. Of course the number one question as always is price. Some customers don’t seem to care if their Car Lift is made out of popsicle sticks as long as it’s cheap. We don’t understand that mentality. Especially if you’re the one standing under it.
In our eyes, one question that should near the top of the list is, “What’s the warranty”? There are many different types of warranties for many different types of automotive equipment. A typical floor jack should have a one year warranty at a minimum. Hopefully, the manufacturer is a reputable one and has service centers across the country and has a vast supply of parts. Many floor jacks these days are not rebuildable. As a rule, we carry only commercial quality products that are rebuildable. When your floor jack starts leaking hydraulic oil, you don’t want to have to throw it away when a simple set of $20 seals would make it good as new.
Air Compressors can have warranties that Range from one to five years. Read the warranty carefully. Many times it’s five years on the tank, and only one year on all the other components. Some of the larger manufacturers will have service centers nationwide so you can be assured that problems can be taken care of quickly.
Automotive Lifts can have a wide range of differing warranties. A lift warranty can run anywhere from 5 years (limited) to 1 year. Buyers should pay careful attention to the warranty. Does it include on-site service, (parts and labor) or parts only? Also, we’ve seen some manufacturers and distributors who’s warranty requires the customer to pay for shipping charges on any parts that need to be sent out during the warranty period. Who ever heard of such a thing?
The advice to any prospective customers – Ask questions.

Floor Jack

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

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 / Korea Free Trade Agreement Finalized

December 19th, 2010

For many years, since the Bush administration, the US has been attempting to close a free trade agreement with South Korea. Many European nations already have trade agreements with Korea, and the US and Korea were having difficulty closing a deal. This led to concerns that the US would be at a considerable competitive disadvantage.
Negotiators were finally able to agree to terms with Korea on November 3rd, and congress will finalize the agreement early next year. This means an increase in opportunity for jobs in the USA, as trade barriers and tariffs will be lifted and sales to Korean consumers will increase. The hope for the Automotive industry is that car sales will increase to Korea, as well as the aftermarket parts market along with automotive equipment, such as Car Lifts, parts washers, floor jacks and air compressors. Korea is one of the leading economies in the world, and their demand would welcome the high quality products that American workers produce. The US labor market is one of the most skilled in the world.
This follows the last significant trade agreement, which was the USA / Columbia Free Trade Agreement. We’ll keep you posted on any future deals.

Classic Automotive Restoration Tips

November 30th, 2010

Restoring a classic automobile can be an arduous task, and an expensive at that. Before you begin, there are several considerations.
Cost is the most important. We realize there are many folks out there who have an unlimited budget and can restore a real fixer-upper to pristine condition and not blink an eye. But to the rest of us, there are limits to our budget. Do your proper due diligence. Take the time to go over each stage of the restoration to allot the proper budget for each portion, (body, engine, interior, etc…).
Time is also a major consideration. Assuming you are restoring it yourself, you have to sit down and go over each aspect of the renovation and determine how long each stage will take. Then determine if you have sufficient time in your personal life to accomplish this task within a reasonable time frame. Once you have established a time frame, aallow for a little extra time. Little things always pop up to slow you down.
You will also want to determine to what condition you are going to restore it? Is this just a pet project that you want to tinker with, or are you going to take it to shows or competitions? Obviously, the finer the condition you are going to restore your vehicle, the more you need to budget for it.  Likewise, the poorer condition the car is to begin with, the more you will need to spend to restore it.
The most important part of restoring a car is the engine and all the mechanical work. After all, If you can’t drive it, it will never be worth much. So concentrate on the frame and engine components first. Then, the next stage will be body and then interior.
You will need to determine if you are doing a complete restoration, where you restore all the components with original parts, or keeping some components of the vintage vehicle. Once again, your budget will dictate how far you go.
Hopefully, you have a garage that allows you the room to accomplish this task in a comfortable way. Many customers who come to us often will send us pictures of their garage with all of their toys and equipment. Some are truly impressive, all decked out with the best equipment, like Automotive Lifts, tire changers, air compressors and floor jacks. But the truth is, you don’t need to be rich to enjoy your hobby. There are plenty of folks out there at different levels enjoying their favorite craft with renewed vigor and appreciation for the beauty of a classic car.

Automotive Restoration

Air Compressor FAQ’s – Part Three

September 22nd, 2010

Part 3 of a three part series.

All of our BendPak TRI-MAX™ extreme duty compressors from BendPak feature 80-gallon tanks manufactured by Manchester Tank, the world’s premier manufacturer of pressure vessels, founded in 1946. No matter what Air Compressor you get, make sure it has an ASME compliant tank.

Single stage compressors have one or more cylinders, and each cylinder pumps the air directly into the tank. Two stage compressors have a minimum of 2 cylinders, with the air pumping from one cylinder
into the other and then into the air tank. Typically, a two cylinder two stage compressor has a larger first stage which then pumps air through a cooling tube and into the smaller second stage cylinder at about 90 PSI, and then into the tank at 175 PSI. The reason for purchasing a two stage air compressor is if you need higher pressure. Most commercial auto shops will require a two stage compressor.

A belt driven compressor’s advantage is that the pump can spin a lot slower than the motor, which means it will be more efficient with a lot less wear and tear. Direct-drive air compressor’s pumps turn at a faster RPM because the pump is directly connected to the motor shaft
and turns the same speed as the motor. Most electrical motors spin at either 2850 or 3450 RPM. Our BendPak TRI-MAX™ air compressors use a belt drive allowing the pump to run at a lower RPM than the motor. An air compressor RPM rating is the rating for the pump not the motor. But pump RPM and CFM is also relative to pump size and output. You can have two 7.5 HP air compressors running at the same 900 RPM but one may put out a higher CFM than the other because of piston
size. A large piston moving at the same RPM as a smaller one will put out a higher CFM. Inferior, cheaper air compressors usually have a higher RPM rating because their pumps are frequently significantly smaller than a comparable industrial model. Remember, higher RPM builds up more heat than a slower RPM.

Typical industrial grade air compressors are splash lubricated. Which means they have “flaps” on the connecting rods to splash oil up in the crankcase. As long as there is an adequate amount of oil in the crankcase, splash lubricated pumps will last a long time. Many of those cheaper direct-drive compressors you see out there are oil-less. This means they don’t use oil to lubricate the piston inside the cylinder. Think about it. Imagine your car engine running without oil.
Oil-less compressors typically use cheap aluminum cylinders, heads and pistons to help dissipate the heat. Aluminum does help dissipate the heat, but it warps and wears out much faster than cast iron.
Oil lubricated compressors are also much quieter. Oil-less air compressors are much more noisy because they don’t have oil in the pump to “muffle” the sounds.

TRI-MAX Air Compressors

Air Compressor FAQ’s – Part Two

September 21st, 2010

This is part two of a three part series –

Compressed air gets hot and then cools. When it cools, it creates condensation. The harder your compressor works, the hotter it will get and the more moisture you will have. There are two moisture problems that can cause problems. The first is moisture that goes through the air lines that eventually lead to your Air Tools. Next, the second is air that accumulates in the bottom of the tank which can cause rust and eventually ruin your tank. The idea is to keep the air as cool as possible. Copper pipe works best as it won’t rust and it also dissipates heat well. Our BendPak TRI-MAX air compressors feature an extreme duty three cylinder pump that has been designed to operate with maximum cooling efficiency under all load conditions. The 100% cast-iron pump utilizes a “W-3” configuration that
provides 360° cooling efficiency and splash lubrication for total reliability. A cooling fan helps to provides maximum forced air-cooling for ultimate efficiency. A large pump that puts out little noise and a lot of power is due to the slower RPM speed and efficient two-stage design. Because they operate at slower speeds than other compressors and feature large-diameter finned copper tubing between stages, they have a lower operating temperature, which achieves maximum efficiency.

Any piece of equipment that runs from air power, (such as air tools) require a certain volume of air to operate them. The volume of air that a compressor produces is rated in CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute). You usually see several CFM ratings at different pressures on a compressor. CFM ratings can be exaggerated just like HP ratings, but you should get around 3½ – 4 CFM per real HP at 90 PSI.

An Air Compressor tank doesn’t produce air, it stores the air. It is more important to have a big enough pump and motor, because if you are
producing as much air as you want to use, you’ll never run out of air no matter how small the tank is. A smaller tank is more portable and gets up to pressure quicker, while a compressor with a large tank doesn’t start and stop as often and cools the air better. Having a larger tank doesn’t mean the compressor runs less, it starts and stops less frequently but the running time is the same as if it had a smaller tank.

BendPak Trimax Air Compressor