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Hofmann Megaplan Blog

Welcome to the Hofmann Megaplan blog. Check back regularly for news, product launches and events.

The truth behind Wheel Alignment and why you should be including it within your tyre-fitting services!

As all garages will know by now, tyre changing, wheel balancing and wheel alignment all go hand in hand when it comes to your customer's tyres. The simple fact is all these services provide crucial steps to ensure longevity, safety and efficient tyre/vehicle performance.

The only issue is, many of your customers are not aware of this.

Educating your customers beyond a price-driven view of tyre fitting services can be difficult, especially when it can be misconceived as upselling your own services.

Some garages don't see the need for a vehicle alignment machine as their customers don't want it. Many owners, therefore, opt to purchase a tyre changer and a wheel balancer as a package, then see wheel alignment as an added extra if the demand is there. These garages often end up turning business away as customers are smart enough to ask about alignment.

So, where do you stand when it comes to providing wheel alignment to your customers?

Why is wheel alignment so important?

It is always strongly advised for your customers to have their wheels aligned when new tyres are fitted; but again, customers mistake tracking for proper wheel alignment, and even mix up wheel balancing with wheel alignment.

A wheel aligner simply looks at the position of the wheels in relation to each other and the road surface, so that any corrections can be made.

Missing out this crucial step can cause minor and major issues to the tyres and driving performance, in both the short term and long term.

Check out our previous blog to discover the full importance of wheel alignment services!

The need for wheel alignment in your garage is clear. Especially if you are dealing with numerous tyre fitting jobs per day.

Not only will your customers reap the benefits of that extra service, but you can see many advantages within the garage - not least an obvious increase in revenue!

The right wheel aligner for your garage!

Think about the amount of tyre fitting jobs you complete each week or even each day...

Every single tyre fitting job you complete should have an alignment check when the tyres are installed onto the car!

A simple question then - are you completing those checks? Are you even offering them?

Ensuring you purchase the right wheel aligner for your garage services needs a considered approach. By making sure you have the essential footprint to install the wheel aligner, guaranteeing the durability to cope with your garage services, and the all-important budget to consider, you can be well on your way to conquering the perfect set of tyre fitting services.

Check out our entire range of wheel alignment machines online today!

Don't feel abandoned when considering your wheel alignment options!

Check out our range of Wheel Aligners and ADAS Calibration Equipment today.

Contact us online now or call us today on 01480 8-9-10-11 to speak to one of our dedicated team for more information.

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The Wheel Alignment Blog | The Only Prerequisite is Training

As alignment engineers, we often get calls from customers who have become frustrated because they are experiencing readings that they do not understand or that appear incorrect. It could be that these different reading are also resulting in alignment errors and cars not driving straight. 

These erroneous reading are often down to a mistake made by the user, often because they are missing the basic prerequisites of working with alignment technology, TRAINING! A a garage owner it could be detremental to your business ignoring the training needs of your team. It could cost you customers and as such revenue. We've dug a little deeper below.

 Why is this so important? 

When a new alignment system is purchased Hofmann Megaplan always train the customer. This puts them in a position to start utilising this equipment immediately in generating revenue. 

Of course over the year's staff are going to come and go. If you have a 100% staff retention rate in your garage then congratulations, but even your A* alignment guy that said he'll never leave you will retire someday. 

This can quickly result in other members of the team having to step up without notice or training to complete alignments. After all, the odds are its one of your most profitable services and the only other alternative might be to send customers elsewhere.

You can't blame a technician standing in or an untrained user for missing required checks he's never seen or not realising the machine is due for an update or the equipment needs calibration. 

These include: 

  • Always checking tyre pressures before an alignment
  • Review suspension height to ensure there are no broken/incorrect springs or incorrectly adjusted coil overs
  • Check for play in:
    • The lower ball joints
    • Upper ball joints / Top mounts
    • Lower wishbone bushes
    • Subframe mountings
    • Tie rods and ends
    • Wheel bearings 
  • Also, check:
    • Vehicle height and ensure air suspension is set to Jack mode
    • Body distortion
    • Shock absorbers
    • Check for abnormal tyre wear
    • Correct tyre size fitted
    • Check adjusters to ensure they are free and adjustable
  • ​Is Alignment software up to date and is someone ensuring the equipment has been calibrated as required? 

Without sufficient training, how can you expect someone to complete a process that depends on precision and accuracy? Ensure you meet the main condition for successful alignment in your workshop. Talk to Hofmann Megaplan today about alignment training, support, calibrations and updates. Our team of experts are never far away if you require a helping hand.

Author | Warren Carr | Wheel Alignment Specialist​

​My name is Warren Carr and I'm from the team of alignment engineers at Hofmann Megaplan. I will be using this blog to regularly highlight some practical hints and tips which will help you, our garage professionals, achieve great results with your equipment, no matter the make of alignment machine.

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The Wheel Alignment Blog | 3 New Years Alignment Resolutions to make this year

Alignment is an ever evolving practice with technology meaning constant innovation. Making sure all the wheels point in the right direction is only the start now!

With so much changing in the world of wheel alignment systems and technology constantly making for new capabilities of our alignment machines, there are more services then ever before to offer and thus more revenue potential for your garage.

Here are our top 3 areas to watch out for in 2019 when it comes to your alignment system: 

Keep it Calibrated in 2019!

So often we get phone calls from customers complaining of issues with there aligner. Turns out the machine hasn't been calibrated in 2 years. Worst case I've seen machines go 3 years + without a calibration.

Hofmann Megaplan recommend calibrating Laser alignment systems every year while Computer machines should be calibrated every 6 months. This is simply because there are more measurements and to keep that extremely high level of accuracy the machine needs this regular check up.

Whilst we're there, using the latest software and database is essential. Failure to do so can mean not having the latest vehicle information and may lead to lost sales.

And voila you now have the latest machine out there.

ADAS Calibration Equipment - it's a no brainer!

 

ADAS (or Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) are a common occurrence on modern vehicles, designed to remove the scope for human error when driving. Of course if these have not been calibrated correctly the vehicle may not know which way is forward to begin with.

These cameras need to be calibrated. In fact any time you have work done on an area that houses a ADAS sensor, it should be recalibrated! Given that as a garage you are likely to work on one of these areas of the car, upgrading your aligner to include ADAS Calibration Systems could be a no brainer

Find out more about ADAS Calibration systems here

Selling Alignment in 2019 just got easier

Technology can even help you sell alignment service to your customers this year. Devices like TreadReader give you a hand held tread depth scanner that can be quickly rolled over all 4 tyres of a vehicle. From there a simple report is produced giving the customer information of the condition of tyres, alignment and key performance indicators like increase in stopping distance. These reports are hard to ignore and could save a drivers life where they otherwise may have carried on with unsafe tyres.

You can even use the TreadReader to build your business pipeline. A visitor to your garage might not need new tyres now but the information the TreadReader provides you with means you'll know when they will.

Find out more about the TreadReader here

Author | Warren Carr | Wheel Alignment Specialist

My name is Warren Carr and I'm from the team of alignment engineers at Hofmann Megaplan. I will be using this blog to regularly highlight some practical hints and tips which will help you, our garage professionals, achieve great results with your equipment, no matter the make of alignment machine.

Continue reading
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The Wheel Alignment Blog | Turn Plates

I'm going to start this blog series by talking about one of our most common issues those working with wheel alignment equipment can face, and that's turn plates.

If not used correctly, turnplates can cause big problems when trying to achieve a straight steering wheel. Whats worse it can lead you to produce different results each time you attempt to align the same vehicle which quickly becomes infuriating. 

Steer Clear of…

Some garages will try and use their MOT plates to save time and these can be ok to just turn the wheel and look for defects. The risk is that they get covered in dirt and that will get into the plate and cause a restriction. To complete an alignment accurately the plates need to be completely free moving.

Others might use their old style dish type turn plates. These most commonly come from an older laser system. They will turn but don't slide, meaning they build up tension and can give you wrong results.

Another common mistake made by alignment engineers is simply not using the pins provided. This is surprisingly common and can cause irreversible damage to your to your wheel alignment system.

Remember to…

​We should always drive on the turn plates with the pins in. As soon as you are ready to remove a vehicle from your alignment station, put the pins in. Failing to do this can lead to damage when the car is reversed. The plate can tilt and bearings become loose, impacting the accuracy of your machine.

Some people simply fail to maintain their turn plates. Metal bearing plates will need regular lubrication for example with grease. Nylon bearings don't need any grease or oil but should be cleaned regularly depending on usage by removing the top plate and brushing out any dirt.

Bolts can also come loose and put vehicle weight directly onto the ramp. This means that the free movement needed to complete accurate wheel alignment is not there.
You can check your turn plates by pulling the car side to side freely. Any restrictions felt will likely cause issues.

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