Hofmann Megaplan Blog
To many, nothing seems special about a two-post lift. A basic version of this equipment staple might be all you've ever owned or worked with. Turns out vehicle lifting equipment is one of the most interesting areas to watch!
A two-post lift can come in various specs & with accessories to diversify it uses (including alignment tables). But when you look beyond this you now have scissor lifts that can move with a vehicle on them & 4-post lifts geared up to complete any number of jobs as part of an ATL or MOT bay.
Why the love for vehicle lifts?
Where you have a vehicle lift, it is almost certainly the most frequently used machine in a workshop!
Think about it, what diagnostic or repair jobs do you carry out without the use of a car lift? How many times a day do you find yourself saying "let's get it up on the ramp & take a look"?
It makes performing all manner of jobs easier, speeds up productivity and this can lead to more revenue. So, what if we said diversifying the lifting options within your garage could lead to even great productivity & profit?
Are you lifting enough vehicles?
2 post lift and 4 post lifts are commonplace in garages, with one or more of each a familiar sight. Depending on your garage, customer base and speciality though, you could face regular challenges or hold ups with the wrong lifts.
For example, an increase in 4x4 and SUV owners will require greater capabilities in vehicle lifts in the future! Would you be ready to handle multiple larger vehicles today?
Could you align even the biggest vehicles where your competition can't & gain a competitive advantage, or have they got the competitive advantage over you?
Can you move vehicles around your body shop to work on different service aspects without lowering them?
Your competition can & it means they quote quicker repairs & work more efficiently!
The need for the best, latest and most innovative garage lifting equipment is obvious as vehicle types change. Are you ready for this?
Vast range to suit every need...
Here at Hofmann Megaplan, we have been supplying an incredible range of lifting equipment for many years – with new additions to cover all areas and keep our customers working efficiently.
With many configurations and specifications, it can be difficult to identify exactly what you need – we try to make this an easy process.
Check out some of our lifting categories:
- Automechanika 2019 saw record numbers visiting, including its highest ever opening day.
- Everyone who's anyone in the automotive industry was there from suppliers of garage equipment through to bodyshop specialist and aftermarket experts.
- Hofmann Megaplan were proud to showcase the largest array of equipment and were one of the few offering demonstrations throughout the 3 day show!
Spanning over three exciting days, we delivered live demonstrations of our amazing tyre fitting equipment and fantastic special offers to a full variety of garage owners and automotive enthusiasts.
To all of you who visited us at stand T140, we thank you for making it our best show yet!
Brand New: TreadSmart
Making its debut at Automechanika this year, our drive-over TreadSmart got delegates talking over on the Showcase space!The TreadSmart has been somewhat of a revelation for garage owners and mechanics alike. Supercharging the ability to upsell tyres and alignment, this new technology offers detailed analysis reports to customers showing transparently the state of their vehicle's tyres.
The BIG talking point!
ADAS. It was pretty much unavoidable at Automechanika 2019!
The need for knowledge and specialised equipment to cope with ADAS on new vehicles is in no doubt now.
Our brand new Advanced ADAS Calibration system has been designed specifically for Hofmann Megaplan to provide ADAS calibrations in the most cost and labour efficient way imaginable. A 65" TV Monitor provides a totally digital solution to updates, instead of purchasing costly boards to deal with different vehicle requirements.Overwhelmed by the need for ADAS calibrations at Automechanika 2019? Hofmann Megaplan will also be holding an ADAS open day on Thursday 20th June 2019. This is an opportunity to gain invaluable industry knowledge and first-hand experience with both of our ADAS Systems, as well as all other garage and ancillary equipment in the range. Call now on 01480 8-9-10-11 or visit our booking page to claim your place.
Garage Equipment you can trust!
As always our reliable and thoroughly tested tyre fitting equipment range was on show - and our technical specialists continued to deliver interactive live demos.
This month we are going to look at a very common issue. Its one that regularly turns out to be the cause of misalignment yet is mostly nothing to do with your alignment system at all. However, it is all to do with how you use it. I'm going to tackle the all too common issues with alignment relating to the steering wheel straightness.
Following these steps and tips should help ensure the steering wheel and alignment match up every time:
- Firstly, ensure your machine is correctly calibrated
- Ensure your turn plates are in good condition (See last month's Blog)
- Complete your vehicle pre-checks, I.E Tyre pressures, Tread wear, joint play etc.
- Check to see if you have clean lenses (CCD) or targets (3D)
- Ensure the clamps are fitted evenly around the rim
- Ensure run out is done if using uncalibrated clamps I.E. 4 point
- Always use 4 wheel alignment, not 2!
- 2 wheel alignment is only suitable for old vehicles where the rear wheels are hidden under arches.
- You should not be sitting in the car when you put on the steering wheel clamp on. Instead, lean into the vehicle to avoid any change to the bump steer in the car.
- Remember: clamp your steering wheel straight as that is where it will be when driving straight ahead.
- Many customers clamp the steering wheel near the end of a castor swing believing the computer is asking you to clamp when straightening the front wheels.
- Continue with your alignment, bearing the below potential issues in mind.
Post Alignment Check
At the end of the alignment process, and just before you start to remove the heads/clamps, on select systems you are able to click back to the front toe screen in the alignment program. If you remove the clamp and wiggle the steering wheel from side to side, the numbers on the screen should change accordingly. Now try and equal the toe numbers either side. Stand back – the steering wheel should be straight. If not, re-centre the wheel and re-adjust the toe.
When undoing seized or tight lock nuts, the extra force used could move the steering wheel around. It is only the steering wheel clamp that holds the front wheels straight so be careful!
I've found a lot of customers will heat up locked nuts or track rod ends to get them moving. As we know though, heat expands the metal and this can mean your system will give the incorrect readings. You can solve this by first getting the nut to move freely, then cooling it down with a cloth soaked in cold water. Now make the adjustment. You should be replacing the track rod ends as new MOT laws now forbid the heating of these components
Crabbing is a common term used by mechanics and customers alike, but it should really be referred to as a vehicles thrust line. This is the direction that the rear road wheels/ axle are pointing.On more basic alignment machines, such as laser or even some computer systems, it is important to check the rear alignment as well. Failing to ensure the rear wheels are in-line with the front may cause the vehicle to "crab". This will mean you'll never get the steering wheel straight. The driver of this car would be turning their wheel to the left just to drive straight!It is important to understand that the rear wheels are dictating the direction of the car and the front wheels are only compensating to keep the vehicle straight or steer. This is why it is important to find the thrust line and compensate for it when using lasers.
Note: Most modern computers will compensate for this issue.
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.
Renowned for our quality wheel and Tyre products, Hofmann Megaplan needs little introduction to the local garage. We've supplied a range of feature-filled machines for the automotive workshop for many years, making car maintenance effortless for the technician and consistently great for the customer. But its not just our products that have given us the reputation we hold today - it's the great, approachable people we have working for us that really makes the difference.
It's with great pleasure...
We can now officially tell you that the number of excellent people working at Hofmann has increased further still, with the acquisition on Scorpion Garage equipment in Birmingham. They bring with them a real wealth of experience in providing first class MOT / ATL bays, from start to finish.
Our experienced specialists will work with you during the project planning, execution and post-installation phases to deliver a reliable test lane which generates consistent results and dependable income.
When it comes to the equipment we use in our MOT / ATL set ups, we have selected the machines representative of our high quality approach. All of them have a proven history for longevity and precise results thanks to established manufacturing and careful eye for detail. From Brake testers to ATL lifts, to headlamp and emissions testers we can now cover every aspect for a VOSA approved test lane.
From concept to reality, Hofmann Megaplan supports you through each stage of the ATL/MOT process.
If you're looking to set up an MOT / ATL test lane you should call our MOT division and let us talk you through the process, in our simple, yet efficient style, we're known for.
To request a call back from the Hofmann Megaplan MOT/ATL team click here or call us on 0121 351 6329.
Brochure download - Alternatively download a PDF of our new brochure HERE
Not just MOT bays
We can now offer air conditioning servicing on a range of old and new machines including: Bosch, Boston, Biessbarth, CTR, Crypton, Ecotechnics, Kendon, Sun Kool Kare, Tecalemit, Tronic, Autoclimate CoolTech, Robinair, Protech KK1 KK2, Air Solutions, Texa Konfort Autocraft Smart Charge, Dunlop, Bradbury. ... Plus we now also have the qualified staff to provide F-Gas training
Going the extra mile
We like to think we are dedicated to every installation we carry out. Quite often you'll see posts on this very blog about installations in most remote of places. This one is no exception! With the products checked and PDI at our Huntington base, the products were loaded ready for our engineer to install at the most northerly tip of the British Isles, Shetland. The customer required a complete tyre changing and alignment setup including, lifting equipment, wheel aligner, tyre changers and finally balancers.
The Shetland island is the UK most northerly group of islands and putting that into perspective their nearest neighbour is Orkney, 50 miles (80km) to the south-west. In fact it's only 200 miles (320km) away from Norway. It's a 12 hour ferry ride, something our engineers know all about!
In such remote locations services can be expensive and the customer need to know that their equipment would be well made and stand the test of time, so not to incur any costly call outs.
What was installed?
Scissor lift - TSX3000
At the heart of the installation are the two new TSX3000 scissors lifts, recently added to Hofmann Megaplan range. Boasting a lifting capacity of 3 tonnes and minimum height of just 110mm making it great for installations directly to the floor. Their strength and versatility make them ideal in a situation like this.
Tyre changer - 503 Racing
The fully-automatic megamount 503 Racing is simply fantastic value for money; providing the typical build quality customers have come to expect from a ‘megamount’ model, combined with a versatile specification and highly competitive price tag. A best seller and common sight amongst tyre shops, garages and main dealers across the globe!
Laser Aligner - megaline
Representing great value for money and incredible return on investment, the megaline system 4 is a must for any garage or tyre shop; even those with existing computerised systems would value the megaline as a way of getting measurements quickly for customer checks.
Lifts - megalift 4000-2
A fairly recent addition to the Hofmann Megaplan range, the megalift 4000-2 lift as a an electro-hydraulic 2 Post lift represents excellent value for money, combining an economic design typical of entry-level lifts, but with the added peace of mind of being a Hofmann Megaplan product with all its associated qualities such as build, reliability, long-term spares availability and reputation.
megaspin 200-3 balancer
Finally the megaspin 200-3 was added is just makes perfect sense! Small, and loaded with features normally only associated with ‘top end’ machines. The megaspin 200 is a motorised wheel balancer utilising low speed technology to eliminate the need for a wheel guard, making it an excellent solution for workshops where space is at a premium.
This particular install was sold by Andrew Page where you can get a range of Hofmann Megaplan products.
When space is at a premium, a good 2-post lift will get everything up in the air for you to work on. Hillfield Garage in Hornsley, London took this very approach to set up their tidy little workshop. (Also the colour-scheme looks great!)
The megalift 4000-2 builds on the success of it's hugely popular predecessor, the megalift 4000, this new model includes additional luxury features such as automatic, electronic safety release, medium and high reach pads as standard fitment, and sill-protectors on the upper part of the lifting arms.
This well priced model is manufactured in the Far East, we feel people should know this. However, unlike most of the lifts at this end of the market, this product is subjected to a European standard for quality control and specification. In basic terms, the megalift 4000-2 cannot be compared to other budget 2 post lifts of dubious brand and origin!
- 4000kg Lifting Capacity
- Designed and developed in Germany
- European design qualities – specified for our vehicles
- Low profile cover plate
- Convenient, efficient Single Phase operation
Hillfield Garage would love to see you. Give them a call on 020 8341 2580 or visit their instagram page
To find out more about how Hofmann Megaplan can help your little workshop operation, visit the main Hofmann company website or to arrange a demo please contact our team on 01480 89-10-11
Boasting a no-quibble 2 year warranty, the MCL700DLX is designed for intensive use and features our ultra-reliable electro-hydraulic operation.
We've been manufacturing what are widely accepted as the best lifts since 1965 (anyone who remembers the 'Honda' or 'Souriau' lift of the '80s will appreciate the quality and longevity). With a class leading 5 year warranty, all of the usual luxury features you'd expect, and a unique drop-down front section to allow front wheel removal, this lift is simply unrivaled in terms of build quality or specification.
Richard and his team pride themselves on providing an exceptional level of customer service. The centre specialises in mechanical repairs including vehicle servicing and MOTs as well as supplying and fitting tyres for cars, vans, 4x4s and agricultural vehicles from all leading manufacturers, including Michelin, Pirelli, Bridgestone and Continental, the centre also boasts a laser wheel allignment system. Richard and his team will be pleased to provide advice on the best tyres to meet your driving requirements.
If you're in the Oxford area looking for somewhere to have you bike tyres fitted, why not give Richard and his team a call: 01993 843987
To find out more about how Hofmann Megaplan can help your business, visit the main Hofmann company website or to arrange a demo please contact our team on 01480 89-10-11