Hofmann Megaplan Blog
Over the years, our range has continued to develop into one of the most comprehensive offerings available in the UK market. In fact, Hofmann Megaplan have one of the largest choices of alignment and balancing products the industry has to offer.
Last year, the company invested in a further 20,000sqft of warehousing to be able to accommodate an expansion of the range; an expansion that saw several new wheel alignment products added and an increase in the availability of the product that cemented our popularity across the industry and is still to this day our best-selling line – wheel balancers.
One of the most significant introductions in 2020 was the new Logik 6 CCD wheel aligner, which can work on a 2-post lift or short platform scissor lift; a feature that has opened up the opportunity of wheel alignment to a whole new market.
A word from the VP...
Hofmann Megaplan’s Head of Product Development & Vice President of ISN Europe, James Boon commented...
“Many customers simply don’t have room for a 4-post lift or large scissor lift, or the ability to carry out alignment on a 2-post lift; but thanks to significant software and hardware developments, we can now offer 2 post alignment making this a real game changer especially for smaller garages”.
All of Hofmann Megaplan's alignment equipment is managed by 5 dedicated geometry experts, further supported by another 55 regional technicians across the UK handling the full range of product including tyre equipment, lifts, MOT and diagnostic products.
Focusing on the right balance
Despite a huge emphasis on alignment in recent years, Hofmann Megaplan continues to focus heavily on wheel balancers, where an enviable history has seen us become a clear market leader.
By far the most popular is the megaspin 420, which is a high-performance balancer offering the fastest floor-to-floor balancing time in the industry. This is achieved through the patented OWB (One Weight Balance) software, whereby the balancer can achieve both a static and dynamic balance with the application of just one single weight. To speed up the balancing process even further, the megaspin 420 has a ‘No Check Spin’ function, so the traditional zero/zero check spin simply isn’t required.
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.
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.
Don't feel abandoned when considering your wheel alignment options!
Convincing your customers to part with their well-earned money for the sake of wheel alignment or new tyres can be a massive struggle.
Unless you have the tools to physically show them what condition their tyres are in, the likelihood is you won't be upselling your services and they'll go on damaging their vehicle, reducing their MPG and generally ruining tyres.
What many of your customers probably fail to understand is, changing their tyres or having their wheel alignment checked can help to make their car feel as good as new again. Who doesn't want that?
The missed opportunity!
Tyres continue to degrade over time, it's an inescapable fact we must show.
Through exposure to the elements; sunlight, water, chemicals and continuous driving, the condition of tyres will decrease, causing performance and handling issues including extended braking distances and reduced grip when cornering.
Even if they don't drive long distances, the tyre's performance will reduce the older they get. Throw in adverse wear from mis-alignment and the distance driven may not matter.
Have you been educating your customers on their tyres & alignment? Do you have the equipment needed to sell your services?
Upselling new rubber & alignment!
Wheel alignment has traditionally lived with the bad wrap of being a money maker, not a necessity. However, it has now grown into an industry leading service,creating revenue while improving the performance of their vehicle at the same time.
The old-fashioned view of wheel alignment has been driven away!
But customers still want to see proof that their tyres are in poor condition before parting with their cash. That's where Hofmann Megaplan come into the mix.
Quality reporting from the handheld salesman...
Increase your tyre sales and alignment services with the revolutionary TreadReader.
Released as the world's first pre-check tool, with the capability to integrate your Hofmann wheel alignment machine – this essential piece of equipment instantly provides the quality reporting necessary to sell to your customers transparently.
Offering 3D visual reports and information about the condition of their tyres, this portable and lightweight device can also identify issues such as worn suspension or misalignment.
Finding the right vehicle alignment machine...
Setting the car's castor, camber and toe angle figures means better handling and more even tyre wear. Yes, that can also mean a longer tyre life. Therefore, having a reliable and accurate system in your garage is a must!
Designed to integrate seamlessly with the TreadReader, our range of wheel alignment machines provide efficient systems to cope with the busiest of alignment services.
Discuss selling your services with our dedicated team!
Wheel alignment can save lives. Do your customers know this?
This may sound extreme or like scaremongering, but it is a fundamental fact; wheel alignment is conducted to ensure a car's wheels are functioning properly for optimal performance. If they aren't working correctly, accidents are more likely to occur, putting the lives of your customers and their passengers at risk.
Do your customers know your Wheel Alignment Machine could save them more than money?
To answer this you must first think, do you know your wheel alignment system?
You will be surprised by the number of owners and mechanics alike that don't understand the power of the alignment equipment they use day in day out. This can be detrimental to the overall service you provide to your customers.
With the introduction of new technology from constant innovation, the garage equipment industry's top suppliers are creating new ways to make wheel alignment as easy as possible. Hofmann Megaplan has lead the charge on this for many years.
Step by step on-screen guides and live training demonstrations are also all provided by our Hofmann installation team – care and service is what sets us apart from the rest!
The best wheel alignment machine? Vehicle owners are getting smarter!
Trying to pick out the right vehicle alignment machine for your garage can feel like a bit of a minefield, but you want to stay one step ahead of your competition if they're upselling 3D alignment your basic system.
How often should you recommend wheel alignment?
Everyone has heard the standard responses to how often you should be getting customers to check their alignment; 6,000 miles or annually, check your vehicle handbook.
With so many variances, it is difficult to know what is right. So what should you be advising your customers?
A full wheel alignment service should be the first port of call for anyone involved in a collision. Hitting a curb is enough to knock alignment out and leave wheels in need of replacement sooner than expected.
Also, to ensure the car's wheels are functioning to their optimal performance, making sure your customer's wheel alignment is checked whenever a steering or suspension component is replaced, can help to identify any issues or areas that could be fatal out on the road.
Vehicle Wheel Alignment: The Bottom Line!
Consequences of not checking a car's alignment could be lethal. Having reliable car wheel alignment tools can make a HUGE difference.
Remember –if your customer has been in an accident recently, advise they get their alignment checked immediately!
When it comes to alignment, your customers can either pay now or pay later. Simple!
Discuss your Wheel Alignment Services with our experts.
The year of 2019 seems to be flying by, leaving garage equipment suppliers to contemplate what they have achieved so far this year but more importantly what will boost business between now and Christmas!
Exhibitions. New product launches. Hofmann have seen a multitude of changes and introductions across the garage equipment industry. Innovative technology set to change the future of garage services is currently keeping garage owners and mechanics alike on their toes.
Here are our top 3 technologies to get to grips with ASAP!
Tread health check tools: boost your alignment & tyre sales!
In our many years of experience, alignment is one of the best services for increasing revenue, and 2019 is no exception to that trend.
It's no surprise that when we introduced our revolutionary handheld TreadReader to the industry, it was welcomed as a revelation for helping increase alignment and tyre sales.
Due to the success of the TreadReader, our team have been busy working on a more rounded tread health check range for tread health tools. Spring saw the unveiling of our brand new TreadReader drive-over scanner, making it even easier for mechanics to get live on-screen feedback of tread health.
The visual reporting on both the hand-held and drive-over TreadReader makes it even easier for customers to see the condition of their tyres and you to make a transparent sale.
The TreadReader's pairing with our megalineSsence ULTRA alignment machine provides unquestionable service and this transparent clarity. We're setting a totally new standard in wheel alignment.
"It's like buying an aligner and getting a free salesman!!!"
The future is digital...
Making its introduction in style at Automechanika earlier this year, our totally digital advanced ADAS solution has been a huge talking point in the unavoidable subject of ADAS diagnostics.
After Automechanika it was obvious that the need for specialist ADAS equipment and professional knowledge were a concern for garage owners – even experts were displaying signs of worry.
Our recent advanced driver assistance system open day for both garage owners and distributors have addressed this concern, bringing together professionals from across the industry to understand the complexities of ADAS and unravel the mystery.
The advanced system from Hofmann Megaplan provides a simple solution to one of the most intricate automotive innovations in recent times!
A breath of fresh air this Summer!
Every summer, many garages ponder as to whether it is worth investing in air conditioning recharge machines – this year has been no different. Although the initial outlay can't put many off seem, the simple fact is these machines pay for themselves quickly!
You could be missing out on hundreds of servicing jobs that could increase your revenue and provide pure profit. Stop sending your business else where!
Our air conditioning units have become a must have for garages now air con is a fairly standard feature on most passenger vehicles. The need for vehicle air conditioning servicing is obvious.
Manufacturers are recommending that the average vehicle air con system is serviced at least every two years. It is easily marketable. Is this really a service you can afford not to offer?
Our team are always here to help!
ISA (Intelligent Speed Assistance) systems partner speed sign recognition cameras with GPS speed limit data to slow down a vehicle that is travelling above the speed limit. But how is this impacting wheel alignment specialists?
The introduction of speed limiters on all new passenger vehicles imminent over the next couple of years. New rules provisionally agreed for Europe and the UK will mean a change to the design of vehicles. Developers and car manufacturers are already having to plan for such changes.
A likely result of these changes is an unignorable increase in demand for four wheel alignment.As one of the most profitable services within garages, the need for specialist wheel alignment equipment and an understanding of these systems becomes a necessity.
Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA)
The new regulations have been heavily focussed on safety, as you'd expect.
The ISA technology sets out to decrease the amount of accidents on the road that are caused by human error. The new system could be one of many to feature on all new European vehicle by 2022!
Alongside the current revolution that is Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), ISA will be an intricate and absolutely vital piece of technology that requires accurate calibrations every time using specialised alignment equipment.
The future of alignment will be focused on advancing technologies and better equipped vehicles. Hofmann Megaplan remains at the forefront of these technologies with their Advanced ADAS system currently leading the way in calibrations and this does not look set to change anytime soon.
Want to discuss this in more detail? Contact us online now or call us today on 01480 891011 to speak to one of our dedicated teams for more information.
Looking to enhance your garage revenue with wheel alignment? Maybe your customers are becoming wiser to alignment and searching for a more comprehensive service? Offering 4 wheel laser alignment could be the answer.
Every garage is looking for new ways to strengthen their services - especially within alignment. Having proved to be one of the most lucrative sources of revenue throughout the automotive equipment industry, wheel alignment is continuing to evolve.
4 Wheel Laser wheel alignments may be the next step in conquering your closest rivals. Step one: understanding it!
4 Wheel Laser vs Optical Gauges
From the uninitiated, we often get asked the difference in these terms and how they are related if not the same thing.Put simply, 4 wheel laser alignment measures on all four wheels ensuring the car is no longer crabbing, a phrase to remember is the "rear wheels steer the vehicle". Also when you consider 70% of manufacturers now have rear tracking as well as the front, there is extra revenue to be made, but the most important aspect is you will have a straight steering wheel which means no more driving down the road making adjustments on the side of the road.
The generic process of Optical gauges will check the track of the front and rear wheels only, but will not straighten the steering wheel or stop the car crabbing which is highly important on todays modern cars because of the highly complex electronics such as ADAS.
Naturally 4 wheel laser alignment is a more lucrative service to offer when compared to Optical gauges, and the results from 4 wheel laser alignment means better performance from your customer's vehicle.
4 Wheel Laser Wheel Alignment Explained
You shouldn't be overwhelmed by this technology as it is becoming common place in garages across the UK.
Car wheels are not just set up to just point forwards. To ensure the car drives smoothly and functions properly, the wheels are set up to point at specific angles. These angles can be tiny but failing to set them up can ruin the driver's experience.
Laser alignment makes this process simple, using light beams to project any misalignments onto the 3D image screen so that adjustments can be made.
How do you know which wheel alignment machine is the best? Is it the technology? The durability of the machine? Or maybe it is a combination of everything? Not only do we have the answer but we worked out how to make the best better!
The megaline Ssence ULTRA combines a 3D/HD alignment system with integrated handheld tread depth scanner. By marrying these two devices we are able to provide the ultimate in wheel alignment services. Continuously providing high quality garage equipment is standard for Hofmann Megaplan. It is shown brilliantly in the robust and ergonomically designed unit which enhances productivity and your ability to deliver alignment and tyre services.
What is so different about the megaline Ssence ULTRA?
The ULTRA sets a totally new standard in wheel alignment, by introducing the revolutionary new TreadReader technology!
This device is taking the tyre and alignment industry by storm with its ability to inform customers in a clear and concise manner. It only requires a few seconds per tyre to run over and provides an instant 3D rendering of the tyre on the megaTab handheld display. Because it is instantly uploaded to a smartphone or tablet via the TreadReader App, customers are able to see instantly any dangers there tyres are posing from misalign issues to increase stopping distance.
The added bonus? A boost in business for garages that might otherwise have been missed out on.
Where to see the TreadReader in 2019..
Option 1 and the easiest is to get one on one with the TreadReader. You can Contact us online or call us today on 01480 891011 to book an appointment, visit our showroom and see the megaline Ssence ULTRA in action!
We'll also be at several show across the UK in 2019 including the Point S members trade show, the CV Show and Automechanika Birmingham 2019 in the brand new Big UK Garage Event. We'll have TreadReader units at each ready to show you.
With us now into the New Year, this is the ideal time for you to be thinking about the services you offer your customers and how you can do things differently in 2019.
With new opportunities such ADAS calibration servicing equipment, the need for garages to be providing wheel alignment has never been more prominent.. that includes you!
Why should you offer wheel alignment?
Wheel alignment mean so many benefits to the customer, but you as a garage owner can also benefit immensely from providing this service.
If you already offer tyre changing services then you really should be supplying wheel alignment as well. The two services run hand in hand to ensure that your customer's vehicle is performing as it should. Therefore, it won't surprise you to know that offering this as a service can not only increase your service offering, but can also increase your overall income. We have broken down the profit from alignment machine on our previous blog.
It's not just about Wheel Alignment
Your Wheel Alignment Machine is good for more than just alignment! As well as charging your customers for this service the checks involved will help identify and fix any further issues e.g. worn, bent or damaged components/ This all equates to more profit for your business and happier customers!
Best Wheel Aligners Around
Being one of the industry-leading suppliers of tyre fitting equipment, we have a vast range of wheel aligners for every garage need and budget.
By now we're hoping that if you don't already offer the service, you're seeing the great value that can be gained by offering alignment. You can work this out for yourself by using our online revenue calculator now!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.
Everything in today's world is becoming more technologically advanced including vehicles. The standard inbuilt systems are becoming more intelligent meaning maintenance and servicing requires new knowledge and kit.
Here at Hofmann Megaplan, we are making sure the garage equipment we offer is up to date with the latest capabilities. This also means up to our industry-leading standards. The latest of these advancements that is becoming more common on the road is ADAS Systems. You could be dealing with vehicles already that have ADAS as standard but are you ready for ADAS calibration?
Types of ADAS
ADAS means vehicles are now more intelligent then ever before. They collect and use data in new ways to keep drivers safe. These uses include but are not limited to:
- Adaptive Cruise Control
- Adaptive High Beams
- Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)
- Blind Spot Monitoring
- Collision Warning/ Detection System
- Driver Monitoring (Drowsiness Detection)
- Lane Departure Warning
- Night Vision
- Pedestrian Detection
- Parking Assist (Rear View Cameras)
- Traffic Sign Recognition
Vehicles fitted with ADAS technology will have cameras mounted centrally on the windscreen. This means when a windscreen is replaced, the ADAS will require re-calibration to ensure all systems are working correctly. Advanced ADAS systems can also include cameras and sensors in the front and rear bumpers and wing mirrors for full 360 degree applications. the number of scenarios where work is completed that requires recalibration of these systems is endless and failing to do so can result in customers leaving your garage in danger.
Keeping up to date with ADAS
The team at Hofmann Megaplan regularly undergo training on the latest systems including most recently an ADAS training day at our showroom. Technology is constantly changing our industry and we place an extremely high value on investing in our people to ensure they continue providing above and beyond service backed up by their knowledge.
We make sure all of our engineers and sales team have the exact understanding needed to deal with your garages specific requirements, from picking out the right equipment to training you up on its use.
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.
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.