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Hofmann Megaplan Blog

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

How do you make the Best Wheel Alignment Machine even better?

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.

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Case Study: C445 in Bathwick Dorchester

A quick one this week. A recent install of a Cascos C445 Wheel Alignment Lift in Bathwick, Dorchester.

The C445 is one of the most popular lifts we install from the Cascos lifting equipment machinery range. With a  4000kg Capacity & 4.8m Platform Length, it is also worth noting that Cascos specifically design these lifts for alignment

Who better to install this purpose built lift then the same company who will be providing the brand new aligner to the site as well?

Not only have Cascos designed this range with alignment specifically in mind but they have also included industry-leading safety and build features, such as the Superior-strength platforms and a double mechanical peace of mind safety system. 

Find out more about the full Cascos range of lifting equipment by visiting the UK site. 

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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.

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Offering Wheel Alignment: All You Need to Know

​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!

Need to purchase a industry-leading wheel alignment system? 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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ADAS Diagnostics Explained

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.

Need to upgrade your alignment system to feature ADAS calibration? Check out ADAS calibration systems on our website today and contact us online now or call us today on 01480 891011 to find out if your system is compatible with ADAS Diagnostic and calibration systems.

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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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The Wheel Alignment Blog | Benefits of Offering Alignment

"Why do I need to offer wheel alignment?" A question those not already well versed in providing alignment services may ask, and a valid one to those not in the know. This month we're going to put forth a few of the most common reason garages choose to add alignment to their service roster. We hope if you don't already, it will quickly become clear why you should invest

One of the main reason you need to offer alignment services is the huge demand caused by the state of many UK roads. Many potholes are not going anywhere any time soon. Alongside speed bumps and kerbs, all can cause havoc for suspension and thus alignment.

What's more, any work completed on a vehicle's suspension, including wheel bearings, springs, arms and shocks to name but a few, will also impact a vehicle's alignment and thus a check should be completed following work of this nature. This also includes dropping down of the subframe to fit clutches and gearboxes. Could you be offering alignment alongside this work to give your customers the best ride possible?

It is easy to overlook the fact that wheels are also getting bigger whilst tyre profiles are getting lower. What does this mean for your customers? More strain for the suspension! Refer to the point above. While the suspension is designed to bend, with many alloy and mild steel components offer greater bend, the alignment will always bear some of this impact.

Modern vehicles also contain many electronics and these rely on alignment being correct. These can fail and render a car undrivable, all because the alignment hasn't been reset.

What we all need to remember is that the customer wants a straight steering wheel and for the car to perform as it should. As a vehicle operator, errors here are often the most obvious to spot, hence one of the most important things to be corrected.

It is for this reason we recommend an alignment check every 10,000 miles or every service.

Did we mention alignment not only helps your customers and improves your service offering but also makes you more money! The average price for 1 adjustment (e.g. front toe) can be £30-£35. That means doing a fully adjustable car could make you a couple of hundred pounds.

It's not just the alignment you'll be making money on either. Just a few examples include:

  • You will be able to identify and fix further issues, e.g. worn or bent components
  • In many cases, you will have to un-seize components or replace the track rod ends in order to complete alignment, all chargeable work

What else might you need to inform the customer of?

  • Alignment allows you to make sure the car will respond correctly once a new part is fitted or old part removed
  • You can provide them with a before and after printout to illustrate how the car has been adjusted
  • You are able to keep a record of all alignments on the machine as evidence, demonstrating that when the car left everything was as it should be. Months or even weeks later it could be out again and that isn't because you didn't do it right the first time!

Ecoline 88 recently installed in a customers site by the Hofmann Megaplan alignment engineers.

Time to offer alignment?

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. Based on some of the above examples, machines like our Ecoline 88 can 100% pay themselves off in as little as 6 months, completing as few as 4 averagely priced alignments a week to do so! That's 100% profit for your garage thereafter. You can work this out for yourself by using our online revenue calculator now!

Call our team today on 01480 8-9-10-11 to discuss the maths and find out more about the expansive range of wheel alignment solutions Hofmann Megaplan offers to suit all garages and requirements.

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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