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Hofmann Megaplan Blog

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

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 | Winter Wheel Alignment System Tips

A quick one this month on the havoc cold weather can wreak when it comes to your wheel alignment system!

Keep your Turn Plates Turning, no matter the weather...

 The severity of weather makes a massive difference of course but cold weather normally means more ice on the road. As such we see more salt, dirt and sometimes even sludge on the roads. All of this will collect within the wheel arches of vehicles and it can easily fall onto your turn plates. This will result in corrosion of the turn plates and their useful lifespan being decreased. Did you know a very fine spray of lubricant daily can save your turn plates from corroding? A small cost to make a big saving long term.

Caster Swings + the cold = A MUST! 

​Don't forget your caster swings, especially in the cold!

Most machines are able to bypass doing a caster swing and so this may not be a check you think to regularly complete. However, this could mean you are missing out on service up sales from damage more commonly caused during the winter months. 

Hitting the kerb at any speed can have a noticeable effect on alignment but many don't realise the unseen damage that happens. We commonly see bent wishbones in the winter months from cases where a customer has skidded on ice and had an impact with the kerb. 

Not doing your caster swing check could mean you are missing out on replacing bent wishbones. Your customers will thank you as they drive away safer!

Infrared Interruption 

Most modern computer wheel alignment machines use infrared technology. That includes 3D and CCD alignment machines. 

We always receive, without fail, several callouts over the winter periods where erratic readings or blocked beams have been reported on these systems. The issue is often quite an obscure one. 

We've found that many garages are now starting to use infrared heaters to keep their workshops warm in the winter. The issue? Unfortunately, these heaters are polluting the space with infrared rays. It is an easy problem to overcome though. The solution is to simply not to shine the heaters near the wheel aligners whilst in use.

Keep warm and keep aligning with the accuracy these machines are built to offer! 

Your winter alignment woes?

​Have you got any other winter alignment woes or tips to overcoming issues thrown up by the cold weather? Let us know now. Our engineers are always on hand to help. Call 01480 8-9-10-11 today and arrange to speak to a member of the alignment team.

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 | 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
  326 Hits
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