Balancers, changers increase sophistication to match latest workshop needs
Pro-Align’s recent distribution agreement with ADAS diagnostic and calibration tools supplier TEXA shows how garage equipment specialists are adapting to the rapid development of the connected car. Yet the staple equipment remains a vital part of the equation; greater accuracy in the tyre changing and wheel balancing processes can help ensure the full functionality of downstream systems. In addition, Pro-Align tells Tyres & Accessories that balancers and changers are often overlooked in terms of their potential for a workshop’s efficiency and profitability.
“While most changers and balancers look very similar to the untrained eye, nowadays, the latest systems offer a whole host of additional functionalities and capabilities,” explains Paul Beaurain, managing director at Pro-Align. “From being fully automated through to added value diagnostic capabilities which can help transform the way tyre shops sell their services, advanced balancers and tyre changers can even help workshops recruit and retain good members of staff.”
Indeed, Pro-Align believes that those workshops looking to provide the ultimate level of customer care or differentiate their business can do so through balancing and alignment. “Several advanced balancers from Hunter now incorporate highly sophisticated additional diagnostic capabilities in the form of road force measurement. This remains an area which is not widely understood by the masses but it offers a fantastic opportunity for those workshops looking to give customers the very best service.
“Road force measurement and balancing can eradicate the most challenging of wheel vibration issues. This is of great interest to the most discerning drivers who want the ultimate performance from their car. If your workshop can offer this unique, high-level service, then there’s a lot of drivers who are willing to travel significant distances and pay extra for this special care and attention.”
Aside from the marketing and business opportunity benefits of balancers and tyre changers, Pro-Align identifies a number of important internal advantages for the workshop itself. Firstly, the latest premium systems such as Hunter’s fully automated Revolution tyre changer are designed for maximum ease of use. While this can lead to efficiency improvements (and therefore increased profitability), it will also mean that technicians are more likely to use the system, reducing its payback period further.
Such user-oriented machines can also help workshops retain and recruit. “Many workshop bosses share their frustration with us about how they keep on losing good staff to competitors simply because they are offering them a small increase in their basic pay,” states Beaurain. “However, what we have noticed is that those workshops who invest in quality, Hunter equipment are better at keeping hold of their staff. Technicians do notice and recognise the investment that is being made, they enjoy using the modern equipment and being able to offer the best levels of service, and are much more motivated in their work.”