The development of modern car technology has accelerated as fast as ever before and manufacturers producing the systems that allow workshops to service these vehicles effectively have also developed at a fast rate. In some cases, the development has been a technological necessity needed to keep pace with vehicle development, but in other cases, the development is driven by the vision to provide a better, more efficient servicing solution.
Roughly 18 months after Clive Seabrook joined Pro-Align, Tyres & Accessories caught up with the relatively new CEO in order to find out more about how the right equipment and services can add value to garage businesses, especially in the post-lockdown environment.
Challenging times need innovative solutions, so Pro Align responded to the pressures brought about by lockdown by seeing by choosing not to approach the circumstances as a commercial opportunity, but rather by responding to the customer instead:
Pro-Align is targeting workshops looking to grow their business in 2020 with a new offer designed to reduce equipment investment costs and lower the bar to improving service capabilities. The £9,999 Ultimate Starter Bundle includes three key workshop systems, offering a saving of almost £2,000 when compared with buying the pieces of equipment individually (which would cost £11,985). Included within the bundle are the Hunter TCX 52 tyre changer, the Hunter SmartWeight Pro wheel balancer and a Teknel Butterfly induction heater, making it an ideal package for those looking to enter tyre servicing, upgrade or replace existing equipment.
Distributor of the Hunter brand of wheel servicing equipment Pro-Align has introduced the US company’s new wheel alignment inspection system to the UK and Ireland markets. The Hunter Quick Check Drive is one of the industry’s first ‘drive-thru’ non-contact wheel alignment inspection systems, according to the distributor. It adds that the system’s operation without any need to attach sensors or targets, or for the vehicle to stop, means that labour costs are minimised and alignment opportunities can be identified in a matter of seconds.
For garages looking to increase the number of revenue-generating tasks they can complete, the increased efficiency of their equipment is of paramount importance. Most directly, changing a tyre more quickly and safely means more customers can be served – and of course billed. But the latest changer from Hunter, distributed in the UK by Pro-Align, offers the chance to increase the additional tasks its operator can complete through increased automation of the process.
Without the natural pull of an OEM badge over the door, building a successful aftermarket business can be challenging. However, the role of high-quality workshop equipment shouldn’t be under-estimated in helping identify job opportunities, communicate with customers, improve efficiencies and develop a lean operating environment.
After a winter of discontent in 2017/18, potholes still blight the UK’s roads and causing numerous problems for wheels and tyres alike. Not only can they cause damage to the internal structure of the tyre – wheel rims can also suffer damage too, resulting in imbalance and vibration issues for the driver.
20 members of staff from wheel servicing equipment specialist Pro-Align have received an intensive week of product and service training at equipment supplier Hunter’s head office in St Louis, Missouri. The UK distributor of Hunter wheel alignment, balancing and tyre changing equipment said the largest ever delegation to such an event reflects the growing size of the business. The majority of the group were visiting Hunter for the first time.
Pro-Align has launched a new commitment to visit customers with a valid aftersales agreement within two days of receiving a reported issue on Hunter equipment. For customers where a visit cannot be completed within the agreed time frame, no charge will be made for the resulting repair. The garage equipment distributor said the new commitment has been made in response to a growing number of workshops’ reliance on Hunter wheel servicing equipment for profit maximisation.
Pro-Align has launched the latest Hunter wheel alignment system, developed through widespread customer feedback to merge mid-level imaging with a fully upgradable package. The UK distributor told Tyres & Accessories that the new Hunter PA200 ACE has been developed for budget conscious workshops keen to enter the world of premium Hunter four wheel alignment servicing, receiving the best of the American brand’s alignment features in a mid-level system – a result of feedback from UK workshops.
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.
Workshop equipment distributor Pro-Align’s support for the Skills Show has stretched to half a decade, including the last five years in succession. Trainee vehicle technicians competing in this year’s show were able to gain valuable hands-on experience using some of the most advanced wheel alignment and diagnostic wheel balance systems currently on the market, thanks to this ongoing support. Held over three days at the NEC, Birmingham, competitors took part in a diverse range of practical skills and knowledge tests such as beauty therapy, bricklaying, landscaping, and games design.
Hunter garage equipment supplier Pro-Align will bring a new concept to Automechanika Birmingham (stand 19D80), designed to show how workshop spaces, even on the smaller side, can be transformed to offer profitable wheel alignment and wheel servicing. The interactive concept has been designed to give technicians and business owners a real-world experience of its systems, emphasising the ability of smaller businesses to deliver quality Hunter and customer service levels or returns. The company will demonstrate live award winning equipment like the Hunter Elite TD wheel alignment system, in addition to launching the new Hunter Road Force Elite and Pro-Align TCLine tyre changer systems.
Pro-Align has announced independent workshop, K Brown Auto Repairs in Kings Lynn, as the winner of its 25th anniversary competition. The workshop will receive a Hunter PA200 Plus wheel alignment system with a list price of £15,000. Pro-Align states the addition of the aligner will enable K Brown to expand its service offering and grow its wheel alignment business.