Snap-on Equipment Ltd., the new name for the company that distributes two long-established names in the garage equipment industry – Hoffman and John Bean – is no newcomer to the business. Hofmann produced their first balancer way back in 1932, and at the same time across the Atlantic John Bean began marketing their first wheel alignment machine. These two Snap-on Equipment mainstays have focused upon manufacturing premium level equipment for the industry ever since. In the UK Snap-on Limited call the Thames Valley their home, and recently Tyres & Accessories travelled to the company’s Reading headquarters to meet with new general manager Chris Behan and UK sales manager, Chris Pleass.
By the time T&A met Chris Behan in mid-July he’d already spent four months in the hot seat at Snap-on Equipment, and was drawing on his considerable management experience – Behan has worked with A&M Electric, Atlas Copco and AEG and, most recently as general manager for Tornado Fixings – to head up the company’s ambitious short and medium term plans. “The wheel service market – balancers, changers, aligners, is worth £170 million in total,” he said. “So there’s plenty of room to grow.”
Fasep has been manufacturing tyre servicing equipment since 1969 when it introduced the Apsera, the company’s very first on the car wheel balancer. Since that time the Italian firm has been an innovator in the field, introducing the world’s first monitor equipped wheel balancer in 1983 – the Videotronic 2000 – and the first computer controlled balancer in 1989.
The company’s latest wheel balancers, including the Videotronic Omega 585, benefit from this pedigree. The V585 can balance wheels with rims between 8 and 26-inches in diameter (or 8 and 23-inches if using the Alu-S function on alloy wheels), measuring a wheel’s balance within 4 to 15 seconds. The balancer utilises the same 16-bit technology Fasep is introducing on all new wheel balancing equipment, the advantage being that more accurate readings can be obtained from balancing performed at speeds under 100rpm. In fact, Fasep claim that low speed balancing – the V585 operates at 98rpm – is 16 times more accurate than high speed balancing using the previous 10-bit microprocessors.
Gemco Equipment Ltd, part of Denmark’s 90-year old Stenhøj Group, is said to be the largest supplier of tyre bay equipment in the UK, and the company offers not one but two lines of tyre changers and wheel balancers – their own Dunlop brand and the highly regarded Mondolfo Ferro range from Italy, for whom Gemco acts as UK representative.
Mondolfo Ferro has been selling their equipment in overseas markets since 1965 and today the company continues its focus on product development to ensure its machines maintain a leading technological edge. In the UK Gemco markets three Mondolfo products of particular interest – the Aquila AS944 tyre changer and the MT2080 and MT2680 wheel balancers.
Wheel & tyre equipment specialists Hofmann Megaplan enjoyed another successful show at this years Brityrex exhibition. The company believes this year’s event to be every bit as good as the 2005 exhibition, which Managing Director James Boon labelled at the time as the best show he had ever attended. “Brityrex 2005 was a hard act to follow for us, but the move to Manchester this year and all the improvements that went with it means that without doubt 2007 will prove to be even better both in terms of immediate sales and long term projects,” commented Mr. Boon.
“I think it’s a huge disappointment that this show doesn’t get more support from the tyre manufacturers, and the effort put in by everybody else really and truthfully puts them to shame for not supporting such an event. That said, the quality of visitor and atmosphere of the new venue ensured we had another great exhibition, and I think the organisers deserve some real praise for putting on a fantastic, well organised and high profile exhibition despite two years of negativity from many within the industry”.
A new tyre changer for low profile, run-flat tyres and wide wheels offers safe and simple tyre changing, even for the most difficult tyre rim combinations. Beissbarth is launching the MS67 tyre changer, designed to meet the ever-present health and safety regulations, and provide a fast and efficient service for technicians and customers.
Snap-on Equipment has appointed Alan Wood as Business Development Manager for its range of Hofmann and John Bean wheel service equipment. Mr. Wood has over 25 years’ experience in the tyre service industry having worked with companies, including Kwik-Fit, Supertracker & Beissbarth UK.
Following the success of the company’s appearance at last year’s ATS show, JIA Sources International Ltd has decided to increase its stand floor-space to almost five times the area it occupied last year. On the stand will be the Nitro-Ride – Nitrogen Inflation System. Worldwide sales for this product are said to have exceeded all expectations.
Supply Direct has just published a new catalogue and price list. The catalogue features a full range of two-post lifts, four-posts lifts, scissor lifts, compressors, wheel aligners, tyre changers, wheel balancers, MOT bays (including the new Automated Test Lane) and a full variety of other garage equipment. Details for every product include 3D CAD drawings with full dimensions, and complete specification tables for every piece of equipment.
Brityrex International 2007 received a big boost in the new year when Beissbarth UK reserved a stand area of 85 square metres – the largest exhibition stand in the company’s history.
Philip Hodges, MD of Beissbarth UK, explained that 2007 will see the UK launch of the Beissbarth Touchless wheel aligner in the UK. As the name suggests, this is a completely no-contact alignment system – the first of its kind in the world – and one which Philip believes will have a major impact on wheel alignment in the UK. Certainly, when the system had its world premiere at Autopromotec in Bologna, it drew large crowds throughout the show.
(Australia/Australian Tyre Dealer) Corghi, the world’s largest Italian manufacturer of tyre service equipment, is aiming to increase its presence in Australia.
After a number of years in the doldrums, Corghi brand wants to play a major role in the Australian tyre market again. Under newly-appointed general manager, Jonathan Gant, Corghi is looking to replicate the success it has enjoyed in New Zealand, where its Italian-made wheel balancers and tyre changers enjoy more than 60 per cent market share.