Hunter Engineering Quick Check
Zeb Lee manages the 8-employee Purcell Tire and Service Center, which sees an average of 500 cars per month, and opened in Osage Beach, Mo., in 2005. He says that vehicle inspections are crucial not only for vehicle safety, but also to increase revenue and average repair order. And while Purcell has always emphasized those inspections, if the alignment machine was in use or the customer didn’t request a scan of the engine, that process wasn’t completed.
“It wasn’t an everytime thing,” he says.
The shop purchased the Hunter Engineering Quick Check System in May 2015, which performs a full vehicle inspection in under three minutes.
HOW IT WORKS:
The system uses a series of attachments to check tire tread readings, the brakes, engine diagnostics, tire pressure, wheel alignment and the battery levels.
When a vehicle comes in, the technician will pull the vehicle onto the rack and hook in a code link, which scans the engine for any fault codes or diagnostic codes. While it’s doing that, the technician will put an inflation gauge onto the tires to inflate the tires, while also putting the alignment heads on. Next, the technician will use a Bluetooth handheld device to check the tread on each tire in three different spots. After that, the vehicle will roll forward to capture the alignment measurements and to test brake force on each wheel and overall vehicle deceleration. Once the computer is done scanning, the technician will hook up a Bluetooth battery tester, which tests the battery’s health.
Finally, at the end of that, the computer will assemble a printout for the customer which shows the vehicle’s health status in regard to these different checks.
“That’s an automatic upsell. That’s not us recommending it; that’s the computer recommending it,” Lee says.
Lee says that the machine produces roughly $200 every day, meaning the shop was able to recoup the cost in five months. He says that because the printout is so clear and easy to read, most customers agree to the work, especially the alignments, which are one of the most profitable services.
“It helps bring in additional revenue,” Lee says. “Customers want their cars in tip-top shape. They’re bringing them in for preventative maintenance and you find an alignment or battery, that’s an automatic upsell.”
In the end, the shop has seen efficiency gains. Lee says that the inspection process used to take 20-25 minutes. It now takes under five total. This means technicians are less tied up and the repairs are able to get done more quickly and efficiently. Finally, he says that by having this system and not relying solely on the alignment machine, he’s able to ensure that every vehicle gets inspected and checked for all the same area.
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