Running a Shop Shop Floor Tools and Equipment

The Return: Groove Glove

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STATS: PDR Automotive  Location: Urbana, Ill.  Website: tireprofiles.com Cost: $4,795  Uses: Measures tread depth and alignment  Training Required: 4-hour in-person training and setup available upon purchase 

The Reviewer:

John Marshall started working on cars when he was in high school. He received his associate's degree from Lincoln Tech and then went to work at a Ford and GM dealership for about a year and a half. He came to work at PDR Automotive because he loved the shop’s reputation. In 1995, when the owner retired, Marshall purchased the shop.

 

The Shop:

PDR Automotive in Urbana, Ill., specializes in diagnostics and computer systems. The nine-bay shop has a staff of nine and is a AAA-approved facility, TECHNET Center and ACDelco provider.

The shop does digital inspections and each technician has his or her own tablet. Since the shop is so involved in diagnostics, Marshall is always on the lookout for technology to help increase efficiency and sales. A few years ago, he heard about Groove Glove through a continuing education class put on by AutoZone, but the product wasn’t available at the time. Marshall knew the tool would be a perfect addition to the shop’s digital inspection process because it generates a report that indicates tread pattern with photos. Marshall thought the report would be a great addition to the digital inspection and loved the fact that he could give a hard copy of the report along with the invoice.

“You know what they say about a picture being worth a thousand words,” Marshall says.

As soon as it became available, he purchased it. The shop has been using it for a little over a year.

 

How It Works:

The Groove Glove is a handheld, laser-powered device that measures tread depth and alignment. Before the Groove Glove can be used, the tool needs to be hooked up to a wireless router and a shop profile needs to be set up. Marshall says that a representative from the company actually came out to the shop to help with that and make sure that everything was compatible.

Once the handheld tool is set up, the user can go up to a vehicle with the instrument and select the camera option on the screen to take a photo of the license plate. The Groove Glove then decodes the plate and inputs all of the vehicle information. The next step is to select which tire you’re measuring on the screen. Once the tire has been selected, the user places it on top of the tire, presses the “on” button and slides the device across the tire while holding the button down. While this is going on, the Groove Glove uses lasers to measure over 400 points across the tire. The device can be used to get information on the tread depth, as well as the need for an alignment. The device also has a dropdown menu where you can select problems that you see separate from measuring, like wear or bulging, and an area for notes. The entire process takes just a few minutes.

As soon as the process is finished, the information is sent to the shop’s computer and a PDF of the report is created. The report can be printed or emailed to customers.

 

The Review:

Marshall says that he really enjoys the printout and being able to provide customers with extra information. Plus, he says it’s helped increase his sales.

“I had a client come in for a drivability concern,” Marshall says. “We never even lifted the vehicle. However, one of my techs used the Groove Glove on the vehicle—it’s easy and doesn’t take long, so we do it on pretty much every new vehicle that comes in—and it said to check for alignment. It turns out, there were problems with the ball joints and shocks and it was about $2,800 worth of repairs that we needed to do.”

The shop was able to show the customer and sold the work.

Marshall adds that Tire Profiles has been excellent to work with and that their support team is always quick to respond and that they’re also very receptive to suggestions.

“When we first got it, I told them that I wished there were more options in the dropdown menu, like if you see a bulge,” Marshall says. “They added those items.”

Another feature that Marshall would like to see is the ability to incorporate more photos.

“The tool already has a camera, so I think it would make sense to be able to take a photo and incorporate that into the report if you see a bulge, but so far there’s not,” he says.

Marshall adds that he wouldn’t be surprised if this is added, since the company has been so receptive to input in the past.

 

The ROI:

As mentioned before, just one job earned the shop an extra $2,800 worth of work, over half of the price for the full unit. Marshall says that the extra visuals for customers have definitely helped sell more work at the shop.

“I would say since we’ve started using the Groove Glove, we sell an extra $600 per week in tire and suspension sales,” he says.

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