The Return: PNT4
STATS: Tires Plus Total Car Care Location: Lake Worth, Fla. Website: exceltiregauge.com Cost: $695 Uses: Digital gauge that inflates and deflates tires Training Required: None
Mark Stillman is the president of Tires Plus Total Car Care in Lake Worth, Fla. Stillman has been in the automotive industry for 28 years and has spent 14 of those years at the Lake Worth shop. Stillman started the Tires Plus shop in 2004.
The 12-bay shop has been in Lake Worth since 2004. Tires Plus Total Car Care specializes in quality automotive care that ranges from brake and exhaust system repair to wheel alignment and oil changes. The full-service facility includes a diagnostic center for customers seeking assistance on their vehicle as well as hybrid services for electric cars.
How It Works:
The PNT4 is a tire gauge that allows users to either inflate or deflate a tire within 0.5 pounds per square inch (PSI) of a certain pressure. The device is able to connect with a shop’s air compressor line before the unit is used, too. The user is able to utilize the device by hooking up the PNT4’s 30-foot coil hose to the tire, which is then secured by a lock-on chuck, making the device hands free.
From there, the user can set the PSI to any preferred pressure, which appears on an illuminated LED screen. Tire Plus Total Car Care sets the PSI to 35, as that is the most common number for most shops, Stillman explains.
When the chuck is clamped on, users are able to go about other business while the tire reaches the desire pressure. Once the tire gauge has reached the set PSI, a beeping notification sounds, letting users know the tire is finished.
Stillman heard about the PNT4 tire gauge through an individual in his dealer network. It came to his attention and it interested him, so the shop tried it out. Prior to using the product, the shop frequently worked with hand-held gauges and had not yet tried a digital gauge. Today, there are a total of six PNT4 gauges stationed around the shop.
“They don’t break, I don’t have to continuously buy any new gauges,” he says.
The product is heavily used at Tire Plus Total Care every day, Stillman says, and the beeping notification is frequently heard throughout the shop. Since the product has a clamp-on chuck, those using it are able to part ways with the product momentarily while they tend to other tasks. The product’s beeping notification provides a sense of accountability ensuring that staff members perform their work accurately, Stillman says. When customers hear the sound, they know their tire has been properly checked and is ready to go.
While Stillman has not calculated how much time has been saved, he does believe the product has provided a lot for the business. The product is durable, accountable and consistent with its readings, Stillman says.
The makers of the PNT4 product, Excel Tire Gauge, have created a savings calculator that determines how much income and job opportunities are lost by using a handheld tire gauge instead of a digital tire gauge. After testing the savings calculator out, Stillman discovered that using a handheld gauge at his shop would cost the business 320 minutes of lost time, as well as $16,426 in other billing opportunities.