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Collisionology™

Frame Machine Considerations for Body Shop Operators

Posted by Chief Automotive on Apr 9, 2015 10:30:00 AM

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Body shop operators should choose repair equipment as if their business depends on it – because it does. Your shop is only as good as the services you provide, and choosing great equipment means you’ll provide great service. Make the right frame machine selection and your reputation will grow and your customer base will follow suit.

When it comes to collision repair, great service boils down to three key things: repair quality, estimate accuracy and speed of repairs. Let’s take a closer look at those areas and explore how the frame machine you use affects each one.

Repair quality
It takes a lot to return a crumpled frame to pre-accident form. Collisions can leave even the biggest vehicles a twisted mess, and only the toughest, most accurate frame machines can handle the repair job. Besides being able to exert the sheer force needed for pulling repairs, a frame machine must be precisely accurate. The key here is to look for equipment that can provide multi-point measuring and pulling.

To return vehicles to OEM standards, it’s vital to pull at exactly the right time, at the right angle and with the right level of force. When you choose a frame that allows for complex multi-point pulls, you’ll be able to offer the top-notch repairs that will get customers talking, in a good way.

Estimate accuracy
Customers expect you to be able to provide a realistic estimate and stick to it. A couple points to note:
•    First, make sure you have the equipment to measure an entire vehicle and uncover all the damage. That way you won’t come across any surprises as you get into the actual work of the job.
•    Second, you’ll want to choose equipment your techs are confident operating. If equipment is confusing and difficult to use, you can bet there will be mistakes. Simple controls and proper training will mean better estimates and happier clients.  

Speedy repairs
People rely on their vehicles to get to the office, take their kids to school, run errands, and more. Not having a vehicle after an accident is a huge inconvenience. When you’re able to cut down the amount of time a vehicle is out of commission, you become a solution instead of part of the problem.

If you’re a multi-shop operator, you know that getting jobs done is especially challenging for your techs. You’ll see the biggest variety of vehicles, which means choosing the wrong (i.e., less versatile) equipment will really hold you back. Look for a frame machine that can handle cars and also scale up to the largest pickups. If space is a concern, look for the right combination of racks that will give you the versatility you need while making the most of the floor area in your shop.

Choosing a frame machine for your shop can be a big task, but it’s worth your time to do some research. It’s a key tool in collision repair and it could mean the difference between a good reputation or a bad one. Your due diligence will pay off in the end.


Repair Methods

Topics: Shop Tools