As soon as one of the trucks in your fleet is out of commission, the clock starts ticking. Downtime means down revenue, so getting your vehicle back on the road as soon as possible is essential. Doing repairs in-house is a great way to gain more control of the process. When you perform maintenance and collision repairs in your own shop, you and your team get to decide what to prioritize and how to handle the process. Done right, it can help you get vehicles back on the road faster and save money.
If you’re thinking about taking on truck collision repairs internally, you’ll need to invest in staff members, space and more. To make it all work, your team and your tools need to be top notch. Here’s a rundown of what you’ll need when it comes to equipment.
A frame rack is a must for collision repair, and when you’re getting a heavy duty vehicle back into shape, you need pulling equipment that’s up to the task. An HD frame rack like the Centurion can handle the biggest jobs out there. With tower heights of 10 or 14 feet and 55-ton hydraulic ram in each tower, this rack can take on the trucks in your fleet. But when exploring frame racks, don’t stop at brute force. Also consider speed and ease of use. How quickly can your techs load the vehicle? How long will it take them to set up the pull? The faster they can get everything into place, the faster they can complete repairs and get the truck back on the road.
Getting repairs right the first time is important. Both because you don't want repeat visitors in your shop and because you need your vehicles to be 100% safe to drive. To do that, you need insight into the damage that goes beyond a visual assessment. A measuring system built for fleet repair can help you understand what’s really going on from frame rail analysis to axle alignment. Accurate pre and post scans give you the information you need to keep your fleet running smoothly.
Top-of-the-line welding tools and rivet guns will help your team provide top-of-the-line repairs. Keep versatility, speed and ease of use in mind here, too. For example, opting for a heavy duty rivet gun that’s simple to operate, can reduce hassle and save time. And when that gun can handle a variety of applications, from riveting to punching, you’ll get more bang for your buck.
Other equipment to consider:
- A debonding unit. This tool lets techs loosen adhesives on hoods, cabs and more without grinding or chiseling, giving them a smooth, undamaged piece to work with.
- Paint booth. You’ll need a booth that can accommodate larger vehicles, and don’t overlook things like proper ventilation and dust control.
Getting your shop set up with the essentials isn’t a small task, but it could be worth the effort for your fleet. When you successfully plan and execute the move to in-house repairs, you’re setting the stage for faster turnaround times and potential costs savings.
Need help sorting through the equipment you need? Contact a Chief distributor today.