Innovative new equipment will change the way shops do business.
Hunter Engineering Company took the wraps off their next-generation Quick Check Drive technology at this year’s SEMA Show. What formerly required mounted targets on each wheel, plus an operator to attach and remove the targets, is now completely automatic and requires no targets or human intervention whatsoever.
With this new technology, when a vehicle drives through the Quick Check Drive, the computer take 16 separate high-resolution images of each tire, a picture of the license plate (which is sent to Carfax and then back again to the system to tell the shop what vehicle it is, based on the VIN), which means there’s no need for someone to collect that information at the shop.
In addition, alignment sensors take 24 photos, providing a 360-degree panoramic view of the vehicle, so the shop can tell is there’s any body damage to the vehicle as it’s coming in for service.
Much of the data is then sent over to what Hunter calls a Flight Board in the service advisor’s area. The high-resolution cameras can tell if the tires are all the same brand, how much tread is left, the alignment angles, whether a steering angle sensors needs to be reset, whether there’s a recall on the vehicle, and more.
The Flight Board is visible to customers, so in many cases they’re the ones who initiate the conversation, which allows the service advisor to get into what might have otherwise been an uncomfortable conversation to initiate.
The company also released its latest HunterNet feature, Push Reports, at the 2018 SEMA Show. Push Reports helps shops set and achieve target goals, maximize productivity and convert more service opportunities by providing inspection, alignment and balancing performance reports.
“So if you own a shop and you want to get 22 Quick Checks done a day,” John Peron, Director of Canadian Operations at Hunter Engineering Company told TireNews, “as well as a specific number of alignments sold, and a number of tires balanced per day – this information can be pushed out to the owner, service manager, fixed ops manager, etc. It tells you in realtime if you’re reaching your daily goals.”
In addition, there’s no need to do calculation manually since Hunter’s Quick Check, Aligner and Balancer speak to one another, as well as to HunterNet, automatically sending updated reports.
Right to Repair
Coming in the first quarter of 2019, to support the right to repair, Hunter is providing software that will allow users to do an alignment on a BMW with the accessories that are already included with the aligner.
“In a lot of cases, the shop might be intimidated and send the car to the dealer instead,” Peron explained. “Now, there’s no need to do that. Also, specific to Mercedes-Benz, we’re coming out with a kit with an inclinometer, so that technicians can make the same kind of adjustments on Mercedes-Benz vehicles as well.”