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  • ALIGNMENT MACHINE

    Posted by ericscarcare on April 6, 2018 at 11:07 am

    We are trying to determine which alignment machine and alignment rack to buy for our shop.  We are projecting to do about 2 alignments per day.  Budget is an important factor, Hunter wants about $65000 for their top of the line machine and rack.  Whereas CEMB wants $27000 for their machine and rack.  Waiting for other manufacturers to give us a quote.  Wanting input from experienced shop owners.

    Alan Ollie replied 1 year, 6 months ago 15 Members · 15 Replies
  • 15 Replies
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  • Chris Cotton

    Member
    April 10, 2018 at 7:24 am

    It’s kind of like the difference between a 200 dollar tattoo and a 2000 dollar tattoo.

    Hunter has a great product and usually their support is good and fast. I guess it would depend on what part of the country you are in.

    What are your expectations of an alignment machine? Do you have a POS system that will interface with the machine so it can get your quick checks etc over?

    If for some reason you stopped doing alignments for a month will the payment be an anchor around your neck? Will you be able to expand to 3,4,5, alignments per day?

    What is your weekly car count? You should be doing alignments on about 30% of the vehicles that come through your shop.

    Which one of these machines will be with you 5,10,15 years from now?

    Make sure to figure any tech costs loaded into your payback figures. If you plan on doing any advertising  specific to alignments you need to include that cost into your payback as well.

     

  • eric davis

    Member
    April 10, 2018 at 7:36 am

    Have you considered alignment tables and a used machine? Alignment tables are a nice alternative to an alignment rack and only cost 2 k with turn tables. A used machine usually works just fine. we have a hunter machine we bought from a school on eBay for $500. and do 5 alignments a day. The machine has been in service in our shop for 3 years. The new alignment machines will become old in a few years and a lot of shops go out of business and liquidate. If you want to be profitable day one, this is the way to go. good luck

  • Dan Goninen

    Member
    April 10, 2018 at 10:47 am

    Just bough a new V3300 from Snap-On (Johnbean),love it,you get what you pay for.We had Hunter for years and tried their new one and it too was a nice machine.It came down to the service where we are located as all our big equipment is Snap-On. I just like dealing with less vendors on equipment and we see the Snapy guy every 2 weeks.If any issues happen on machine it can be looked at remotely by Snap-On as the Techs work for Snap-On,as for Hunter they are independent.Should really not need a human on site.All updates and issues are done wireless.Our old machine needed to be calibrated on site at least once a year.We now can do about 2-3 alignments to 1 on the old machine.Productivity! The name of the game.Hope this helps.

  • William Pankiw

    Member
    April 10, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    I am on my 4th Hunter Machine in 38 years and would have nothing else.  Every machine I had prior is still in operation to the best of my knowledge.  We average 5 – 7 alignments a day

  • detroitgearbox

    Member
    April 10, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    Ive had techs tell me the JohnBean systems are simple & fast (but not cheap). Tech I know now does 10-15 alignments every day… said he has used other systems but they all add time to the set up & alignment…. said he would not go backwards with another system.

  • Rick White

    Member
    April 16, 2018 at 11:28 am

    The big issue here is making sure there’s a healthy return on your investment for the equipment purchased. I’m attaching a simple Excel spreadsheet that will break down the information for you showing when you break even with the machine and then how much profit you’ll make over the life of the machine.

    After you know you’re profitable with the purchase, the decision comes down to getting the highest quality and the best service you can for your dollar.

    I hope this helps.

    Rick

  • jbrenn77

    Member
    April 20, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    I think you should use the ROI speadsheet above and factor that into the equation.  For what it’s worth I’d go Hunter based on prev. experiences with not being able to get my old John Bean machine fixed properly, and then having nothing but good experiences with Hunter service.   We have a used Hunter DSP600 with rack I bought 4 yrs ago on a relatively low interest payment plan, I paid 17K for everything installed.  Has needed about 2K worth of repairs since then.  Glad I bought used because the amount of alignments we do keeps getting lower and lower based on our markets “race to the bottom” alignment pricing structure.  Frankly the only reason I still have it is so we can control the quality of our own alignments.  Currently we are only doing about 3-5/week.

  • angelo

    Member
    October 29, 2018 at 4:28 am

    Hello, I’m a new small shop looking for a good used scissor lift. Can come with or without alignment features.  Capacity: 10,000 lbs. minimum. For longer wheelbase vehicles. For walk under work height. Any direction would be appreciated. Thanks!

  • justinlscott

    Member
    November 28, 2018 at 11:27 pm

    In my 5 year personal experience with working with a John bean alignment machine, I can say it is a relatively fast and simple set up. I can have a car or truck completely done in about 15 to 30 minutes depending on what was done to it. My boss and owner of the shop I work at are in the process of figuring out whether to fix the one we have now or get a new one. The only issue I am having with mine is the board that controls everything is going out. On a bad day I do around 10 alignments, on a good day I do around 15 alignments. On any given Saturday I do around 12 alignments. So I would using a John bean aligner is s afe way to go.

  • John Burkhauser

    Member
    November 30, 2018 at 11:20 am

    Do not let your ROI be a major part of your decision to purchase a unit.  As was said, you get what you pay for.

    Hunter is my preferred way to go having used them since the D111.

    Remember you and your staff have control of how many alignments you do a day.  So don’t set your goals low, set them higher.

    And, like a courtesy inspection opens up all sorts of repair possibilities, so does an alignment.  The ROI should take care of itself.

  • allaboutimports

    Member
    December 5, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    I have to say my John Bean aligner has got to be my single biggest mistake in shop equipment.      I lost count after 25 service calls for this machine.   If it hadn’t been for the fellow I bought it off (new) being in my corner, I’m sure I would have torched it.

     

     

     

  • Rod Zimmerman

    Member
    December 5, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    I am a small shop that does 5-10 alignments a month. I bought a used Hunter 611 a few years ago for $2500. from a tire store that upgraded. I used it for a couple of years and an old friend had a 411 that did not work and I bought it for $200.00 for parts for my 611 if I should need them. I had to replace the monitor but other than that it has been trouble free. Found it on Craigs list, just kept watching the adds in the tool section until it came up. This has been a great option for me. Just thought I would throw this out there. This thing rocks compared to what we had before it. I had the drive on lift with turn plates already that I had also bought used in 1985 for $600. Still works great! Someday something will break in it that I cannot fix and I will have to replace it but I will hunt for another used model at that time.

  • Alan Ollie

    Member
    December 6, 2018 at 4:59 am

    First thing I did was send my alignment tech to Gregg Smith Equipment in Atlanta for training. The rep comes by two times a year and checks our calibration. It is rarely off. Plus we have the calibration bar and check our machine every few weeks. The service is outstanding. The tool is so simple if you run over a camera. We drive to a Gregg Smith store in Miami and pick up a part.

    We bought an Atlas Edge 601 Pro 8 Camera Alignment Machine With FastClamps
    $16,595.00 With a 5-year old Hunter rack. We had the cylinders rebuilt and the turntables rebuilt at the time of install. Total cost 4k so for under 20k .Do the math we charge an avg $110 for an alignment. We just paid off the $490 a month lease and did about 2000 alignments with no equipment failures. 660  alignments per year  $110 = $72,600 gross per year  we grossed $200,018 off a 20 k investment.

    After three years we did 2-4 alignments a day on hi-end german cars. We rarely have a comeback.

    https://www.gregsmithequipment.com/Alignment-Machine/Passenger-and-Light-Truck-Alignment-Machines

    For all the Blue haters.  Blue is the new Red.  Ollie G

  • samir

    Member
    December 8, 2020 at 11:27 am

    I want to establish my own Automotive Centre in my back home. I want to buy: Wheel alignment machine, Tire balancer, and tire changer. I don’t know which brand is the best in the market, and which one is relabel

  • Alan Ollie

    Member
    December 8, 2020 at 3:31 pm

    [postquote quote=65493] UPDATE  12-8-2020

    After 6 years, we do 1-2  alignments a day on high-end German cars. We now charge 149 and 239 for alignments. We rarely have comebacks. I can’t say anything bad about the System. I replaced the camera batteries a few times cost apx $30 ea. Another cool thing about Gregg Smith equ is they stock all the parts for the system in the USA and they will give you a camera a loaner if needed. We have dropped them many times I know about and they keep on working I can only guess how many times I don’t know about it.

    https://www.gregsmithequipment.com/Atlas-Platinum-601-Alignment-System

    https://www.gregsmithequipment.com/Atlas-Alignment-Calibration-Bar

    About once a month we send out an ADAS car. I had a mobile ADAS guy come to my shop. After watching him, I keep sending out cars till my crew has the proper training.

    I updated the year make model specs database  2 times apx cost $400 each time.

    —————————————-

    DECEMBER 6, 2018 AT 4:59 AM#75316
    ALAN OLLIE GELFAND PRES.PARTICIPANT
    The first thing I did was send my alignment tech to Gregg Smith Equipment in Atlanta for training. The rep comes by two times a year and checks our calibration. It is rarely off. Plus, we have the calibration bar and check our machine every few weeks. The service is outstanding. The tool is so simple if you run over a camera.

    We bought an Atlas Edge 601 Pro 8 Camera Alignment Machine With FastClamps
    $16,595.00 With a 5-year old Hunter rack. We had the cylinders rebuilt and the turntables rebuilt at the time of install. Total cost 4k so for under 20k .Please do the math we charge an avg $110  for an alignment. We just paid off the $490 a month lease and did about 2000 alignments with no equipment failures. 660  alignments per year  $110 = $72,600 gross per year  we grossed $200,018 off a 20 k investment.

    After three years, we did 2-4 alignments a day on high-end German cars. We rarely have a comeback.