• April 6, 2018 at 11:07 am #65493

    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.

    April 10, 2018 at 7:24 am #75057
    Chris Cotton

    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.


    Chris Cotton
    Owner-AutoFix SOS/DieselFixSOS & Level UP Peer Groups
    [email protected]

    April 10, 2018 at 7:36 am #75058
    eric davis

    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

    April 10, 2018 at 10:47 am #75060
    Dan Goninen

    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.

    April 10, 2018 at 7:13 pm #75061
    Bill Pankiw

    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

    April 10, 2018 at 9:06 pm #75062

    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.

    April 16, 2018 at 11:28 am #75064
    Rick White

    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.


    April 20, 2018 at 3:55 pm #75070

    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.

    October 29, 2018 at 4:28 am #75271

    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!

    November 28, 2018 at 11:27 pm #75307
    Justin Scott

    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.

    November 30, 2018 at 11:20 am #75308
    John Burkhauser

    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.

    December 5, 2018 at 1:56 pm #75312

    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.




    December 5, 2018 at 6:39 pm #75314
    Rod Zimmerman

    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.

    December 6, 2018 at 4:59 am #75316

    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.


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

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.