Hofmann Megaplan Blog

Garage equipment sales and service specialists

People the Most Important Asset in MOT Design & Installation

Hofmann Megaplan have been looking beyond just the equipment their specialist MOT division provide to focus on what they believe is key to any install; people and the skills they possess which make them amongst the most approachable and knowledgeable in the industry.

MOT Bay Installation Complete

Whilst the automotive testing equipment fitted within the workshop is a vital part of any MOT Bay, from headlamp testers, brake testers and lifts right through to all the necessary ancillaries needed to create a professional vehicle testing setup, it is the people that bring these elements together. They are the pivotal part of any installation.

Hofmann Megaplan has long been proud of its people. They are the component which make each installation so satisfying. Having individuals that make up a team with years’ worth of successful installations behind them ensures every MOT Bay is installed with the long term business objectives of the customer in mind.

MOT Bay as a serviceWhy do people matter?

Supplying and installing MOT equipment can be a complex process, with no two projects the same. With many different factors to consider including the fringe services, tradesmen involved and the scope for unforeseen issues, it can all be quite messy.

Hofmann Megaplan prides itself on having the right people for the job leading these projects. Their service means that as a business owner or manager, you do not end up wasting your time micro managing the installation. Our engineers do as much as is needed to ensure everything is completed correctly and smoothly. The experience they have brings money can’t buy value to your MOT installation that can also save you in the long run.

People First, Even After Installation

This human approach carries on post installation as well. By running various comprehensive training courses, every customer is able to ensure they get the most out of their investment. The flexibility to complete training on its own or as part of an install is another great example of putting people first in MOT design, installation and beyond.

Whether its full supply and installation of complete MOT Bays, provision and install of individual equipment, a complete ‘hand holding’ service and project management or ongoing calibrations, maintenance contracts and aftersales support, Hofmann Megaplan have the people to complete this work with the human touch needed to help your business succeed. Call them today on 01480 8-9-10-11.

The Wheel Alignment Blog | Benefits to the Customer

Why should your customers align banner

As a provider of wheel alignment services, chances are you know the advantages this service brings to your business but have you got the patter down on how to convey the benefits of alignment to your customers? Read on to find out the main arguments to put forward when someone is hesitant to sort their alignment. 

Burning money on new rubber

New tyres can be costly. On average you can pay £110 per tyre so 4 tyres would be equivalent to a week’s average wage. Depending on how bad the vehicle’s alignment is, your customers could be wasting a tyre for every 4 you fit! They may try to blame the standard of tyre used or the quality of your job but it is important that they understand tyre will be subject to far more damage under the stresses of misalignment.

The car performs as intended

Mis-alignment means a car does not perform as it would have when driven out of the factory. Responsiveness in the steering will be impacted and the handling will suffer because the tyres will be struggling to do their job. Completing alignment checks and adjustments will help keep the vehicle on the road. Neglecting to do so is putting all the occupants at risk.

Improved Fuel efficiency means real savings

Many vehicle owners will often complain that their car seems to get through fuel quicker and quicker, but they do not realise how correct alignment can help a tank go further. Imagine having to push a car up a hill. Obviously, you’re going to use much more energy than you would on a flat surface.

Effectively that’s what your car is having to do when the alignment is out! The more you accelerate, the more fuel and power is needed to reach the same speed.

More than just wheels need replacing

It’s not just the wheels that misalignment can wear away. As cars have gotten more advanced, the cost of components has also increased. Replacing wheel bearings with built-in speed sensors can cost a good few hundred pounds to buy and fit. Why do they need replacing?  Because bearings get hot and wear prematurely due to miss alignment.

The same also applies to the bushes and joints on your car as they are having to work much harder simply to drag your tyres down the road. Expensive right?!

What can you do for your customers?

Just as the team at Hofmann always seek to advise our customers to ensure they get the most out of their tyre machines and garage equipment, you too can advise your customers and educate them as to why alignment is so important based on the above.

It is common practice to recommend your customer check their wheel alignment and have it adjusted as needed every 10,000 miles or at every service, whichever happens first.

Author | Warren Carr | Wheel Alignment Specialist

My name is Warren Carr and I’m from the team of alignment engineers at Hofmann Megaplan. I will be using this blog to regularly highlight some practical hints and tips which will help you, our garage professionals, achieve great results with your equipment, no matter the make of alignment machine.

Is this the death of the Tilt arm? The Par Move Concept

813XL tyre changer with Par Move Concept Arm

The first Tyre Changer of its kind, the 813XL from Hofmann Megaplan, features a new concept in tyre fitting which is set to shake up the industry.

For most the sight of a tilt back arm is now commonplace on their tyre machine and has been for some time. However, there have always been some drawbacks for certain users where space may be a premium or strength and speed is a priority.

The 813XL from Hofmann Megaplan is the first of its kind with the introduction of the Par Move Concept. The patented parallelogram design works to eliminate flex, increase speed and reduce the required space for a machine. All mounted on a re-enforced chassis and with a robust fixed vertical tower, we could be looking at a new industry standard.

How the Par Move Concept works

With the mounting head attached to a fixed vertical column, it rotates around pivot points rather than tilting back in the traditional manner. The possibility for flex from the force of the arm is all but eliminated.

The Par Move Concept also means far less space is required as all movement is achieved through a series of pivots on the front of the machine. The machine sits flush with its back to the wall and allows over 1 metre of space to be recovered.

Par Move also offers far greater precision than traditional tilt arm machines. The movement of the mounting head on a traditional tilt arm is carried out through sliding parts and manual adjustments. The pins and bushings of the Par Move parallelogram system are far more precise.

The 813XL also includes a QuadraClamp 4 cylinder turntable and brand new IntelliPro dual assist arm system which gives users the simplest, most effective and most ergonomic twin-assist arm design Hofmann Megaplan have ever produced.

The 813XL is available now to view online. Call the Hofmann Megaplan team on 01480 8-9-10-11 for more information and to arrange a free live demonstration.

The ULTRA Package that Sells Alignment For You

Ssence Ultra package

Hofmann Megaplan is set to offer the most advanced 3D alignment system available to date on the market. But the ULTRA is more than just a 3D aligner.

The stunning design and slick operation of the market leading Ssence 3D wheel aligner has now been integrated with the easy to use, compact yet powerful TreadReader. The result? A next level alignment package that offers the owner ULTRA revenue potential.

The ULTRA is the first system to include technology designed not only to carry out alignment, but to actually help the end user sell both alignment and tyres. The ingenious handheld 3D TreadReader allows the technician to grab a full appraisal of the tyre condition in seconds, providing an on-screen or printed report. This gives the vehicle owner a clear insight into the adverse wear on their tyres and the need for alignment.

It is the complete integration of the products through the provided megaTab that makes the ULTRA both unique and intuitive in how it is operated. The addition of the TreadReader alongside the market leading Ssence 3D means alignment engineers can truly capitalise on the potential offered from owning a computerised alignment system.

Managing Director, Mark Berryman commented “Hofmann Megaplan are pleased to have been able to take our market leading 3D alignment solution and empower users to maximise its capacity. It is fair to say that the ULTRA offers a full wheel alignment servicing solution from prospecting phase right through to aligning. It’s like having your own dedicated tyre and alignment salesman full time.”

Hofmann Megaplan are pleased to exclusively offer the ULTRA alignment package, the only system with integrated TreadReader technology, at a discounted launch rate. Call the team now on 01480 8-9-10-11 to find out more.

The Wheel Alignment Blog | Watch the Steering!

Following a standard service and adjustment, there is nothing quite as frustrating as putting your alignment system away, only to find customers complaining that the steering wheel isn’t straight when the vehicle is driving in a straight line. 

This month we are going to look at a very common issue. Its one that regularly turns out to be the cause of misalignment yet is mostly nothing to do with your alignment system at all. However, it is all to do with how you use it. I’m going to tackle the all too common issues with alignment relating to the steering wheel straightness.

Following these steps and tips should help ensure the steering wheel and alignment match up every time:

  1. Firstly, ensure your machine is correctly calibrated
  2. Ensure your turn plates are in good condition (See last month’s Blog)
  3. Complete your vehicle pre-checks, I.E Tyre pressures, Tread wear, joint play etc.
  4. Check to see if you have clean lenses (CCD) or targets (3D)
  5. Ensure the clamps are fitted evenly around the rim
    • Ensure run out is done if using uncalibrated clamps I.E. 4 point
  6. Always use 4 wheel alignment, not 2!
    • 2 wheel alignment is only suitable for old vehicles where the rear wheels are hidden under arches.
  7. You should not be sitting in the car when you put on the steering wheel clamp on. Instead, lean into the vehicle to avoid any change to the bump steer in the car.
  8. Remember: clamp your steering wheel straight as that is where it will be when driving straight ahead.
    • Many customers clamp the steering wheel near the end of a castor swing believing the computer is asking you to clamp when straightening the front wheels.
  9. Continue with your alignment, bearing the below potential issues in mind.
Green on your alignment system

ALWAYS REMEMBER: You are not just looking to get all numbers on the readout green! The same numbers either side indicate a straight steering wheel.

Post Alignment Check

At the end of the alignment process, and just before you start to remove the heads/clamps, on select systems you are able to click back to the front toe screen in the alignment program. If you remove the clamp and wiggle the steering wheel from side to side, the numbers on the screen should change accordingly. Now try and equal the toe numbers either side. Stand back – the steering wheel should be straight. If not, re-centre the wheel and re-adjust the toe.

Steering Wheel Alignment Issues to look out for:Track rod mis alignment

  • When undoing seized or tight lock nuts, the extra force used could move the steering wheel around. It is only the steering wheel clamp that holds the front wheels straight so be careful!
  • I’ve found a lot of customers will heat up locked nuts or track rod ends to get them moving. As we know though, heat expands the metal and this can mean your system will give the incorrect readings. You can solve this by first getting the nut to move freely, then cooling it down with a cloth soaked in cold water. Now make the adjustment. You should be replacing the track rod ends as new MOT laws now forbid the heating of these components

Crabbing alignment issuesCrabbing

Crabbing is a common term used by mechanics and customers alike, but it should really be referred to as a vehicles thrust line. This is the direction that the rear road wheels/ axle are pointing.

On more basic alignment machines, such as laser or even some computer systems, it is important to check the rear alignment as well. Failing to ensure the rear wheels are in-line with the front may cause the vehicle to “crab”. This will mean you’ll never get the steering wheel straight. The driver of this car would be turning their wheel to the left just to drive straight!

It is important to understand that the rear wheels are dictating the direction of the car and the front wheels are only compensating to keep the vehicle straight or steer. This is why it is important to find the thrust line and compensate for it when using lasers.

Note: Most modern computers will compensate for this issue.

Author | Warren Carr | Wheel Alignment Specialist

My name is Warren Carr and I’m from the team of alignment engineers at Hofmann Megaplan. I will be using this blog to regularly highlight some practical hints and tips which will help you, our garage professionals, achieve great results with your equipment, no matter the make of alignment machine.

Hofmann Megaplan Celebrate Success

The Hofmann Megaplan team celebrated in style this weekend at the companies annual Summer Party 2018.

This year’s summer party offered the opportunity to congratulate all staff for what has been the most successful 6-months in the history of the company, making it a phenomenal first half to 2018.

This result is a testament to the knowledgeable and hard working team at Hofmann Megaplan. Their expertise has seen some huge orders across the board secured. This includes the range of tyre changers and wheel balancers that have become the bell-weather of garage equipment in the UK and Europe.

Ever growing in reputation in the same markets are the vehicle lifts offered by Hofmann megaplan. They are lighter, stronger and more robust than the competition. The wheel alignment machines range ensures equipment to suit every budget and requirement of even the most demanding garage or dealership. Add to this commercial equipment, nitrogen inflation and air conditioning machines and the range of garage equipment available and its success within the marketplace are truly great.

On every occasion the sales & scheduling teams have worked in harmony with our skilled engineers to ensure delivery, setup and training have been seamless, leaving customers satisfied every time.

The dedicated sales team, finance, parts, admin and management all had a great time celebrating what is turning into an amazing year for Hofmann Megaplan. Rest assured though, they will all be back ready to take your orders or answer your queries from Monday morning.

Give us a call on 01480 89 10 11 or request a callback.

Automechanika 2018 | Review

Hofmann Megaplan was pleased to see so many delegates from the automotive aftermarket and vehicle production sector at Automechanika 2018.

The 3-day event took place at the NEC, Birmingham and saw Hofmann Megaplan launch a number of new products including the OWB (One Weight Balance) technology for wheel balancing.

It was a record attendance at the show which also saw over 500 suppliers from over 26 countries set up stands in the 3 halls which the event took over.

New from Hofmann Megaplan

megamount 813xl

megamount 813xl on display at Automechanika 2018

Pulse 8 and megamount 813xl both in action at Automechanika 2018

The Hofmann Megaplan stand was pushed for space with a wide variety of machines in operation for delegates to inspect. This included the brand new megamount 813xl which proved popular on its show debut. As the first of its kind in the market, this tyre changer is a fully automatic machine but without a traditional tilt back arm.

The Hofmann Megaplan team were on hand to explain to delegates how the innovative parallelogram design operates the mounting head with control and precision, removing all flex while fitting.

 

Pulse 8 at Automechanika 2018

The new Pulse 8 Wheel Aligner on show at Automechanika 2018

Wheel Alignment & Balancing

Alongside the OWB technology for balancing, a brand new wheel alignment system was also available for preview at the show. The Pulse 8 sits between the Ecoline 88 (ccd) and the Ssence 600 HD (3d) and is available to order now. Simply call 01480 8-9-10-11 to find out more now.

Automechanika 2018 proved a valuable opportunity for delegates to see the full range of wheel alignment machines Hofmann Megaplan offers side by side. If you missed out then a visit to the fully operational live demonstration showroom can also be booked by calling 01480 8-9-10-11.

The OWB (one weight balance) balancing software program that will be featuring on multiple machines, including the ms420, ms820, ms1200 and ms2000 was on show at Automechanika 2018. This was its first outing with many delegates impressed at the benefits the system can offer. For more on how OWB works speak to one of our experts today or arrange to visit us for a demo.

 

Mark Berryman at Automechanika 2018

Managing Director of Hofmann Megaplan Mark Berryman (right) with the team and delegates

In Summary

Managing Director, Mark Berryman said of the event “This was an extremely well run and slick operation. I take great pride in any opportunity Hofmann Megaplan has to showcase its incredible range of machines and Automechanika never fails to draw in the right crowd from all areas of the automotive and garage sectors. We look forward to returning next year.”

 

 

 

Gallery

Other images from the Hofmann Megaplan team at Automechanika 2018:

We hope to see you at Automechanika 2018!

Automechanika 2018 Stand M117 Hofmann Megaplan

5-7 June 2018 | NEC BIRMINGHAM | HALLS 6, 19 & 20

Hofmann Megaplan is pleased to be exhibiting at Automechanika 2018, the UK’s leading exhibition for the automotive aftermarket and vehicle production sector.

This year we will have a wide variety of equipment and experts on hand to talk you through every aspect of our machinery.

We will be exclusively showcasing two brand new pieces of equipment. The megamount 813XL is the first tyre changer of its kind in the marketplace; a fully automatic machine, but without the traditional tilt back arm! This Tyre Changer uses an innovative parallelogram design to operate the mounting head with control and precision, removing all flex while fitting.

Automechanika 2018 stand Hofmann Megaplan

We will also be launching our new wheel alignment system, the Pulse 8. This Italian aligner is changing industry standards! The Pulse 8 from Hofmann Megaplan is the wheel alignment machine that fills the gap between our Ecoline 88 (ccd) and the Ssence 600 HD (3d). This launch will also be accompanied by a new balance program. This will feature on the MS420 and is an OWB program (one weight balance) which is completely new.

Speak to our team at Automechanka to find out more on stand M117 and see images from the show set up below.

Free Tickets Registration Automechanika 2018 Show

The Wheel Alignment Blog | Turn Plates

Alignment Turn plates Banner

I’m going to start this blog series by talking about one of our most common issues those working with wheel alignment equipment can face, and that’s turn plates.

If not used correctly, turnplates can cause big problems when trying to achieve a straight steering wheel. Whats worse it can lead you to produce different results each time you attempt to align the same vehicle which quickly becomes infuriating.

Steer Clear of…

Some garages will try and use their MOT plates to save time and these can be ok to just turn the wheel and look for defects. The risk is that they get covered in dirt and that will get into the plate and cause a restriction. To complete an alignment accurately the plates need to be completely free moving.

Others might use their old style dish type turn plates. These most commonly come from an older laser system. They will turn but don’t slide, meaning they build up tension and can give you wrong results.

Another common mistake made by alignment engineers is simply not using the pins provided. This is surprisingly common and can cause irreversible damage to your to your wheel alignment system.

Remember to…

We should always drive on the turn plates with the pins in. As soon as you are ready to remove a vehicle from your alignment station, put the pins in. Failing to do this can lead to damage when the car is reversed. The plate can tilt and bearings become loose, impacting the accuracy of your machine.

Damage Turnplates when not using pins - Hofmann Alignment Blog

Loose balls due to not using the supplied pins.

Some people simply fail to maintain their turn plates. Metal bearing plates will need regular lubrication for example with grease. Nylon bearings don’t need any grease or oil but should be cleaned regularly depending on usage by removing the top plate and brushing out any dirt.

Damaged turn plates and ramp example

Loose bolts can lead to damaged turn plates and impact other equipment. This damage can be seen in the above example.

Bolts can also come loose and put vehicle weight directly onto the ramp. This means that the free movement needed to complete accurate wheel alignment is not there.

You can check your turn plates by pulling the car side to side freely. Any restrictions felt will likely cause issues.

Author | Warren Carr | Wheel Alignment Specialist

My name is Warren Carr and I’m from the team of alignment engineers at Hofmann Megaplan. I will be using this blog to regularly highlight some practical hints and tips which will help you, our garage professionals, achieve great results with your equipment, no matter the make of alignment machine.

Commercial Vehicle Show 2018 | Review

Hofmann Megaplan Stand at CV show 2018

The CV Show 2018 was a huge success with over 50 Live Demonstrations taking place on the Hofmann Megaplan stand over the 3-day event.

Hofmann Megaplan was pleased to return to the NEC once again for the biggest event in the commercial vehicle calendar. As well as live demonstrations the show saw Hofmann showcasing its extensive range of truck equipment including truck tyre changers and wheel balancers.

Representing Hofmann Megaplan at the event was Sales Manager Andy Ringrose, who said “The CV Show once again run a seamless event which was as enjoyable from an exhibitor perspective as delegates.

352 Tyre Changer at the CV Show 2018

I would just like to personally thank everyone that took the time to stop by our stand for a chat and to see the 352 Commercial Truck Tyre Changer demonstration. We appreciate the importance of seeing a piece of equipment like this in action which is why we enjoy the CV Show so much and the video we also captured while there. We look forward to more events of the same standard.”

The Commercial Vehicle show 2018 took place at the NEC in Birmingham from the 25th to the 27th of April 2018. With approximately 21,000 people in attendance across the 3-day event, it has continued to hold its place as the best-attended event of its kind. You can register for free delegate tickets to the CV Show 2019 now.

Live from the CV Show 2018:

Andy Currell, Equipment Specialist & Technical Support for Hofmann Megaplan was on hand throughout the event to demonstrate the megamount 352 Truck Tyre Changer. You can see a video below of the full demonstration.

Interested in finding out more?

If you missed us a The CV Show 2018 or are interested in finding out more about the Commercial Vehicle tyre equipment Hofmann Megaplan can provide there are a number of ways to get in touch. You can call us now on 01480-89-10-11, email enquiries@hofmann-megaplan.co.uk or request a callback.

Our team are always on hand to help advise on the best solutions for your requirements when it comes to providing a first class service in your garage, tyre bay or workshop. You can also visit our fully equipped and working showroom.

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