Offering a variety of services to your customers is one way to make your heavy duty repair shop more profitable. The more you can do for a client, the easier you make their life. For example, proper alignment saves fleets as much as 2.2% on fuel per truck, according to TruckingInfo. So, you may want to consider adding alignment services to your bag of tricks if you don’t offer them already. It could mean investing in heavy duty alignment machines, but it might be one of the more profitable moves you make.
What are Heavy Duty Alignment Machines?
The latest heavy duty alignment machines are high-tech equipment. They make it easy for you to effectively and efficiently check semi truck alignment. The equipment consists of computerized sensors, cameras, and a collection of LEDs. The tech clamps the cameras onto the truck’s wheels. They transmit their positions to the computer, which coordinates that information with the data from the LEDs and sensors. From all of this, the tech can see whether a truck is out of alignment and where.
These heavy duty alignment machines make it possible to complete an alignment check and service in about an hour. What’s more, it’s easy to check the suspension during an alignment job to see if there are worn parts. It’s an important issue that isn’t typically considered during a heavy truck inspection. If suspension repairs are needed, that opens the door for more work and more revenue, and it also lowers the future repair costs for your customer.
Considering the Cost
You can see that offering alignment services is lucrative, but you need to decide whether it makes sense to purchase heavy duty alignment machines. On top of the cost of the equipment, you also have to factor in training your techs to use it.
The price tag on heavy duty alignment machines goes into the tens of thousands of dollars. Say you charge $200 to $220 for a 3-axel alignment. If your shop were to do 40 alignments per month (2 per day for 20 work days in a month), your bottom line would immediately increase by $8,000/month. In figuring out how quickly you could recoup your initial investment you have to factor in parts, labor, and overhead. However, you could have your money back in a matter of months.
On the other hand, if you don’t have the cash for heavy duty alignment machines or simply don’t want to hassle with the extra work, there are other options. You could lease the equipment, which would generate increased revenues immediately without the huge investment. Alternatively, you might consider partnering with another shop to do it as a sublet or outside service. The other shop already has the equipment and expertise. You sell the service, they do the work, and your shop marks up the service for being the middleman.
In conclusion, whether you invest in heavy duty alignment machines or decide to add alignment service in some other way, it’s worth considering for the value to your shop and your customers.