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Increase Your Profit with These Inspection Lane Essentials

A Jeep Wrangler enters a service lane garage and drives between two alignment check towers and a flush mount Coats tread depth scanner in the ground

In your shop, time is of the essence. With cars in and out of your bays on a day-to-day basis, you need the most up-to-date equipment that is reliable and will get the job done quickly. Enter vehicle inspection products that can not only save you time by finishing multiple jobs in a matter of seconds but also build customer trust thanks to the creation of a detailed, easy-to-read report to help your customers make an informed service decision.

Technicians or customers can drive their car through your shop’s inspection lane, and in around three seconds, it will take measurements such as tire tread depth, alignment and brake pad condition– and so much other data depending on the equipment you have. Then, the system will provide a

detailed report including the make, model and year of the vehicle, as well as proper alignment specifications to be compared to the laser measurements. The report can be especially helpful for immediate issues that need fixing before the customer leaves the shop, as well as potential issues that need to be addressed down the road. Not only is this a tool for customer transparency, it also creates additional service opportunities, which means more profit for your shop. Let’s dive into the different equipment your inspection lane could have.

Tread Depth Scanner

Tread depth scanners are a must-have in today’s shop environment. Equipment such as the Coats Tread Depth Scanner uses LED, high-resolution cameras to scan the tire’s tread and provide tread depth readings in 32nds of an inch so that you can know the condition of your customer’s tires instantly and whether they need replacing before they leave. Knowing the condition of your customer’s tires leads to more service opportunities for your shop, and puts service advisors in a consultative role with customers about their tire health. It also educates the customer to make an informed decision on buying their next set of tires. Plus, if you are the first to recommend new tires to a customer, they are 75% more likely to purchase tires from the first person that recommends them, and customers will be more likely to plan out a new tire purchase with you down the road.

Alignment Check

The Coats Alignment Check towers use high-tech laser technology to measure the wheel alignment as soon as the car enters the inspection lane. After taking wheel alignment measurements, the data is then sent to a system where service advisors can access a “Service Manager Dashboard” that, along with the Tread Depth Scanner, provides more data for the vehicle’s inspection report. The system shows which cars do not need an alignment check using easy-to-understand graphics color-coded green or red, showcasing the problem areas in red on each side. The system also shows which wheels are candidates for a quick measure of alignment and which need an alignment immediately– all with no technician present.

Vehicle Damage Detector

No lasers this time, but the Coats Vehicle Damage Detector uses high-definition cameras to capture the state of the vehicle’s exterior. It also uses automatic number-plate recognition technology to read vehicle registration plates and personalize the inspection report based on that vehicle’s service record. Explaining pre-existing damage to your customers and providing repair estimates means the customer is more likely to come to you for help or a recommendation. The documentation can also relieve some stress for shop managers and technicians as you can wave goodbye to the days of fraudulent body-damage claims.

Return on Your Investment

These three tools can also be helpful for tracking daily analytics. With the Service Manager Dashboard, your shop can display data to reveal lane activity and service trends. The three components – the Coats Alignment Check, Tread Depth Scanner and Vehicle Damage Detector – work separately. They can be broken out in reporting, but they easily integrate to provide a complete picture of the customer’s service needs.

How can these three tools help build your profits, though? Let’s say you inspect around 50 cars in your shop a day. Since 35% of vehicles are candidates for an alignment before they even pull into the bay, 50 vehicles could mean a return on your investment in as soon as 24 months. Heck, let’s say you are a smaller shop and get 25 vehicles per day inspected- that is still a return on your investment in less than three months.

Read the article here on Tire Review.