Offering insight into the buying behaviour of trade customers, PMF casts an eye over sister publication Professional Motor Mechanic to explore the products, services and industry news stories that have been the talk of the trade over the last month.
Kicking off Business & Training, Lucas Oil walked PMM through its new series of seminars at the Lucas Oil Academy. The company invited 86 students to take part in what Lucas Oil’s Director of Sales and Operations, Dan Morgan, described as a “grass roots to top rank performance strategy”, having been conceived as a way to boost awareness about additive technology amongst young technicians.
The academy focuses on how problem-solving additives can be used to provide more environmentally friendly solutions to a range of mechanical issues. The main point that the company was attempting to drive home was that some parts don’t always have to be replaced straight away – additives can help to extend product life.
PMM also discovered that Lucas is keen to involve more students from other colleges as the programme develops, setting its sights on working with distributors to extend the programme to form an additive roadshow with local technicians.
Next up in Diagnostics & Engine Management, Delphi Technologies explained how Pass-Thru diagnostic tools can allow independent garages to access dealer-level programming, amongst other benefits. The company details the lack of awareness surrounding this technology, and how many workshops could potentially be missing out on enhanced revenue. The DS-Flash Pass-Thru tool, for example, helps independent workshops to stay independent by enabling them to bypass franchised dealerships rather than having to call on them for data access or help with the repair of new and advanced technologies. Dephi’s UK Technical Sales Manager, Paul Sinderberry, highlighted that these tools were also created to help tackle complex software issues, a familiar problem facing technicians as they struggle to keep up with the latest technology and training; with the J2534, for example, technicians can have access to VM data from scratch in as little as three hours, contained within a simple onedevice solution. The company also provides vital on-site training, covering subjects such as setup and web portal permissions.
In Tools & Equipment, Boston Equipment described how it went about creating an MOT lift to meet its customers’ specific needs. According to Boston, feedback from its customers highlighted a demand for a small but sturdy lift that would meet DVSA regulations for garages with limited space. Another important requirement was the need for the lift to be compatible with a 130mm recess, in order to suit existing groundwork for ‘grandfather rights’ MOT stations replacing old lifts. The company explained that despite its smaller dimensions, a 630mm wide platform was able to be integrated into the design, meaning that the lift can accommodate the track width of larger vehicles like the Ford Transit. Safety first, Boston also reassured PMM that a significant 70mm increase per platform means that testing and repairing these types of vehicles is much safer. As a company that also carries out servicing work, Boston claimed to understand the importance of ease of access and repair, and made sure to leave enough space between components in the design so that repairs can be completed as quickly as possible.
On to Winter Service & Lighting, Trico explains why wipers shouldn’t be sold as a purely seasonal product. Trico’s Senior Brand and Product Manager, Sam Robinson, details how wiper blades are often a “forgotten product” among consumers, as they have “no definite failure point” – it can therefore be difficult for motorists to notice when they need replacing. Sam believes that pushing the sale of wipers throughout the year will result in them becoming a “constant revenue stream for workshops”, and that the education of best practice and care will also increase sales. Technicians can offer maintenance tips, such as ensuring that wiper blades don’t start up on a frozen or snowy screen, which can tear the rubber from the blade. Trico recommends that this method of raising awareness, along with placing a display of wiper blades in the reception, for instance, will serve to create a steady stream of revenue for workshops and factors alike.
Sealey then took readers through some of the brand new lighting products it was offering in the New Year. One such product is the rechargeable floodlight/inspection lamp docking kit, which Sealey described as a versatile product complete with a torch that can pack a punch of up to 500 lumens, controlled via a dimmer switch.
6mm thin and able to be rotated 180°, it can be used to navigate and illuminate hard-to-reach, tight spaces. It is also ideal for hands-free use, with a built in hanging hook and three magnets. Another product that Sealey recommends stocking is the rechargeable head torch, containing a 5W COB LED spotlight with a 40° angle adjustment. This product also features the handy dimmer switch, which can adjust brightness between 20 and 100%. The light also contains four improved modes: on, flash, auto sensor, and off. Also improved from previous models is the addition of a rechargeable 3.7V 2.2Ah Lithium-ion battery.
Finally, Bosch guided workshops through the cold season, explaining the importance of service life and performance. According to the company, the development of extensive and advanced equipment within vehicles has hugely increased the stress placed upon batteries. Systems such as seat heating, stop-start systems and air conditioning induce more stress than batteries can often handle, which is why Bosch strongly recommends that batteries are checked during routine workshop visits. The company explains that batteries are additionally burdened during the winter – power consumption is increased while battery capacity decreases. Therefore, it’s vital to consider performance and service life to ensure that the battery is reliable during tough winter conditions. Bosch explains that its battery programme and the S3, S4, S5, S4 E(2) and S5 A(3) contain a wide range of high quality types to choose from.