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Lift Maintenance/inspection


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How often does your shop do this? Also, two of my lifts have leaking pumps does $250 each sound right for repair of each pump (4 pumps each). The repair guy says that it needs a new seal.

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I'm sorry, I'm not sure what pumps you're referring to on your lifts. We've had safety cables, pistons, & even a lift cylinder replaced before. Are you referring to the hydraulic pump itself?


Although it's not a requiredment in our state, we have all of our lifts checked/serviced once per year by the same, certified service company that installed them. Our take on it was that if we hope to be able to encourage our customers to appreciate the value in preventative, or regular maintenance on their vehicles, we sure as heck should be taking our own advice on our shop equipment!


I've found that we get really fair treatment from the service company that comes out. Because they know we're interested in taking care of our lifts, and further understand that as our needs grow that it's THEIR company we'll be counting on - it was easy to get the multiple lift "discount", on this annual checkup. Furthermore, they appreciate that we're flexible in letting them service one or ALL of them in the same day, giving them the ability to fill holes in their service schedule, and get my inspections, adjutments, lubrication, etc. all done in a week or so. (or all in the same day)


If they indicate the're coming in to make a day of it, we try to schedule one of our regular "Boss is buying lunch" days to correspond, and we include their service staff. Just taking care of the people that take care of us!

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I have it marked on my calendar to check them every month. Our alignment lift gets heavy use and a cable last about 2 or 3 years. Our service company was charging us $500 for the cable and they had to order them. I have found a company local that will make them for us for $150. What held them up was the ends had to be ordered, so I bought some extra ends to keep on hand. They can get a cable made in one day now and we put it on our self. That lead to us doing most of the lift service in house.

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Doing lift service and having inspections done are two different things OOooo.


I service my lifts as well. I have a background in hydraulics so it's pretty easy stuff. I don't do my own inspections though. I want that piece of paper from a certified company should there be an accident. Lot easier for my insurance company to cover an accident if I go " yep, I've got it inspected per the law".



Granted in Comifornia, I mean California, it's the law we have to have lifts inspected annually. However, there aren't any " agents" out to inforce it. If the state has a hard on, they usually go after bigger companies that have deeper wallets anyway.



The on,y reason I do it is to keep my guys safe and insurance happy.

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      Auto shop owners are always looking for ways to improve production levels. They focus their attention on their technicians and require certain expectations of performance in billable labor hours. While technicians must know what is expected of them, they have a limited amount of control over production levels. When all factors are considered, the only thing a well-trained technician has control over is his or her actual efficiency.
      As a review, technician efficiency is the amount of labor time it takes a technician to complete a job compared to the labor time being billed to the customer. Productivity is the time the technician is billing labor hours compared to the time the technician is physically at the shop. The reality is that a technician can be very efficient, but not productive if the technician has a lot of downtime waiting for parts, waiting too long between jobs, or poor workflow systems.
      But let’s go deeper into what affects production in the typical auto repair shop. As a business coach, one of the biggest reasons for low shop production is not charging the correct labor time. Labor for extensive jobs is often not being billed accurately. Rust, seized bolts, and wrong published labor times are just a few reasons for lost labor dollars.
      Another common problem is not understanding how to bill for jobs that require extensive diagnostic testing, and complicated procedures to arrive at the root cause for an onboard computer problem, electrical issue, or drivability issue. These jobs usually take time to analyze, using sophisticated tools, and by the shop’s top technician. Typically, these jobs are billed at a standard menu labor charge, instead of at a higher labor rate. This results in less billed labor hours than the actual labor time spent. The amount of lost labor hours here can cripple a shop’s overall profit.
      Many shop owners do a great job at calculating their labor rate but may not understand what their true effective labor is, which is their labor sales divided by the total labor hours sold. In many cases, I have seen a shop that has a shop labor rate of over $150.00 per hour, but the actual effective labor rate is around $100. Not good.
      Lastly, technician production can suffer when the service advisors are too busy or not motivated to build relationships with customers, which results in a low sales closing ratio. And let’s not forget that to be productive, a shop needs to have the right systems, the right tools and equipment, an extensive information system, and of course, great leadership.
      The bottom line is this; many factors need to be considered when looking to increase production levels. While it does start with the technician, it doesn’t end there. Consider all the factors above when looking for ways to improve your shop’s labor production.
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