Jump to content

Battery Impact Guns

Recommended Posts

We periodically distribute our employee handbook and shop practices manual to the whole staff and they are supposed to sign a receipt for each acknowledging that they have read and will comply. This time a relatively new tech told our admin person he would sign. Why not? Because under the section about wheels and tires it says "do not use battery operated impact tools to perform final installation of wheel attachment hardware." He had a big expensive half inch drive battery impact and thought he should be able to use it for everything. I was very proud of myself for not going out there and telling him to do what the hell I said. I calmed down and put the justification for the rule in writing.


Here it is:



Wheel installation is arguably the riskiest operation we perform in terms of the potential disastrous results possible if performed incorrectly. Engines and transmissions failing catastrophically pale in comparison when you consider the results of a wheel coming adrift at speed.


To minimize the risk and the corporation’s liability, we have established what we feel is the best and most reasonable approach. It is based on a standardized process, tools with known capabilities, and technician experience and training. Some companies require that all lugs be torqued manually to manufacturer’s specs. We have adopted a less stringent process, but one that is accepted practice in our industry and has minimal impact on technician productivity. Implementation of this process depends on the following:


  • A compressor with adequate pressure and volume to insure that it is capable in almost all circumstances of providing more torque than needed for the types of vehicles we service.


  • Half-inch drive air impact wrenches that are known to provide more torque than needed for the types of vehicles we service.


  • Torque sticks that limit the torque to approximately manufacturer’s spec.


Battery-operated tools have permeated our industry and in most cases they are easier to use and offer improved productivity. There are great performers and not-so-hot performers. There is no way for management to evaluate the performance of every impact gun that appears in the shop and there is no way to determine the continuing performance of those tools as their batteries discharge and deteriorate with age.


The standard process for wheel installation at First Landing Autocare incorporates the use of professional-grade half-inch air impact wrench connected to shop air supply with the correct torque stick for the application. Battery impact guns are not to be used for final tightening of wheel fasteners.



How does the group feel about this?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Battery impacts are very strong these days, 18v Fuel impact is stronger than most 1/2 air impacts.


That said I have heard they don't work well with torque sticks (not sure why). And with that said, all wheels should be torqued with a torque wrench to make sure they are not under tightened (although they may be over tightened).


Myself if I have a 100 ft-lbs wheel nut, I tighten it with a 80ft-lbs Torque Stick then finish it off with a torque wrench. But I don't stress speed over being accurate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



I love my staff, I really do. They are some of the most dependable men & women in the industry, highly skilled, with a generally positive attitude, and with a reasonably healthy pride about the manner in which they complete their tasks. There's not a single member on the team that I would "cherish" losing, and each one of them would create a unique vacuum of lost talent if I lost one of them.


That being said...


When we add an addendum to our employee handbook that requires the staff to read/sign off on the policy, I do the best I can to educate them all on the rationale behind the change or newly implemented policy, and frankly, the understanding is always clear....there is no room for debate at that point, nor is there even the slightest possibility that any one them think that they have the lattitude to tell me they refuse to sign the document.


Once I had a gentleman ask (during a meeting) if he could speak to me immediately afterward regarding some of the meeting's topic material. He withheld the signature on the policy update, until after we had the chance to talk, which I respected. All he wanted was clarification on a few of the details he didn't understand, and although he admitted that he wasn't entirely happy with the new procedure, he wrapped up our talk with an affirming tone, and reitterated how much he appreciated the company he worked for, and the relationships with his coworkers.


If I decide that the new uniform standard makes it mandatory to wear purple socks to work...everybody better be ready to go Plum Crazy.


Just one man's tale of a mutaully respectful, happy team.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've yet to see a torque stick under torque anything. Dfrisby - check your psi or air tool quality. A standard IR2135 will overtorque every time if gone around twice. I verified my torque sticks, the 80's come in at 100-110, the 100 does 120-130, the thick 120 will snap the stud eventually. 100lb/ft won't warp a rotor in a star pattern.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As we do updates to our manual, the employees signature is only to show that they have read and received a copy. It does not state that they agree with it. If they disagree or don't follow it, that's a different story, also covered under the policies and procedures.


As far as the torquing of wheels, our policy is that you don't get a second chance. ANYONE caught not torquing a wheel with a torque wrench will be terminated. No torque sticks allowed in the shop. I know it sounds harsh, but it is dealt with at the first interview with an employee and it is one of the few things that I demand 100% from my crew. I have a friend with a shop that was working on his friends daughters car. She was on the freeway and a wheel came off. She was able to gain control of the car and stopped in the fast lane. Another car came from behind and hit her. She died at the scene. So, in short, he killed his friends daughter. Imagine living with that the rest of your life. The day I heard that story, my policy took effect. We will not put our customers lives in danger over a few minutes of insuring 100% correctly torqued wheels.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Like most I started out with air tools while working in shops but as I grew my shop out of the ground I never really had a good air system set up, so I used battery impacts, drills, and even ratchets. Even now with a nice quiet screw drive compressor and a manifold with hose reels coming down in all bays I sill like my battery operated tools. My rule for employees is that you may tighten a well on with an impact at its lowest setting and then they must be torqued with a torque wrench that I provide.


And yes the new milwaukee FUEL tools are as badass as they look.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

      A recent study, done by Harvard Business School, concluded that the real problem with attracting and retaining employees has more to do with the workplace environment, not pay or benefits. While the study did find that an adequate pay plan and offering an attractive benefits package did help with recruiting and retention, it’s not enough to satisfy the needs of employees, especially those of front-line workers.
      The study also stated that in 2021, many companies were convinced that giving raises, sign-on bonuses, and other perks would solve the worker shortage problem and prevent people from quitting. However, this strategy did not work. So, what does work regarding attracting quality people and keeping them employed?
      Essentially, it all comes down to the culture of your company.  Management: do all it can to consider the individual needs of your employees. Your employees want to feel that they have a voice, that their opinion counts, and that their role in your company is both respected and recognized. Yes, pay and a great benefits package will go a long way toward making your employees feel secure, but that’s only financial security. People want more than money.
      To attract and keep top talent requires creating a company that people feel proud to work for. You need to reach the hearts and minds of your employees. Become a leader that people are enthusiastic about working for. You want your employees bragging to their friends and family that your shop is a great place to work!
      Step one to attracting and retaining quality employees: Create an amazing workplace environment for your employees!  Trust me, happy employees make happy shop owners too!
  • Similar Topics

    • By Transmission Repair

      Premium Member Content 

      This content is hidden to guests, one of the benefits of a paid membership. Please login or register to view this content.

    • By Transmission Repair

      Premium Member Content 

      This content is hidden to guests, one of the benefits of a paid membership. Please login or register to view this content.

    • By carmcapriotto
      In this episode, Carm Capriotto sits down with a panel of automotive professionals who share their experiences at the Leadership 2.0 Program from the University of the Aftermarket. They discuss the importance of professional development and improving leadership techniques in the industry and how the program helped them bond with fellow service professionals. Johnny Weber, the owner of Weber's Automotive in Dayton, Ohio, was the focus of their project. Find out how they helped him transition from a technician to a shop owner and the importance of resources available in the aftermarket industry. Johnny Weber, Weber's Automotive, Dayton, OH.
      Jason Caldwell, Director of Sales/Partner RPS Marketing
      Alda Rodriguez, Sales Manager, Service Dealer Solutions, Epicor Software Corporation
      Lindsay Maurer, Stanard Motor Products, Pricing Manager, North American Business
      Show Notes
      Introduction to Leadership 2.0 program (00:00:06) Leadership 2.0 program from the University of the Aftermarket Importance of professional development (00:03:39) The importance of professional development and improving leadership and organizational culture techniques in the automotive industry. Rallying around Johnny Weber (00:03:30) The guests discuss how they built their entire project for the Leadership 2.0 program around Johnny Weber and his place in the industry and how they bonded with fellow service professionals during the program. Leadership 2.0 program (00:05:12) How Johnny Weber transitioned from technician to shop owner through the Leadership 2.0 program and the importance of industry resources. Overwhelming experience (00:07:00) Johnny Weber shares his overwhelming experience during the Leadership 2.0 program and how it helped him with his business succession plan. Learning from different perspectives (00:08:03) The big takeaways from the Leadership 2.0 program include gaining new perspectives on the automotive aftermarket industry and learning from different roles and perspectives. Leadership and Professional Development (00:09:49) The importance of professional development and improving leadership and organizational culture techniques in the automotive industry is discussed, including the need for service professionals to speak to suppliers and manufacturers about their challenges. Networking and Professional Development (00:14:43) The importance of networking and professional development in the automotive industry, including the role of podcasts and coaching. Succession Planning (00:15:46) Succession planning and the role of mentorship and coaching in the industry. Professional development (00:19:18) Carm Capriotto offers to produce a podcast format for any next project from Leadership 2.0 that wants to present, emphasizing the importance of professional development. Connecting with fellow service professionals (00:23:13) New Perspective on Industry (00:26:43) Insights gained from the Leadership 2.0 program Thanks to our Partners, AAPEX and NAPA TRACS.
      Set your sights on Las Vegas in 2023. Mark your calendar now … October 31 - Nov 2, 2023, AAPEX - Now more than ever. And don’t miss the next free AAPEX webinar. Register now at AAPEXSHOW.COM
      NAPA TRACS will move your shop into the SMS fast lane with onsite training and six days a week of support and local representation. Find NAPA TRACS on the Web at NAPATRACS.com
      Connect with the Podcast:
      -Join our Insider List: https://remarkableresults.biz/insider
      -All books mentioned on our podcasts: https://remarkableresults.biz/books
      -Our Classroom page for personal or team learning: https://remarkableresults.biz/classroom
      -Buy Me a Coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/carm
      -The Aftermarket Radio Network: https://aftermarketradionetwork.com
      -Special episode collections: https://remarkableresults.biz/collections
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By cooterdavenport1
      Looking to get off of pen and paper for ROs and estimates but unsure what tools to take a look at. Can some people tell me what they use, what they like about it, and what they don't like?
    • By carmcapriotto
      We recently had the pleasure of attending a customer appreciation event put on by Tim Chakarian of Bommer PHD in Pasadena, CA. Tim did such an amazing job with this event that we had to have him on to talk about it. Listen in to get inspired, and take plenty of notes for your own event!
      Talking Points
      What made you want to host this event? This was not your first one. How to plan for an event - compare this event to your previous ones.  Moving shop around Go visit another shop’s event - take ideas away Who to connect with to pull off a great event Partners? Vendors? Chambers? Professionals? (Renting tables/chairs, photographer, DJ, food, etc) Marketing the event Fliers Emails Social posts FB Event Chamber What to do while you are at the event hosting Delegate and let others do their thing When folks arrive - orient them to what is going on Introduction - what do you say? Prizes, Entertainment, Bounce House Announcements - what are you saying? Mingling - close conversations by introducing someone to someone else & thank them for coming Introducing others Cleanup and reorganization Follow-up - what to do after the event? Debriefing, review notes Anything you’d change/do differently? What’s your next event?  
      How To Get In Touch with Cinch CRM
      Website - https://cinch.io/ 
      LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/company/cinchplatform/ 
      Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/CinchPlatform/ 
      YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/@CinchPlatform 
      How To Get In Touch with Shop Marketing Pros
      Group - Auto Repair Marketing Mastermind
      Website - shopmarketingpros.com 
      Facebook - facebook.com/shopmarketingpros 
      Thanks to our partner, RepairPal. Visit the Web HERE
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio

  • Our Sponsors

  • Create New...