We all know standard tire shop equipment: Tire changers, tire balancers, and maybe a lift or brake lathe. However, every tire shop is different, and for some, more varied equipment is the gateway to higher profits.
In our most recent survey, we asked our independent tire dealer audience what new hardware or software they’ve considered recently, giving them options between newer technologies like mobile tire scanning equipment, alignment metrics reporting, tire health report card software and even a robotic tire changer.
Now, the response for that last option, robotic tire changers, was that 12% of dealers surveyed said they already have one and another 15% are considering one. I, personally, was amazed the number would be that high for this technology – and that’s no beef against the technology itself, I just thought it was so new that reception wouldn’t quite be that high yet.
We asked the other 73% why they are not considering a robotic tire changer right now. Those tire dealers ranked their respective No. 1 reasons, and the top two answers, equalling 73% of responses between them, were the equipment’s expense and space constraints. Among other answers were a few that you might expect when judging something so new – dealers weren’t sure how much trust they could give it yet, they said they weren’t familiar with its operation and didn’t yet want to invest the time to learn, and some even said that they work on too many specialty tires and wheels and were afraid the technology wouldn’t work for their particular business.
Moving on, robotic tire changers aren’t the only new equipment that tire dealers are considering. Potentially, any piece of equipment is new if it’s new to you. So, we asked tire dealers what piece of shop equipment they plan to buy next. The No. 1 answer? “I’m not sure.”
That No. 1 answer might mean that for 35% of those tire dealers surveyed, they have equipment that is working well for them and don’t anticipate anything going wrong anytime soon. However, on the flip side, it might mean these tire dealers aren’t excited enough about what’s out there to make a switch, or perhaps they aren’t even aware of their options.
Those who did know their next equipment replacement told us it would be tire changers, lifts, and wheel balancers, and over half of the dealers said this was due to either updating technology or adding additional capabilities that are lacking with their current equipment.
Now, finally, we also asked our audience what equipment qualities were most important to them when selecting new shop equipment, asking them to rate different attributes from 1 to 5, 1 being the best. The choices were durability, ease of use, technology, brand reputation, price, and warranty. No. 1 was durability, and the least important attribute was the equipment’s warranty.
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