By Tony Ashmore and Brian O’Reilly
With each damaged car that rolls into your repair shop, there’s a unique set of challenges. Perhaps it’s a vehicle hit hard on the front end that needs the motor taken out or a whole corner destroyed. In the automotive repair industry, safety and efficiency go hand in hand. Part of that safety is the ability to move these damaged vehicles around your shop with ease, especially when they arrive in various states of disrepair.
With our combined forty-five years of experience working in the world of collision repair, we have a unique understanding when it comes to these kinds of issues. Having worked throughout the shop, we can see both the technician and management perspectives, ensuring safety isn’t being compromised when trying to increase productivity.
Depending on the shop, the need for specialized equipment like wheel dollies and vehicle movers can vary. For minor issues such as a flat tire or a damaged wheel, most of the time you can get away with a wheel dolly, setting that one damaged corner of the car on a platform, and making it mobile enough to move around the shop.
However, when it comes to more significant repairs, a vehicle dolly or a half vehicle dolly becomes a necessity to elevate the vehicle by its hub or frame and allow for more convenient mobility around the shop. There’s a lot of risk involved in moving vehicles, so shop safety using the correct dollies is essential. Having vehicles in the right spot or getting vehicles out of key bays or shop floor spaces is important to the flow of the business, allowing other jobs to be completed while waiting on repair parts.
Like many specialties within the automotive repair industry, the right vehicle moving equipment is not one size fits all and depends on the specific needs of the repair shop and the type of work being performed. The choice between wheel dollies and vehicle dollies is ultimately up to the individual shop, and these tools’ effectiveness can significantly impact the efficiency and safety of operations.
From our experience, wheel dollies, when used for short distances or on smooth concrete floors, are pretty universal. It’s once you start to deal with shop floor cracks, grates, taking the car out of the shop and onto gravel (or worse, battling potholes), that you might start to encounter some mobility issues, which is why it’s important to pay attention to the wheel dolly’s caster size, durability, etc. If you’re considering a new vehicle dolly or half dolly, depending on the size and demands of your shop, investing in systems with the largest, most flexible casters covers the most range.
At US Auto Supply your solutions start with US. With a collective mission to provide the most innovative tools, equipment and resources that empower collision and mechanical repair shops, dealerships and hobbyists to thrive, US Auto Supply, parent company to four legacy brands—Collision Services, Auto Body Toolmart, I/D/E/A, and Sid Savage—is dedicated to delivering excellence, innovation and unmatched service. We offer many different product choices within the vehicle moving category, like our PROLific™ Mighty Mover or products that attach to a hub like EZ Roller Spinner or GUNIWHEEL. Find which tools are right for your shop. Visit https://www.usautosupply.com/category/vehicle-movers.
Tony Ashmore has held multiple roles over the 20+ years of his automotive career, providing him with a wealth of knowledge as it relates to detailing, quick lube service, body work, mechanical work, painting, parts management, estimates, production management and general management. As a Product Manager at US Auto Supply, he’s bringing his years of experience working in an array of body shops and collision repair facilities to the table to spearhead the production of new products that will better serve technicians on a daily basis.
Bringing over 30 years of experience across quality control, procurement, product development, sourcing, and general management, Brian O’Reilly has spent significant time in different areas of the automotive sector, working with automotive parts manufacturers, parts suppliers, and collision repair facilities before accepting the role of Product Manager at US Auto Supply to bring better solutions, products and service to the automotive repair industry.
Sponsored by US Auto Supply.