Chief Automotive Technologies’ new Universal Structural Holding (USH) Clamp System lets shops upgrade existing frame racks from a variety of manufacturers to properly repair vehicles made with aluminum and high-strength steel. The USH Clamp System works with Chief’s Structural Holding Package to hold a collision-damaged vehicle at strategic locations along the body, so it does not shift out of place during the repair.
“Damaged aluminum body panels on modern vehicles often have to be sectioned and replaced, and high-strength steel frames should be carefully anchored before being pulled,” explains Richard Perry, OEM & strategic account manager for Chief parent company Vehicle Service Group (VSG). “Although many existing frame racks are not equipped for these tasks, our Universal Structural Holding Clamp System lets shop owners cost-effectively upgrade their existing racks instead of purchasing a new rack. The system comes with more than 50 components that can be combined in a variety of ways to secure a vehicle, and it can be used with any frame rack. This reduces the risk that a vehicle will be further damaged during the repair process.”
Chief introduced the Structural Holding Package earlier in 2014 for Chief frame racks, which feature rectangular mounting holes in their decks. The new USH Clamp System makes it possible to use Structural Holding Package components on racks with any treadway design, including those with non-rectangular holes.
Instead of traditional holding bases that fit into the deck holes, the USH Clamp System comes with bases that clamp onto the inner and outer edges of the deck’s treadways. This provides a universal fit that works with nearly any frame rack. The clamping bases are available to fit treadways as narrow as 16 inches and as wide as 34 inches. The bases can alternatively be mounted using long bolts threaded through the deck holes.
Once the USH Clamp System bases are secured in place around the vehicle’s perimeter, the technician can build a secure connection up to each strategic holding point. The Structural Holding Package includes long and short fixtures, extension tubes, vice clamps, plate attachments and other components that provide the technician with the ability to secure the vehicle at the frame, suspension mounting points or upper rails.
The USH Clamp System-equipped Structural Holding Package (P/N 300021) comes with a dedicated tool board. Each tool is outlined on the board for easy organization, and the entire board sits on four rolling casters so it can be moved around the shop.