BendPak Blog

How Can I Stay Competitive in the Auto Repair Market?

June 16th, 2016
1951-gm-lesabre

Back to the future: the groundbreaking 1951 GM Le Sabre

In the United States, there are currently 1.1 vehicles registered for every one person in the country (16-years-old and over). Simple math says there are more cars than people in America, and this is good news for the auto industry. Vehicles will always need to be serviced, and it’s nearly impossible to outsource this industry overseas. For both car enthusiasts and shop owners—and just about everyone who drives or will drive a car—the auto landscape is quickly changing in profound ways. The changes will affect everything about the owner/car relationship, and if auto-related businesses and DIY’ers (BendPak falls into this category) don’t stay on top of the market, their ability to service vehicles on both the professional and DIY levels will be reduced or fundamentally restricted.

The concept boils down to one idea: auto mechanics need to educate themselves in a much more “techy” manner than in the past, if they want to be able to service newer, more digitally-controlled vehicle processes. Plus, Mechanic under car consulting futuristic interfacethe auto repair industry, like it or not, is shrinking. Let’s look at some industry-busting stats. Millions of technicians are retiring now or in the near future, and there are not millions of young techs to replace them. At the same time, cars are lasting longer than ever before; the so-called “sweet spot” for aftermarket repairs today (6 – 11 years old) will only increase by the year 2020. In the next five years, the market will see 76 million vehicles at least 16 years old. This means that cars fitted with today’s technology are here to stay, which in turn means technicians need to be prepared to handle these advanced vehicles if they want to stay relevant against a shrinking and increasingly competitive base. Given that only 25% of car owners get their repairs done at dealerships, there’s no reason to believe Mr. and Mrs. Smith from the neighborhood won’t be stopping by your shop… if you’re certified to work on their vehicle. Also consider that while a little over half of the car market is projected to remain domestic, shops that service less-common sports cars, such as Ferraris and Jaguars, are going to stand out in the sea of professional shops that aren’t equipped for these jobs.

The best news for anyone who works on vehicles today is that many of the traditional methods of auto repair will always be in fashion. We’ll always need to get under our cars with lifts or jacks, and the sort of equipment that BendPak deals in (tire changers, air compressors, etc.) will always have a place in the auto field. Still, time only moves forward: technology improves and global safety standards become stricter, which means we have to constantly adapt our product lines to keep up with the times. If we didn’t, we’d be out of business by now or losing to our competitors. (Fortunately, this hasn’t been the case!)

Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi

Perhaps the biggest market change today is the switch to digital processes. This is more than an engine diagnostic on a laptop or tablet, although these devices remain incredibly useful. At this point in time, your ability to stay certified in new repair methods and car technologies is essential, and the one thing we know about technology is that it’s only going to get crazier, more impressive and more difficult to learn if we don’t keep up. Updated shop equipment needs to be purchased regularly, so unfortunately for customers and shops alike, expensive technology, training and equipment upgrades mean service costs aren’t likely to decrease any time soon. The few out there in the DIY sector who are able to keep up, however, are likely to flourish (the mythical half mechanic / half tech-pro).

DIY’ers out there might already be familiar with the Raspberry Pi, a nifty little computer chip that costs around $40.00 and allows technologically inclined users to program and track diagnostic information, repairs, software upgrades, etc. It’s a massive money-saver for the DIY crowd. On the other side of the fence, professional shops can program this sort of device to do almost any auto-related task. Remaining tech-savvy will help assure customers that they will always get the best from your friendly, motivated shop.

Wireless connectivity is another game-changing feature that’s fast becoming more and more a part of the auto repair world. Car manufacturers are already able to send downloadable upgrades, which potentially reduces body shop involvement in the upkeep of complex vehicle functions. This translates into lost revenue for auto shops. On the other hand, all technology, especially wireless technology, has the potential to break or malfunction, and anything on the web is vulnerable to hacking. Service shops certified to handle a multitude of wirelessly controlled devices will have a leg up on dealerships and other competing shops, but it will take an ongoing dedication to hiring and training auto mechanics on 21st-century services and technologies.

2013 Tesla Model S Dashboard Display

2013 Tesla Model S Dashboard Display

To this end, shop trainers need to bolster their response to increases in vehicle telematics, which refers to “the branch of information technology that deals with the long-distance transmission of computerized information.” We’re close to the day when auto shops across the country will be able to wirelessly deliver engine diagnostic data to customers before their cars even make it into the shop. This signifies a very real shift in the services you need to offer if you plan to stay ahead. Can you envision how powerful of a tool remote diagnosis could be? The marketing potential alone is worth the cost of getting your auto repair business prepared. Not to mention, you’re creating huge savings for customers and inspiring their trust, which means repeat business, which means referrals, etc. And that’s just one example of the changes to come!

By the way, digital content and marketing efforts are increasingly crucial to generating income. Ever notice how the company with the larger online footprint beats out the competition 100% of the time? Your competitors are collecting data on virtually every single move your collective customer base makes: web search results, price ranges, likes on Facebook, and so much more. Are you using the Internet to its full potential to attract customers and cut excess spending?

At BendPak, we try to stay ahead of our competition by offering customers as much access to our services as possible, including responsive toll-free customer service lines, Internet orders, multiple email contacts, etc. We also know we can always do better, so we’re constantly improving our products, website and means of connecting with our distributors. Even little details, ones that show our customers we keep up with the times, go a long way.

Are your mechanics ready for the new era of auto repair?

Are your mechanics ready for the new era of auto repair?

So here’s the bottom line: BendPak / Ranger products are always going to service your needs in the best way possible, but once we lift that 7,000-lb. Ford™ F-250 in the air, it’s up to you to have the right tools to deal with the new aluminum panels, advanced telematic displays, digital system checks, etc. Whether you work in a shop or from your own home garage, put in the work to stay ahead of the times and be happier (and richer) in the long run.

Happy Memorial Day 2016!

May 27th, 2016

We at BendPak / Ranger wish to honor our fallen loved ones and soldiers who gave their lives in the service of our nation. It is a privilege to work in this country and have the freedom to pursue our own goals as we see fit. We hope you take some time this weekend to make and share memories with your friends and family.

Have a great, relaxing Memorial Day—if you see them, please give a BIG thank you to our service men and women, police officers and anyone dedicated to making this country a better place.

 

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BendPak to Unveil New Warehouse and Shipping Center by Early 2017

May 20th, 2016

BendPak ExpandingSANTA PAULA, CA – May 2016— At BendPak, Inc. headquarters in Santa Paula, California, cement trucks now circulate a dug-out 3.7-acre patch of land. This is the spot where BendPak announced their 70,000 sq. ft. multipurpose warehouse and shipping center in late August 2014. The addition extends their reach in Santa Paula to over 300,000 sq. ft. (15 acres) of covered land dedicated to manufacturing, shipping and warehouse facilities. Delays in construction and city planning have pushed BendPak’s unveiling to early 2017, but construction is now well underway. This is great news to BendPak president and owner Donald Henthorn.

“We remain focused on growing and will continue to increase the size of our facilities to accommodate it,” he said. “This new building expands our operations without having to move and disrupt our day-to-day operations.” The new complex will allow BendPak to accommodate more shipping orders, which have skyrocketed in the last few years, as well as the innovation and shipment of new products that are still in development.

BendPak does not want their facility expansions to stray more than a block or so from their current Dove Court office. “We are excited about this further expansion,” said Javier Arias, Vice President of Operations. “The fact that the property sits right next to our existing location and became available for purchase presented a great solution.”

Leadership at BendPak is confident the new facility will be a great complement to their existing warehouses, which means shipping and deliveries will occur faster than ever, as well as ensure the company can handle a higher volume of both production and orders. The new expansion is expected to be completed by spring 2017.

About BendPak Inc.: BendPak manufactures car lifts, parking lifts, pipe benders and air compressors. Their Ranger brand includes tire changers, wheel balancers, brake lathes, vehicle lift products and a wide variety of garage equipment. BendPak, Ranger Products and BendPak-Ranger related marks are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of BendPak Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. For more information contact BendPak Inc. at 805-933-9970 or visit their web site www.bendpak.com. General press inquiries: info@bendpak.com

Artist rendering of BendPak’s new 67,000 sq. ft. warehouse and shipping center.

Artist Rendering 2016 Bulding

BendPak’s New Two-Post XPR-S Series Models Feature Telescoping Screw Pads

May 19th, 2016

2-Post Screw Pad Adapters
Santa Paula, California – May 2016 –BendPak recently unveiled an entirely new series of two-post lifts that feature two-stage telescoping screw pads. The recent total model overhaul includes other design enhancements that focus on structural integrity and design to meet and exceed ever-changing world safety standards. Their new XPR “S” series lineup, available in 9,000 and 10,000-lb. capacities, also features stackable risers that can be used in conjunction with the adjustable screw pads for even greater versatility.

These easy-to-adjust screw pad assemblies feature precision threaded receivers that drop into enlarged 60-mm holes positioned at the ends of the telescoping lifting arms found exclusively on BendPak’s latest “S” series models. Also available are 44, 63 and 125 mm stackable adapters that increase versatility even further and help speed up vehicle set-up times while better accommodating varied vehicle chassis.

About BendPak‐Ranger: BendPak / Ranger manufactures car lifts, parking lifts, pipe benders, and air compressors. Their Ranger Products brand includes tire changers, wheel balancers, wheel aligners, brake lathes, and a wide variety of garage equipment. BendPak and Ranger related marks are registered trademarks of BendPak Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. For more information contact BendPak Inc. at 1-888-856-5820 or visit www.bendpak.com. General press inquiries: info@bendpak.com.
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Bendpak / Ranger to Feature Sleeker, Updated Logo in Spring 2016

May 19th, 2016

SANTA PAULA, CA – May 2016—BendPak / Ranger recently announced a slight update to their iconic logos. The new logos evoke a clearer identity and fresher look for a brand globally associated with value and durability.

New BendPak Ranger Logo

“When the BendPak brand was first introduced, our logo included words that we feel are no longer necessary,” said Jeff Kritzer, BendPak’s Sr. Vice President of Marketing. “Nowadays, the names BendPak and Ranger sell themselves and our products are recognized across the globe. As our brands evolve, we want our branding messages to keep pace. BendPak is known to be a forward-thinking company and this is just another example of how we’re not afraid to change.”

BendPak is giving their dealers and press agencies a June 15, 2016 deadline to cease using old logos. The new logos can be downloaded in high-resolution by clicking below:

Download New BendPak Logo (png)

Download New Ranger Logo (png)

Download New CHROME BendPak Logo (png)

Download New CHROME Ranger Logo (png)

About BendPak Inc.: BendPak manufactures car lifts, parking lifts, pipe benders and air compressors. Their Ranger brand includes tire changers, wheel balancers, brake lathes, vehicle lift products and a wide variety of garage equipment. BendPak, Ranger Products and BendPak-Ranger related marks are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of BendPak Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. For more information contact BendPak Inc. at 805-933-9970 or visit their web site www.bendpak.com. General press inquiries: info@bendpak.com

That’s a Wrap

February 16th, 2016

Babco's New Van

At BendPak, we recently got the privilege of seeing our Canadian dealer’s new service van and we can honestly say it’s the sexiest looking truck in the fleet.

Surrey, BC-based Babco Sales Ltd. recently purchased a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500 high roof cargo van for the transportation and delivery of BendPak and Ranger service equipment throughout Canada’s western provinces. With the increased demand for both local and out of town deliveries, Babco’s management saw no better way to meet those demands than to add another commercial truck to their growing fleet. But simply having a truck was not enough. They realized that nothing would deliver their message more clearly or more rapidly than to apply a vinyl wrap to the new van. They wanted to incorporate branding appeal and turn the new service vehicle into a virtual rolling billboard.

Babco collaborated with the graphics team at BendPak and the creative geniuses as Wrapguys.com Enterprises to create a vision that showcased their mission statement; being Canada’s automotive equipment leader.One of the major benefits of wrapping with vinyl is the vibrant colors that can be produced which allowed us to print exactly what we envisioned”, said Garth Anderson, Babco Sales co-owner. “Wrapguys passion for quality and customer satisfaction clearly earns them the highest possible standard in the industry. Their quality of work far exceeded our expectations.”

The sides of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500 showcases Babco’s anchor products including BendPak’s surface mounted vehicle service lifts and Ranger’s wheel service equipment lineup. On the rear of the van, meant to be an illusion of a typical homeowner’s garage, is a smartly placed image of one car parked on top of another luring passersby into the realm of residential car storage. “When we added the BendPak parking lift on the back featuring two sports cars parked on top of one another, it tied it all together”, said Bruce Buckborough, co-owner of Babco Sales.

Their new flagship of the fleet is sure to be seen by millions. In fact, Transport Canada, Canada’s highway administration reports that a vehicle outfitted with an advertisement generates 12,000 impressions per day in a typical city, which means that an average of 300,000 people will be exposed to their advertising message each month. Coming to a city near you, Babco is proud to “roll forward” in this new phase of their business.

About Babco:
For over 25 years, Babco has been Canada’s automotive equipment leader. Their product line includes car lifts and vehicle hoists from BendPak, wheel service equipment from Ranger, exhaust pipe benders, spray wash cabinets, commercial air compressors, waste oil heaters and boilers, oil filter and can crushers, and collision repair frame racks. Through their Automotive Equipment division, Babco is uniquely positioned to provide Canadian technicians and shops with world class automotive equipment at the lowest prices. Combined with their guarantee to consistently offer the best value comes their commitment to providing superior after sales support. For more information contact Babco Sales Ltd. at 800-661-5313 or visit www.babco.ca.

Babco Van 1

 

Babco Van 2

Babco Van 3

Babco Van 4

BendPak joins forces with the boys of the dirty south for Street Outlaws: New Orleans

February 15th, 2016

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Be sure to tune in when the new series Street Outlaws: New Orleans brings big racing and big money to the Big Easy.

BendPak will play a critical role in assisting this nitrous-breathing band of renowned car builders, racers and on-air personalities with their specialized automotive needs. Look around their shops and you’ll see BendPak two-post lifts and four-post lifts complimented by some Ranger wheel service equipment including our new Target 3D-Pro Wheel Aligner and other shop essentials.

The new series, which premieres Monday, February 22 at 9pm ET/PT on Discovery will be featuring no one else but Big Chief’s number one nemesis, Kye Kelley and his third generation Camaro “The Shocker”. In addition to keeping his “Cash Days” and “Mega Cash Days” crown, Kelley wants to put The Big Easy on the map for street racing.

Kelley’s friends Scott Taylor and Bobby Ducote play equally important roles making sure the boys from Drag Racing Dirty South Style represent. Bobby “Lil Legend” Ducote will be piloting his insanely clean 1971 Maverick and Scott Taylor will be thundering his newly turbocharged “John Doe” Olds Cutlass down America’s back alleys and asphalt strips.

Rallying this motley crew of New Orleans racers will prove to be a challenge with high stakes, bigger battles, more smack talk and faster cars than the show has ever seen.

STREET OUTLAWS: NEW ORLEANS is produced for Discovery Channel by Pilgrim Studios; Craig Piligian and Sam Korkis are executive producers. For Discovery, Craig Coffman is executive producer, Todd Lefkowitz is coordinating producer, and Robin Humbert is associate producer.

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Make Room, California

February 1st, 2016

BendPak's New Shipping Center coming Soon

Construction and city planning delays pushed back our expansion exactly one year, but we’re happy to announce that we’re back on track. Construction is finally underway on our new state-of-the-art shipping center.

The new facilities will increase BendPak’s capacity to process and ship higher order volumes than ever before. This comes just in time to meet the projected demand for BendPak/Ranger equipment over the next years.

Construction begins on BendPak's new shipping center.

The two additional acres are located just to the south of the main BendPak headquarters and will house a 67,000 square-foot warehouse and shipping center. President and CEO Donald Henthorn anticipates that, “This new building expands our operations without having to move and disrupt our day-to-day operations.”

In addition to the new warehouse and shipping center, we recently acquired two additional acres just north of our existing property that will act as an inventory and staging yard for outbound shipments.

Shipping

The past staging yard has been transformed into a massive truck loading facility for both domestic and international shipments.

Land Expansion Staging

The recent acquisitions brings BendPak’s Santa Paula headquarters to just shy of ten beautiful Californian acres.

BendPak Property Expansion

BendPak Appoints New Director of Sales

October 23rd, 2015

Pat Weber, New Director of SalesPat Weber has recently accepted the position of Director of Sales and Business Development with BendPak‐Ranger. In his new role, Weber will work closely with current interdepartmental managers to further develop

BendPak’s global market position. His key focus will be on strengthening external sales channels by collaborating with BendPak’s distribution network while also developing traditional and nontraditional market segments.

“We are thrilled to welcome Mr. Weber to our management team. He brings a wealth of knowledge and know‐how and will be an integral part of our growth plans. His vast experience in transportation and logistics management and his ability to nurture strong, lasting relationships made him an ideal candidate to carry BendPak’s vision forward,” said Jeff Kritzer, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

Prior to joining BendPak, Mr. Weber held sales and operational positions at Fortune 500 companies such as YRC Worldwide and RR Donnelly earning both Presidential and Chairman Awards. He has extensive experience in sales and business development, client relationship building, business communication and transportation efficiencies. Pat received his Business Management & Accounting Degree at Kent State University.

“We are very fortunate to have someone with Pat’s expertise and reputation join our growing family. It allows our executive management team the opportunity to focus on what they do best – introducing new products and improving existing ones, strengthening our global marketing and distribution initiatives, and improving our manufacturing efficiency,” mentioned Don Henthorn, BendPak President.

Leepu & Pitbull & BendPak

August 3rd, 2015

Leepu & Putbull

BendPak has been proudly outfitting the finest automotive talent on TV since, well, they started making reality television shows starring fine automotive talent. Our latest partner in automotive mayhem and make-right is History Channel’s new hit series, Leepu & Pitbull.

The show follows the weekly exploits of the two titular craftsmen as they take seemingly worthless materials and transform them into customized super cars.

Nizamuddin “Leepu” Awlia is a Bangladesh native who began customizing and restoring cars in his native India. He first became enamored with all things vehicular when his father took him to a car show in Saudi Arabia when he was 16. He garnered fame for such creations as the Leepu-mobile, the Leemo-bil, and the Angel Car. This is not his first TV show. Leepu also starred in Chop Shop: London and Bangla Bangers. Uniquely, Leepu isn’t too big on drawing or writing any of his own designs. Instead he finds inspiration in his materials and just dives in with two hands, beating and cutting sheet metal into spectacular submission.

Steve Tromboli, or as he’s better known, Steve Pitbull is the other half of the dynamic duo and has been working in shops and garages since his teens. A gifted mechanic, Pitbull was able to turn his passion for fast cars and powerful engines into a thriving business after only a few short years. His other passion is turning old junk into brand new gold, which lucky viewers can witness weekly.

If you’re not tuning in, you’re missing out. Make sure you check out Leepu & Pitbull on History Channel. Or watch episodes online right now!

 

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