Center section repairs on trucks are best performed using frame rack rather than bench
Madison, Ind.–The American love affair with trucks continues, with sales of pickups outpacing declining car sales month after month. Through August 2016, sales of light-duty trucks are up 8 percent year-over-year, versus car sales that are down 8 percent.
Structural frame damage to those larger body-on-frame vehicles, including diamond and twist, impacts the entire truck. That kind of damage can exaggerate any damage on the ends, so the center section must be returned to square before trying to repair damage elsewhere. A square center section provides a properly aligned structure for any sectioning or cutting work on the ends to be done correctly.
Center section repairs on trucks are best performed using a frame rack rather than a bench. For pickups, vans and SUVs, frame machines offer those advantages over benches:
• Provide a bigger working surface for the larger vehicles.
• Can be set up to anchor one rail tightly, while allowing the damaged rail to be pulled back to square in the center section.
• May allow multiple simultaneous pulls to be made with equalized pressure, preventing ripping, tearing, bending or rolling of the steel.
• Provide the greater pulling power needed to straighten advanced steels.
• Easily hold the vehicle in multiple places, providing more working surface for making repairs on the ends of the vehicle.
“Today shops are doing more sectioning and cutting, and less pulling, but on light-duty trucks you have to pull the hardest structures back first so you’re lined up to do work on the ends,” said Bob Holland, director of collision sales in North and South America at Chief. “For example, the Chief Goliath frame rack can be used to repair diamond and twist frame damage on trucks weighing up to 12,000 lbs.”
The widest frame rack on the market, Goliath is made for larger vehicles, he said. At 92 inches wide and 22 feet long, it provides technicians with the room to work on even the largest duallys without having to remove the truck’s wheels. Variable deck heights from 19- to 40-inches lets technicians put the truck at just the right working height.
The Chief Goliath pulling system provides 360-degree pulling anywhere around the deck perimeter, allowing for ganging of towers and simultaneous multiple pulls. It is the only collision rack on the market with full cross bars, which easily allows one frame rail to be held tight and the other rail loose enough to be pulled back into place.
Goliath features an electric-over-hydraulic pulling system to equalize pressure to all towers in use. It provides 10 tons of pulling power at the hook, an important benefit since advanced steels are making it necessary for shops to use more pressure than ever before. Competitive systems may use 10-ton rams, but by the time the pressure gets to the hook and the vehicle it’s attached to, the pressure could have dropped to as little as four tons.
Goliath is compatible with Chief’s LaserLock Live Mapping™ measuring system that can measure up to 45 individual points on a vehicle simultaneously in real time – more than any other system – so technicians can monitor dimensional changes as they occur during pulling, reducing the risk of putting additional damage into the vehicle.