ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Workshop Machinery-wheel alignment machine new and used automotive equipment.

Updated on April 11, 2011

Many motorist get their wheel alignment done at the dealership, their auto shop or at the larger tire sellers who fit replacement tires, sell wheels and do wheel alignments at the same time.

Although running a wheel alignment service in a standard auto workshop has been a shrinking market for years now, you can still make great money from wheel alignment if you have the space, some advertising money and the right machinery.

Marketing strategy for an alignment service for a small general workshop is based around other profit centres such as disc and drum brake lathe and suspension rebuilding tools. If you have wheel balancing and tire service combined with brake and suspension repairs you have a good mix.

Balco wheel aligner

Small markets.

Wheel alignment can be included in a workshop that has enough room for the extra bay or bays, or is already laid out for hoists with space in front of the hoist of about 8 ft. to allow easy walk through past any bench or alignment equipment.

The key to getting a wheel alignment set-up to work is to have the right operator and to find the right clients.

If you have car resellers and tire specialists in your neighbourhood they will often outsource suspension work. Your job is to be thorough in finding the best client match for your business.

Car-yard work is usually poorly paid, and we all know that right? Well I go against the grain here, and offer the whole service. Brake machining is profitable, as is brake reconditioning, strut replacement, and replacing bushes etc.

The best way I know to attract work is to be good and fast at what you do, and these days that means good equipment even if you are not a big shop.

A Molnar four post wheel alignment capable hoist.

Alignment hoist with facility for turntables and a jacking beam to lift individual or both wheels off the hoist plate.
Alignment hoist with facility for turntables and a jacking beam to lift individual or both wheels off the hoist plate.

Equipment and set up cost.

You will need.

  • A market of course!
  • Two alignment capable hoists, one dedicated.
  • A reliable tire wholesaler.
  • A good quality well priced supplier of suspension components with fast delivery or pickup.
  • A flat floor and a permanent place to set up your alignment machine in front of the hoist.
  • A mechanic/operator fully trained in suspension and the operation of the exact model of wheel aligner you own or lease.
  • A brake lathe

Cost of equipment will be around $40,000 with new quality equipment, and between $16,00 and $20,000 for quality refurbished units from someone like my American friend Bob.

Servex wheel clamps

So how can wheel alignment make money?

If you buy wisely and spend less on your equipment you can get a feel for this market rather quickly. If you are in the USA you need to speak to Bob at Allstates

Bob has the biggest selection of used wheel aligners you will ever see in one place. He ships too!

Some wheel aligners are far superior to others in broadly differing ways, some require a lot of space, others very little. Ask Bob or his staff.

Any aligner must align all four wheels very accurately and quickly to be really useful these days.

A used set-up is a good alternative sometimes as new equipment is mostly very expensive. You can still buy spare parts for machines that are 30 years old in most countries including America, England, Europe and the USA.

If you decide to buy second-hand, buy quality.

Quality hoists, quality wheel clamps, quality turntables, quality on-hoist suspension jacks and a John Bean or similar quality wheel alignment machine.

String aligners.

The larger manufacturers still make string aligners, but also have the latest in microwave, laser, camera, reflected light and other technologies as well.

The wheel clamps if used need to fit the new larger wheels, but be aware that there are many adaptors out there for quality clamps to do the job and take wheel sizes up to 23" Another good reason for buying the best.

There are many manufacturers of new wheel alignment machinery. Here are some of the well known ones.

Beissbath Ammco, Hoffman,  John Bean, Hunter being some better known makes , and although some have been good, many more have been troublesome to some degree. Others have been downright horrible!

Units that involve mounting delicate receiver/sender heads on the wheels with long cables running across the floor are asking for trouble yet this is still a common way to do wheel alignments and these machines are still made today.

By the way I will say that a top operator can run an old string aligner machine if he and his staff are smart enough to set up the alignment bay so that only the one operator walks inside the designated alignment area around the heads.

The problem for the workshop owner is that if the operator trips over a cable it may pull the head off the wheel. Dropping a head needs to be a federal offence! I have repaired many heads and the components are expensive as hell, and sometimes the time setting up for testing can eat up several hours of labour time!.

Wheel alignment Heads commonly cost $1,200 to $4,000 each to repair.

That is a lot of wheel alignment money down the tube, and a good reason to use a different type of system.

Unfortunately all alignment systems are not equal, and selecting the right new alignment machine that will work in your workshop can be a pain.

Hoffman wheel aligner


Hunter 411

Nice and compact with good head mounts.
Nice and compact with good head mounts.

I am assuming here that I am talking to a small operator with top mechanics and unused capacity. To do alignments you need good mechanics with full training on the machine of your choice.

It is a lot easier to enter the alignment market if you already have the space, ability and capital required all sorted first of course.

The best equipment list is subjective when it comes to wheel alignment.

If you get an operator he comes with the knowledge of what he has used in the past. That does not mean the machine he was using was the best or that he will even know how to switch your machine on or use it to align wheels.

I know some old timers who can get great results from their ancient almost historic wheel aligner. The same guys can usually repair it themselves as well. There are some exceptionally talented older mechanics in the market still, and it has been an honour to know many of them through selling them hoists, wheel aligners, brake lathes, injector cleaners, gas conversion equipment, engine lifters, hydraulic presses, high pressure cleaners and hundreds of items that go into a workshop including hand tools and air compressors, air tools, cutters paint booths etc. I had 2500 mechanical workshop owners on my customer list at one time.

That is a big number of independent small businesses and workshops, yet all could earn a living because they are generally good at what they do. I can attest to the successful ones mostly of course as they bought more machinery from me as they expanded their workshops.

to secure more breadth in the auto repair market place, I would always combine alignment with a disc rotor and brake drum machining service using an Ammco 4000 series brake lathe.

I would do this in house to avoid hoist downtime and increase both market share and profit. Machining makes a nice net profit for most operators who can follow simple directions properly.

The way your business presents is very important always and wheel alignment bays need to look tidy with all alignment components carefully put in their place on the alignment machine when each job is completed.

With wheel alignment work, the same principals apply to making a profit as for other workshop repairs and adjustments.

it is the initial job assessment that is the hardest part to get right.

If the alignment is a mess because of poor maintenance generally, thus worn filthy suspension components with broken rubbers on components the job is gonna cost a bomb and the owner needs to know that. In these cases I take 2/3rds of the estimate up front if I take the job at all, and in many cases it is best to pass on these jobs. Learn how to spot them and pass them nicely to your competition!

It becomes an art form!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • ElenaHarris profile image


      2 years ago

      I'm thinking of opening a tire shop in a very rural area of west tx. Im still in the planning stages. But if anyone has insight or device. I sure would appreciate it.

    • profile image

      amara faouzi 

      8 years ago

      pls will you send me any adresses for wheel aligner second hand

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Hy mehul,if u want 2 purchase wheel aligner u should go with hunter or hofmann,both are machines are world best machines and guranteed satisfaction to customers

    • profile image

      Mehul soni 

      8 years ago

      Hello sir,

      I am Mehul Soni from India and I am making plan to start the wheel alignment service center in my city. so please suggest me name of some good quality machine manufacturing company's name in india. and what is minimum space required for the service center.

    • profile image

      Nana Yaw 

      8 years ago

      Please how can i get manual for Hoffman Wheel Alignment machine 1991

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      sir,i am mailing u from india,i have wheel aligner of hofmann dynaliner 321,will u pls provide me its spare part,as the machine is old,hofmann dnt give me response about its spare parts.

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      You will be able to buy both from Bob at

    • profile image

      fragapane andrea 

      9 years ago

      I want to know the price of BALCO ALIGNER WHEEL AND HUNTER 411. power to send in Italy?

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Hello hardmoving, thank you. I am still adding to all my automotive articles regularly.

    • hardlymoving profile image


      9 years ago from Memphis, TN

      Very informative.

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      I'm out of the trade as far as running workshops and supplying equipment. I just write now, but thank you for the compliment Kevin.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      i will like to work with you

    • notepanya profile image


      9 years ago

      Thank you rockero.

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Thank you rockero.

      I have many more hubs to write on automotive machinery.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Nice work, a lot of info.

      Thank you.

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Thank you Paradise7 I do like to help if I can! Workshop equipment and machinery is very specialised.

    • Paradise7 profile image


      9 years ago from Upstate New York

      Terrific hub, Earnest. How much information you manage to pack in, in a very interesting way. Thanks!

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Thank you Hello, hello. I wish I had a week to spend on writing this hub on wheel alignment. :) I have so much more to say about it. This hub will need to grow!

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Great comment Candie and spot on.

      Whatever profit centre you install, it has to be supported by exceptional service to keep them coming back for the next job.

      As usual, I have enough material to write a 6,000 word hub on it. I may have to break this wheel alignment hub into series to cover all the wheel alignment equipment and how to use it profitably. :)

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      9 years ago from London, UK

      I enjoyed your informative, comprehensive hub. Thank you.

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 

      9 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      Great hub on wheel alignments Ern! This isn't a job with much 'repeat customers' which most businesses need (if the job's done correctly anyway). Shame the boys went broke, however! Thanks Ern!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)