ALI Launches Certified Lift Inspector Program -

ALI Launches Certified Lift Inspector Program

The Automotive Lift Institute (ALI) kicked off the world's first third-party vehicle lift inspector certification program on Oct. 31 with a two-day event at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. More than 300 industry professionals attended the ALI Lift Inspector Certification Program orientation.

The Automotive Lift Institute (ALI) kicked off the world’s first third-party vehicle lift inspector certification program on Oct. 31 with a two-day event at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. More than 300 industry professionals attended the ALI Lift Inspector Certification Program orientation. Attendees included lift inspector candidates, ALI members, and vehicle repair business executives interested in learning more about how certified lift inspectors can help their companies. The event concluded with a surprise visit from seven-time NASCAR Champion Richard “The King” Petty.

It is crucial for technician safety that all vehicle lifts be inspected at least annually by qualified automotive lift inspectors. This requirement is found in the ANSI National Standard covering vehicle lift operation, inspection, and maintenance (ANSI/ALI ALOIM: 2008), which is included by reference in regulations throughout the United States and Canada. However, until now there have been no independent national vehicle lift inspection licensing or certification programs.

“As OSHA and other health and safety officers have stepped up enforcement of lift safety and inspection standards in recent years, the demand for qualified lift inspectors has grown,” explained R.W. “Bob” O’Gorman, ALI president. “Unfortunately, lift inspection companies haven’t had an independent means to demonstrate to customers that their inspectors are qualified to perform annual lift inspections. The new ALI Lift Inspector Certification Program provides third-party assurance that an ALI Certified Lift Inspector has been proven competent to thoroughly inspect any vehicle lift.”

Douglas Grunnet, outgoing ALI chairman, started the Oct. 31 meeting with a brief history of the Lift Inspector Certification Program. ALI has invested more than $700,000 to develop the program, which includes extensive reference and testing materials.

“It has been a major undertaking, but the day is upon us,” Grunnet said. “This will become a benchmark day in the history of the automotive lift industry.”

O’Gorman introduced the program’s pilot group which has helped to refine the program over the last two years. The group includes some 50 subject matter experts, factory-designated trainers and certified lift inspector certification candidates. Several of the pilot program candidates have passed all of the examinations and practical requirements to become the first lift inspectors certified by ALI.

“We’ve invested heavily to help you get ahead of the curve, and to help the industry get ahead of the curve,” O’Gorman told attendees. “We promise to work hard, and we’re asking you to work hard, as well.”

Keith Bunn, one of the pilot program’s factory-designated trainers, summarized the purpose of the ALI Lift Inspector Certification Program. “The ALI Lift Inspector Certification Program is engineered to provide both credibility and integrity in a certified inspector by establishing a solid knowledge base and evaluation standard by which automotive lift inspectors should be qualified,” he explained. “This program will not educate candidates on the structural, mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, and pneumatic principles that are incorporated together in equipment design to provide a safe and reliable automotive lift, but it will determine who is educated enough to evaluate whether the condition of that equipment maintains its safe and reliable use within those principles.”

Dale Soos, ALI senior project engineer, reviewed the certification process and the extensive materials provided to candidates in the program. He also highlighted some of the benefits certified lift inspectors and their companies receive. Each certified inspector is assigned a unique inspector ID number that appears on his or her badge, patch and inspection labels. All lift inspection companies with ALI Certified Lift Inspectors on staff will be listed in an online directory launching in May 2013 to make it easy for lift owners to find local certified inspectors.

Some of the marketing materials used to promote the program were also debuted at the meeting. ALI continues its partnership with the Petty organization in 2013. Petty appears with the tagline “Lifting It Right Is Fixing It Right” on materials promoting the ALI Lift Inspector Certification Program. The Lift Inspector Certification Program logo was also featured on the No. 43 Ford Fusion driven by Aric Almirola in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway earlier this year.

As the Oct. 31 meeting wrapped up with audience Q&A, attendees were startled as a distinctive Southern voice at the back of the room suddenly proclaimed: “Yeah, I’ve got a question.” Striding down the aisle in his trademark sunglasses and Charlie 1 Horse hat, Richard Petty took over and shared anecdotes about changes that have taken place in the racing world over his career, drawing parallels to the changes taking place in the lift industry. He also told attendees that all of the lifts at Petty’s Garage are certified and, as of this year, inspected annually. Afterwards, Petty posed for photos with attendees in front of a screen featuring the No. 43 car sporting the ALI logo.

For more information about the ALI Lift Inspector Certification Program, including a schedule of upcoming participants’ orientation meetings and exams, visit http://www.autolift.org/certified-inspectors.php.

 

You May Also Like

Phone Shoppers Made Easy

Although there is no silver bullet that will allow you to bring in every first-time caller, there are a number of things you can do to get more appointments. In this article, I would like to share some of the best practices your advisors can use that will generate immediate results.

By Bob
Cooper of Elite

With
vehicles being built better than ever before, and with service intervals
continually being extended, you are going to see your customers less often.
This means your service advisors are going to have to be razor sharp when the
phone rings. Although there is no silver bullet that will allow you to bring in
every first-time caller, there are a number of things you can do to get more
appointments. In this article, I would like to share some of the best practices
your advisors can use that will generate immediate results.
In order for
someone to buy from you, three things need to occur: They have to like you,
they have to trust you, and they have to view you as a credible expert. So when
your phone rings, the first thing your advisors need to sell is themselves; not
the service or repair. The best way of accomplishing this goal is with a
professional, courteous and upbeat greeting, such as “Thank you for calling
Elite Auto Care, this is Bob. How can I help you this morning?” By using these
words we’re showing appreciation, by volunteering the name of our company we’re
assuring the callers that they’ve called the right number, and by providing our
name we’re beginning to build personal relationships. By asking how we can
help, we’re asking a question that will allow us to control the conversation.
By being upbeat and using the right tonality, our likeability goes up, and the
customer’s anxiety goes down.
The second
thing your advisors will need to do is slow the conversation down so the
callers don’t feel rushed, and they’ll have to become good detectives by asking
a number of questions. By having the callers talk, it will take their focus off
of the price, and it will allow them to begin to feel more comfortable with
your advisors at the same time.
When it comes
to asking for the appointment, one of the best kept secrets I can share with
you is this: With rare exception, your advisors need to offer every caller a
choice of appointment times, and whenever possible, one of those options should
be for them to bring the vehicle in now. For example; “I can squeeze you in
now, or would 2:15 be better for you?”
When it comes to auto repair, customers love finality, which is why
providing the “now” option is a powerful sales tool.
Now here’s
the absolute best-kept secret for dealing with the tough first-time callers.
Every one of your advisors needs to be aware that many “price shoppers” are
asking for price just to start the conversation, and beyond that, with rare
exception, callers don’t know the questions they should be asking. This is why
it’s a good idea to ask your service advisors to write down a list of the
questions that they think an educated caller would ask. Once they have their
lists completed, and committed to memory, then it’s easy for them to respond to
price inquiries with a statement like, “Well Larry, I know price is important
to you, and it should be, but if you call five different shops today, you’ll
more than likely get at least five different prices. Some of the other
questions you might want to ask are how long they’ve been in business, whether
or not they have certified technicians and a drug-free workplace program, and
you might want to have them walk you through their diagnostic processes as
well. You might also want to ask them if they always explore all of the options
that are available to customers when it comes to any recommended repairs, what
kind of warranties they provide, and if those warranties are in writing.”  Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve closed hundreds,
if not thousands of tough first-time “price shoppers” using this technique, so
I know it will work for you.
 If you’re still not quite sold, then consider
this. If you take my recommendations, when those price shoppers start calling
other shops, you know as well as I do that they’ll more than likely ask some of
the questions your advisors suggested to them. Not only will your competitors
be caught off guard and struggle with the answers, but in each case, the
callers will be thinking of your advisors. This is when they’ll not only realize
how well your advisors handled the call, but they’ll trust your advisors, and
you bet; they’ll now view them as credible experts as well.
For help permanently
increasing your service advisors’ sales and CSI scores, learn more about the Elite Masters Service Advisor Training
Program.

The True Cost Of Comebacks

Comebacks are a hot topic today. You need to track all comebacks, determine the reason (tech error, part error, training issue, other) and then calculate the true cost of the comeback.

Want To Increase A/C Sales?

Have your techs, as part of their preliminary checks, turn on the A/C and see if the system is working. Is the compressor turning on? Are all the fan speeds working? Is the system getting cold? Is there a smell from the vents?

Call For Entries For The ATMC National Excellence In Training Awards

The Automotive Training Managers Council (ATMC) has issued a call for entries for the 2014 National Excellence in Training Awards. The annual program is designed to highlight the importance of training to the success of the transportation industry by honoring highly effective or innovative training programs. The awards are open to any person or entity providing training in the industry.

CARS 2014: ‘Not Your Father’s Oldsmobile’

From ASA comes word that CARS this year “is not your father’s Oldsmobile.” This year’s CARS will be held July 30-Aug. 2 in Detroit and, for the first time, the focus will be on younger techs. Each program at CARS this year has been handpicked with an eye toward making your shop better, said Donny Seyfer, chairman-elect of the Automotive Service Association, which sponsors CARS.

Other Posts

GAAS Attendees Get ‘Connected’ In Chicago

Attendees of the Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium’s (GAAS) 2014 Connected conference were engaged in a range of high-level topics affecting the automotive aftermarket now and in the future.

Raybestos Rattlesnake Sweepstakes Winner Receives His Ride

Not even heavy rain and winds could dampen the festive mood at Automotive Electric Distributors (AED) in Vancouver, Wash., on Friday, May 9, the day that David Cramer received the keys to his custom 2014 Raybestos Rattlesnake Toyota Tundra.

NACE/CARS 2014 Meets Shop Owners’ Education, Training Needs

NACE/CARS 2014 has announced the full training and education conference program that organizers say will have shop owners, technicians and industry stakeholders covered from A to Z when it comes to training, education and unbeatable new sessions. In addition to this year’s event being the largest conference offering in NACE/CARS history, show organizers also have many of the industry’s leading experts speaking at this year’s event.

June 9-15 Is Automotive Service Professionals Week

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) has declared June 9-15 as National Automotive Service Professionals Week. Building on the success of Automotive Service Professionals Day established in 2001, ASE launched National Automotive Service Professional’s Week in 2005 to honor the commitment and dedication of automotive, truck and collision technicians, along with parts specialists and other support professionals who serve the motoring public.