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Trying to Decide Between Hunter and John Bean [snap-on] alignment equipment For my Shop.... I know hunter is the Industry big Shot...My store is not Large Volume..on main Street in small town/suburb of Austin,Tx.---- The Hunter guys have no finance options to speak of except outside leasing co. with crappy terms... I've done buisness with Snap-on for years..Snap-on credit said whatever you want , for basically nothing down ,much better terms, and a 90 day deferred payment... It basically boils down to Money ...Payment wise the John Bean Snap-on deal blows the Hunter guys deal clean out of the water,,, The hunter Rep. says the snap-on John Bean alignment equipment is Junk...not any good at all... cant get parts ect..... If I was rich and Money was no object, well OK bring on the hunter.... But theres a huge Difference here in the $$$ side of this as far as Financing It... It will increase my sales.. Any Real Worls Experience with John Bean ..Snap-on Alignment equipment ????? We are talking New Stuff.. their latest and greatest stuff........Thanks
 

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used both. the bean was quite a few years ago but i wouldnt buy anything but a hunter if i was looking for a new one. i just recently bought a used one to do raacecars, and i held out till i found an old hunter at a good price.

i wouldnt say the bean was junk, but it wasnt a hunter either. just my experience
 

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With the way the economy is going (a lot of independants calling it quits), have you looked around in your area for somebody that might be liquidating equipment?...

IF taken care of, alignment machines don't really "wear" out!... :smt102
 

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There isnt anyone around here shutting down so thats out for you Danny.You might want to check with Jeff at Firestone.He had an older hunter that was still nice for sale.He just bought a new machine a few yeats ago.
 

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I have an old FMC. I got it used for next to nothing and it works great. You don't need a fancy machine just one that works. I've used Hunter machines, they are nice but all the options are just a waste if you know how to do alignments. Most vehicles are set the toe and out the door anyway.
 

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Our Hunter at school is very user friendly. I can train a kid in about an hour how to navigate through an alignment. The software package that came with it even tells you what size wrench you need and gives a short video on how to adjust everything. It also has 2 underside 6,000 lb sub-lifts. Pretty pricy unit though.

Would a personal loan or a relative with money be a smarter choice of financing?
 

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id go with hunter, but check to see if any one must sell. Always used hunter, fmc is ok, hunter has the software package a dummy could align with. shows how to adjust, i remember back in day with the shims on GM cars, or cams on fords, takes out the guessing.
 

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man, if your not a large volume shop, ide buy a used unit, theres lots of dealers and shops going out of business all the time...
thats a pretty major investment, better calculate the ROI, thats a lot of alignments!!


Right now i work with a Hunter DSP400 and its the nicest alignment machine ive ever worked with, " so simple a caveman could do it" lol

a few years ago i worked with a Beissbarth, nice machine but way to sensitive, i dont know how they are now.. but i think they are big money too
 

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Hunter all the way!!!!! John beam sucks ass. I actually left a place cuz of there junk ass john beam. Software blows not very user friendly and the print outs make customers eyes cross!!! If you can swing it get a hunter hawk eye, you will never look back.
 

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used both. the bean was quite a few years ago but i wouldnt buy anything but a hunter if i was looking for a new one. i just recently bought a used one to do raacecars, and i held out till i found an old hunter at a good price.

I wouldnt say the bean was junk, but it wasnt a hunter either. just my experience
I bought a Hunter F111 for $400 bucks a little over a year ago. I just got a call today about a guy selling an even more up to date Hunter for $150.00 I see them all of the time because of all of these shops going out of business.
Oh BTW Hunter is the way to go. I like the simplicity of the hunter. The Others just have too much Bling and color graphics. They are like a video game. Just too much. I have always even shut the colors off on the Hunters I use. I do not go by the red going green to know it is in spec. I read the numbers.
This is the one I got for $400.00 plus it has allot of extras.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
tHANKS GUYS... GOOD INFO HERE.. Its a big decision...Shops going out of buisness ??? Not Here [central Tx ] the only used stuff floating around is complete obsolete junk.. and not much of it..
 

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tHANKS GUYS... GOOD INFO HERE.. Its a big decision...Shops going out of buisness ??? Not Here [central Tx ] the only used stuff floating around is complete obsolete junk.. and not much of it..
I was an alignment tech in shops in two diferent states and always used Hunter. I found that no matter where I was. Hunter has very good service. When ever we needed up dates of any lind of service. They had a man out to the shop in a day.
 

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ive run a couple corp owned retail tire shops. the one i run now has a john bean and the one i used to run used a hunter. i would chose the hunter hands down. much faster and more responsive when reading, less finicky on vehicle and head placement, also had a much more user friendly interface in my opinion
 

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I have never used a John Beam so i can't give any input. But i have always used a Hunter (learned on on a hunter Light A Line) when my shop got to the point where it was time for an alignment machece I bought a used hunter with stands that i put under the lift. I never had the first problem with it. About 5 years agao i traided it in on the Big dog and have never regreted it. They will come down on the price if you work them.
 

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We have a john beam at our ford store and love it. Got the machine and rack, both are very nice with very little problems. We have the newer ones with reflectors, so if you drop a head it won't hurt nothing. Probably have done close to 4000 alignments on ours in 3 years or so, so it gets used a bunch. Very simple setup, probably takes 2-3 minutes to put heads on and do roll back. Don't understand the printout complaint that someone mentioned, it shows before and after, or you can print full color front and back specs. Also like that you can raise front wheels and do live adjustments for camber/caster instead of just guessing and having to do a resweep for caster. I am sure the hunter does this also, but just letting you know.
 

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The 3d jb is nice. I used one for 12 years with no complaints other then they are a little slow in releasing the specs for the new cars. Only problem I ever had was a motherboard crashed once. That was after probably 7000 alignments.
 
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