"They were grateful that I was willing to step up and pay a little more for a machine that was going to be easier on their bodies and make things easier for them in the shop," Powell said. "That's another unmeasured monetary value. If they see I do respect them and I care about that and I am going to give them the best tools to get the job done, they'll work so hard for me and they'll do the right thing."
Job satisfaction for the dealership's tire techs has increased, he said. And turnover in those positions has been reduced.
Here's how it works: The technician loads a tire and wheel onto the machine, which swings it upright and removes the old tire from the wheel. The tech loads the new tire, sets the lower bead on the rim and the tire is automatically installed and inflated. Lastly, the tech moves the wheel to a separate balancing machine before reinstalling it on the vehicle.
The techs no longer have to lift the tire and wheel into place. More importantly, they no longer handle a metal bar that stretches the lip of the tire over the rim under great pressure, a dangerous procedure that has caused countless injuries and deaths over the years, according to records compiled by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Hunter says a tire tech using the Revolution is roughly 25 percent faster. Because the tech can be balancing one tire and wheel while another is on Revolution, the job is completed faster. The potential to reduce injuries and improve productivity convinced Powell to buy the machine, now in its fourth generation.
As for the redesigned Corvette, the store sold 18 of the midengine sports car in the first year. Of those, 13 buyers upgraded to a different set of wheels.