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Gabriel Releases Suspension Tester for Bakkies, 4×4’s MPVs and SUVs…  

Suspension TesterGabriel, the premier shock absorber brand of JSE-listed Torre Automotive, has upgraded its successful passenger vehicle suspension tester range. It now includes vehicles with a maximum axle weight of 2,5 tons, which includes cars, bakkies, MPVs and SUVs.

The Gabriel tester differentiates itself from similar competitive products in that the software is fully adapted to the SA market and incorporates the entire SA car park.The tester covers a total of 17 000 vehicles in the South African car park and warns operators to check the vehicle’s tyre pressure as part of the test, a first for SA. The system also provides comprehensive reports of the vehicle’s shock absorber status as well as recommendations on the required part number needed.

Sean Staley, Torre Automotive divisional head – Drive Control, said that Gabriel began investigating the suspension testing market over three years ago but was unable to find a solution that exactly fitted the South African environment.

“In 2011 we narrowed our search down to two international companies and solutions. After an extensive evaluation we selected one of the world’s most advanced systems and have, over the past 12 months, worked with local retail stores and overseas engineers to deliver an effective retail solution, including customised software and reporting capabilities,” he said.

“As part of the next phase of the programme, the suspension tester upgrade is now available for 4×4 vehicles and SUVs,” he said.

“Gabriel’s aim is to make shock and suspension testing easy for its workshop and fitment centre clients. It will provide a comprehensive and accurate alternative to the current equipment on the market, that utilises the traditional ‘bounce’ test or testers, which are not suited to the local market,” he said.

The customer and fitment centre reports have also been upgraded. There are now separate colour-coded reports that provide a graphic representation of the results.

“In addition, in what is believed to be a first, Gabriel has included its entire parts list for the South African car park into the system’s database, recommending the vehicle’s part number as well as alternate Gabriel part numbers. This, coupled with the quotation format, enables retail staff to easily quote on the correct part and help conclude the sale quicker,” said Mr Staley.

The programme is linked to a national safety and education campaign for consumers to identify worn shock absorbers, known as SafeZone 2.6.

Gabriel’s Safe Zone 2.6 project is a safety programme aimed at educating people about vehicle and passenger safety and responsible driving. The name Safe Zone 2.6 is based on road tests performed on an average passenger vehicle travelling at 80km per hour, with good shock absorbers, as compared to a vehicle with worn shocks. Good shocks will stop a vehicle, on average, 2,6 meters sooner than a similar vehicle with worn shocks, said Mr Staley.

“The Gabriel Safe Zone 2.6 programme objectives at retail level are to create a simple, unified two-way value proposition for each retail outlet and educate the consumer and retail outlets on the importance of regularly checking their shocks,” he said