Stringo Vehicle Mover
The 15,000-square-foot McCarran Auto Body in Sparks, Nev., is owned by Jerry and Julie Wientjes. The 21-bay shop pushes through around 50 cars each month in its collision segment. The shop also does mechanical repairs.
Jerry Wientjes has been involved with the industry in one way or another since 1978. In high school, he got a job at a shop so he could paint his 1968 Camaro. In 1978, he got involved with pinstriping and turned that passion into a book on pinstriping, A Guide to a Better Freehand Artist. In 1988, Wientjes moved to California to pursue his passion. After a few years, Wientjes moved to Reno and met his wife, Julie. Julie previously owned McCarran Auto Body and in 1995, the couple bought it back and have run it ever since.
Wientjes does product reviews on YouTube and is always looking for innovative and exciting new tools. One night, the Wientjes were watching Graveyard Carz and they saw a man moving vehicles around on a motorized contraption. Wientjes became fixated on it and contacted the show and eventually found out that the product was from Stringo, a Swedish-based company that creates vehicle movers.
HOW IT WORKS:
There are different models available from Stringo, but they each move vehicles around and resemble mini-forklifts. Wientjes says his Stringo is just like running a motorized pallet jack. The most appealing feature for Wientjes is the fact that it only requires one person, as opposed to the common forklift or tractor seen in many shops that requires multiple users. The Stringo can be walked or ridden, depending on the situation, and requires very little effort to move.
Wientjes got in contact with Stringo and expressed his interest in owning one as soon as he saw the product featured. Currently, McCarran Auto Body is the only body shop in the U.S. to have one. Wientjes was able to purchase a used Stringo, and the product was shipped from Sweden for a fee of about $600. Stringo’s products are used by many OE manufacturing plants, including Tesla.
Wientjes says now that he has a Stringo, there’s no way he would go back to using a tractor or a forklift. The product is ideal for moving severely damaged vehicles without creating further damage and is also great for cars that won’t start on the mechanical side of his shop. McCarran Auto Body uses its Stringo at least once per day. “The Stringo is able to turn vehicles on a dime,” Wientjes says. “The wheels move in sync and moving it is completely effortless. “
Wientjes adds that the support from the company has been exceptional.
“The Stringo that I purchased was designed for low-riders,” Wientjes says. “When I mentioned this to Stringo, they sent a larger set of wheels, free of charge.”
Wientjes says he didn’t purchase the Stringo to bring more jobs in. He purchased it to prevent accidents and create a healthier workplace for his employees. Along with the benefits for the staff, the Stringo has created a more efficient shop. Normally, a stalled car or a severely damaged vehicle would have taken half an hour to move into the shop and more than one technician. With the Stringo, the vehicle is in the shop within five minutes and doesn’t take anyone else away from a job. Wientjes says that because of the time savings, the shop is able to get at least one more job through per week. Depending on the type of job, having the Stringo increases weekly profits by a few hundred dollars, which can quickly add up.
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