How It Works: XPRESS 800
STATS: Caliber Luxury Location: Charlotte, N.C. Website: wielanderschill.com/en Cost: Basic unit starts at $5,500 Uses: Removing or installing rivets Training Required: Instructional guide and video come with purchase, reviewer considered himself a pro after five times practicing with the gun.
Brian Shannon started in the collision repair industry 10 years ago. He started at the bottom and worked his way through the ranks to become an A-tech team leader.
Caliber Luxury, located in Charlotte, N.C., began as an independent and was purchased by Caliber two years ago. Caliber intended for the shop to be the start of its luxury division. The 20,000-square-foot shop is spread across two buildings and works primarily on high-end vehicles, including Teslas.
Four years ago, Caliber Luxury purchased the XPress 800 because it was one of two rivet guns Tesla required to be on its repair network at the time.
How It Works:
To use the gun, the user removes the body of the gun and then finds the correct head and dye needed to remove or install the rivet. The pressures on the gun are set correctly for the application and then the gun is connected to an air source. To begin removal or installation, the user pulls the trigger.
“I think it’s the best all-around gun due to its wide range of applications on several different brands of vehicles,” Shannon says.
Shannon says that he personally uses the gun 2–4 times per week, but that at any given moment, one of the shop’s eight technicians is using it. Shannon says that the gun is approved by at least five manufacturers and that more are currently looking at making the switch.
“To have one gun that can install SPR rivets, blind rivets and different styles of rivet nuts in one package is extremely beneficial and can definitely help with technician efficiency,” Shannon says. “Before, a shop would have to purchase several different tools to accomplish this. With the XPress 800, you can just add an attachment and do it all with one tool.”
Shannon also says that it’s extremely user friendly.
“When we purchased it, there was a very in-depth guide and videos that came along with it. Some of these guns can be really hard to figure out, so that was helpful,” Shannon says. “Everything is well labeled and the support team is great.”
The only issue Shannon would like to see addressed is that when removing power heads from the gun, a small amount of hydraulic fluid tends to get lost. The gun needs the correct amount of hydraulic fluid to work, so that means that he frequently has to bleed the gun.
“It’s just a maintenance issue, but if they could fix that, it would be great,” Shannon says.
Shannon says that the ability to use the gun on a variety of different vehicles has helped bring in more work and made the investment worth it. The Tesla-approved shop sees at anywhere between 2–5 Tesla vehicles per week. Being approved for these repairs, which are usually more expensive, has helped bring in customers to the shop.
“By being on certain OEM programs, you can charge a higher labor rate to recoup some of your initial investment,” Shannon says.
Shannon says that a shop with a decent workflow will see the XPress 800 pay for itself within the first year, if not sooner.