October '21

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20 THE SHOP OCTOBER 2021 T Off-Road Dritra Mket question I field is, 'What gearing should I be installing with XX tire size?' I wouldn't call it a mistake, but we need to do a better job training installers about gearing and ratios." Quadratec's Ashlock notes that driveline performance upgrades should be unique for every customer. "The right choices depend on how they drive, where they drive, their budget and what performance they expect from their Jeep," he says. "A shop should ask the cus- tomer these questions to make sure they are making the best buying decision for their Jeep lifestyle. This will allow the shop to create the best possible experience for the customer, which in turn will bring them back when they are ready for their next upgrade." Waterfall adds that, when shopping for those upgrades, customers don't always take the full build into account when making purchasing decisions. "Consider asking appropriate qualifying questions on what the customer's intent is with the vehicle," he says. "This can lead to a great discussion in which you are now educating them with product solutions that fit their needs—some of which they may not have been aware of." His suggested list of questions includes: • Are you planning on towing with the vehicle or adding additional payload? • What tire size are you currently run- ning, and do you plan to change it in the future? • If you're adding a locker, is it time to regear? • If you're adding gears, is it time to add a locker? • Do you need an axle upgrade, or are you just trying to get back lost power? This approach builds trust and earns repeat business, Waterfall believes. "Save on labor costs but grow your parts sales by considering what the customer's full needs will be while educating them along the way." And don't forget to rely on your suppliers for help or direction, if needed. "Connect with the manufacturer when you have a question," advises Yukon's Naish. "In our world, drivetrain is a tech- nical install and needs to be perfect. Gear patterns can be tricky, so don't waste a minute wondering what to do. Shops can and should lean on the manufacturers to handle their questions, provide solutions and get vehicles moving." HAPPY TRAILS Where can you find and connect with customers looking for the latest drivetrain products? On the trail, of course. "Quite a few shops that cater to the off- road community off-road themselves," notes Dana's Linko. "It truly is a great way for shops to show they know their stuff and build the best. Most of the shops I currently know I met on the trail or at a show and we just started talking. So, get out there and have fun!" Lean on parts manufacturers to handle questions, provide solutions and get vehicles moving. (Photo courtesy Yukon Gear & Axle) Installers need training concerning gearing and ratios. (Photos courtesy Dana/

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