Statistics show massive growth in the domestic tow bar will be required over the coming years. UK and touring holidays are now the most preferred option, compounding the recent COVID-19 pandemic and border restrictions combined with self-isolation all means that the tow bar fitting industry will be faced with a massive challenge, and with that opportunity. In fact, the global market for tow bars is set to grow by £3842.56 million by the year 2027. With this in mind, we wanted to discuss how OSCA can maximise the profit of your tow bar fitting company. Rather than increasing your existing workforce to cope with this demand, we wanted to show you just how easily we could help. View our full list of tow bar diagnostics applications here.
There are a variety of different tow bars available from both aftermarket and dealer, which vary in both popularity and programming requirements. The above graph demonstrates the popularity of each.
In modern vehicles, electronic stability control combined with interactive vehicle dynamics has developed in complexity, which has to be considered when incorporating a tow-bar system which works in harmony with dynamic stability control. These systems, in particular, have been so widely adopted and have had such a dramatic effect on vehicle safety that it has been widely codified into legislation around the world as a must-have for modern car manufacturing.
As I am sure you’ll know, the ESC module is responsible for continually monitoring the intended direction of the vehicle against its actual direction based on measured lateral acceleration and compared against the driver's steering wheel angle. It then intervenes when necessary to correct the vehicle's course, and it is through this intervention that it is predicted to have saved up to 9,600 lives in 2012 alone. It does this by applying the brakes asymmetrically, correcting suspension imbalance and altering gearbox and engine settings according to the vehicle data analysis.
This technology is one of the advances that has had a significant impact on the tow fitting industry, with companies having to adopt new technology to safely allow the operation of the vehicle when a vehicle is towing a load when previously there was little to do apart from attaching the tow hook to the back of a vehicle then attach the load. Now, there is the additional step of programming modules within the vehicle in order for the electronic stability control module to make adjustments for the fact that there is a trailer or load attached to the vehicle.
To ready a vehicle for use with a trailer, it is always necessary to deactivate the rear parking sensor, as if still active, the sensors will pick up the tow bar and anything attached and will drastically affect the performance if not completely render the vehicle immobile.
Unless the vehicle is fitted and configured to incorporate trailer park assist, coding and adaptation for this is essential.
Automatic vehicles have been growing in popularity since 2005, with an increase from 17% of caravan owners saying they drove automatics in 2005 compared to 22% in 2011. Thus, within the tow bar industry, working on automatic vehicles’ gearboxes is of increasing importance, and with OSCA’s dealer-level expertise and relevant low cost, supplemented by efficiency savings, we are head and shoulders above other tools. Finally, you don’t even need to have a tow truck to take the vehicle back and forth from the dealer to install your customer's tow bar.
Rear fog lights are another issue that can be solved by the OSCA team. With only one device, you can complete thousands of diagnostic tasks. As it is commonly known with tow bar professionals, the rear fog lights, when un-programmed for towing, can be a massive liability for other motorists. The reason for this is that they can frequently blind and blinker drivers behind the vehicle carrying a load. So, this is yet another solution that the OSCA cable can solve without the need for additional tools or dealer intervention.
Instrument cluster notifications appear when the driver needs to be alerted to any specific fault or service requirement is needed according to information received from the different control modules controlling vehicle functions, IE. tyre pressure, outside temp, oil level, coolant temp and level and dynamic stability control functions (plus many more). Therefore, it is imperative that the instrument cluster knows that a trailer is attached; otherwise, cluster alerts.
Yes, towing a heavy load means your brakes don’t work as well. Hauling an additional load means that your brake pads are put under additional stress. Furthermore, whatever electronic systems within your customer’s specific vehicle will be unaware of the additional stress of the load unless programmed correctly. So, in summation, get an expert to do it. OSCA has the one of largest teams of master mechanics in the aftermarket, and we offer the best service and expert support.
Due to its broad range of applications, the OSCA cable is ideal for tow bar fitters. After a tow bar is fitted, programming is required, and as with most diagnostic jobs, there will be multiple modules that require configuration. So, during the process, it is always advantageous to have one tool which can communicate and work with all the modules that will require programming, as buying multiple tools can be costly, and time expended by constantly switching tools will also affect your operations efficiency and bottom line.
Another advantage of OSCA that can be leveraged by tow bar fitters is the fact that your technicians will then be freed up while our team takes care of the programming, with only the occasional need to get involved with the job, such as taking the vehicle through its ignition cycle. This means that your staff can then move on to the next tow bar to be wired, thus decreasing the amount of time per job and increasing the efficiency of your operations.
Because of the advances in technology, your technicians will likely need to keep abreast of the latest information and diagnostic techniques. Investment in training is not only very costly but also disruptive to your daily work schedule. However, with the use of the OSCA cable, you can reduce the amount of skilled diagnostic technicians needed, thus saving on labour costs and helping your bottom line, but should you ever need expert knowledge and advice, our technicians are available on the phone or through live chat.