Kheng Chong: No More Guesswork with Josam Truck Frame Repair Equipment
Kheng Chong Mudguard Workshop, which operates from a 11,000-square feet facility at Taman PerindustrianTemerloh in Mentakab, is reputed for its quality workmanship and fast turnaround time.
Kheng Chong Benefits from Josam Truck Frame Repair Equipment
The owner, K.C. Wong, started as a part-time apprentice in an automotive workshop at the age of 15, and learned from scratch. When he was 21, he decided to go one step further and set up his own company.
“Initially, we only provide car collision repair service from a small rented shophouse. When I noticed the growing number of rebuilt trucks in Temerloh, I was convinced of the potential of truck collision repair business. I decided to venture into the truck segment but due to the space constraint, I could only handle 3-tonne trucks.”
Wong bought the current premises 3 years ago and this allowed him to expand his service to medium and heavy duty trucks, trailers and buses, and from repairing minor dents and dings to restoring the entire vehicle to pre-accident condition.
There are many auto collision repair workshops here and the competition among them is very intense. I decided to focus more on commercial vehicles, with the ultimate aim of concentrating only in this segment. To do so, we need to invest in proper tools and machinery to speed repairs and improve work quality.”
The first tool that he bought from Manbeni Machine Tools Sdn Bhd, the sole distributor of Josam products in Malaysia, was the C-clamps for pressing and riveting. It was well suited for repair and bodywork on heavy vehicles and could be used as a complement regardless of the available equipment in the workshop.
“Manbeni gave us a DVD containing its products, including the C-clamps. I was extremely excited and amazed when I viewed the DVD, especially the video clips on the truck frame repair equipment and induction heater. I knew that I need to keep abreast of the technology trend if I truly want to excel in this industry. However, I need to plan it carefully and take one step at a time as it involved a huge investment.”
Wong stressed that frame straightening was a crucial aspect of quality collision repair. Other aspects of repair could be compromised by improper or imprecise frame alignment, resulting in potential alignment issues that could lead to premature tyre wear, poor fuel economy, suspension problems, uneven steering and other issues that would compromise safety to varying degrees.
“Today’s customers are more knowledgeable and demanding; they will come to your workshop to see the equipment that you use before they send their vehicles to you,” he added.
It took him 3 years to finally buy Josam’s truck frame repair equipment. “We have been using it for one month now. The 4 vehicles that we straighten using this equipment were well received by the customers without any complaints. As for us, it is a great help as it increases our productivity and enhances the accuracy of frame alignment. It’s more precise and no more guesswork in the strengthening process. Though we pride ourselves for fast delivery and quality workmanship before we purchased this equipment, the turnaround time and accuracy have improved significantly. We used to take about 1 week (depending on the damage) on average; now we are able to deliver in 2 days.”
In addition, he continued, the company’s productivity increased tremendously as there was no need to dismantle the vehicle body as well as up to 50-70 per cent of the vehicle parts with this truck frame repair equipment during the straightening and repair process, which helped to save time, manpower and labour cost. Previously, the company needed 2 to 3 people for the task, but now one person was sufficient.
What about user-friendliness? As he was well-versed in the technical aspects of collision repairs, he said he found it extremely easy to operate the equipment after a brief training by Manbeni.
However, he pointed out that returning the frame to pre-accident condition required expertise and experience. “You can have the most advanced collision repair equipment and tools, but you really need the experience and skills to do it right.”
At present, the company was the only commercial vehicle collision repair workshop in Temerloh and the second workshop in Pahang that was equipped with Josam’s truck frame repair equipment.
“It is important to invest in a well-established, trusted brand such as Josam than building and designing your own equipment. I always believe that you get what you pay for; in addition, apart from the features and technology, there are safety aspects that we have to take into consideration.”
Most of Kheng Chong’s customers were locals or from nearby towns such as Jerantut and Sri Jaya, and they would tow their vehicles to his workshop. He got customers mainly through word of mouth and he said there were customers who towed their vehicles all the way to his workshop from Terengganu, which were testimonials for the company’s quality collision repair and good service.
Moving forward, he revealed his plans to purchase an induction heater from Manbeni and apply to become a member of PIAM (Persatuan Insurance Am Malaysia) approved panel of workshops. “Again, we will do this step by step,” he added.