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One of those members, Greiner said, is Albin Moore, co-owner of Big Wrench Repair in nearby Dryden and an automotive diagnostics instructor to industry technicians throughout the country.
"It's quality people like Albin, and we have many, who offer us such a diversity of knowledge and experience on all levels," he said.
Big Wrench Repair was started in March 1992 by Albin Moore.
At the present Albin works the shop and Alice organizes him from the office. Big Wrench Repair is the family owned and operated automobile and truck repair facility you can depend on. Albin doesn't just "work on cars" without results... he'll repair your vehicle to go the distance!
But Albin and Alice Moore have done just that by developing a business model based on their ability to provide powertrain control module (PCM) reprogramming, module initialization, and diagnostic services in a marketing area that otherwise lacks that capability.
"When we opened Big Wrench, we envisioned using a mobile service that catered to loggers and others with small fleets of heavy-duty vehicles," Albin Moore said. But their new business didn't produce the expected profit because the Moores said they didn't understand how to make money fixing broken vehicles. After attending some industry-sponsored management classes, the Moores' management philosophy took a turn for the better when they purchased a PC-based management system that was programmed to pay for itself by adding one dollar to each customer repair invoice. "What a concept," Moore said. "I'd never before thought of the idea that we could make the customer pay for necessary equipment and fixtures." For the Moores, the concept was an epiphany that would lead them to acquire an increasingly sophisticated array of diagnostic equipment chosen to capitalize on a service vacuum created by the sheer remoteness of their shop's location. The couple said they now service repair shops out to Wenatchee, about 20 miles away. "In 1992, the only test equipment I had was a Snap-on cylinder-balance testing tool and a Fluke 88 digital volt-Ohm meter," Moore said, adding that he relied on those tools until he bought his first digital oscilloscope and aftermarket scan tool in 1998. By 2000, Moore said he could see the need for on-board computer reprogramming and module initialization required by the new-era OBD II vehicles coming into his service bays. He said he responded to the new OBD II technology by purchasing a General Motors Tech II and, later, a Ford New Generation Star (NGS) scan tool. Both OEM tools provided a full factory capability that introduced Moore to the world of body control electronics and module initialization, he said. Moore said he now has OEM capability on Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, Isuzu, Honda, Mazda, late model Jaguar and Rover, Saab, Suzuki, and Toyota at the OE level, and will update his diagnostic capability as his market requires. On the heavy-duty side, Moore said he can also diagnose Caterpillar, Cummins, Detroit, Navistar, Allison transmission, Bendix brake, and Wabco brake on-board electronics. To better serve a collision repair client, Moore is also gearing up for European diagnostics, but is looking at less expensive aftermarket tools that will perform the most critical functions in collision diagnostics. Of course, this begs the question of how Moore can achieve return on investment (ROI) while maintaining such a broad range of diagnostic capabilities. "Based on the volume of work passing through my shop, the ROI simply isn't there," he said Moore. "Instead of trying to train to such a high level of expertise, it makes more sense for fleets and auto repair shops to sublet that level of work to a mobile diagnostics expert," Moore said. To further enhance the diagnostic and management dialogue, Albin and Alice Moore invite a small group of trainers, shop owners, and technicians to attend their annual Fourth of July campout. Albin Moore, co-owner of Big Wrench Mobile Diagnostics, uses a blend of OE and aftermarket equipment such as the Snap-on Vantage Pro, Pico Scope, and Chrysler DRB III scan tool displayed in this photo to diagnose difficult electronic problems. Albin and Alice Moore, co-owners of Big Wrench Mobile Diagnostics, are known throughout the Western states as industry activists who avidly support advanced technical and management training.
Albin Moore, co-owner of Big Wrench Repair in Dryden, Wash., will cover ohms law, starting and charging system testing, and electrical circuits in his "Electrical Building Blocks" course at NAIT.