At a press conference near Campo de Criptana, Spain, European after-market parts and diagnostic systems manufacturer Cojali announced an initiative to bring its Jaltest multi-brand diagnostic repair tool into the Wheeltime Group’s network of nation-wide truck repair shops. The Jaltest Tool has been available in the U.S. since 2012, but the partnership with the WheelTime Group is a major, high-profile move that will bring the company’s mult-make/model to more than 200 WheelTime locations around the country.
In addition to the WheelTime agreement, the Jaltest Tool will remain available for purchase by independent repair shops. According to Emilliano Morales, Cojali’s director of sales and business development, independent shops are the primary market for the Jaltest Tool, which he says is designed to create a level playing field by giving them a high-quality, affordable, full-vehicle diagnostic tool that can diagnose multiple vehicle systems for any make or model of U.S. truck.
Although the company is just now moving into U.S. markets, Cojali, founded in 1991, is a major after-markets parts supplier and diagnostic tool manufacturer in Europe. Currently the company manufactures or assembles more than 4,000 automotive and heavy-duty truck parts in Europe. Morales says the company has leveraged its 13 years of experience engineering and making truck parts to create its comprehensive Jaltest Tool, which allows technicians to plug into a truck’s CANBUS outlet and diagnose repair codes for engines, transmissions, vehicle electronics, emissions, suspensions and all other major vehicle systems. The tool also includes a full suite of trailer codes and diagnostic information.
Jill Gingrich, director of client support for the WheelTime Group, says the company identified a need to consistently diagnose all makes and models of trucks from location to location around the country and formed a search group to find a system that could do so. “And what we found was there was no such system,” she notes. “OEM diagnostic tools worked well, but the cost of providing multiple OEM systems across our entire repair shop network was prohibitive.”
Another basic problem, she says, is that OEM diagnostic tools only “see” their own vehicle systems. “They offer a deep, but narrow dive on vehicle systems,” she adds. “We needed a system that sees all truck systems and offers bumper-to-bumper diagnostic solutions for all heavy-duty trucks and coach and bus makes and models. Jaltest does exactly that.”
Gingrich says another advantage of the Jaltest Tool is cost. The system sells for about $5,200 in the U.S., which she says is roughly half the cost of acquiring multiple OEM systems. And that figure does not include $5,000 in annual individual system update fees for the OEM systems.
Morales says Jaltest is a bi-directional tool, which means it can “talk” to a vehicle’s electronic control modules in the course of diagnosing a problem. An Jaltest license provides customers with 3 yearly software updates.
Morales says that in the highly-competitive commerical vehicle repair market today, Jaltest will allow independent truck repair shops to compete with OEM dealerships on a level playing field. “This is a high-quality, and affordable diagnostic tool,” he notes. “But it is important to note what it does not do: Jaltest does not affect a vehicle’s warranty. It does not require the vehicle OEM to divulge any proprietary information. Nor does it infringe on, or acquire, any OEM’s intellectual property.”
Morales says the Jaltest product line will continue to evolve in the U.S. Comprehensive customer support and training programs are already in place. And the company has developed a real-time vehicle telematics system in conjunction with the Spanish Army called Jaltest Onboard Technician. The system gives fleets real-time reporting of fault codes from vehicles on the road. The company expects this technology to migrate to its heavy-duty commerical vehicle product line in the near future.