New do-it-yourself hoist rental shop

Dec 31, 2017
SE British Columbia, Canada
There are not too many hoist rental shops around but now Calgary has two. I’ve been using one called U-Wrench but now there is one called Lugnutz. There are separated by a goodly amount so hopefully one won’t steal business from the other. They have professional class hoists where you bring in your vehicle. Lugnutz also has a undercarriage spray gun you can use. Current rate is $44 per hour, about $31 USD/hr. Apparently they have a deal with NAPA for parts deliver within 1 hour. Not sure if the insurance issues have killed this in the USA. Enjoy.
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That seems like a lot of money for what it is... because most jobs that Id want a hoist for would probably be longer multi-hour or even day+ jobs, and it adds up quick.

If a lower cost shop is charging $80-100/hr, or a good indy charging $100-140, has all the tools and experience, etc., its hard to justify paying a decent fraction of that to bust knuckles and have a lot of hassle and who knows what issues.

Dont get me wrong, Id love to have the opportunity nearby to use such a thing, but I cant see the value proposition at that price... In Canada where there is even less time to roll around on your back under a car, it may be a different story...
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Here’s a special price to have a front diff, transfer case and rear diff done at a shop. Just happened to see it. CDN dollars.

That seems like a lot of money for what it is...
I'm sure the cost is primarily driven by the same thing as in the US - insurance (liability). In fact, here in the US, these kind of shops seem to be very, very rare and when people look into opening a place to do it (typically using a closed-down place like a Pep Boys), they end up not doing it because of the high insurance costs.
There was one here. It didn't last very long due to the high cost. Almost no one used it. Cheaper to wrench in the yard.

They lasted one year and a few months. Hate to see a small business go under, but way too expensive for the "value".

Just cheaper to take it somewhere or do it at home.
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There's none around here. Saw one on Groupon once and thought about it but never got around to a point where I would need it and then a couple years later it went out of business. Maybe the place wasn't charging enough to stay in business, I think it was $25-$30/hour which may have been too much as DIY probably just takes longer than a pro mechanic so if you take twice as long as a mechanic, you might not be saving any money. Also while it's convenient, I don't think there's too many jobs where you really need a lift. Things like oil changes and brakes, I can tackle without a lift and stuff I give to a mechanic, even springs/struts, alternators, motor mounts, etc can all be done without a lift.
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we have one in kirkland wa. i think it $47 an hour , but they also have a bunch of tools the renter can use. i have been there to check it out , but never used the lifts.

i think they might be worth it for a clutch or trans job as some of them are such a pain on jack stands.

they have those DIY garages here in Michigan.. I've used one before. But they only charged half of what everyone else is saying here. That's probably why the place I went to is still in business. Lower rates! Plus the place I went to even rented out a downdraft paint booth! Very cool! I can just imagine as inflation cause prices (including mechanics labor prices) go up, DIY is going to increase even more! Including garages like this..
It seems to me that type of business has a flawed model. If a repair shop charges 125.00 per hour, and the tech is flat rate, you know exactly how much the job will cost and the "expected" time to complete the job.

Now, Joe DIY takes twice as long to fix the car for the same job, and his cost is then $90.00 per hour (so to speak in comparison with the shop tech). The 90.00 is based on the 45.00 per hour charge they used here two years ago. Therefore, Joe saves 35.00 per hour if it only takes him twice as long. Let's say it's a 4 hour job - Joe saves 140.00 and gets the satisfaction of doing the work himself.

IMO this is why this failed. Why lose a whole day to save 140.00 (Joe spends 8 hours to do a 4 hour job). That doesn't even include the preparation time of getting parts together and all the other things usually needed to complete a job.

And what's worse, what if Joe is even slower! Then it's not even close to worth it.
As an example, we have a similar shop on the local military base. To mount a tire is $10.00 (includes dismount and remount) and to balance is 10.00. So, $20.00 to have a new tire mounted and balanced. The fees cover the cost of the equipment, materials, etc. You are "supervised" while you work. Now, that requires that the wheel is already off the car and you take it to the shop. Oh, and don't forget you have to dispose of the old tire (we only have two places here that take them and they are 15 miles away).

If you take the wheels off in the parking lot, there is a fee to "use" the space, along with rental of the jack and jack stands.

It's actually more expensive than going to Walmart and having your tires mounted and balanced (at least here).