We’ve come a long way since the “mechanic’s creeper” and anchoring cars to the floor for structural and cosmetic repair. The first-ever Chisum frame-rack back in the 1960s revolutionized the auto body repair industry. Lavell Chisum’s drive-on design took the vehicle off the floor and put it on a raised platform about 30 inches in the air. This advancement also took the technician off the floor, making the vehicles more accessible for repairs. Pulling towers were connected to the platform which also enabled easier repositioning. Though the drive-on rack held a vehicle more firmly in pinch-weld clamps than with chains going to the floor, technicians still experienced unwanted movement at times. Additional chaining, setup, and anchoring procedures were usually needed to properly secure a vehicle.

By the late 1970s, benches were introduced to the collision-repair industry; they were designed out of necessity in order to efficiently work on unibody vehicles, which were becoming more prominent on the road. Benches made working on unibody vehicles easier and they provided better anchoring to hold the vehicle in a more stable position. Although the early benches did not have the drive-on capability, they had an advantage over the old racks. Mounting procedures were a bit more time-consuming and labor-intensive using a bench, but once mounted, a vehicle could be repaired without loaded suspension or having tires drag across the drive-on platform. Such benches were designed to provide more underbody accessibility for the technician. Bench-style frame racks eventually added scissor lifts, which lifted the vehicle higher and added a drive-on feature that had removable ramps. These improvements made the drive-on bench a usable bay even when not being employed for frame repair. Assembly, disassembly, using it for plastic work, or just parking a car overnight made it a versatile bay.

Fast forward to modern times. Vehicle manufacturing has become much more sophisticated. Stronger and stronger materials are being used, plus a ton of technology is now incorporated into every new vehicle. Yet many shops are still using an outdated frame- alignment equipment that lacks the functionality, efficiency, and safety requirements to meet the needs of today’s collision repair community.

A Proper Anchor is the Most Important Procedure in Structural Repair

It’s all about controlling the pull, but many of today’s benches still leave a lot to be desired in terms of anchoring. A milled surface is absolutely essential for a controlled pull. For example, if you had a 1/8” piece of steel and put it in a vise on a workbench – if the vise or the workbench the steel is bolted to has even the slightest movement, it’s going to be very hard to control where you want that piece of steel to move as you’re applying force. However, with no movement whatsoever, you can bend that piece of steel precisely where you want and less power is required to do so. In other words, a milled surface provides complete control and isolates your pulling power to where you need it. Zero movements enable you to consistently maneuver a vehicle exactly where you need it to go without worrying about an unintentional shift or creating collateral damage.

Many times, with a side hit, a tech will need the structure to move where the vehicle is being held. With arms anchored to a milled surface and the pinch-weld clamps mounted on a milled arm, you can control where all the power is going. With an unmovable grip, the pinch-weld clamp can slide on top of the milled surface while holding the vehicle up. This enables a tech to get the rocker area to move in length with the arms-to-bench mount and the pinch-weld clamps to move in width (sliding on top of the arm) so when you need an anchored point to move, it will slide in the direction you need it to. You can also secure the vehicle in additional places with 3-dimensional holding functionality.

Whatever area you’re repairing will move where you need to, and it will not shift or slide out of the place where you are anchoring it to – due to the extreme holding power of a true milled surface.

Removable Ramps Are Also Key to Success

The comfort of your technicians is always top of mind. Removable ramps allow for greater access to the vehicle. Some benches keep technicians in uncomfortable conditions, working in cramped spaces. Getting the ramps out of the way lets technicians focus on the job at hand (not their back strain), by allowing for freer movement in all areas. And as far as ramps go, the wider the better for larger vehicles, while providing drive-on ease, especially in tight shops.

Newer Materials, Greater Challenges

Today’s manufacturers are faced with more stringent federal safety standards, including dynamic side-impact tests required by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. This has led to brand new vehicles being manufactured with the most extensive use of high-strength steels ever employed. Due to these stronger metals, it is imperative to avoid collateral damage to mounting areas or the part you are pulling at the junction to adjacent parts.

The need of auto body shops to use technologically advanced collision-repair equipment is more important than ever. I encourage you to upgrade to a bench-style frame alignment system that will make your life easier. We’re all looking for fewer roadblocks and fewer problems in our shops. Safer operation, better quality service, and speedier turnaround of our repair jobs translates into greater profits.

--Nick Mattera

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Who would have imagined that a former rodeo bull rider with a sharp mind for design would become a legend in the collision-repair industry?

Award-winning inventor Lavell Chisum is well known in collision-repair circles. Chisum craftsmanship has been respected since he built his first frame machine and unveiled it at the 1968 Los Angeles Automotive Equipment Show. His original frame-rack patent was sold to Chief Automotive and is still produced today as the EZ Liner* rack – one of the most popular frame repair systems ever made, it’s used in auto body shops worldwide.

To best help body shop owners keep pace with ever-evolving collision repair technologies, Chisum recently decided that now is the time to produce an upgraded BENCH-STYLE FRAME MACHINE to better accommodate the needs of today’s technicians.

In keeping with the Chisum vision of his original frame rack machine, the new Chisum Workhorse Bench-Style Frame Rack features the highest-quality construction, essential functionality, and working comfort your technicians have never experienced before.

Chisum delivered what the collision-repair industry needed way back when – and now he’s once again come through to deliver what auto body shops need to survive to tackle the tough- est repairs of today’s complex, technologically advanced vehicles head-on!

*EZ Liner is a registered trademark of Chief Automotive Systems, Inc. Chisum collision-repair products have no affiliation

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Chisum Workhorse Takes the Bench-Style Frame Rack to a New Level

Collision-repair equipment pioneer Lavell Chisum has reimaged the functionality of today’s benches. He’s created a truly complete collision repair system of unsurpassed quality. If you’re looking to take on more business, the Chisum Workhorse Bench-Style Frame Rack is your path to reap greater productivity and profits for years to come.

Stronger-strength Steel• Higher Lifting Capacity • Wider, Removable Ramps 

  • Global Construction – In development for 4 years, the Chisum Workhorse is truly a global concept. Materials and assembly have covered nearly every conti- nent of the world
  • Milled Surface – True surface contact provides unmatched anchoring stability and better overall accuracy as required by OEMS, including more precise meas- uring. When vehicle is released, milled surface also ensures a smooth, controlled slide off the platform
  • Multiple Pulling – Add as many pull towers as needed to get the job done. Workhorse enables multiple pulls simultaneously and at 360-degrees around the bench. 10 Tons of pulling power on each pull tower, with a down pull attachment built directly into the pull tower, allowing for better down pulling angles for the repair.
  • Stronger Lift Capacity – Strong enough to lift 10,200 lbs., meeting the demand of many OEM requirements today. The entire lift is constructed with WL510 steel material. The scissor lift arms are composed of two CNC pieces leading to virtu- ally zero deviation. The lift is then heat-treated to remove internal stresses and toughen the steel, and the working deck height can be lifted to 47 inches.
  • Removable Ramps – Wider than any other bench offered to accommodate heavy-duty vehicles, Lavell Chisum has improved on this concept by designing removable ramps that come wider than all other benches on the market (width of 92”) – enabling a heavy-duty truck or SUV to fit securely on the Workhorse with ease.
  • Mounting Arms – Designed wider, allowing for the clamping of a wide unibody- constructed vehicle without needing to invert the bench chassis clamps
  • Smarter & Safer – An industry first in workplace safety, the Workhorse power unit has the ability to lift itself out of a locked position
  • Compatible – Its construction makes it compatible with accessories from some bench’s from manufactures like Snap-On, UnoLiner and Car-o-Liner
  • 2 Lengths – Two sizes to choose from: 19 feet and 16.5 feet, to accommodate the space availability of your particular shop
  • The Finish is Pure Perfection – The entire structure of the bench is factory shot-blasted, followed by a process of electrophoresis that helps with cleaning, de-greasing and creates an etched rust-free surface that is ideal for the powder- coating process that follows.

Plus… Unsurpassed Training. By registering your Chisum Workhorse bench on www.chisum-usa.com you can instantly download instructional manuals. You’ll also have access to step-by-step video training to discover tips and “shop secrets” that will boost any technician’s productivity when using the Workhorse.

The Chisum Workhorse improves on and surpasses all other bench-style frame rack machines on the market – from holding, lifting, anchoring, and measuring – to diagnostics and repair to final check and documentation. I am extremely proud to offer the latest frame-rack design from one of the industry’s true innovators, Lavell Chisum. If you are interested in seeing an in-shop demonstration or to receive additional information from one of our sales representatives, please click here and just give us your basic information. We will be in touch shortly, to help in any way possible.

Join the Chisum family and let us show you what value is! Experience working with the highest quality products – from the raw materials to the manufacturing to the service and support you won’t find anywhere else.

Picture of Chisum Frame Rack Machine

If you are interested in receiving more information from one of our available sales representatives, please click here and provide your basic information. We will be in touch shortly to help in any way possible.