MOT Workshop 52 – New Products and Services

• Workshop Plus launches new models in the SmartBox Portable Car Jump Starter range
Boston announce £3,000 discounts to flood damaged MOT stations
• Useful extra long ratchet drivers from Laser Tools
• Automechanika Birmingham exhibitor space sells out five months prior to launch
• Hickleys aquire globeaid business
• Upgraded System for Diagnosis of Noise, Vibration and Harshness concerns with the New PicoScope
NVH Diagnostics Kit
• Boston launch new braketester range for 2016
• Six-step guide to the 2016 MOT Industry Training changes!

Workshop Plus launches new models in the SmartBox Portable Car Jump Starter range

SmartBox from Workshop Plus is a portable car jump starter and personal power supply that’s just a fraction of the size and weight of other products on the market.

smartbox range
Convenient and Powerful, SmartBox is now available in 3 different sizes for small engine cars to large 24V commercial vehicles.  SmartBox combines a car jump starter, a battery charger and a built-in, high-power LED torch with emergency SOS flash in one compact design. The unit will jump start vehicles multiple times before recharging.

The new ‘SmartBox 6s’ is designed for car batteries 100AH, 12v gasoline 6500cc and 12v diesel 3500cc whilst the ‘SmartBox 23s’ easily handles 24V commercial vehicles. The high capacity battery technology delivers a peak current of 500A on the SmartBox 6S model and 800A on the SmartBox 23S.

The classic model, SmartBox 9, launched in 2015 is just 130x70x23mm (L/W/H) and weighs 270g. It is no larger than a mobile phone yet powerful enough to jump start all 12V cars including 8 cylinder. (All cars up to and including 3500CC).

All SmartBox units are easy to charge in any standard wall outlet with the included AC adapter or the cigarette lighter car charger for recharging while on the road. Initial charging takes approximately 3-6 hours depending on the model. Recharging will be necessary whenever the indicator lights show low power and after long periods of inactivity – usually after about 3 months. Built in safety features prevent overcharging and short circuit problems
Stored neatly in its own carrying case, each model is compact and lightweight so easier to store and easier to use under the bonnet to jumpstart a vehicle. Included are cables, connectors and adapters to charge personal electronic devices, from mobile phone to iPad and laptop, via the USB port.

SmartBox Classic: £69.99
SmartBox 6S: £79.50
SmartBox 23S: £109.50
Discounted prices are available for multiple purchases.

For further information visit

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Boston announce £3,000 discounts to flood damaged MOT stations

Boston Garage Equipment are responding to the many demands for urgent replacement equipment, with offers of immediate despatch plus 10% product discounts up to £3,000.

Ray Calcutt, MD at Boston commented “we saw the same enormous problems in the West Country two years ago and now hundreds of premises are in need of replacement lifts, braketesters, emission equipment, headlamp testers, play-detectors and all ancillary items. We always hold large stocks and we will make a special effort to prioritise these situations.

All our Northern and Scotland area agents are proactively offering any help needed to get MOT Stations up and running as the floods subside”.

Boston state that only insurer’s confirmation is needed, and equipment will be despatched and installed, with payment delayed as necessary.

Boston will maintain their offer to give lower MOT bay prices than any written quotation for equivalent products, and will provide additional flood claim discounts on Snap-on-Tools and Karcher equipment.

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Useful extra long ratchet drivers from Laser Tools

extended sockets
New additions to the Laser Tools range of hand tools are these three extra long ratchet drivers, in π” drive (180mm long, part number 6202), 3/8” drive (280mm long, part number 6203) and ∏” drive (380mm long, part number 6204).

The fully polished ratchet handles are very slim and extra long for access to difficult areas, beautifully balanced and all fitted with smooth 48 tooth ratchet mechanisms (which are replaceable).

Manufactured from high quality chrome vanadium with chrome molybdenum square drive for strength and longevity. These high quality tools are available now from your Laser Tools stockist.  Remember to check for the best prices and special offers.

More details from

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Automechanika Birmingham exhibitor space sells out five months prior to launch

• A unique exhibition serving aftermarket and supply chain
• 550 exhibitors representing the industry’s blue chip companies

Exhibitor space at the inaugural Automechanika Birmingham exhibition, to be staged at the NEC from the 7th – 9th June this year, has already sold out five months prior to launch, with over 550 UK and international businesses set to attend. The companies represented at this important new UK event are split between the automotive aftermarket and supply chain with the likes of Schaeffler, TRW, Unipart, Yokohama Tyres and Total UK just some of the major household names confirmed to take part. The exhibition, originally planned for one hall, will now occupy three halls amounting to 21,000 sqm of space at the venue.

The new UK exhibition reflects the huge success generated by the original Automechanika event at the Frankfurt Messe, which has now expanded into events at 15 international locations, making it the most successful automotive trade show series globally. The UK event will become the largest Automechanika debut show in history outside of Frankfurt.

“We are certainly on track to become the most successful automotive trade show in the UK”, said Simon Albert, event director, Automechanika Birmingham. “The response to the launch has served to prove the need for an automotive event of this type in the UK. It is destined to become the key home for both supply chain and aftermarket companies and visitors which no other event has been able to offer”.

The organisers have instigated a full seminar programme for visitors, the details of which will be announced shortly. The exhibition is in association with SMMT who will provide an added draw to visitors by hosting its own popular flagship events: Meet the Buyer and Open Forum, as well as the UK Logistics Forum.

Automechanika Birmingham has been designed to support the UK automotive industry which is enjoying continued success with annual car production set to exceed 2.6 million vehicles this year. Tier 1 suppliers alone have demonstrated a 31% increase in sales over the past 12 months.

Potential visitors are encouraged to visit the website to register for this free entry event. Further information about the show is also available online.

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Hickleys aquire globeaid business

The directors of Hickleys Ltd are pleased to announce the acquisition of the trade and assets of Globeaid Ltd on the 7th December 2015. Globeaid Ltd are the UK distributors for the Bosch (Formerly Johnson Controls & SPX) Ultima & Ultimax MOT approved emission analysers.

Robin Huish, Managing Director of Hickleys said “We believe that this excellent business will complement our current garage equipment and diagnostic business and enable us to expand our national services and coverage for the benefit of all involved, Globeaid have an excellent customer base and network of quality service agents and we look forward to working with all of them to further support and develop our business”.

Hickleys are already one of the largest distributors of Bosch Garage Equipment products and the UK importers of the Brainbee range of emission analysers and this will further strengthens their position in the market.

Hickleys ltd can be contacted on 01823 328530, website

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Upgraded System for Diagnosis of Noise, Vibration and Harshness concerns with the New PicoScope NVH Diagnostics Kit

pico 1
Pico Technology brings a new level of functionality and ease of use to its industry-leading PicoScope NVH Diagnostic kit. This award-winning (most recently the Elektra awards and AMR Beijing), system provides technicians worldwide with the tools to tackle troublesome vehicle noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) problems that are significant reasons for customer dissatisfaction. As part of Pico’s ongoing collaboration with major vehicle and equipment manufacturers, this system has now been substantially enhanced to improve diagnosis and provide more flexible analysis tools for problem areas in cars, trucks and off-road vehicles.

Quickly identifying the true cause of a noise or vibration, and finding its location, can be a difficult and time-consuming task even for the most experienced technician.

pico chartThe updated PicoScope NVH Diagnostic Kit provides a more accurate analysis of vehicle NVH problems, supports multiple sensors and adds a host of technician-friendly features.

Using the display of a laptop computer, this system combines fast capture and analysis of vehicle data with a clear easy-to-read presentation of results and actions.

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Boston launch new braketester range for 2016

As an MOT Vehicle Testing Group for 42 years, and entering the garage equipment industry some 25 years ago, Boston now boasts a comprehensive network of approved equipment sales and service agents throughout the UK, and a healthy export business. Over 4,000 UK premises now operate Boston equipment.

Now available after extensive trials, Boston’s new range of braketesters are claimed to exceed all currently available RBT specifications, and to be at guaranteed lower prices than any European equivalent product.  The range includes Class 4 and Class 7, ATL and Non-ATL models, all with UK built control systems, latest software and high quality RF remote control.  Boston have also included a motor power upgrade and on-line support services, via internet.  ATL models are supplied with a free 40” secondary flat panel display and the whole range has a 5 year roller surface warranty.

The Institute of Transport Management, in recently announcing Boston as winner of their latest Innovation in Garage Equipment Award, stated, “Boston is synonymous with cutting-edge technology and has helped shape the course of the automotive industry.  We have invested this accreditation in a company which exhibited characteristics that set them apart from their competitors”.

Ingenious future proofing, leading technology, customer service and competitive pricing, combine to support Boston’s success. All their equipment exceeds VOSA requirements; sometimes considerably.  Never working at the margins, they claim this provides for better operation, longer life and happier customers!

Full specifications of the new Brake-tester range are on the Boston website

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Six-step guide to the 2016 MOT Industry Training changes!

The team from give their view of what the forthcoming changes will mean to MOT Testing businesses and Testers.

With over 60,000 nominated testers in the UK, spread across over 23,000 VTS test stations, this April’s changes to the MOT industry are arguably the biggest ever change seen since the MOT system was established in 1960. As a leading provider of training for the MOT industry has been busy preparing for the switch over.

The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) has around 32 training providers who are now preparing for the changes which will see DVSA stop all training provision and move this across the commercial sector. At one of the approved IMI centres with direct claim status centre we need to get it right first time. This means addressing the sectors obvious fears that this laTest change of modernisation will not be a repeat of the difficulties that last year’s computer modernisation had and the difficulties that ensued during that transition.

With this in mind we felt a small article would help inform the sector what lays ahead.

So what’s changing?

1.  The NTTA will be phased out by August 31st and replaced exclusively with the existing ATA LVI. The NTTA as many reader will know had a fail rate of upwards of 65%, and many thought that a 2 year ban after failing a reTest was draconian at the least (even if you only failed by 1%). The 90 minute Test had no practical element and was becoming simply out of date. Its replacement The IMI’s ATA LVI Test is no pushover. But with 5 practical tests as well as a tough online exam with modern relevant questions it poses a far more realistic Test and closer to the industry needs.

2.  The refresher training course for existing Nominated Tester’s will be scrapped permanently and replaced with the new Continuing Professional Development (CPD) from March 31st 2016. once it’s been introduced, all testers will:

  • no longer need to attend a 5 year refresher course
  • have to complete at least 3 hours of annual training to maintain their Tester status.

If you’re a Tester and were due to attend refresher training by April 2016 please be assured these changes won’t affect your current authorisation to Test.

To keep their Tester status, every Tester will have to do at least three hours training between the start of April and the end of March the following year. The Tester will be responsible for:

  • planning their training
  • recording their training
  • completing their training

How will MOT annual training work?

DVSA won’t be delivering the new annual training and will instead publish an annual training syllabus for each vehicle class.
This will outline which topics you’ll need to cover in order to maintain your Tester status.

The planned 2016 to 2017 annual training syllabus for Class 1 and 2 vehicles will cover the following subject areas:

  • lighting and signalling equipment
  • brakes
  • CPD planning and recording

The planned 2016 to 2017 annual training syllabus for Class 3, 4, 5 and 7 vehicles will cover the following subject areas:

  • driver’s view of the road
  • headlamp aim
  • CPD planning and recording

The majority of Testers already spend more than 3 hours each year updating their MOT knowledge and skills.

This means, if you spend at least 3 hours each year covering that year’s syllabus topics, the new MOT annual training should not take up any more of your time than is necessary.

Over the course of a year, you’ll have to record your training as evidence that you’ve carried out the required MOT annual training.

You’ll have to sit and pass an annual ‘reauthorisation exam’ to maintain your Tester status.

At we get customers taking our online tests on a daily basis to check up on their knowledge and skills. Nobody in the sector really offers any level 3+ training for Testers to update and brush up on their training. So the introduction of a CPD which must be updated on a yearly basis is a brilliant idea, and much needed in the sector. At much of our business is around good customer service and after sales / training support. This new CPD route at long last brings the MOT Tester profession in line with the construction, security, teaching, and other professional sectors. These CPD’s will hopefully acknowledge the professionalism of the current 60,000 Tester across the UK and make NT a more desirable career options for mechanics and technicians. We estimate there are around 6500 vacancies in the industry right now, anything in which we can help encourage more talent to the sector can only mean safer roads for all of us. The CPD process will start by March 31st .

3.  DVSA will use the CPD process to sanction garages and ensure they are up to date with due diligence training.

4. The current 3 days mandatory DVSA training will migrate away from the DVSA/VOSA to private commercial training firms in 4 phases from end of March (Bristol and Chadderton are running the first pilots). will be among the first cohort of (non in house providers) to run these courses from June. This new 24 hour course will be a minimum of 8 hours practical with the rest delivered via webinar/seminar style. It has been designed to meet the needs of today’s MOT industry in a flexible and practical way. With only 8 hours of practical required this should help minimise disruption to the MOT centres work schedules.

5. The current AE/AEDM manager course will be a 2 day course and will be available from August 31st. This again will be a VRQ.

6. The AE/Managers course will not need any refreshers but all AE and AEDM’s will be encouraged to have ongoing CPD training.

Lastly, when doing your final observation with DVSA Inspectors candidates will need to sign a declaration that they have 4 year’s experience similar to the current self-declaration on the VT78.

The MOT Expert management team said “At we feel the new changes to the training for MOT Nominated Testers, refresher training, and even the new AE managers courses are a big step in the right direction. Yes more could be done, but anything which enhances the quality of training, raising standards and provides ongoing support is only ever going to be a good thing. Let’s hope the introduction of the VRQ and CPD will give Nominated testers and AE’s the proper recognition they deserve and qualifications that recognise the professionalism within the sector. We’re proud to be one of a handful of industry experts helping deliver these changes.

Our CPD package which will be launched later this month, is designed to help NTs remain fully compliant for the minimum fuss for a great price.

Our one stop solution will ensure that Testers can concentrate on their vehicles whilst we look after their continuing professional development.

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