If you’ve been paying attention to collision repair industry developments over the past few years, you know that updated equipment is necessary to properly fix today’s vehicles. The growing use of aluminum and advanced high-strength steels is driving the development of new welders, rivet guns and other shop tools.

While these new products have generated a lot of industry buzz, there’s another important piece of equipment that has evolved to meet the needs of collision repair shops: the frame rack. While the days of pulling out every bend or dent are long gone, the trusty frame rack remains the foundation of most repairs. Here’s why:IMG_5090


Anchoring during sectioning

OEMs often recommend sectioning and replacing damaged aluminum and advanced high-strength-steel parts, because pulling or heating these metals may inflict more damage. Since today’s cars and trucks are designed to direct collision forces around the passenger compartment, the sectioning process must be precise. Any repair that does not meet OEM specifications could compromise the vehicle’s entire impact-absorbing design.

In order to ensure a correct repair, the vehicle must be secured throughout the repair process. An existing frame rack can be updated for this task by adding supplemental holding components like those included in Chief’s Structural Holding Package.

The Structural Holding Package comes with more than 50 pieces that can be combined in a variety of ways to secure a vehicle at a wide range of holding points. Vice clamps are included for use on frame-based trucks, while unibody vehicles can be secured at their suspension mounting points or upper rails with bolt-on surface plate attachments. These additional holding points prevent the vehicle from shifting out of place during the repair. With the optional Universal Structural Holding (USH) Clamp System, Chief’s Structural Holding Package can be used with all treadway designs, including those with non-rectangular holes.

Precise frame pulls

Even the most cutting-edge light-duty trucks continue to be built on steel frames, and these frames may need to be pulled back into shape after a collision. A frame rack equipped with supplemental structural holding components can help the technician distribute pulling pressure evenly, and ensure the vehicle is braced against a solid foundation.

While you may have to purchase new welders and other shop tools for today’s vehicles, supplemental structural holding kits provide a cost-effective way to update an existing frame rack. With this easy upgrade, your frame rack can continue to serve you for years to come.

For more information about working with aluminum and other metals, take a look at our free Structural Design Technology download.