The USI booths get a lot of action at Cole’s Collision Centers in upstate New York. In fact, they have five booths at their four locations.
While many body shop owners all over the country are looking closely at the incredible USI line of paint booths, one shop owner is all-in with this 40-year-old company and their cutting-edge booths, mixing rooms and prep decks. With a total of seven USI booths in all of his four locations, John Cole, the owner of Cole’s Collision Center in upstate New York, isn’t just a customer, but is also a huge advocate for these booths and how they have helped his production in countless ways.
| Cole’s Collision Centers |
Type: Collision Repair
Facility Employees: 80
In Business Since: 2007
Number of Locations: Four
Combined Production Space: 65,000 square feet
As a veteran of the collision industry who started working for a shop at age 16, John Cole, now 51, began thinking seriously about opening his own shop back in 2006. With the help of his father and a handful of great friends, Cole renovated an old building and converted it into a state-of-the-art collision center facility. With previous experience managing a high-volume collision center at a local dealership, Cole knew what it would take to get his collision center operating at a high level.
Cole’s approach was to first get some key employees, a few DRPs and the finest equipment available on the market and that’s exactly what he did when he opened Cole’s Collision Center of Colonie in 2007. In just a short time, the shop was one of the most successful collision repairers in the region and Cole was looking to expand.
From there, he opened three more locations—in Ballston Spa and Wilton in 2007 and another shop in Clifton Park in 2012. Recently, he relocated Cole’s Collision Center of Colonie to a new, modern facility and this year he will be celebrating 10 years in business.
Cole knows exactly how his USI paint booths have helped him to be successful, crediting their amazing features, including cycle inversion dynamic dampers, online customer assistance, humidity-based temperature regulation, warm-up operations and a function that automatically regulates the booth’s air volume. But that is technical jargon and probably confusing to many people. What’s most important to Cole and his paint crew is that his USI booths do the job the right way time and time again and with outstanding results, while saving time, energy and money.
John Cole runs a profitable MSO and credits USI paint booths for a good portion of his success.
Cole is no newbie when he comes to paint booths and their capabilities, so when he decided to acquire USI booths, it was surely not an impulse buy. “I have probably sprayed in every paint booth out there and I’ve never seen a booth perform like a USI,” he said. “They’re incredible and the air movement is unmatched. The motors they put in these fans—they’re like the blades on a helicopter—amazing.”
“We love the waterborne feature of the USI booths because we spray waterborne in all of our locations,” Cole said. “With these booths, we’re getting the shortest flash-off and curing times in the industry, bar none. You push a button and it ramps up to cure the waterborne more quickly, which is wonderful. With these booths, you don’t need any additional fans or blowers in your booth to cure these cars. Plus, it saves us a ton on energy and we’re keeping contaminants out of the paint.”
With USI’s Easy Paint System (EPS), the booth can set the working rhythm and parameters of the job, instead of it being performed by the painter. “It’s actually a button on the iPad that we use in conjunction with the booth and it’s a totally automated function,” Cole said. “It gives you the proper temperature, fan speed, duration, purge and proper bake and all you do is simply follow the instructions. It’s like a micro-wave oven - you push the button and it tells you what to do. You really don’t have to even think about it. Our painters love it!”
USI booths do the job the right way for Cole’s Collision Centers while saving time, energy and money—just ask painter Julio Santana.
Cole is also enamored with USI’s DGT Manager for its reporting capabilities, he said. “They give you total control with this feature, so that we can constantly have access to all of the information available about our energy consumption in real-time for each job, including time reports for the single cycles, operators and pieces. This way, we’re not guessing; we’re knowing.”
Training for the USI spray booths was prompt and thorough, according to Cole. “The people from USI came in here and taught our painters how to use it right away and then they come back about a month later, and re-train them and that’s where they really fine-tune their skills. USI has been great with training and support.
If you have a shop anywhere near upstate NY and want to see a USI spray booth in action, is Cole willing to oblige? “Absolutely,” he said. “I love these booths and I tell people they’re the best out there, so sure—call us and we’d be happy to let you see how they work.”