Hunter Engineering Company
6621738b6b70ab001e37fd01 Hunter Winalign Xl Alignment

Tool Review: HawkEye XL Alignment system

April 22, 2024
The HawkEye XL Alignment system offers intuitive operation offers quicker turnaround for alignment jobs.

Hunter Engineering Company's HawkEye XL alignment system is suited to service a wide range of commercial vehicles, including, trucks, buses, trailers, and more. Featuring three-dimensional extra-large targets and high-definition cameras with extra-long-range sight, the HawkEye XL captures all measurements in a single rolling compensation, even on 53' trailers. Then live alignment data from up to three axles at once is displayed, making the XL easy to use if technicians need to make adjustments. Accessible for use in any bay, the aligner can be moved for floor or lift use with its adjustable camera beam.

We asked Johnathon Gatton, alignment tech at McMahon’s Best-One Tire and Auto Care and a Hunter HawkeyeXL beta tester since Fall 2023, to share early impressions.

Fleet Maintenance: Why did you get the Hawkeye and how did you hope it would help your business?

Johnathon Gatton: We’ve been using the HawkEye Elite on our retail side for many years, so when Hunter announced the new HawkEye XL with the same camera technology with no electronics on the wheels, the decision was simple. We currently have 10 Hunter systems in our locations.

FM: How did you previously handle alignment work?

JG: Our previous alignment system, the Hunter WinAlign HD, used the 700 roll comp sensors. We discovered some issues with the electronics, bulky heads, and clearance.

FM: When did you get the HawkEye XL and can you talk about installation and how you planned to integrate it into your operations?

JG: Hunter took care of the installation. With how intuitive the machine is, our previous experience with similar systems, and the above-average training Hunter provided, the learning curve was very minimal.

Read more: Tool Review: Prologics Sensor Simulator and 12V/24V Sensor Voltage Probe

FM: How does the HawkEye XL work and what do you like about it?

JG: The software walks you through step by step. We can enter data specific to the truck and use the manufacturer’s specifications for alignment. The speed and stability of the HawkEye XL allows us to be more efficient, which in turn allows us to get the most accurate readings to provide higher service to the customer. A happy customer will be a return customer.

FM: What benefits have you seen so far?

JG: The benefits we’ve seen are stability of the readings, faster turnaround rate, no dead batteries, and no electronic sensor communication error. It is quick, easy, and simple to operate. The efficiency and accuracy are second to none.

FM: What would you like to see in future iterations?

JG: If the target style of the HawkEye Elite could be adapted to the HawkEye XL it would allow easier mounting of the targets. We would love to have the ability to do 5-axle units without the need for moving targets and re-compensating the machine for each additional axle.

FM: Final thoughts?

JG: We highly recommend the HawkEye XL to other consumers in the industry. It is the easiest commercial system to use and allows us to have the most versatility to meet our customer’s needs. Don’t let cost scare you away from innovation.

About the Author

John Hitch | Editor-in-chief, Fleet Maintenance

John Hitch is the editor-in-chief of Fleet Maintenance, where his mission is to provide maintenance management and technicians with the the latest information on the tools and strategies to keep their fleets' commercial vehicles moving.

He is based out of Cleveland, Ohio, and has worked in the B2B journalism space for more than a decade.

Hitch was previously senior editor for FleetOwner, and covers everything related to trucking and commercial vehicle equipment, including breaking news, the latest trends and best practices. He previously wrote about manufacturing and advanced technology for IndustryWeek and New Equipment Digest.

Prior to that he was editor for Kent State University's student magazine, The Burr, and a freelancer for Cleveland Magazine. He is an award-winning journalist and former sonar technician, where he served honorably aboard the fast-attack submarine USS Oklahoma City (SSN-723).

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