Payne Auto Group has been serving Southern Texas since 1949, with 15 new and used car dealerships throughout the region. In 2022, the auto group decided to add its second collision repair center in Pharr, TX.
General Manager Louie Solis was hired to run Payne Pharr Collision Center. Solis said he had researched paint booths in the past, ultimately choosing Blowtherm because they are reportedly efficient, capable and reliable.
“That all turned out to be true,” Solis said. “I was impressed.”
Payne Pharr Collision Center
Company At A Glance...
Type: Collision Repair
Facility Employees: 15
In Business Since: 2022
Number of Locations: One
Production Space: 17,000 square feet
So when he joined Payne Pharr Collision Center to help outfit the repair center with top-of-the-line equipment, there was only one choice. In February 2023, the shop installed a Blowtherm World extended height spray booth, along with a mix room and prep station.
“It’s like the Cadillac of paint booths,” Solis said.
The extended height Blowtherm booth’s interior measures 29’ 6” long, 13’ 6” wide and 11’ 6” tall---which is 2’ 6” taller than a standard booth, meaning it can accommodate the growing number of commercial vehicles in most any area of the country, including SUVs, crossovers, vans and pickup trucks. Solis said his shop is now one of the only shops in the area capable of servicing medium-duty commercial vehicles, a clear competitive advantage.
It fit in with other equipment the shop purchased to be able to work on larger, heavier vehicles, including lifts, frame machines and alignment machines.
“We designed the shop around being able to work on heavier vehicles and extended length and height vehicles,” Solis said. “That was one of the visions that brought us to the Blowtherm extended height booth. The shop is prepared to work on any size vehicle that comes through the door.”
In addition, if the shop switches to a waterborne paint system in the future, Solis said it won’t have to replace its Blowtherm equipment, due to the spray booth’s flexibility and massive air movement.
Of course, just having the equipment doesn’t mean much if the finished product doesn’t look good, but Solis said that is never an issue with Blowtherm. Vehicle parts are always sprayed evenly and consistently, Solis said, resulting in a high-quality finish every time.
“We have one painter and two preppers, and they love everything about Blowtherm,” Solis said.
The spray booth’s direct-fired gas burner, with its fast response to set temperatures, and heating recuperator are also big selling points, Solis said.
“It has, I think, 90% recirculation when it’s in the bake cycle,” Solis said. “That’s one thing that really set it apart; it has massive air movement. That means shorter operating cycles, which helps get vehicles through that part of the process quicker.
“Everything is reduced---cycle times and labor costs,” Solis said.
Solis also appreciates the booth’s LED lighting, and how the booth’s door locations are customizable to make sure they fit in with any shop’s layout.
“The appearance of the equipment is very nice,” Solis added. “You can tell just by looking at it that it’s very well built.”
The reliability is also top-notch, Solis said.
“It’s just a reliable piece of equipment,” he said. “As long as you keep up with maintenance on a regular basis, it gives you something reliable. I’ve worked with booths before that were always breaking down.”
Solis said he has received outstanding support from his Blowtherm distributor and authorized installer. “We’ve always gotten quick answers,” he said.
Blowtherm USA has a nationwide network of authorized, trained sales and service experts. To find your local distributor, call 1-855-463-9872 or email sales@ blowtherm-usa.com.
Comprehensive spray booth, prep station and mix room equipment information can also be found at www.blowtherm-usa.com.
Existing owners who have had Blowtherm systems for decades are thrilled with the new Technical Spare Parts reference guide on the web, making ordering parts for Blowtherm equipment easier than ever. The guide can be accessed at www.blowtherm-usa.com/ Technical-Parts.
Payne it forward! Payne Auto Group is also known for its robust community service program, “Payne it Forward,” giving thousands of dollars over the past six decades to student scholarships and several charities across the Rio Grande Valley.
To read more auto body shop profiles in the October 2023 Shop and Product Showcase, click here.