Times they are a-changin'
With a nod to singer/songwriter Bob Dylan, the times are indeed changing for tire service. There are numerous new products on the market that make UHP tire demounting, mounting and balancing quicker and easier than ever before. “If you’re changing high performance tires and wheels, you can’t be doing it with the same old stuff,” succinctly states Pete Liebetreu, Hunter Engineering Co.’s product manager, tire changers. So here’s a rundown of some of the equipment suppliers’ latest offerings.
Leverless is more with tire changers
Hunter Engineering Co.’s new Auto28 tire changer services all wheel designs from 10 to 28 inches in diameter safely and easily. “The Auto28, our latest tire changer, is the ‘little brother’ to our Auto34 tire changer,” says Liebetreu.
The Auto28 features a tool head design that automatically slips easily between the rim edge and tire sidewall and extracts the bead gently in one fluid down-and-up motion without the use of bead levers. This leverless system reduces potentially damaging stress on the bead and eases overall operation.
“The leverless head is quite thin where the tire passes over it. It doesn’t stretch the tire more than it needs to,” Liebetreu notes.
The powerful, high-torque electric motor exerts over 850 ft.-lbs. of torque to mount even the most stubborn beads. The variable-speed drive system gives the technician the ability to control the amount of force needed to service a wheel at the most efficient speed, while safeguarding against damage.
The center-support clamping table and self-centering quick clamp give the Auto28 the flexibility to easily mount a wide variety of wheel designs with the same clamping technique. The mount/demount rollers gently roll the tire off or on the rim. “It ‘worries’ the tire off the rim,” explains Liebetreu, taking extra care not to damage the wheel.
The bead press arm pushes and holds stiff sidewalls in the drop-center of a rim as the wheel rotates, greatly reducing the risk of bead damage.
The Auto28 also features a side-mounted bead loosener using a side-shovel design familiar to most technicians and an optional wheel lift to help with heavy or expensive wheel assemblies.
Corghi USA offers an automatic, leverless tire changer, the A 2024LL. It uses a top bead demounting procedure with the same working movements as a manual demount using a tire lever, but it requires no effort from the operator thanks to the “leva la leva” technology incorporated in the mount/demount head, the company says.
The machine features pneumatic tilting and Corghi’s turntable system, which allows clamps to be moved to change the working range.
The A 2024LL also features an adjustable bead breaker arm, which moves to ensure that the working position is always perfect for the rim diameter. The bead breaker arm is supplied with a shoe extension system for use on large diameter wheels.
The A 2024LL tire changer is suitable for tires up to 14 inches wide and 43 inches in diameter and offers an inside clamping capacity of 13 to 26 inches and an outside clamping capacity of 10 to 24 inches.
Snap-on Equipment is offering the John Bean Pegasus ATC 800 Leverless tire changer designed to meet the needs of shops handling high volumes of wheels, particularly low-profile, run-flat and extended-mobility tires. “Its best-in-class design and features will improve safety and consistency while reducing technician fatigue and damage to wheels and tires when compared to tabletop tire changers,” the company notes.
The Pegasus ATC 800 is easy to operate with its laser-guided demounting process, in which a laser light assists the technician in setting the demount head in the optimal position for both mounting and demounting, and eliminates the chance of wheel damage during the process.
The Pegasus ATC 800’s demount head has no pivot points. Once in position, the demount head efficiently lifts the sidewall from the wheel with no manual input and eliminates the need for a tire lever or for multiple technicians to assist when demounting tires. The Pegasus ATC 800’s bead breaker does not contact the wheel at any point in the process, providing what the company has termed “Do No Harm” performance.
Hennessy Industries Inc. is offering the Coates ProGuard Leverless tire changer developed specifically for handling oversized, run-flat and low profile tires, the company notes. It features a design that reduces the risk of tire or rim damage.
In addition to the leverless operation, the ProGuard Leverless tire changer has built-in features that take the strain out of tire changing. Lifting, prepping, bead loosening, mounting and demounting can all be done with easy-to-use controls from a single operator location. It features the Coats Leverless Power Duckhead Bead Lifter that eliminates traditional tire tools that can mar the tire’s surface due to application difficulty or operator error. It also has a highly intuitive and easy-to-use design that eliminates metal-to-metal contact, taking the tire bar out of the operator’s hands and ensuring a controlled mount and demount process. During demounting, the leverless tool hooks the lip of the bead and effortlessly lifts it just above the rim. The tire then comes off the rim safely and easily with a simple rotation of the tabletop. Other features include a protective pedestal and center lock design, a built-in adjustable wheel lift, a bead loosener disc and tower, Robo-Arm helper device and a tilt back tool tower.
Additionally, the Coats 70-Series Rim Clamp tire changer recently got upgrades to increase its capability to handle performance tires. “The additional functionality and improvements we’ve made to our workhorse machines for the tire retailer enable them to handle those high performance and UHP fitments down in the more average size range,” says Kevin Keefe, vice president, marketing.
Keeping it in balance
Hennessy Industries’ Coats 1250 Series wheel balancer comes in three models – the 1250-2D, 1250-3D and 1250-3DV.
They come equipped with 1.5 hp direct drive motors, eight balancing modes, and Laser-Guided Operation that eliminates error by pinpointing the exact Tape-A-Weight placement and behind-the-spoke weight placement locations.
The company’s top model, the 1250-3DV, has a video display that is bright and durable and provides on-screen training while reinforcing proper balancing techniques.
Hunter Engineering’s Road Force GSP9700 tire balancer offers precise and accurate tire balancing, says Greg Meyer, product manager, balancers, which is especially important today because “vehicles are increasingly sensitive to imbalance,” he notes.
The Road Force GSP9700 eliminates tire and wheel vibration. Each tire/wheel assembly is tested for the amount of dynamic/static imbalance and road force. It simulates a “road test,” with a unique “load roller” which applies up to 1,400 pounds of force against the rotating assembly. The roller measures the loaded runout of the assembly and automatically recommends corrections when needed.