Tire Changer Selection Is Vital – Part 2
If you have a high volume tire shop, then you may be a candidate for a high end touch-less Tire Machine. These make your technician’s life a breeze. Many even feature a a wheel lift built in so your tech doesn’t need to lift the wheel onto the turntable. These machines are essential for PAX and Run Flat tires. If your technicians don’t have to lift heavy wheels all day, this could pay dividends in the way of reduced injuries and workers comp. claims.
Features that some techs may have a preference for would be tilt tower instead of the swing arm style tower. The swing arm swings to the side when you are placing the wheel onto the turntable, while the tilt tower tilts back out of the way allowing you greater room to place the larger rims onto the turntable. While this is a desired feature, there is a drawback to it. Because it tilts back, it requires you to pull it further away from the wall, meaning that you’ll need to dedicate more floor space for it. If your garage has limited floor space, this may be a feature you can do without.
Another choice is air electric, or air only. The trend is tilting strongly toward air / electric because an air only model limits your ability to reverse the turntable if it gets jammed during operation.
Jet blast delivery systems for seating the bead are also a reason for decisions. Many modern machines integrate the air jets into the jaws that clamp onto the rims on the turntable. We’ve seen a new trend recently that appears to be more reliable. It involves having the air tank feed a single large nozzle through a hose allowing the technician to deliver the air blast with more precision, assuring more of the air is delivered where you want it. The fully automatic Tire Changers have advanced features like joysticks to control functions, and CCD cameras to view operations underneath the wheel. We’ve sure come a long way!
These features may seem complex and they do scare away some shop owners who think they’re too difficult to master quickly, but we’ve found they aren’t that difficult to comprehend in a reasonable time frame. They always come with a detailed owner’s manual, phone support, and some even come with an instructional video.
There is a myriad of models and manufacturers to choose from. Factors to help you choose which manufacturer would center on price, warranty and service, along with parts availability. Some manufacturers have not been around as long and may prove to be difficult to obtain parts from five years from now. Another consideration is service. Does the warranty cover parts only, or labor as well?
This post gives you food for though if you are currently on the market for a new tire changer. Hopefully, it has shed some light on what features to look for when making your decision.