Unless you are new to automobiles or have never had to change a wheel/tire before, you would know that portable truck tire changers are a blessing and great innovation — especially if you own or drive a truck. In recent times, different makes or brands of portable truck tire changers have flooded the markets — making truck drivers more cautious about their choice.
While scouting for the best portable truck tire changer, you should pay attention to the size and type of wheels you are dealing with; care to know the dimensions of the wheels you will be changing. With this information at your fingertips, you can easily see through the noise and make the right choice.
Since you already know the type of wheels you will be changing; truck tires, it’s worth mentioning that all vehicles are not built the same; they are broadly categorized as either light vehicles or heavy-duty vehicles. Another piece of information you should have at the tip of your fingers is whether the wheels are run-flats.
What are run-flats, you ask?
Run-flats allow the driver to continue driving even the when they are deflated. Because of their unique characteristics/features, they require special portable truck tire changers. Why? Because the conventional products are not designed to handle such tires.
How to choose the right portable truck tire changer?
Making the choice of the right portable truck tire changer is exactly a walk in the park. Knowing the different types of products available will help you decide on the best option. Suppose you are a shop owner and are scouting for the best products; you should have a checklist of factors to consider.
With these factors, you won’t have trouble combing through the various types of products out there. Having said that, here are the types of products you can choose from.
- Swingarm tire changers
These are regarded as the most affordable products, and they are semi-automatic. They are so-called because one would have to lock the arm into place and also tighten it manually. As such, making it fit with the size of the wheel you will be using it to change.
The swingarms can accommodate or fit big tire sizes (50inch in diameter). However, the mechanic or whoever is using them constantly has to adjust them every time to fit the rim correctly — to prevent damage to the tire. They come in highly recommended if you will be using them for a specific tire size and if you are just starting a shop. That way, you don’t have to constantly change the tool head.
- The tilt-back tire changer
One factor that immediately pops up whenever these truck tire changers are mentioned is their price tag. Compared to the swing arms, this type of product usually costs between one and half times to double the price of the swing arm counterpart.
They can accommodate bigger tires and can be adjusted quickly, thanks to its automatic tilt-back feature that make it easier to fit the wheel size at the touch of a button. It might cut across as being on the high side ( in terms of cost), but it’s much easier to use. Other types of products include leverless and heavy-duty.
But that’s not all.
Other important factors to consider while choosing the best portable truck tire changer include the power capacity (either 110 or 220 voltage); higher power allows you to change tires faster and more efficiently. Also, check to see if you will need additional tools (say power-assisted tools) to help you change tires safely and faster. Then choose between air or electric tire changers — electric products offer more convenience and are easier to fix/repair. Having mentioned “maintenance”, you should remember to check if the moving parts are working properly, check for leaks on the pneumatic hoses, ensure that electrical cables are properly secured, connections are tight, and all nuts are also tight.
Also, remember to check the oil level in either the hydraulics or the transmission. While you are at it, remember not to turn on the product if you spot any problems with the electric cables.