How to Choose the Proper Tire Changer for your Shop
The market for tire changers is awash with brands from a variety of manufacturers like Corghi, Ranger, Hofmann and Cemb. Each of these manufacturers is trying to put their best foot forward in a bid to win over the trust and loyalty of customers, and have different tire changers fashioned to meet the needs of specific niches. Shop owners therefore ought to know the appropriate models for their applications. Before settling for a particular tire changer, the buyer needs to re-examine a number of issues.
The type and size of wheels to be worked on - Knowing the dimensions of the wheels that you want changed, can help you in shopping for the right tire changer. Look at the rim diameter of the tires to be changed, 20 to 22 inch diameter is the common measurement of most wheels.
The type of wheels to be changed - knowing the type of wheels that you want to replace will give you a clearer picture of the tire changer to shop for. Light trucks will utilize a different tire changer from heavy duty trucks. A shop owner will also need to know if he/she wants to specialize in run flat tires - These tires allow the driver to continue driving on despite the deflated tires. Such tires require special tire changers because the ordinary models may not be able to handle that well.
Which tire changer should I choose?
The type of tire shop that you want to be - there are many tire shops out there and the tire changer you choose will determine the type of tire change model that you will ultimately settle for.
With these factors in mind, we now need to look at the different types of tire changers available in the market. Some of these changers derive their names from the mechanics they use to change the tires.
Swing Arm Tire Changers
The swing arm tire changers usually are the most economical changer you will find and can be considered “semi-automatic”. The reason being is that you will have to lock the arm into place by tightening it manually and making it fit perfectly with the size of the wheel that you will be changing. However, it does have a quick change tool with infinite tool head positioning that you will be able to adjust to fit nearly any tires. Some great swing arm tire changers that we recommend are the Ranger R980AT, the Corghi A9824TI and the Hofmann Monty 1625.
Most swing arm tire changers are able to fit bigger tires (Up to 50 inches in diameter) however, the tech would have to adjust it every time to fit the rim correctly otherwise you can damage the tire. This type of changer does come in handy when the shop is constantly doing the same size tires. If they are, the tool head does not have to be re-positioned every time and an experienced tech will be able to change plenty of tires in a short amount of time. We recommend using this tire changer if you are starting a shop and also if you are going to use it for a particular tire size that way you don’t have to continue changing the tool head every time.
Tilt-Back Tire Changer
The first thing you will notice about the tilt back tire changer is the price tag for this machine compared to its little brother, the swing arm. The price tag for the tilt back tire changers will usually be 1 ½ to 2 times the amount of the swing arm. However, you will be able to fit bigger tires and adjust them a lot faster with the automatic tilt back option which adjusts correctly to fit the size of the tire with the press of a button. Some of the models that we recommend are the Ranger R76LT, the Corghi A2024TI, or the Hofmann Monty 3550EM.
When it comes to changing tires, we usually recommend the tilt back tire changer, it might be more expensive, but it will be a lot easier to use and you will have less risk when it comes to damaging tires if you are not too experienced.
Touchless / Leverless Tire Changer
The leverless tire changers are considered risk free and they reduce significantly the chances of damaging your wheels while changing them. They are specifically made to help the tech change run flat tires and also UHP (Ultra High Performance) Tires much easier than with their tire changer counterparts. Even though it is a little harder to learn how to use it, most manufacturers will include training when you purchase these tires changers. Some toucheless / leverless tire changer models that JMC carries are the Corghi AM26 Artiglio Master, the Ranger R80DTXF, and the Hofmann Monty FA 1000.
Most of these more advanced tire changers have an integrated wheel lift that helps in handling heavy wheels without the need for lifting hence eliminating operator injury. Powerful pneumatic assistant tools that reduce the effort needed while changing tough-sidewall tires. This enhances a safer and more efficient working environment. It is quick and precise to setup. It makes use of multi-size center cones that make mounting of wheels easy and fast thereby reducing wheel damage. It services a larger range of wheels. This gives it flexibility to work on a variety of wheel sizes and styles with a lot of efficiency.
Our suggestion, have one tech at your shop learn how to use this machine completely and have only him work on it.
Other types of tire changers
Motorcycle Tire Changers
Motorcycle tire changers are less complicated than passenger and light truck changers because they deal with lighter and smaller tires and wheels. Their setup is a lot simpler and they usually have simple bead loosening system and rim clamps powered manually. Usually, this tire changer only exists in motorcycle repair shops, but if you think you can expand your business by acquiring it, definitely do so. However, you might have to expand to do other jobs for motorcycles, which will be a good problem to have. Check out the Tuxedo TC-400M-B and the Hofmann Monty 1520M.
Heavy Duty Tire Changers
Compared to the motorcycle tire changer, the heavy duty or truck tire changer is a monster. These changers usually have to deal with heavy duty tires that may go up to 91 inches in diameter and 43 inches wide. Be careful when choosing a heavy duty tire changer, some are made especially for agricultural, off-road and constructional vehicles and other are designed especially for businesses that maintain a fleet of vehicles. Unless you are opening up a truck shop, we don’t recommend owning one of these, it’s way too expensive and most trucks will go to specialized truck repair shops. However, if you do have a truck tire changer take a look at the Corghi Monster AGTT, one of our more popular models.
Other Factors to Consider
Air VS Electric
Some manufacturers like Corghi will give you the option of choosing if you want either an Air or Electric Tire Changer. We recommend going with the electric model for convenience and ease of repair and they are less expensive to operate.
110 VS 220 Voltage
Again, some tire changer manufacturers give you the choice of choosing between 110 and 220 volt. While it is easier to install and setup a 110 Volt tire changer, the 220 will be safer and more efficient because it gives the tire changers a lot more power, especially when you are changing tougher tires like the run flat tires.
Power Operated Assist Tools
If you want to have a shop that handles modern tires that are tougher, you definitely want to equip your tire changer with a power operated assist tool. These assist tools will help the technician change the tire much easier and safer and also will increase the productivity of your shop. Most manufacturers will have different names for these tools like the Easymont from Hofmann, the SP2000 and PU1500 from Corghi, or the Single or Dual Tower Assist from Ranger.
When it comes to choosing the correct tire changer for your shop, make sure you choose the correct one that will benefit you for a long period of time. If you have any questions about which tire changer to choose please call us up at 800-562-4791 so we can guide you in the right direction.