TIRE CHANGERS – WHICH MODEL IS BEST?
Table Top Tire Changers are by far the most popular and offer the most affordable option but they do have some drawbacks. On the positive side, Table Top designs are very fast and most mechanics are familiar with their simple straight forward operation. The wheel and tire assemble is lifted on the table and are held in place inside the rim or grip on the outer edge near the bead seat area. This clamping method is a Negative point only if working on expensive aluminum alloy wheels or custom rims. The clamp/jaws on these machines can causes scratches and scuff marks on pristine new wheels and many production cars like BMW or Corvettes for example have very stiff low profile tires. A very difficult assembly can “slip” the jaws and suddenly you customer’s high end wheel is damaged! Now if you shop works on fleets or normal production cars, a Table Top Changer is a great option for your shop.
Center Post Tire Changers are now the preferred method on changing tires on expensive wheel types. The only negative points on a center post design is Higher Cost and it s a bit slower time wise per assembly. We feel the positive far out weigh the negative points, the “Center Post” actually holds the wheel as it was designed, by the lug/hub area on the wheel. If a wheel is held at the hub area, it is not possible to damage a rim! Most changers of this design utilize a Cam Clamp under the post so as the wheel turns on the machine, it actually hold it more firmly. No need to over tighten the main bolt as the “Cam” tightens as turned, very clever engineering. Most Center Post machines also have a Wheel Lift which saves back breaking work. If your shop works on expensive cars or customer rims, you need a Center Post Tire Machine.
Bead Press Assist Arms, Both Table Top and Center Post Tire Machines need an extra assist arm with todays high performance tires. Many decades ago an assist arm was never utilized on tire machines, most cars has easily changed steel wheels or soft sidewall tires on aluminum alloy rims. Now mostg modern cars have Low Profile tires and are difficult to change, make sure your next Tire Changer has a Bead Press/Assist Arm.