The tire changer market is flooded with numerous brands, including Corghi, Ranger, Hofmann, and Cemb, all striving to earn the trust and loyalty of customers by showcasing their best products. Additionally, these manufacturers offer a range of tire changers tailored to meet the specific requirements of various customer segments.
Shop owners should be well-informed about the suitable models for their specific needs. However, before making a final decision on a tire changer, the buyer should carefully reevaluate a few important considerations.
It’s essential to consider the type and size of the wheels that require service. Knowing the dimensions of the wheels you need to change will guide you in selecting the appropriate tire changer. Pay attention to the rim diameter of the tires, with most wheels falling in the 20 to 22-inch diameter range.
Additionally, understanding the specific type of wheels you’ll be working on is crucial. Identifying the wheel type you intend to replace will provide clarity when choosing the right tire changer.
It’s worth noting that light trucks require a different tire changer compared to heavy-duty trucks. Furthermore, if you plan to specialize in run-flat tires, which enable continued driving despite deflation, you’ll need a specialized tire changer designed to handle these unique tires, as standard models may not be suitable for the task.
Which tire changer should I choose?
The kind of tire shop you aspire to establish plays a pivotal role, as your choice of a tire changer will shape the specific model you ultimately select.
Keeping these considerations in mind, let’s explore the various types of tire changers accessible in the market. Some of these changers are named based on the mechanics they employ for tire changing.
Swing arm tire changers are typically the most budget-friendly option and fall under the category of “semi-automatic” changers. This is because you’ll need to manually secure the arm in place and ensure it’s a precise fit for the wheel you’re working on. However, they do come with a quick change tool featuring infinite tool head positioning, allowing for flexible adjustments to accommodate almost any tire.
Most swing arm tire changers can accommodate larger tires, even up to 50 inches in diameter. However, the technician must manually adjust it each time to ensure the rim and tire fit correctly, as improper fitting can lead to tire damage. This type of changer is particularly useful for shops that primarily work with the same tire size.
When dealing with consistent tire sizes, the tool head doesn’t require frequent repositioning. An experienced technician can efficiently change numerous tires in a short period. We recommend using this type of tire changer when starting a shop, especially if you plan to focus on a specific tire size. This eliminates the need for frequent tool head adjustments.
Tilt-Back Tire Changer
The initial striking difference with the tilt-back tire changer, when compared to its counterpart, the swingarm, is its price. Tilt-back tire changers typically come with a higher price tag, often ranging from 1.5 to 2 times the cost of the swingarm model. However, they offer the advantage of accommodating larger tires and expedited adjustments, thanks to the automatic tilt-back feature. With a simple button press, this feature ensures precise fitting for the tire size.
When it comes to tire changing, our top recommendation is the tilt-back tire changer. While it may come at a higher cost, it offers greater ease of use and reduces the risk of tire damage, especially for those who may not have much experience in tire changing.
Touchless / Leverless Tire Changer
Leverless tire changers are renowned for their safety features, greatly minimizing the likelihood of wheel damage during the tire-changing process.
They are purpose-built to facilitate the smoother handling of run-flat and Ultra High Performance (UHP) tires compared to conventional tire changers. While there may be a steeper learning curve when it comes to mastering their operation, most manufacturers typically provide training as part of the package when you purchase these tire changers.
Many of these advanced tire changers come equipped with an integrated wheel lift, which is incredibly helpful for handling heavy wheels without the need for manual lifting, thus reducing the risk of operator injuries. They also feature powerful pneumatic assistant tools that significantly decrease the effort required when dealing with tough-sidewall tires. This not only fosters a safer working environment but also enhances overall efficiency.
Setting up these machines is both quick and precise. They utilize multi-size center cones that streamline the wheel mounting process, minimizing the potential for wheel damage. Moreover, they are capable of servicing a wide range of wheel sizes, offering remarkable flexibility and efficiency in handling various wheel styles.
Our recommendation is to designate a technician at your shop to thoroughly learn and operate this machine. This ensures that only a skilled individual handles it, optimizing its performance and reliability.
Other types of tire changers
Motorcycle Tire Changers
Motorcycle tire changers are less intricate compared to their counterparts designed for passenger and light truck tires. This simplicity arises from the fact that motorcycle changers handle lighter and smaller tires and wheels. Their setup is straightforward, typically featuring a manual bead loosening system and manually operated rim clamps. Typically, you’ll find these tire changers exclusively in motorcycle repair shops. However, if you’re considering expanding your business, acquiring one can be a valuable addition. Expanding to offer other motorcycle-related services would be a positive development worth pursuing.
Heavy Duty Tire Changers
In contrast to the motorcycle tire changer, the heavy-duty or truck tire changer is a formidable machine. These changers are primarily designed to handle the challenges of heavy-duty tires, some of which can be as large as 91 inches in diameter and 43 inches wide. When considering a heavy-duty tire changer, it’s essential to choose wisely.
Some heavy-duty tire changers are specifically tailored for agricultural, off-road, and construction vehicles, while others cater to businesses that maintain a fleet of vehicles. Unless you’re planning to establish a specialized truck repair shop, we generally don’t recommend investing in one of these machines. They tend to be prohibitively expensive, and most truck owners prefer to rely on specialized truck repair shops for their tire-changing needs.
Other Factors to Consider
Air VS Electric
Certain manufacturers, such as Corghi, offer you the choice between an Air or Electric Tire Changer. We suggest opting for the electric model due to its convenience and ease of maintenance. Additionally, electric models tend to be more cost-effective to operate.
110 VS 220 Voltage
Once more, certain tire changer manufacturers provide the option of selecting between 110 and 220 volts. While a 110 Volt tire changer is easier to install and set up, opting for the 220 Volt version ensures greater safety and efficiency. This higher voltage provides tire changers with significantly more power, particularly when dealing with challenging tires like run-flats.
Power Operated Assist Tools
If you’re running a shop that deals with modern, more resilient tires, it’s highly advisable to outfit your tire changer with a power-operated assist tool. These assistive tools greatly facilitate the tire-changing process, making it easier, safer, and boosting overall productivity in your shop.
Choosing the right Tire Changer
When choosing your tools, it’s important to prioritize both quality and durability. We understand that not every new shop owner can initially invest in top-tier equipment. However, there are several tire changers from reputable brands that can enhance the reputation of your new shop without straining your budget.