How to Choose the Best Tire Changer for Your Auto Repair Shop

Are you looking for the best tire mounting machine for your auto repair shop? Without proper research, you could end up with an ineffective option that exceeds your budget. 

Tire mounting machines can be tricky if you don’t know what you are looking for. They have recently been developed to include more features like hydraulics, tilt-back towers, drop-rollers and swing arms.

To help you finalize your tire changing equipment, we have created a guide.

Types of tire mounting machines

Swing-arm tire changers

Affordable and easy to use, these tire-mounting machines are a popular choice in the market. Using four tabletop jaws with an adjustable tabletop, this equipment makes it easier to clamp. They are considered “semi automatic” because you have to unscrew the head manually to fit in different-sized tires. This enables you to adjust and fit a tire of any size (up to 50 inches in diameter).

If you are usually working with the same tire size, this could be a great option. An experienced mechanic could change many tires seamlessly in a short amount of time. However, it could become taxing to continuously take off the head for a new tire size.

If you are new to the market, this is definitely a good option to begin with.

Options to explore

  • Ranger R980AT
  • Corghi A9824TI
  • Hofmann Monty 1625

Tilt-back tire changer

An alternative to the swing arm, this changer is twice the price tag compared to the former. It  features hangers that operate with a tower, which tilts back to fit in larger tires. It then moves back into place. This means it offers an automatic tilt-back option. It can adjust to the tire size with the push of a button.

This changer operates much faster as a practical piece of equipment. It is also intuitive and a safer option. Great for less experienced mechanics, we recommend the tilt back if you have the budget. 

Options to explore

  • Ranger R76LT
  • Corghi A2024TI
  • Hofmann Monty 3550EM

Touchless/leverless tire changer

Top of the line, and hence at a premium price, these machines run entirely automatic. They lift and set heavy tires by themselves. Handling most tires, you won’t find your mechanics having to bend over constantly. They are risk free and significantly reduce any chances of damaging tires while changing them.

They are especially designed for changing ultra high-performance tires and flat tires much easier. Key features include an integrated wheel lift, which eliminates heavy lifting by the mechanic. Powerful pneumatic tools also help reduce changing tough sidewall tires. All these functions make working on tires safer, with fewer injuries. The set up is quick and precise.

If you plan on purchasing this option, ensure you have at least one tech who is completely skilled at working with this machine type.

You will need a bit of training in order to use this tire changing machine. Most manufacturers include training on purchase, so you will have that resource available.

Options to explore

  • Corghi AM26
  • Artiglio Master
  • Ranger R80DTXF
  • RV1

Motorcycle tire changers

Do you run a motorcycle repair shop? If you are a smaller automotive repair shop that also specializes in motorcycles, there is a specific one for you. Motorcycle tire changer equipment is easier than bigger vehicle changers. The installation is a lot less complicated, with manually powered rim clamps and a simple bead loosening system.

If you are a bigger mechanic shop with some money to spare, acquiring a motorcycle specific changer could strengthen your business. This way, you can include other motorcycle jobs and increase your revenue opportunities!

Options to explore

  • Tuxedo TC-400M-B
  • Hofmann Monty 1520M

Heavy-duty tire changers

If you work on fleets and heavy trucks, a heavy duty tire changer is your best bet. They deal with tires up to 91 inches in diameter and 43 inches wide. Some are specific for agricultural and constructional vehicles.

Of course, due to its monstrous size, you should only buy this changer if you are a truck shop. It is expensive and specialized for the trucks that come to your shop.

Options to explore

  • Corghi Monster AGTT

Tips to keep in mind

1) Don’t buy the most expensive tire-mounting machine just for the sake of it

First things first, you need a list of your tire services and to understand how much space you have in your shop. You don’t want to purchase something that is made for high-performance wheels and tires when you aren’t in the market for it.

2) A 30” clamp will not service a 30" wheel

A 30-inch clamp does not mean it will service a 30-inch diameter. The tire has to be smaller than the maximum size of the changer’s extendable range of turntable. Be sure that the turntable extends to the right diameter if you are internally or externally clamping your wheel.

3) You can’t change a stiff sidewall without an assist arm

This is a huge time saver if you are used to manual tire changing with two mechanics. It is pneumatically powered, applies a lot of pressure and locks in place – all without damaging the tire. It is great for speciality wheels.

This assist arm is designed to rotate the tire safely with the moving turntable. It also helps unseat the bead. Without it, you could be wasting a lot of time working stubborn beads. This inefficiency could slow down your business.

It may add to the cost of the tire changer or wheel balancer, but will be well worth it.

4) Choosing between air or electric changers

You will be able to opt between air or electric changers. Electric changers are more convenient and less expensive to operate.

5) Tire machine for a high-volume shop

You will need to acquire a machine that can handle the stress of consistent workloads. It should also be able to change a wide variety of tires. This means getting a machine that can handle higher performance and low profile tires as well.

6) Tire machine for low-volume shops

A basic machine should do the trick – one that clamps onto the rims. They make tire changing easy and don’t cause damage.

Frequently asked questions

1) Can you make money with a tire machine?

Successful tire repair shops can generate a monthly revenue of $36,000 and $60,000. This could mean potential profits of $20,000 or more. Without a doubt, you are setting your vehicle shop up for success when you add this service.

2) What should I look for in a tire changer?

You need to look for a tire-changing machine that can take the stress off your technicians. It should be versatile enough to work with all sorts of tires.

3) How do you use a manual tire change machine?

Manual tire change machines are made up of just a mount to hold the wheel and a pry bar to remove and install the tire. All you need to do is pry the old tire off the rim using the pry bar. From there, you install the new tire onto the rim using the same tool.

4) How many amps does a tire machine use?

Tire machines use around 25 to 30 amp breakers for changing a vehicle’s tires.

5) Are tire machines 220V?

Yes. Tire change machines come in 110V and 220V versions.

6) What size air compressor do I need to run a tire machine?

For most automotive tire changers, a 10 bar (or 150psi) air compressor is sufficient.

Final note

We hope our guide was able to help you narrow down your options. With so many brands and options out there, it’s best to have a general idea of the types and common mistakes to avoid.

Be sure that your machine has a good warranty. They will wear and tear over time, you want to be sure you get the most out of your machine.

Even without a big budget, these quality tips will help you find a quality machine that suits your shop goals.

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