The first time mounting truck tires

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by herler, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    With the Harbor Freight manual tire mounter.
    An additional $45 tire iron, one vise grips, and a hammer.

    I thought this was going to be one of those jobs, like maybe three hours later I'd be down at the shop paying them to do it...
    And granted they're not my first tire but it wasn't that bad...

    About 45 minutes each, includes seating the bead.
    With air compressor, starting fluid, and a mapp torch.

    I did have to pay to have them balanced, that was minor.
    I tried to take a video but didn't have the batteries.





    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
  2. skorum03

    skorum03 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 354

    I can't stand mounting tires. Just a huge pain. If I have the money I just pay them to do it. It is nice to save that cash though so I guess its worth it in a way.

    YardBros Outdoors
  3. KrayzKajun

    KrayzKajun LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,737

    Not bad, but ill pass and pay someone to do it. Got a buddy who runs a tire shop, cost me $25 each for him to do it.
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  4. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,555

  5. Lbilawncare

    Lbilawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,119

    There is a product we use to seat our beads called Phoenix bead sealer, DO NOT use the "fill with gas and light it" method. That is a good way to get burned. We bought a fairly inexpensive electric/air tire changer from Greg Smith equipment in Indianapolis and buy our trailer tires 10 at a time. The machine changes mower tires as well as truck and trailer tires. It takes literally one minute to remove a tire and replace it. We considered not only the money we were spending to have someone change our tires, but the time involved in running the tires back and forth to their shop.
  6. fatboynormmie

    fatboynormmie LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,294

    Herler there is learning curve to doing tires with a manual machine.Its all about technique.The more you do the faster you get.Ive done 2 tires similar to yours in about 30 mins total .Always use lots of bead lube .Putting the tire back on the rim I just push the tire over the first bead by hand no tools needed.Getting the second bead on is where it starts to get tough.

    A little secret is to push the tire down and into the center of the rim while using the tire irons on the opposite side of the bead and start prying.I've never had a problem with getting the beads to pop up on the rim while inflating.I always put more lube on the beads before airing up .Then I install a locking air chuck on the valve stem and start pushing air then I grab the tire on the sides and push in a little and bounce the tire up and down on the rim.The extra lube added before airing up kinda makes a seal and lets the tire start taking air and it aids in getting the final pop onto fully beaded without having to overly inflate the tire .

    I have the same unit you showed there plus a manual unit for small tires and both are very good units that are worth having around the shop.
  7. jsslawncare

    jsslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,673

    I think I'll pass on this idea. I make more per hour then the tire shop makes per tire mounting and balancing. It took you 3 hours and you still had to have them balanced. I'm guessing maybe at least 5 hours total. I'm all for watching every penny, but sometimes paying someone else is money well spent, even in winter time.
  8. clydebusa

    clydebusa Inactive
    Messages: 1,660

    Friend of mine bought this off ebay a couple of years ago. He runs around 6 trucks and 12 trailers. He needed to dump some money and thought he would try a tire changer and balancer. So between taxes and saving on buying tires online he stated the setup paid for itself in less than one year. The biggest benefit is it is in the shop so on any given day or night he can use it.
  9. skorum03

    skorum03 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 354

    Now that would be nice to have.

    YardBros Outdoors
  10. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    Yeah, you're right, it's all about leverage and taking your time...
    If you're fighting it, you're doing it wrong.
    Which isn't to say that I haven't spent two hours cussing before.
    Takes practice, a few tires or so.

    Same with the locking air chuck, I hook that up...
    Then I spray a SPECIFIC amount of starter fluid into the tire.
    Too much and the explosion will rip you a new one...
    Not enough and it won't POP.
    Just a couple of good squirts should do it, takes a little practice too.
    Then hit it with a Bernzomatic mapp torch (propane would work).
    And POP (the air chuck keeps up the pressure as the gas cools almost instantly).

    I am telling you, I've done did the bit with the strap around the tire and all sorts of things I have tried, NOTHING works like the lighted-fuel method, Ka-POOF done.

    Not sure how much practice these guys had, I just did a search and it came up:
    Tell you, hook the air hose up FIRST.

    I think you can buy the whole kit (with canister) for under $50 at HD / Lowe's but here's a picture:

    That keeps one's fingers out of harm's way.

    I have the little one as well.

    Next I might try that manual tire balancer.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013

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