Tyre Changer Types
There’s a few questions we need to ask ourselves when considering the purchase. One of the most obvious is
“What type of machine are you looking for?”
Below is an over view about some basics of a tyre changer;
Semi – Automatic Tyre Changer
So we will start with the good old “Semi-Automatic” tyre changer which has been around for a long while.
Semi-automatic tyre changers are designed to be simple. These machines use a fixed pivoting swing arm of which the fitting head is positioned respectively using a threaded stop. You just unscrew it to accommodate smaller wheels or screw it in further for the larger wheels. The height of the fitting head is locked into position manually using a hand operated locking handle. (see image above)
The semi-automatic tyre changers are best suited for mobile tyre-fitting platforms. In part due to its reduced air supply demand and its manual controls. Its small operating footprint is ideal for working in the back of a van where space is at a premium. The semi-automatic tyre machines also do well in small garages and workshops that have floor space issues. Or work on very low volumes of tyres and only need a tyre changer once in a while.
Automatic – Tilt Back Tyre Changer
Next in line is the “Automatic” range of tyre changers which come in two differing guises. And in this section we discuss the “Tilt Back” variant.
The “Automatic” part refers to the manner that the riser shaft and the sliding axle get locked into position. In the previous section, you can see how the arm is set using manual mechanisms. Such as the Screw Stop and the Hand Operated Locking Handle. Whereas the “Automatic” tyre machines use a pneumatic button to control the locking mechanisms. Air passes a valve to fill a cylinder that moves a locking plate into position. (see image above)
The “Tilt Back” part refers to the manner in which the rear column is moved away from the wheel. The rear column moves to allow room for a tyre to get in or out of position. In a “Tilt Back” variant, the attached riser shaft and sliding axel are tilted backwards away from the wheel. The rear column is moved towards or away from the operator using a pneumatic tilt cylinder. Operated via one of the foot pedals on the tyre changer chassis. (see image above)
The automatic tilt back tyre changers are the general design used by most tyre machine manufacturers.
Next in line is the “Automatic” range of tyre changers which come in two differing guises, and in this section we discuss the “Lift & Turn” variant.
As discussed above the “Automatic” part refers to the manner that the riser shaft (controlling the fitting head height) and the sliding shaft (controlling the fitting head diameter / distance) are locked into position. In the previous section you can see how the arm is set using manual mechanisms such as the Screw Stop and the Hand Operated Locking Handle, whereas the automatic tyre machine uses a single pneumatic button that controls the locking mechanisms by allowing air to fill a cylinder that moves a locking plate into position. (see image above)
The “Lift & Turn” part refers to manner in which the demount fitting head is moved away from the wheel in order to allow room for a tyre to be lifted into or out of position. In a lift and turn variant the riser shaft and sliding shaft are lifted up and turned to the side away from the wheel using a pneumatic lift cylinder and roller bearing operated via one of the foot pedals on the tyre changer chassis. (see image above)
The automatic lift and turn tyre changers are only available from one or two tyre machine manufacturers, SICE being one of them.
The main advantages of using a lift and turn tyre changer is the smaller operating footprint required when using these tyre machines as they only require enough distance from a wall to accommodate the slider shaft in its furthest set point, whereas with a tilt back you have to accommodate the extra room from the wall to allow the whole structure to tilt backwards as can be seen in the illustration below. The red line represents the wall and you can see that when the arm tilts back it extends the overall length of the machine, whereas the blue line shows the maximum area required by the lift and turn tyre changers thus saving space.
The final tyre of tyre changer we will cover here is the automatic “Lever-less” tyre machines which are available as tilt back, lift and turn and computer controlled variants.
The main difference on the lever-less tyre changers is the demount fitting head itself and most tyre changers use a fixed metal or nylon demount fitting head. The demount head is set up against a wheel rim and you then use a tyre lever by placing the lever between the wheel and tyre bead and pull the tyre lever backwards over the demount head to lift the tyre bead up onto the demount head.
A “Lever-Less” system is a little different in that rather than just being a fixed metal demount head, instead it has an articulated tyre lever mechanism built into it.
The lever-less demount head is pulled into place and locked off as normal, but then the operator will use a pneumatic control switch or lever to operate the lever mechanism which then drops the lever down into the wheel well behind the tyre bead. The operator would then use the pneumatics switch or lever again to lift the tyre bead up and onto the demount head and remove the tyre. (see image above)
The idea of the lever-less systems is to remove the need to use the traditional tyre lever which often comes in contact with the wheel rim edge causing damage to alloy wheels when removing or fitting tyres. There are some slightly different variants such as the computer controlled tyre changers which although different in design and operation are of the same principal in the removal of hand tool tyre levers to reduce damage.