What You Need to Know About Wheel Balancers

If you are considering getting into the wheel service business then you will need a reliable computer wheel balancer and a tire changer.If you are considering getting into the wheel service business either as a professional or a private garage owner, then you will need a reliable computer wheel balancer and a tire changer. There are many models of computer wheel balancers from which to choose.

A computer wheel balancer, when used properly, provides accurate measurement information as to the out of balance condition of a wheel assembly. The wheel balancer calculates the amount of weight needed to correct the out of balance condition and also identifies the correct location on the wheel for the operator to attach the appropriate wheel weight.

It is extremely important that the operator pays close attention to the information provided by the wheel balancing machine so that the wheel assembly may be balanced correctly. The correct amount of weight placed on the wheel at the correct location on the wheel will result in a balanced tire/wheel assembly.

However, it is important to note that a tire/wheel assembly which is “perfectly balanced” does not guarantee that the vehicle will experience a smooth ride on a level highway at 50 MPH. There are many other variables which contribute to the vehicle’s “rolling” performance. A bent rim, loose lug nuts, or a tire belt separation can adversely affect the riding comfort of a vehicle that is rolling on a full set of “balanced tires”. Tires that have cupped spots or irregular worn tread patterns may be “perfectly” balanced on any computer tire balancer and may still not “roll smoothly” down the highway. The old adage that you can balance a square tire and it will NOT deliver a smooth ride is very accurate.

Large off the road tires with deep lugs will not ride smoothly, no matter how perfectly the tires are balanced. These deep lugs on tire will actually pick up stones and other highway debris and hold these objects between the lug patterns on the tire to create an out of balance condition.

What You Need to Know About Wheel BalancersAll models of the Atlas computer wheel balancers are capable of determining both the static and dynamic out of balance condition of most wheel assemblies. Atlas bubble wheel balancers are only able to determine the static out of balance condition. Atlas off the car computer wheel balancers are capable of “splitting the weight” so that the adhesive weights may be hidden on the inside of the rim so they do not distract from the custom wheel’s appearance.

It is extremely important that when mounting the tire and wheel assembly on a computer balancer shaft that the operator uses the correct cone mounting system or lug mounting system to ensure that the wheel is properly mounted. If the wheel is not solidly mounted, the wheel could easily rotate on the balancing shaft when the balance cycle begins or ends and the balancer’s results would not be accurate.

Atlas wheel balancers are available in several models. The high speed Atlas wheel balancers are capable of balancing small motorcycle and scooter wheels all the way up to large super single wheels found on over the road trucks. Atlas offers several wheel balancer accessories that will allow the operator to properly most tire and wheel assemblies found in the USA and other countries.

Atlas wheel balancers operate (spin the wheel) at a very slow speed. The sophisticated computer measuring system in all Atlas wheel balancers allows necessary out of balance measurements to be determined while the wheel assembly is “turning freely” on the shaft. The Atlas wheel balancer motor provides the necessary power to rotate the wheel up to a speed that allows this computer balancer to accurately “read” the out of balance condition. After the wheel achieves the correct rotational speed, the motor effectively stops operating (providing rotational power) and allows the wheel and shaft to “free spin”. Because there is no power being applied to the spinning shaft during the time that the computer system is “reading” the wheel’s out of balance condition, the wheel is not affected by any motor/shaft vibration. The belief that an off the car balancer must have a large motor that spins the wheel assembly at a very high speed to obtain the out of balance wheel measurements is inaccurate. All Atlas wheel balancers use energy efficient 110 volt or 220 volt motors to achieve the needed power to smoothly spin wheel assemblies weighing up to 350 pounds.

Tire ChangerWheels need to be balanced not only when you are installing new tires, but also when tires are rotated on a vehicle. There are several factors that can affect the balance condition of a tire that has been driven for thousands of miles. Wheel weights, both the clip on style and the adhesive type can fall off the rim. If a wheel weight moves its position on the rim or falls off of the rim, the once balanced wheel becomes unbalanced. A tire may also shift positons on the rim which would create a situation where the wheel would need to be rebalanced. Most professional tire shops use a tire mounting compound that provides a “slippery” surface to the rim and allows the tire to be mounted and demounted easily. Once the tire is mounted, this professional tire mounting compound dries to become a paste that actually helps keep the tire from moving on the rim. If the incorrect tire mounting compound is used (EG: dishwasher soap), the slippery substance can remain slippery for a long period of time. If the car owner accelerates quickly or brakes quickly, the tire can actually move on the slippery rim so that the wheel and tire become out of balance because the position of the tire has changed.

A balanced set of tires provides a much smoother car ride than a car whose tires are not balanced. A set of balanced and properly inflated tires also helps to extend the life of the tires by several thousands of miles. Wheel alignment and tire balancing are two important services that need to be performed on every vehicle to ensure a smooth ride and extended tire life.

Over the road truck tires are very expensive and the Atlas truck tire wheel balancer with the pneumatic wheel lift will keep those truck tires balanced and extend the lift of these tires by several thousand miles when compared to truck tires that are not properly balanced or inflated.

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