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Author Topic: are the tire balancing beads worth the money?  (Read 4783 times)
John Z
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« on: July 01, 2007, 03:27:20 PM »

Stopped at local truck shop today to get a quote on 4 new wheels and tires for the rear of my coach. I am making the switch to 22.5". The fronts have already been switched over.

Any input on Cooper Road Masters?

Also, the counter guy said almost everyone buys the beads to balance the tires. How about you guys? Do you agree with this? They are not equipped to spin balance these.
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tekebird
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« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2007, 03:43:03 PM »

YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 22.5  LOL

I am sure you are going to get a reply that states that if a tire is not true and ballanced from new it is no good and you should return it.

I have a freind in the tire industry ( Engineer) that confirms that almost none of his product are true (round) nor ballanced perfectly.

With that said.

I have used both Centrimatic ballancers which make a noticable differenc and Dynabeads. 

Centrimatics are nice because you can put them on your next coach as they are mounted on the studs not internal to the tire.

Dynabeads are internal to the tire.  I had them installed in my front tires when I converted to Alcoa wheels.  Note there was no ballance or true issues prior to this instalation but the physics is there.

On Trueing,  My dad trues his tires all the way around as well as has Cetrimatic.  Each step has made a difference in his ride.

hard to find trueing shops as most people do not bother

NOTE trueing off the wheel is not effective as mounting the tire distorts it some.  If you true do it on the wheel

I'd do the trueing if I was willing to pay the cost plus the downtime as my guy will not true rears, so there is a bunch of tire rotating to do.

Only issues I can see with the dynabeads is loss of them when you break down a tire...and they may not be compatable with Tire preasure monitors

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jjrbus
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« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2007, 04:19:54 PM »

 I looked at Cooper tires. The price was right. I did a Goggle search on Cooper tires. Once you get past the commercial links, there are a mess of cooper recalls, class action lawsuits etc. Way more than the other company's. I do not know if this applies to truck and car tires or just car tires. But this company has major quality control problems. Scared me away!!
 I am very annal about some things. If I am paying Joe six pack $20 an hour to do some work, I do not expect him to have the latest tools or technology. If I am paying a retail company big bucks. I expect them to have the tools and technology. Such as a wheel balancer and torque wrench.
 I am not saying that spin balancing is better than beads etc. I do not know. I just prefer that the tires are spin balanced. I do it my way, makes me happy!!!
 It appears to me that the company's with the proper equipment are no more expensive than the others and sometimes even cheaper.
                                      HTH Jim
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« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2007, 04:40:43 PM »

Hi John, I have used pellets  or beads for years and really like the results.  tom
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tekebird
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« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2007, 04:52:45 PM »

11x22.5"

I teake back my yeah...LOL

note that this is a regional tire...they often end up having odd wear patterns as they are not designed for highway extended use.

My Dad had bought some goodyears years ago way before internet.....and they cupped awefully.  Turns out it was because of the tires design for intended use.

they were designed with a softer outer edges of tread for some reason related to regional delivery...which in turned caused eratic wear on highway ( hi temp) use
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TomC
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« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2007, 05:18:24 PM »

PLEASE buy quality tires!  Michelin are the best, but most costly.  BFGoodrich are less expensive and still made by Michelin.  A regional tire is OK to run if less than 50% of your running is lower than 50mph, or off the highway.  I installed Michelin 11R-24.5 16ply XZE (they are a 75mph rated tire) regional tires since they have rock ejection tread and far stouter side walls than highway tires.  If you were just cruising on the highway, I'd say use something like the Michelin XZA3, but we usually get into odd spots and sometimes run over curbs trying to get into that tight campsite, etc. Please note that the regional tires of today are about equal to the highway tires "before internet".  Tire technology is WAY better now than ever before-even with recalls occasionally.  Coopers on the rear drive and regional type tires-go for it-because it is on the drive axle you'll probably not get odd tire wear.  Maybe on the front axle it will start to cup around 60,000 miles.  How many of us do that kind of driving in the 10 years of a tire life (my last set were 12 years old when I replaced them-then again I keep my bus inside).  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2007, 05:55:53 PM »

Todays computers at the Bridgestone Factory have the balance so close that they mark the spot on the tire where you put the valve stem. The weight of the valve stem matched to the light spot on the tire (painted dot) gives you a balanced tire. If you buy the best you don't have to do or spend anything else.

There was a recent post here that said all the big trucking companys balance their tires. For 5 days last week I checked interstate trucks coming into my yard from all over the country. I was suprised. Out of a couple hundred trucks I found one truck that had balanced his steer tires and that was all. No one had a balanced drive or trailer tire.

Granted these are the big boys and they run the best and keep them fresh, but so should most of us.

Don't buy tires from Teke's buddy, you deserve better.
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« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2007, 06:11:40 PM »

if anyone would like to email me directly I can provide you a list of national trucking companies and more importantly Bus companies that ballance thier tires.



« Last Edit: July 01, 2007, 06:36:01 PM by tekebird » Logged
tekebird
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« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2007, 06:15:49 PM »

Funny how the Bridgestone tire warranty specifically mentions ballancing.  you would think if they are marketing their tires are in no need of ballance there would be no need to mention ballancing in thier literatire other than to say THERE IS NO NEED TO BALLANCE OOUR TIRES
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tekebird
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« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2007, 06:25:49 PM »

This also from the bridgestome website.

http://bridgestonetrucktires.com/us_eng/real/magazines/98v3Issue3/v3i3popu.asp


this should lend some credibility

oh even better from bridgestone too!!

http://www.bridgestone.com/us_eng/real/magazines/97V2Issue1/v2i1doctor.asp

I REST MY CASE on the ballancing issue
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tekebird
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« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2007, 06:34:21 PM »

Why do some companies not ballance?

Simple.  Labor Costs

Keen Trucking which is a large Local to me Heavy transport operator sells Centrimatic ballance rings.  Prior to buying ours my Dad called over and talked to the Sup. Maint.  Although they do not use Centrimatics on thier company owned trucks.....almost all the Owner operators do.

Why you ask.  The have a tire department and are paying the guys anyway so they say they might as well spend some of their time ballancing tires.  again a cost benefit situation.  The said if they did not have paid tire guys they would use them.

Another reason: they are not concerened with weird tire wear or ride.  I suppose if your rig is at max GVW a bit of tire imballance is not noticable...particularly in a truck and moreso on the drive/trailer tires.  Lots of these companies lease their tires....and pay per mile......if the tire wears out in 10,000 miles depending on the terms of their lease.....they don't care...they call up and a new tire is sent.

of every reputable large charter comany that I have a personal/professional relationship with ( yep there is a list everyear showing who is who size wise)  they all ballance their tires.  In house! and all are using leased tires.  Yep and one of them uses Bridgestone.  And yes......it is in thier lease agreement that the tires will be ballanced.



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kyle4501
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« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2007, 06:43:31 PM »

Good info doug, seems I can't find that when I'm looking for it.

From the Bridgestone reference above:

"Some fleets routinely balance. Some balance only tractors, and some only the steer positions of tractors. Others balance only if there has been a wear or ride disturbance complaint.

Itís best to test it yourself, using two groups of nearly identical equipment, balancing one and not the other. Track tire performance, being sure to note rate of wear, irregular wear and ride disturbance complaints. Then, let your own experience be your guide.

Bridgestone also recommends you make balancing the first step in troubleshooting any vibration complaint. Itís fairly fast, fairly simple and inexpensive, and can alleviate many wear and ride problems."


Seems to me they are saying 'It depends on your situation'.
My experience with tires has been varied -
Some rotate 'true' in the spin balancer, but always shake the car & get re-balanced every time they are rotated.
Others never seem to need any re-balancing, they run smooth & wear long & even.

Personally, I'll have the steers spin balanced & the duals static balanced. I'll also seek out balanced brake drums when those are replaced.
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tekebird
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« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2007, 06:49:07 PM »

kyle,

ballancing does not make the tire round, just makes it ballanced.

you can ballance an egg if you want....does not make it round.

thats where trueing comes in.

If you have the chance to ever see a tire trued on a vehicle you will be ammazed.  yep even one with no noticable vibrations.

a significant ammount of material can be removed by the machine.

next time your tire is off the ground get a straight edge, a block, tire chock or something place it up to the tire.  The rotate it.

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tekebird
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« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2007, 06:57:40 PM »

here is another good read.

www.leadfreewheels.org

read the ballancing 101
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« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2007, 08:51:16 PM »

Teke, I don't see the part about balance in the Bridgestone Warranty. I've been on those tires since 1971 and never had to read the warranty. When I have wear problems with this brand I can chase it right back to alignment everytime. If I damage a tire with bad alignment, yes that tire will gain from a balance if it were continued in service. I don't do that, I replace the tire, fix the truck and get on with business. (If a tire is having problems it is trying to tell me something about the truck).

 40 years ago fabric (non radial) tires would stretch and loose some perfection. The casing would still be strong but out of round. I saw truing used in that circumstance. Todays tires are made out of steel. If the steel casing deforms, the tire is junk. Truing it is not going to keep it from comming apart.

I think we have two different tire uses. I do Hazmat work and won't/can't play games with public safety and the possibility of saving a buck on any tire situation. I have learned the hard way to just throw money at it and forget it. I don't think anyone wants to meet a load of gas on the highway that is running a cobbled up set of tires.

All I ever see is those yellow dots you posted and we put them on just like Bridgestone says, dot to valve stem. Works every time!
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"Ammo Warrior" Keepers Of The Peace, Creators Of Destruction.
Gold is the money of Kings, Silver is the money of Gentlemen, Barter is the money of Peasants, Debt is the money of Slaves.

$1M in $1000 bills = 8 inches high.
$1B in $1000 bills = 800 feet high.
$1T in $1000 bills = 142 miles high
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