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Author Topic: are the tire balancing beads worth the money?  (Read 4707 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« 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
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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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« Reply #15 on: July 01, 2007, 09:01:55 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.




doug, I don't see where I said or implied that balance had anything to do with the tire being round.  Huh  But if you read what I wrote, you will see that I called a tire 'true' in the spin balancer. Yes, I do check all my tires for trueness when I buy them & yes, I pay my tire man extra so I can pick & choose.

I know a little about the dynamics involved with roundness, trueness, & balance. During tire construction, there is a place where the belting overlaps & this creates a stiffer section which effects the rolling radius differently depending on load. This may or may not matter, depends on the situation. This is why the tire is marked, so you can compensate if necessary.

The loaded radius is different than an unloaded tire in a trueing machine. & yes, I have seen them in action.

There is a reason more places don't true tires, & it has less to do with labor & more to do with making a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

I have my own opinion concerning the serviceability of tires that need rubber cut off to run without shaking. I call those seconds (irregardless of what the manufacturer calls them) & I prefer higher quality for my bus, others are free to have their own opinion.   Grin
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« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2007, 09:39:13 PM »

NJT it's in the warrantee. go to the website.

and despite it being in the warranty or not how do you explain the other Bridgestone provided literature I gave links to?

I support my statements with factual literature from YOUR tire manufacturer


Kyle,  I am not saying that a non true tire is not servicable.  they are and today they are not that out of spec for being true.

I don't true but my dad does.  of the 14 Michilins he has bought over the past 8 years or so all were not true and lost some rubber.....not much mind you but some.

"purse out of a sows ear"  that is basically what NJT said about ballancing........despite his prefered tire maker stating that their tires may not be in ballance from the factory.  He basically said in a prior post it was a rip of scam to get you to spend money for nothing.




 
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« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2007, 10:20:14 PM »

here is another bridgestone release.

Also mentions ballancing

http://www.trucktires.com/bridgestone/us_eng/load/technical/fuel_economy_b.asp

Dunlop:Why do my tires need to be balanced?

 

Properly balanced tires are important for driving comfort and long tire life. Unbalanced tires can cause vibration, resulting in driver fatigue, premature tire wear and unnecessary wear to your vehicle's suspension. Tires should be balanced when they are mounted on wheels for the first time or when they are remounted after repair. Tires should be rebalanced at the first sign of vibration or "shimmy." Vibration may also be due to misalignment or mechanical problems. Many Dunlop retailers can provide expert diagnosis and repair

article about tire failure stating imballance cause of cupping :

http://www.retread.org/PDF/WhyTiresFail.pdf

From the EPA: http://www.epa.gov/garbage/tires/faq.htm

If everyone helps out just a little, major progress can be made toward reducing the total amount of used tires generated. Things you can do to help include:

Purchase tires with longer tread life.
Rotate your tires every 4,000 miles.
Balance your tires when you rotate them.
Check for/inflate tires to recommended air pressure levels once a month or before every long trip.
Use public transportation and carpool.

Land Line magazine: http://www.landlinemag.com/Archives/2002/May2002/equipment/tire_maintenance.htm

Rubber manufacturer association: http://www.rma.org/tire_safety/tire_maintenance_and_safety/how_to_take_care_of_your_tires/

General Motors ( cars but same damn thing)  http://www.gm.com/company/gmability/safety/avoid_crash/gm_tire_safety/you/tips.html

Michelin: http://www.michelinman.com/care/tip4.html

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« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2007, 05:31:30 AM »

Quote
Any input on Cooper Road Masters?

If it matters to you, I will note that Cooper stopped manufacturing bus and heavy truck tires in the U.S. several years ago. I believe these are now manufactured in China, and possibly elsewhere.  Here in the U.S. plants, they produce car and light truck only.
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« Reply #19 on: July 02, 2007, 05:52:47 AM »

 Good info Teke, I appreciate it, keep up the good work.
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« Reply #20 on: July 02, 2007, 06:37:39 PM »

NJT 5573 said:
Quote
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.

When I ran mine, I used "equal" beads in the front tires (didn't really do as well as I wanted it to) but the only thing that would indicate that the tires were "balanced" was a little red rubber band on the valve stem.  Could be that all those trucks were using beads to balance their tires?
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« Reply #21 on: July 02, 2007, 08:29:30 PM »

Well, i ordered up 4 dunlops, made by Goodyear or at least owned by them, so should be easy to get service if needed while OTR. And i am going to opt for the beads also. Thanks to all for your input.
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« Reply #22 on: July 02, 2007, 10:40:53 PM »

Teke, The fact your Dad has bought 16 tires over the last 8 years certainly qualifys you to speak. Obviously that is alot of experience to speak from and perhaps I should listen to your ideas and try to implement them into my tire program. Today, I have just over 500 tires on the ground and obviously have a few things to learn from the tire expertise available to me from this great board.

 I see this as similar to me discussing fuel problems with someone who has burned less than 500 gallons of ULSD since it came out when my experience has been in the vicinity of 500 gallons before noon each day since it hit the pumps.

Each of my posts relate to my personal real world experiences and that is all I'm sharing on this board. I have gone beyond what you read and am sharing what works for my business in the real world. Big Brother (US DOT) watches every move I make everyday. US DOT does not give their top safety rating away, you can only get one by earning it and I have maintained this rating for the last 11 years.

So Teke, what is your expertise with these tires you speak so knowledgeably about? Tell me how many sets you have run out in the last year? Do you personally do tire work like me? Are you sharing real world experiences from personal experience or did you just make yourself an expert because you dad bought 16 tires in the last 8 years.

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$1M in $1000 bills = 8 inches high.
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« Reply #23 on: July 02, 2007, 11:24:59 PM »

NJT, Don't attack me for not agreeing with you.

I am basing my info on published articles and technical data from tire manufactures....and yes the very tire manufacturer you pointed out.

As well as info provided to me by a freind from college who is an engineer for Michelin.

Also real world experiece from a number of top rated Charter operations.

Oh yeah, the bridgestone Tire Lease rep in my area as well.

As they say....don't take your bus to a truck mechanic.........guess same goes for taking tire advice from a trucker.  No offense to you other truckers out there.

NJT, provide me with any documentation from any tire manufacturer that states there is no need to ballance a tire.


I have also bought my fare share of coach tires.  I suspect my coach tire experience far outweighs yours.  But...... thats neither here nor there.

I have provided proper supporting evidence for my arguement for other member to read and make their own judgements.

Best I can tell you are offering your opinions with nothing more than your word.



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« Reply #24 on: July 02, 2007, 11:27:36 PM »

as for your top DOT safety rating......Kudos to you........that does not mean your tires ride well on your Tracor Trailers or whatever rigs you run....or that you could even tell in a truck.

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« Reply #25 on: July 03, 2007, 07:55:28 AM »

Balancing....I use golf balls,8 balls per wheel.I have 80 golf balls in my tires(10 tires)they work just great,people have been using these for many years.I got my used golf balls from a golf course for free,its hard to beat free................Frank
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« Reply #26 on: July 03, 2007, 10:03:59 AM »

Balancing....I use golf balls,8 balls per wheel.I have 80 golf balls in my tires(10 tires)they work just great,people have been using these for many years.I got my used golf balls from a golf course for free,its hard to beat free................Frank

Frank how do you know what brand golf ball to use in what brand tire for maximum efficiency? LOL BK  Grin





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« Reply #27 on: July 03, 2007, 10:42:07 AM »

Teke, Thanks for the information about your friend that works for the tire company from the country that teaches its military to march backwards.

 Your experiences and references are truely impecable and I am awed by your incredible insights. Thank you for sharing from your vast research, you are truely an incredible asset and I will immediately pull all my rubber, send it right out for balance so I can save some big bucks!

Perhaps I can find some one in South America that still has a truing machine and can further add to my "ride quality" and bottom line!
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$1B in $1000 bills = 800 feet high.
$1T in $1000 bills = 142 miles high
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« Reply #28 on: July 03, 2007, 11:23:48 AM »

OK, enough is enough.

Let's get back to the question at hand.

Quote, "Are the tire balancing beads worth the money?" End quote


Just a note from your friendly, neighborhood moderators.

Dallas
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« Reply #29 on: July 03, 2007, 12:54:36 PM »

OK, enough is enough.

Let's get back to the question at hand.

party pooper

 Grin  Grin  Grin
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« Reply #30 on: July 03, 2007, 01:25:14 PM »

Just a question for you Golf Ball balancers ..... If you have a blow-out, the tire shreads, and sends those Golf Balls sailing ..... are you required to yell FORE? ..... and if so, would you have to yell it once for each ball? ..... just want to know the proper etiquette ....
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« Reply #31 on: July 03, 2007, 01:27:10 PM »

Yeah, Dallas.  Nobody likes the cafeteria monitor that comes in and breaks up the fight before somebody's nose gets bloodied!  Cheesy

We have some serious busnuts here if guys can get that passionate about whether or not to balance your tires.  Part of me says this really isn't such a bad thing.  Pick your side and argue to the death, sure beats watching "Dancing with the Stars".

Maybe next I can start a thread asking which is better, Jake Brakes or Engine Retarders, and really fan the flames!
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« Reply #32 on: July 03, 2007, 01:31:30 PM »



Maybe next I can start a thread asking which is better, Jake Brakes or Engine Retarders, and really fan the flames!
Hey, there ain't any competition between the two. LOL
Richard
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Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body. But rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, a good Reisling in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming:  WOO HOO, what a ride
TomC
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« Reply #33 on: July 04, 2007, 09:52:46 AM »

I figure it this way-if you don't want to balance your tires, so be it.  I personally want to have the smoothest ride, take every opportunity to facilitate that the smooth ride will last the life of the tires, and don't really care if the counter balance weights are visible.
If you are running 500 tires on the ground, I would think you would also want to take any opportunity to possibly get a few more miles out of your tires-and balancing could be it!

Along those lines, being a Freightliner new truck salesmen, we make trucks from the Western Star and Freightliner Classic that are the old style square hood traditional type truck to the just introduced Cascadia that is the most aero dynamically designed truck available-tested in the big Mercedes-Benz wind tunnel in Germany.  The difference in fuel mileage alone (with proper equipment choices) can be up as high as 1 mpg.  And with the variable speeds that truckers can drive now, could mean close to 3 mpg difference-comparing a Classic running at 75mph and a Cascadia running at 55 mph.  But in real world if keep the Cascadia at 65 mph, you could still see close to 2mpg difference in fuel mileage.  Me personally-if I were to buy a new truck, it would have every conceivable type of fuel mileage savings option on it I could put on it-including proper tire selection.

Remember-tires are more than just big black rubber round things that supports our vehicles.  Why do you think that tire manufacturers make about 2 dozen tire models to choose from?  Very specific tire blends, builds and tread pattern for specific uses.  I choose the Michelin XZE regional 16 ply tires that are 75 mph tires, but have a harder tire compound with rock ejecting tire tread so rocks don't hammer into the tread, have reinforced side walls (for those times we like to have a real close look at the curb), and I figure I won't put on the 60,000 miles or so that will be when the tires will start to cup due to freeway speeds.  But- we'll do it our way.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
tekebird
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« Reply #34 on: July 05, 2007, 03:28:37 PM »

Tom, Out of curiosity, when a truck is delivered from the factory ( supposing it is not coming to you to have owner tiers installed) are they ballanced?

Did a sweep through the greyhound depot...they ballance tires and they are dirt poor, you would think if it made no difference that would be a cut item from the shop. Lord knows they cut replacing banged up panels and hiring driver's who don't get lost
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