5 tips to make changing a tire quick and easy

Changing a tire

It’s the amount of air (SCFM) supplied to your air tool that will have the biggest impact on its performance.

In the tire business, there are two peak seasons: winter tire changes in the fall and summer tire changes in the spring. This is when all the tools at an auto repair shop are working at the same time, creating high demand for the compressed air system. To top it off, air tools need to be working at full capacity. A lack of air in the system impedes tool performance and slows down the work of mechanics. Yet the success of an auto repair shop hinges on productivity. Any slowdown in operations leads to delays and to a chain reaction for employees, who feel frustrated, stressed and pressured and whose work quality may then decline, among other negative impacts.

Most people think an air tool’s performance depends on its design. Don’t be fooled: it’s actually the amount of air the tool receives that makes all the difference! The tools used in an auto repair shop (impact tools) need a very high volume of airflow (SCFM) to work. That’s what has the biggest impact on tool performance. If you’re looking to cut the time it takes when changing a tire, start with the basics: consider how your compressed air system is configured and look at its component parts. To get you on your way to speedier tire installation, check out these 5 tips for improving the efficiency and reliability of your compressed air system in the auto repair shop and tire industries.

Useful tips—How to improve your compressed air system: 

1. Choose the right combination of air hose length/diameter  

  • Air hose length and diameter are the biggest sources of air loss in a compressed air system. If the volume of air available to the air tools is less than optimal, the flexible hose is usually too long and its diameter, too small. So, choose the right combination of length and diameter to improve tool efficiency. Why? The reason is pretty simple: your tool will then have enough air to operate optimally (SCFM). And that makes bolt removal a breeze when changing a tire. No more under-performing tools due to a lack of air! The table below shows the minimum inside diameter of air hose for each tool. Click here to download the entire table.

MINIMUM AIR HOSE INSIDE DIAMETER REQUIRED

IMPACT GUN
FLOW SCFM
AIR HOSE LENGTH (FEET)
25
35
50
75
100
150
1/4
14.0
3/8
3/8
3/8
1/2
1/2
1/2
1/2
28.6
1/2
1/2
1/2
3/4
3/4
3/4
3/4
34.7
1/2
1/2
3/4
3/4
3/4
3/4
1
87.5
3/4
3/4
3/4
1
1
1

Un tuyau avec un diamètre intérieur de ½ po offre deux fois plus de débit qu’un tuyau avec un diamètre intérieur de 3/8 po.




A flexible hose with a ½ in inside diameter delivers twice the SCFM of one with a 3/8 in inside diameter.

2. Focus on straight air hoses 

Any air turbulence inside a hose leads to a loss of pressure. Pressure loss, in turn, reduces the available airflow. Because they're designed to coil, self-storing hoses reduce the amount of air supplied to a tool. They cause substantial pressure loss, especially as they require a longer hose. It’s best to choose the right hose length so that excess length doesn't reduce the air tool’s performance. That said, although it may be worthwhile to use a self-storing hose, the desired length and performance must be considered when assessing your options.

“In order to increase the airflow volume, we replaced all of the 3/8 in self-storing hoses and replaced them with ½ in flexible hoses. We noticed an immediate increase in the performance of our tools when changing a tire” — Patrick B., General Manager of the Point S garage in Granby-Farnham, Quebec

3. Select a hose plug with a wide diameter 

The diameter of the hose plug that connects to the quick coupler determines the volume of air that can flow through the flexible hose. To improve the performance of air tools that require a high volume of airflow, select a hose plug with a wide diameter. Avoid restricting airflow in any way to ensure smooth tool operation. Make sure you know how much SCFM your tool needs and choose your hose plug diameter and its coupler accordingly.

Diameters of hose plugs and volume of air in SCFM

“I replaced all of the existing couplers with Topring’s ULTRAFLO Safety Quick Coupler. They offer an 80 SCFM and can handle 500 psi. This additional airflow increased the power to our service tools when changing a tire.” — Patrick B., General Manager of the Point S garage in Granby-Farnham, Quebec

4. Install a hose whip on every tool 

Hose whips protect couplers from vibration.

Installing a hose whip on every tool protects quick couplers from the vibration caused by these tools. This considerably lengthens the service life of couplers, as well as their performance. Remember that air leaks from defective couplers hamper the performance of air tools. And the downtime needed to replace a defective part impedes the productivity of your auto repair shop.

“I also added anti-hose whips to reduce vibrations. This had a significant and positive impact on the service life of our tools and couplers.” — Patrick B., General Manager of the Point S garage in Granby-Farnham, Quebec

5. Install hose reels 

Installing hose reels will save you time and money for several reasons.

Hose reels are a great way to boost the efficiency of your flexible hose. Being efficient means work takes less time—in this case, less time when changing a tire. What’s more, hose reels help prevent the accidents that can happen when a flexible hose is laying on the shop floor. They’re a safe, practical way to handle and store flexible hoses. Your hoses, quick couplers and tools will last longer, reducing maintenance and replacement costs.

“We installed Topring hose reels at each service bay. It's much more ergonomic because the mechanics don’t have to handle the entire weight of the air hose while working and it also creates a much safer work environment, reducing the clutter from the workstations. As a bonus, the reels greatly reduce the wear and tear on the actual air hoses, reducing the direct contact with the ground.” — Patrick B., General Manager of the Point S garage in Granby-Farnham, Quebec

Our featured products: 


SUPERFLEX ½ in RUBBER HOSE

  • Excellent for air tools
  • Ideal in environments where oils, gasoline and solvents are present
  • General industrial and auto repair shops
> Go to item 75.414



TOPQUIK S1 OR QUIKSILVER ULTRAFLO QUICK COUPLER

  • ULTRAFLO Quick Couplers deliver as much airflow as many INDUSTRIAL 3/8 in couplers, but in a more compact, affordable size
  • Use ULTRAFLO fitting and couplers to improve tool performance over standard ¼ in fitting/coupler combinations
  • The green ring tells you it’s an ULTRAFLO Quick Coupler
> Go to item 31.815 (TOPQUIK S1)
> Go to item 31.844 (QUIKSILVER)

TOPFLEX HOSE WHIP

  • All sharp bends on hose lines should be avoided; these tend to shorten flexible hose life, increase pressure drops, retard swivel action, increase compressor load, and raise fluid temperature
  • A hose whip should be installed to avoid straining on flexible hose and coupler assembly
  • It protects quick couplers from vibrations and extends their service life
> Go to item 62.546


TOPREEL HD HOSE REEL WITH SUPERFLEX RUBBER HOSE

  • Automatic rewind makes the reel easier to use
  • Guide arm can easily swivel to different positions
  • Epoxy powder coat finish is corrosion-resistant
  • Heavy-duty steel construction makes this reel ideal for heavy use
> Go to item 79.529



For more information or for help optimizing your compressed air system in the auto repair shop and tire industries, contact a technical advisor at 1-800-263-8677 or by email at solutions@topring.ca.

Source: The information in this blog post is from the case study titled Quick Coupler and Air Hose: Point S. Download the case study for more information.

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Keywords

  • changing a tire
  • auto repair shop
  • air tools
  • air hose
  • flexible hose
  • hose
  • hose plug
  • quick coupler
  • airflow
  • hose reel

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