Heavy Duty Trucking

OCT 2014

The Fleet Business Authority

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82 HDT • OCTOBER 2014 www.truckinginfo.com Tire inflation cages The most important piece of equipment for any f leet tire shop is the tire cage. These are required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's tire shop regulations, and while they tend to be rather low-tech devices, their performance can vary. Rock Tyson, vice president of sales and marketing at Kentool, recom- mends buyers look for the manufac- turer's certification data to ensure the producer has a local distributor. "Poorly made product from off-shore might look like a locally manufactured product, but if there was ever a need to make a claim or you have the nuts from the mount- ing hardware f lying around the shop as well — like bullets." Time & labor savers From tire rotators to valve stem removal tools, there are tons of ways to save time, money and labor in the tire shop. Like the "Sky Mall" catalogs you find in airplane seat pockets, it seems there's a gizmo for nearly every facet of the tire main- tenance process – except most of them really do work. Here are a few examples: EZ Tire Rotator: A simple tire rotator placed inside a tire inf lation cage allows the technician to easily roll the tire and wheel assembly into a more convenient position to connect the air chuck. Rather than wrestling it into position, he or she simply rotates the tire on the rollers until the valve is within easier reach. Inflating multiple tires: Why top up just one tire at a time when you can do five at once? The Mobile Tire Pressure Equalizer from IPA Inc. lets the technician attach the air chuck and then set a target pressure and the system does the rest. The company says the regulators and gauges are file a suit because the product failed in a fundamental way injuring or killing a worker, if they are off shore, you're out of luck," he says. There are certain requirements for the use of tire cages, first and foremost that they are never bolted to the f loor. Tyson says the cage is designed to absorb the force of an exploding tire, and the free move- ment of the cage helps dissipate the energy of the blast. "If you have ever stood near a cage when a tire lets go, you'll have some sense of how much force is involved," he notes. "If the cage is bolted down, it's likely to rip away from its mounts anyway, and now Tires&Wheels Help for the hard to align S traying just slightly from tire-specific tools for a smaller fleet, tire wear can be exacerbated by worn axle eyes. If there's freeplay at the kingpins you won't get good alignment no matter how hard you try, and your tire wear issues will persist. Stemco Kaiser's Axle Pro Equipment (APE) can cut repair time from a couple of days to a few minutes, without removing the axle from the truck. "Many repair methods sometimes require more than two days of downtime to remove the axle, while also masking the issue with soft sleeves," says Ale- jandro Ayala, segment business leader, Stemco Sus- pension Products. "APE doesn't require the removal of the axle, allowing technicians to enhance the worn axle eyes with pre-sized, pre-cut hardened sleeves, so that the repairs can be made within the day." Restoring the axle eye to proper specifications results in less freeplay, and thus less tire wear, better alignment and better steering.

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