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Create a tire center

01/31/2012 @ 10:45am

The need to keep tillage tools, planters, and grain carts going full tilt, and the growing challenge of finding tire dealers to do repairs have more farmers investing in tire and tube repair centers.

But deciding on what to buy for such a center can be a bit overwhelming since there is such a wide variety of available tools and supplies. Don Kubly recommends first deciding which tires you want to repair. “If you are only going to repair tires and tubes on trailers, light trucks, implements, and ATVs, you can easily accommodate your needs with a basic setup (as shown above),” he says.

Kubly, Gempler's tire repair answer man, says you can begin to equip a shop for around $500. This kit would have a set of tire irons, a tire hammer, buffer wheel, brushes, chemicals, and a starter assortment of tire and tube patches and valve stems. “This would equip you to handle small- and medium-size tires,” he says. “The larger the tire or the larger the load that tire carries, the greater the need for larger bars, spoons, and hammers or changers with larger capacities.”

1. A heavy-duty four-way lug wrench ($45 to $80) is a must-have for any tire tool arsenal, especially as a fill-in for pneumatic impact wrenches.

2. Ancillary supplies range from tire lubricants ($14 to $16), tire talc ($5 to $7), liquid prebuff cleaner ($10 to $15), repair sealant $22 to $26), and cold vulcanizing cement ($10 to $12).

3. Remote-control air gauges and chucks are a safety must. Units are available in 3-foot ($45 to $50) and 6-foot ($50 to $55) lengths as well as with professional digital gauges ($55 to $60).

4. A pneumatic vacuum bag makes quick work out of sucking dust and debris from tires using shop air. Figure on paying $55 to $65 for this tool.

5. A detailed list of basic supplies inventory is explained later in the story.

6. Tire changers vary greatly in size and capacity both of which affect their price. A simple manual unit (like the one shown) costs $40 to $60, with more advanced manual changers costing $200 to $300. Basic semiautomatic professional changers go for $1,500 to $3,000.

7. Diaphragm liquid ballast pumps range in price from $800 to $1,000.

8. A tire and tube dunk tank is a must to detect those pinhole punctures. Figure on paying $60 to $70 for a basic unit and up to $80 to $90 for a wider tank.

9. Different bead breaking tools are available, ranging from a swan-neck iron ($40 to $50) up to heavy-duty mechanical breakers ($500 to $550).

10. Tried-and-true bottle jacks range in size from 2 tons ($18 to $22) up to 30 tons ($190 to $200) in capacity. Options include trailer jacks ($150 to $500) and hydraulic floor jacks in manual or pneumatic versions ($70 to $500).

11. Tire irons, spoons, breaker bars, and hammers come in a wide variety of types and lengths. Start out with a basic set and add variations as experience dictates.

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