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Tire tools

The increasing interest in setting up your shop to tackle tire repairs has inspired tool companies to innovate devices to make quick work of flats. In equipping your shop with repair tools, you are not at the mercy of finding a tire dealer who is open nights or weekends when tires seem to go flat. Here are three tools you’ll want to consider.

1. ESCO’s Compac Wheel Dolly

ESCO’s Compac Wheel Dolly (pictured above) is designed to handle farm and earth-moving tires, even when they’re full of fluid ballast. Capable of handling tires from 451∕3 inches up to 843∕4 inches in diameter and up to 411∕3 inches wide, the dolly is engineered to lift tires with rims weighing up to 3,306 pounds.

When put to work, the dolly is positioned under a tire (with the tractor’s axle elevated). The tire is nestled on two sets of four rollers that are 2 feet wide. A double-acting manually operated hydraulic cylinder raises the platform, lifting the tire for removal from the axle hub. The vertical arm includes a rod that reaches over the top of the tire; its length is adjustable to accommodate different tire widths. The end of this rod is bent downward in order to keep tires in an upright position. The Compac Wheel Dolly also folds down for easy storage, and it comes with a three-year warranty. Retail prices range from $2,889 to $3,399.

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2. Ken-Tool’s T131

Ken-Tool has designed a tubeless utility tire bead expander that makes quick work of seating the bead by compressing a tire’s tread. 

Built to work with tires from 10 inches to 22 inches in diameter, the T131 works with shop air of up to 150 psi, and it features an internal safety relief valve to avoid over-inflation. 

The expander employs a pliable neoprene rubber tube encased in a tough nylon cover, yet it weighs only 2 pounds. 

The device uses clinch rings to hug the assembly tightly around the center of tire tread. 

The estimated retail price for the T131 is $112.63. 

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3. Ingersoll-Rand’s W5130 Impactool

Better known for its rugged pneumatic tools, Ingersoll-Rand has a line of equally rugged cordless impact wrenches, offering air tool-like capacities. 

The 3∕8-inch W5130 Impactool, for example, weighs just 31∕2 pounds and is 61∕2 inches from tip to tail, but it turns out 190 foot-pounds of torque. The W5130 employs a 20-volt lithium-ion battery.

With a 1,700-rpm operating speed delivering 2,900 impacts per minute, the impact wrench’s features include a metal drive train and hammer mechanism, steel-reinforced frame, and three-year warranty. List price is $362. 

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