Maintaining any equipment in your shop will help keep small repairs from becoming big and expensive repairs. It also keeps you and your workers tuned to the actual status of the equipment being used. In particular, keeping up with tire change equipment maintenance, regardless of the manufacturer will ensure that you are maximizing the efficiency and useful life of said equipment. Spend a little time each month, so you don’t have to spend a lot of time and money in the future.
If you didn’t already get a maintenance plan and schedule with your tire change equipment, then ask your supplier for one. If there isn’t one available, it’s not too hard to adapt one from another manufacturer. A lot of this is pretty self-explanatory anyway. I’m sure with a little internet searching, you can find the maintenance plan and checklist needed. Be sure to schedule adequate time on the calendar each month to provide the maintenance, and be sure to document each time you service/maintain the equipment.
Keep the Pressure Low – Mitigating Liability and Risk
Routine maintenance of your equipment will mitigate safety concerns and chance for injury. This will help keep your insurance company happy and the lawyers at bay. A quick internet search for “tire changing accidents” will show OSHA ranking on the first page, and this is not because OSHA is paying to be there. We all want to stay off the OSHA radar, and the best way to do this is to stay safe and document everything. This goes for your equipment training and maintenance, especially.
Don’t forget to properly train your employees on equipment they’re using as well. We can make training a topic in itself at another date, but this is too critical not to mention at this time. Buy donuts on Friday mornings, or at least once a month, and have a brief safety meeting that keeps everyone fresh on concerns and questions about equipment. You may even have workers share their experience and knowledge; what they know might surprise you, in a good way. This can help with equipment maintenance and training.
Tire Change Equipment Maintenance – Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness
This heading is by no mistake, cleanliness may be one of the most important aspects of maintaining your equipment. Don’t just think of cleaning the tire equipment itself. Make sure to keep areas clean surrounding your tire equipment. Sweep regularly and degrease areas that routinely become soiled and dirty. Some manufacturers even mention using diesel fuel for cleaning, but make sure that you’re using recommended products. Also, make sure you’re not using products they mention not to use.
Air Supply – Pneumatic Source for Your Equipment (not the rock band)
Make sure your compressor, air lines, filters and air valves are free from moisture. Routinely, if not daily, remove excess moisture from your air lines and compressor tank. Make sure that any oilers, either on the equipment itself or as a part of your air lines, are filled with the correct oil. Be sure to address any indications of excessive oil loss, water/moisture intrusion, and any other corrosion. Check the air pressure at the equipment to ensure that you have enough, and not too much pressure. Lastly for the air, regulators at the machine and/or the air line should be check to ensure proper functioning for regulating the air pressure.
Oil and Lube
Keep all equipment oiled and lubricated. Some tire change equipment maintenance requires daily or weekly oiling. Some points of contact require greasing by hand and/or through a grease fitting with a grease gun. Be sure to use the recommended viscosity and rating for any lubricants. This is especially true when adhering to warranties.
Electrical, Hard Parts and Consumables
Make sure any electrical cords are free of abrasions and the insulation has no cracks or separations. Ensure that switches and foot pedals perform without glitches or shorts and connections are secure. Hard parts should be inspected for wearing or sharp edges. Opening/Closing clamps should be inspected for proper function, as well as pivoting arms and locking plates. Any belts, clamps or consumables should also be checked or replaced.
Additional Parts and Details
This is by no means meant to be your plan or schedule to perform preventative maintenance on your tire equipment or any other equipment. It is more to provide and explain the value of performing routine maintenance, as well as making safety a priority by ensuring safe operation of said equipment. Intentionally, we didn’t get into details like turntables, valves and bead breaking parts, as these may change from brand to brand.
Find the Maintenance plan for your machine, or talk with the manufacturer to prepare one. Schedule this maintenance appropriately and ensure all personnel are properly trained. Keeping equipment maintained and the staff trained will help maximize your profits and decrease the chance for accidents to occur.