1-5 outlets dealer average
Please publish a breakdown of how tire dealerships compare in size and sales volume.
Vice President of Business Development
DeCarolis Truck Rental Inc.
Editor's note: A recent Tire Business survey showed 76.6 percent of our dealer readers operate from 1-5 retail and/or commercial locations; 7.3 percent have 6-10; 2.8 percent, 11-15; 2.0 percent, 16-20; and 11.3 percent, 21 or more outlets. Some 23.4 percent of the dealers have annual sales of $5 million or more; 22.5 percent, $1 million to $4.9 million; and 54.1 percent, $1 million or less.
More on tire vibration
In response to the article, "Whole lot of shakin' goin' on," in the July 3 issue, I don't care what manufacturers like Goodyear and Michelin say (about Hunter Engineering Co.'s GSP 9700 wheel balancer's alleged inability to accurately determine and measure tire uniformity based on industry standards).
The proof is in the pudding! We have solved many a ride-disturbance problem with our GSP 9700 balancer.
I don't know how they (suppliers) recheck our tire returns, but our customers don't return. If they do, it's to say thanks.
Dale G. Gervais
Prairie Tire & Auto Center
Chicago Heights, Ill.
Wheel balancing is a simple procedure. In most cases, all that's required is a wheel balancer and the correct adaptor tools to center the wheel accurately on the balancer's shaft.
Ford Motor Co. recently placed an order for Haweka balancing adaptors for their truck F53 platform, which they will provide free of charge to major Ford truck dealers.
Ford did so after experiencing a large amount of vibration complaints from customers. So a test was conducted balancing a number of tires on a Hunter GSP 9700 wheel balancer, using a cone to center the wheel.
To test the balancer for repeatability, each wheel was balanced with the valve at the 12 o'clock position. The wheel then was removed and balanced again, this time with the valve in the 6 o'clock position. The results were a poor average remount error of about 3 oz. of weight and 40 lbs. of "force variation."
The same tires then were balanced using the adaptor tool Haweka made for Ford. This time the Hunter GSP 9700 had an average remount error of just 0.35 oz. and an even more impressive 3 lbs. of "force variation"—a remarkable result considering the size and weight of the wheel.
Ford is not alone in realizing that no wheel balancer can accurately balance, measure runout or "force variation" on a majority of wheels, without accurate balancing adaptors to center and torque the wheel.
Toyota, Nissan, BMW and Land Rover also have made Haweka balancing adaptors essential for their dealerships.
Other service equipment makers also offer balancing machines with features similar to the Hunter unit, but most do not utilize a roller. Such machines generally are worth the extra cost.
But they all have one thing in common: The wheel must be centered and torqued to the balancer—just like it will be on the vehicle—to achieve a smooth, vibration-free ride.
Tire dealers should insist that balancer suppliers include all the necessary tools to do the job right.
Allan H. Hansen
Haweka North America