Professional drivers typically recognize the telltale signs of out-of-balance truck tires. A vibrating steering wheel and/or seat, uneven tread wear, and decreased fuel economy can all point to the need to bring wheels back in balance. Left unattended long enough, the risk of unbalanced tires going flat increases greatly.
That’s why keeping fleet-vehicle tires in balance is a maintenance task, meaning it’s a proactive choice rather than a reactive necessity. But even when balancing tires is a scheduled undertaking, the time it takes matters, since fleet trucks provide most of their return on investment when they are on the road accomplishing the tasks before them.
The new R544 Pro Truck 2D Wheel Balancer determines what’s needed to balance an array of commercial vehicle tires, and it does so in a matter of moments, so those tires can be balanced and placed back on the trucks, and the trucks can resume rounds.
The R544 has a computer screen where a technician can enter the data needed and view the results. The unit includes balancing programs for static, dynamic, and light alloy/aluminum wheels.
The first step of determining balance issues with the R544 is for the technician to use the integrated pneumatic lift to raise the wheel to the shaft. The scissors-style lift is operated with a lever and is capable of hoisting up to 440 pounds. The next step is to secure the wheel on the shaft with the pneumatic lock. Then, using the digital distance arm, the technician touches the wheel where the weights will be placed and closes the hood.
“It is a 2D machine, which means when I pull the distance arm out and touch it to the wheel, it automatically enters distance and diameter,” says Kevin Jones, Rotary’s wheel service product manager. The technician then keys in the wheel’s width and closes the hood over the top of the wheel, which triggers it to rotate while the unit determines the imbalance and provides a solution.
The company website features a how-to video in which Jones runs diagnostics on a recap wheel. The R544’s solution in this scenario? Add 10 ounces on the outside and 12 ounces on the inside of the wheel to bring it back in balance. The technician then adds weights as he or she has in the past.
“If you want to do stick-on weights—two plane—you can enter the first position, second position, just like on most car balancers,” Jones says.
From start to finish, the process takes a matter of minutes, helping bring equilibrium back to the tires, so that they can hit the road again quickly.
“If you’re looking for a versatile truck wheel balancer that will get you the results you need quickly, the R544 Pro Truck 2D is the model for you,” says Rob Dabrowski, vice president of wheel service equipment for Rotary parent company Vehicle Service Group (VSG). “The self-calibration and self-diagnostic features allow you to handle anything that rolls into your shop.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Rotary is the leading brand of vehicle lifts and wheel service equipment in North America. Founded in 1925 by the inventor of the first automotive hydraulic lift, Rotary offers the broadest line of lifts and wheel service equipment for use in professional automotive service, commercial truck and transit applications. Its products include two-post, four-post, inground, scissor, mobile column, parallelogram, and platform lifts, as well as alignment lifts and instrumentation, tire changers, and wheel balancers. The R544 is one of the company’s newest products. Find out more about Rotary, visit www.rotarylift.com.