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He “Trued Up” Cheap Tires
Brian Lazenby turned a bad tire buy into a good investment by making a tire truing machine. The made-in-China, Gladiator brand tires he had ordered online were out of true. Rather than send them back, he fixed them.
    “I saved $700 on a set of 5 tires for the 19 1/2-in. wheels I was putting on my truck, but I could feel they were out of round, even driving at low speeds,” says Lazenby. “When I checked, they were as much as a 1/4 in. out-of-round.”
    Out-of-round was once a common problem with tires, so much so that tire trimming or truing machines were common. Lazenby’s father recalled having tires trued before using them and suggested he find someone with a tire truing machine.
    When none could be found within several hundred miles, Lazenby decided to build his own.
    “I had an old radial arm saw and an engine hoist and decided to use them,” says Lazenby. “I built brackets to temporarily attach the radial arm saw head to the vertical leg of the hoist.”
    Lazenby had recently replaced hubs on his truck. One fit nearly perfect to a 1-ft. length of 4-in. schedule 40 pipe. He bracketed it to the leg of the hoist with a single pin. The pin allowed minimal movement of the pipe.
    “I attached a turnbuckle between the hoist base and the pipe so I could level the tire,” explains Lazenby.
    Once the wheel and tire were mounted, he lowered the saw blade to just barely trim the high area on the tire. He moved it across the tire’s width and rotated the tire as he worked.
    “I brought it down a bit more and trimmed again,” says Lazenby.
    When he was satisfied that the tire was true, he repeated the process on the other tires. He then remounted them on his truck and took it out on the road.
    “I ran it up to 85, and it rode as smooth as glass,” he recalls.
    Lazenby needed the larger wheels and tires to safely and legally haul RV trailers for an Indiana manufacturer. Since truing the tires, he has made multiple trips cross-country with no problems. Whether he buys the same brand in the future and goes through the truing process again depends on how they last. His advice for others is to spend more up front.
    Check out the tire truing machine in action at www.farmshow.com.
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Brian Lazenby, 9750 70th St. W., Mojave, Calif. 93501 (ph 805 829-6263; brianplazenby@hotmail.com).

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2016 - Volume #40, Issue #2