Our Guide to Picking the Right Tyre Changer Machine

With so many different tyre machine combinations it can be a little confusing when starting up in tyres. Here at Tyre Bay Direct, we want to make choosing the best tyre equipment for your needs as simple as possible.

With over 50 years’ experience in the tyre industry, we have accumulated a great deal of valuable knowledge and technical expertise. We have helped customers from all over start up their new tyre business.

It is for this reason we’ve pulled together this quick guide to picking the right tyre changer for your garage, exploring terms that might leave you worried you’re picking the wrong machine for the job.

Automatic vs. Semi-Automatic

In general terms, tyre changers will fall into four main categories: manual, semi-automatic, fully automatic and super automatic (also known as robotic). We will focus on the two most popular in this guide, semi-automatic and fully automatic.

Semi Automatic Tyre Fitting Machine

On a semi automatic tyre changer, the mounting head sits on a hex bar which is held in place by a hinge at the top of the rear column. The rim distance is set by a screw in the rear column that will adjust to the correct wheel diameter. The mounting head is then pushed down on the hex bar into position by hand and locked in placed with a leaver. These machines are often called swing arm tyre changers.

Because of how much technology has progressed over the years, semi-automatic machines are now commonplace and, consequently, are more affordable than ever. Our Redback 202 machine offers excellent value, with prices starting at just £780.00 excluding VAT. If you want something a little more advanced, you could consider the ultra-robust Atlas TC220, a stellar machine that’s proven its worth in garages across the US and Europe.

Fully Automatic Tyre Fitting Machine

With a fully automatic tyre changer, the setup of the mounting head is slightly different. The whole rear column operates on a hydraulic piston moving the rear column backwards and out the way of the table. When mounting, the head is moved into position and can be locked into place with the push of a button rather than manually. These machines are often called tilt arm tyre changers.

We offer a range of fully automatic machines at Tyre Bay Direct. The Redback RB221PA is one of the most affordable you’ll find anywhere, available from just £1,295.00 excluding VAT. We have a range of high quality machines available from the likes of Atlas Platinum and Hofmann Megaplan, too.

Which should I choose?

The choice between semi automatic and fully automatic comes down to one main thing: the speed of set up. The semi automatic machines take around 30 seconds longer to set up and have to be set every time, whereas an automatic machine will tilt back and forward whilst maintaining its settings.

What is a Leverless Tyre Machine?

Leverless Tyre Changers are relatively new to the industry. They are built on the concept of making the tyre machine easier to use by removing the tyre levers normally used to lift the bead onto the mounting head and replacing them with an automatic “finger” the comes down between the bead and the rim. This finger then retracts, taking the bead with it up over the mounting head. This considerably reduces the damage that can be caused by tyre levers on the rim and wheel as a whole. Leverless machines are becoming much more popular for this reason, and when fitting large rims with low profile (or run-flat tyres) they can be invaluable.

The Atlas Platinum PTC520 is one of the industry’s most advanced, capable and efficient offerings to-date. It’s not the cheapest option, coming in at £4,995.00 excluding VAT, but its swift operation, rock-solid build quality and suite of features make it well worth the investment for busy tyre shops. Being so safe on wheels makes it ideal for garages working on prestigious, high value or specialist vehicles, too.

Super Automatic Tyre Changer Atlas

What does an Assist arm do on a Tyre Machine?

Tyre changers with Assist arms are the norm now for most fast fit shops. It is a myth that a machine without an assist arm can’t change a run flat tyre. This is simply not true. It can be incredibly difficult to change a large run flat tyre. It takes a lot of effort and hard work and maybe 2 or 3 people, but it can be done. This is why the Assist arm was born to “assist” with fitting these difficult tyres.

An assist arm normally has 3 main functions. The first is a fixed roller that sits about 6 inches from the mounting head, holding the sidewall of the tyre in place as the table turns. The second part of the arm is a rotating clamp. This clamp also holds the sidewall of the tyre down and rotates with the tyre as the table turns, pushing the tyre into the cavity of the wheel, allowing the opposite bead to stretch and fit over the mounting head. The final part of an assist arm is the lower listing disk. This disk is used to help lift the lower bead or back bead up to the mounting head when removing.

A tyre changer with assist arm will make it a fairly easy, one man job to do the majority of tyre and wheel combinations on the road today.


We hope you have found this blog explaining some of the top-level terminology relating to tyre fitting equipment useful. Be sure to keep checking our blog for more resources like this and the latest machinery we have on offer.


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