Hunter Balancer for Careless Tire Techs?

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https://www.autosphere.ca/tirenews/tires-news/2017/11/02/hunter-road-force-elite-balancer/
Quote:
Mis-centering during wheel balancing is a major cause of improper balancing and customer comebacks.­­ Hunter’s Road Force Elite features Automatic CenteringCheck technology with new 4.0 software that reduces these errors by notifying the technician of improper centering. The result is improved quality, increased shop efficiency and customer retention. Road Force Elite 4.0 software also features a Balancer Report Card with a specified inner error and outer error amount and a letter grade to optimize weight placement. Presenting a “scorecard” to the technician after a balance has been completed enhances balancer performance. Hunter’s patented vision system completes a 3D scan of the wheel to determine the accuracy of wheel weight placement, which helps technicians learn on-the-job.
 
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Unless it refuses to release the wheel assembly from the machine until proper balance is achieved, this will only be an improvement for those techs that want to improve.
 
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Just another reason to make techs more lazy. If they can't see that the wheel has a hop or lateral runout when its balancing, they should only be changing oil. And its probably a $15k balancer.
 
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Still won't fix the lazy tech issue, because the lazy tech will still ignore the software. It only helps the tech that wants to do his job better. The fix is the boss firing the lazy tech because the lazy tech is costing the business money.
 
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Originally Posted By: Audios
Just another reason to make techs more lazy. If they can't see that the wheel has a hop or lateral runout when its balancing, they should only be changing oil. And its probably a $15k balancer.
Same goes for the Hunter alignment rack. High end equipment don't mean [censored] if lazy technician doesn't use it correctly.
 

FZ1

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Originally Posted By: tc1446
I'll still take my chances by having it done on the Hunter Road Force rather than standard.
This^^^^.
 
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I wish Walmart used Hunters. We had a Hunter standard in Highschool. I felt like it was doing a better job. Now the coats on the other hand, they seem to be using old technology.
 
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You guys are missing two points: This stuff is marketed at chain shop owners/ decision makers who are looking for another excuse to hire cheaper people. A slice of Americana. This goes on in many industries! And if the machine's arbors are all dinged up in the common bore sizes and cause this machine to complain, this will create a demand for replacement arbors before they were otherwise "needed".
 
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Discount Tire is using the RF Elite in their stores, but only in basic mode unless you pay them an extra $20/ea to do a road force balance. Outside of a specialty shop that caters to high-end sports cars and racers, I've yet to encounter any shop that regularly uses the fancy Hunter machines to their full capability. Most don't bother or maybe even know how. Not even techs inside OEMs necessarily go to such lengths from what I've heard.
 
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Originally Posted By: Carmudgeon
...... Not even techs inside OEMs necessarily go to such lengths from what I've heard.
If you mean at the dealership level, I sort of agree - although those guys generally are forced to learn more of the sophisticated stuff simply because of where they are. But if you mean at the assembly plant level - those guys don't do anything at all. It's all done by the set up or the machines. I'll explain. All tires arriving at the assembly plant are marked by the tire manufacturer for the high point of the radial first harmonic (think out of round and you'll be close!) - and all wheels are marked for the low point of the radial first harmonic. A machine matches those marks up and the tire/wheel assembly is the most round those 2 components can be. Then they do a normal balance using an automated balance machine. What a Hunter RoadForce machine does is find those places on tires and wheels not marked by the tire/wheel manufacturer, but the tech has to manually line up the marks. Aside from loading the tires and wheels onto the assembly line, the techs (hourly workers) don't touch either until it is time to add the balance weights - and the locations are indicated for them. That means the mounting of the tire on the wheel is done by the machine as is the lining up of the marks and the balance spin.
 
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Unfortunately the shop techs have to try and beat the clock. On the Hunter, the cycle time for a balance spin is like 5 seconds, and in road force/tracking mode it is like 30 seconds, and another 10 minutes+ if it tells you there is an issue. Coffee time. I know what I'd do in a shop, but working on my own, the clock beats the heck out of me on every tire job.
 
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Originally Posted By: tc1446
I'll still take my chances by having it done on the Hunter Road Force rather than standard.
What you’re forgetting is that a Hunter RF machine can also be used just like a plain-old standard balancer if the tech doesn’t want to take the time to use all the RF features. I’m not saying that’s right or wrong. In the vast majority of cases you won’t need to use all the RF features because a simple balance will be fine.
 
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Originally Posted By: CapriRacer
Originally Posted By: Carmudgeon
...... Not even techs inside OEMs necessarily go to such lengths from what I've heard.
If you mean at the dealership level, I sort of agree - although those guys generally are forced to learn more of the sophisticated stuff simply because of where they are. But if you mean at the assembly plant level - those guys don't do anything at all. It's all done by the set up or the machines. I'll explain.
That's insightful, but my intel comes from the engineering, not plant side, at least in a casual capacity. Procedure may dictate they follow the full procedure while they're on the clock, but off hours they can be just as lax as the rest when doing "extracurricular" jobs. These machines are great, but there's no getting around that they require a lot of time, especially if a tire needs to be reindexed to the wheel. So it's not just the local tire jockey who might be too lazy, even the guys inside can find them a hassle as well.
 
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Originally Posted By: Carmudgeon
Originally Posted By: CapriRacer
Originally Posted By: Carmudgeon
...... Not even techs inside OEMs necessarily go to such lengths from what I've heard.
If you mean at the dealership level, I sort of agree - although those guys generally are forced to learn more of the sophisticated stuff simply because of where they are. But if you mean at the assembly plant level - those guys don't do anything at all. It's all done by the set up or the machines. I'll explain.
That's insightful, but my intel comes from the engineering, not plant side, at least in a casual capacity. Procedure may dictate they follow the full procedure while they're on the clock, but off hours they can be just as lax as the rest when doing "extracurricular" jobs. These machines are great, but there's no getting around that they require a lot of time, especially if a tire needs to be reindexed to the wheel. So it's not just the local tire jockey who might be too lazy, even the guys inside can find them a hassle as well.
Ah .... Mmmmm ...... I think you are talking about the assembly plant, and perhaps you missed the part where they have to load the tires and wheels separately into the machine (that is, unmounted) - and then they don't touch them until it is time to put on the weights. There isn't any way to shortcut the process. If the tires and wheels aren't loaded into the machine, nothing is produced and the assembly line stops - and not just the tire/wheel assembly line. The whole assembly line, because vehicles can't be processed off the line without tires and wheels mounted on the vehicle hubs. Oh, and the machines automatically index the tire to the wheel - no human intervention required. But on the off chance that you are talking about at the vehicle dealership level: Typically, the shop guys are dealing with returns for vibration - and if they don't follow the procedure, they won't solve the vibration problem. It doesn't take very many returns before a tech who doesn't solve vibration problems gets in hot water for not doing his job.
 
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SubLGT

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Originally Posted By: Traction
Unfortunately the shop techs have to try and beat the clock...
Is this why Hunter is boasting about a time savings of 80 seconds on their Revolution tire machine?
Quote:
The latest edition of Hunter Engineering Co.’s Revolution tire changer literally enables technicians to do two tasks at one time. The new machine performs 80 seconds of autonomous bead breaking and demounting without an operator present. The newest Revolution tire changer allows the operator to “walk away,” freeing them to perform balancing procedures or other shop tasks during the longest portion of the tire changing action. The Revolution also features additional autonomous functions such as WalkAway inflation and WalkAway bead massage.
http://www.moderntiredealer.com/news/726...anging-to-shops
 
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I went to the GM dealer near me for tires specifically because GM has made the Hunter a required service tool. They also price match their tires. I must say, I don't have ANY vibration on these tires.
 
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Originally Posted By: jakewells
Where I work, all we use is John Bean balance machines and my tires ride smooth - though the high tech Hunter machines are nice.
Are you using the B2000P model? That one has something similar to the Hunter GSP9700 so it can measure Road Force. I am not familiar with John Bean balancers, so I wonder how good it is.
 
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Yes the new Hunter Revolution is a pretty impressive tire machine for sure, and probably cost well over 30 grand. I'm sure it's possible to screw that up too with some techs. Check out the video, 10 operators, 10 different tire/wheel combos, running 10 machines in unison. Wow https://www.hunter.com/tire-changers/revolution
 
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