Why the guard on wheel balancers?

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Is it that common for tires to fly off the machine that they have such a cumbersome guard? Or is it just something the manufacturers lawyers insisted on for the one in a million possibility? The guard is placed ABOVE the tire so it isn't really protecting anybody.
 
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Prevention of the "one-in-a-million" event might be worth it. In that case the manufacturers' lawyers deserve a thank you. The effectiveness of the guard is a great question.
 
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I don't think it's for the tire flying off. Someone could have forgotten to take off a clip on wheel weight and maybe that flies off or there is a stone stuck in the tread. Also helps with not getting sucked into the tire. Maybe you have loose clothing that could get caught on the wheel and it would pull you into the tire.
 
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Originally Posted by justintendo
its to keep small stones, water or weights from flying off and hitting the operator.
Or to keep the operator (or their clothes) from accidentally contacting the spinning wheel. You've seen the Farmer's Insurance commercials? Yeah something weird happened, someone got hurt or killed and this is one of the safety measures taken.
 
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Originally Posted by Kira
Prevention of the "one-in-a-million" event might be worth it. In that case the manufacturers' lawyers deserve a thank you. The effectiveness of the guard is a great question.
Originally Posted by JLTD
Originally Posted by justintendo
its to keep small stones, water or weights from flying off and hitting the operator.
Or to keep the operator (or their clothes) from accidentally contacting the spinning wheel. You've seen the Farmer's Insurance commercials? Yeah something weird happened, someone got hurt or killed and this is one of the safety measures taken.
+2
 

atikovi

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The wheel on the balancer doesn't spin very fast or more than a few seconds, so for the one in a million chance it flys off, nobody is standing above the machine anyway, where the guard is positioned. It's kind of like wearing safety glasses to change an air filter.
 
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200 millin tires are sold in the us annually. even at 1/million, thats 200 tires flying through the air every year. Manufacturer is correct to put every orotective measure possible. they dont know who will be mounting the tire before it is spun. if an incident happend the second person sued is the company that made the equipment,
 
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I took my 8 winter tires/wheels in to be balanced last week before putting them on for the winter. With all the little sipes, they were full of small stones from winter gravelling of our roads. They came back with significantly less stones in them. Without a guard, the operator would have been sandblasted with that gravel during balancing.
 
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Back in the late 70's a distant relative walked into an old fashioned gas station, you know, front area, and a doorway into the shop with the door propped open. As soon as he walked in, a spin balancer threw a weight and hit him in the eye, he lost his eye. So its not that difficult to imagine why there is a guard.
 
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Originally Posted by atikovi
Ok, so it's for wheel weights and stones flying off, not the actual wheel itself.
No, the wheel too. There's a metal frame around the perimeter. If things go wrong the operator can stand on the brake and let things succumb to gravity. It could be violent with a heavy assembly but people don't get hurt.
 
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Also dont forget theres a good chance those little stones and weights will fly into someone elses car. But the cover is huge when stuck balancing on a snowy or rainy day. Its bad enough to be dripped on when doing a repair...
 
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Not going to dig into the regulations, but I am pretty sure that OSHA dictates that any spinning or rotating machinery requires guarding.
 

atikovi

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Originally Posted by Audios
Also dont forget theres a good chance those little stones and weights will fly into someone elses car.
First off, you're supposed to remove the existing weights BEFORE spinning, no? And what little stones are we talking about that are stuck in the tire that's been driven at 70 or 80 mph but somehow get loose at balancer speeds of maybe 30 mph?
 

AVB

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No, most of the time there will be weights on the wheel when it's being spun. Whether you are checking the current balance while diagnosing a vibration or check spinning a wheel you just put weight on. The rocks in the tire can get loosened by handling the tire or the tire can pickup something off of the shop floor.
 
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yep its a safety thing , stones ,wheel weights etc and not to mention in the winter many tire were wet. ,slushy ..kept us dry when the tire was spinning, usually spun it once to get the slush / mud off then balanced the tire ,yeah I worked in a tire shop years ago
 
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When I worked at a J I Case engine assembly plant, we ground three foot long by 3 inch dia. rod on a center less grinder. I was there when the two foot dia. grinding wheel disintegrated and tossed the rod across a 90 foot shop and through the concrete wall. Spinning wheels contain a lot of kinetic energy and will kill you. Ed
 
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A long time ago, I had a manual Snap-on wheel balancer -and they had no guard. I gave the wheel a spin with a push by hand and for some reason, I wanted to suddenly stop it. I pressed my hand on the tire which was not spinning very fast at all and bingo... There was wire sticking out of the tread and it cut my palm open in a nasty way just like a razor blade. Sometimes safety devices are not as useless as they seem to be.
 

atikovi

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Originally Posted by RayCJ
A long time ago, I had a manual Snap-on wheel balancer -and they had no guard. I gave the wheel a spin with a push by hand and for some reason, I wanted to suddenly stop it. I pressed my hand on the tire which was not spinning very fast at all and bingo... There was wire sticking out of the tread and it cut my palm open in a nasty way just like a razor blade. Sometimes safety devices are not as useless as they seem to be.
I have one right now. Never had that problem but I usually pick out the stones first and would notice a wire sticking out.
 
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