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Old 08-21-2013, 09:57 AM
H2ORidr H2ORidr is offline
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Tire changing kit

While bringing my new to me MC home recently I blew a tire about 20 miles from my home. Being Mr. Prepared I figured I was good to go with my tools but I soon found out that I was not totally ready to handle changing the tire quickly and efficiently on the side of the highway, in the dark, with cars zooming by at 80 mph. So I updated my kit and others may find this useful:



I have all this tucked into a nice plastic crate that I got and I keep this in the garage and for any roadtrip more than 2-3 miles I just toss it into the truck and I am ready to rock and roll.

Plywood base: A hunk of perferably 3/4" plywood is useful for muddy or sandy conditions to spread the weight of the jack out onto the ground. I cut a piece that fits into the bottom of the crate.

Floor Jack; 2-ton floor jack with handle makes for easy jacking although my 2-ton is a bit weak for my boat and so I have to crank kind of hard on the handle. A 4 ton would be nice but the weight would be quite a bit more than the 2 ton. Don't forget the handle! Some people tie the handle to the jack with a string so it does not get forgotten and left behind.

Blocking: I learned painfully well that blocking is needed and so I have two pieces of 2x8 that fit the bottom of the floor jack (one with holes to hold the jack's wheels from rolling) and 4 pieces of 2x8 blocking to put between the big pieces when I need elevation. With the plywood I can now get 9" above the ground and just about any size in between for maximum jacking efficiency.

A breaker bar and deep socket: I also learned that the spare tire on a trailer sometimes settles on the nuts and a normal lug wrench may not fit. I got a socket and a breaker bar for less than $25 and I know it will fit the trailer lugs (13/16").

Powerful LED flashlight: I found a pen sized LED flashlight at my local hardware store for ~$7 and it can burn one's retnas it is so powerful. Clips right onto my shirt collar in front and lights up a ~10' area in front of me providing me hands free lighting. Oh and this one takes batteries so I keep a spare set of batteries in the glove box.

Good tire gauge: checking the pressures often with a good (not a cheap junk) tire gauge can prevent flats.

Gloves: blown tires are HOT, and if one is quick at changing a tire one can often be handling very hot tire/wheel combination.

Reflective vest: ALWAYS a good idea to wear (even in broad daylight) a vest when changing a tire. They are ~$5 to buy and at least if some idiot hits you they can't say you did not try to be seen.

My total kit is less than $100 and I can safely say that I can change a tire in less than 5 minutes. The less time one spends on the side of the road the better.

I have a single axel trailer so changing tires is critical when I get a flat. Those with dual trailers can run the existing wheel up on blocks to change the tire, however, I have found more than a few times in my life that when one tire blows, the second one sometimes follows. At least with this kit, the spare can be put on and the trailer can be moved very slowly to a safe place off the busy traffic for safety.

Here is my kit all packed up and ready for the road. I never leave on long trips without it, even when I am not towing the boat. A flat with any vehicle is hard to change with the junky tools car manufacturers put in the vehicles.

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Old 08-21-2013, 10:43 AM
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zsqure zsqure is offline
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That is a good kit to have. I have often wondered how I might change a wheel on the side of the road with my torsion suspension on our tandem axle trailer. Now I carry two ratchet straps thinking I can just lift the empty hub off the ground to get home or to a tire shop.
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:31 AM
Redstorm Redstorm is offline
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Wow....you are defiantly prepped! Don't know if I should say "hope you get flat tire" or not. LolL

I think your on the right track for sure. I see boats on the side of the road all the time with the driver not knowing how to or not equipped to change a tire. I've been wanting to put together something like thi as well.....just to lazy! I do have a jack with wood but that's about it. Now all I need is a spare tire! Lol. Need to see Mr.MC!
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Old 08-21-2013, 12:30 PM
H2ORidr H2ORidr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redstorm View Post
Now all I need is a spare tire! Lol. Need to see Mr.MC!
Just to let you know how prepared I am....I bought new tires for my trailer as soon as I got home because the Marathon POSs that were on it have been described as complete junk over in a tractor forum my friend frequents. So I got good tires with a good repuatation, but what to do with the one remaining Marathon tire that is brand new???? Well, I am going to get a wheel for it and I will have a second spare for those particularly long trips.

I too have seen way too many people along the side of the road with a flat trailer tire. I saw one this morning on the way to work.
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Old 08-21-2013, 01:32 PM
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Miss Rita Miss Rita is offline
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Great writeup, another example of MCOCD at its finest! I have all the stuff I need, but it makes so much sense to put it in a kit. The 2x8's are a great addition.

When I picked up my 205 it was 850 miles one way. Before I left home I bought new tires from Mr. MC (great service, BTW). I brought extra bearings, grease, socket set, duck tape, wires, rope, etc; everything I could think of. THe first thing I did after picking up the boat was to install the new tires in the parking lot at Home Depot before moving more than one foot. It follows the rule that if you have everything you might need you (hopefully) won't need it.

Last edited by Miss Rita; 08-21-2013 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 08-21-2013, 02:52 PM
Tom023 Tom023 is offline
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Or

You could just carry a Jiffy Jack and lug wrench and forget the rest of the stuff if you have a tandem as you mentioned. Works great, is faster than a scissors jack and no need for the extra boards because it won't sink into the ground.
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Last edited by Tom023; 08-21-2013 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 08-21-2013, 02:52 PM
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BrooksfamX2 BrooksfamX2 is offline
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Old 08-21-2013, 03:01 PM
Tom023 Tom023 is offline
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Yep, I have the Gorilla Wrench and Jiffy Jack (aluminum version of yours). Have had the displeasure of using normal jack and my current set up on the side of the road and prefer the latter.
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Old 08-21-2013, 03:05 PM
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Rockman Rockman is offline
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Great write-up!

We carry a 3 ton jack with either of our boats or any of our trailers just to be safe. A little big but not really a big deal.

One thing to add to the list is a torgue wrench. Be sure to check the tightness of the lug nuts during any trip.
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Old 08-21-2013, 03:12 PM
H2ORidr H2ORidr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom023 View Post
You could just carry a Jiffy Jack and lug wrench and forget the rest of the stuff. Works great, is faster than a scissors jack and no need for the extra boards because it won't sink into the ground.
Jiffy jack only works on two axle trailers, mine is a single axle. And as I said I have personally experienced double wheel blowouts on construction trailers. It is a thing with me and members of my family, if we get one flat tire, we often get a string of them all in about one week. My dad held the record at 6 or 7 flats in one week.

All my vehicles have a tee wrench for tires in the trunk but I found out (the hard way) that the spare tire on my MC trailer was sitting low on the nuts and so the hole around the lug in the wheel prevented the tire wrench for getting into the area to loosen the lug nuts. I could get the blown tire off fine, but not the spare. I was fortunate to have a set of 3/8" drive sockets with me and after fighting my spare tire for 10 minutes with the 8" wrench I finally got the spare off of its mount.

I have a friend that runs a tow truck operation and he said he is making lots of trips to help people that have the tools to change a tire, but can't do it because of cheap quality or some unforseen reason. He said everybody should practice changing their tires at least once to be sure #1 everything works, and #2 they know how to do it with what they are given. He also said check your spare tires for pressure. He gets a lot of calls where the spare is flat and the driver never knew it because they did not check.
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