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Experts discuss trends, future
Balancing isn't glamorous work. "But as long as we're selling tires and wheels, it's something we'll always do," says Guy Norton, store manager at Junction Tire Inc. in Mesa, Ariz.
What are the trends in passenger and light truck tire balancing? And what can tire dealers expect in the future?
The experts we spoke with offered varying ideas and forecasts.
But one thing's for sure.
Staying on top of developments in balancing can help enterprising dealers boost their bottom lines.
Contrary to popular belief, balancing weights don't have to be affixed to the outside of a wheel.
In fact, sometimes they can't be.
"We've seen a gigantic increase in the number of aftermarket alloy wheels on the market," says Ben Darda, manager of product planning for La Vergne, Tenn.-based Hennessy Industries Inc. "Many have no lips for clip-on weights."
And customers are shying away from clip-ons for cosmetic reasons (see sidebar on page 26).
So more techs are "hiding" weights inside the wheel.
But you just can't slap them on, according to Dave Scribner, product manager for Hunter Engineering Co. in Bridgeton, Mo.
"Some guys make the mistake of placing a single weight inside the wheel, which doesn't solve imbalance."
He recommends a method …