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The bigger the tire, the harder it is to remove and replace a wheel on the vehicle. At some point the wheel gets larger than you can safely handle — that’s when you pull out the Wheel Mate from OTC Tools.

OTC constructs the Wheel Mate from structural steel tubing, and its U-shaped base gives it clearance to fit around the wheel and under the vehicle. It moves freely on heavy-duty ball bearing casters and locks with a foot-operated lever so it won’t go rolling about.

The truck wheel rests on rollers that allow you to spin the wheel so you can align the lugs, and it has 14″ of vertical travel to get the wheel to the right height. The Wheel Mate will hold most truck tires without the need for restraining chains.

You’ll pay at least $2,000 to buy a Wheel Mate new.

Wheel Mate [OTC Tools]
Street Pricing [Google Products]

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5 Responses to Help For Handling Large Truck Wheels

  1. bartsdad says:

    If this is like most of OTC’s offerings, it will be cumbersome, poorly designed and a huge waste of money. For some stupid reason our shop manager really likes the crap they build, but as far as I’m concerned it should be cut up and thrown in the scrap dumpster.

  2. Cameron Watt says:

    @bartsdad: Are they really that bad? I’ve never used one.

    I lift larger tires by rolling them onto one end of a long prybar and pulling up on the other.

  3. bartsdad says:

    I’ve installed hundreds, maybe thousands of truck tires with a prybar as you described. I have a strong dislike for OTC products. They are just not right. Too big and bulky, not easy to use, and are always in the way. There are other companies that make better tools cheaper. YMMV

  4. Shopmonger says:

    I have used one…..Yes they are cumbersome, but not as cumbersome as a 100lb tire off a rig…. Or even motor home tires. I can lift them onto the studs, but my father cannot, nor can most others in the shop. Balancing some off road tires is hard enough…. I would agree that OTC is not the best company offering…. but sometimes you go with what you can afford.

    ShopMonger

  5. Cameron Watt says:

    @Shopmonger: Just because you can do something, it doesn’t mean you should. I learned the prybar trick after I was hired by a commercial transport mechanic as a helper. My boss saw me lifting wheels from his office and, after tearing a strip off me, showed me the prybar trick.

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