There is a lot of information on numerous product categories in the trucking industry, and some of them have conflicting arguments about how to use, install, or measure depending on the company advertising. That is why the Technical Maintenance Council (TMC), which is a branch of the American Trucking Association (ATA), has put together recommended practices to ensure that fleets and mechanics are properly informed on the tools and equipment covering the entire vehicle.
One recent recommended practice (RP) is titled “Considerations for Products intended for use Inside Tires”. The purpose and scope of this RP is evaluating the selection of products and their effect on the tire. There are numerous questions in the RP for the mechanic or owner operator to ask manufacturers. Here are answers to some of those frequently asked questions below.
1. What specific performance claims does the product manufacturer make?
Counteract branded balancing beads have proven fuel economy on two separate TMC type II fuel tests which can be found on our website. We also claim extended tire life, cooler running tire temperatures, a complete wheel end balance, and no need to rebalance for the life of the tire. Please request our third-party University of Brazil test for studies for more information.
2. Is the product chemically compatible with tire, wheel, paint, surface coatings?
Counteract is durable glass bead chosen for its unique properties inside the tire. To ensure there is no clumping or adherence on performance, a silicon moisture resistant coating is added. To date, Counteract balancing beads has not had any negative effect on the tire, wheel, paint, or surface coating.
3. How does the product change with time or use?
Counteract balancing beads will lose its moisture resistant coating over longer durations but will not break down or cause harm to the tire. We always suggest replacing the beads after switching the tire.
4. Is the material restricted to any specific vocation or service conditions?
Once installed, the beads will automatically readjust with centrifugal force and road vibration. The only recommendation is to avoid getting excess bead lubricant inside the tire and avoid excess moisture/water inside the tire.
5. How does the product impact tire mounting/repairing, retreading, and other routine tire/wheel service?
The throw-in bag allows for easy installation as all the beads are contained inside the bag until the vehicle is in motion where the bag will then break. For dismounting, simply remove the tire and take extra precautions to keep the beads inside the tire where they can be safely removed. For tire repair, the beads should be removed before starting the repair.
6. What is the recommended product removal and/or disposal procedure when tires are dismounted?
The tech should take extra precautions while dismounting the tire from the wheel to ensure the beads remain in the tire cavity. Once removed, the beads can either be scooped or vacuumed out and disposed of. The beads are recyclable. If excess beads do make it onto the shop floor, simply sweep or vacuum before continuing as the beads may be slippery on solid surfaces.
7. Is a safety data sheet supplied with the product?
Counteract’s safety data sheet can be found on our website at www.counteractbalancing.com.
8. Is personal Protective equipment required?
PPE is always suggested as an extra precaution, but while installing counteract we do recommend approved safety glasses.
9. Are there any toxic material issues to consider when disposing of the product?
No, the beads are glass and can be recycled.
10. Can the product be recycled or reused?
The product can be recycled but we do not recommend reusing the product due to possible contamination and dust. If reusing the product, we suggest using it with your own caution.
11. Is the product compatible with other material being used in the tire/wheel mounting process?
The beads will not hinder the mounting process other than taking the extra time to throw the bag in. We do however suggest avoiding getting excessive mounting lubricant inside the tire cavity during the process.
12. How long has the material been used in the industry, and can the prospective vendor furnish user references?
Our balancing beads were first created in 1997 and a few necessary changes have been made since its initial launch from size, coating, and recommended amount.
13. Are there any reputable test lab results available that document product performance?
Counteract has done 2 separate TMC Type II fuel tests both showing an improvement in fuel economy as well as a third-party test at the University of Brazil. This study shows how our product affects tire temperature, tire casing, and tire wear, all with positive effects. These tests can be found on our website or by request. Counteract balancing beads are also mentioned in heavy duty truck maintenance textbooks and is referenced in numerous articles across the globe.
14. Is the material compatible with any tire pressure monitoring system?
Counteract is compatible with TPMS and will not harm, damage, or affect any TPMS systems.
15. Will the product have any effect on warranty consideration for the tire, wheel, TPMS sensors, or other related components?
Counteract, to date, has not voided any warranty as the beads do not damage the inner liner as they are perfectly spherical. Most tire manufacturers will agree that if the internal tire balancer does not damage the inner liner, it will not void warranty.
16. Are any related inflation or valve stem components provided?
Counteract provides a filtered valve core and an indicator cap in every bag of Counteract. Although typically the valve core is not necessary, it does provide peace of mind, and is good practice to switch out valve cores often.
17. Does the product affect tire casing durability?
A study at the University of Brazil showed that Counteract had a positive effect on the casing due to reduced compression of the tire on each rotation.