Sometimes small tires, like wheelbarrow tires, lawnmower tires and even ATV tires, are pressed together when they are shipped. Many tire manufacturers keep their small tire pricing down by literally squeezing more tires into their trucks to reduce shipping costs.
At the tire stores, you never see the tires that were crushed together during shipping. When you purchase small tires online, however, they sometimes arrive the way they were sent by the manufacturer, and they appear to be misshapen. Those tires might not look as round as you expected, but there is nothing to worry about. Your local tire store that sells lawn and garden tires, ATV, and other small tires, most likely receives these same tires, with the same shapes, directly from the manufacturer, but these tire stores routinely straighten the tires before they mount them.
Does it Damage Your Tires to Be Compressed?
It does not damage the tires when they are compressed during shipping. This is standard procedure for many tire companies.
Who Should Straighten and Mount These Tires?
Your tires should be straightened and mounted by an experienced tire installer with proper equipment.
How Does the Tire Installer Mount Tires That Have Been Compressed?
There are three simple techniques that installers use to straighten tires. These techniques are considered safe, and they are usually successful.
When a tire is “squished”, the installer needs to expand it to it’s natural shape. The installer follows one of these techniques:
- Lay the tire in the sun. After a while, the tire will begin to return to its original shape. (This only works, of course, when the weather is warm and the sun is shining!)
- Expand the tire with a tire spreader.
- Put an inner tube into the tire prior to mounting it, and stretch the tire back to its original shape by inflating the tube. If the tire is tubeless, remove the tube before your final installation onto the wheel. (This technique may result in a charge for the tube from your installer.)
Using one of these techniques usually expands the tire and allows the installer to mount the tire properly.
Do These Techniques Always Restore the Shape of the Tire?
These techniques usually work, but not always. To restore the shape of that occasional compressed tire that doesn’t easily pop back to its original form after using the above techniques, professional tire installers have additional, more powerful tools that they use when necessary.