In today’s world there is an ever increasing expectation by the driver regarding quality and smoothness. Many vehicles like BMW, for example, are known for their superior ride quality and handling. Consumers are looking to have the best looking vehicle and to not compromise or lose any of its handling characteristics. As a result, wheels are getting bigger while the actual tire sidewall is getting smaller or thinner. Suspension components are now made of lighter metals, such as aluminum. This all leads to less “cushion” in ride quality so the driver tends to feel a lot more than they ever used to. Any imperfections or problems are more noticeable now than they ever used to be. So what is a road force balance and why is it needed?
Road Force Measurement is new to the automotive service industry. This new measurement identifies tire and wheel uniformity. Road Force can be used to solve uniformity related tire and wheel vibrations. Tire/wheel assembly uniformity can only be measured under load. This is especially needed these days since most car manufactures are going with such thin sidewall tires and/or run flat tires, which are very susceptible to causing a vibration while using your vehicle.
The load roller on our Hunter GSP9700 performs a computer simulated “road test”. It measures the tire/wheel assembly to determine how “round” the assembly is when rolling under a load. It does this by allying force up to 1400 pounds against the rotating tire/wheel assembly as it performs its measurements. If a tire were not exposed to the road surface, then balance would be more than sufficient. However, this is not the case. An egg-shaped tire/wheel assembly can be balanced about its axis, but an egg-shaped tire/wheel loaded against a surface would not give a smooth ride.