Saturday, May 23, 2015

Which Wheels?

  A long time reader sent in a request for a primer on wheels. When do you use pneumatics? When do you use hard wheels? The answers are fairly simple and I won't belabor the point here. P.neumatics or air filled tires are used pretty much for dance floor. The softer, more forgiving surface of the wheel tends to soften out the seams in dance floor. Pneumatics also tend to help out on soft grassy surfaces as the hard tires dig in more and make for harder pushing. Years ago, when I was pushing a Hybrid, we put on the pneumatics at the beginning of a show and just left them on. For the Hustler 4 we mix and match and leave them for the run of the show. I once had a DP who shall remain nameless who insisted that I install soft compound tires (the solid, very soft tires from Chapman). I told him that either he would have to wait for me to change them out for exteriors or they would get chewed up and he didn't care. The show bought a new set of soft compound tires at the end because ours were a mess. This DP was a half wit. If you ask me by email I will tell you his name. Soft compound tires are virtually never necessary. A good set of medium hard and a set of Pneumatics will get you through pretty much any show. The bottom line- On a Hybrid, put on the pneumatics and leave them on. On a Hustler, mix and match. On a Fisher, use what came with them and use skate wheels on track. The Fisher round track wheels are a pain in the ass to keep changing out. I've used these wheel combinations on literally over fifty movies, including some very high profile ones and they've worked fine.
The Captain has spoken.


Azurgrip said...

I'll be the counter point. I've been on Chapman products for the last untold number of years. Normally I'm on a Hybrid, but the last show had me on a Pee Wee IV. I'm starting another show tomorrow where I'm using a brand new Hybrid IV.

I'm the opposite and will generally leave my soft tires on for everything. The only exception when having to work around gravel and forests. I just finished five months without swapping tires. However, I do carry all three with me - Hard, softs and pneumatics.

Yes, I baby the tires as much as I can. I've also found that working on cement, the tires will dry out, so I'll try to rejuvenate the tires with Zep when ever possible

I hate when the big wigs come back from a location survey and tell me that "it's all carpet - just put on the pneumatics and you'll be fine". I HATE PNEUMATICS on carpet!!! I've broken steering chains using pneumatics on carpet.

Sean said...

I'm lazy and hate changing out tires period so a Hustler IV with pneumatics on the outside and hard tires on the inside work like a champ for me. Keep it simple. If you have a problem, it's usually not the gear that is the issue.

D said...

I do too. Carpet never tracks right and is hard to turn.

D said...

I also am lazy.

Onno said...

A good grip is lazy, bu a lazy grip ain't good

: - )