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Changing a tire out on the trail

Discussion in 'Off-Roading & Trails' started by DocD, Dec 11, 2020.

  1. Dec 11, 2020 at 11:25 AM
    #1
    DocD

    DocD [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I am a fairly recent resident of SoCal, (I'm in my mid 70's) My truck is a 2009 Toyota Tacoma Access cab 4x4, I have discovered that I really enjoy the desert and although I am not a true Off-Roader I do enjoy exploring all the Roads, Trails, paths, the desert has to offer, The other day while on one of these "Trails" It dawned on me as to what I would do if I had a flat tire!! keep in mind my truck is always with good Tires & maintenance is always up to date, However "Crap" happens. So my question to you off roaders is What is a favored "jack" for someone in my position, I am thinking bottle jack, my concern with that is the lift height, & the anchor points. Thanks to any and all advise!!
     
  2. Dec 11, 2020 at 11:26 AM
    #2
    Toywoodsguy82

    Toywoodsguy82 Well-Known Member

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    I just wanna say good on you for still getting out in your mid 70s
     
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  3. Dec 11, 2020 at 11:31 AM
    #3
    spitdog

    spitdog Well-Known Member

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    I would get a small compressor that hooks to the battery and a plug patch kit, a few pieces of wood to put under the jack if your in the dirt for stability. A 25” breaker bar and socket for the lugs is also a good idea.
     
  4. Dec 11, 2020 at 11:32 AM
    #4
    mynameismudflap

    mynameismudflap www.bvrn.co

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    Welcome to California! There are some great trails and roads around that offer some beautiful scenery. If you're not already using it, give the All Trails app / website a try, dip your toes in some of what it has to offer.

    As for jacks, there have been a few threads on this, and I think post #2 here sums it up pretty well: https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/best-off-road-jack.604080/
     
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  5. Dec 11, 2020 at 11:36 AM
    #5
    Beer-toe

    Beer-toe Well-Known Member

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  6. Dec 11, 2020 at 11:57 AM
    #6
    Mxpatriot

    Mxpatriot Well-Known Member

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    A large floor jack would probably be your best bet. They are the most stable option and probably the best for someone your age (also, total props for still getting out there at it).

    A 12v compressor, tire plugs, and a cordless impact wrench would also be great tools to have with you.

    A set of traction boards (https://www.amazon.com/Escaper-Traction-Off-Road-Extraction-20333/dp/B00AV2HONS) would also be worth considering since you are in soft sand a lot and digging out at age 70 isn't the most desirable activity in the world.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2020
  7. Dec 11, 2020 at 12:02 PM
    #7
    Marshall R

    Marshall R Well-Known Member

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    I've kept a small compressor and a set of plugs/tools to plug my own tires for years. I have a kit in every vehicle in the driveway, even the ATV. In the last 20+ years I've plugged at least 20 tires without even taking them off the vehicle. Not all on my vehicles, I've saved others stranded on the side of a road or trail several times.

    In that time I've only had to resort to using my spare one time. I had a hole too big to plug and the tire couldn't be saved. There have been 2 other other times where the tire couldn't be saved, but the plug held long enough for me to get home and to a tire store. It is a lot faster, easier, and safer to just plug it yourself with the tire on the truck than resort to using the spare.

    But if all else fails I do have a bottle jack and a 4 way lug wrench in all my vehicles.

    And since going to E rated tires I've not had a single punctured tire. At least for now, I know it can still happen, but the heavier duty tires do reduce the risk.
     
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  8. Dec 11, 2020 at 12:06 PM
    #8
    DocD

    DocD [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the great advise!! That ProEagle is quite a Jack!! I don't think I will be going that route (although it would be nice) I do have an old sears 2 1/2 ton, but it is so darn heavy, I am going to go down to Harbor Freight and take a look as to what they have, I am going to take a close look at a scissors jack, If all else fails i will put that sears jack and a plywood pad, Thanks again, Mynameismudflap= Yes i do have the All-rails app, & have used it a lot, Hiking is another fav hobby of mine.
     
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  9. Dec 11, 2020 at 12:07 PM
    #9
    Interbeing

    Interbeing A Canadian living in Texas

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    While I do have the luxury of steel bumpers and sliders to allow me to use a hi-lift jack if I am in a situation where it is hard to get under the truck, I do carry a bottle jack, a 4x4, and a couple of 2x4's, to use depending on the terrain. I don't trust the hi-lift for a tire change unless there isn't an alternative. If you have a plug kit and an air pump, that would probably be the easiest way to go.
     
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  10. Dec 11, 2020 at 12:08 PM
    #10
    cruxofthebisquit

    cruxofthebisquit Well-Known Member

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    OME and worth every penny.
    You can also look around at junkyards for one of the older Chevy scissor jacks. Pretty sturdy for a scissor as the have a large base and are made for 1/2 T trucks.

    The bottle jack is terrible for any vehicle off-road, even dirt road as it's hard to find a llevel surface anywhere near where you're at.
     
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  11. Dec 11, 2020 at 12:09 PM
    #11
    tacotoe

    tacotoe Pastry Chef

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    In addition; get familiar with the jack and attachments that are stored underneath the rear passenger seat. Break all that stuff out and you could even lower that spare down in the comfort of your driveway. I keep a small floor jack and a 4 way lug nut tool, and short 4x4 block handy.
     
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  12. Dec 11, 2020 at 12:11 PM
    #12
    BalutTaco

    BalutTaco Moja_Przygoda

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    Tire plugs are nice !! And having a matching spare!
     
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  13. Dec 11, 2020 at 12:20 PM
    #13
    SR-71A

    SR-71A Define "Well-Known Member"

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    The factory screw-style bottle jacks are looked down upon around here, but it has worked well enough for me the one or two times Ive needed to use it. No extra weight or storage considerations as it is already built into the truck. Plus you need to get that kit out anyway in the event of a flat to lower the spare.

    One consideration to make with that is its small base. I always pack two 2x10x16 boards and a few 4x4s as well. 2x10s serve as the wide stable base, and one layer of 4x4s can be added for extra height if needed. Even with a full flat you can still crawl along, so if the terrain is uneven enough to make the above seem unreasonable, then move ahead slowly until its flatter.

    Also, make sure you have wheel lock keys for your lug nuts (if equipt) AND make sure the spare tire hoist mechanism is in working order and not rusted. Both of those are bad things to discover missing / broken when you need them.
     
  14. Dec 12, 2020 at 7:23 AM
    #14
    DocD

    DocD [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Again. Thanks for all the Good advise!!, When I venture in the desert I always try and follow a somewhat decent path/trail/road so a lot of this advise is very welcome!!, & really got me thinking, I have sold most of my bikes, but still have a lot of "Stuff" so i went digging, & found some useful things, Tire patch, small air compressor, etc: I am not using the truck for anything but transportation so , I am going to load, that floor jack and a piece of plywood, and put together a kit, My Spare (Thanks BalutTaco) is not the same size, although i think good enough to get me home. I am however going to look at a good scissor jack. Again Thanks to all for taking the time to post!!![​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Dec 12, 2020 at 7:38 AM
    #15
    tacotoe

    tacotoe Pastry Chef

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    I hope when I'm mid 70s I can still pick up my floor jack that's identical to that one. Haha, they make smaller ones that come in a handy hard plastic case, think I have 3.
     
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  16. Jan 12, 2021 at 12:41 PM
    #16
    cwadej

    cwadej Ballerina Award winner

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    The OEM bottle jack is fine. I made a large foot by glueing 4 sheets of 3/4" plywood, about 9"x14". Raises the back and provides a larger platform so it doesnt sink in sand or mud
     
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  17. Jan 12, 2021 at 2:11 PM
    #17
    BarcelonaTom67

    BarcelonaTom67 Well-Known Member

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    One suggestion I will make, having spent much of my early life running around and hunting all over the Mojave with my dad, and then in later years hunting big game in several western states: If possible, get a 2nd spare for your truck and carry it whenever you go off roading. And the other suggestions above are good as well. But if you have just the one spare, and it gets punctured, then you either have to leave and head back to civilization to get that one fixed, or run the risk of getting another flat out in the sticks, which would be Game Over.
     
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  18. Jan 12, 2021 at 11:42 PM
    #18
    JEEPNIK

    JEEPNIK Well-Known Member

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    The old scissor jack can get sand in the threads and become hard/impossible to turn.

    Bottle jacks are better in that respect but require a high minimum clearance. A floor jack is a pain to move on soft soil. Hi Lifts get tippy and need either steel bumpers or accessories.

    So what do I have in my Jeep (I’ve been running the socal deserts for 4 decades)?

    A bottle jack, a small floor jack and a hi lift. Why? Because you never know which will work best in the current circumstances.

    I’m just a couple of years behind the OP. I ran alone up until last year. Pressure from my kids finally got me to take someone else along. Admitting you’re getting older and not as strong as you once were sucks. But it happens.
     
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  19. Jan 13, 2021 at 12:45 AM
    #19
    Vmax88

    Vmax88 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the 2nd spare, I go to the Padre Island National Seashore & running in the deep sand you run over all kinds of stuff you don't know is there.

    I carry a compressor & plug kit which almost always gets me by but if not I have a small aluminum floor jack, oe jack, Hylift with wheel adapter & wood blocks. More then once plugged a sidewall puncture to get off the beach & change the tire at the hotel.
     
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  20. Jan 14, 2021 at 11:33 AM
    #20
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Made you look

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    All systems have advantages and disadvantages.

    First, carry some tire plugs and a compressor. Often times that's all you need.

    There are 5 main options, as I see it.

    ALL of them it's best to be on flat ground, but some work better than others when it's not flat, but suffice to say, you should do what is possible to move to flat ground to change a tire or do any other work no matter what jack you have.

    Your stock bottle jack will more than likely work just fine in many situations, as long as you're on flat ground and have stock sized tires. I would suggest some type of plate that fits under the jack to help support it on uneven ground and to help keep the jack from toppling over. There are commercial ones, or you can just use a couple pieces of wood or a steel plate, too.

    The next step is a hydraulic bottle jack. It's effectively the same as the stock jack, just "better". Basically the same thing applies as it does with the stock jack. They're compact, lightweight, and easy to move around. If you don't have large tires, they generally work very well. Again, you may want to have a plate or some type of support for uneven ground.

    Then there are floor jacks. These are going to be bigger and more cumbersome, but are more steady on relatively uneven ground. The problem here is storage and lifting them. I'm only 41, and that's not an exciting premise to me, lol.

    Next are airbags. These are bags that you usually use the exhaust to inflate (or maybe an air compressor). You stick the bag under the frame or suspension, and it lifts up the truck. These can be fairly expensive and cumbersome, but I don't have any personal experience with them.

    Lastly are the hi-lift jacks (farm jack). These are pretty universal and can do a lot more than just jack up a tire. They can even be used as a winch to get you out of a jam. The problem is they can be non-intuitive to use, and are highly dangerous is misused (that said, so are any of the other tools mentioned).

    Here's what I suggest:
    >First, get a tire plug kit and an air compressor. The cheap (anything under $30-$40 I consider "cheap" not just "inexpensive) compressors are "fine", but something like a Viair 88P is a really good investment, and at $~70 it's still not what I'd consider "expensive" anyway.

    >Head out on one of your adventures, and stop midway through for a mock tire change. Assuming you're relatively familiar with the process normally, try it on a dirt road somewhere that's fairly representative of the trails you like to travel. Create a situation where you're going to "need" to change a tire, but you are under no real pressure to actually do so. Obviously, be safe, and have a friend with you is always a good idea.

    >Take what you learn from this and see what of the options listed above (I'm sure there are others I've neglected to mention), and see what you'd think will work best for you.
     
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