By Lynn Blamires feature writer for My Local Utah
When you go into the backcountry, you don’t have to go very far to be facing a long walk back when a problem occurs. That is why it is important to have your machine working well before you go. However, a flat is something you just have to be prepared to deal with.
I have been riding ATVs for 30 years and I have had to deal with a lot of flat tires. One way others deal with flats is growing in popularity. They carry a spare tire and wheel – one that will work on any of the four corners of the machine. I am still not sold on the extra weight a spare tire creates.
I have dealt with flats by carrying a mini compressor, a supply of plugs, a reaming tool, and a tool to push plugs into the tire to seal the leak. The idea is that I will be able to finish the ride and make it back to a place where I can either make a better fix or replace the tire.
That plan has worked in the past, but lately, it has let me down (literally). I was riding my Polaris Ace out in the Arizona desert when I noticed that I was hitting rocks that I should have had enough ground clearance to clear. When I was loading the machine on the trailer, I noticed that my front left tire was low.
At the motel, I took the wheel off, took it to my room, ran some water in the tub, put the tire in, and found the leak. I plugged it, but I didn’t have the needed rubber cement to seal the plug properly. Consequently, the tire continued to leak, and once again, it let me down. Later in the year, I had to leave a ride at a jamboree in Beaver, because that tire was still not holding air properly.
While rubber cement is important, sometimes the need to repair a tire doesn’t happen for a long time and when you need the cement, it is dried up. It is just another one of those things that you need to check before you go.
I didn’t know there was a better way to plug a tire until I attended the Salt Lake Off-Road Expo last February. It was there that I met Tracy who introduced me to an old product that was new to me—Screw-A-Flat-Easy. This product is now being reintroduced to the market.
Instead of using a plug, this product is a screw. I know, it doesn’t make sense to use a screw in a tire to replace a screw that caused the problem in the first place, but it works.
The screw has a conical shape with course threads 1¼ inch long. It comes in three head sizes – 1/4 inch, 3/8 inch, and 1/2 inch.
The screw is made of a proprietary non-ferrous composite material. The adhesive used together with the insertion of the screw combined with the heat generated by running the tire is where the magic happens. The heat activates the combination of the adhesive and the composite element of the screw causing it to meld with the tire and form a dependable seal. It is important to insert the screw into the tire to the point that it is flush with the surface of the tire including a liberal amount of adhesive so the magic can happen.
I wanted to put this product to the test, but all my tires were in good shape or so I thought. A rear tire on my RZR was not holding air properly compared to the other tires. I did not suspect anything until I rolled the machine back. That’s when I found the culprit – a two-inch screw
So after pulling the screw out, I chose a screw from my S.A.F.E. kit I thought would work. After coating it with the adhesive, I screwed it into the tire until it was flush and spread the adhesive over the top.
Unlike the plugs I have used, this is not a temporary fix. It has been a month and I have not lost a pound of air. This product is far superior to the old plug-and-play program. Now I carry a kit with me on every ride.
I was glad to have it with me at the National ATV Jamboree last month. At one of the evening meals, the attendees were asked if anyone had a spare that would fit a RZR because a rider had a flat tire.
I came forward and offered to help. In this case, there was nothing to remove – there was just a small hole. I picked a screw from my kit and screwed the tire and BOOM! It was fixed.
YouTube has videos of the application of Screw-A-Flat-Easy on a variety of tires including truck tires. Screw-A-Flat-Easy is only available by ordering on the internet at ScrewAFlatEasy.com. To get 20% off any Screw-A-Flat-Easy product use My Local Utah promo code: MLU2022.
When you go, take plenty of water, keep the rubber side down, and take the Screw-A-Flat-Easy kit with you – it won’t let you down.