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Long periods of standing still damages tires

Besides damage to the car body and engine due to corrosion, aging of rubber parts, et cetera, the tires play a major role during their all-year load test in a garage or car show room. Two major results of long periods of standing still are the deformation of tire material and flat spots.

Parking or storing vehicles for long periods damages tires

In addition to damage that can occur to the car body and engine due to corrosion, aging of rubber parts, and so on, keeping a car stored or parked year-round in a garage or showroom is also hard on the tires. Storing or parking vehicles for long periods can deform tire material and create flat spots.

Damage to tire material begins to appear after only a few months:

- Fissures in the tire rubber
- Tire deformation due to a heavy and constant load, leading to unsteadiness during driving and additional load on the entire vehicle
- Damage also causes dangerous situations during cornering and an accident, causing major depreciation in vehicle value

flat-jack® inflatable cushions offer ideal protection – park your vehicle on air!

Park your car on flat-jack® inflatable cushions when not in use for long periods. flat-jack® is the best protection from flat-spot damage not only for vintage cars, but for all vehicles that are stored for long periods, such as sports cars and campers.

How it works: the vehicle's weight is distributed over a larger area

There is essentially only one way to avoid flat spots: distribute the entire weight of the vehicle over a large contact area. The new flat-jack® inflatable cushions increase this contact area by a factor of five. What's more, by acting as a barrier between your tires and the ground, flat-jack® reduces tire damage caused by temperature fluctuations.

What makes flat-jack® unique: it reduces and compensates for lateral forces on the entire chassis

What sets flat-jack® apart from rubber foam cushions is that it gives your vehicle the freedom to move. Flexible inflatable cushions relieve chassis tension and lateral forces and decrease load on the suspension and bearings. In other words, flat-jack® helps maintain the value of your automotive treasure.

Why not use rubber foam or granulate?

Owners of vehicles that spend lots of time parked or in storage prefer to put their automotive treasures on an especially soft surface to create a large contact area between the vehicle and the ground. Styrofoam or thick rubber mats are often used for this purpose at campgrounds. 

The thought behind these methods is completely correct, but unfortunately these materials age – especially Styrofoam – and after a short time, the weight of the vehicle is no longer distributed over a wide area. 

flat-jack® inflatable cushions offer the best long-term tire protection for vintage cars, sports cars, campers, and other vehicles that are stored for long periods.

Lateral vehicle movement reduces chassis strain

Parking vehicles for long periods also puts stress on the chassis. As soon as you park your vehicle on correctly inflated flat-jack® inflatable cushions, you'll immediately notice that your car has freedom to move. Tension on the chassis that occurs when cars are parked can now be dissipated laterally on the inflatable cushions.

The flat-jack® result: wheel suspension and bearings are loaded more equally when vehicles are stored for long periods.

Say good-bye to flat spots – high-quality materials and a premium finish offer the best protection

- Inner material: PU/PUR membrane
- Outer material: PU/PUR braid-reinforced
- High-quality valve
- Operating pressure: 0.4-0.8 bar/5.8-11.6 psi
- Maximum pressure: 1.0 bar/14.5 psi
- Maximum load: verified up to 2.75 t per tire cushion
- Construction: double-walled high-frequency welded 

Cushions are easy to inflate even with mini-compressors.

Membrane concept

flat-jack® features a double-walled construction. The inner membranes ensure optimal density, while the outer membrane ensures longevity and maintains the cushion's shape.

Chamber concept

The special partitioned inner chamber structure not only allows cushions to adapt perfectly to any tire shape, it also effectively distributes pressure by increasing the contact area. What makes flat-jack® unique is that it reduces and compensates for lateral forces and tension on the entire chassis.

Your inflatable cushion parking space – it’s so easy!

In your garage, showroom, or museum: 

1. Prepare an even and clean space.
2. Place empty flat-jack® cushions directly up against tires, either in front or behind all tires.
3. Drive the vehicle up onto the empty flat-jack® inflatable cushions.
4. Carefully inflate flat-jack® until the vehicle hovers above ground.
5. Place the valve caps on the valves.

Note: Operating pressure varies between 0.4 and 0.8 bar/5.8 to 11.60 psi Maximum pressure: 1.0 bar/14.25 psi

Please clear space of sharp objects or stones before use (or place protection underneath).

User Guide

Can flat spots occur overnight and are they caused by temperature changes?

Yes. Rubber becomes less elastic in colder temperatures. Heavy vehicles that are parked outside in winter often don’t run smoothly for the first several miles the next morning. If this problem resolves itself after a few minutes on the road, then everything is fine. If not, and the ride is still rough, the shock absorbers may be defective or an object may be stuck in the tire.

Flat-spot! What now? Will it disappear automatically when I drive the car?

The more a tire has been deformed due to the vehicle being parked for long periods, the higher the risk that the material will be permanently damaged. Drivers of campers know that it can be a long and rough ride. Campers usually go back into storage after only a few days or weeks. It’s torture for the wheels. In the end, the durability of the tires suffers, meaning tires need to be replaced, which is expensive.

Which tires get flat spots – bias or radial tires?

Bias tires. This has to do with the material used – nylon combined with thermoplastic – not with the general design. Today's radial tires are more resistant to flat spots as long as they are not high-speed tires. The softer the rubber, the flatter the tread, and the higher the risk of flat-spotting. In the end, what is most important is the contact pressure and how long a car remains parked.

Preventing flat-spots – what are the alternatives to inflatable cushions?

If you want to save money, you have to invest time. Either you drive your vehicle regularly or use a set of old, used tires when parking it in your garage. The cost of taking your vehicle to the shop soon exceeds the cost of flat-jack® inflatable cushions – and that's without even considering the convenience and time you save.

Should I jack up my car or put it on inflatable cushions?

When you jack up a vehicle, rubber parts on bearings, axles, and the entire chassis are exposed to heavy loads in places that aren't designed to handle them. Improperly storing vehicles on jacks often damages the suspension. flat-jack® inflatable cushions are definitely the better option when it comes to safety and convenience.

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