What on Earth is an Expansion Wheel?

If you have been a subscriber to Green Magazine for even only a few months, you’ve likely seen expansion wheels but didn’t even realize it. Today we generally refer to them as “hard rubber” or “industrial tires,” but back when they were new, the company that was responsible for building most of them, French and Hecht, gave them a name that largely explained how they were installed. The following from an old F&H booklet titled Wheels For Roadwork, explains the process.

Pretty simple, wasn’t it? Raise your hand if you thought that installing these tires was only done at the factory using huge presses and lots of heat.


Before we part, let’s look at one more thing from the old French and Hecht booklet—wheel weights. Notice how the backside was formed to fit closely to the spokes. I’ll bet quite a few collectors would love to find a set.