The MAC Project (Mechanical Auto Changer)

According to a survey in The Independent, 75% of millennials don’t know how to change a wheel. 

Not the world’s biggest problem you might say, but when you consider that many punctures occur by the side of busy roads, only feet away from cars travelling at 30mph plus, and you’re trying to lift your own car weighing in excess of 1000kg… then you get an idea of the potential danger.

This got the team at Quality Bearings Online thinking. Could we and the students at the University of Leeds plus one of the UK’s largest motor retailers, JCT600 (, devise a new way of changing a wheel more efficiently and easily? Naturally a bearing might have to be used somewhere!

After a brief discussion, the project was set. The student team challenge was to create a machine that could change a car wheel automatically, with the minimum of driver intervention. After an initial meeting with the students, we left them with a whole load of questions…and of course a set of bearings.

One month later, and everyone at Quality Bearings Online was keen for an update. Cue the students, and a brief visit to our offices for a project review. Meeting again… there’s one thing we did agree upon… this isn’t an easy task. With everything from weight, safety, movement and even different car shapes/sizes to contend with, we’ve got a challenge on our hands. However, using the test rig and technical support from JCT600 and our high quality bearings, the students are now working on some early design plans for February. The hard work is going to be done over the next few months, with the final test in early June. Will the wheel changer work!

We’re all super excited for this project to work, and not just because it could actually solve a common problem. Working with students is a great way to look again at new ideas, and it certainly makes for a more interesting few weeks post-Christmas.

It might not have the fun of our last Perfect Pint Project (you just have to click here for details - it’s worth it), but we still think it will be ‘Wheely Good.’

Check out video presentation now: