WASHINGTON-The two major national associations representing tire dealers and retreaders have big plans for 1994 involving long-term strategy and programs to benefit their membership. The National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association has begun work on what Executive Vice President Philip P. Friedlander Jr. calls ``a long-range strategic plan'' to chart the NTDRA's course over the next five years and beyond.
For the American Retreaders' Association, the major news is the certification program it has begun for retread plant technicians, according to Executive Director Marvin Bozarth. When completed, the program will contain 8 to 10 video ``modules'' designed to advance retread workers to the status of ``Master Retreader'' or ``Master Plant Technician.''
``The NTDRA will attempt-at a level never accomplished before-to write a mid-range and long-range plan for the association,'' Mr. Friedlander said. The plan will take at least two years, but significant work should be accomplished this year.
NTDRA President-Elect Jim Faught, of Northwest Tire in Flint, Mich. will chair the long-term planning committee, which will comprise other NTDRA officers and past presidents.
The committee is scheduled to have its first meeting in March. Among its activities will be to agree on the continuing mission of the NTDRA, gather relevant trends and issues from the membership and obtain input from existing organizations within the association, such as the Commercial Tire Council and the Tire Retreading Institute.
Over the years, NTDRA members have expanded into all sorts of activities-including commercial, passenger and off-road tires, auto service, retail and wholesale-dictated by market forces and expanding technologies. This, Mr. Friedlander said, is why the long-range plan is necessary.
``The job of any association is to see how it can be of service to its members in a variety of areas,'' he said. ``It's our duty to take on those things an individual member can't do well for himself.''
A technical certification program has been discussed at the ARA for the last 20 years, according to Mr. Bozarth. ``The program is sorely needed,'' he said. ``It's expensive for the average retread technician to travel for training. We're trying to make training a little more affordable.''
While not all training will be on site in the new program, most of it will, Mr. Bozarth said. Videotapes will form the basis of the training; the first three modules-on tire technology, inspection and buffing-should be finished by August.
Qualification exams will take the form of verbal and hands-on tests to demonstrate knowledge of retread technology, according to Mr. Bozarth. Where the exams will be held is still under discussion.