I try to go to a trade show once every five years. This year I planned on going to the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association (convention and trade show). One of our major tire suppliers, however, said ``forget NTDRA-go to SEMA. That's the show!''
Bercher Tire Service
Fort Smith, Ark.
Editor's note: Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week-sometimes called the ``SEMA show'' for the Specialty Equipment Market Association, one of four industry groups that jointly sponsor it-is scheduled for Oct. 24-27 in Las Vegas.
And judging from previous events, it will be big and glitzy with more than 50,000 attendees and an expected 7,000 exhibit booths-including those of some of the industry's largest tire suppliers.
However, it's not a ``tire show'' in the same vein as the NTDRA convention or the American Retreaders Association's ``World Tire Conference.'' The number of dealers attending the SEMA show is comparatively small and few conference presentations there are designed to meet the needs of tire dealers.
Therefore, if you're able attend only one such event, your best choice is likely to be one of the two shows intended specifically for independent tire dealers or retreaders.
Tire rodeo safe
As chairman of the California Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association-North's 1995 tire rodeo, I felt compelled to respond to reader Dave Fairbanks' letter in the July 10 issue of TIRE BUSINESS.
(In criticizing TB's use of a photo that he felt glorified speed at the expense of safety in tire mounting) Mr. Fairbanks assumed incorrectly the CTDRA-N did not observe fundamental safety rules during its tire rodeo in Reno, Nev.
Foremost, it should be pointed out that the photo represented only a split second of our competition and, accordingly, does not accurately depict the full story. If he looks carefully, Mr. Fairbanks will note that the tire is, in fact, fully inflated. Its beads are set and it (therefore) poses little or no danger to the tire technician, Mike Holt (winner of the ``old timer's'' competition).
Mr. Holt, incidentally, owns Coast Tire in Fort Bragg, Calif. He has more than 25 years of experience and never has had a tire related injury in his shop.
For nearly a decade, CTDRA-N (now the Western States Tire and Automotive Service Association-WSTASA) has organized similar annual championship rodeos, including dozens of pre-qualifying competitions that involve as many as 30 participants, including employees of Discount Tire/America's Tire (Mr. Fairbanks' Scottsdale, Ariz.-based employer).
During that entire period, we have never had a single safety-related or other type of incident.
During each competition, safety is of paramount concern. Prior to taking part, participants must pass a written examination on the rules of safety. During the competition, all must adhere to safety procedures in accordance with NTDRA and Rubber Manufacturers Association standards.
Enclosed is a copy of a recent examination as well as the rules and regulations for the competition. Note that any violation of any safety-related rule or procedure results in immediate disqualification from any further competition.
While the tire rodeos are a lot of fun, they were organized so our hard working tire technicians could showcase their outstanding skills and abilities as true professionals.
With the advent of sophisticated ABS systems, our tire technicians merit as much recognition as we can provide. Our tire rodeos do just that-and never at the expense of safety.
Craig P. Schoenthaler
The Tred Shed
Praise for Dan Marinucci
I continue to follow your column in TIRE BUSINESS and enjoy your ability to ``tell it like it is'' and not waffle like so many columnists are doing.
Keep covering the ``basics.'' Times, people and systems do change. But there are still some basics that weather all changes.
Vice President Business Development
DeCarolis Truck Rental Inc.