BETHLEHEM, Pa.-With the Goodyear blimp ``Stars and Stripes'' hovering overhead, Service Tire Truck Centers Inc. opened its new 100,000-sq.-ft. headquarters building in a Bethlehem industrial park Aug. 31. The facility, which incorporates a state-of-the-art Bandag retread plant and a 10,000-sq.-ft. drive-through truck service department, also includes a corporate training room and a stylish employee lunch room. A separate warehouse also is on the site.
The new retread plant is capable of producing 400 truck tires a day in two shifts, and replaces a nearby facility where three shifts produced 280 units per day.
With three shifts, the new plant could turn out 675 tires daily, STTC officials said, although there are no immediate plans to add another shift.
The plant also has space for additional equipment, if and when needed.
``This is a shop for the 21st century,'' said STTC Chairman Walter J. Dealtrey. ``We have to constantly be producing better tires.''
``Good is not good enough in this competitive market,'' he added. ``We want to be the best.''
The new facility is very important for STTC's goal of ``total customer satisfaction,'' said Ronald Bennett, president and CEO. ``The technology we have built into our new plant will serve our customers with quality retreads and repairs well into the next century.''
The company strives to retread and return customer's casings within seven days, about three days less than the industry norm, STTC officials said.
Other features of the retread plant include bright halide lighting with additional ``task'' lighting over each work station. Walls and ceiling are painted white with charcoal gray trim to enhance the bright appearance. The floor is painted with a hard, gray epoxy for a constant clean appearance.
An extensive monorail system runs throughout the plant, virtually eliminating the need to lift tires during the retreading process. A powerful air circulating system, drawn by heavy ceiling fans, keeps dust and fumes to a minimum.
STTC's new plant is the most modern within the Bandag franchise network, a Bandag Inc. spokesman said.
Approximately 200 local dignitaries and supplier representatives attended the Aug. 31 grand opening and open house. A similar event the following night drew about 600 of STTC's customers.
Industry executives on hand for the Aug. 31 gala included Al Eastwood, vice president of marketing, North American Tires, for Goodyear, STTC's principal new-tire supplier, and Walt Weller, division vice president of truck tire sales for Bridgestone/Firestone Inc., also a major supplier.
A top-level delegation, headed by Chairman and CEO Martin Carver, flew in from Bandag headquarters in Muscatine, Iowa, to be in attendance.
Based on 1994 sales of $33 million, STTC was the 15th-largest independent commercial tire dealership in North America, and the 21st-largest truck tire retreader, according to TIRE BUSINESS surveys.
The company operates a total of 10 commercial outlets and three retread plants in eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware, and has a fleet of about 60 tire service trucks, seven of which operate out of the Bethlehem location.