Former Portland Tire Factory owner Nick E. Hodel has sold the company to longtime employee, Joe Vockrodt, who took over operations Jan. 1. The single-outlet dealership in Portland, Ore., specializes in performance tire and wheel sales and service, Mr. Vockrodt said. Of the store's 15 employees, three are devoted solely to custom wheel polishing and refinishing.
Mr. Vockrodt said he started in the tire industry in the 1960s working for Portland-based Van's Dayton Tire. He joined Portland Tire in 1972, when the firm was owned by Mr. Hodel's father, Eric.
Nick Hodel sold the business to focus on his computer company, Pacific Software, which markets a program for tire dealers.
James Faught, immediate past president of the National Tire & Dealers Association, opened two Northwest Tire & Service Inc. outlets, one each in Midland and Saginaw, Mich., in November. Both locations originally had been built as Goodyear company-owned stores, Mr. Faught said.
The expansion is a first for the company in Midland, located northwest of Saginaw. The Saginaw outlet is the fourth for the company in that Michigan city.
Flint-based Northwest Tire now operates 10 independent Goodyear dealerships in Michigan.
Roanoke, Va.-based White Tire Distributors Inc. recently purchased Davis Tire & Oil Co. of eastern Virginia.
Davis Tire, which had operated for more than 20 years, had commercial sales locations in Petersburg and Chesapeake, Va., and a Bandag retread plant in Petersburg. The acquisition gives White Tire 10 commercial and retail locations and six Bandag retread plants in Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee and South Carolina.
President David White said the new locations will allow the company to better service customers in eastern Virginia and provide a base from which it can expand.
Hyattsville, Md.-based Friend's Tire & Fleet Service opened a Bandag retread plant Dec. 15.
The company has been selling new commercial truck tires in parts of Maryland and Virginia for 30 years. But the Captiol Heights, Md.-based retread facility marks the company's first foray into selling its own retreaded tires, according to Gabe Dagen, vice president of finance and administration.
The new plant has the potential to produce 264 retreads per day, Mr. Dagen said.
Tufco Inc., of Eveleth, Minn., said it received the world's largest segmented giant off-the-road tire retreading mold from Los Angeles-based Ohio Machine & Manufacturing Co. Inc., April 15.
The mold measures 14 feet 6 inches across and weighs about 30 tons, according to Tufco President Dwight Day. The mold accommodates tires with a diameter of 144 inches and widths of 49.9, 53.5 and 55.5 inches.
The company will retread a giant tire about once a week, Mr. Day said. Tufco uses about 5,000 pounds of rubber on each tire that fits the new mold. New tires that size cost about $30,000 but can be retreaded for about $20,000.
Tufco spent about $400,000 for the mold and plant renovations needed to begin retreading the giant tires. Part of the funding came from a local tax reinvestment program, Mr. Day said.