The Worden, Mont., Volunteer Fire Department found a new use for the versatile Humvee: fighting fires. Fire Capt. Gary Fredericks was just looking for some new fire trucks when he ran across Fire Attacker, a Petersburg, Mich., company that outfits Hummers with fire fighting equipment. He ended up buying some Humvees, the commercial Hummer versions of the U.S. military combat vehicle.
Are these bad boys versatile? Just ask Arnold ``The Terminator'' Schwarzenegger, who owns a couple. Among other things, you can adjust tire pressure from inside the cab. And if the tires go flat? No problemo, as ``Ahnold'' would say. The truck can still be driven.
Mr. Fredericks said the Humvees rode ``like Cadillacs'' when they were driven from Michigan to Worden. Turned more heads than a Caddy would, too.
A Jan. 6 TIRE BUSINESS story outlined the purchase of Industrial Tires Ltd. by Portland, Ore.-based Cascade Corp., a forklift parts maker.
Cascade CEO and President Robert C. Warren Jr. was quoted as saying the company's goal ``is to be customer intimate. . . .''
Hate to say it but isn't that against the law in some states?
An astute TIRE BUSINESS reader named Keith Jones (address and business unknown), quibbled with some wordage used in a story we published last Nov. 11 about Bob Whitehead, who operates Solon Sunoco, a highly successful service station/tire outlet near Cleveland.
Mr. Whitehead said his ``responsibility is to show people what their vehicle requires.'' But Mr. Jones noted that ``in California the word `require' will immediately stir'' the feared and hated Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR), which regularly nails shops for alleged auto service fraud.
``The proper word is `recommend,' '' Mr. Jones aptly pointed out. ``A novice service writer could read your article and say the wrong thing.'' (You mean they read?)
The new year always brings at least one eagerly anticipated event: the publishing of the Pirelli SpA calendar.
This year's version has almost gone PC—that is, politically correct, according to the Evening Standard newspaper. The girls (make that women)—who include a car mechanic, a former McDonald's floor washer, a law student, a punk drummer and a Scottish aristocrat—nearly keep their clothes on. The key word here is nearly.
Sorry, guys. Blame 73-year-old world famous photographer Richard Avedon, who did an about face from his Pirelli calendar two years ago, when he presented naked supermodels wearing little more than leaves and flowers.
This time, based on an international theme, his group includes Russians muffled head to toe in overcoats and woolly hats, and a Chinese girl in combat gear. Yes, there are some obligatory nudes.
A Michelin North America employee has found yet another use for his company's products.
While sleeping, Lucas Strehl, the 21-month-old son of Michelin's John Strehl, fell out of bed last Oct. 3. He sustained a spiral break to his right femur, and had to wear a cast for seven weeks. While he learned to scoot around on the floor using his arms, little Lucas was not allowed to put weight on his leg for a couple weeks. He could only lie flat on his stomach or on his back—and it was pretty difficult to feed him in those positions.
So dad, being an inventive kind of guy, had some Michelins lying around which he stacked up so the baby could getinside. Lucas was then able to prop himself up so he could feed himself.
With so many types of tires to choose from, we hear young Lucas was already complaining about size proliferation. Sign that boy up for a tire dealership.
Our sister publication, AutoWeek, regularly seeks readers' opinions on various subjects via a ``fast poll.''
Recently it found that 60 percent of them would like to have available in the States the ``Ka,'' a Ford Motor Co. mini-car sold only in Europe, or some similar small city car.
Dale Naffziger of Bloomington, Ill., replied that he would buy a mini: ``They are about the size of a rear tire on my Viper GTS. I could replace my space-saver spare with one. Then I could drive my spare instead of having to install it.''
May we suggest a unicycle, Dale. Easily maneuverable—and they tend to get pretty decent gas mileage.
The acronym MADD stands for ``Mothers Against Drunk Driving.'' How about this one: ``Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways,'' otherwise known as the lobbying group CRASH.
Citing a report in the magazine Transport Topics, The Maintenance Council of the American Trucking Associations said CRASH ``uses emotional appeals to elicit public fears about trucks.'' And while CRASH claims to be a grassroots victims' rights group, the magazine said its ``agenda has been anti-truck, and most of the funding for that agenda has come from the Association of American Railroads.''
Hmmm. Trains and trucks. Often mortal enemies. Big surprise there?