A stitch in time saves Hat's off to the International Tire and Rubber Association for making the training and certification of commercial tire service technicians a reality, and to the Texas Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association and Mid America Tire Dealers Association for each developing tire technician certification programs for their memberships.
In developing programs to assure the competence of those who work on the tire/wheel assemblies of commercial trucks and conduct tire maintenance on other vehicles, these groups have answered a long-felt industry need. Far too many service employees have been killed or injured in needless tire-related accidents.
By initiating their own programs, these associations may be staving off potential government regulation, such as occurred in Ontario, where a rash of runaway wheel accidents has resulted in mandatory technician training.
It's good to see the tire industry acting rather than reacting.
Tire retreading and repair have lost a loyal friend and articulate advocate with the passing of Clarence A. ``Bob'' Ball, who died Jan. 15 of cancer in a Port Jefferson, N.Y., hospital.
Mr. Ball, whose tire retreading/repair columns have appeared in TIRE BUSINESS more than 200 times since 1985, including page 18 of this issue, never wavered in championing retreading and repair—both as a profession and as a means of helping users get full value from their tires.
Yet this dedication never blinded him to the shoddy manner in which these processes sometimes are carried out. Nor did his concern for the industry's public image prevent him from calling for needed reforms, such as the discontinuing of unsafe outside-in tire repair practices.
Mr. Ball contributed much to the industry and will be missed by his many friends and colleagues.