Ergonomic rules beneficial
Having spent 20 years working with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's regulations on single- and multi-piece truck rims, I've followed with interest OSHA's proposed regulations on ergonomic standards in the workplace
I see this as a government regulation that will benefit the truck tire technician by eliminating heavy lifting in the tire-changing process. However, it also will place an added burden on the dealer in having to buy new equipment for servicing heavy-duty truck tires, wheels and rims.
Routine service procedures for truck tires call for workers to lift a 250-lb. tire-wheel assembly at least five times during the mounting and demounting procedures.
In addition, one-inch-drive impact tools that are heavy and used repeatedly pose a serious risk in terms of back injuries and nerve damage to the hands and arms.
Furthermore, many dealerships stack truck tires—some as much as eight high. This adds tremendous strain on the back and arms from the heavy lifting and repetitive motion.
It will be interesting to see how your readers will respond to these regulations if and when they're enacted. It also would be interesting to find out from your readers the frequency of workers compensation claims in their shops due to these ergonomic problems.
Much like the federal standard on the servicing of single- and multi-piece rims, it doesn't look like OSHA's proposed ergonomic regulation is going to go away.
George M. Jordan and Associates
Editor's note: Mr. Jordan's company provides training for tire service employees.
Tire liability awards unfair
Regarding your July 3 article, "Court rules against Conti," it's difficult to imagine why any court would make the tire manufacturer pay $6.8 million in damages to the driver of a vehicle that had been speeding and swerving prior to the accident in question.
Why should she become a millionaire as a result of her own product abuse?
Only in our business can this happen. If I were to abuse a product in such a manner, I wouldn't expect to receive so much as a warranty adjustment.
Neal Tire & Auto
Won't buy Ford vehicles
Ford Motor Co., "America's newest tire store," is competing with a very aggressive advertising and sales promotion campaign.
In my case, the local Ford dealership that once was a good customer now is a competitor—just five minutes away.
Years ago, at the former Western States Tire Sales in Phoenix, which I helped co-found in 1962, we operated a large number of autos, fleet service trucks and earthmover service vehicles. And because we were partners in the tire department of the local Ford dealership at the time, most of that fleet was made up of Ford vehicles.
However, I have bought my last Ford vehicle and I suggest other tire dealers review their list of vehicle suppliers as well.
Fred Taylor Sr.
Bell Tire and Auto Service
Identifying the tire's maker
So many times I hear the question: "Who made this tire?"
Would it be possible for you to list such information in Tire Business?
Crystal River, Fla.
Editor's note: Yes. The maker's identity and place of manufacture can be determined by comparing the Department of Transportation (DOT) identification number found on the tire's sidewall with those listed under the heading "Tire Plant Codes" in Tire Business' Feb. 28 "Market Data Book" issue.