Buffalo, N.Y.-based Valley Tire Co. has opened its third retread plant.
The 18,000-sq.-ft. shop, in Tonawanda, N.Y., has the capacity to produce 300 medium truck tires per day. It contains all new Bandag retreading equipment including a shearography unit and three curing chambers.
The company converted one of its former truck service centers into a retread plant to better serve customers in western New York and northwestern Pennsylvania, said Valley Tire President Jim Stankiewicz, who believes the retread market will continue to grow.
"Our shop is busy," Mr. Stankiewicz said, "and we anticipate it getting busier with rising fuel costs."
Valley Tire also has four retail and eight commercial tire outlets and annual sales of about $42 million. Commercial tire sales and service account for 80 percent of revenue.
For the second consecutive year, Mueller Tire and Brake Inc. in Cleveland has been named to the "NorthCoast 99"—a regional award honoring human resource practices of 99 companies in a 22-county area surrounding Greater Cleveland.
The award is sponsored by the Employers Resource Council (ERC), the area's largest employers association, and Enterprise Development Inc. (EDI), a not-for-profit subsidiary of Case Western Reserve University and a cooperative venture with Case's Weatherhead School of Management. EDI provides business incubation, consultation and information services.
Companies named to NorthCoast 99 are evaluated in nine categories including employee retention, training, communication and compensation, said Scott Mueller, co-operator of Mueller Tire.
Winners are nominated by employees and management personnel of businesses from throughout the area. Nominees then fill out a questionnaire detailing their human resources programs, and EDI and ERC members select the winners.
"A lot of prestigious firms entered the competition," Mr. Mueller said. Other repeat winners this year included Continental Airlines and Progressive Insurance Co. The awards were presented at a banquet on Sept. 21.
Greensboro, N.C.-based Piedmont Truck Tires Inc. has joined Goodyear's dealer network.
The dealership will continue to sell multiple brands, but will add Goodyear and Kelly tires to its lineup.
"I'm excited to be having such a good quality product," said Dan Rice, Piedmont president.
It was difficult to get second-tier product from other major manufacturers, he said, so access to the Kelly brand made the agreement right for Piedmont.
Because Goodyear offers everything from earthmover to golf cart tires, he added, Piedmont will now have one source for a variety of product lines.
With a total of 40 service bays and more than 40 service trucks stationed at Piedmont's six North Carolina locations, the dealership offers passenger, light truck, earthmover, agricultural, industrial and retread tire sales and service in addition to mechanical services.
Piedmont will continue to operate a Bandag retread franchise that produces about 300 medium truck tires per day, Mr. Rice said.
The company was founded in 1979 in Greensboro and has added five other North Carolina locations since 1994 including two that opened this year, in Asheville and Asheboro.
Samaritan Tire Co. Inc. in Minnetonka, Minn., has moved to a new 17,000-sq.-ft. retail tire and service center just one block from the dealership's original location.
"We outgrew the previous facility," said co-owner Jay Halvorson.
The new building's service area can accommodate full-sized trucks or about six autos. The company also repairs "almost any kind of tires," including for forklifts, he said.
An independent Goodyear dealership, Samaritan Tire also operates a 32,000-sq.-ft. warehouse in nearby Minneapolis and offers twice-daily delivery service to about 300 wholesale customers throughout the metropolitan area.
Of Samaritan Tire's 19 employees, eight work in the new outlet.
Mr. Halvorson's father, Harry, began the dealership as an auto service station in 1947 and converted it to a tire store in 1971. Two years later the senior Mr. Halvorson retired after selling the business to his son, who added James Dick as his partner.