Price hike unwelcome
Whoever wrote TB's June 18 editorial, ``Let's hope tire price hikes stick,'' should have to work at the retail level for a week or two!
Contending that higher tire prices are in the industry's best interest is like saying you hope gas goes to $5 per gallon. Get out from behind your desk!
Tire Discounters Inc.
Retread incentive off base
I was disappointed to read your April 23 editorial, ``Keep retread incentive intact.''
I thought it was comical that you would refer to a tax on new tires as a ``retread incentive.'' Where I come from, an incentive is when someone puts money into my pocket-not when they send it to Washington.
In actuality, you should have called it a ``new tire disincentive.''
Why does Tire Business, the International Tire & Rubber Association (ITRA) and many other well-intentioned, environmentally-conscious groups hold this position?
The answer is simple: They do not believe a fleet can justify running retreads vs. new tires without an artificial, government-imposed tax on new tires to ``even the playing field.''
I would like to propose another solution: Instead of trying to raise the price of new tires through FET taxes, why don't we raise the quality of our retreads?
I have seen firsthand that a retread can easily reduce a fleet's cost-per-mile vs. new tires-regardless of whether or not there is a tax on new tires.
The trick is to have a retread system with well-trained operators using the most technologically advanced machines for inspecting, buffing and repairing each casing to bond and cure properly with precisely cut tread rubber.
Furthermore, the retread needs to have high-quality rubber compounds that will match its new tire counterparts in wear rate per 32nd inch.
Retreaders able to accomplish this will be lowering their fleets' operating costs and thrive as a result-regardless of new tire pricing. Outdated retread shops will fall by the wayside and the highways will be safer as a result.
Fleet development manager
Michelin North America Inc.
Vindication for Firestone
At last! At last! Vindication at last!
Every dealer should be beating the drums for Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. This is war. It's David vs. Goliath-$170 billion vs. $7 billion in annual sales. We'll see who wins in the end.
Vice president, business development
DeCarolis Truck Leasing
Editor's note: Mr. DePaolis, a former Firestone dealer, refers to the fact that public attention-once confined primarily to Firestone Wilderness AT tires in the case of rollover accidents involving the Ford Explorer-now has broadened to include the vehicle itself.
After seeing Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. sued and with all the public concern over tire safety, why does the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration still allow tires to be plugged-which is one of the most unsafe things on the highway?
Plug repairs should be outlawed. People even buy kits and repair their own tire punctures.
Charles M. Balmas
C&L Distributing Inc.
I've been busting tires since I was 16. OK, I'm only 20 now, but I know a little about which tires are well made and which are just plain junk.
Hey, Alpio and Alex (whose comments appeared in the March 26, 2001, TB issue) you guys are in the wrong business if you think that the Ford Explorer is at fault for the Firestone tire recall.
It's as plain as day that some Firestone ATX and Wilderness AT are defective.
You could argue over and over about who's fault it is, but the truth is that when Ford Motor Co. or Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. found out about the defective tires, they should have immediately investigated the problem and recalled them.
I only have three questions to ask and these are directed to anyone who knows anything about tires:
1) How many Explorers have rolled over from faulty Michelins or BFGs?
2) How many tires have you seen that suddenly blow out just because of a tread separation?
I always have been under the assumption that it takes a while for a tire to completely separate (a while being based on type of driving, temperature, load and whatever else affects the tires).
Firestone ATXs that I took off my Explorer had about half their tread left and within a month they started to separate. I know this because I started getting a vibration and could see a lump in the tread when I tried to balance them. Being low on cash, I rode on the tires until two months later when one of them blew out.
3) How many lives could have been saved simply by people having their tires checked when they get rotations or even oil changes?
Maybe motorists are just not educated enough to know that when they feel a tire vibration, it usually means something is wrong.
These are just my opinions, so if you think differently go ahead and set me straight.
Sales and service
Firestone, Firestone, Firestone-I am sick of hearing about Firestone!
As one of the very few passenger and light truck casing suppliers left, I inspect thousands of tires a week. Anyone who would like a list of the sizes and brands that ought to be recalled should give me a call.
Don't put Firestone down. I see a constant pattern of defects in other brands-especially in the shoulder areas and particularly in size P235/75R15. I also see ``razor cut''-type cracks and bubbles inside some tires.
Did I say enough? The manufacturers probably know whose tires I'm talking about.
Tire makers also should go back to using the LT series in light truck applications. P-series tires don't belong on trucks.
Hiring older workers
Regarding Dan Marinucci's column, ``Hire the last of a breed...'' in the April 23 issue: I think it's great to see the spotlight, so to speak, focused on us older, hard-working people who helped make companies grow in our day.
It would be great to see Mr. Marinucci's suggestion followed in a lot more retread plants. Younger people need to see the ``smart'' way to work.
Purcell Tire Co.
`Never worked a day'
This is to thank you for the nice article about me that appeared in the April 23 issue of Tire Business.
I very much appreciate the kind words that were written, but I want to make it clear that none of my career in the tire industry could have happened without the support of my many friends and business associates.
I really feel honored to have been a part of this fine industry for so many years, and I want to thank all the retreaders, tire dealers and suppliers who made it possible.
There is an old saying that it's only work if you don't love what you do. I am lucky that, as far as I'm concerned, I've never worked a day in my life.
Thanks again for the honor.
Tire Retread Information Bureau
Pacific Grove, Calif.