T.O. Haas buys Kansas dealership
HUTCHINSON, Kan.-T.O. Haas Tire Co. has acquired Gullickson Tire in Hutchinson, its fifth store in Kansas and 30th overall.
George Hoellen, president of Lincoln, Neb.-based T.O. Haas Tire, said the purchase was a good fit for a number of reasons. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
``Gullickson Tire was a very good customer of our former wholesale business, and we've known Don and Freda for many years,'' Mr. Hoellen said, referring to the former owners, Don and Freda Menze. ``We're very excited that Don has agreed to stay on as store manager. Obviously, he has a great relationship with his customers and employees as well as solid understanding of the Hutchinson marketplace.''
Gullickson Tire originally opened as a B.F. Goodrich Tire Co. store. The Menzes have owned the store since 1983. Mr. Menze said his customers will not notice any changes from the acquisition as the dealership will offer the same products and services.
The Menzes-both active in their community and in the tire industry-have supported numerous organizations and clubs in Hutchinson, according to a T.O. Haas Tire press release. Mr. Menze served as president of the Mid-America Tire Dealers Association and sat on the board of directors for the Hutchinson Chamber of Commerce.
T.O. Haas operates locations in Nebraska, Kansas and Iowa.
Glotfelty Tire opens 6th store
PARKERSBURG, W. Va.-Glotfelty Tire Center celebrated the grand opening of its sixth facility with a visit from the Cooper Tire Championship Series Mobile Tour.
The facility opened in Parkersburg in May, and the official opening was celebrated in late June. The facility, Glotfelty's largest, is 28,000 square feet. Like the dealership's other outlets, the facility is a combined warehouse and retail store. The commercial and retail dealership sells primarily Cooper and Goodyear brands. The Oakland, Md.-based company's other outlets are in West Virginia and Maryland.
General Manager Andy Runion said the mobile tour, which includes a virtual reality racetrack and a pit crew challenge, was a big draw for the event. He said he may try to include the tour during a classic car show next year.
``We had a big time with that,'' he said of the mobile tour.
Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. said the tour is available for dealer events. Big T Tire in Avon Park, Fla., hosted the first event with the tour during the inaugural race of the Cooper Tire Championship Series in March in Florida. Big T reported a 30-percent increase in sales during the event, according to Cooper.
Mechanic wins award for heroism
VENETA, Ore.-The chief mechanic at Max's Tire Center in Veneta recently won a Carnegie Medal for saving a woman from a fiery vehicle accident.
Patrick Cromwell, 32, was awarded a $3,500 grant from the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, which recognized 23 individuals for their heroic acts. The Pittsburgh-based fund was established in 1904 by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and has honored 8,823 people since.
In March 2003, Kathy Munoz was hit by a van, which pointed her car directly into the tire shop's parking lot. Her car struck a parked truck, and both vehicles erupted in flames. Mr. Cromwell, who witnessed the accident along with other employees, sprayed a fire extinguisher into Ms. Munoz's window. He then pulled her out of the passenger's side. Others took her to the shop while Mr. Cromwell put out the fire.
Ms. Munoz required hospitalization for her burns, according to the Carnegie commission. But Mr. Cromwell said the two remain close, and she asked for his blessing when she married one of the medics who also helped save her life. Ms. Munoz nominated Mr. Cromwell for the award.
``I was ecstatic,'' Mr. Cromwell said of winning the medal. With the grant, he and his three older brothers will go to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.
Tire Kingdom opens 600th store
JUNO BEACH, Fla.-Tire Kingdom Inc. has hit its 600-store milestone with a new outlet in Salisbury, N.C.
The store held its grand opening July 20, the Juno Beach-based tire retailer said. Tire Kingdom is a subsidiary of TBC Corp.
Earlier in July, Tire Kingdom also opened a store in Beavercreek, Ohio, and relocated its Stuart, Fla., store to a new site.
TBC said it expects to open about 20 company-owned stores this year.
Man killed fixing tire as jack fails
DAVIE, Fla.-The owner of a tire service company was killed in July when a jack holding a 15-ton front-end loader failed, police said.
Myron Niedzwiecki, 50, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was killed on the scene, according to the police report. Mr. Niedzwiecki, owner of A-1 Mobile Tire Services Inc., was subcontracted by a Goodyear Wingfoot Tire location to work on equipment at U-Pull It, a salvage yard. Police said he had changed the front two tires and had begun work on the right rear tire.
He was underneath the loader, trying to loosen the bolts when the single power jack holding up the loader failed. Police noted that no devices were under any of the tires to prevent rolling until emergency crews arrived and installed them.
Lt. Bill Bamford of the Davie police department said there would likely not be any criminal charges filed.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, however, still is conducting its investigation, Lt. Bamford said.
Investigators look into Ore. tire fire
GRESHAM, Ore.-A fire at Northwest Retreaders in Gresham remains under investigation after causing heavy damage to one building, fire officials said.
The fire started at 3:44 p.m. on Aug. 7 and quickly escalated to a four-alarm blaze, the local fire department said. Operations Chief Scott Lewis at the department said no damage estimates were available by Aug. 9.
Raw rubber on pallets plus carbon black caught fire, the department said. The fire was outside in a storage yard and adjacent to buildings as well as in a rail car full of finished tires. Mr. Lewis said two of the three buildings were uninvolved, and the fire was contained outside the third though it suffered damage.
The fire was extinguished by 4 a.m. Aug. 8 after firefighters applied more than 3,000 gallons of a foam and water mix to smother the flames.
Two firefighters were treated and released for injuries.
Del-Nat customers sail high seas
MEMPHIS, Tenn.-Del-Nat Tire Corp. stockholders recently returned from the private brand cooperative's 2004 incentive trip to Cannes, France, where activities included sailing aboard a tall ship.
Del-Nat said the group spent eight days at sea, stopping at ports in the western Mediterranean.
Tony Sagona of Midtown Tire in Rochester, N.Y., won a 2004 Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Gene Savage of Gene Savage Tire in Ocean City, Md., and Bob Sherkin of Dynamic Tire Corp. in Brampton, Ontario, won 65-inch televisions with home theater systems.
Partners open new dealership
BRANDON, Miss.-Ross Jackson, a 20-year veteran of the tire industry, and two partners recently opened their first outlet, which they hope will be the model for other stores they'd like to open.
The three, including Troy Sturdivant and Jeff Wall, opened The Tire Depot on July 22 in Brandon. The store sells Michelin, BFGoodrich, Uniroyal, Goodyear, Bridgestone, Firestone and other brands and offers automotive service.
Mr. Jackson had worked at other tire companies before deciding to own his own business. He met Mr. Sturdivant while working for a division of Southern Rubber Co. Mr. Sturdivant worked with Mr. Wall during a stint in the printing industry.
``I've been doing it for a long period of time. I felt like I had the knowledge to make a go of it on my own, so I prayed about it and it seemed to be the right thing to do,'' Mr. Jackson said. ``So we're giving it a shot.''
One obstacle, however, was construction. Originally the 5,400-sq.-ft. building was set to be complete by the July 4 weekend. But a rainy June held up construction for about six weeks, making the dealership miss the sale weekend.
Mr. Jackson said the shop will have an official grand opening event over the Labor Day weekend in September. A local radio station will have a live remote, and the shop will raffle off a Castrol go-kart worth $2,000.
Mr. Jackson said he and his partners plan to eventually add more stores, at least to the point that each partner could oversee one location.