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Published on March 26, 2007

Letters: Hunting road gators, taking service mobile

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Opinion

Gator hunting


Your editorial, 'Road gators can be avoided,' (Feb. 26, 2007, issue) struck a cord with us since we at the Tire Retread Information Bureau (TRIB) spend an enormous amount of our time and resources combating this problem.


As we recently suggested to Florida State Sen. Victor Crist, we believe the most effective way to reduce the amount of tire debris on highways everywhere is to educate motorists, especially truckers, about the importance of proper tire maintenance. TRIB does this on an ongoing basis both on our weekly radio segment for truckers on Sirius Satellite Radio and at various trucking conferences and trade shows.


We also distribute thousands of CDs, DVDs and printed booklets every year about the importance of proper tire maintenance.


Until Sen. Crist and others who have the power to do so take this seriously and actually move toward setting up task forces and study groups to attack the problem of road gators, I'm afraid this roadside tire debris will continue to propagate and litter our highways. The ball is in their court.


For Tire Business readers who wish to learn more about what TRIB does to combat road gators, we will be happy to send a complete packet of our materials. There is no cost and they can be ordered by contacting us toll free at (888) 473-8732 or by email at info@retread.org.


Harvey Brodsky


Managing director


Tire Retread Information Bureau


Pacific Grove, Calif.


He's mobile, too


I just received the March 12 issue of Tire Business and was happy to see the front-page article on “mobile tire businesses.”


It just so happens, I, too, have a mobile tire business that operates in the greater seacoast area of New Hampshire. My company name is Tires To You L.L.C. (Web site: www.tires-to-you.com). Similar to the Pit Crew service you wrote about, I'm a one-truck operation and I work the business in the evenings and weekends since I am employed full time as a mechanical engineer during the day.


I started the business in 2004 and, since then, the business has grown each year. It was interesting to read your article because I also have experienced the hesitation or disbelief from potential customers since the concept is so far away from the norm. Fortunately the customers I have gained all indicate they love the business concept and are very happy with the quality of my work.


I look forward to reading Tire Business since every issue contains very useful information.


Jon Gilbert


Owner


Tires To You L.L.C.


Center Barnstead, N.H.


Editor's note: On his Web site, Mr. Gilbert provides the following history of Tires To You: “The idea came to me after I had just changed my tires at a local tire store chain. After spending too much time at this store, I thought, 'Wouldn't it be cool if someone could come to my house and change my tires without me ever leaving my yard?' I soon found a suitable truck and outfitted it with a top-of-the-line Hunter Engineering Co. tire changer and balancer equipment. I also outfitted the truck with a new Bel-Air gas-powered compressor and a new Kawasaki 5000 watt generator. I was now ready to roll.”


'Goat' problems real


A story in Tire Business (News Briefs, March 12) said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is looking into alleged problems involving Pontiac GTO struts interfering with the operation of the vehicle's tires.


I have a co-worker with a GTO and he has gone through two left front tires. Both were blown out on the highway. Although it may be possible that a tire rub condition exists, further investigation should include possible overheating on the driver side caused by the headers on that side.


When the second tire on his car blew out, I popped the hood and immediately noticed that the passenger side of the GTO was equipped with a heat shield over the exhaust header but the driver side was not (the article did not specify front or rear rubbing.)


The GTO is based on a General Motors Corp. Holden from Australia. I think GM rushed the car through engineering to get it out in the U.S., and it has some design problems that need to be addressed.


It's important that we in the tire business do anything we can to avoid this being labeled a tire problem, rather than a problem involving vehicle design.


Justin Weekes


Territory sales manager


Englewood Tire, dba: Discount Tire Express


Wallingford, Conn.

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