Current Issue
Published on February 17, 2009

Letters: Retread, new tire failure rates; practicing good customer service



Believe it or not

New and retreaded medium truck tires fail at the same rates?

I find this fact hard to believe. In your article in the Feb. 2 issue of Tire Business you state that 18 percent of failures come from new tires and 68 percent from retreads. That sounds very true, but then your headline about them failing at about the same rates is not true.

Also, if retreads can safely replace new tires, why are no retreads recommended for the steering axle position on trucks? Neither can I imagine someone putting retreads on his $40,000 personal family vehicle, as Harvey Brodsky, managing director of the Tire Retread and Repair Information Bureau (TRIB), suggests in the article in the same issue that says he thinks the tire industry should give passenger tire retreading a second look.

Arnold Gritters


Hungry Dutchman Tire Co. Inc.

Pella, Iowa

Editor's note: In the story about new and retreaded tire failure rates, a survey of truck tire debris was performed for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. Of the 1,196 tire fragments examined, about 18 percent came from new truck tires and 68 percent from retreaded tires, with the rest of indeterminable origin. The report said these figures closely match the estimates of new and retread truck tires in current service. “…(T)here was no evidence to suggest that the proportion of tire fragments/shreds from retread tires was overrepresented in the debris items collected,” it added.

Go the extra mile

I believe in these tough times shop managers have to go the extra mile to make customers feel that they chose the right shop. That means when a vehicle comes into a shop, it starts with the counter staff being friendly and inviting to the customer—not bothered and annoyed.

The waiting room must be clean, have fresh coffee, newspapers and recent magazines and clean restrooms.

Also, if a vehicle needs repair, take the customers out to the shop—of course with safety glasses on—and show why the car needs repair so they don't feel like they're being taken to the cleaners.

Offer to save the old parts for them so they can see that the repairs were needed.

Kevin Berg

Regional manager

Kost Tire Auto Care

Rochester, N.Y.

Still gas rebate complaints

I want to thank Tire Business for its help in exposing a gas-rebate scam that is currently being investigated by no fewer than five different attorney general offices nationwide.

The TB article said both Jose Martinez of Grand Incentives, Sarasota, Fla., and Crystal Clark, owner of Tidewater Marketing, Clearwater, Fla., have resolved customer complaints about gas rebate coupons. If this is true, then why is the Internet, various Better Business Bureaus and the St. Petersburg Times being inundated with customer complaints as I type this letter?

Don Dominguez

Import consultant

Hudson, Fla.


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