Smetz’s Tire & Service Center, a third-generation tire dealer from Ashland, Ohio, was named this year’s 2022 K&M Tire Mr. Tire/Big 3 Tire Top Shop Winner. K&M honored this year’s winner at its 2022 Dealer Conference and Trade Show from Feb. 17-19 in Kansas City at the Sheraton Overland Park Hotel at the Convention Center. Troy Smetzer, owner, and his stepson and successor, Riley Harpster, accepted the award, showing appreciation to the shop’s employees and Troy’s late father, Ted, who started the business.
“First and foremost, I’d like to thank God, for, without him, none of this is possible. I’d like to thank K&M for the award…[and] for their prompt and reliable delivery and credits that make our business run smooth,” Troy said in his acceptance speech during an awards presentation Friday night. “Most importantly, I’d like to thank our employees for their dedication that allows us to be successful. Without them, none of this is possible.”
Troy and Ted started Smetz’s Tire in 1990, and because of the business’s prime location of being near major state and county roads, including two miles away from an interstate highway, the business grew rapidly. Today, Troy is priming his stepson, Riley, to take over the business one day.
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About seven years ago, Ted passed away following a three-year battle with cancer. During his speech, Troy paid homage to his father saying, “He would be so proud of this award.”
Today, half of Smetz’s Tire’s business consists of consumer tire work and the other half, commercial, OTR and ag work. Over the years, the business has expanded into two buildings and has added four service trucks to the mix to cater to their commercial clientele.
In its sixth year, the K&M Tire Mr. Tire/Big 3 Tire Top Shop Program, sponsored by O’Reilly Auto Parts and Hankook Tire, receives dozens of nominations from K&M dealers across the country each year. Tire Review, in partnership with K&M, narrows down the nominations to the Top 10, and an independent panel of judges scores each shop on a variety of criteria to name one winner and three finalists.
This year’s finalists, in no particular order, include:
Kantner’s Tire Service
It’s a mix of traditional customer service values and modern-day marketing that earned Kantner’s Tire Service Top Shop finalist honors. Glenn and Jane Roberts purchased the dealership in Shoemakersville, Pennsylvania in 1977, and today the couple run the business with their sons Troy and Todd Roberts, who serve as the business’s co-vice presidents. Other family members are also involved in the business, too.
When it comes to serving customers, Kantner’s offers a small-town, family-owned feel with all of the convenience and expertise of a modern shop. The most significant thing that sets Kantner’s apart from its competition is its staff’s honest interactions, which guarantee repeat customers. Read more about Kantner’s Tire Service here.
J-Rod’s Tire Service
Owned and operated by husband-and-wife duo Jarrod and Lindsay Hartman, this shop in the small town of Sharon Springs, Kansas, was started out of the couple’s home garage in 2015. At first, it was a part-time gig for Jarrod, who was working at a Chevy dealership at the time. By 2019, Jarrod’s side hustle turned into a full-fledged business when the couple set up their LLC.
They bought the land for their current shop that year and worked with a contractor to construct their dream shop. The shop doesn’t have so that it can accommodate large ag equipment and semi trucks. One thing that sets J-Rod’s apart from its competition is its huge tire inventory–Jarrod prides himself on having the tire for the customer when they need it. Lindsay says, “When a customer calls, Jarrod knows their tractors, he knows their combines, we know what tire sizes we need to have on hand. If we don’t have them on hand for them, we try to get it for them by the next day.” Read more about J Rod’s Tire Service here.
Janesville Tire Service
Paul Beckstrand was tapped to start Janesville Tire Service by its owners Tom and Cris Borneke in 2008. With 20-plus years of ag tire work under his belt, Paul started the business as a one-man band. Over the years, he’s added four technicians, and the business now services ag, commercial and consumers tires at the shop and with their two service trucks.
Today, the shop serves a 15-county area that covers two states. In that territory, Janesville Tire services three canning factories. The shop’s motto is “quality service after the sale, where the small farmer is just as important as the big farmer.” To Paul, this means treating the shop’s small customers and large customers the same, since they both have work to get done on a timely basis.
Paul and his team have also been involved in tire testing with various manufacturers, thanks to his years of expertise. He says one of the shop’s recent claims to fame is changing the tires on the world’s largest tractor, the Big Bud 747. Read more about Janesville Tire Service here.