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Tire Storage; Tire Repair

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Tire Storage Racks Save Space, Time, Money and Backs

Tires in winter storage or new tires waiting to be mounted ought to be easy to find and stored safely in a tire storage system.

And don’t take the naysayers seriously. Some tire rack makers advise against horizontal storage, others against vertical storage. Actually, both types of racks work well, according to the tire dealers we spoke with. “A tire with absolutely no load on it won’t flat spot when stored vertically, nor will it cause any damage in its aired-down state when stored horizontally,” said one dealer.

According to a maker of vertical tire storage racks, vertical storage allows maximum use of available floor space, with tires cradled between the beams. Angled beams, some cantilevered 135⊄š, hold tires in place without the risk of tire deformity or the need for locking devices.

The makers of pallet stacking storage systems say essentially the same thing about maximizing floor space. In fact, most tire distribution centers store tires horizontally because it’s the only way to store massive amounts of tires economically. It is recommended, however, to store heavy commercial and aircraft tires vertically because of their size and weight.

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It’s the smaller tire operation that’s likely to use a vertical system. Not only is it a space saver, it also keeps employees from having to yank a tire from a stack.

So, purchase as many tire racks – vertical or horizontal – as you need, and get inventory organized. You’ll make better use of your space and save time and money.

Basically, there are two types of tire storage solutions, says Key Material Handling Inc. (KMH). First, is the all-steel stacking rack, a self-contained system constructed in a modular design and made of steel tubing.

Second is the pallet stacking frame system, a less expensive option to all-steel stacking racks, says KMH. Most pallets are made of wood and moved around a warehouse by forklift. The benefit: saving valuable floor space while preserving the product from needless damage. More expensive carousel-type racks are also available.

The steel racks shown on page 56 are fully adjustable, two to six tiers high and generally in the 60- to 96-inch width range. Tires can be stacked in single or double rows. In palletized form, a standard passenger tire size can be stored six high – 24 on a 60 x 60-inch pallet.

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Proper Tire Repair Boosts Profit, Reputation

What do we know about tire repair? According to tire repair experts, not as much as we should. But don’t take this as an across-the-board slam against every tire tech out there. Many are well-trained, highly skilled tire repair professionals. Yet too many still fail to adhere to proper tire repair guidelines, let alone attend tire repair seminars.

In a perfect world, every tire tech would have already completed accredited tire repair courses in proper passenger/light truck, medium truck and OTR tire repair. However, what most of us choose to overlook is that both tire technology and tire repair technology are always changing.

The upshot is simple. If your techs haven’t attended a tire and/or repair seminar in several years, they’re probably working with old technology and outdated approaches to proper tire repair.

That’s not a good thing.

Almost lost in any tire repair conversation is the new tire buyer. What if he or she returns to your dealership the next day with one of those brand-new tires flattened by a nail or screw? Unless you sold the customer lifetime road-hazard coverage, you had better be in the tire repair business, a service your new tire buyer will appreciate more if it’s done right.

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If you are to make a proper, safe repair, it will cost the customer money; most dealers report charging $15 to $35 for a proper off-the-wheel plug/patch nail hole repair. Customers might balk at the cost, but they’ll be more understanding if you show them the tiremaker’s repair guidelines or those published by RMA and TIA. You have those, don’t you?

Also, be sure to explain the necessity of the process to the customer. If needed, tell him or her that some repairs cannot be made while still maintaining the integrity of the tire. And, tell the customer why he or she shouldn’t be worried about the just-repaired tire.

With more and more mass merchants and discounters out there simply selling tires, it becomes your privilege to do what they will not do – service the customer by repairing a tire properly. And, if you satisfy their customer, they can become your customer.

Above all, never discount the real value of a proper tire repair. From demounting the tire, to a complete inspection and then to a completed proper nail hole, repair is a multi-step process. Give yourself some credit for understanding the importance of tire repair, for the schooling required and for possessing the knowledge and products to do what others cannot or will not do.

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