Tires 101: Train for Success
You’ve taken the plunge, purchased the necessary tire equipment and the delivery truck has just pulled away from your shop. However, one of the most critical times for fast lube shops expanding into tire sales and service is immediately after the equipment is delivered.
Fast lube shops’ volume of tire service orders is significant in terms of new revenue, but may not justify the entry cost of high-volume machines. Because of this, many shops enter the tire service market with used or foreign equipment that is not supported by an authorized installer or service network — leaving them high and dry during the transition.
For shops expanding into the tire service industry, it’s important to know what to expect from equipment providers after the products have been delivered.
“Proper installation is important; but as technicians get acclimated to the new equipment and workflow, having a trusted partner for training and repairs is vital for shops entering the tire service industry,” said Kevin Keefe with BaseLine by Coats tire service equipment.
Purchasing equipment from a reputable domestic manufacturer is a safer bet, but it doesn’t guarantee professional installation, access to training and timely repairs, so it’s important for shops to do the research before purchasing tire service equipment.
“As a manufacturer of equipment for large tire stores and fast lube shops that offer tire service, we understand that efficiency and accuracy are the name of the game regardless of volume,” Keefe said. “The keys to efficiency and accuracy are a well-trained crew and a responsive service provider.”
Some manufacturers are producing machines with built-in training modules powered by video touchscreens, but fast lube shops expanding into the tire service industry often start with entry-level machines that don’t include these add-ons, making service providers that offer training even more important.
Knowing how to use your equipment is key to successfully servicing tires. You may have a technician in your shop who has worked with tires at a previous job and has experience using tire service equipment, but that may not be enough. It’s important to purchase equipment from a manufacturer that has an authorized service network to assist with the expansion into tire service. Installation and training are not areas where shops should look to cut corners. These are the building blocks for efficiency and accuracy.
“Each brand and each piece of equipment are different, tires and tire technology evolve, and proper safety practices need to be learned,” Keefe said. “Because of these factors, installation and training from an authorized service provider are crucial for a smooth and efficient expansion into the tire service industry.”
Unlike general repair contractors who service equipment, authorized service providers work with the same brands and machines on a daily basis. They have extensive knowledge of the machines and the proper tools for installation and maintenance of the equipment. They can also better diagnose problems and, most importantly, offer extensive training for technicians new to the tire service industry.