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Tire Repair Legislation: What’s right, what’s wrong?


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I can't stand when the government has to step in and try to solve every little stupid problem. We always like to blame our leaders, government, politicians for the problems in our country but until individuals and families and business owners get in order we will continue down this path we've been on. I mean come on give me a break we need laws to tell us how to fix a tire right?

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I hate to have another government mandate but I think we, as an industry, share some of the blame. The tire industry trade groups, TIA and others, have for years endorsed that a proper tire repair requires the removal of the tire from the vehicle, dismounting the tire from the rim, inspecting and repairing from the inside of the tire. This can not be done profitably when we try and compete with the guy down the street that is willing to throw a plug in it for $5.00. When you look at some of the multimillion dollar judgements that have been handed out over the last few years for improper tire repairs, it makes it a lot easier to say "NO" to a customer who wants a $5.00 repair. We have not done plug repairs for 15+ years. Have we "lost" some tire repair business to the guy down the street - yes. Do I sleep better at night knowing we are doing proper repairs - YES. Most customers, and the ones we want to keep, understand that we are trying to keep them safe on the road. We take a little time to educate them as to why we repair the tire the way we do and it goes a long way to build a trusting relationship with them.

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  • 5 months later...

I have very mixed feelings about the need for legislation. I've done quite a bit of research when I first heard about this and I was unable to find any statistics on the number of injuries or deaths or even accidents due to improper tire repair. We patch from in inside on most repairs but if there is a puncture right in the center of the tread and the tire has never gone to low I'll still plug it. We've never seen a failure in 36 years.

 

By the way Joe, the NY Bill number is 09683

 

I don't mind charging more for tire repairs. What do you guys charge for dismounting and repairing from the inside?

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i've never had a comeback with a plug,

though on my car hauler with 80psi tires, the plug gets out slowly while driving (still gets me through the day).

 

so i go plugs on small car tire punctures, patch-plugs on trucks and high performance cars

Type S Zero,

Take a minute and google tire repair lawsuits. It is shocking to see some of the settlements involved in tire repair lawsuits. If you do not follow industry standards in repairing tires you are leaving yourself open to some major exposure. A plug is not a proper repair. We charge $25 to do a patch/plug repair.

Russ

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I don't dissagree it's not worth that much, but at that point, sell a tire. It becomes a point of what value the customer sees in the repair vs a new tire. If we all got 50 bucks for a major tire repair, we may end up doing less repairs and sell more tires? The consumer may not see the value in the repair if the price is too high, even though we may be able to justify the cost.

 

I hope I am explaining my self clearly....

 

I agree, we charge $34, more for low profile tires & light truck tires. We find that most people are ok with it when they see whats involved. We do still plug tires though if we feel the tire is a good candidate for a plug. If the tire is worn we recommend replacement. If this becomes law we will surely sell more tires. After all, that's why the RMA is lobbying for this in the first place isn't it.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         3 comments
      Got your attention? Good. The truth is, there is no such thing as the perfect technician pay plan. There are countless ways to create any pay plan. I’ve heard all the claims and opinions, and to be honest, it’s getting a little frustrating. Claims that an hourly paid pay plan cannot motivate. That flat rate is the only way to truly get the most production from your technicians. And then there’s the hybrid performance-based pay plan that many claim is the best.
      At a recent industry event, a shop owner from the Midwest boasted about his flat-rate techs and insisted that this pay plan should be adopted by all shops across the country. When I informed him that in states like New York, you cannot pay flat-rate, he was shocked. “Then how do you motivate your techs” he asked me.
      I remember the day in 1986 when I hired the best technician who ever worked for me in my 41 years as an automotive shop owner. We’ll call him Hal. When Hal reviewed my pay plan for him, and the incentive bonus document, he stared at it for a minute, looked up, and said, “Joe, this looks good, but here’s what I want.” He then wrote on top of the document the weekly salary he wanted. It was a BIG number. He went on to say, “Joe, I need to take home a certain amount of money. I have a home, a wife, two kids, and my Harly Davidson. I will work hard and produce for you. I don’t need an incentive bonus to do my work.” And he did, for the next 30 years, until the day he retired.
      Everyone is entitled to their opinion. So, here’s mine. Money is a motivator, but not the only motivator, and not the best motivator either. We have all heard this scenario, “She quit ABC Auto Center, to get a job at XYZ Auto Repair, and she’s making less money now at XYZ!” We all know that people don’t leave companies, they leave the people they work for or work with.
      With all this said, I do believe that an incentive-based pay plan can work. However, I also believe that a technician must be paid a very good base wage that is commensurate with their ability, experience, and certifications. I also believe that in addition to money, there needs to be a great benefits package. But the icing on the cake in any pay plan is the culture, mission, and vision of the company, which takes strong leadership. And let’s not forget that motivation also comes from praise, recognition, respect, and when technicians know that their work matters.
      Rather than looking for that elusive perfect pay plan, sit down with your technician. Find out what motivates them. What their goals are. Why do they get out of bed in the morning? When you tie their goals with your goals, you will have one powerful pay plan.
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