Safety First: Spring Fling!

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Matt White is the Director of Tire Services for the Tire Industry Association (TIA). He has over 34 years of experience training technicians from all over the globe on how to stay safe on the job. Photo Matt White

Start rolling up your sleeves for spring.

It may be hard to believe, but spring is just around the corner. That means you need to get ready for it!

Right now you’ve got some time to start checking your shop staff to make sure everyone’s up to date with training certificates and licenses. If there’s anything that needs to be renewed, you may need to get people into training.

Many shops don’t have enough employees. What are you doing to get out there and hire people before the rush comes? And then, they need to be properly trained before you put them into any working situation. That needs to happen now, instead of waiting until it gets busy. If you take care of things in a timely way, the business will flow easier. 

Continuing education

Think about it. New hires need about a month of training plus two to three months with somebody inside the shop for basic tire work. Then, they need to do continuing education and training after that. Getting somebody to change tires properly lifting the right way and safely, takes about two to three months for a beginner. Of course, it does depend on experience. And they have to get used to the way your shop does things.

Some shop owners are bringing in people from outside the industry. In that case, you’ll be needing three months to get them up to speed, plus continuing education as they go.

What about your equipment? Right now it’s trade show “Mecca,” with trade shows going on all over the country. If you’re buying new equipment, all the latest and greatest gear is out there. 

Update the equipment you do have – so much is done electronically now. And everyone’s starting to see electric vehicles, so you’re dealing with new TPMS tools. In fact, you should be including electric vehicle programming with your training, it’s a very hot topic these days.

Check your inventory and make sure you’ve got popular sizes in stock. Inventory shortages are still an issue, even though it’s getting better. Order ahead so that you’re ready. 


Get the word out to your customers so that they’ll book early and avoid a rush. Let them know you’re keeping up with the times. Polish up your image, and have a “Spring Fling” inviting customers out to your shop to show off what you’ve got to offer.

Educate your customers, and let them know why they should be buying a particular tire that’s right for their needs, instead of just selling by price. Explain why maintenance is important, and how alignment, a healthy suspension and a brake system can help make a vehicle safe.

Let your customers know you care, that you run a clean, safe shop, and that you have inventory and your staff are trained. Display your certificates prominently, maybe invest in some new signage and spruce up your shop. People look at that – perception is a very big part of our business. Show them what’s happening in your store, and be proud of it.

Manufacturers can help by financing some advertising, and even uniforms. Once you start adding to your image, you can actually grow your business – but you have to work at it. 


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