What do customers want from their tire dealers, more than anything else? A true business partnership, representatives from two OTR tire end users said during the recent Tire Industry Association OTR Tire Conference.

"The guy who is selling the tire makes a big impact," said Martin Marietta's David Winn (far right), with Lonnie Sullivan from Vulcan Materials (center) and MTD Publisher Greg Smith.

"The guy who is selling the tire makes a big impact," said Martin Marietta's David Winn (far right), with Lonnie Sullivan from Vulcan Materials (center) and MTD Publisher Greg Smith.

During a panel discussion moderated by MTD Publisher Greg Smith, Lonnie Sullivan, strategic sourcing manager, mobile equipment, for Vulcan Materials Co., said the tire dealers who service his employer “know what our expectations are.”

Vulcan, which bills itself as the United States’ largest producer of construction aggregates, evaluates its dealers “on their ability to serve our plants, plus their financial strength, pricing and performance,” he noted.

Working closely with its dealers, the company established a comprehensive tire program that includes OTR tire data collection and performance tracking, tire maintenance best practices, site reviews and other functions designed to reduce operating costs.

“The biggest piece is making sure our dealers work with the managers and other people at our plants,” said Sullivan. “We make sure we give our dealers access to our equipment when they need it.”

Panelist David Winn told attendees that his employer, Martin Marietta, which supplies aggregates, cement, asphalt and other materials, relies on its tire dealers “to make sure our tire investment is where it needs to be.”

This includes quarterly fleet inspections and other preventive maintenance services.

“Our dealers come out to our site and look at the roads” leading into and out of the locations, plus “all the other things that play into tire life.”

Dealers also provide training at Martin Marietta sites. “Last year, a dealer (staged) a class on what took look at during (an equipment) walk-around,” says Winn. “Anything a dealer can do to shut down a potential (tire) failure before our equipment shuts down is a plus for us.”

“When I look at a tire dealer, I want support,” he added. “When I call them, I don’t want the run-around. The guy who is selling the tire makes a big impact.”

Sullivan agreed that candor is important. “We want someone who will give us the bad news, when there’s bad news, and not worry about losing the business,” he told attendees – sound advice for  dealers in all segments.

 

 

 

Author

Mike Manges
Mike Manges

Editor

Mike Manges is Modern Tire Dealer’s editor. A 20-year-plus tire industry veteran, he is a three-time International Automotive Media Association award winner and holds a Gold Award from the Association of Automotive Publication Editors. Mike has traveled the world in pursuit of stories that will help independent tire dealers move their businesses forward.

View Bio

Mike Manges is Modern Tire Dealer’s editor. A 20-year-plus tire industry veteran, he is a three-time International Automotive Media Association award winner and holds a Gold Award from the Association of Automotive Publication Editors. Mike has traveled the world in pursuit of stories that will help independent tire dealers move their businesses forward.

View Bio
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