On the Rise: Skyler Salts
Service manager | Take Off Tire LLC | Age: 23
What was your first job in the industry?
I worked at a Quick Lane for Beatrice Ford where I was a tire and auto technician. I found a similar position at Take Off Tire that gave me more potential for growth as a technician, and as a person.
What attracted you to the industry?
I have always tried to help people. I enjoy knowing my hard work can make a traveler more confident, and truly safer on the road.
What’s the biggest challenge you have faced in your career?
My current job is my biggest challenge, recently taking on a leadership position that puts a lot of pressure on me. I have to be ready for anything. Some services that we provide can be tricky, even for me, let alone a new technician.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
That's a tough question. Everyone I have ever worked with has taught me something. If I had to narrow it down it would be my boss, Riley Kentfield, or my little brother, Shawn Salts. Riley hired me two years ago and he has taught me all the in's and out's about the tire industry, tire service, customer service and the list goes on. My little brother, Shawn works at Take Off Tire as well. Working with him has made me a better leader and teacher.
What’s your biggest accomplishment in the industry?
My biggest accomplishment is still underway, but I feel the satisfaction daily. I have maintained my role in the shop as a service technician, where I started. On top of that, now I perform commercial service calls, manage other technicians, sell tires over the phone and in the office.
Tell us about your current job and responsibilities. How do you spend your work day?
I am the head tire tech at the Take Off Tire shop. My responsibilities here include many things such as changing and repairing tires, making sure everything is done in an orderly fashion. and educating customers and employees on tires and their applications.
What’s one thing you wish someone would have told you before you took your current job?
The one thing I wish someone would’ve told me before entering this company is how often I would be educating customers on what should be common knowledge about tires.
Tell us about your family.
In my family I’m the oldest of three kids. My two younger siblings and I are very close. My sister, Shaylyn, just turned 20 and is about to have a baby girl, so soon my brother and I will be uncles. My little brother Shawn is 18 and he just graduated high school in May. Since graduation he has joined us here at the Take Off Tire family to learn the trade and has done a great job. Being in charge of him has taught me a lot about being a leader in this industry.
How do you recover from a bad or stressful day?
Working in this industry you’re bound to have long and stressful days. The best way I’ve found for me to unwind after a long day is to get cleaned up, put on some comfy clothes, eat a light dinner and spend the evening watching movies with my family. Before that as soon as I get home I enjoy taking my dog, Freddie, on a walk.
Name one thing you wish the average American better understood about the tire industry.
I wish the average American understood that different vehicles and their applications call for many different size tires, tread designs, play ratings and that there is a little wiggle room but sometimes there’s not as much of it as they typically want. I’d also wish they knew we aren’t going to mislead them just to make a sale. Our purpose is to make their ride safer and more enjoyable.
If you could have lunch with a celebrity, who would it be, and why?
If I could have lunch with a celebrity they would probably be Rory McIlroy or John Daly. They’re both amazing golfers and I would love to pick their brain about the game at lunch and maybe play a round or two with them.
Name a talent you wish you had.
A talent I wish I had would probably be able to play guitar or banjo. I love music, especially country, but I unfortunately was born without a musical bone in my body.
What’s the biggest issue facing the industry today?
The biggest issue facing the industry since I’ve been in it has probably been the lack of availability and products whether it’s tires, shop supplies, wheels or parts. I believe COVID is the biggest reason behind it, so I expect it to improve in the near future.
Tell us your biggest pet peeve.
My biggest pet peeve while working is probably the swollen aluminum cap on lug nuts. It’s just an unnecessary inconvenience that can sometimes slow down productivity.
What’s the best book you’ve read lately?
The most recent book is “The Hobbit,” by J.R.R. Tolkien. It’s a classic I’ve read many times and highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t read it.
If a tire dealer asked you for advice to find good employees, what would you suggest?
My advice for finding good employees would probably be to look for someone who enjoys helping people and is hungry to improve as a person and employee in this industry.
What do you expect to be doing 20 years from now?
Twenty years from now I expect to be running my own shop or shops. I enjoy working in a smaller and more customer care driven shop. So I would love the opportunity to bring it to places throughout the state of Nebraska and maybe the Midwest region of the United States.