Les Schwab Tire Centers reports it plans to phase out use of lead-based wheel weights for wheel balancing on passenger cars and light trucks in all its stores by mid-2009.
"We are moving from lead to steel wheel weights because our customers are looking for better alternatives," says Dick Borgman, CEO. "For the last two years we have been working with our supplier to develop an excellent steel wheel weight alternative and are excited to start using it exclusively.
"We are taking steps to redefine industry standards for wheel weights in order to meet customer expectations, and provide the kind of product and service excellence everyone has come to expect from Les Schwab. Steel wheel weights are good for our customers and for the local communities where we operate," Borgman explains.
The elimination of lead-based wheel weights for passenger cars and light trucks is just one of several environmental practices pioneered by Les Schwab Tire Centers.
The company is the sixth largest tire retreader in the United States, according to Modern Tire Dealer research, and it also recycles wheel weights and scrap steel.
In the last eight months Les Schwab Tire Centers received two awards for its environmental and business practices. The company received an Environmental Excellence award from the Association of Washington Business and it ranked among the top 20 companies in Oregon Business magazine's "Best Places to Work" survey.