Matching the right kind of tire to the customer's operation and the customer's needs is just one of several things
McGee Tire Stores does to exceed customers' expectations.
“Whenever we approach potential new customers, first we find out what tires they're using and what issues they have,” said Mike McGee,
McGee Tire president and a member of the company's second generation of family owners. “Then we try to come up with the Goodyear
products and services that can help them lower their tire costs.”
This problem-solving approach to tire sales and service is one of the main reasons why Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. recently chose
McGee Tire as its commercial tire dealer of the month for November. The honor recognizes the Lakeland, Fla.-based tire dealer
for providing customers outstanding service, while helping them choose from among the Goodyear, Dunlop and Kelly tire brands. It
also recognizes the company for helping customers make full use of Goodyear services, such as fleetHQ and TVTRACK and G-TRACS automated
retread tracking system.
Mike's father, John, founded McGee Tire in 1974 as a two-outlet O.K. Tire store chain. In 1979, the elder McGee transitioned the
company into a fully authorized Goodyear dealer. Since then McGee Tire Stores, which is a Truckwise dealer, has grown to include three
business divisions — automotive retail sales and service, commercial tire, and wholesale tire. The three divisions operate a network
of locations throughout Central Florida. The network is comprised of 13 retail locations, four commercial tire locations including a
wholesale tire facility, and a retread plant in Lakeland, all under the leadership of Mike and his brother, Terry.
“We began offering tire retreading to our commercial tire customers in 1998,” Mike McGee said. “At first, our commercial tire customers
were hesitant to try it. But through the leadership of my brother, Terry, in developing consistent quality production at our retread plant,
we've helped customers see the value of retreading.”
McGee Tire's retreading plant in Lakeland, which has two curing chambers, produces retreaded tires using pre-cure and Goodyear's patented
UniCircle® methods. UniCircle retreads feature a seamless construction that produces treads that adhere snugly to the casing. UniCircle retreads
incorporate an exclusive compound that matches new tire performance criteria for treadwear and traction.
“As measured by our adjustment rates, the quality of our retreads has been outstanding,” Terry McGee added. “In fact, we recently looked
at the results of one of our large users over the last three years. In that time, we've produced more than 1,400 retreads for that
customer and we've had to adjust the customer's bill for only 10 tires. That's a 99.2 percent success rate.”
Terry said customers have been impressed with the performance and the money they can save by using retreaded tires in their tire programs.
“That's particularly important in this difficult economy when trucking operators really need to get a handle on their operating costs,” he
added. “It's also a win-win from an environmental standpoint since the retreading process uses a 1/3 less petrochemicals than the manufacturing
of new tires.”
Mike McGee said Goodyear's roadside emergency service, fleetHQ, has also been an important recent addition to McGee Tire's efforts to help
customers improve their operations and control tire-related costs.
With fleetHQ, McGee Tire customers have one number: 866-fleetHQ 866-353-3847, to call for emergency roadside tire service throughout the
United States and Canada. And customers pay for their tires on the road through McGee Tire, the same price that they pay at home.
Mike said at the recommendation of McGee Tire vice president Bob Lanpher, the company bought and deployed a Hunter WinAlign® heavy-duty
alignment system that can travel by van truck. The mobile alignment system provides customers the convenience of having alignments done at
their locations. Through Lanpher's effort the service has been a big success, Mike said.
“Our customers find this service to be particularly helpful since they don't have to hire a driver to deliver trucks to our locations
to be serviced,” Lanpher said. “Plus we can send the mobile unit out to do alignments on Saturdays and Sundays when the trucks are back
in their yards on weekends.”
Mike said he's pleasantly surprised that his company has been chosen by Goodyear as its commercial tire dealer of the month for November.
“I think it's a testament to the hard work and dedication to excellence our employees demonstrate to customers every day,” he said. “I feel
very blessed in having a great management, sales and service team. Without these dedicated people, McGee Tire would not exist.”