Following the attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, the New York City Department of Sanitation's fleet went into overdrive immediately. Within 24 hours of the attack, some 1,500 workers were dispatched and began the removal of debris from Ground Zero.
Department trucks and tractor/trailer units transported material directly to a nearby landfill and the department set up outlets at its marine transfer stations at 59th Street in Manhattan and at Hamilton Avenue in the borough of Brooklyn.
To help keep the trucks moving, Barnwell House of Tires and the company's fleet of trucks worked around the clock to make sure the department's needs were met. Barnwell made emergency deliveries and supplemented the City's inventory of 4,000 tires by working closely with Goodyear associates to source products from all over the country. Tires were even needed for previously retired machinery that was put back in service due to the massive cleanup efforts.
"We've been dedicated to do whatever we can to support the nation's largest municipal sanitation department, which is partly why we've been able to earn and keep that business," said Kevin Gorman, co-owner of the Ronkonkoma, N.Y.-based tire dealer. "It's what we do; we service our customers."
That hard work and dedication to customer support is also why Barnwell has earned designation as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company's Commercial Tire Dealer of the Month for October 2010.
Each month, Goodyear honors its top dealers that provide customers outstanding service, while helping them choose from among the Goodyear, Dunlop and Kelly tire brands. The Dealer of the Month honor recognizes Barnwell House of Tires for helping customers make full use of Goodyear services, such as fleetHQ, TVTRACK and GTRACS automated retread tracking system.
"We're honored to be chosen by Goodyear to be one of the company's top dealers," Gorman said. "Receiving this honor reflects on the work of our 100 employees and a dedication we all share to supporting our customers, regardless of size."
Barnwell House of Tires was started in 1938 by Paul Barnwell. Kevin's father, John Gorman Sr., took over the business in 1971. During the 1980's, Kevin, along with his brothers, Bill and Jim, took the company reigns from their father and have built up its commercial line of business through Goodyear products and service support. The commercial line accounts for about 85 percent of the company's $35 million in annual sales.
Small companies with fleets of three to 10 trucks represent a majority of Barnwell's commercial customers. Barnwell also provides tires and service support to municipalities, utility companies, Penske, Fed Ex and United Parcel Service.
The company has two commercial locations, one retail location, a retreading facility and a wheel refinishing shop, in Ronkonkoma and West Babylon, N.Y. The company plans to move its retreading facility and wheel refurbishing shop into a new 43,000 square-foot building in Central Islip, N.Y., by December 2010. The new retreading facility will have three curing chambers and will operate a single shift, producing about 225 tires per day, the same as its current facility, but with room to expand.
"The Goodyear UniCircle retread process, which is what we use in our retread plant, is a unique selling proposition that differentiates us to give us a competitive advantage over other products available on the market," Gorman said. "It's been a key to our company's success. It provides our customers with superior miles to removal and helps them reduce their overall tire costs. We think the UniCircle process represents the future of retreading."
Innovations in tire technology are another reason for Barnwell's success, Gorman said. Goodyear offers DuraSeal Technology, a built-in sealant that can instantly and consistently seal punctures up to ¼-inch in the tread area, without the need to repair the tire until it is retreaded. (It does not seal sidewall punctures.) This allows truck drivers to continue operating after a tire is punctured.
"As soon as Goodyear began offering the Goodyear G316 LHT with DuraSeal Technology, we started encouraging our customers to try it," Gorman said. "DuraSeal has been so successful in helping our customers avoid issues and reduce downtime with their trailer tires. That's been a strong selling point for us."
Another selling point has been fleet HQ, Goodyear's portfolio of business solutions for commercial fleets that includes an emergency roadside assistance program. With fleetHQ, Barnwell 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 the same tire price on the road that they pay at home. Through the program, customers are able to control and track their expenses associated with emergency roadside tire services.
"Goodyear also provides us some great training resources through the Goodyear Tire Academy in Orlando, Fla., and its online training courses," Gorman said. "That helps our employees stay up-to-date on the latest tire technologies and techniques, which makes them better able to provide our customers with top-notch service that keeps them coming back."