Garry Heintschel, vice president of Texarkana, Texas-based Heintschel Tire, still remembers running a service truck from his family’s tire shop to visit customers and check fleet equipment on Saturday mornings during his college days. At the same time, Robert Bunch moved trucks from his company’s truck yard to the warehouse of his family’s seed store and lawn and garden distribution center where trailers were being loaded for early Sunday morning deliveries.
“Robert and I grew up together, went to the same high school, and in the course of doing business together, we become good friends,” Heintschel said.
Today, Robert Bunch is the chief executive officer of Bunch Wholesale Inc. (BWI), a full-line distributor of lawn and garden products with eight distribution centers. And although he doesn’t move company trucks from the yard to the warehouse, his family’s company still looks to Heintschel and his family’s company for its tire needs and help in controlling tire costs after more than 38 years.
Heintschel Tire offers a variety of Goodyear tires, such as the regional Goodyear G661 HAS, G662 RSA and G182 RSD, and retreaded tires using the Goodyear UniCircle® process, for BWI’s fleet of trailers and vehicles. It also encourages customers like BWI to sign up for fleetHQ, Goodyear's portfolio of business solutions for truck operators and fleets of all sizes.
“We look at our relationship with BWI and all of our customers as more than just that of supplier and customer,” said Heintschel, who now serves as Heintschel Tire’s vice-president. “In order for our business to be successful, we have to provide tires and services that can help them be successful.
“If there are supply issues, we push to get them resolved quickly, or we provide our customers alternatives,” Heintschel said. “In many cases, it’s all about planning. Forecasting is more important than ever in order to help predict our customers’ future needs and avoid shortages. We encourage our customers to think about their tire needs at least 60 to 90 days out. We do this by utilizing fleetHQ tools like the GTRACS-ng retreaded tire tracking system and the TV Track tire management system so that when it gets close to the time for tires to be replaced, we start ordering.”
Heintschel said it’s also important for employees to understand the customer’s needs so that they can determine which tires and tire technologies are right for them. Often, he’ll send new Heintschel Tire employees to Goodyear University where they can learn more about new developments in tire manufacturing and retreading, plus basic skills such as tire care and maintenance.
This attention to developing knowledgeable employees who establish and maintain longtime relationships with customers is one reason why Heintschel Tire has earned Goodyear’s Commercial Tire Dealer of the Month honor for December.
Each month, Goodyear honors its top dealers, who provide outstanding service for commercial fleet customers and truck operators. The Dealer of the Month honor recognizes Heintschel Tire for helping fleets and truck operators solve problems through fleetHQ’s portfolio of business solutions. That includes helping them choose from Goodyear, Dunlop and Kelly tires, delivering outstanding service and providing information solutions that help them make better business decisions. Heintschel Tire also takes full advantage of Goodyear’s training resources and tools for dealers.
“We’re pleased that Goodyear has chosen our company as its December Commercial Tire Dealer of the Month,” Heintschel said. “I’m sure my father would be proud of that accomplishment and of his company’s employees.”
Garry’s father, Arlen, and mother, Amanda, started the family business in Texarkana in 1973 with Barney Moore. Following the death of his father, and the retirement of Barney Moore, Garry became co-owner in 1990 with his mother, Amanda. Today, the Heintschel family operates a retail commercial tire location and a Goodyear-authorized retread plant in Texarkana, offering a variety of new commercial tires under several brands, including Goodyear, Dunlop and Kelly.
Heintschel Tire also operates a 20,000-square-foot commercial truck tire retreading plant with three production chambers and a 15,000 square-foot warehouse, all under one roof in Texarkana, Texas. It produces retreaded medium-duty and heavy-duty truck tires using the Goodyear UniCircle and pre-cure retreading processes. Heintschel Tire consistently earns a place on Modern Tire Dealer Magazine’s annual list of Top 100 Retreaders. The retreading plant currently retreads about 100 truck tires per day.
“One of many reasons we chose to become a Goodyear authorized retreader was Goodyear’s innovation and dedication to providing fleets and truck operators with cradle-to-grave solutions they want,” he said. “It’s pleasing to know that Goodyear recognizes our hard work in helping customers realize significant benefits from those innovations. We all work our tails off for our customers not only because they’re our friends and neighbors, but also because we know that their continued business feeds us and our families. We don’t take that responsibility lightly.”