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Good Karma and Dora’s New Shoes

June 16, 2010

Too often in this world good deeds and positive events are pushed aside in order to discuss and publicize the more negative and sinister side of life.  It seems like the worse a thing is, the more attention it gets while our everyday heros and good deeds go unrecognized.   I’d like to take a moment today to underscore and applaud the actions of a local tire shop called, Wingfoot.  Tires, I realize are on the side of mundane, I mean, who really cares about tires, but I was so pleasantly surprised, I wanted to spread the goodness.

During my many months of research into RV’s prior to purchasing Dora, I learned a thing or two about tires…or at least I thought I did.  The most prominent point was the importance of replacing  RV tires not solely on the basis of the wear on the tread, but on their age as well.  Tires, I learned, should not be used for more than 5-6 years, no matter how many or few miles they had on them due to sidewall deterioration.  Armed with this information, I knew Dora would need new shoes since, although she only had about 14,000 miles on her odometer, she had been wearing the same ones since she came into existence. 

I shopped around town for places who provided commercial truck tires and came up with a few.  Even during my initial calls, Wingfoot stood out among the others due to their seeming genuine interest to help me find what I needed and offering me options to boot.  After some discussion, we decided to special order 6 new tires for Dora at the cost of just under $3000.00, installed.  Well, this was quite some time ago.  Turns out the delivery kept getting delayed and finally was delayed past the point of my first  trip, which is to Denali National Park this coming Sunday, 240 miles away. 

I expressed my concern about taking Dora on the road on her current tires and  Tom promptly suggested I bring her in so he could take a look at her and let me know if it was safe or if I should buy a set of in stock tires before the trip.  Now who knows a tire dealer who would tell a potential customer that her tires are fine just the way they are?  Anybody?  No one?  Well, I don’t either…that is, not until now.  I drove Dora over to Wingfoot, found Tom, and followed him out to conduct the inspection.  After taking a look at all her tires, he stood up and told me I didnt’ need new tires at all.  I couldn’t believe it.  I asked about the hard and fast rule I had learned about not using tires past a certain age no matter what and Tom proceeded to educate me.  This lesson took about 15 minutes and involved looking closely at my tires as well as going around back to look closely at several tires in various states of deterioration.  First he showed me a tire that was far gone as far as side wall cracks go, then a tire with much smaller and fewer cracks, but was still no good, and finally a tire with the smallest of cracks so fine, I would not have noticed them without being shown what to look for.    Not until you see this, he said pointing to the fine hairline cracks on the sidewall, do you need new tires.  (assuming of course the tread is still good)  Tom went on to say, “here’s what we’re gonna do.  I’m going to have Johnny over there give your rig an air service and we’re going to send you on your way.”  I asked about the tires he had special ordered for me and he waved me off saying he’d figure it out.  No cancellation fee.  No restocking fee.  Nothing but a free lesson on recognizing tire deterioration, a free air service, and best wishes for a fun trip to Denali.

Thank you Tom!  That’s $3000 back in the maintenance kitty to be used another day.  If any one finds themselves in Anchorage and in need of commercial truck tires, Wingfoot is your place.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. July 15, 2010 2:53 am

    I’ve had the same thing happen with Miranda and her shoes; tire salesmen refuse to sell me new ones!

    In Canada, Kal Tire is a great place to get an objective opinion on tires. Most recently, they adamantly refused to replace all four of the toad’s shoes.

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