An Interview with Anthony Ableman, TIAA Certified Instructor, Director of Operations at All Tire Supply LLC, Houston, Texas (www. alltiresupply.com)
Anthony’s background and experience in the tire industry
Anthony is the second generation in the tire and wheel industry with a specific concentration in tire repair and tire and wheel service. He is a Tire Industry Association (TIA) Certified Advanced Instructor for Automotive Tire Service. He have also completed internal training programs from our suppliers on tire changing, tire repairing, wheel vibration, wheel balancing, TPMS, and vehicle lifting.
PART 1/3: INTRODUCTION TO TPMS
What TPMS means and what it is
TPMS is an acronym that stands for Tire Pressure Monitoring System. It is a system by which a vehicle monitors tire inflation pressure. There are a couple of ways to go about this. The first and overwhelmingly more common and more accurate system is called “direct monitoring” whereby individual sensors are installed inside the tire and wheel assembly so that the sensor can periodically monitor inflation pressure. The other system is “indirect monitoring” whereby a sensor in the ABS is used to monitor individual wheel speed thereby inferring inflation pressure.
Why TPMS should be on every Tire Store Owner’s radar?
TPMS should be important to every retail tire store owner because it is the one of the newest parts of the tire industry and customers are still not familiar with TPMS. Vehicle drivers are hungry for information and the tire retailer is the first real place that TPMS service should be introduced to the customer. There is a large potential for shops to make revenue. The other reason this should be of importance to owners is that it is an opportunity for them to offer the same (and often times better) service that national chains offer. TPMS should be on every shop owner’s mind because s/he should be learning about it. I have seen that those owners that take the initiative with TPMS and are positive with it do wonders; those that echo the grumblings in the industry of the early days of TPMS about how difficult it is shut off their customers as potential revenue streams and are filling the coffers for their competitors that do offer the service. It’s very rare that when you send the business down the road, it comes back for another service.
TPMS is clearly important as an industry standard, and safety device. What percentage of tire stores are equipped and trained to offer TPMS services to their customers?
From personal experience, seeing and training tire shops and service facilities on TPMS, I can say that I would say about 80% of facilities are not equipped to handle TPMS related service. That, however, is a biased number - very few people that are equipped to handle TPMS service will call for a “refresher” course or ongoing training, that’s why I’m called to assist people just getting into TPMS. My personal experiences aside, though, there was a proper study published in Modern Tire Dealer where Schrader, who is by far the industry leader in TPMS, said that 88% of shops were performing TPMS related work. Those numbers do consider large chains of tire retailers; my experience is predominately with local, independent installers or companies with 5 locations or less.
Look out for Part 2 of 3 Part Series...
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