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Sales reps prepare to get their tires kicked at Goodyear boot camp

AKRON, Ohio -- Goodyear has gotten serious about training its employees with its new Commercial Tire Academy Boot C...


Rocky Zucchelli (left) from Wingfoot Commercial Tire in Stockton, Calif., and Mike Stout from Wingfoot Nationwide Sales, perform a tire and wheel inspection during "boot camp" at Goodyear's Tire Academy.
Rocky Zucchelli (left) from Wingfoot Commercial Tire in Stockton, Calif., and Mike Stout from Wingfoot Nationwide Sales, perform a tire and wheel inspection during "boot camp" at Goodyear's Tire Academy.

AKRON, Ohio — Goodyear has gotten serious about training its employees with its new Commercial Tire Academy Boot Camp in Dallas, Texas. Tire sales representatives undergo a week of intense training at the camp to learn more about tire issues and how they affect a customers tire program.

At the academy, students get hands-on instruction, beginning with how to read a tire. Tire inspections can detect underlying tire issues and trends, such as under-inflation, irregular wear and excessive scrubbing of tread elements on the road surface. Students use that information to help determine causes, such as maintenance or driver issues, alignment factors or tractor configuration.

Scrap-tire analysis is another tool used by the school to help dealer representatives to understand whats happening in a fleets tire program. Every tire tells a story, said Roy Sutfin, Goodyears general manager for service. Salespeople, utilizing a fleet survey on tires in all wheel positions, scrap-tire analysis and Goodyear tire-tracking software programs, determine trends and potential issues.

Students also engage in filmed simulations with customers to hone their skills at uncovering a fleet maintenance managers problem area.

A sales representative needs to be a problem solver for the customer, Sutfin said. The solution might not be a new or different brand of tire. It might be better management of downtime and over-the-road repairs. Or an area of concern might be improper tire inflation or mismanaging retreads in the system.

Steve McClellan, Goodyears vice-president of commercial tire systems, said the Commercial Tire Academy is key to delivering that value to fleet customers. The sales person who calls on fleets becomes very important to Goodyear and the end-user. He or she has the tools available to put together and help administer a tire maintenance program that works, a roadside assistance program that is cost-effective and a process that tracks and quantifies tire performance so theyre running the best program possible, he said. Goodyears Commercial Tire Academy is another way were helping deliver the goods and services to our dealers and fleet customers.


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