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Retail Tire and General Service Technicians. What’s next, commercial tires? Should I make it a career?

Have you decided to make a career out of the tire or mechanical industry? I understand that servicing today’s passenger and light truck tires takes a significant degree of skills and experience. But, it’s unlikely that you will be in that job for the rest of your working life. I can’t think of a better stepping stone to a mechanic or commercial tire career. I will take you through what I believe is the best strategy if you want to pursue a career in tires. I’ll leave the mechanical angle for another conversation, although I think it’s a very viable option.

You have already mastered the nuances of tires and applications. You understand air pressure and its effect on the vehicle you are servicing. You know the importance of doing the job correctly. You know that mistakes can lead to unwelcome consequences, including injury or death to you during installation or to the vehicle’s occupants once it hits the highway. You know this, and it’s valuable when seeking to advance your career.

Some tire techs have the luxury of working for a tire dealer that services all types of vehicles and machines in the shop or at the customer’s place of business. But, many start and end their tire career in a retail shop that only services passenger and light truck vehicles. Again, nothing wrong with that, but are you limiting your chance to gain knowledge of the broader tire industry? There’s a lot to learn out there, but you’ll need to step out and accept the challenge. I know tire techs that have been doing tires for over 40 years who will tell you that there is something to learn every day. There are no limits to gaining knowledge and earning more income while servicing OTR, truck, industrial, aircraft, or farm tires.

There has never been a better time to advance your tire service career. Many commercial tire dealers are seeking to add techs to their team. Due to the booming commercial tire business and the lack of trained commercial tire techs, many dealers welcome the idea of hiring from the retail field and providing training to become commercial or OTR tire techs. Is it your turn?

If you play your cards right, you can be earning six figures in just a couple of years.

What’s required?

  • A dealer to train you
  • Maintain a clean lifestyle, no illegal drugs
  • Maintaining a good driving record – and eventually obtaining a CDL license
  • Being safety conscious at all times
  • A willingness to learn
  • Being a hard worker
  • Understanding the importance of a job done right
  • And lastly, applying for a position at a tire dealer that services commercial tires

So, don’t get trapped; go to work for a dealer that will teach you the tire business from the smallest tire to the largest. Take steps to learn the entire tire industry. There are tremendous opportunities for you and your family. Your brothers and sisters in the commercial tire industry will welcome and protect you.

Want to know more? Always feel free to give me a call; we’ll discuss your career ambitions and do everything possible to get you an opportunity. Or, drop me an email, I’ll call you.

Carl Koester – The TireJobs Company
Like to text, use – 301-371-2680

Is “The Personal Touch” Gone?

I make no bones about it; being a recruiter in today’s world is getting harder by the day. Indeed and Linkedin are getting more popular, employers might think, why would I need a recruiter? I can slap up a job posting and watch the candidate’s resumes fly in. I’m not here to direct my words towards employers today, I’m speaking to job seekers.

But first I need to tell you a funny story. I received a request from a large wholesaler seeking to fill an open position for a Tire Distribution Center Manager, an important position requiring a strong skill set and years of experience.

After two weeks, I had not presented to the employer with any candidates. The hiring manager called me to complain and said, “I have received over 100 resumes from a posting I placed on Indeed. I said, “how many have met your requirements”?

His response was, “none!” I suggested placing two postings if he was simply counting resumes.

I eventually filled the position two months later.

Here’s another one, an employer called me desperately seeking a Territory Sales Manager. I mean, they needed a person badly. I sent them a talented candidate, and they quickly made the hire. Here’s the catch, the person had already applied for the position on Indeed a month earlier and never received a response.

So, my point to job seekers is; you might find a recruiter helpful to get the attention of the employer.  Many times we have ways to cut through the process and present your qualifications directly to a hiring manager or, at a minimum, a person who can get you through the process quickly.  

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There’s Never Been a Better Time to be Unhappy with your Tire Job

Why, you might ask? We are presently experiencing an employee’s market and companies are working hard to acquire and retain talent.
My comments are referring to persons involved with management, distribution, sales and the installation of tires of all sizes and types. I do not have the expertise to comment on the manufacturing or engineering side of the industry. Maybe someone will make an educated comment referencing that segment of the tire industry.

So, there are more jobs than job seekers as of today, but not forever. I’ve seen some nasty employer’s markets where they were forced to reduce staff or make overall payroll cuts. Most of the time they had no choice, it’s market driven. The good news is, many tire companies and dealers have experienced healthy sales volumes and profits for all of 2018 and I expect that to continue for at least another year.
It just might be the perfect time to look around to see what’s out there. Are you undervalued? Asked to work with less than desirable facilities, inventory and equipment? Limited by your current company’s size and scope? Or maybe you just don’t see an opportunity to grow your career with your current employer.
Sadly, there are still pockets of depressed opportunities, especially in small towns. Should you stay or should you go?

Short story about me: I grew up in Pittsburgh and first started pressing industrial tires and then moved on to sales in both the steel and mining industries. Probably the best job I ever had! But in the late 1970’s the steel industry crashed after being crushed with steel imports from Japan. Seeing my income slowly erode I moved my family to the Washington, DC market. It wasn’t my employer’s fault, I enjoyed working there. But the trends in the steel industry were insurmountable. The point is, sometimes you must go to where the economy is working so that you can earn a better living. It hurts, but it’s better than being broke or at a minimum under-earning.

If you are a true tire professional, there hasn’t been a better time to evaluate your options before this window closes. Ask yourself, is this the best that I can do with my career? You just might be surprised, it is very possible you are at the right place at the right time. Or the opposite, only one way to find out, sniff around.
Final thought: The average age of the workforce in the tire industry is growing higher and higher. Thus, there will be opportunities abound for personal career growth for those eager enough to take advantage of the situation. Go for it!

Why Become an OTR Tire Tech

Why become an OTR or Mine Tire Tech?

First of all it’s very challenging! You’ll have a great opportunity to put your skills to work and earn more pay.
Great OTR Techs are becoming increasing hard to find. But that’s not an open door to getting a great OTR Tech job. . You need to do your part. Many forces from within a company and rigorous government regulations create a lot of strain on a hiring manager.
Why is that good news for you? If you are a qualified OTR/Mine Tire Technician you are in great demand. As the saying goes “The bigger the tire the small the workforce”. Companies can’t just run down to the local labor pool and make a hire. Credentials are required.
Let’s look at some of the reasons why you are a special person if you are qualified to be an OTR Tech.
DOT Regulations:
• You must be medically approved to drive the truck
• You must have at least a Class “B” CDL
• A 10 year reference check is required
• You must be able to pass random drug and alcohol testing
• You must understand the Federal Motor Carrier Regulations
• All combined you are required to be a certified truck driver before you even think about changing that first OTR tire.
If you would like to learn more please visit this website:
Wait a minute you say!
I know there are many very experienced Mine Tire Techs out there that do not have CDL’s. I know, I speak with them everyday. But, they are limited to working only in “off the highway” situations. They have no way of getting a large OTR tire to a site. These are very good high paying jobs but you are limited if you want to expand your horizons. If the mine closes….what are you going to do?

Mine Safety and Health Administration – MSHA
Back in 1977 congress passed laws to protect mine workers. You are now required to understand the safe operating procedures at a mine site. You will need to attend training and pass the certification test.
A current MSHA certification is a ticket to being hired.
For more information go to:

So, here we are and we still haven’t even gotten to actually changing a tire! You have to be a truck driver, MSHA certified and know how to change tires. Just what is that worth in compensation and the ability to get a great paying job?

Add it up!

A fully certified OTR/Mine Tire Tech can earn as much as $10 per hour above that of a Truck Tire Tech.
Who’s responsible for you getting qualified? You are! You need to do everything possible to keep your driving and criminal record clean. One DUI and you are out! You must seek out employers that offer OTR tire service training and ones that operate trucks over 26,000 lbs GVW so that you can take the driving test after passing the written test.

Get busy….there is serious money to be made in the OTR tire industry.

Job hunting, communicating and avoiding the “Black Hole”

What is the “Black Hole” and how do you avoid being there?
When the communication between the employer and the jobseeker have broken down. This usually leads to the jobseeker becoming dismayed and disgruntled.

After 14 years of operating The TireJobs Company I have learned a few things about the hiring process and the huge differences between employer’s practices and the jobseeker’s actions. The parties that communicate effectively definitely have the best results. This goes both ways.
You would think that both the employer and the jobseeker would have the same agenda. It’s just seems so simple. The employer has a need for talent and the jobseeker (right or wrongly) feels they are the person that can fill that need.
An employer receives information from the jobseeker and then decides to give them a call. The call goes great and both sides’ part ways to consider the possibilities.

Here’s the rub! Continue reading

No Reply?

Hello Everyone,
Many of you have heard me harp about the “slow” or “no” responses from employers within the tire business. I have been very curious as to if it is unique within our industry or more of an overall trend. I came upon this article by Karla L. Miller in the Washington Post Magazine last week. Karla responds to reader’s questions about workplace issues. I think you will find it to be very interesting and informative. It appears we are not in this alone. I would like to mention that I do have many employer clients that do a terrific job with communications.

@Work Advice: What’s worse than rejection? No reply at all.

By Karla L. Miller, Published: January 24

Reader 1: I feel like my job applications — both online jobs portal and direct e-mail submissions — are falling into a black hole. Only one organization let me know my application had been reviewed. Is this the way it works? How should I follow up?

Reader 2: I have interviewed for senior-level communications jobs — making multiple visits, giving formal presentations, and taking writing and personality tests. Many of these organizations turn down top candidates with a short, form-letter e-mail from a low-level HR person. Or, worse, they don’t communicate their decision at all. This inattention to basic courtesy is appalling and damages the organization’s image. What gives?

Read on…’s informative and will give you some guidelines.
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Slow employer responses? Yep, the new normal

Jobseekers – you are not alone!
Are you getting no or slow responses from employers after submitting your resume or after you have been interviewed? You are not alone and you should not take it personally. It seems there is a new “normal” going on in the hiring process. Read on to the end of this blog to see my interpretation of the new rules of engagement with employers and what you should do.

Let’s take a look at this for a minute.
You send your resume to an employer and there is no return email notifying you that your resume was ever received. Now you’re left to wonder if your resume ever got there. It’s kind of like sending a letter to Santa Clause. You know you sent it but did he ever get it? So you give it about a week and you start to get annoyed. You know you have the qualifications… so, why no reply? This is the new normal. Or, let’s say you have already had the chance to have your first phone interview. Wow, that interview went well! But, days and weeks go by and there is no follow up call from the employer. You are never informed that you didn’t get the job offer so now you are left to wonder if a hire actually even took place. Your interaction with the employer is left to what amounts to a slow death. It happens all the time.
This is not true for all employers. Many do it correctly and that’s the type of company you should be seeking to gain employment. Yes, there are still many good employers that follow a more professional and courteous set of standards.

So what’s going on???
Let’s give the employer the benefit of the doubt. It’s very easy for jobseekers to apply for multiple jobs, thus filling the employer’s inbox. Pity the poor hiring manager that is swamped with resumes. There are so many applicants that it becomes impossible to respond to all of them. I understand their predicament and we’ll give them a pass. Yep, it’s the new normal.
However I will not give employers a pass after they have conducted any part of the interview or made direct personal contact with you in any way. I’m not talking about a form letter response. They owe you a response such as an “up or down vote” or a “play me or trade me” type response. But, you didn’t get one….you are not alone. Yep, it’s the new normal

What do you do?
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Where have I been?

Where have I been? You might be asking yourself that question. Well, last year I was conducting a server conversion and I lost all of my blog content and the framework used to carry the articles and comments. I was really annoyed but I have to accept my shortcomings with regards to technology. A simple hit of the save button would have prevented the loss.  Technology……’s a love hate relationship to be sure.

That said, I’m happy to be back blogging about our industry.  I did manage to save a few of my old blog topics and I’ll be reposting them as the need arises.

During the coming weeks and months I will do my best to keep everyone informed with regard to the job market and trends that may assist you making a good career choice.

Two facts:

  • Every day I speak to a tire professional that needs a job or wants to make a career change
  • Every day I speak to an employer that is trying to make a good new hire that will add value to their company

What are the issues that make matching great companies with highly professional job seekers so difficult? If both parties want the same objective you would think things would go smooth. What’s wrong?

I will explore the dynamics that work against our objectives and try to explain how we can overcome these real or perceived hurdles.

I would welcome any suggestions or questions with regard to blog content. Do you have topic that you would like to discuss?  Just hit that comment button and we’ll see where it leads us.