Mr. A told me more than once that his company van was driving funny. He said when he was carrying a heavy load of tools and materials, the van would be hard to control and would feel a little squirrely on the highway. You know, squirrely, that scientific term that means moving back and forth? He had no idea anything was wrong with the tires, but something wasn’t right. The tires were purchased in May 2010, and cost us $654.
As it happens, luckily for us, one of Mr. A’s customers used to own a tire shop. Mr. A happened to mention to him that the tires didn’t seem to act right with a heavy load. Now this van is a 15 passenger van, so it is built to carry a good deal of weight, not to mention it weighs 3.5 tons when it’s empty! Mr. White said he could get Mr. A in touch with a friend of his that could get him a good deal on a set of tires, but then he kneeled down to get a closer look at the tires currently on the van.
He turned to Mr. A and said, “You’ve got the wrong tires on this van. These are Class C, see right here? This tire is rated for a passenger vehicle, not a passenger van. What you should have on this van are Class E.” He then went on to explain how Class C has 6 ply while Class E has 10 ply. Mr. A was really glad to find out that he wasn’t imagining things and that the van had been difficult to drive. But then Mr. White went on to tell Mr. A that whoever put the tires on had basically endangered our lives because it was very possible that the tires could have blown due to carrying so much weight!
We never thought to check to see if the company put on the correct tires. I mean, who has to ask that question? Who needs to know that? Don’t we typically have faith in a tire company that they are going to know the proper sized tire and actually follow through with putting the right ones on?
When Mr. A heard that, he realized he’d better put in a call to the company who installed the tires.
He pulled the receipt out from the glove box and in looking over it realized that not only had the wrong tires been installed, but the company had actually put the right size tires on the receipt! We hoped that the company wasn’t trying to get one over on us by putting on the wrong tire. Either someone made a big mistake, or someone was trying to get one over on us.
With that information under his belt, Mr. A put in a call to the tire company. The store that installed the tires said there was nothing they could do, and besides they didn’t have the tires. Undaunted, Mr. A called another store, and again explained the gravity of the situation. This store realized that this was a major problem and they were very interested in helping Mr. A get the right sized tires. The manager was really nice. They replaced the tires free of charge. But then as Mr. A was leaving, the manager shows up with a blank disclaimer contract, and wants Mr. A to sign it. “Just in case.” “Just in case, what?” Mr. A wanted to know. Then he started reading over the fine print and he realized that maybe he shouldn’t sign the disclaimer. Just in case.
We do a lot of driving since we live in a rural area and have to travel often to the big city. It is important that our tires are in good condition. We check our tires regularly to make sure they are holding the proper amount of air. For one thing, tires with too much air or too little air will be ruined. You’ll wear your tread out on the outer walls or the inner tread. I know from experience, I did it once. Just once. Another time I didn’t realize I needed an alignment and ruined my front tires within just a few weeks time. These are costly mistakes as my tires cost as much as $100 per tire. I want to get all the mileage I can from them, and this saves me money in the long run.
Do you know the size tire that belongs on your car? I know I’ll be checking to make sure the right tire is put on from now on. Will you?