Wherever the Road Leads

Tars

When I bought my truck, I was thrilled that it had Michelins on it. The previous truck had wore out its first set of Good Years and I had priced replacement tires. Michelins were more money than my Scottish pocket book was willing to bear, so I knew just how much they cost.

After just two years and 35,000 miles of driving this current truck, the tars were about done. I drove down to the dealership where I bought the truck to express my dismay. All the Service Manager did was quote me the going rate on a new set. Even my neighbor, who is a Service Advisor at a dealership for furrin cars told me that the quality of tars that the manufacturers ship to the car companies isn’t as good as the quality they ship to a retailer. Say what??

I love the internet. I managed to find someone who had been in a similar situation – unsatisfied with the life of his Michelins. I followed his advice and drove to a nearby Michelin tire dealer, Kauffman Tire in Loganville, Ga. I was armed with all my service records, every oil change and tar rotation at the same time. I had the telephone number for Michelin Customer Service and I plead my case.

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The Kauffman guy examined my tars to confirm that there had been no abuse and that all four were evenly worn. He got on the phone to Michelin, located a hundred miles up the road in Greenville, South Carolina. After he spoke with the rep for a while he passed the phone to me and I had the chance to sell my case. My pitch was one of disappointment… I finally had the best tars in the world on my truck and they had let me down. Could this guy help me out? My momma taught me that you catch an awful lot more flies with honey than you do with acetic acid. (Though she called it vinegar.)

Michelin gave me 33% off a new set of better tires, ones with a 65,000 mile guarantee. New tars, tax, tar disposal, valve stems, balancing and dinner at the Ruby Tuesday next door, I was fat and happy out the door for $600. Michelin, what a great company.

Until a few months ago, that is. Michelin, the crowd of bums, cain’t make a light truck tar to save their lives. Now, I’m at 70,000 miles on my truck and the second set of Michelins are plum wore out. 35,000 miles on a set of tars guaranteed to last 65,000. There’s no way I’m pulling this trailer back from Moonshine Holler in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina with these tars, let alone winter in Canada this – and hopefully the last – year.

So this morning, it was back down to Kauffman Tire again. In the meantime, though, I had had a conversation with a Service Advisor at my local Ford dealer. I recognized this guy as he used to be a part-owner in the Good Year – Michelin tire store where I used to get all my oil changes, plus he had sold me my second set of Good Years on my previous truck. He explained that Michelin struggles to make a light truck tire that lasts. Except for – naturally – the top of the line tire, the LTX M/S 2. Kauffman list price – $226 ea.

I told him my story. The store was busy but he told me he’d get on it right quick, have a coffee and a seat and watch Atlanta morning television. What trash on TV. Lord have mercy, no wonder I quit watching anything but Alabama football and Netflix. Atlanta morning television is sponsored, almost in its entirety, by Ambulance Chasing Lawyers.

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I watched a good part of The Wendy Show. Have no idea who she is but she seemed to know everyone, including the Kardashians. I wonder if she knows why they’re always in the spotlight. What have they ever done to deserve it? Anyway, Miss Wendy entertained us with an accent that was a refined half-Jersey and half-ghetto, everyone in the audience understood her and cheered.

Mr. Kauffman, true to his word, came to fetch me and save me from yet another Miley Cyrus embarrassing herself story. He saved me a lot more. Purposely mis-interpreting what Michelin offered, he gave me half off the new tires ($226 ea), instead of half back from the old set ($160 ea). He has to order them in but tomorrow when I go back, I’ll be out the door, tars, tax, balancing and valve stems for about $525.

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Ruby Tuesday, here I come.

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