OGDEN -- Given any thought lately to your vehicle's round, rubbery, tube-like contraptions filled with air that get you from point A to point B?
A disturbing trend seen by local tire stores is that car owners are trying to push their tires way past their natural lifetimes, creating major safety concerns.
"Very few people want to buy new tires since it is one of those necessary evils, so they try to get just as much life out of them as they can, which is a huge safety issue," said Dave Henry, manager of the Les Schwab Tires store at 268 W. 12th St.
A lot of people these days are taking their tires for granted or simply not paying attention to their condition, especially dangerous this time of year when roads become wet and slippery, Henry said.
Every day, his service trucks are out helping someone with a blowout because the tires have no tread.
Employees at Les Schwab Tires understand that tires are not an enticing purchase, so the company offers a range of tire options.
"We like to have a tire that fits everybody's needs and budget," Henry said.
This time of year, he suggests consumers consider getting winter tires that are made to provide better traction.
A lot of consumers think their all-weather tires will hold up fine during the winter, but Henry said there is no comparison when it comes to wet-weather traction.
"It's like the difference between manual and power steering," he said. "Winter tires are compounded differently so that, when temperatures drop, the rubber doesn't harden. Instead, they stay soft and flexible, which gives you extra traction."
Sales and service technician Dave Albert sees the gamut of what customers are buying.
Even with the slower economy, he is seeing customers buy premium tires because their cost per mile ends up being cheaper or close in price to the cheaper tires.
"A tire that is guaranteed to see twice the amount of mileage doesn't cost twice as much," Albert said.
Premium tires may cost a little more up-front, but if customers are doing a lot of long-distance driving, premium tires will last longer, Henry said.
"You are buying a better product because the manufacturer uses premium rubber, steel and the latest technology to give it the best ride, best traction and best wear," he said. "Not to say the entry level is a bad tire, just more technology and money are going into producing the premium tires."
The 12th Street Les Schwab store is just one of many across the nation. Les Schwab Tires started out as a small tire store in Prineville, Ore., opened by Les Schwab in 1952.
The business has grown into more than 400 stores nationwide and has more than 7,000 employees.
This is a periodic series on businesses featured on the Utahfindit website. For more information about the website, contact Laura South at 801-625-4346 or email@example.com.
Les Schwab Tires
268 W. 12th St., Ogden
Manager: Dave Henry
Type of business: Offering new tires and services for brakes, alignments, shocks and struts, batteries and wheels