The winners are:
2010 Rising Star of the Year – Eastern Zone
Carl Burry, Kyley Burry & Danny Simms
OK Tire Gander, NL
2010 Rising Star of the Year – Western Zone
Allan & Kyla Salmond
OK Tire Meadow Lake, SK
2010 Regional Store of the Year – Atlantic Region
Norma & Rod Hussey
OK Tire Fredericton, NB
2010 Regional Store of the Year – Quebec Region
Aline Albert & Denis Albert
OK Pneus Chomedey, QC
2010 Regional Store of the Year – Ontario Region
George & Quentin Kean
OK Tire Barrie East, ON
2010 Regional Store of the Year – Prairie Region
Brian Polowick & Tim Buist
OK Tire Sylvan Lake, AB
2010 National Store of the Year
Blair & Heidi Martin
OK Tire West 3rd
“Being the largest independently owned tire retailer in the country means our dealers are our business. It’s important to acknowledge their efforts and encourage their continuous growth and success,” says Greg Sims, OK Tire President and CEO. “We see awarding our top dealers as a way of empowering them to work hard to exceed customers’ expectations and we’re excited about the examples this year’s winners are setting for our entire dealer network.”
For more information, please contact:
President and CEO
Since 2009, the Surrey based retail chain has offered an annual prize of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) to a student in the Automotive Service Technician Program. The scholarship is open to BC residents and is selected by faculty on the basis of dedication to the profession, strong career potential and financial need.
It is an opportunity to encourage future automotive specialists to continue their training. “A fundamental part of our vision and operating principles involve encouraging employees to advance through further training and education.” Says Greg Sims, OK Tire President and CEO. “We see supporting Kwantlen students with scholarships as a perfect match. These bright and dedicated students are our future dealers and technicians, and we are happy to support their education.”
For more information, please contact:
President and CEO
|by Jenn Sharp of SP Creative Services|
Don’t be fooled this year; just because your tires are labeled all-season doesn’t mean they are adequate for handling Saskatchewan winter road conditions!
New all-season tires provide moderate traction on ice and snow but as they wear, their grip diminishes. “Winter tires are made from a different compound and design,” explains OK Tire manager George Hrapchuk.
“The rubber on these tires is softer and gives much better traction on ice and snow.” The rubber in all-season tires begins to lose elasticity as the temperature drops. The softer rubber compounds of winter tires maintain their grip in temperatures far below freezing.
The Automobile Protection Association (APA), publisher of the Lemon-Aid new car buyers’ guides, is dedicated to promoting consumer interests in the marketplace and strongly recommends using winter tires on your vehicle.
According to their website, “one should never underestimate the importance of tires. They provide the only link between your vehicle and the road… and are largely responsible for the occupants’ safety under braking, acceleration and cornering.”
Hrapchuk agrees: “A true winter tire is what you want for increased handling on ice.” He guarantees that “if you’ve ever driven without winter tires and then try them out, you’ll never go back to all-seasons. Your car’s stopping and turning ability is unbeatable.”
It’s probably not something you want to think about right now but winter will be upon us soon and with it, snow-covered and icy highways. The tires on your vehicle can make all the difference between whether you wind up at your destination or in the ditch.
Hrapchuk explains that increased performance on the highway is just one of the many benefits of dedicated winter tires. “There’s definitely situations where everyone is doing 30 km/h. When you can pull out on the highway and safely travel at 80 km/h, you know you have the right tire for the job!”
When is the best time to install winter tires? If you answered “around the time of the first snowfall” you’d be wrong. Hrapchuk says “now’s the time to do it… people often wait until the last minute and then panic during the first snowfall of the year.” He explains that the temperature is cold enough for winter tires and driving with them before it snows won’t reduce their effectiveness.
Once it warms up to about plus 10 in the spring (usually around mid-April) he recommends switching to all-season or summer tires. “Winter tires will wear even faster in the heat, meaning you’ll have to replace them that much more often,” he says. By having two sets of tires, which you can rotate through the seasons, you’ll be prepared for anything the weather can throw at you and save yourself money in the long run.
OK Tire professionals will ask you questions regarding your expectations of the product, the type of driving you do and how long you expect to own your current vehicle, to ensure you receive the best tire. They will walk you through the different brands of winter tires available and help you make the right purchase for your requirements and budget.
Improperly mounted tires can cause wear problems and shorten the life of your tires. More importantly, a tire and wheel assembly not properly mounted could come apart with explosive force, causing bodily injury and vehicle damage.
OK Tire will mount your new tires properly and can even store your summer tires if you lack the space. Hrapchuk offers this service for senior citizens and for those who live in condos or apartments. The best place to store tires is in a garage or shop because exposure to sunlight will cause the rubber to wear prematurely.
Look for the pictogram of a snowflake inside a mountain on all winter tires offered in Canada. The symbol means the tire is approved by the Canadian Rubber Association (CRA) and conforms to performance requirements regarding traction in snow. The symbol also means that the tire is specifically designed for driving on snowy conditions. The CRA standard does not currently include a test for traction on ice.
Visit any one of four Saskatoon OK Tire warehouses, located at 301A – 22nd St. W., 1916 – 8th St. E., 610 Circle Dr. E., 2615 Faithfull Ave., or in Warman, at 501 Main St., to talk to one of their tire professionals.
WINTER TIRE TIPS:
• Winter tires have an aggressive tread design that provides a better grip while throwing off snow and slush, providing more stability when braking and better overall vehicle handling.
• Install four winter tires to help maintain stability and control of your vehicle.
• Do not mix tires with different tread patterns, internal construction and size.
• As a tire wears, snow traction is reduced. Replace tires that are worn close to the thread-wear indicators.
• Proper air pressure extends tread life, improves safety and reduces fuel consumption. Tire pressure decreases as temperatures drop, so check it once a month.
–Car Care Canada
By Gerry Bellett, Vancouver Sun November 19, 2010
“If involved in a collision and [you are] deemed to be more than 25 per cent at fault, it will impact your insurance premiums,” ICBC spokesman Mark Jan Vrem said, “so the wisest course of action is to ensure your vehicle is equipped with the proper tires.
“Police can also ticket [drivers] for having improper tires or not using chains,” Jan Vrem added.
The snow Thursday and today was expected to fall mainly at higher elevations, but on Saturday there is a chance of flurries across the whole Metro region. Whatever falls is likely to stay on the ground: The forecast called for three cold, sunny days starting Sunday, and then more snow on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, an Angus Reid poll done for Canadian Tire — ’tis the season to be jolly for tire stores — suggests many of us are not ready for winter.
While 48 per cent of B.C. drivers said they were fully prepared to face the snow and ice, only 26 per cent had installed winter tires by early November, the poll found. Some 46 per cent of drivers admitted they were not planning to install winter tires at all.
Those who still had to mount winter tires were clogging the installation bays of tire stores throughout Metro Vancouver on Wednesday.
“It’s really busy now,” said Nason Higinbotham, manager of OK Tire at 1516 West Third Ave. in Vancouver.
“If people are buying tires we can fit them in, but if someone just wants to change tires the chances are we won’t be able to do them until Friday,” Higinbotham said.
“During the past month, we did reminder calls to all our customers telling them to get their tires changed. About 50 per cent came in right away. The other 50 per cent are driving around with tires in their trunk looking for someone to mount them.”
As for the availability of winter tires, Higinbotham said there was a good supply of popular sizes, but motorists driving specialty vehicles such as Land Rovers or large BMWs might have to wait until they are ordered in.
For safety and liability reasons, OK Tires, and other large tire retailers, will install only a complete set of four winter tires, not just two, he said.
“Transport Canada, ICBC recommends four winter tires. Some customers want just two, but we won’t install less than four because if someone has an accident and it’s shown it was because they only had two winter tires, we could be held liable.
“It’s a big misconception that you only need winter tires to get you going,” he added. “The reason you need winter tires is to stop the vehicle in winter conditions. It’s a matter of safety.”
Jan Vrem said drivers are responsible for ensuring their vehicles are properly equipped for road and driving conditions, but failing to do so probably won’t void their insurance.
“Driving without winter tires will not void your insurance in the event of a claim,” he said. “Driving without proper winter tires may not be the wisest or safest decision, but it does not affect a customer’s eligibility to make a claim and it does not void the driver’s insurance.”
The Canadian Tire poll found B.C. drivers have some innovative ways of coping with winter.
About 18 per cent of respondents admitted using cat litter to gain traction on ice, while 25 per cent use a credit card to scrap ice off windshields, and 38 per cent load their trunks with sandbags to prevent fishtailing.
Fifty per cent admit to throwing snow on the windshield to clean it off, while five per cent cover their windshields with a blanket when they park outside so they won’t have to use a snow brush later.
Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Slap+snow+tires+here+comes+winter/3852813/story.html#ixzz15mD2tKon]]>
By Gerry Bellett, Vancouver Sun November 19, 2010
Higinbotham said there’s confusion among drivers about what tires should be fitted for winter driving, with some thinking their all-season treads will do.
“There’s a big difference between all-season and winter tires,” Higinbotham said. “On winter tires, the rubber compound will stay soft below 7 degrees C. All-season tires remain hard below that temperature and won’t grip as well.”
In recent years, tire manufacturers have come up with a compromise tire — the all-weather tire — which is softer than all-season but not as soft as a snow tire and is rated for driving in snow.
“Vancouver is a classic market for that type of tire. But for anyone planning to go to Whistler every weekend, the snow tire is recommended,” he said.
Higinbotham said drivers should check the side walls of their tires and look for the three peaks and snowflake symbol that shows the tires are rated for snow.
“The old M&S symbol — mud and snow — isn’t good enough,” he said.
Snow tires have soft rubber treads and if they are not removed after winter, they will use up half of their tread life in a single summer’s driving, he said.
An all-weather tire should last about 80,000 kilometres.
Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/difference+between+season+snow+tires/3852817/story.html#ixzz15m9lrGZs]]>
“Tires are a critical piece of safety equipment,” says Greg Sims, President and CEO, OK Tire. “We encourage drivers to talk to a tire technician to ensure they have the right tires to meet their need. All season tires are best for vehicles that are not driven in winter conditions.” According to the Rubber Association of Canada, modern winter tires offer 50 per cent more winter traction than all season tires.
Drivers who don’t switch out their tires when seasons change also have a second alternative to winter tires. The all-in-one tire with the snowflake and mountain symbol meets traction requirements for snow and is recognized by Transport Canada and the Rubber Association of Canada.
“The all-in-one tire is a good alternative for drivers who don’t install winter tires,” says Sims. “Drivers can leave all-in-one tires on their vehicle year-round and, while they’re not as effective on snow as winter tires, they’re still a good option for people who may rely on all season tires in winter conditions.”
While tire options may seem overwhelming to some, a tire service technician can help drivers to determine which options best meet their needs. “Durability and traction are just two considerations, a technician can also help you understand your options in terms of ride comfort, fuel efficiency, and appearance,” says Sims. “In recent years, we’ve seen advances in technology and there are more tire options available than ever before.”
Drivers can also take other simple steps to stay safe in winter months. Checking tires for signs of wear each month is a good habit, and using a gauge to check tire pressure anytime the temperature changes more than 15 °C will reduce the risk of under-inflation. Under-inflation is the most common cause of tire failure and can lead to accidents caused by poor braking, steering and acceleration.
For more information:
Transport Canada, the Automobile Protection Agency and Rubber Association of Canada produced a series of six short videos to demonstrate the importance of winter tires. The videos are available on YouTube and can be found by searching for “Winter Tire Demonstration” (See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P03wqClnq-0&feature=channel for module 1).
Achieving an index score of 902 on a 1,000-point scale, OK Tire performed particularly well in the areas of work quality and customer orientation – two of the most important drivers of customer satisfaction for automotive services.
“Naturally we’re extremely happy with the news. The results of the study are an objective confirmation in regards to the efforts our owners have made over the past year to ensure we earn the trust our customers place in us” said Greg Sims, OK Tire President and CEO.
According to J.D. Power and Associates, satisfaction with the service experience is essential to increasing customer loyalty, which can have considerable impact on the bottom line for a service establishment.
The J.D. Power 2008 Canadian Customer Commitment Index Study is based on responses from 17,114 owners of 2- to 12- year-old vehicles. Vehicle owners were surveyed between December 2007 and May 2008. Overall customer satisfaction with their vehicle service provider is determined by examining five key factors: appointment/check-in, service advisor, work quality, after service and customer orientation. For more information on the survey visit www.jdpower.com.
For more information about OK Tire, please contact:
President and CEO
O.K. Tire Stores Inc.