A Day in the Life of a Tire Repair Technician

Ever since the invention of the wheel, humankind has been going places. People need to haul things from point a to point b and they try to do so as efficiently as possible, so they use wheels. 

However, one of the major issues of wheels was and is, wear and tear. While the constant rotation around a central axle was excellent for carrying heavy things or moving quickly, it meant that the wheel would slowly wear away over time. They wouldn’t wear away evenly either. A chip, a rock or simple uneven wear would make the wheel no longer round causing the expensive task of replacing something that wasn’t quite broken. What was needed was an expendable layer that would absorb damage, wear away and then be easily replaced at a much more affordable cost than a brand-new wheel. That is what a tire does.

Agriculture is an industry that includes a lot of transportation, and a lot of hours on the road. This adds up to A LOT of  tires. So, farmers need reliable tire repair technicians. Our tire repair technician goes by the name, “Paco” and he owns and operates Paco’s Tire in Underwood, Iowa. Also known as Jeff Andersen, Paco has a motto, “if it rolls we fix it”. He told me about his most unusual tire repair, a stroller tire.

“Paco” of Paco’s Tires

The tire shop is open from 8-5 Monday through Friday and Saturday mornings. People bring in all types of tires for repair and Paco sends service trucks out to the country if a fix is needed in a field. When I asked Paco what the most difficult part of his job was, he told me ordering new tires and coordinating the delivery of those tires. When people want their vehicles serviced, they want to be sure those vehicles are up and running again as soon as possible. Paco and his customers have to wait when delivery trucks run late, certain tires are unavailable, or companies are short staffed and can’t hire enough people to load tires.

Coordinating schedules isn’t the only problem when running a tire repair shop. This can be a dangerous job if a tire wall is weak, and the psi (pounds per square inch) causes an explosion. Paco uses a tire inflation cage when making repairs. One of the main reasons he uses a tire inflation cage is because most large truck tires are made out of different components that can fly out of the tire at high speeds. If a person is standing too close to an unprotected tire during inflation, he or she risks experiencing devastating injuries such as head injuries, cuts, and lacerations – which could be fatal. Paco trains his employees to watch and listen and be ready to protect themselves in case of a blowout.

On the job training is something a new technician can expect to receive once hired by Paco. He looks for people who have experience around tires and then spends two or three days having them watch how he works. The next days are spent working tires while a trained technician watches, taking up to two weeks before the new hire is ready to work on their own. Paco employs three technicians, a bookkeeper, and works on tires himself. He strives to be honest with his customers and deliver a high-quality product and reliable service. He has been working with tires since 1989.

Tire technicians repair and install tires on cars, trucks, and heavy vehicles. They mostly work for vehicle repair shops, tire stores, and dealerships. The duties of a tire technician include installing, balancing, and repairing tires for passenger cars and commercial vehicles. They may also be required to perform roadside assistance.

A successful technician needs to have good communication skills and be able to perform physically demanding tasks. Ultimately, an outstanding tire technician can work quickly and efficiently, while maintaining high industry standards.

As a tire repair technician and a small business owner, Paco is always working to set boundaries between home and work life, but here are some other Tire Technician Responsibilities:

  • Talking to the customer about any issues they are experiencing.
  • Inspecting and assessing tire tread levels, wear patterns, valve quality, and overall health.
  • Recommending appropriate repair treatment or replacement of tires.
  • Repairing punctures and replacing faulty valves.
  • Installing new tires.
  • Balancing tires and completing wheel alignment procedures.
  • Studding tires for snow use.
  • Retreading tires for tractors and other off-road vehicles.
  • Conducting inventory and maintaining equipment.
  • Conducting road-side repairs.

Tire Technician Requirements:

  • High school diploma or GED.
  • Good communication skills.
  • Proven work experience as a tire technician.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Extensive knowledge of tire patterns and material composition.
  • Ability to lift heavy objects.
  • Ability to work in a crouched or standing position for extended periods.

There are as many different types of tires on a farm as there are pieces of equipment. We have tires for tractors, sprayers, wagons, trailers, combines, semi-trucks and pickups, just to name a few.

Six foot tires on the boom sprayer.

Keeping the farmer rolling is a huge priority for agriculture. So to Paco, and to all of the other tire repair technicians, we thank you!

-Melanie

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