30 years ago, a 19-year-old came skateboarding down Lone Palm Avenue. He was headed for the worldwide headquarters of McCoy Truck Tire Service Center Incorporated. His long brown hair flowing in the wind behind, he had come to apply for a job in the retread shop. His best friend’s mom was a friend of the retread division manager. That manager seemed to always be looking for new helpers in the retread shop that could assist with preparing the built casings for cure.
Kevin started out “rimming tires”. In those days the process was cruder than it is now. Rubber bags were muscled over built casings, and then laid flat on the floor over ½ of a 100-lb. steel rim. The other half of the 100-lb. steel rim lifted over and into the center of the tire and locked in place. The assembly was aired up and checked for air tightness, and then hoisted back up to be cable lifted onto the chamber feed line. It may not sound like a back breaker yet, but you have to remember, they were doing this 77 times/shift in the summer!
He survived for 6 months or more and eventually went on to another machine. The 5110 Bandag Builder unrolled tread and calendar cushion out onto a prepared casing. The machine’s knife cut the exact-right length of tread and then the operator carefully spliced the end butts together with more calendar cushion. Between reloading the machine with 50 to 100 lb. rolls to precisely applying the tread down center line to splicing carefully without getting finger-oil or dirt on any bonding surfaces, not everybody can build. Kevin was able to and did so for 10 years; six in Modesto, and then Jim Barnick sent him to the company’s newly acquired franchise in Stockton.
When he went to Stockton, he and Joe K decided to model the new location after the training center in Muscatine Iowa. Somewhere in the time frame Kevin had had an opportunity go to Iowa for training for McCoy’s and did receive his Master Craftsman. In those days Bandag Training took place in Muscatine Iowa, where the company was headquartered and founded. Kevin recalls the rigorous homework schedule and outright commitment to protocol the teachers had in the Master Craftsman program: “You studied all night every night and you had to know your (stuff) or you were going to get humiliated.”
To imitate the training center, Kevin and Joe painted the floors and walls with graphite grey, white and a dark racing strip about tire-height around the room. The utility of the dark grey stripe is to hide marks that truck tires leave when leaned against the wall. Some of the other things Kevin did to prepare the retread shop for McCoy’s was install a brand new curing chamber. The brand-new Bandag 276A raised the location’s capacity from 1 to 2 chambers. They also put in an Olsen Envelope Spreader, no more neck exercises!
Kevin began to take on more and more responsibilities in Stockton, pioneering incorporating Nail Hole Detection scanning at the end of retreading process. Management during this period decided to promote Kevin to the position of foreman, and he ran the shop in Stockton for 4 years until his unique leadership talents became necessary in the Modesto Plant. In Modesto he managed and trained new-hires. Some of Kevin’s trainees went on to become account managers, managers, and even the President worked production under Kevin and learned enough to achieve Master Craftsman himself.
When an opportunity arose for a return to Stockton, Kevin again returned for some years of record-breaking tires/man*hour mass producing retreads for one of McCoy’s largest customers that leases trucks. When the long-standing landlord for that shop in Stockton was replaced for a new one with new vision for the property, again, change was in the works. For a period of 6 months as management struggled to find a new location in Stockton, Kevin and his crew worked a night shift at the Modesto Facility. Again, through Kevin’s leadership, McCoy was able to provide an uninterrupted supply of quality retreads to its customers.
Kevin and the Stockton crew came back to days 6 months later in the facility formerly operated by Wilson Way Tire Co. After relocating a few work stations, he and his team were able to continue their bench-mark productivity in terms of Tires/Man*Hour.
Kevin explains that central to McCoy’s success over the decades has been their commitment to quality and he is grateful to have had this opportunity to earn a living for the last 30 years. McCoy Truck Tire Service Center Inc. thanks you Kevin for your tireless contributions sharing your great talent with us! Thank you and congratulations on your continued success in retreading with McCoy’s.