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Heartland interstate service company seeing tire shortage

Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 6:06 PM CST
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MARION, Ill. (KFVS) - We have told you about the shortage of truck drivers and delays in shipping, now companies face a new challenge: getting the tires they need to keep their fleets on the road.

“We have to work extra hard, more so than we ever had too before,” said Shawn Hughes, operations manager at Vernell’s Interstate Service.

According to Vernell’s operations manager, a shipment they used to get in a day now sometimes takes them a couple of weeks.

“What we used to do, we’d walk through here and we’d do our tire orders, no big deal, and continue on with about our day. It’s turned into I have at least three people all day long, that’s what they do, is track them down and we send our equipment out, or our people to go find these tires to provide for our customers,” said Hughes.

He said the tier 1, name-brand tires are the hardest to find; and even the cost of tires is increasing.

“Your average tire is going to be anywhere from 20 to 50 dollars more than what it was a year ago,” said Hughes.

He said if you need to replace tires in the near future, you should start looking now.

“Then you need to contact your suppliers and tell them you want them now. You may not be putting them on, but you may want to get them now, if you’re prone to that one specific brand of tire,” he explained.

Hughes said no one single issue is to blame for the tire shortage.

“We believe that it’s all related to the lack in work force, the shipping cost and the problems there, it’s the perfect storm,” he said.

Vernell’s reminds drivers that tire rotations and proper inflation can extend the life of tires.

To make those shortages worse, trucking companies who deliver tires and other essentials across the country are having a hard time finding workers.

Vernell’s has also made the trip as far as Romeoville, Illinois to pick up a load of tires.

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