in certain climates and locations where the valve stem is frequently exposed to salt, sand, humidity or road grime.

it fuses itself to the inner wall of the valve hole and hardens in that shape to lock in air. When the tire is deflated for service, the hardened grommet can shift and not re-fuse properly, again causing slow air leaks. It is for these reasons that the general best practice is to replace aluminum service kits every time the tire is removed from the rim.

Rubber snap-in stems offer a corrosion-resistant solution for OEMs and some repair benefits for the aftermarket. In addition to being more resistant to corrosion, rubber stems have fewer parts and are arguably easier to install and remove. Rather than needing a nut to “clamp” it into place with a torque tool, a rubber stem is installed with a valve puller tool, and the stem is quite literally pulled through the valve hole of the rim to set it into place. Likewise, to remove the rubber stem, the technician uses the same valve puller to pull the valve completely out of the valve hole. No twisting, turning and breaking of corroded nuts.

However, although the rubber snap-in stem is more resistant to corrosion, it isn’t entirely damage-proof and should still be replaced each time the tire is removed from the wheel. The rubber on the stem can begin to dry out, harden, and in severe cases, crack as it is exposed to the elements, especially UV rays. A used rubber stem is almost always damaged during repair because the hard, dry rubber must be pulled through the rim hole completely to remove the stem. The stem usually cracks or rips as it is forced to fit through the valve hole. Although the tears and damage are not always obvious on the stem, there is enough damage to the stem to cause slow air leaks.

The best way to protect your driver from slow air leaks, and to protect your shop from costly comebacks, is to make it a habit to always change out the service kits every single time the tire is removed from the rim. Regardless of if you are using an aluminum stem or a rubber stem, there is usually enough wear and tear to justify a new service kit. In general, service kits are also relatively inexpensive, and the cost should automatically be included and considered a vital step in a TPMS repair service.

Jacki Lutz is head of global marketing communication and intelligence at Schrader TPMS Solutions and serves on a variety of industry boards. Most recently, she was named chair of the Auto Care Association’s Young Auto Care Network Group (YANG). Contact her at [email protected]

McCarthy Tire Service has expanded its presence in the southeast with the purchase of Piedmont Truck Tires, Inc. The company will continue to operate under the Piedmont Truck Tire name with the current president, Dan Rice, overseeing operations.

Incorporated in 1978, Piedmont Truck Tires says it has ten service locations– eight in North Carolina, one in Columbia, South Carolina; and one in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The company handles tire sales and service for commercial, industrial, off-the-road, agriculture, forestry and passenger vehicles, as well as automotive and heavy truck mechanical and repair services.

The company has also signed an agreem

Feb. 23—WILKES-BARRE — McCarthy Tire Service, a family-owned company and the fifth largest independent commercial tire dealer in the United States, has signed an agreement with LS Truck Tire Repair, Inc., to purchase five locations in the Philadelphia market and New Jersey.

The deal is expected to close in late March.

LS Truck Tire Repair offers commercial tire sales and service, drive-in service, wheel balancing, alignments, rim and wheel reconditioning, and 24-hour emergency road service. The company is led by Leandro (Lee) Lamounier and Horacio Ventura.

“We have the utmost respect for the accomplishments of these young, successful businessmen and the amazing success they have achieved in such a short period of time,” said John D. McCarthy Jr., president of McCarthy Tire Service. “We feel our combined forces will be the leader in customer service in the greater Philadelphia region. We are excited about the growth opportunities our merger presents. Our fourth-generation leadership team is already working with Lee and Horacio on a mutual vision for the future.”

nto the tire business on our own, John McCarthy and the McCarthy family were right there to support and guide us along the way. McCarthy was our inspiration then and our leader now. Today marks the beginning of another chapter. We are extremely excited — it’s a homecoming!”

Lamounier added, “We are very happy to join McCarthy Tire. With all the support that John McCarthy and the fourth generation provided to LS Truck Tire as business partners through the years, we are very comfortable joining the best in the industry. We have always valued our customers and teammates. As part of McCarthy Tire, we will continue to provide the best service to our customers as well as take care of our teammates.”

Story continues

Founded in 1926, McCarthy Tire Service is a family-owned and operated commercial tire dealer headquartered in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

The company has more than 60 service locations and 10 retread tire manufacturing plants along the east coast of the United States.

McCarthy Tire is the fifth-largest independent commercial tire dealer, the fourth largest retread tire manufacturer, and one of the top 75 retail tire dealers in the United States.

It offers tire sales and service for commercial trucks, industrial equipment, off-the-road (OTR) vehicles, agricultural and forestry equipment, and passenger vehicles; commercial fleet services; truck mechanical services; 24-hour commercial roadside assistance; retread manufacturing; and automotive mechanical services and repairs.

Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.

Shopping for clothes is starting to look very different than it used to.

The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of e-commerce, with online sales of apparel, accessories, and footwear hitting $180.5 billion in 2021–and estimates of the industry increasing to $295.7 billion by 2025, according to data from  Statista. That growth will likely be propelled by innovations that help consumers to shop smarter, more sustainably, and in a more personalized way.

Here are a few ways that companies are already transforming the fashion world through new digital developments.

1. Enabling virtual try-ons

More online clothing orders means more returns–that creates a serious sustainability problem, both financially and environmentally, says Whitney Cathcart, 55, co-founder of 3D Look, the San Mateo, California-based B2B A.I.-powered virtual try-on company. Founded in 2018, 3D Look allows online shoppers to create a custom avatar by submitting 2D photos. With their avatar, they receive customized fit and sizing recommendations. The goal, Cathcart says, is to help people to buy clothes that they know will actually fit and look good, even when there’s not a fitting room in sight. “We compute over 86 measurement points on the human body, and that becomes the basis for our size recommendations.”

Today, 3D Look has about 100 customers, including fashion brands like 1822Denim and Dickies, and has raised about $15 million in funding. The biggest challenge to growing, Cathcart says, is hiring more sales people and bringing on more customers. But she’s confident demand will only increase. “If you think about how we’re going to be shopping in a decade, we’re not going to be sitting on our computers, wondering what our size is–items will be served to us in 3D,” she says. “Digital transformation over the next five to 10 years will be mesmerizing.”

2. Helping brands assess demand

How do you avoid having a bunch of unsold inventory at the end of a season? Knowing exactly what your customers want and getting a better understanding of how to not over or under-compensate for demand. FashWire, a Seattle-based shopping app founded in 2018, aims to do that by gamifying the shopping experience for the customer. Users can discover clothing and accessories from over 400 global brands and designers and vote on whether they like them or not with buttons not unlike those you’d find on a dating app. The data pulled from these user interactions is shared with the designers on the site, who use it to better understand customer preferences, allowing them to drive conversion on their own websites. FashWire collects a 15 percent affiliate commission from purchases that are driven by the platform, and it does not charge designers to sign up.

FashWire also claims its technology makes for a better user shopping experience. “Our visual A.I. capabilities provide accurate recommendations based on past user behavior and interests, and we also utilize A.I. to continuously improve our search and discoverability tools across our platform,” says founder and CEO Kimberly Carney, 53.

3. Making shopping more personal

Shopping fatigue is something that 52-year-old Julie Bornstein, founder and CEO of San Francisco-based shopping app The Yes, has personally felt. The e-commerce veteran founded her company in 2018 to help customers find the clothing they actually want without having to sift through pages and pages of search results. Users take a style quiz when they sign up to the platform, and the more they interact with the platform, the better it understands their style, thanks to machine learning. The Yes features items from hundreds of contemporary brands, and only shows users items that are available in their size, among other qualitative characteristics. Basically, it results in a highly personal shopping experience. “We add about 500 attributes to each product that comes in from a brand’s catalog so that we understand the product,” Bornstein says. “Then, we use A.I. to understand the consumer.”

The Yes takes 25 percent from each sale on the site, and doesn’t require brands to pay sign-up or stocking fees–so it’s not quite a competitor for large retailers like Shopbop or Nordstrom (where Bornstein worked on e-commerce for five years). To date, the company has raised about $30 million.

4. Creating a more circular fashion system

Most people tend to wear a small fraction of their closet, says Nicole Kobilansky, 36, CEO and co-founder of the San Francisco-based fashion app, Storey. When she launched the app in 2021, her goal was to get people to rediscover the clothing and accessories they already own, while simultaneously making it easier for them to resell items they’re ready to part with. Users create digital versions of their wardrobes by manually uploading photos of items or using the app’s artificial intelligence capabilities to scan their email for online clothing purchases. From there, they can collage outfits, resell items, and post outfit photos, in which items are automatically tagged–giving users valuable data on which items of clothing they wear the most frequently.

The company raised an angel round while in Techstars in January 2021, and is currently raising pre-seed capital. Storey is pre-revenue, but Kobilansky is exploring different business models, potentially taking a cut of each resale that happens on the app, or recommending secondhand items from third-party reselling sites and taking an affiliate fee on those purchases. “This is a way for us to help encourage people to shop se

ent with LS Truck Tire Repair, Inc., to purchase five locations in the Philadelphia market and New Jersey. The deal is expected to close in late March.

LS Truck Tire Repair offers commercial tire sales and service, drive-in service, wheel balancing, alignments, rim and wheel reconditioning and 24-hour emergency road service. The company is led by Leandro (Lee) Lamounier and Horacio Ventura.

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