Modern Tire Dealer

JUN 2018

Magazine for the professional tire industry

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41 w w w . M o d e r n T i r e D e a l e r . c o m S p e c i a l t y T i r e s W h e n J o h n D a v i s opened his tire store on July 1, 2010, he knew there was a gap in the Chicagoland tire and trailer service market. Davis, who goes by JD, set out to fill it. By 2014, he had created a success- ful business niche. Today, JD's Auto and Trailer Repair in Lily Lake, Ill., specializes in servicing all varieties of tow-behind trailers and selling trailer tires. A PASSION FOR TRAILERS Davis' passion for trailers and tires goes back to his childhood. From an early age, Davis was mechanically inclined. He loved everything related to building or operating machinery, vehicles and trailers. His enthusiasm was encouraged by his father, Jim Davis (JD Sr.) who owned and operated JD Trailers & Hitches Inc. in Carol Stream, Ill. From 1968 to 2002, JD Trailers & Hitches was the largest retail hitch facility in the Chicagoland area selling and installing trailer hitches, electrical systems, trailers and snowplows. Growing up in the family business spurred Davis' interest in trailer and automotive service work. Unfortunately, the senior Davis retired before his son graduated from college. John Davis never had the opportunity to officially work in the family business like his three older siblings. Davis attended Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., where he received a bachelor's degree in business administra- tion, with a concentration in marketing, in 2004. Upon graduation, Davis wanted to pursue his interest and follow his automo- tive roots. He accepted a position with an independent, multi-location tire dealer. Davis was quickly promoted to assistant manager and then manager of his own loca- tion. During this time, he gained extensive tire knowledge and expertise through seminars and workshops as well as daily sales and service experience. He le the first tire dealer for another independent tire dealer closer to his fiancée, Manda, in 2007. ey were wed in 2008 and moved back to the Chicagoland area in late 2009. By this time, Davis was ready to make the vision of his own shop a reality. Davis believed he could use his tire, trailer and automotive expertise to execute his business plan. "I knew I could create a unique trailer service business by spreading the word that there is a shop providing top-notch service along with trailer and tire knowledge from actual experience." Real-world experience servicing trailers was a significant advantage for him. "Most of the places claiming trailer service as an offering are sellers of trailers and offer service simply to comply with their trailer manufacturers' agreements," explains Davis. At first, Davis provided automotive repairs and passenger tire sales along with trailer service. He worked for four years carving out his specialized niche. Today, JD's Auto and Trailer Repair is devoted solely to trailer service and employs two service technicians, a full-time sales person and Davis. 'You've got to pay to play' Ann Neal By TIPS FOR SELLING TRAILER TIRES AND TOWING SAFETY TO CONSUMERS The horse trailer and the flatbed trailer are at JD's Auto and Trailer Repair for their annual general service. The vehicle is in the shop for installa- tion of a hitch and electrical system. The vehicle is connected to a test panel, which simulates a trailer, to verify proper electrical function of the newly installed plug.

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