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Stay Safe This Winter With These Tire-Care Tips

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Temperatures are starting to fall around the U.S. as winter is approaching soon. Unfortunately, many drivers wait far too long before they start to think about proper winter tire care. This can create a dangerous situation as slick roads can be very unforgiving. Be sure to read these tips for winter tire care before the harsh winter weather kicks in and pass them along to your customers!

Make sure your tires are properly inflated with a quality tire pressure gauge

Last year, we explained the direct relationship between temperature and tire pressure. For every 10-degree decrease in temperature, tire pressure decreases between 1-2 psi, meaning that if a driver last adjusted their tire pressure in 70-degree weather, the first cold wave of 30-degree nights can cause a decrease in tire pressure by 4 psi or more. This drop in pressure can seriously affect your car’s braking, steering precision, and cornering stability. On icy roads, that pressure drop can spell the difference between avoiding a collision and a serious accident.

Aside from the safety benefits, proper tire inflation improves fuel efficiency, decreases tire wear, and decreases the chances of total tire failure. Make sure to test often using an accurate tire pressure gauge.

Think about winter tires

When outside temperatures drop below 45 degrees, most tires will start to behave differently. Your average all-season tire will start to harden and lose grip when it gets cold enough outside for you to see your breath. Winter tires, on the other hand, are specifically designed to remain flexible and provide better traction and control in these conditions. Winter tires can deliver a 25-50% increase in traction over all-season tires, which could be just enough to prevent you from damaging your vehicle in wintery conditions and possibly even save your life.

Check the treads on your tires

If you’re using the right tires and they are properly inflated, but your treads are worn out, you are simply not safe. Tread depth is incredibly important to maintaining traction and improving stopping distance. The team at Tire Rack has proven through testing that “insufficient tread depth doubles your stopping distance.” They recommend replacing tires at 5/32” of remaining tread depth if sleet and snow are in your future and 4/32” if winter in your area brings rain and wet roads.

Some sources recommend testing your tread depth by sticking an upside-down penny into the grooves of your tire and replacing them if President Lincoln’s head is entirely visible. However, the team at Tire Rack recommends using a quarter instead.

Don’t tailgate and drive smoothly

While safe driving on tires that are not winter-ready can be very dangerous, so can driving unsafely on tires at are well taken care of. Always leave extra room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you – especially when the weather is cold. This will give you more time to react to your situation and provide more room for error. Accidents may be accidental, but many can be avoided by slowing down and providing yourself more time to react to potential hazards. The less aggressively you have to steer or brake, the less likely you are to lose traction.

How to increase gas stations sales with an Excel Tire Gauge digital air filling machine

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In these trying times, owners and franchise partners everywhere are searching harder than ever for ways to increase sales at their gas stations and convenience stores. While bringing in new customers is always a focus, one of the best ways to increase those sales is to improve customer loyalty and repeat business with the customers that already visit your locations. The simplest and most effective way to promote repeat business is to provide the best customer experience possible.

Customer experience can change with every interaction a customer has with your business, from filling up their gas tank to interacting with your staff. However, one of the biggest opportunities to improve customer service is to be there for customers when they are in need. And when customers need an accurate tire pressure gauge or air machine for tires, it is important to provide them with a smooth and efficient tire filling experience. That’s where we can help.

How do Excel Tire Gauge Digital Air Machines improve customer experience?

The answer is simple. Our digital air filling machines are some of the easiest air machines for customers to use. While some may be very vehicle-savvy, the average customer is not a mechanic or tire technician. So making the process as simple as possible will be very helpful to them.

To operate any Excel Tire Gauge product, all the user needs to do is attach the chuck to their valve stem and set the target PSI. The machine will automatically inflate the tire to within 0.5 PSI of the desired pressure. There is no need to pre-deflate the tire, check constantly with a car tire air pressure gauge, or shut the unit off as it reaches its goal. That ease of use will allow your customers to get more value from their time at your location, increasing their chances of making additional purchases and improving their overall experience at your gas station.

Paul Kaknes from K’s Gulf has seen the results of this firsthand. When we reached out to him for feedback, he replied: 

“I just got the first revenue share check and had to tell you that this is at least double what I was getting from my previous provider, and their check included both air and vacuum. I have been getting positive feedback from everyone who uses it. They tell me they go out of their way to come here for air.

If customers “go out of their way” to visit your location for an air filling machine when they need it, traffic to your convenience store or gas station will increase and with that, your sales will increase as well. With the additional option to add custom branded decals to your Excel digital air filling machine, our products will provide further positive exposure for your brand.

Which digital air machine is right for my gas station or convenience store?

When it comes to picking the right digital air filling machine for your gas station or convenience store location, we recommend the SC12-SS, the SC09-SS, or the SC05-SS. However, if you are looking for a wall-mounted air machine, we also recommend the WM-SS Wall-Mounted air machine.

For a full breakdown of each machine we recommend for gas stations and convenience stores, click here.

The NACS Show Goes Virtual as the NACS Crack the Code Experience

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Video courtesy of NACS

For the first time in its history as the premier trade show in the convenience store industry, the NACS show is going virtual as the NACS Crack the Code Experience which will run from November 2- December 4, 2020.

While the COIVD-19 pandemic is preventing large crowds from gathering, the NACS has adapted with this new experience with “A five-week digital experience and curated marketplace that connect convenience retail buyers and sellers from around the globe!” Guests will be able to register at: https://www.convenience.org/Events/Crack-the-Code-Experience/Registration

At Excel Tire Gauge, we’re hoping to add to the excitement of the event with exclusive promotions that will only be available at the show.

How it works

Participants will have 24/7 access to 50+ education sessions, hundreds of virtual booths/showrooms, fun virtual networking activities, interactive product showcases, and five spotlight sessions. 

Education sessions will be available via livestream and then streamed again as “encores.” Within a week of the “live” and “encore” sessions, viewers will be able to view recordings of each session any time they like until the end of 2020.

Spotlight Sessions will take a deep dive into major specific topics like Disrupting/Navigating Chaos, World-Class Ideas, Essential Strategies for Essential Businesses, Cultivating a Community Hub, and The Future of the Industry. You can click here to view the full spotlight session schedule.

If you would like to learn more about the event, visit: https://www.convenience.org/events/Crack-the-Code-Experience/Home

How to take advantage of exclusive Excel Tire Gauge promotions

As proud exclusive members of the NACS since 2002, we were sad to hear that the in-person show was canceled this year. However, we’re incredibly excited to network with convenience store professionals and learn more about new industry trends, and how that affects digital air filling machines, through the virtual Crack the Code Experience.

We will be offering exclusive promotions at the show for attendees only! Customers will have to attend the show and visit our virtual booth to find out how they can save big on our products such as care tire air pressure gages, digital air filling machines, etc. You can find our booth by searching “Excel Tire Gauge” in the show’s search bar.

During the show, customers will be able to purchase products air filling machines and accessories from the Excel Tire Gauge Online Store. Members of our sales team will be available online during the show to offer assistance and answer any questions you may have.

Drivers Are Neglecting Vehicle Maintenance During the COVID-19 pandemic – But What Does That Mean For You?

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Hankook Tire’s recent research shows that a lot of drivers are neglecting vehicle maintenance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, more drivers intend to perform their own maintenance moving forward. Here’s how you can turn that into an opportunity to drive sales for your business.

How the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting auto service industries

Research from Hankook Tire shows that 48% of Americans have delayed or canceled a vehicle maintenance appointment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, even more have not been performing routine maintenance like topping off fluids (73%) or regularly using accurate tire pressure gauge (70%).

“It is understandable that with restrictions in place this spring, many did not take their vehicles in for professional maintenance,” said Daniel Brown, Senior Technical Services Specialist, Hankook Tire America Corp. “However, as respondents said they focused less on maintaining their vehicles, this could lead to mechanical problems for many drivers down the road as research shows that Americans plan to drive more in the coming months. While some maintenance can be performed at home, a visit with a professional mechanic is often important to diagnose small issues before they turn into costly repairs.”

While this research may have negative implications for the long-term vehicle health of many drivers and the short-term health of the professional mechanic industry, it also displays a need for providing customers with do-it-yourself options in other automobile service industries – especially when it pertains to things like car tire air pressure gauges.

What does this research mean for your business?

Hankook’s data indicates that many drivers plan to perform their own maintenance moving forward, which will affect tire pressure and air filling habits as well. This provides some businesses with an interesting opportunity.

Research shows that 49% of Americans are now checking their own tire pressures and filling with digital air filling machines, rather than taking their vehicles to a mechanic. This means that gas stations, convenience stores, dealerships, auto rental locations, and tire shops need to provide customers with access to free self-service digital air filling machines.

For many businesses, the practice of offering free accurate tire pressure gauges has been an important part of the marketing process in the past. It provides customers with a free service while allowing technicians and mechanics to evaluate vehicles. Should the technician or mechanic notice any issues, it gives them a chance to sell new tires, parts, or services.

The problem with that strategy is that it typically requires customers to park, go into a waiting room, and speak to a mechanic or technician. In our current environment, many customers are anxious about unnecessary human interaction and are likely to avoid setting foot inside the shop if they don’t have to.

“As an industry, we need to think about what we can do to adjust to how people want things done,” Roger Audette, Director of Sales and Marketing at Excel Tire Gauge says.

The installation and use of self-service digital air filling machines like the SC05, SC09, and SC12, allows businesses to adapt to the new normal and take advantage of the opportunity to sell to the “do-it-yourself” maintenance customers.

For tire shops, this strategy allows customers to service their own vehicles while still positioning the shop to make sales. Should that customer notice issues with their vehicle, while using their own tire air pressure gauge or inflating their tires with digital air machines at gas stations, they will then be able to turn to that business for help.

In the case of gas stations and convenience stores, this works by providing customers with a accurate tire pressure gauge. This would improve foot traffic, provide the opportunity to sell more gas and other goods, and improve customer loyalty. Dealerships and auto rental locations can experience similar benefits as well.

To purchase a self-service digital air filling machine or learn more about our products, visit shop.exceltiregauge.com.

Excel Tire Gauge Launches New Online Store

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You can now order your digital air filling machine at the push of a button through our brand new online store! We understand that times are changing and so are your needs. That’s why we’re excited to roll out this incredibly fast and convenient program that will make it much easier to order Excel Tire Gauge products.

Our new online service provides gas stations, convenience stores, tire shops, fleets, auto rentals, and dealerships with the ability to instantly purchase digital air and vacuum machines, as well as accessories, online with 24/7 availability. Sales reps will be available to answer any questions during working hours and there is an option to leave a message if you need service outside of those hours.

Our store is easy to navigate, allowing customers to shop by industry or by product. If you’re looking for something specific and don’t know where to find it, you can click the magnifying glass in the upper right-hand corner to use our helpful “search” feature.

When you find the product you are looking for, you can click on the product to go to its product page. There you will see all of the available features and add-ons for that product from colors and custom decals to vacuum-machines, LED illuminated signs, heaters, air compressors, tire pressure gauges, and more! Valuable information like technical specifications, FAQs, and an overview of each product are available on each product page as well.

The store currently contains all of our available air machines and vacuum units as well as hoses and chucks. More parts will be added later.

We are excited to see where this innovation takes us and we look forward to the many ways in which we can help improve your customer experience. Visit shop.exceltiregauge.com to browse our online store today and make your first online digital air machine or accessories purchase.

We’re Celebrating Our 20th Anniversary

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This September, we’re celebrating the 20th anniversary of Excel Tire Gauge! After 2 decades of providing air filling machines, gauges, and service to the convenience store, tire shop, fleets/auto rentals, and dealership industries, we have come a long way. We’re thankful to have accomplished so much since the founding of our company and we could not be more excited for the future.

Giving credit where credit is due
First of all, we wanted to take some time to say thank you to all of our customers and our employees for helping to make these past 20 years so special. We simply would not have the top rated pressure gauges and air machines without all of your help and feedback. To our team, it has been an honor working with you and we can’t wait to see what we can accomplish moving forward. To our customers, thank you for all of your support throughout the years and for choosing Excel as your provider of digital air machines.

The celebration
We recently had a cookout with our team to celebrate this major milestone! We had a great time grilling, playing corn hole, and showing our appreciation for our team here at our Warwick, RI headquarters. We even made custom cornhole boards to celebrate the occasion. Congratulations to Matt Nelson for winning our tournament!

20 years of service
While we’re celebrating our 20th anniversary this year, the decision to bring Excel Tire Gauge to the U.S. was made in 1999 after our tire pressure gauges experienced early international success in Europe, Asia, and South America. In 20 years of operation, our currently-installed base of air machines is over 150,000 strong and still growing. With an unwavering dedication to quality and customer satisfaction, we have become the number one vendor of digital air filling machines across the United States. With the help of our team and support of our customers, we can’t wait to see where our next 20 years of service will take us.

See You At The FPMA Sunshine Expo

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IMPORTANT UPDATE:
We regret to inform you that the FPMA Sunshine Expo has been cancelled due to COVID-19.

While we may not be able to interact face to face at this show as we had planned, we would love an opportunity to network and speak with any current or potential customers virtually or over the phone.

You can click here if you would like to get in touch with us: https://www.exceltiregauge.com/contact-directions/ 

Our team is getting ready to visit the Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee, Florida from Monday, July 20 to Wednesday, July 22 for the Florida Petroleum Marketers Association’s 2020 Sunshine Expo and Conference. If you’re coming to the show, we would love a chance to meet with you and learn more about your convenience store or gas station. Please contact us if you would like to set up a meeting or stop by booth 518.

We’re looking forward to this event after missing out on three months of trade shows due to the COVID-19 crisis and we can’t wait to get back to networking with the passionate and dedicated professionals that will be at this show. This event is regarded as “Florida’s #1 Conference and Tradeshow for food, fuel, C-store, grocery, and beverage retailing.” With over 250 booths and education sessions displaying the latest in industry technology, products, and services we’re sure this is going to be a great event. On top of all that, the stunning Gaylord Palms Resort will be sure to make for a great atmosphere.

The Sunshine Expo is sponsored by some big names in the fuel industry including Motiva, Valero, Citgo, Federated Insurance, and Marathon. Education sessions include important and timely topics such as Pandemic & Food Safety, HR Role during the Pandemic, C-Store Operations during a Pandemic, and a Lessons Learned Panel.

Because there is still some concern over the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be sure to follow the show’s safety guidelines while watching out for the safety of our team and the safety of others. However, we are looking forward to meeting with new potential customers and catching up with old friends. 

A New SOP for Tire Shops During and After the COVID-19 Crisis

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As states and regions continue the slow process of reopening after the start of the COVID-19 crisis, many consumers are doing their best to avoid any unnecessary contact with other people in hopes of continuing to slow the spread of coronavirus. In a world where some people are postponing medical appointments to avoid these social interactions, how are tire shops supposed to increase their traffic? That’s where self-service air machines can help.

For tire shops, the practice of offering free air pressure checks has been an important part of the marketing process. This strategy provides customers with a free service while allowing tire technicians to inflate and evaluate the customers’ tires. Should the technicians notice any issues, it gives them a chance to sell new tires or services.

The problem with this is that it typically requires customers to park, go into a waiting room, and speak to a mechanic or technician. In our current environment, many customers are anxious about unnecessary human interaction and are likely to avoid setting foot inside the shop if they don’t have to.

“As an industry, we need to think about what we can do to adjust to how people want things done,” Roger Audette, Director of Sales and Marketing at Excel Tire Gauge says.

Lately, it seems that ‘how people want things done’ is with as little social interaction as possible. That’s why tire shops need to allow customers to limit human contact by providing them with a contact-less option for service. To do that, more tire shops need to provide customers with access to free self-service digital air machines.

The use of self-service air machines like the SC05 Classic Series allows customers to do things like check their tire pressure and inflate their tires quickly, easily, accurately, and most importantly… on their own.

Should the customers notice any damage or other problems with their tires, they will luckily be right in front of a tire shop, giving the shop the same opportunity to sell tires or services as they would with a more manual process.

This system provides both customers and tire shops with the same opportunity in a way that is notably safer. After all, COVID-19 does not spread easily from contact with surfaces, but it does spread easily between people according to the CDC.

Whether customers are COVID-concerned or not, using self-service machines to provide free air has proven to be just as effective as a marketing tactic. Wendel Burt, President & Owner of Burt Brothers Tire & Service Inc., explained the benefits in a recent Google Review of Excel Tire Gauge.

“We love our machines almost as much as our customers,” Burt wrote. “We do free air and people are loving it. Most places here charge. We have picked up a lot of new customers and tire sales from them. Our associates keep an eye out and assist and tell customers that we fix flats for free if this becomes a daily issue and customers love that too. It’s one of the best ways to advertise our business.”

If you are interested in learning more about the digital air machines that can help tire shops continue to improve their bottom line, click here!

If you would like to contact a sales representative for a no-obligation consultation, click here or email us at sales@exceltiregauge.com.

Top 10 Tire Safety Tips

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May 18-24 is National Tire Safety Week! When drivers think of the most important safety features in their car, they may think of seat belts and airbags, but safety truly starts where the rubber meets the road. That’s why we put together this list of 10 helpful tips to keep you safe when you’re out on the road.

10. Don’t overload your tires.

Packing too much weight into your vehicle can create excessive heat inside your tires which can stress or damage them. This can drastically shorten the life of your tire and possibly lead to a blowout. Make sure you are following the manufacturer’s load recommendation which can be found in the vehicle information placard inside your driver’s side door post or in your owner’s manual.

9. Know when your tires need to be rotated and make sure you follow through with it.

Rotating your tires can go a long way in ensuring that your tires wear evenly which can help them last longer and prevent blowouts. A typical tire rotation involves moving the front tires to the rear of your vehicle and vice versa. In most cases, this is recommended for every 5,000-7,500 miles. However, there are some exceptions. Make sure you check your owner’s manual to make sure you are following the recommended guidelines for your vehicle.

8. Know how old your tires are

This tip does not just refer to the mileage on your tires, but when they were made. It is required by law that manufacturers include a data code on the lower sidewall of every tire they make. The last four digits on that code indicate when the tire was made. For example, if the last four digits are 2516, that tire was manufactured in the 25th week of 2016.

If you can’t seem to find that code, it is likely on the inboard side of your tire. While this might make it difficult to check, it is still important to know as some manufacturers recommend replacing tires every 6 years – even if the treads look brand new! Consumer Reports recommends changing them every 10 years no matter what.

7. Make sure you have the right tires when winter rolls around

In 45-degree (F) temperatures and lower, all-season tires can start to stiffen and lose their grip. Winter tires will remain flexible in these conditions which can deliver a 25-50% increase in traction over all-season tires. That could be just the margin you need to prevent a serious accident, especially in slippery conditions.

6. Listen to what your tread wear is trying to tell you.

If your tires could talk, what do you think they would say? As it turns out, your tires can say quite a lot about your vehicle based on their wear patterns. If your treads are significantly more worn out in the center than on the sides, you are likely overinflating your tires. If your treads are more worn on the outsides, it signals that your tires have been underinflated. If you notice your tires are wearing out faster on one side or the other, or if the tire wear is sporadic, something may be wrong with your alignment or suspension.

Any time that your tires show signs of uneven wear, it simply means that your tire is not distributing weight evenly on the road which can lead to increased wear, shorter tire life, loss of traction, and poor gas mileage.

5. Check your sidewalls for damage.

Check your sidewalls often for any bumps, cuts, bulges, cracks, or other abnormalities. These are often a sign of weakness in the tire created by a bump into a curb, pothole, or other roadside hazards. If you see any sign of damage, you need to replace the tire as heat and friction from driving could lead to a blowout while you’re on the road.

4. Don’t neglect your spare.

It’s easy for drivers to inspect the tires that are on their vehicles and forget to check on their spare. Make sure you check your spare each month to make sure it is a safe option if you need to use it. It can be very dangerous to use a spare that is unsafe for the road.

3. Know when it’s time for new tires

In the U.S. and many other parts of the world, tires are considered to be worn out when their tread depth is worn down to 2/32″. U.S. law requires manufacturers to include easily-visible indicator bars that run from one side of a tread-design to the other. For added grip in slippery conditions, Tire Rack recommends that drivers replace their tires at 4/32″ of remaining tread.

2. Watch out for these signs that a flat may be coming.

In a best-case scenario, a flat tire can be an inconvenience. At worst, it can be dangerous. That’s why it helps to know the signs that a flat tire could be coming before it happens. If you notice low pressure that continues despite attempts to inflate your tire, damage to the sidewalls, bulges in your tire, or excessive vibration while driving, you should consult a mechanic or tire shop.

1. Make sure your tires are properly inflated!

Proper tire inflation provides better grip, longer tire life, and even better gas mileage. Both underinflating and overinflating your tire can lead to a loss of traction or total failure of the tire. Be sure to follow manufacturer recommendations which you can find on the sticker on the inside of your driver-side door jamb or in your owner’s manual to make sure you’re inflating your tires to the correct psi.

We recommend checking your tire pressure at least once each month as well as before and after long trips. Keep in mind that a number of factors can contribute to a change in tire pressure, including temperature!

We’re Offering a 20% Discount for Replacement Parts

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While many are being asked to stay home, healthcare personnel, first responders, delivery drivers, construction workers, and many others are still on the front lines, doing their best to keep us safe, healthy, fed, and well-supplied. Many of our customers also fit into this group of people who are essential to keeping our society running as close to normal as possible.

As members of the community, we are ready to support the people that sacrifice their own safety for ours. That’s why we’re offering a 20% discount on the price of retail parts for all of our products starting now through May 1, 2020.

While it’s not a cure, we want to do what we can to help. The men and women dedicating their lives to protect us during this crisis need reliable transportation now more than ever. With all that’s on their minds during the workday, the last thing they should worry about is not having a reliable air machine to fill up their tires at a gas station or tire shop.

We also understand that this may be a time of financial hardship for many of the businesses we serve. If price is currently standing in the way of repairing your business’s air machines, we hope that this helps.

Now is the most important time for repairs. With fewer drivers on the road, the demand for gasoline, vehicle maintenance, rental cars, or new vehicles may not be as high, but that won’t be the case forever. When this outbreak has passed and regulations are relaxed, we’re sure the first thing many Americans will want to do is go for a road trip. When the time comes, it will be important to make the most out of the spike in business.

We hope that day comes soon and that our entire community remains safe and healthy in the meantime.

Please click this link and fill out a contact form or contact your sales representative to receive your discount.