SEMA Member News - July/August 2009
A Long Time Ago in an Office Not Too Far Away…
|Early on, SEMA and its Board recognized that a uniform “how to” wheel poster was needed to create an industry standard and advance installer awareness and public safety. To view and download a copy of The Poster, visit www.sema.org/wtc and click on the “Wheel Poster” link on the lower right side of the page.||
Okay, maybe not so long ago. It was about 2000. The Wheel and Tire Council (WTC), formerly known as the Wheel Industry Council (WIC), embarked upon one of its first major projects, the Wheel and Tire Installation Guideline poster (aka The Poster). Little did those brave souls know that this job would turn out be such an adventure.
It started off simply enough: Take all of the existing posters that major wheel companies had been using, updating and including with their wheels for decades and combine and streamline them all to make one super-duper, best-of-the-best, easy-to-read industry standard. We did that and, very proud of ourselves, presented it to SEMA.
Not so fast.
There were many issues that private companies—such as all of the authors’ companies—don’t need to take into consideration but a nonprofit trade organization, such as SEMA, must address.
For openers, SEMA had not ventured into an arena where it was actually publishing material that contained “how to” sort of information—potentially exposing itself to liability. But, to its credit, SEMA and its Board—recognizing that a uniform poster was needed not just by wheel manufacturers, but would also create an industry standard and advance installer awareness and public safety and (at that time) become involved with testing in conjunction with ASE—took a new road. WTC’s efforts and The Poster allowed SEMA to take a leap forward in the lengths to which it will go to serve its members. There was a lot of work ahead.
First, The Poster needed to be published in draft form to the membership at large with a request for comments. A collective groan rose up from WIC in SEMA’s second-floor conference room. It was heard all the way to the East Coast. When the comments were received, they were incorporated, and The Poster was circulated again. Another six months went by.
No. The Poster had to be run past the insurance carrier.
Some Select Committee members began talking to themselves incomprehensibly. Too early, as it turns out, because evidently SEMA’s carrier was okay with the concept.
We then had to meet with and get comments from related industries. At the time—when the council was WIC—our beloved brethren, the tire manufacturers and the tire installers and distributors, were not much a part of the council. We met with and received more comments from the Tire Industry Alliance and the Rubber Manufacturers Association. Turns out, they have posters and guidelines, too. But thank goodness for these folks and their willing participation. It was this collaboration, perhaps more than anything else, that sowed the seeds for the later change from WIC to WTC. Still, we would again have to incorporate the comments that applied, revise The Poster and re-circulate it.
A few Select Committee members ran screaming from the building.
We made the changes and, this time fearing for the mental well-being of the remaining members, held subcommittee meetings to complete The Poster. It still had to be circulated among and receive the critiques of wheel and tire sellers and installers. We did that and revised The Poster again.
Wrong. It still had to be run past “legal.” Fortunately, SEMA legal (i.e., Russ Deane and co.) were on it immediately and got right back to us.
Good news, we passed.
By this point, some Select Committee members who started with hair had much less. Whether this is attributable to The Poster or not is anyone’s guess.
To make a long story short, after two and a half years and an incredible amount of work, contribution, commentary, review and revision on the part of all facets related to wheels, tires, accessories and installation to make it the best it could possibly be at the time, The Poster was released.
Now the WTC proudly unveils the new Wheel & Tire Installation Guidelines, updated with additional information and diagrams, yet elegantly streamlined for ease in reading, in English and in Spanish, for use everywhere.
The Poster. Learn it. Know it. Live it.
To view and download a copy of The Poster, visit the WTC website and click on the “Wheel Poster” link on the lower right side of the page.