Driving Risks: Autumn in Minnesota

Deer on the road driving risks mn in the fall

Deer & Other Wildlife

It’s hunting season and there are unique driving risks in Minnesota due to everything from turkeys and pheasants to deer and coyotes being on the move. In addition to being hunted, their feeding and hiding grounds (corn fields) are being harvested which forces them to move. Be alert at all times. Make sure your tires, brakes, and headlights are in great condition.

Rain Storms & Wet Roads

There’s a saying in Minnesota: If you don’t like the weather, wait ten minutes and it will change. Rain storms and wet roads are part of driving during the season, and you will want to make sure your tires have proper tread to handle the wet roads.  When it’s raining, poor tread can cause your car or truck to slide across the road with little to no traction; something you want to avoid!

Sporadic Frost and Snow

Frost is something that greets Minnesotans most mornings during autumn. The moisture in the air and the falling temps means slicks spots on the road. A sporadic and surprise dusting of snow can happen at anytime, and you’ll want to be prepared and stay vigilant, especially in the early morning hours and late into the evening.

Field Harvest Season

You’ll be sharing the road with weary farmers and truck drivers hauling straw, hay, equipment, and trailers full of grain. Tractors and combines are slow moving, so slow down and give them your patience. Watch for clumps of mud on the roadway, as well as cobs of corn or sugar beets that accidentally spill over. There are also wide loads like hay and combines with wide corn snouts. Be careful meeting them on the road, as well as passing.

Fall harvest tractors on road driving risk mn Fall harvest tractors on road driving risk mn check your tire tread wet roads and driving risks

Thinking About Winter Tires?

Winter tires

By October many of our customers are stopping by to have winter tires (also called snow tires) put on their vehicles. If you’re familiar with winter tires, then you’re probably used to this seasonal task. If you’re less familiar with winter tires, you may be wondering what they are and why you’d switch to them for the winter months.

New to the Idea of swapping out Tires?

Many people have vehicles that have tires that usually suffice in the winter. Depending on where you live, the type of driving you do, and your vehicle,  your all season tires are designed to handle a wide range of uses and may suffice. But, all season tires are not the same as winter tires. All season tires are popular in the US, likely because many areas of the country can get by with them year round.

However, Minnesota is not your average, moderate climate state. We have extremely hot and humid summers, and we have erratic winters and storms. When you use an all season tire, that was designed to be a compromise of desired tire properties, you’re getting just that; a compromise. It’s comparable to buying a nice fleece jacket that works well in all seasons for MOST parts of the country. A fleece jacket isn’t going to cut it on a 30 degree below zero day in January with a 40 mile per hour north wind gust. Some vehicles that have 60 series tires or less should have four snow tires put on for better driving in winter conditions; stop in and have a conversation with us. You can’t expect a tire to optimally handle snow, slush, and ice when it wasn’t designed to do that. Winter tires are your best choice for traction and control of your vehicle. It’s not advisable that you use them year-round, however, and will need to switch back to your all season tires or previous “warmer season” tires. 

We typically recommend Nitto snow tires because of their tread design and affordable pricing. When winter tires makes sense for you and your vehicle, you have two options. You can use your regular wheels and swap tires at the beginning and end of the season, or you can have a separate set of wheels and tires that you swap out. Either way, you want to make sure you properly store your tires when they are not on your vehicle. You want them protected from corrosion, and our tire technicians can give you tips to get the most out of your tires.

Not sure what this means, stop by and we can help you decide if winter tires are right for you and your vehicle. 

 

 

Now Hiring!

jobs hiring anoka bloomington mn tire technician sales positionsTire Technician Jobs Available

Now hiring full-time Tire Technicians at both our Anoka and Bloomington locations. Our company has been in business over 30 years and offers a great opportunity to be a part of an established team. If you’re looking to learn new skills, we want to hear from you. Experienced tire technicians encouraged to apply. Paid vacation time. Pay is based on experience and starts at $10/hour. Be a part of our growing tire business! Apply by November 1, 2018

Sales Associates Jobs Available

Now hiring full-time Sales Associates for our growing tire business at both our Anoka and Bloomington locations. Paid vacation time. Pay is based on experience and is negotiable. If this opportunity interests you and you have sales experience, we want to talk to you.  Excellent sales career opportunity with established tire company that has been a part of the metro area for over 30 years. Apply by November 1, 2018

To apply for the Sales or Technician position at our Anoka location:

  1. Stop by to pick up an application, or
  2. Email Andy

To apply for the Sales or Technician position at our Bloomington location:

  1. Stop by to pick up an application, or
  2. Email Pete
  3. Apply on Indeed here for Sales Technician

 

Learn more about the TireZoo

The TireZoo began in a small garage as a home based business in Bloomington, MN by Dan Wilkerson in 1979. A few years later Dan moved into a store front in Bloomington and hired his first employee. They were known as All Season Tire Co, and still are by many devoted customers.

The company grew, more employees were added, and their line of new and used tires expanded exponentially. In June of 1995 they opened their second location in Anoka, MN (also known to locals as Anoka Tire), and began helping people from as far away as Canada!

With the launch of their website TireZoo.com, their name TireZoo took shape and well, it’s just plain catchy! What makes the TireZoo Crew so intriguing is their interest in reaching out to customers and doing what it takes to save them money on tires and provide excellent service.

Their impressive inventory of new and used tires is the largest you’ll find. They sell many brands of new tires, wheels, and rims; yet have no corporate restraints, so they are able to offer used tires and other products and services their customers need – at incredibly affordable prices. The Tire Zoo will make sure you get what you need, help you put your tires on your vehicle, and take the time to answer all your questions.

They are the most accessible and friendly tire people you’ll find. We hope you’ll consider joining our team!

Carpool & Travel Snacks for Kids

Travel Snacks for Kids

Travel Snacks for Kids

We’ve got ideas for travel snacks for kids in the car, as we’ve been collecting lots of great ideas on Pinterest over the last few years.

When schedules get busy, parents spend a lot of time in the car transporting kids to school, activities, social events, practice, and games. Time in the car means eating in the car or packing food to eat at the final destination. If greasy burgers aren’t appealing and tightening the budget is, try some of these tips and travel-friendly snacks and meals.

Tips & Travel Snacks for Kids
  • When you buy a new school lunch box, keep the old one for traveling. It’s nice to have a small insulated bag for the car to pack items in.
  • Keep a little bin of wet wipes or baby wipes for fingers and minor spills.
  • Have a dedicated bag or bin for wrappers and garbage. 
  • Here are some additional tips for eating healthy in the car.
Travel-Friendly Foods
  • Individually wrapped foods or foods separated into smaller containers. It helps with food waste, as well as having less to spill should it get dropped. 
  • Wraps work well, as they contain the sandwich ingredients and are easier for kids to hold.
  • Snack and trail mixes can include just about any type of dry ingredients and seasoning.
  • Cheese sticks, meat sticks, fruits/veggie sticks are all simple and easy to pass around the car.
  • For endless recipes and food prep ideas for travel, visit our “Travel Snacks” board on Pinterest

Labor Day Weekend Holiday Hours

Our Labor Day Holiday hours for both the Anoka and Bloomington locations are as follows:

Friday: 9am-6pm (regular hours)
Saturday: 9am-3pm (closing early)
Sunday and Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 9am-6pm (regular hours)

From the TireZoo to you and your family, we wish you a safe and fun holiday weekend!

TireZoo

School Carpool Ideas for Busy Parents

School carpool ideas to help this school year go great.

Carpooling to and from school and activities is a popular choice for saving time and money. Other reasons to carpool include saving on the environment. It can be a viable option for some people without good busing or who deal with unsafe walking/biking to school areas. If you are new to carpooling, these tips will make it less stressful. If you are a seasoned carpool driver, please leave your tips on our Facebook page. 

School Carpool Ideas to Maintain Your Sanity

  1. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention checking over your tires, and doing proper vehicle maintenance, right?
  2. Get all kids’ and parents’ cell and work numbers in your cell phone.
  3. Keep your phone charge in case of emergency.
  4. Determine your carpool route and schedule.
  5. Clearly communicate your rules; wearing seat-belts, no drinks, etc.
  6. Leave early and give yourself plenty of time.
  7. Pack healthy, travel-friendly snacks so you aren’t dealing with hungry and crabby kids.
  8. Assemble a Sanity-Kit; band-aids, wet wipes, plastic bag for who-knows-what, aspirin for the driver?
  9. Sunglasses for the early morning and late day “sunny drive”.
  10. Extra booster seats to avoid too many transfers. If you are unsure of booster seat laws, check out an article we did a while back on Minnesota Car/Booster Seat Laws.
  11. It’s ok to rely on good maps and current road conditions/status updates.
  12. Anticipate delays, road construction, detours and have a plan B ready.
  13. Create the “no trash” rule at the end of the ride. Have a designated place or bag, or ask that everyone takes trash with them out of the vehicle.

 

 

Road Closures and Construction in MN

road construction delays closures mnThe summer weather is fabulous, but it also means it’s the only time on the  frozen tundra that road crews can work on various projects. From resurfacing and pot hole filling, to bridge replacement projects, the landscape in Minnesota is dotted with orange cones and barrels. In order to make your commutes tolerable and your weekend road trips less stressful, it’s good to check out current projects so you can anticipate detours and delays.

We all know that 169 North, 494 East and West and I-35 are all a bit challenging. To learn more about the work being done, re-routes, and anticipated completion dates, check out MN DOT; they keep the information up-to-date. You can also access 511.org on your mobile phone for real-time updates.

Avoiding a Summertime Tire Blowout

prevent tire blowoutThere isn’t always a way to prevent a tire blowout, but on the other hand there are quite a few things you can do to improve your chances of dealing with an untimely summertime tire blowout.

The best place to start is understanding why some tire blowouts happen. According to Popular Mechanics,  “tire-blowout season runs from roughly the middle of May through early October.” The reason why more blowouts happen in the summertime than other times of the year have to do with

  1. Hot climates; Minnesota can be plenty hot and humid in the summer, as well as many other parts of the upper Midwest. 
  2. More travel, Longer Travel; More motorists traveling farther. More people on the roads for longer periods of time and farther destinations simply translates to higher number of tire related issues. 
  3. Towing increases: Many people are hauling heavy items such as boats, campers, landscaping trailers, etc. Industrial and road construction projects send large rigs around the country hauling aggregate and heavy equipment. It’s no wonder we see shredded tires along the side of the road so often! 

 

So what can you do to prevent a tire blowout?

There are things you can do to improve your chances of avoiding a tire blowout this summer.

  • Are your driving habits kind to your tires? Do you drive carefully and slowly so you don’t hit the curb at an odd angle when parking? Do you slow down around potholes and other obstructions? Are you paying attention to slow and avoid debris in the road whenever possible?
  • Do you know what your vehicle tire’s specific inflation amount is?
  • Have you checked your tire pressure when the tires are not warm, but cool?
  • Have you looked over your tires for any issues such as cracking, bulging, unusual wear?
  • Are you overloading your vehicle? Are you hauling too much weight inside the vehicle, trunk, or pick-up bed?
  • Are you giving your tires and vehicle proper and timely maintenance? Making sure your tires are balanced and rotated, as well as other issues are addressed that can cause uneven wear or stress on your tires is important.
  • Is there enough tread left on your tires? Do you know how to tell?

If you have concerns about the quality and safety of your tires, stop in so we can have a look. The time to address tire issues is before you head out on the road this summer.

Travel Snack Mix: Great Snack Mix Recipes for Traveling

MN White snow Travel Snack Mix

10 c. Cheerios
10 c. Crispix
4 c. peanuts
2 – 10 oz. bags pretzel twists
2 lbs. M & M’s
4 bags white chocolate chips
6 Tbsp. Oil

Mix together cereal, nuts, pretzels and candy in a large container. Melt chocolate chips and oil in microwave. Pour over mix and stir until coated. Pour onto wax paper and let dry. Store in airtight container.

Traditional Snack Mix with a Kick

3 cups Wheat Chex
3 cups Corn Chex
3 cups Cheerios
1 cup almonds, pretzels, peanuts, or cheese crackers
5 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp season salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp white pepper (or if you like wasabi, use 1/4 tsp wasabi powder)

Mix dry ingredients in a large roaster pan. In a small pan, melt butter and remaining ingredients. Pour over dry ingredients, mixing well. Bake in oven at 250 degrees for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely, then store in an airtight container.

Do you have a snack mix recipe you’d like to share? Email social@tirezoo.com and be sure to include links to your blog/website so we can pass your ideas along to our readers!

 

Tons of Staycation Ideas

staycation ideasStaycation Ideas!

Are you looking to schedule a staycation this summer? Whether you have little kids, older kids, no kids, or are empty nesters, we’ve put together some great articles and resources to help you plan your next staycation.

We started a Pinterest Board for staycation ideas you can pull from!

Many people do have little kids who will want plenty of fun activities to keep them busy, so here’s “Five Family Staycation Ideas; How to have a great time without leaving home” and a long list of “Do’s” to “Make Your Staycation FUN”.

If you still need more ideas, here’s a few more on how to “Make your staycation feel like a vacation.”