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FERNS: A Day At Hoosier Tire

INDIANAPOLIS – This was one of the few times in my life where I was not quite sure what to expect before arriving someplace and/or meeting someone, but I ended up leaving said place in awe of what I witnessed.

A recent visit to the Hoosier Racing Tire headquarters, factory and distribution center in Plymouth and Lakeville, Ind., was eye-opening, informative, respectable and noteworthy — to say the least.

Upon arrival, I was ushered to a meeting room where I met a handful of individuals who play key roles in Hoosier’s day-to-day administrative, marketing and operational efforts. It was there that they took me through an educational presentation detailing the different models, specs and series of tires they develop.

The numbers are astounding. In addition, the amount of time it can take Hoosier to research and develop a tire for a new series has been as few as five days.

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Taylor Ferns inside the Hoosier Tire Distribution Center in Lakeville, Ind. (Ferns Racing photo)

Yes, you read that correctly.

That short turnaround time can be attributed to Hoosier’s technology, experience and available resources.

From the meeting area, we spent the rest of the morning going through the R&D room, factory floor and tire-testing area.

While the factory has employees who have had long tenures at their jobs, there are also many new-generation employees who are learning the skill of tire building. It was evident, regardless of their tenure, these folks take great pride in the work they do.

One of the more impressive takeaways from the tour was the fact that all the tires are handmade and pass through a series of stages and, therefore, individuals throughout the rigorous and complex assembly process.

The number of hands interacting with each tire before distribution, while keeping the product within desired tolerances and specs, is quite astonishing upon first glance.

After the factory tour, we headed to the headquarters building in Lakeville where the main offices and distribution center are located.

While we were riding a golf cart around the distribution center, because that’s how big the facility is, it struck me that all Hoosier tires circumvent through this single facility before being shipped around the world.

There is no plant in the western United States, Europe or Australia. All the tires are made in Plymouth and shipped from Lakeville. How wild is that?

We witnessed every step of the tire-assembly process. We saw tires placed in the molds, shaped into the semi-finished product and later inscribed with the iconic “Hoosier” logo on the side of each tire.

From there tires were inspected, with some passed off to the testing center and others loaded on to trucks to be shipped to the distribution center. Once trucked to the distribution center, tires were placed in the appropriate section of the building.

From start to finish, the process was nothing short of a well-oiled machine.

For me, the opportunity to tour the Hoosier facilities brought an enhanced view and greater sense of respect for the behind-the-scenes work that ensures racers are receiving the greatest quality product possible.

If a customer feels like they may have obtained a faulty product, Hoosier officials offer an adjustment process where they take it upon themselves to find out what the issue and/or cause of the defect may be through testing.

If one is interested in learning more about the official adjustment process, reach out to a local Hoosier dealer and/or contact Hoosier Customer Support.

With that, I am grateful to the Hoosier team for taking time out from its day to treat me like one of their own and show me around.

For me, it was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I deeply value and wanted to share with SPEED SPORT readers. I look forward to seeing the positive impact Hoosier intends to make on motorsports and its loyal community.

Based on what I have witnessed, the company strives to stand with and for the racer.


This story appeared in the Nov 22, 2023 edition of the SPEED SPORT Insider.

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