Sunday, June 8, 2008

Stimulus Check

B F Goodrich Long Trail T/A,

OK, what did you do with your stimulus check. Did you buy something made in America? I bought something made in America by American craftsman. I bought 4 new tires for my American made GMC pickup truck. The tires were made in the USA but the company that owns the plant is Michelin and they are French.

I bought 4 BF Goodrich tires. BF Goodrich used to be American owned but in the 1980's Michelin bought them out. I did a lot of research of who owns what and there are two major American owned and American made automobile tire companies left in America. They are Goodyear and Cooper tires. Goodyear is the world's largest tire manufacturer, they manufacture the best and near worst tires. Cooper tires have a few plants but the ones in Texarkana Arkansas and Tupelo Mississippi have seen nothing but problems over the past few years with process, management, quality control and material. They have had quite a few recalls. The last ones just occured in March of 2008. Check here to see if your tires or vehicle are under a recall. Recalls.Gov

I ended up buying BF Goodrich tires for a few reasons. The first reason is they are made in America by Americans. The plant they were made at according to the DOT code is Tuscaloosa Alabama. The whole process of choosing the right tire for the right price was made much easier by a website called The Tire Rack. I found the right size tires, I read the customer reviews and then compared the prices. The whole time I was doing this I kept in mind that for me the tires had to be made in the USA and they had to be of recent manufacture (tires are good for 6 years).

The DOT code on the tire tells the story of where it's made and when it's made. The first two digits after the initials DOT are the codes for the manufacturer. The last three or four digits tell when the tires are made according to the week and year. Here's an example, my new tires had the DOT code that looked like this: DOT BE ---- 4207. The "BE" indicates the BF Goodrich plant in Tuscaloosa Alabama. The dashes represent the manufacturers size and style codes. The "4207" at the end indicates they were manufactured in the 42nd week of 2007 (the week of October 21st 2007).

Anyway, my new tires look nice, they ride nice and they were manufactured here in the good old USA even though the company that owns the plant is based in France. That was an acceptable compromise to me.

Now tell us how you spent your stimulus check or we can talk about tires if you like.

Here's some links to check out your own tires.

NHTSA Manufacturer's information
(uncheck all the boxes at the left except for tires and enter the first two digits of your DOT code at the very bottom box marked DOT ID)

Autopedia a comprehensive list of tire manufacturers.

All the DOT Tire Plant Codes

Sidewall Markings at Tire Rack Tech Center


SusieQ said...

Jenni, this is a good idea.

I have been looking for dinnerware that is made in the USA. To my knowledge there are only two companies in the USA. One is the Homer Laughlin China Co. They make Fiesta dishes which have regained their popularity lately. The other company is Pfaltzgraff except I learned recently that not all their dinnerware is made in the USA. All of their colorful dinnerware, which is absolutely stunning, is made in China. Rats!

I refuse to buy dinneware made in China. I am afraid it might contain lead.

J_G said...

Let me see what I can find Susie. There are people that read here that can help too. I'm certain that there are more than just two companies left that make dinnerware in the USA.

J_G said...

Hi again Susie, I'm back from mission dinnerware. Here's what I found. There are still some manufacturers as I thought there would be.

The very nice woman Stephanie that runs the site Still Made in the USA has done some extensive research into this particular category. I have her link in my links column but here's the link to the dinnerware section. Still Made in the USA/Dinnerware Take a look at the Pickard China Bennington Potters, Heath Ceramics and some of the others and have some fun looking through the links. If you need help determining if something is Made in the USA just look for "Proudly Made in the USA" anywhere in website or the "About" link on the website. Most product descriptions will say Made in the USA. If it's not Made in the USA it usually say "imported in small letters somewhere in the product description or nothing at all (as with most shoe listings). One thing you will never see is "Proudly Made in China". How ridiculous would that look? Pfaltzgraff is no longer Made in Pennsylvania or the USA as of 2005.

Here's the link to Homer Laughlin online. You might want to email them and ask whether you can purchace some of their food service dinnerware, sometimes they will overlook the wholesale thing if you use a bit of "I want to purchace safe American products" persuasion.

J_G said...

Update Susie!!!!

Check this website out. The prices seem very reasonable and they are Made in the USA Niagra Ceramics I priced out a dinner set and it was under $200 for a 4 piece set. Lots od selection too.

SusieQ said...

Thanks Jenni. I'll check those out. I need to replace my everyday dishes. I keep turning over dishes I find at local stores only to discover once more that they are made in China. It really upsets me.

carsberg said...

What can you say about the quality of BF Goodrich offroad tires?

J_G said...

Well, so far so good on the Goodrich tires. These are my first set of Goodrich tires. They are quiet and have very good handling characteristics. Apparently in the off road category they are one of the more desirable brands according to reviews by customers at the Tire Rack Site. Thanks for stopping by Carsberg