Monday, October 02, 2023

McGriff Tire & Service’s 75 years of excellence and community impact

CULLMAN, Ala. — In the heart of this small Alabama town, located smack dab between Hunts­ville and Birmingham along Interstate 65, lies a tire company with a storied history that spans seven decades, leaving an indelible mark on the community and industry it serves.

McGriff Tire & Service Co., founded by the late Bert McGriff in 1948, has evolved from a modest service station to a multi­faceted enterprise that has at times encom­passed trucking and logistics, consumer and commercial tire service, and sales and tire retreading.

This year, the company celebrates its 75th anniversary, a testament to Bert’s vision, hard work, and commitment to excellence, as the company positioned itself for the future with strategy, innovation, and good old-fashioned hard work.

Visionary and Community Builder

Born March 31, 1926, Bert McGriff grew up as a tenant farmer near Cullman, instilling in him values of hard work and perseve­rance from an early age. After serv­ing in the Army during World War II, where he was honored with a Purple Heart, Bert returned to Cull­man in 1947, ready to carve his path as an entrepreneur.

In 1948, Bert’s journey took a momen­tous turn when he was selected to manage a new station under the watchful eyes of po­ten­tial investors. Unbeknownst to him, his unwavering commitment to customer service and professionalism impressed the observers, leading to the birth of McGriff Tire Co., Inc. Bert’s philosophy, to “be fair, work hard, pro­vide excellent customer service, and do your best no matter what the job,” became the guiding principle for the business and his legacy.

Expanding Horizons, Building a Legacy

With a relentless entrepreneurial spirit, McGriff expanded his business into new territories. Realizing the potential in retread­ing passenger and truck tires, he purchased a retreading mold, marking a significant mile­stone for the company. McGriff Treading Co., Inc. emerged as a leader in truck tire retread­ing, ranking among the top five truck tire retreaders in the U.S. today.

Bert’s vision extended beyond the tire in­dustry. He actively contributed to Cull­man’s growth and prosperity, working with the “Flying 50s,” a group of business­men dedicated to bringing new businesses and jobs to the area. He played a pivotal role in building the first Cullman Shopping Center, and his founding membership in the Chamber of Commerce showcased his commitment to community advancement.

In 1980, Bert’s entrepreneurial ventures led him to develop Terri Pines Country Club, complete with an 18-hole golf course, and Southern Pines, a residential develop­ment. His impact on the local economy and community left a lasting impression.

Community Values

McGriff Tire & Service has always been deeply rooted in community values, a reflec­tion of Bert McGriff’s character. His selfless­ness, generosity, and commitment to helping others set an enduring example for the company and its employees. Bert be­lieved in giv­ing back, extending a helping hand to those in need, and always extend­ing a warm wel­come to everyone he met.

The legacy of Bert McGriff lives on through the next generation. Under the leadership of Bert’s son, Barry McGriff, and a dynamic management team, McGriff Tire & Service continues to embody the principles of fairness, integrity, and excellent customer service set forth by its founder.

Company Today

The storied company is now managed by McGriff family members Barry and Jeff McGriff and Randy Drake. With a well-earned reputation for excellence, McGriff is committed to continuing to provide the highest quality products and services to its customers, as they have come to know and expect. McGriff Tire operates 18 locations in Alabama and Tennessee, an intermodal division, and two retread plants.

In August 2023, McGriff Tire and Best-One Tire Service, both leading names in the commercial tire and automotive services industry, announced a new partnership that marks a significant step forward in McGriff and Best-One’s growth and commitment to meeting the needs of their valued customers.

The timing of the partnership brings together two long-time industry leaders: both McGriff and Best-One are celebrating 75 years in business this year. Both were founded by two leaders in the industry who gained respect by working hard and building their businesses with a customer service mindset. Both companies are known for their dedica­tion to excellence and customer-centered approach, with Best-­One’s tagline of “Selling Tires, Serving People” and McGriff’s “Always work like someone is watching.”

In announcing the new deal, Barry Mc­Griff said, “Our part­nership lays the foundation for the next 75 years and many genera­tions to come for our companies and customers.”

“We are thrilled to join forces with Mc­Griff,” said Jon Zurcher, COO of Best-One. “McGriff’s culture aligns perfectly with Best-One. This partnership is an exciting opportunity for both to leverage each other’s strengths and create an ex­cep­tional experience for our customers.”

Key benefits of the partnership include enhanced service capabilities. The McGriff and Best-One partnership expands Best-One’s geographical footprint to better serve fleet and commercial customers, both on and off the road. McGriff and Best-One remain com­mitted to customer satisfaction and ex­cep­tional service. With their rich histories of serving communities across the Southeast and Midwest, McGriff and Best-One are excited to collaborate in providing their customers un­matched service and top-notch mobility solutions.

75 Years and Beyond

As McGriff Tire & Service com­memo­rates its 75th anniversary, the company looks back on a remarkable journey that began with Bert McGriff’s pioneering spirit and unwavering dedication. Today, with over 380 employees and locations throughout Alabama and Tennessee, the company remains committed to providing top-quality products, excellent service, and community support.

From its humble beginnings as a service station to its status as a leading tire and service provider, McGriff Tire & Ser­vice stands as a testament to the power of a visionary leader, a dedicated team, and an unyielding commitment to the community. As they celebrate this momentous mile­stone, the company looks forward to continuing Bert McGriff’s legacy of success and community impact for generations to come.

Ford Boswell contributed to and edited this article.