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Heartland Tire Service to reopen in Wadena Sept. 8

Morgan Brown and Howard Meeks flank Heartland Tire store manager Darrin Plinske. The three men will be joined by Ray Kaufman in serving Heartland Tire customers.

Jerry Lane has brought Heartland Tire Service back to Wadena with a big assist from Darrin Plinske.

Both men have been in the tire business for years but Lane was at a point last fall where he decided to close Heartland Tire.

"We didn't know what to do," Lane said. "We couldn't hire help."

Plinske, like Lane, is from Brainerd. With 24 years in the tire business to his credit, Lane found him the right man to manage his Wadena operation.

"I went on the Internet," Lane said. "I found that he had five years of experience with Goodyear, five with Royal and that he had once had his own shop."

When Plinske paid a visit to Wadena and saw the good condition of the Heartland Tire store, he contacted Lane and agreed to move to Wadena. Plinske's mother lives in the Underwood area and he liked the idea of being closer to Otter Tail County.

The recent closing of Wadena GM's shop brought some talented people to Plinske's attention and he was able to hire Morgan Brown, Howard Meeks and Ray Kaufman for his staff. Brown is an ASC-certified master technician while Meeks is a commercial tire tech and Kaufman is a general service tech.

"He did a good job of finding people," Lane said.

Lane owns tire businesses in Rochester, Little Falls and Brainerd. He lives in Brainerd and has owned Heartland Tire for nine years.

"We'll have 24-hour a day road and field service seven days a week," Plinske said.

Heartland Tire is on U.S. Highway 10 in Wadena just a few blocks west of the U.S. Highway 10 junction with U.S. Highway 71 -- one of the busiest intersections in the state. In addition to Goodyear and Goodyear's Next Tred tires, Heartland will carry Dunlop and Kelly tires.

Heartland will deal with both commercial and consumer vehicle owners. In addition to general mechanical work, Heartland will do tire alignment, repair, replacement and balancing.

Heartland Tire's official re-opening is set for Sept. 8.