BOZEMAN, Mont. — Experts say every tire store in the nation is feeling the impact of this pandemic, and some put it in perspective this way -- Goodyear expects to be 5 million tires short this year.
It's particularly troubling as the winter driving season starts.
“I'm up here from Colorado and I got a flat tire, and there's no snow tires available for at least a week. So, wow, it's a little concerning,” Malcolm Dorje said.
Tire shops around Montana report waiting months to receive tires.
In Bozeman, Whalen Tire store manager Jonny Ruff says 150 Michelin medium truck stop styles are on backorder, some since last December.
They blame it on rubber and worker shortages, plus a supply backlog. Shipments could be stuck on freighters for up to three or four months.
“It has been a problem getting some tires. Some people have to wait a bit longer than others. You know, the supply chain is getting tougher and tougher with tires,” Ruff said.
Eagle Tire general manager William Baker the shortage means some customers could be waiting up to two and a half days or longer to receive their winter tires.
“We just ask that you come in and be patient with us, and we're going to do the best we can to get you taken care of as fast as we possibly can for you,” Baker said.
With winter incoming, Montanans know snow tires will soon be in even more demand.
“Every time we get a snowstorm, we get a snow rush, and all the tire shops get hit. Just hands down, everybody trying to get in and get their snow tires put on,” Ruff said.
That’s why store managers are urging people to get their snow tires now. They say waiting until the last minute could mean longer wait times or leave them slipping and sliding on old tires.