BY LOGAN MCCOURTNEY –
Henry Ford once said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Thankfully, Mr. Ford didn’t ask and as a result of his work and the work of others, millions of Americans enjoy the comfort of traveling in automobiles. As anyone knows, cars left alone without maintenance and care, they won’t perform effectively. Robbie at Hornet Tire in Cove is working hard to ensure that people have can have peace of mind as they drive each day.
Robbie and Deana are the owners of Hornet Tire since April of 2014. When they purchased the land for the shop, you could say it was a ‘slam-dunk buy’. That’s because in a public auction in 2013, Robbie purchased the old Van-Cove basketball gymnasium along with the rest of the school property. “It was a great deal. I was fortunate to get the gym and then started going to work to make it a shop.
Robbie has worked in the automobile industry in some capacity for nearly 30 years. “I worked for different wrecker services and I worked in several shops learning the ropes,” explains Robbie. Before buying the property, Robbie was working on the road, but wanted to be back in Polk County. Both he and his wife are from the Cove area and that is where they wanted to end up. “I have lived here since I was 15. I wanted to be at home with my wife and kids, and the idea began for opening a shop,” he says.
Although Hornet Tire may be one of the biggest shops in Polk County, it had small beginnings. “At first, it was just me here. My first job was changing the oil on a lawn mower,” laughs Robbie. After purchasing the gym, Robbie spent time taking up the old gym floor and began transforming the gym into a shop. This transformation included installing three large bay doors on the south end of the building and installing equipment. “There was a lot in here that had a lot of history. We have actually kept the section of flooring with the hornet mascot on it and put it in the lobby. We wanted to keep a piece of the community alive,” says Robbie. Over time, the crew has grown and more and more equipment has been added. “Combined, we have almost 45 years experience.” Before coming back to open the shop, Robbie had been on the road working and a lot had changed in the automobile industry. “I had to do some homework on the newer cars that were coming out. Just like anything else, we had some growing pains at the beginning.”
Robbie is proud of the ability they have to serve the surrounding communities and provide services that meet every need. “We do work for people here in Polk County, Smithville, Watson, and other places in Oklahoma as well.” Robbie and the crew can do light and heavy duty repairs, the heavy duty repairs meaning Semi trucks, RV’s, ambulances, and even delivery trucks. “We have an alignment rack that allows us to pretty much put any vehicle on it. It is an 18,000lb rack, we can service fire trucks with it,” says Robbie proudly. Along with repair work, the crew does a lot of alignment and tire work. “We have a machine that prints out a full diagnostic report when we do an alignment check so customers can see where their vehicles have gotten out of spec.”
Robbie has a good selection of tires on hand and if he doesn’t have what you are looking for, they can order your tires and have them in the next day! “Almost all of our tires have road hazard warranty, which is important around here.” Hornet Tire takes pride in doing the hard work for the hard working people in Polk County. Along with car and truck tires, they can work on large truck tires and any agricultural tires. “We have worked on tires for dump trucks, skidder, and a road grater as well.”
Hornet Tire in Cove is working hard to take care of people’s automotive needs. Their decades of experience can get your car working and back on the road in no time. For information on services provided, call Robbie or Deana at 870-387-8270 or visit them on Highway 4 at the old high school gymnasium in Cove.