25 Years- Benton County Tire Keeps Rolling Along

Judy Kramer
County Reporter
Steve and Tina Pickens first opened Benton County Tire in October 1994, on the corner of Warsaw’s Main Street and Hwy 65. They didn’t have a computer, and services were paid for with cash or check. As the business earned a reputation for good service for a fair price, more employees were hired and it was moved to a larger space at 901 E. Main Street. Tina Pickens said that they are now so busy that they didn’t have time to have a formal celebration of 25 years in business.
“We have seen a lot of change since we started Benton County Tire,” said Pickens. “We rented our first shop space from Charlie Jones who was considering retirement. We didn’t have any business experience and it was hard at times. We had to transition to credit card and debit card methods of payment for services, and had to train employees in rapidly advancing, computerized vehicles. All of our mechanics are ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certified, and take classes frequently to stay on top of their profession. Our employees are good and knowledgeable and have done this kind of work for a long time.”
Pickens said that Benton County Tire does all types of automotive repair, from oil changes and tire repair/replacements to installation of new engines, and it provides services for any kind of vehicle. 
“Steve and I are now planning to retire, but it will probably take a year or so to take care of the legalities,” said Pickens. “Shawn Adair and his wife Stephanie will become owners of the business when we leave. Shawn has been with us for 22 years and pretty much runs the business now.”
Pickens spoke highly about her customers, some who started out with them 25 years ago and still come. She said that customers bring them food and other things throughout the year. She also applauded her employees that include Shawn and Stephanie Adair, John Higgins, Randy Ryles, Tim Bratcher, and Nathan Roberts. 
A couple of Benton County Tire customers offered testimonials about the service they have received.
“It is the best place in town to get your tires fixed,” said Khristina Brovelli. “I walked in and two minutes later they were looking at my car.”
“The service is always what I need,” said Bob Barb. “The price is fair and reasonable, and they are honest. I have two diesel farm machines, two diesel trucks, two gas trucks and two gas, old, antique collectible cars, and they take care of all of them. I trust them with all that.”
Steve and Tina Pickens moved from Clinton to Warsaw in 1979. Steve worked in heavy equipment and Tina worked at Walmart until they started Benton County Tire.