GAM Tire Co., Inc. was formed in 2001. GAM stands for our daughters, Grace and Maggie.
GAM Tire was formed in 2001 out of necessity for a 2nd income by Malcolm O. Landry. He had an idea while in Houston to purchase some aircraft tires to bring back to Jeanerette. Malcolm met Chuck on this trip and they agreed that Malcolm should try to open a tire store in Jeanerette.
Aircraft tires are made with real rubber, not synthetic rubber, are a very heavy ply, and almost never go flat. Malcolm went farm to farm to promote his new venture and would only mark up each tire enough to cover the freight cost. Most of the tires came on a new rim. One by one he developed a customer base and the business grew. In the beginning, we were not able to afford another employee. When customers would call wanting tires, Malcolm would instruct them to go to the old milk dairy site where he grew up, and pick up the tires they needed, and then go into the milk room and write down what they took. Some would say what if I take more? I would tell them, “That is between you and God.”
In 2003 Malcolm gave John a Davis hub off of a sugar cane wagon. He asked John to find a grip tire to put on cane wagons. Malcolm estimated there were 20,000 tires on wagons in the sugar industry in south Louisiana. It was not long before John was sending hundreds of tires to Jeanerette to go on cane wagons. The wheels were for Bud axles and not that many cane carts had bud axles. Farming makes you find solutions to all problems. First we got outside people to cut, machine, and weld in plates on the wheels. Then we bought a 1905 Drill Press (Belt Driven), and a 1956 lathe, cemented them in, and began making our own plates. The 1905 Drill press lasted a few years and then Walter Voohries gave us a 1946 drill press. He kept us going. They don’t make machinery like they used to.
We could not sell the Military tires if we could not fix the flats. Arthur Francis and I built a tire machine to handle the 520 pound tires in 2005. Wilson Leblanc fixed us up with a hydraulic pump and tank wired by Larry Armond right the first time. I can honestly say we have not made any adjustment to that machine since we did the last adjustments many years ago. We developed a Henry Ford assembly line to mount 8 tires at a time on 16” pipes.
Sales have grown for 12 straight years until 2012. Laura has done the books on the side all these years like a trooper.
Mr. Poochie runs everything for the last bunch of years as I have had to work other jobs. It has truly been a blessing and a blast to have been allowed to have fun creating GAM tire with GOD’s help for Grace and Maggie.