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Nathan knows tires; opens tire shop in Kipling

Works with agriculture sector
Kipling Tire Nathan Laxdal
Nathan Laxdal, owner/operator of Farm & Family Tire Shop in Kipling. 

KIPLING - It’s a business 20 years in the making. 

The year 2022 marks Nathan Laxdal’s 20th year working in the tire industry. 

Starting out at 16 working in his uncle’s garage in Bredenbury, then going to Canadian Tire in Yorkton just out of high school, he learned a lot about working on tires, brakes, etc.

From there he moved onto Quality Tire, spending three years there, again learning all about the industry. 

“I went out on tractor calls which is what I really enjoy doing,” says Laxdal. 

At the age of 24 he up and decided to make the move to British Columbia. 

He worked at Canadian Tire in Fernie for a while before landing a job at Teck Resources, one of Canada’s largest diversified mining companies. He spent seven years working at this mine. 

So if you’ve ever seen the world’s biggest truck at Sparwood, B.C., you can get a better idea of the size of tires that Laxdal has encountered at the mine. These tires measure in at 13 feet high. 

Over the 20-year span working with tires, he’s gotten pretty quick and efficient at what he does. 

“After I left the mine,” explains Laxdal, “I said if I was ever going to do this kind of work again, it would be for myself.” 

Laxdal and his wife Danielle, whose mother was living in Kipling at the time, decided to make the move to the town. 

He started working at Nutrien Ag Solutions in Kipling with the dream of owning his own business still in the back of his mind. 

He had purchased a tire machine and balancer so in his spare time he didn’t sway far from the tire business.

Aside from the tire business, Laxdal also dabbles in woodworking on the side, under the name of Barn Owl Design, although his long-term goal was to eventually own his own tire shop.

His wife’s dream was to open her own salon, which the couple decided to do first. That shop is known as Studio D Hair & Nails. 

His dream finally became a reality. 

“I officially began Farm & Family Tire Shop in May of 2021,” explains Laxdal “working out of our garage in town. Then we moved to our farm near Langbank, moving my equipment out there.”
“I started renting a shop in Kipling, which sold two days after I moved in,” says Laxdal. “I’m now in one of the Gee Bee Construction shops, which Alan was good enough to let me move in until my shop is built.” 

Laxdal hopes to have the shell built by the end of March with hopes of moving in sometime in May. 

“It’s going to be a big bright red shop,” says Laxdal.  

It will be situated to the east of the Fire Hall. 

Laxdal goes on to explain: 

“I bought a much bigger service truck from the Roth’s. It has a hoisting tailgate which will lift up a 1,600-pound tire, which saves my back big time.”

“An average size farm has something like 190 tires that are active throughout the year.”  

“I’ve been making service calls all the way to Rocanville and Montmartre.”  

Laxdal has changed everything from a tire on car to semi, loader and tractor tires.

“I’ve even done some smaller airplane tires, though it’s been awhile.”

“When I was at Teck, I took all the recognized Heavy Duty tire courses, becoming a journeyman, if we were in the US. It’s not a recognized trade in Canada.”

Changing tires fast and quick can put through more customers in a day but Laxdal says: 

“I used to be more that way, going 100 miles an hour, but working on the big equipment, I had a change of heart; I’d rather do a proper job. To me it’s more important to take a little extra time and do the job right.

“This job is dangerous enough, without having bad habits to make it more so. It’s very important to inspect the tire, as clean the hubs, backs of wheels and inside of rims so that customers don’t have to come back because of a bead leak.”


“This time of the year … 90 per cent of the repairs that come in are bead leaks.” 

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again … I treat every vehicle as though it’s my wife and little girl driving in it.” 

“You can have the safest car in the world with all the bells and whistles on it, but you have four points of contact on the ground so you want the tires with the proper ply and tread.” 

The technology in tires has changed so much over the past 20 years. A person has to keep up learning about all the new products out there. 

“One of the loader tires we used to change at the mine cost approximately $100,000 per tire and then if they were chained as well, that added an additional matching cost, per position.”

Ever since leaving B.C., he has been acquiring equipment to open his own tire shop and make his lifelong dream become a reality. 

“I’m doing what I like to do.” 

“So far, it’s been word of mouth that I’m in the tire business,” says Laxdal, the new Tire Guy in town. 

“Once March and April rolls around, I’ll probably be on the road 90 per cent of the time on service calls.”  

Laxdal is a farm kid through and through, so changing tires on farm machinery and semis are some of his favourite service calls to make. 

He explains that the tire shortage right now is not a joke. Once again COVID has affected every industry around. Laxdal has stocked up on what he predicts to be the most requested items. 

At the moment his shop is stacked high with tires of all sizes, ready for what business comes his way. 

The white board is full with listings of all the sizes he carries. 

Lots of Laxdal’s customers in the agriculture industry already knew him from dealing with him at Nutrien Ag Solutions. 

“Repeat customers is what I crave,” explains Laxdal. “It shows that they trust me and they like my work.” 

“I want to accommodate everyone.” 

“There’s a lot of uncertainty right now,” says Laxdal, “but the one certainty is that everyone needs tires.” 


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