Thursday, November 10, 2011

What car haulers call stuff.

As an old English major, I have always been interested in the words people use to communicate.  As a salesman selling car hauler straps and accessories around the United States, I enjoy interacting with people from different regions and hearing the different words and dialects people use.  In today's fast-paced world of Internet marketing, it is especially important to keep one's ear tuned to the words people use when asking about certain products.  For one thing, you need to understand what people are asking for and not sell them the wrong thing. It's also important for another reason, because you need to describe products in such a way online so that when people use a certain phrase or word they will be directed to the proper item.

For instance, we sell a lot of what I call ratchet wheel straps.  I  have also heard these referred to as tire straps.  More recently, I've heard several people refer to these type of straps as wheel-over straps.  I made a special point to write this one down, because this phrase solved a problem I've had for a long time.  You see, there are two major forks in the evolution of tire straps, wheel straps or whatever you want to call them.  There are the straps that have the rubber tread grabs on them and go over the top of the tire, and there are the type that are a type of lasso strap and go to a ratchet handle at the side of the trailer.  Actually, before the wheel-over type straps became popular, there were basket-style wheel straps, but we'll leave that alone for now.

When customers call up, they usually just say that they need wheel straps, so we always had to ask: "Do you mean the ones that go over the top of the tire and have the three black rubber tread grabs?  Or do you mean the ones that go around the tire in the 10 and 2 o'clock position and go out to the rub rail on the side?"

With all the customers we get, you can imagine how many times a day we have to ask these questions!

But the last month or so, I've heard several people refer to the straps with the tread grabs as "wheel-over" straps, and I think we may start to use that phrase here at Autohauler Supply.  I think that little decisions about what to call stuff... that's really how languages develop and evolve as things change. I think it is an example of the collective wisdom of a group of people.

Still, as a lover of language, I enjoy asking the question:  "Who do you think invented the word "The"?  I mean, someone had to be the first to start using that word. 

Well, enough of that... I've got to go sell some more wheel straps or wheel-over straps  or tire straps or lasso straps or carhauler straps or whatever the heck they're called.  If you need any, give me a call! 866-855-4285