My truck refused to start when I was picking up lunch, and I was stuck in a parking lot. I figured it was probably the starter motor -- but I didn't have a starter motor, and I didn't have my tools, and I was in the middle of this parking lot.
So after putting the truck in neutral and pushing it over to the side, I spent a little time looking for some easy solution, and there just wasn't one. I'd have to either get a cab down to my farm and get the tools and then a cab to the auto parts store for the part, and then hope that I didn't forget anything, or I'd have to have the truck towed to either a dealer, or my farm.
If I went to the dealer, I couldn't see myself getting out of there for less than $600. And since I figured it was the starter motor, and we're talking about 3 bolts here, i was pretty sure the fix would be simple. hmm... tow truck it is. I chose American basically at random, and I was glad I did.
The rate quoted over the phone was $85, based on my 4x4 truck, and mike appeared in minutes. When I explained that I had a driveline disconnect, he said "oh -- we'll charge you the 2wd price". I was more than willing to pay the quoted price, and he won big points with me here. but then he said "oh, it's the starter motor? If you want, I can tow you to my yard; there's an auto parts store on the way, and I can just leave you hooked up to raise the truck so you can work easier. ". Wow. I explained that I didn't have any tools, and he upped the ante, "looks like you need a 9/16 and maybe a couple of sockets and an extender; i can lend you them. ".
And it pretty much went as planned. except that I'm an idiot and didn't tighten the 3rd bolt enough so that the starter wouldn't engage, so the replacement took me a total of 90 minutes to complete.
1) He appeared in minutes and my truck was hooked up and under tow in minutes. Professional, prompt, perfect.
2) He charged me less than I was more than willing to pay
3) No charge for waiting at the auto parts store, or for the use of his truck in helping me replace my starter.
4) Stayed after closing so I could fix my own mistake.
Mike is a sole proprietor, and while i was laying under my truck he and i talked about starting businesses, and he told me that he'd worked 337 days as the sole guy at his business because of a loss of contract -- sleeping with the phone near his head 24 hours a day, responding to calls.
So to Mike, I appreciate the dedication you show to running your business, and your kindness in helping me out of what could have been a pretty serious pickle. Your help allowed me to get back on the road and off to do my stuff, and I really do thank you.
You can reach Mike at 425-355-7212 or at his website