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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Washta Tire and Repair opens for business

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

It would be safe to say that a car that refuses to start, a flat tire, a funny knock in your engine or any other miscellaneous automobile engine-related malady would really have a tendency of putting a crimp in a fellow's day.

Luckily, however, if any of these little mechanical emergencies happen to befall you while you're motoring along in southern Cherokee County, Washta's newest business...Washta Tire and Repair, will soon have you fixed up and back on the road.

The area's newest tire-busting, wrench-wielding entrepreneur is none other than Washta native Josh Keck, a true motorhead who is never happier than when he's delving into the innards of any internal combustion engine.

Keck's interest in all things automotive have been common knowledge around Washta for quite some time now.

Ever since he was old enough to hold a ratchet wrench, local folks became accustomed to seeing the aspiring future mechanic tackling one motor-related project after another, a list that included both disassembling engines to see what made them tick and converting lawnmowers into go-karts.

Keck's fascination with motor mechanics continued to grow and when he graduated from River Valley High School as a member of the Class of 2004, he pursued that interest by taking on the Auto Technology course of study offered by Western Iowa Tech.

In 2006, he received his associate degree and hit the job market, landing a position as a maintenance man for Liever Construction in Lawton.

Although he enjoyed his work, the new mechanic had his eye on the future.

"I've always wanted to operate my own business," Keck said. "Hopefully in a small town somewhere."

His dream suddenly became attainable a few months ago when Al Ritts of Ritts' Service in Washta, after 26 years of turning in duties as the community's number one gas jockey and automotive service guy, decided to retire and pursue a more casual lifestyle...one that hopefully did not include scrubbing the grease off his hands at the end of the day.

Josh purchased the business and in December opened the doors to his new enterprise, Washta Tire and Repair.

Josh Keck's business venture will include the sale and service of all major brands of tires, oil changes and service jobs, both minor and major automotive repair projects and even small engine repair.

As soon as the paperwork is completed and the proper permits acquired, Washta Tire and Repair will also once again be selling gasoline.

In addition, the business will be offering service calls for those folks having trouble getting their cars started on any given frigid Iowa winter morning.

Although he's only been open for a little over a month, Josh is even now making plans for the future of his new business.

"I have a quite a long wish list," he said. "I've been putting in a lot of time improving the building by tackling projects like insulation, new doors and repairing the hoist."

"Hopefully in the future, after I've enlarged the building," Keck continued. "Washta Tire and Repair will be offering both truck and farm engine repair as well as on-the-spot ag equipment tire service calls."

Josh notes that his Washta Tire and Repair is receiving a lot of local support and is proving early on of being a successful venture.

"I'm already booked up 12-15 days ahead," Keck said. "If this keeps continues, I'll have to hire another mechanic just to keep up."

The Washta Tire and Repair's hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. till noon on Saturday.

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