December 3, 2023

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The Cars Maniacs

Kaleva mechanic owns new auto repair business in Manistee

Kaleva mechanic owns new auto repair business in Manistee

MANISTEE TWP. — When Duane Conrad released his car repair store, it was the achievement of a many years-long aspiration. But for Conrad’s Vehicle Repair to stand out in an presently competitive market place in Manistee, he understood it would just take prolonged several hours and commitment.

“(When) we commenced off, it ramped up actual rapid — we acquired super busy practically to the place the place we employed a third individual,” Conrad reported. “We were being performing about 10 vehicles a working day, just the two of us — swapping tires, new tires, snow tires, squeezing in brake work. I was right here from about 4 (a.m.) to 8 (p.m.) each working day.” 

Conrad, a learn-licensed automotive and hefty diesel technician, has worked on autos for decades — in the Lansing-space, Tennessee and ultimately out of his household garage in Kaleva. His son, Nick, also operates at the store.

Conrad's Auto Repair opened in October 2022 at the former Family Tire Service of Manistee building.

Conrad’s Car Maintenance opened in Oct 2022 at the previous Spouse and children Tire Company of Manistee constructing.

Scott Fraley/News Advocate

Get the job done as a mechanic is often seasonal, in accordance to Conrad, and even with the big surge of work opportunities early on work commenced to stage out in the course of the vacations. Now, after approximately a 50 percent calendar year in company he reported get the job done is starting to tick back again up.

Conrad suggests that possessing his own repair service shop is a “thrill.”

“I have times in which I walk in, convert the lights on and it’s like ‘when am I gonna wake up?’” he reported.

Conrad’s Automobile Repair opened Oct. 24 at the previous Family Tire Company of Manistee developing located at 230 E. Parkdale Ave. in Manistee. Conrad states that getting the setting up and opening his personal shop produced perception as a following action in his job.

“We appeared at developing a creating, acquiring a constructing in the Kaleva area wherever I was now sort of founded,” he claimed. “What we paid for the setting up and all of their devices was quite a bit much more than what we could have done in Kaleva, but you can not evaluate the road frontage on (U.S.) 31. … You are not receiving the traffic in Kaleva that you get via Manistee each individual working day, so the comparison for us was sort of a no-brainer.”

Conrad’s Car Repair service gives a variety of automotive companies, like alignments, tires, electrical, brakes, steering and suspension, motor work and transmissions according to its website.

Duane Conrad, owner of Conrad's Auto Repair inspects an engine at his shop in Manistee.

Duane Conrad, owner of Conrad’s Car Maintenance inspects an motor at his store in Manistee.

Scott Fraley/News Advocate

In addition to mechanic work, Conrad claims his duty as head of the two-person procedure indicates a slew of additional responsibilities.

“I feel other men and women are business entrepreneurs and then they have mechanics,” he claimed. “I am the janitor listed here. The lights go out, I’m correcting the lights. I’m mopping the floors every night ahead of I depart, shoveling the snow soon after the plow male. I’m a mechanic. I’m a assistance author. I response the telephone.”

Even with these challenges, the initial-time entrepreneur states he is in the appropriate location.

“I really don’t do this for funds. … It can be a annoying occupation for absolutely sure, but I definitely delight in undertaking it,” he explained. “For me, income is the byproduct.”

Conrad’s Auto is open up 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday by means of Friday. Check out to discover extra.