Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 33

FIXED OPS JOURNAL

HELP

"I got called into the office by the service director," Howk recalls. "He threw this envelope of
stuff at me and some keys and said, 'I bet you'd
be good at this.' I've been doing it ever since."
In 2011, Howk joined Elco Cadillac, which
pays him a salary and an additional bonus for
each off-hours call. His roadside assistance
pickup is filled with parts and tools he might
need on a service call. If a part isn't readily
available, Howk said he has no problem taking it off his own vehicle.

it on, in the snow."
Howk says he gets upset when he can't fix a
problem and has to call a tow truck.
"I do it about twice a year, and that's it," he
says. "It usually happens when the problem
was just too major for a roadside call or wasn't
what they described it like on the phone. But I
can't stand it."
A frequent problem, Howk says, is a dead battery after a vehicle was left running all night.
"I've had kids steal their parents' cars at
night, and when they come back they don't
put their car in park," he says. "They don't
know how, so they leave it in drive."

Snow belt

Athletes in action

One wintry day, he got a plaintive call for a
new fan belt. The customer was getting married and was on his way to Chicago for an engagement party. He needed a fix fast if he was
to arrive on time, but Howk didn't have the
proper belt.
"I looked at it and ran over to an AutoZone"
store, Howk recalls. "They had a belt and I put

Howk's work has brought him in contact
with several prominent athletes in St. Louis.
He had to deal with four dead batteries in vehicles owned by Orlando Pace, a former offensive tackle for the then-St. Louis Rams of
the NFL.
"I got called to his house, and I had to start
his Escalade, his Range Rover, his Jeep and

continued from Page 32

something else," Howk recalls.
One of his favorite encounters was with major league outfielder Carlos Beltran, who
played for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2012 and
2013. Beltran had broken a radiator hose on
his 1970s-era Chevrolet Chevelle.
"So at 1:30 on a Sunday night, I went out and
picked him up and drove him back," Howk
says. "My wife stayed with his car, and then I
came back and called a tow truck.
"He was just so down to earth, telling me all
kinds of history about the car and about how he
loved St. Louis and loved the Cardinals. I really
enjoyed it." Howk adds, jokingly: "Although he
didn't say to come to the game on him."
Lovegreen, the Elco service adviser, says
Howk's helping hand makes the service department even more valuable to the dealership. "Pat really encourages customers to
come out here," he says.
Howk acknowledges that his work helps
build customer loyalty and retention - and
repeat sales. "So when I get a call," he says, "I
just leave as soon as possible." 

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017

Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017
Contents
Editor’s Letter
Service Counter
Legal Lane
Big verdict
Ho-ho-ho
Battery charge
Price is right
Tomorrow’s techs
Selling accessories
SEMA dreams
To the rescue
Profit Builder
Richard Truett
On the line
Letters
Real time
Feedback
After hours
Efficiency expert
Longer lasting
Shop Talk
Five Minutes With
Fixed in Time
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Intro
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Cover2
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Contents
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Editor’s Letter
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 5
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Service Counter
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 7
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Legal Lane
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Big verdict
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 10
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 11
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Ho-ho-ho
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 13
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Battery charge
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 15
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 16
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 17
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 18
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 19
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 20
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 21
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Price is right
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 23
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Tomorrow’s techs
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 25
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 26
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 27
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Selling accessories
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 29
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - SEMA dreams
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 31
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - To the rescue
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 33
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Profit Builder
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Richard Truett
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - On the line
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Letters
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Real time
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 39
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Feedback
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - After hours
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Efficiency expert
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Longer lasting
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Shop Talk
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Five Minutes With
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Fixed in Time
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Cover3
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