Two co-owners launched their new outdoor equipment repair business just before COVID-19 shutdowns, yet they’ve had a fortunate beginning.

When Roger Johnson and Wesley Garrett in February opened their R&W Outdoor Equipment Repair business at 18601 Historic Route 66, within weeks the pandemic hit and stay-at-home orders went into effect.

“Knowing spring was upon us and our work was essential to landowners and commercial cutters, we remained open,” said Johnson.

“We followed all the CDC and state guidelines, closed our office to the public and began taking equipment curbside. We extended our free pickup and delivery until the end of April to help out and stay contactless for our customers. People drop off their equipment. We send estimates via email and take payments over the phone so there’s no contact needed,” he added.

This startup business actually grew rapidly during the novel coronavirus lockdown, and Johnson said it even exceeded their initial expectations.

From living in the area, Johnson said they knew there was a need in the community for a small engine repair shop. “We couldn’t be happier to have found this location,” he added.

Upon graduating high school, Garrett was a mechanic at a John Deere dealership. He said he completed many courses for small engine and two-cycle repairs, and was promoted to service manager. He specializes in troubleshooting devices.

Johnson started as a road tech for a John Deere dealership as well, accepted a role as assistant service manager and then was promoted to general manager of the dealership.  

In addition to John Deere, they also work on major brands such as Cub Cadet, Exmark, Ferris, Kubota, Sears and Toro. They’re certified as advanced turf technicians, and hold certifications in Stihl equipment, as well as Kohler, Kawasaki, and Briggs & Stratton engines.

They work on any makes or models from subcompact tractors, mowers and aerators to handheld blowers, chain saws and trimmers. They also handle ATVs and side-by-sides. However, at this time, they do not sell new or used equipment.

Currently they work only on gas-powered apparatus.

“We encourage people to buy battery-powered trimmers and power washers, because those units aren’t used on a regular basis and can cause more expense to customers to maintain them after long periods of sitting. Typically, they aren’t repairable because the repair cost exceeds the cost of a new unit,” Johnson said.

Garrett affirmed they’ve gotten a warm welcome for the business.

Johnson added that they hope their customers feel they received quality workmanship from honest individuals devoted to quick turnaround times.