Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Why Not Willard's?

Well, sir, we lumbered on in to Tok to a big sigh of relief that we hadn't had to abandon the rolling beast on the last stretch of highway and have to go off in search of HELP! But now what? Was there someone here who could take care of business? We inquired at the Tok RV Village where we were staying for a couple days. The hostess asked one of the owners, Mike, who he might recommend and he suggested that Willard's would be a good place to go. Now I don't know about you, but we try to keep safety as job # 1 in all things. Turning over a coach brake problem that COULD be very serious to just anyone isn't in my play book. I quickly e mailed Mike at Chicken Gold Camp and he fired back with a comment that Willard was the "go to" guy in Tok, yes, indeed, and that he was reputable and fair. That sounded good to me, so off to Willard's we went to see what Willard himself thought about the problem. He thought it was a "can do" situation so bring it on in first thing in the morning. When we got there (it's right across the street from the RV Village) Mike the Mechanic came out to meet and greet. Have you noticed that so far everyone involved in the fix is a MIKE? Surely this was the proper alignment of the stars that would lead to a healthy resolution of the problem at hand.

Mike the Mechanic explained what he expected the problem to be. But to be safe we called the expert support staff at Newmar and logged some time on the phone with them. Then we called the technical experts at Spartan Chassis for some more helpful hints and logged some time with them. When that didn't pan out, we called the experts at the manufacturers of the sensor units and controls that still seemed to be giving us the problem. Hours passed. I admit to feeling a bit down. But Mike the Mechanic was hanging in there and finally we did what he was thinking all along- remove each and every wheel, clean, lube, wire brush and make sure everything was the way he knew it should be once he could actually get a look at it. The mud, grit and grime from our two "mudding" episodes and the long haul on the Alcan had pretty much gunked up and bound up the timing wheels on the anti-lock brake computerized system. Now it just so happens that our Mike the Mechanic is also a computer builder and network system installer, so we surely had all bases covered. Removing and thoroughly cleaning each part of each wheel is no fast fix. But as Mike had known from the get-go, it was the correct fix. And when the eighth and final wheel was finished and back in place, we rumbled the big engine and rolled off the jacks and presto, chango, "wellah", the computer reset and began reading again and the big coach boo boo was all better. Kiss, kiss.

Like the other Mikes had said, the work was professional, reputable, and very thorough. And the bill? Well, talk about fair! It was that and then some. So since you have to come by here anyway if you are driving to Alaska, if you develop anything iffy about your rig and think it ought to be fixed sooner rather than later....Why not Willard's? Ask for Mike!

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