West Service Center, a full service auto and truck repair facility, was started in 1987 by a man who loved to tinker with anything mechanical, and had an early understanding about customer service.
Robert West left high school and served as a diesel and Jeep mechanic in the United States Army. He later worked several jobs including a five year stint at the Naval Air Station repairing F-14 jet engines. Robert started his business because he needed a place to fix cars. Every evening for one year, he would leave the Air Station and go to the garage, and work on friend’s and neighbor’s cars until late at night. When the F-14’s relocated to Florida, Robert resigned from the Air Station and started at the garage full-time.
After working in the rented two-bay shop for two years, Robert had outgrown the space. He found another location in the back of the Cavalier Industrial Park, A six-bay shop that he never thought he could outgrow. Nevertheless he did and in 1999 Robert had an opportunity to purchase property at the front of the Cavalier Industrial Park and within one year he had a 12-bay, 3000 sq ft repair facility built. Robert says that his growth over the years has been due to the loyalty of his customers and their word-of-mouth advertising. The Company’s greatest asset is its employees.
Throughout the duration of West Service Center’s growth, Robert pursued other avenues within the Towing and Recovery business. He purchased his first wrecker truck back in 1990, a 1979 Dodge 300 wrecker, and began towing for customers, motor clubs, and Police Municipalities. Robert, the only driver at the time, would take calls from his wife Debbie, who began answering the phones and dispatching him to the call during the night. His Towing and Recovery business began to flourish and he now has a fleet of 17 vehicles and has 36 employees throughout the company.
Over the years his family has become more involved. His wife Debbie began working in the business full time after retiring from a 31 year career with the Chesapeake Health Department. Both of their children have grown up working in the business. His first son David, who currently works for the Chesapeake Public School System as a Network Administrator, keeps the company’s information technology systems state of the art. His younger son Thomas is the Shop Foreman and helps in managing some of the day to day activity throughout the business.
Today, Robert’s business is still conducted as a family run establishment. He strives to give customers and their vehicles the attention they need and want. Walk into the door and you will still find him working under a truck or out on the side of the road doing a large accident recovery. His passion in the automotive industry endures.