BENNINGTON -- Over the many years that Chuck Morse worked as the fleet mechanic for Burgess Brothers Inc., a crane and aerial lift service, his friends and colleagues suggested that he go into business for himself.
Morse gave in and opened Morse Auto and Truck Repair in 2003. He continued servicing vehicles for Burgess, and built a business off of referrals, taking on accounts for Mintrone Paving, Payne Ambulance Service and more.
"(Chuck) started out by himself in a box, and expanded the garage," Chuck Morse's wife, Kristal Morse, said. "We just got bigger and bigger, and brought in Green Mountain (Express) and the (Bennington) rescue squad."
Now retired, Chuck Morse employs four full-time mechanics, some of whom are diesel-engine certified, certified in A/C repair, air brake repair and R/V repair. Morse maintains the business with the help from his wife and daughter, Kristal and Susan Morse, who manage the accounts.
As the only fleet-repair service in the area, Morse Repair now services all of the vehicles for the town of Bennington and all Vermont state district 1 road trucks since those entities have begun a local initiative.
"A lot of times, the local businesses aren't being supported by their own town or their own state anymore," Susan Morse said. "Bennington was using a towing company for the past few years from North Adams, (Mass.). We thought that was crazy when there is someone right around the corner. Now it's a lot of work for us and it's a good account."
Morse Repair also offers a tow and wrecker service for anything over one ton.
Morse Repair offers a 24-hour emergency service to ensure emergency vehicles and snow removal services get back up on the road as soon as possible.
Susan Morse compared the emergency service road calls to a NASCAR pit stop, in which mechanics will go out to a dump truck with a flat tire and replace it on scene.
"We try to keep all our guys going here on the road It's never a two-month wait for an appointment," she said. "We get the working vehicles in and right back out. We take care of the fire departments and all of the emergency medical vehicles and get them in and out as soon as we can."
Kristal Morse said customers will call asking specifically for Susan Morse because she is knowledgeable with parts and problems, and knows what needs to be fixed and what to order.
"Continuity is big: I worked in a nursing home for 14 years before here," Susan Morse said. "I treat our customers here the same way. The guys see me, they see mom, or they see dad every day. They know who we are and they know we are knowledgeable."
Susan Morse said that as a family business, Morse repair is itself a staple in the community. "I'm glad we are doing this in Bennington. I love the people we work with every day. Our customers are awesome," she said.
Find Morse Repair at 943 N. Branch St. Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., or Saturday 8 a.m. to noon. Find it online at http://www.morserepair.com/.
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