If you get nostalgic for the time when you and your dad could fix it with a screwdriver and a wrench and no one needed a computer test to tell the mechanic what was wrong; meet Rob Van Hook the new owner of Peninsula Small Engine Repair off of K-Beach on Frontage Rd. in-between Penninsula Auto Salvage and Peninsula Stone & Tile and take step back to the future. In an age when you either don’t have time to fix it or can buy a new one cheaper, enter Rob Van Hook an old school kind of guy who can keep most anything running doing the repairs for you, keeping you out of debt and your favorite mower, blower, rototiller or chainsaw out of the landfill.
“I’ve only been open for a few weeks after taking over the business that was here before which was also a small engine repair business that was getting ready to close its doors, but not because the service wasn’t needed any longer. Just by word of mouth folks are coming by and really happy we’re open and meeting a community need. Sometimes people just want some maintenance or a chainsaw sharpening and were happy to do any job,” says Rob. Van Hook likes what he does and says he grew up like most Alaskans with a bone yard of parts in the back and neighbors that had pieces of this and that laying around, “I’m still like that and I like people to come in and if I have something out back that you need that I didn’t pay for just use it and call it good like in the old days,” he said. When it comes to needing a new part that Rob doesn’t have in stock he has a quick order computer system that can get most parts here in a couple of days and can have you back cutting wood, blowing snow or whacking weeds in no time.
Like a lot of folks in Alaska Van Hook says he came to the Peninsula to visit and decided he wanted to stay, “So I started looking around for things that I could do to start a business and stay here and I’ve always been good with small engines and things that run and just have a knack for fixing things, so I decided to give this shop a whirl and I’m having a lot of fun and learning new things everyday,” he told the Dispatch. If it comes to a specialty without hesitation Rob says “It’s chainsaws, I love to sharpen them, trouble shoot them and keep them running it’s what I’m very good at, but whatever the customer brings in what I do is clean it up find out what the problem is and call the customer and let him know what the parts and labor will cost to repair it before they get a lot of money into it and let them decide if they want to go ahead with the repairs, I don’t like surprises and I won’t surprise my customers either.”
Peninsula Small Engine Repair is open Monday-Thursday 9:00am – 5:00pm and Friday 9:00am – 4:00pm and is closed Saturday and Sunday. Any questions give Rob a call at 260-3554.