PROSPERITY – Dave’s Little Cranks, nestled in the heart of downtown Prosperity on Main Street, is open for business and owner Dave Rowe is providing repair services for anything with small engines from blowers to lawn mowers and hedge clippers to wood chippers.
Rowe, a Prosperity native, decided to go into business for himself in June. He felt there was a need for small motor repair in the area as there are few who will do this type of work. Dave’s Little Cranks quickly became a full time operation after Labor Day.
“There are plenty of car and truck mechanics, but nobody wants to work on a weed eater. I heard a lot of complaints there are only a couple of places to take small motors and everyone is always backed up,” said Rowe. “All I really am interested in is helping people out, fixing people’s stuff and getting it back in a reasonable time.”
Rowe’s lifelong passion for fixing equipment and motors began when he was a kid.
“I have been tinkering with stuff my whole life, taking things apart and putting them back together. That’s how I learned it,” said Rowe. “I have turned wrenches since I was 12 by messing with lawnmowers. My dad fussed at me about taking them apart, but I would always fix them. During high school, I took auto mechanic classes at the trade school.”
Rowe grew up in Prosperity. After graduating from Mid-Carolina High School in 1997, he joined the Army at 17 and became a diesel mechanic. He returned to Prosperity after 10 years of service and went to work on diesels at Lominick’s Repair Services in Newberry.
“When I came back from the Army I went to work on diesels for Andy Lominick for the past eight years. I have wanted a business of my own for the past two years, so I started wading in part time here getting my shop ready and it took off after Labor Day,” Rowe said.
The community has embraced the shop through word of mouth and upstanding relationships with other like businesses.
“It started with some people bringing me stuff and liked it and they spread the word to their friends. I let my reputation speak for itself,” said Rowe. “The businesses are happy for me because I help them sell parts and if they get swamped where they can’t get to something, they send it down to me. Good relationships are key and it’s a small town so everybody knows everybody.”
Homeowner James Hale of Newberry is relieved there is another option close to take his yard equipment.
“Prosperity is close enough for me if I need something repaired fast. The shop I use in town tends to have a long completion time due to them being the only one around,” said Hale.
Rowe prides himself on keeping the cost down for his customers by searching for the lowest prices on parts through local and online dealers and says if he can keep the business local, he will.
Pricing out labor is on a case by case basis. He has an hourly base fee and can determine how long it will take depending on what type of equipment it is and what the repair diagnosis is.
“If I’m putting a carburetor inside a weed eater or a chainsaw I charge a half hour plus the cost of the kit or the fuel filter or prier bulb it needs. I can’t see charging an hour plus parts when you could go buy a new one for $100,” said Rowe. “You don’t want to spend $85 on a $70 weed eater. It’s not really effective that way.”
Rowe and his wife, Josalyn Floyd Rowe, are a team in the business. After the doors fully opened she stepped on deck as well. She supports the workload by doing the bookkeeping, helping find parts and managing customer contact.
“We have always been like two peas in a pod when it comes to being a team in our marriage and in life. We complement each other when working together. He is good at what he does being a mechanic, and I’m good at what I do when it comes to paperwork,” Josalyn said. “I’ve also become skilled in looking up and finding parts. Still being a new business we say our prayers and keep our fingers crossed to be able to continue in our endeavors.”
When it comes to mechanics, Rowe has the passion and the drive to do what he loves while helping the community maintain the beauty of his surroundings.
“It’s about all I know how to do. I just wake up and like turning wrenches. It’s basically like playing with toys. I am getting paid to do what I love,” said Rowe.
Dave’s Little Cranks is located at 206 Main St. in Prosperity. They are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesdays and Saturdays. They can be contacted by phone at 803-271-8879, or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Sarah Dougherty is a student at Newberry College.