By Julie Ann Madden
The former McLaughlin Tire Center looked like a good machine shed for Tracy and Jerod Welch of rural Westfield.
However, the community had a different idea, with several encouraging them to reopen the machine shed as an auto, tire and farm equipment repair shop.
It officially opened Sept. 4.
Tracy graduated from Akron-Westfield Community School in 1993 and Jerod graduated in 1994. Then they took different career paths before they married.
Jerod graduated from Western Iowa Tech Community College’s two-year diesel technician program. He repaired trucks at Great Plains International from 1996 to 1999. Then he joined Ziegler-Cat of Sioux City, where he still is employed today.
Tracy joined the U.S. Air Force, serving from 1993 to 1995. Then she returned home and has worked in several office positions, including EPS Technologies of Jefferson, S.D.; Gateway 2000 in North Sioux City, S.D.; and at law firms. For the past 12 years, Tracy has been employed with Sedgwick-Brennan Abstract Company of Sioux City, where she will continue to work.
Welch Auto and Tire provides “everything from oil changes to actual mechanic repairs, including air conditioning, on autos, pickups, trucks, tractors and farm equipment,” said Jerod.
They also will be selling tires as well as repairing tires. They are planning to get a service truck to provide customers with on-the-spot tire repairs.
Also available will be auto accessories such as batteries and windshield wipers and semi tractor-trailer parts including brakes and lights.
Welch Auto and Tire will also be conducting Department of Transportation truck and trailer inspections.
Sean Gallaugher of rural Hawarden is their daytime mechanic, and they have an office assistant for a few hours every day. Jerod and Tracy will be working nights and weekends.
Welch Auto and Tire is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
If it’s past 5 p.m. and the lights are still on, stop in.
The shop may also be open on Saturdays, just call 568-3450 to see if they are open or call during the week to make an appointment.