A new ‘start-up’ to help you start up
With the days becoming longer and the temperatures beginning to moderate, gardeners and homeowners are anxious to till their plots and manicure their yards. However, if you pull your tiller out of the shed and almost dislocate your shoulder by wrenching on the pull cord 15 or 20 times, Bob’s Small Engine Repairs and Service — a new start-up in Sabetha — might be able to help you with your reluctant lawn and garden machines.
Robert “Bob” Baumgartner has been a familiar figure in the Sabetha community after working for the City of Sabetha for nearly 30 years. Bob started his skill training back in the 1970s when he took classes for mechanics in Kansas City. From there, he worked at Leman Motors for four years before moving to Lincoln, Neb., to work at a Chevrolet dealership. After marrying his wife, Patty, the two decided to move back to Sabetha to be closer to family. Bob returned to Leman Motors and worked there until he started with the city in 1993.
Bob has worked on cars and large machinery through his adult working life but has seen a need for someone to attend to the maintenance and repair of small engines in the area.
After Bob’s retirement, Patty said, “We both had a discussion on what Robert wanted to do to keep himself busy. Robert enjoys working on small engines and he wanted to get away from cars and large machinery, so we built a new garage for his business.”
Bob has 30 years of experience working on small engines with his lengthy service in the upkeep and maintenance of the City of Sabetha’s equipment. He knows his way around carburetors, drive trains and fuel delivery systems, and he can keep your blades sharp for precision mowing.
The new Chapter Begins
After figuring out what he wanted to do in his retirement, and seeing a need for this type of business in Sabetha, Bob and Patty decided to begin the process in January 2022 with the addition of their garage. They were opened for business in January 2023.
“I enjoy the challenge of finding out what the issue is, and then seeing something perform after it’s fixed,” Bob said. “I look forward to satisfying customer needs.”
When asked what is going to be some of the most common repairs that he will see, Bob said, “Repairing and replacing carburetors is a common repair, tuneups and getting machines started, oil changes and sharpening mower blades are some things customers will want done.”
“The most challenging part of the job is going to be getting parts for older machines, plus just getting parts in general,” Bob said. “Currently, I have vendors that I go through for the parts needed.”
In today’s market, supply chain issues manifest themselves in most aspects of daily life, and small engine parts and auxiliary parts are not immune. Bob reminds future customers that service jobs normally take about an hour, but if parts are needed, project completion would take longer according to how fast the parts are shipped and received.
Bob’s service includes pickup and delivery to make it even more convenient for his customers.
Bob and his wife Patty have been married for 40 years and have lived in Sabetha for the majority of their wedded lives. They raised their three children — Patrick, Bobbi and Amber — in Sabetha. Currently, their son Patrick lives in Topeka, while their daughter Bobbi and her family live in Tonganoxie. Their daughter Amber and her family make their home in Texas.
Bob’s Small Engine Repairs and Service is located at 310 South Sixth Street in Sabetha and is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call for an appointment at 785-213-6656.
Small engines of many varieties including lawn mowers, tillers, weed eaters, snow blowers, chainsaws, golf carts or anything with a small engine are machines that Bob offers his services for. Pricing varies per type of machine and the variety of parts needed.
He will keep you cutting, trimming, tilling and motoring around the links this spring and summer, as well as save your back from scooping with snow blower repairs for the winter.