Larry’s Auto and Farm Repair
Owners: Forrest Kendall (pictured at right) and Keith Newton (pictured at left)
Location: Mansfield, Mo.
History: Forrest Kendall and his son-in-law, Keith Newton purchased the business four years ago.
“At the time, we were both mechanics working for someone else so we decided to give this a try,” Forrest explained. “After four years, I can say, we’re still here. Every day is different. You just never know what may come in. The best part, of course, is being your own boss and sometimes, that is the worst part, too but really there is nothing too bad about all of it.”
Products and Services: “We do everything related to tractors, haying and other farm equipment. It is probably easier to say what we don’t do than what we do,” Forrest continued. “Keith is a certified John Deere mechanic, but we work on all makes and models, as well as anything related to mufflers and exhaust systems. We do it all in house. We don’t go out into the field and we don’t do tires. We contract that out with someone else so we can certainly help you with a tire problem, but somebody else covers that for us.
“Probably the hardest part is getting parts for tractors and equipment not made in the United States. We are seeing more and more off-brand and foreign made stuff.”
“Hay season can get pretty busy around here,” Keith added.
He would know as he and his wife, LeAnn, also farm 200 acres, which they use to cut hay and raise 26 head of commercial beef cattle.
“You don’t expect to get rich in this business, but we keep the bills paid and I do like the part about being our own boss,” Forrest said.
“My wife, Rhonda, and I live on my deer hunting property,” Forrest concluded with a laugh. “We keep it pretty simply around here, open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed on Saturday and Sunday. We still do all handwritten receipts. We’ll probably get around to doing it on computers one of these days but when we do, I’ll have to hire somebody else to run that. It sure won’t be me. For now, it’s all working out well.”