Drivers' Corner - Layover CB Shop

Are There any Good CB Shops Left?

By Stan Wells

Keeping your radio working correctly is a never–ending job. When people ask me what CB means, I always give the same answer: "Constantly Buying." You can spend lots of money trying to get your radio to sound just right. The first thing you need to do is find a good shop you can trust and let them set the radio up for you. Don't believe all those golden screwdriver experts who claim to know something no one else does.

There are many good shops across our land. In my capacity as a manufacturer's representative, I get to meet many CB shop operators. On my recent trip to the Mid–America Truck Show in Louisville, Kentucky, I visited several. I would like to tell you about a few of them and the people that run them.

The first shop we encountered was in Fultonville, New York, at the TA. It has been there for years and is currently run by "Sir Boss" and his son "Porkchop." Sir Boss is in his 50s and has a long history with retailing and rock bands––a strange combination and a long story as well. One of the more pleasant and amiable managers that I have never met. He has great rapport with his customers. He is not a great technician, but his skills are above average. His recent suffering from skin cancer on his face has not diminished his smile or attitude. His son Porkchop is an excellent technician and has been working on radios since he was age 14. Nice people and a nice, clean shop to go with it.

We will bypass my shop in Syracuse, New York, and go to Don's CB in Erie, Pennsylvania (exit 9 off I–90). Another father and son team. Don has been in the CB business forever, or it seems that way. He is a tech's tech, the one I turn to when I can't figure out a radio problem. His son, Chris, is not the tech his father is. Don't sell Chris short, though, he has learned from a master. I would hire him in a NewYork minute. He is particularly skilled with antenna problems and diagnosing radio problems. Don's CB shop is also the authorized repair center for several brands.

Later in our trip we stopped at Jim's Tech Shop in Lake Station, Indiana, located out behind the Petro. Jim has a past that is unusual. He studied to become a Salvation Army minister and worked for a big–time wholesaler as a salesman of CB products. Now he runs a shop that is small in size only. Customer service and integrity are basic rules he runs his shop by. It's a busy little shop that has many satisfied customers.

From there we went to I–65 south and ended up in LaFayette, Indiana. There we visited with Steelrod Communications. In a little trailer out behind the truckstop, this giant of a man works. Stature is not his only asset. He and his crew are some of the best techs I have ever met. Steve got his name after having two steel rods inserted in his spine. Just don't let him take you to lunch. A bag of Doritos is what he calls lunch. We drove all this way to meet him and have lunch. For lunch he tossed us a bag of Doritos, and not a big one either, snack size. Fortunately, he is a better tech than a host.

I know there are many other great shops. These are just a few. They are representative of the many shops I have been privileged to visit. If you know of a shop that is outstanding, send me an email about them. I will try to highlight other shops I visit during our future travels.