fbpx
Monday, 09 April 2018 17:37

Big Wheels Customs Offers Collision Repair Work, More in Lafayette, IN

Written by Kathleen Merrill, The Lafayette Leader
Big Wheels Customs co-owner Orlando Lopez talks about the types of repairs his shop does. They includes custom work, such as vehicle restoration. Big Wheels Customs co-owner Orlando Lopez talks about the types of repairs his shop does. They includes custom work, such as vehicle restoration. LEADER PHOTO/KATHLEEN MERRILL

Index

Jose does auto mechanic work; Orlando does exhaust, fabrication and metal work. The self-described artist loves when a customer comes to him with an idea and he gets to bring it to life. Along the way, Orlando said he and his brother have learned the best way to run their business is through trial and error.


“Because you don’t just know how to run a business when you start out,” he said. “We owe it all to our customers---all of it. Without them, you can’t make it happen. They trust us.”


He compares today’s auto customizers to earlier pioneers.


“In the 1800s, when all there was were horses, people wanted to differentiate themselves from the next guy. They would do different decorations on their saddles, put bows in their horses’ hair,” he said. “With cars, if every single car is the same, it’s boring. Somebody got bored of seeing the same thing and started making changes. And then every man has an ego.”


Growing up in Southern California, he recalls every type of car: “The racers, the imports, the low riders, the truck scene. We love them all.”


His favorite thing about the business is also the worst, Lopez said.


“We could fail tomorrow, depending on the economy and depending on the customers. We have no backup,” he said. “We don’t have a rich uncle who could save us if we can’t make it next month. We have to treat the customer like he’s the last customer through the door and hope that he’s happy enough to come back again.”


The job is never boring, Lopez said.


“We’re here more than we’re at our home, more than we’re with our wives or our children, so we need to make sure we have a happy environment,” he said. “We’re very proud that we have 12 employees and we have [always] been able to provide for them. Their families and their children depend on their checks.”


Each day is different but somewhat the same, he said. Daily checklists are made for each employee and those things have to get done, which is one of the things he oversees. Treating everyone equally is important to him.


Read 3598 times