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Canton Paint & Body Owner Says Business Runs ‘A Million Times Better’ with Hunter Engineering

The Canton Paint & Body team poses in support of former co-owner Sue Ragle, who lost her battle with breast cancer earlier this year.

Ricky Ragle opened Canton Paint & Body in 1993 after “getting tired” of his one-hour work commute from Dallas, TX, recalled his son, Corley Ragle. “My mom was also traveling back and forth, working for the City of Sunnyvale, and started realizing, ‘We can make some money at this, Dad is really good at this,’” Corley Ragle said. “So, she gave her notice at that job and came over to the body shop and worked with Dad.”

Canton Paint & Body
Canton, TX
Facebook: @CantonPaintandBody

Company At A Glance...
Type: Collision Repair
Facility Employees: 21
In Business Since: 1993
Number of Locations: One
Production Space: 40,000 square feet

Ragle said the two worked side by side, building the business together. About 18 years ago, Ragle joined his mom, Sue Ragle, to run the body shop in Canton shortly after his dad retired in the early 2000s.

However, this past year, Ragle became the sole owner of Canton Paint & Body following back-to-back tragedies. During the pandemic, he lost his father to COVID, and in March 2023, his mother lost her battle with Stage 4 breast cancer.

“God threw a lot at us all at once,” he said.

Canton Paint & Body in Canton, TX, has proudly been family-owned since its inception in 1993.

Ragle added it has been difficult finding someone with his mother’s work ethic, as she “could do 20 people’s jobs.”

To adjust to this significant loss, personally and business-wise, Ragle made major shifts at his collision repair center.

“We wanted to invest money back into the shop, and we had already expanded our main building to 30,000 square feet,” he explained. “Plus, we had acquired several buildings next door so our customers can access Enterprise rental cars onsite and for additional workspace.”

In total, the body shop now has 40,000 square feet of workspace.

“We never imagined that we’d get this big for a small town,” said Ragle.

Ragle said they got tired of subletting jobs that required ADAS technology and alignment equipment. They were risking quality with offsite mechanics who wouldn’t take ownership of their work. So, he reached out to a trusted local mechanic, who had owned an auto repair shop 20 years before retiring, and told him his dilemma. Ragle said his friend referred him to Hunter Engineering, saying the company was “the best.”

“I looked them up and reached out to a gentleman named Joe Yoder,” Ragle explained. “Mr. Yoder came down and met with me the same week. Next thing you know, we got three brand new alignment machines, along with the full ADAS system to recalibrate object sensors and parking sensors, distance control for your adaptive cruise control, and more.”

Ragle said having Hunter Engineering equipment “has made things a million times better and stress free.”

“Now we’re not subletting our stuff across town,” he said. “I have one in-house mechanic, and we just drive it from one of our buildings to the other. We do everything here, so we can control the quality, and keep all the money in house.”

Ragle added Canton Paint & Body can also “mark things up properly now.”

He also shared insight for body shops reluctant to incorporate ADAS technology.

Canton Paint & Body houses three Hunter Engineering alignment machines and an ADAS system.

“I’m sure there’s a lot of small shops debating getting into ADAS,” he said. “I highly recommend it because obviously more and more computers are getting put into cars every day and they’re getting smarter and smarter. So, you have to evolve with the technology you’re given.”

During the past year or so working with Hunter Engineering, Ragle reported the equipment is “great, user-friendly, and the ADAS software is always up-to-date.”

“Getting the updates is huge for us; it’s a concern for a lot of shops,” he said. “Out of 300 cars, we’ve only come across two instances where the update wasn’t released by the manufacturer yet on ADAS.”

Ragle said his relationship with Hunter Engineering sales reps has been “awesome.”

“Mr. Yoder is the best salesman and I’d say he’s a technical guy too,” he said. “If you call him on his cell, I mean call any time, he’ll answer a call or text and he always has the answer, and in the rare occasion where he doesn’t have the answer, I promise you, he will have that answer here shortly. So, that’s one thing I love about him; he’s real persistent.”

Ragle added Hunter Engineering also offers classes to customers. In addition to classroom training, Canton Paint & Body works with Tim Sowers, a dedicated technical and training representative from Hunter. He installs and maintains the equipment and does on-site training with the technicians when needed.

Ragle said Sowers is “leagues above anybody I’ve dealt with [from other vendors] as far as customer service and knowledge.”

“We need more of him at several other companies,” he said. “You can call him, text him, and he’ll answer you, which is nice.”

As far as customer relations, Ragle said, “We’re a small town and we treat everybody like family. We know nobody wants to be here after they’ve been in a wreck, so we always try to make it as easy as possible for them."

Hunter Engineering Co.
Facebook: @hunterengineeringcompany
Instagram: @hunterengineering
LinkedIn: @hunter-engineering
YouTube: @HunterEngCo

To read more auto body shop profiles in the October 2023 Shop and Product Showcase, click here.

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