Thursday December 6, 2012 | By:Felice E. Krycia-associate editor | News
Kevin Ballacchino holds the door open into the waiting room for his next customer at Continental Transmission (649-3911), 5187 Camp Road, Hamburg. The business handles domestic and foreign transmission work, as well as clutch, axel, driveshaft and differential repairs.
Since 1987, people in Hamburg and the neighboring communities have been coming to Continental Transmission, 5187 Camp Road, for their transmission repairs.
Kevin Ballacchino has been part of the Hamburg business since the beginning, first as the manager and since 1990, as owner.
“Mickey Glenn bought the building, which used to be a gold and silver exchange, and converted,” Ballacchino said.
“Glenn later said he wanted to concentrate on his Continental Transmission store in West Seneca and he offered me a chance to purchase this one,” he said.
According to Ballacchino, 52, he talked it over with his wife, the former Pamela Clark, who was expecting their fourth child (they are now the proud parents of nine children, ranging in age from 31 to 7), who agreed it was a good move for them.
Since that time, Ballacchino said he has seen a lot of changes in the industry, but the main constant is his standard of putting the customer first.
“If you don’t treat people with respect, honesty and courtesy, it doesn’t matter how good of a job you do, they won’t come back. Customer satisfaction is in our number one goal,” he said.
One of the major changes he has seen is the switch from rear-wheel to front-wheel drive, as well as the internal changes in the engines, with all the computer controls.
“Vehicles are much more sophisticated today, with all the computer chips inside them and they are lasting longer with all these innovations.”
With all those innovations, the spaces for the engine, transmission, etc. are being stretched to capacity.
“Everything is jammed pretty tight inside the mechanical part of the vehicles, there is very little room to maneuver once your working inside them,” he said. “It is a challenge, that is for sure.”
Another change the Ballacchino has noticed is with the vehicle owners themselves.
“People are more attentive to what is going on with their vehicles. More and more people are reading the maintenance books and are keeping track of when they should schedule transmission tune-ups, etc.
“There is much more interest in doing preventative maintenance today. People expect their vehicles to last longer,” Ballacchino said.
Assisting in that goal of making vehicles last, are mechanics Dale Williams, who has been with Ballacchino for 18 years and Bob Dzierzanowski, who has worked for 17 years for Continental, with 11 of those years with Ballacchino.
“Here at the shop, with everyone’s experience put together, there is over 70 years of knowledge and expertise here.”
Along with rebuilding and replacing domestic and foreign transmissions, they replace and repair clutches, axles, driveshafts and differentials
“These guys know what they are doing, at a reasonable price for the customer.
“Our goal, is to exceed the customer’s expectation,” Ballacchino said.
“Hamburg has been good to me and I want to be here another 25 years,” he said.
Continental Transmission, 5187 Camp Road, Hamburg, is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information or to make an appointment call 649-3911.