COEUR d’ALENE — After working for a quarter-century as an employee of Alert Muffler and Automotive, Dale Banks is taking over ownership of the shop.
The building sits on a prime corner at the intersection of Fourth Street and Wallace Avenue. Evidence of Banks’ continuing education in automotive technology is on display in the front office. The nine certificates on the wall are just a small part of the larger stack of certifications Banks has obtained over his years at Alert.
“He’s the perfect man for the job,” said current owner Joe Parker. “We have worked well together for 25 years, so it’s just the natural progression.”
The shop was lively Tuesday as Banks and an employee worked on multiple vehicles. A slight smell of oil hung in the air as music echoed off the metal and auto parts.
The atmosphere was a mix of modern mechanics and old-school know-how.
Banks said he is looking forward to making some small changes, but will continue to offer the great service Alert Automotive is known for.
“It’s exciting, but a lot of responsibility,” Banks said.
Because he has worked at the shop for such a long time, the transition will come easier, he said. He already knows what’s needed to keep things running smoothly.
Banks was raised in Sandpoint and moved to the Lake City while attending North Idaho College for automotive technology. He is a family man who said he spends time away from work with his wife, Deana, children and grandchildren.
Banks said woodworking is a hobby he is passionate about and one he can share with his wife.
“Last year for Christmas gifts we made these fairy doors,” he said. “We carved them out and put little doorknobs on them, and you place them against a tree so it looks like a fairy lives in your tree.”
Banks said Deana not only helps with woodworking but also is a huge factor in his decision to take on ownership of Alert Automotive.
“My wife is pretty much our VP of advertising right now,” Banks said.
He said her knowledge of business matters has proven to be priceless.
“We just want everyone to know that we are just going to run a no-nonsense, honest auto repair facility,” he said.