A longtime Cumming automotive repair shop has moved into a new site.
Kevin Herbert, owner of Herbert Automotive, said he and his employees recently relocated from the previous spot on Buford Dam Road to a brand-new, 11,800-square-foot location on Castleberry Industrial Drive, near the Cumming Fairgrounds.
“The old Buford Dam space is about 3,500 square feet, so this is probably three times the size at least,” Herbert said.
The additional space allowed them to build a centrally located waiting area, situated between a service center with eight vehicle lifts and a quick oil change and emissions testing area.
Herbert said 12-minute oil changes are available and four-minute emissions testing will be offered in about a month after state officials certify the necessary equipment.
The oil change area offers two underground bay areas for faster service.
On the opposite side of the facility, Herbert said the service center is “designed to get customers in and out very quickly” and offers “state-of-the-art tire alignment equipment.”
“This is the most advanced alignment equipment ever made right here,” he said. “The racks even sink into the ground so cars don’t have to pull up over them.”
Service lifts can handle vehicles weighing up to 15,000 pounds.
While waiting, customers can enjoy a comfortable lobby that offers refreshments and Wifi Internet connections. There’s also a large flat screen television and a children’s play area.
“Customers want a nice, clean place where they can sit and wait comfortably and we’ve got that now,” Herbert said.
Herbert said the new facility is “the realization of a dream” that he’s had for about 30 years since he and his wife, Cyndi, moved from Maryland to north Georgia in the early 1980s.
“This truly is a one-of-a-kind facility and truly is a culmination of everything we’ve done over the last 30 years of taking feedback from customers and employees,” he said.
During those 30 years, Herbert has opened several automotive businesses in Forsyth and Cherokee counties.
He started the Buford Dam location in 1994, followed by a second location on Keith Bridge Road in 1998.
A Cherokee County location opened in 2009.
Herbert also owns Handy Lube locations at Hammonds Crossing, downtown Cumming and in Cherokee County.
Herbert has been working on developing the new site since he bought the land in 2005. He said he’s proud to have worked with local companies in the development and construction process.
“The design was done by Clark and Associates out of Roswell and the builder was Coal Mountain Builders in the Hammonds Crossing area [of north Forsyth],” he said. “Most of the construction was done by local people.
“We did pay extra special attention to make sure that all the subcontractors were local, with the exception of just one or two, and none were from out of state.
“We also received financing from a local bank, Citizens Bank, so this project definitely did mean some economic impact for the county and city.”
The new facility will allow Herbert to hire about three new employees, he said, bringing the total for that site to eight and for all of his locations to about 30.
Herbert said the new facility is a culmination of everything he’s learned in the automotive repair business since he was 15.
“This is everything that I’ve worked for and everything that I’ve wanted in a shop,” he said. “To be able to give a customer everything they need all in one shop, that’s something that I’ve never been able to do. None of the facilities we have are the complete package.
“This is the only one that’s the absolute everything that a customer and an employee would want.”