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by Bill Scheffman
It had turned up that my computerized hydraulic jacks (left rear) was not functioning and the pump -- usually producing 3500 lb. of pressure was wimping out, as well. Locally we could not find anyone who could fix those problems, and therefore it was up to me to absorb the cost of parcel post to Moscow, Iowa, home of the ultra-reliable HWH Corporation.
I had ascertained that such shipment could cost in excess of $300, there and back. Not only that but I would be deadlined, for all intents and purposes for at least a week -- not a pleasant thought for one who delights in being free. There was an alternative, however.
It would cost $400 to travel from San Antonio (of the famous River Walk) to the interestingly named town of Moscow, Iowa, located maybe some 25 or so miles from Davenport on scenic IH-80 on the Eastern edge of Iowa, right in the middle of Amish Country. That's it, wait for a business opportunity (not long in presenting itself) and I have a reason to undock the 37' Holiday Rambler Crown Imperial on a bus chassis and cruise up IH-35 to Des Moines Iowa turning onto IH-80 east for the last 130 miles or so.
I arrived early. One day early, to be exact. 6:45, CST, or -- as the employees cars were entering the parking lot 500 ids south of IH-80, exit 267. The sun, the weather, the scattered clouds in the sky gave promise of a nice day to come. I went in, announced to the service supervisor, Tracy Meinert, who I was and that I was a day early. I inquired if he knew of a local hookup I would be back the following morning for my appointment.
To my surprise, he asked me to go ahead and pull into the first bay on the right! By the time I put it in the bay, a technician was standing in front of me. He came around to the door and said he was ready to start -- what was wrong with the jacks. During the next 2 or so hours I was briefed on each step (i.e., "the pump went to manufacturing where they will dismantle it, make any corrections and return it to me for reinstallation, then we will be able to check the corrections I made to the jack.")
From the time I first entered HWH, I was treated as though I was the only reason they had arrived at work. My ultimate satisfaction was the goal. They made me feel as though I was very important! I thought this sort of treatment went out of fashion many years ago, yet it is alive and very well at HWH.
Interestingly, along the same line, owner Sam Hanser came out of his office about 11:30 and gathered the almost 20 customers together. He explained he had sent for his minibus to take us to the local restaurant to be his guests for lunch! Well? Now that's a class act!
On arriving back from lunch, my assigned mechanic informed me all was in readiness for my departure. Reconstructed and re-warrantied jack and pump in place, pleasantly full after a great lunch, I sought out Sam, his daughter, the service supervisor, and the others I felt I had made friends of -- to tell them "goodbye."
As I headed westward, I caught myself thinking a sort of strange thought: I was looking forward to the time I might experience a jack failure again, so I could return to HWH in the heart of Eastern Iowa, near a little town called Moscow.