‘Going green’

An auto body repair shop and environmentally friendly practices are usually thought of as a contradiction. But Scott Stewart, owner of Scott’s Auto Body in Ranson, has successfully melded clean practices in his auto body repair business.

Stewart has been in business in Ranson for 22 years. Starting with a 200 sq. ft. shop and $5,000, he has seen his garage expand to 6,000 sq. ft. and his business turn into a million dollar a year outfit.

William Reno buffs a car that was damaged in a hail storm. Below, Matt West and Ronald Dean reset a door. Scott’s Auto Body uses state-of-the-art welders, resulting in a vehicle repair that looks like it just came from the factory.

The business strives to achieve complete customer satisfaction.

“My whole goal is cleanliness, neatness and a precise job,” Stewart said, “Our business motto is ‘100 percent for excellence.’”

Stewart has achieved his goal by staying ahead of EPA guidelines and using state-of-the-art products, tools and machinery. The shop uses water-based body paint that contain no Volatile Organic Compounds.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) are gases that are released from certain solids and liquids. VOC’s can cause short- and long-term health effects.

The paint is superior to old-style paints in matching colors. “It’s incredible,” Stewart said, who has spent close to $300,000 to upgrade the shop to use the new product. The new equipment includes a new drive-thru paint booth, mixing system and an infusion welder.

The paint booth is equipped with an advanced filtration system. All air is filtered during the spraying process and clean air is released into the atmosphere. The infusion welder is programmed to the type of vehicle being repaired. The welds are the same as the welds from the factory. The result is a nearly flawless body repair.

The new equipment also gives Stewart a new level of efficiency. The business can finish six vehicles a day, up from one vehicle with the old style equipment. “We are one of four shops in the four-state area qualified to do repairs old to new that I know of,” Stewart said.

Stewart takes pride in running a clean business.

“All rubber, tires, cardboard and metal are recycled,” Stewart said. All unused paint goes into a cooker that runs for 24 hours. All thinners get cleaned and reused, and all chemicals are burned up resulting in a small amount of sludge left over. “We have had maybe five gallons of

waste in two years,” he said.

Originally from Keyser, Stewart has lived in Jefferson County for 33 years. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus and in 2002, was given a Jefferson County citizenship award. He enjoys working for the community and people of Jefferson County. “I am a people person. I have had a wonderful life. I like to give back to my employees, community and church,” he said.

Scott’s Auto Body is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for all auto body repair needs. “No job is to big or too small, we do it all,” Stewart said.

The shop is located at 317 North Mildred Street in Ranson. To reach Scott’s, call the office at 304-885-4157.

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