Hamm: 'The Lord put me in this business'

By Greg Miller
STAR STAFF
gmiller@starhq.com

   Steve and Tammy Hamm recently opened Tri-Cities Alignment, 420 N. Railroad St., Suite D.
   "The Lord put me in this business," said Steve Hamm. "I had the know-how and the experience, but I didn't have the money.
   "Tammy and I talked and prayed about it. We checked on loans and were able to get a Small Business Loan."
   A vehicle needing an alignment will have excessive tear wear, according to Hamm. "You'll have tire wear, and your vehicle will pull to the side," he said. "If you don't have the problem taken care of, your tires will definitely wear out and you could have a blowout." An alignment, which takes about an hour to complete, should be performed about every 12,000 miles."
   Motorists will also notice warning signals when brake repairs are needed, Hamm said. "You get a brake vibration when you apply your brakes, or you get a high-pitch squeaking sound," he said. "Once you get the squeaking sound, if you don't take care of it, you'll have to replace the rotors."
   A Carter County native, Hamm can do alignments on wrecked automobiles. "Those alignments take more time," he said.
   Hamm's goal is "to do a good job and always treat the customers fairly."
   Hamm, who is ASE-certified in front-end and brake repair, has 21 years experience in auto repair. He worked for Dennis Powell Chrysler-Plymouth for 16 years and for Bill Gatton Acura for 2-1/2 years. He has performed repair work for many used car lots in Elizabethton.
   The Hamms' son, Lee, is working at Tri-Cities Alignment. "He has detailed cars for John Skinner Honda and Bill Gatton Acura while he was still in school," Hamm said.
   Another son, Christopher Lynn, is a senior at Elizabethton High School. "He will be working in the business after he graduates," said Hamm, who attends Pleasant Beach Baptist Church.
   A third son, Justin Andrew, 11, attends West Side Elementary School.
   "I think I have a great location across from Sherwin Williams and Pizza Hut," said Hamm, who noted that Tri-Cities Alignment has a three-bay garage. "I really think I'm going to have a great business."
   Mrs. Hamm is an LPN at the Johnson City Medical Center.
   Tri-Cities Alignment is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. For more information, call 543-9777 or 418-0452 or fax 543-9775.