Waterbury Transmissions

1480 N Main St, Waterbury, CT 06704 203 754-0171

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Waterbury Transmissions Expands

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Waterbury Transmission expands on state, municipal contracts

Oct. 12--WATERBURY, Conn. -- Marlynne Polakowski, who co-owns Waterbury Transmission Inc. with her husband, Steve is going to need a bigger grill. Soon.

Every day, Marlynne uses her grill to cook breakfasts and hot lunches for her employees.

Now, though, it's beginning to look like those breakfast and luncheon lines in front of Marlynne's grill will expand. Two new service contracts, one with the state and one with the town of Wolcott, likely will force the company to increase its work force from six to nine, Wychulis said.

The company will hire at least one more mechanic over the next few weeks, and is likely to add two more workers to its support staff, he said.

Waterbury Transmission, a 16-year-old, full-service automotive engine repair shop that specializes in repairing and rebuilding transmissions, was started by the Polakowskis in 1993 at 1480 North Main St. That site once housed an auto repair shop that specialized in working on foreign cars, and a new car dealership before that.

In August, the company was awarded a four-year contact with the state Department of Administrative Services to rebuild transmissions in all the cars, vans and small trucks driven by that department, the state Department of Transportation, the state Department of Environmental Protection and a number of other state agencies.

The contract designates Waterbury Transmission as the state's primary transmission rebuilding facility for the length of the contract.

The new contract replaces a four-year deal Waterbury Transmission signed with administrative services in 2005. The difference between the two contracts is that while the previous pact recognized the North Main Street garage as one of six transmission repair facilities across the state the department could utilize, the 2009 contract limits the total number of transmission repair vendors to two -- a primary transmission repair facility and a secondary facility that only receives work the primary contractor is too busy to perform.

Error rates for transmission work are determined by dividing the total number of transmissions the company rebuilds by the number of transmission failures reported prior to the end of a rebuilt transmission's warranty period.

The Wolcott contract, which took effect last week, is a one-year award that covers all major and minor engine maintenance and repair work for all of the town's police cruisers and vehicles. The range of work covered by the pact runs the gamut from transmission repairs to tune-ups to brake jobs, exhaust system repairs and oil changes.

The two new contracts give Waterbury Transmission a total of four government or municipal contracts. The company also holds a four-year complete vehicle maintenance contract with the state Judicial Department it signed in 2006, and is now working on its fifth consecutive one-year agreement to provide transmission repairs to the city of Waterbury's entire fleet of cars, vans and small trucks, a responsibility it shares equally with one other transmission repair vendor.

The four government contracts provide the shop with about 35 percent of its business, Wychulis estimates. About 40 percent comes from retail customers; the remaining 25 percent comes in either through referrals from local repair shops that don't do transmission work or as wholesale business that comes in from service stations, general repair shops and used car dealers throughout the area.

One retail customer who has stuck with Waterbury Transmission through thick and thin, however, is Kenny Trueheart, a Waterbury resident who brings all his family cars, as well as the vans he drove for Senior Care of America before his retirement, to the North Main Street shop.

"You can't beat the quality of the work they do here," he said recently, seated in the shop's small front office, waiting to pick up his daughter's car. "These are good people here who give you good service and they do it at a price that's very hard to beat. And believe me, I've looked around."

Source:  Waterbury Republican-American, Conn.


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