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Roberts Paint & Body: ‘We meet the nicest people by accident’

Marty and Matt Mason inside Roberts Paint & Body.

Did you know that on average, 146 vehicle deer crashes occur every day in Michigan?

That statistic comes from Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center, and locally, the numbers climb daily beginning in October, says owner Matt Mason of Roberts Paint & Body, who sees the damage caused by a car-deer collision daily during this time of year.

In fact, the business recorded 35 deer hits in October.

Because “Deer Season” is one of the family-owned businesses’ busiest times, employees have a little fun with a contest for their “deer hit” customers from Oct. 1-Dec. 1. Customers can win cash prizes and follow deer hit counts on Roberts Paint & Body, Inc. Facebook page. For more information about Roberts Paint & Body, click here.

Marc Bishop buffs a door.

Internally, the company has a contest with prizes for their 18 full-time employees for the person who guesses the correct total for the 90-day time frame.

“This year we expect less deer hits,” Mason said, because of the EHD disease that’s affecting the deer population.

So, here are a few tips from The Michigan Deer Crash Coalition (MDCC) regarding deer encounters:

  •    Watch for deer, especially at dawn and dusk.
  •    If you see one deer, approach cautiously. There may be more out of sight.
  • Deer often travel single file, so if you see one cross a road, chances are more are nearby waiting to cross, too. When startled by an approaching vehicle, they can panic and dart out from any direction without warning.
  • Be alert all year long, especially on two-lane roads.
  • Watch for deer warning signs. They are placed at known deer-crossing areas and serve as a first alert that deer may be near.
Chris Koch works on a car inside Roberts Paint & Body.
  •   Slow down when traveling through areas heavily populated by deer.

“It’s important to understand that it’s safer to come to a controlled stop whenever a deer is in your path than to swerve and go off the road,” said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle, adding, “Don’t veer for deer or swerve to avoid an animal because it can be more dangerous and even deadly.” For more information about deer crashes, click here.

Mason agrees. “Cars can be fixed, people can’t,” he says.

Located at 610 E. Industrial Dr., Roberts Paint & Body was begun by the Roberts brothers, Jerry and Jim of Chelsea, in 1975.

It started in Jerry Roberts’ garage and moved to the current space in 1985.

Matthew Mason, who had worked for the business since 2001 as its business administrative manager, bought the company in 2007. His twin brother, Marty Mason, serves as the production manager, and Matt’s wife, Tammy, is its CFO and marketing coordinator.

The family-owned and operated business now occupies 15,000 square feet of space and repairs about 40-50 vehicles per week.

All employees are highly trained at the craft of quality auto repair, Mason says, adding they are proud of “our quality of work.”

“We do the job right,” he says, even though that might sometimes make them a little more expensive than other places.

Every aspect of the repair can be done in house from computer diagnostics to repairs to painting.

“Everyone is licensed and up-to-date in training,” he says.

Fall and winter are the busy seasons, Matt Mason says, because of deer and weather-related crashes.

And, if your car needs extensive work, the folks at Roberts can help you get back on the road again. They work with all insurance companies and are a pick up/drop off point for rental cars through Enterprise.

In addition to its extensive community involvement with the schools, the business, which goes by the slogan “We meet the nicest people by accident,” is very “green.”

The company recycles everything from cardboard, metal and paint, Roberts Paint & Body has been a part of the county’s Waste Knot program for many years.

Open Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Roberts is open by appointment on Saturdays as well.




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