Repairing and selling machinery provides entertainment and a learning experience for senior Gabe Adams

Examining his latest project, senior Gabe Adams decides which tools he will need and retrieves them from his garage. He begins to dismantle, clean and reassemble the machine.
“I buy, rebuild and sell trucks, boats and tractors,” Adams said. “I started when I was little, with riding mowers and small boat motors, which led to big boats and motors, which led to old trucks, which led to newer trucks and boats. The first thing I bought and restored was a riding mower in sixth grade. The last thing I bought to fix up was a full size diesel truck.”
Adams’ passion has stayed with him and evolved from a personal hobby into a professional occupation.
“I currently work at my family’s marina, Freeway Sports Center,” Adams said. “I have worked there ever since I was old enough to have a place there, and I see myself there in the future. It helped make me who I am. I want to go into engineering because I like solving mechanical problems, but not math problems.”
Although Adams works individually on several projects, he has a group of friends he works with on larger tasks.
“I worked with Gabe last year for about two weeks before spring break on a tractor,” senior Trevor Koleda said. “We just used a hodge-podge of prior knowledge and worked on it, and then Gabe, Tyler Hudson and I drove the tractors to school once it was finished.”
In addition to his friends, Adams has learned from his family and his co-workers at the marina.
“For a long time I worked alone and taught myself most of what I know, but my biggest mentors would be my Grandpa or my Uncle Jim,” Adams said. “I also learned from the mechanics that work at the marina. Every single machine and manufacturer works differently, so it is cool to see how many different ways the same job can be done.”
Both Adams and Koleda have made a business of repairing and selling items.
“I buy, repair and sell just about anything,” Koleda said. “I bought and sold about 10 iPods, and I sell a lot of industrial equipment. I just recently traded a truck for two snowmobiles I’m looking to resell.”
Adams credits his work with teaching him about managing money and making wise business decisions.
“The biggest thing I have learned from the nine trucks, 24 boat motors, six boats, 13 mowers and four big tractors I have bought and sold, is that you have to spend money to make money, and you have to know what the right investment is,” Adams said. “It might glitter, but it is not always gold.”