Big D's Auto Sales and Service is always a call awayBy CATHRYN CARTWRIGHT,
Every person who has ever owned a vehicle will have the same experience at one point or another. Their car may break down on the side of the road, or a truck may get stuck in a plot of mud. In the worst cases, a person may be involved in an accident, ruining the vehicle entirely. When an event like this occurs, a person almost always calls upon a towing company they can trust.
Dennis Vandevere, commonly known as "Big D" around Yazoo City, is always one phone call away when you and your vehicle are in need of recovery.
Dennis is the owner of Big D's Auto Sales and Service, LLC, which is located on the hill at 800 East Broadway Street in Yazoo City.
Dennis started out selling used cars at another location on Mound Street, but in 1987 he saw an opportunity to expand his business and moved up the hill to their current location, where they have been serving customers ever since.
In 1993, Dennis hired his friend Shorty Jenkins, who convinced him to go into the towing business.
In the years since, Big D's has expanded even more to include a wide variety of services.
"Now I offer a repair service, an 18-wheeler wrecker service, towing of cars and trucks, storage buildings and just about anything that needs to be moved," Dennis said.
Big D's could not meet the demands of each job without the help of Missye Vandevere running the office, and they also have Todd Glenn, Timmy Vandevere, and Darrin Threet to call upon at a moment’s notice to make repairs to cars and trucks or to recover a vehicle in the middle of the night.
Many Yazooans remember Robert Lee Grant, who worked for Big D's as a mechanic for over 25 years and was an asset to the business and a favorite to customers.
"He was one of my favorite employees," Missye said. "Most of our customers came from knowing him."
Dennis' love for the people of Yazoo is what has kept him going all of these years, and he has built understand relationships with many of his customers.
"I understand the needs of farmers having to get equipment out of the ditch without damaging machinery," he said. "I also know that speed, reliability and safety are important in the wrecker service that you choose."
Big D's Auto Sales and service is an active part of the local business community in Yazoo City, and they also support efforts by local organizations.
"I heard so many good things about what the Yazoo County Chamber of Commerce is doing here that we decided to become a member," Dennis said. "I would like to see the city grow and see that small businesses like mine are protected from ‘pop-up’ businesses that don't support anything in Yazoo."
Over the years, Big D's Auto Sales and Service has sponsored local youth softball teams and currently donates storage units to house the league's equipment.
Dennis said he feels that the future of Yazoo City is in the expansion of the Parks and Recreation areas.
"Tournaments on good fields would bring in more money to everyone in the city," he said. "The streets could get paved and the crumbling infrastructure could be repaired, and there would be more business for everyone."
Dennis said that he loves his job because of the people he meets along the way.
"I have picked people up from wrecks and breakdowns who are having the worst day of their life, and I have helped save other people's vehicles, and they were very happy," Dennis said. "I treat people the way I would like to be treated."
Over the years Big D's Auto Sales and Service has received thanks in a variety of ways from the people they have helped over the years, such as handwritten thank-you notes and other small gestures.
"We want to thank our customers for supporting us," the Vandeveres said. "We also would like to thank those who recommend us to people from out of town. That helps us support other projects in Yazoo City."
If you ever come across a time when you have car trouble, remember to call Big D's Auto Sales and Service, they will pick you up any time day or night and treat you like family.