by Bonnie Stichart
For almost thirty years Protection Plus has been taking care of trucks and cars in Stevens County and beyond. The family business is nestled in an oasis of weeping willows at the northern edge of Colville, where Hwy. 395 meets Spanish Prairie Road.
Started by Cathy LeCaire in 1988, Protection Plus was originally a detail shop, cleaning vehicles inside and out – which is a service they still provide. Before long, her husband Randy joined the thriving business. Over the years they have expanded Protection Plus to include protection, maintenance, accessories, a variety of ATVs, UTVs, trailers, snowplows, safety gear, and clothing.
The protection referred to in the name is a comprehensive auto interior and exterior protection plan which includes an undercoating, paint protection, and treatment of the interior. Weather in the Inland Northwest can be hard on vehicles; the protection plan, which includes annual maintenance, keeps trucks and cars looking new. It can also lengthen the life of a vehicle, protecting what is, for most people, a major investment.
Protection Plus is still growing; in 2011 they added a second store just south of Deer Park, at the junction of Hwy. 395 and Dalton Rd. The LeCaire’s daughter, Kayla, helps her parents manage this location, and she also takes care of the website, marketing, events, and the ordering of apparel and parts.
Even though she is the daughter of the owners, Kayla doesn’t have a title. “This is a team effort, titles aren’t important,” Kayla said. She depends a lot on the knowledgeable sales and service manager and staff. They are all experienced in the industry; their expertise and enthusiasm is obvious when talking with them about the products and services available at Protection Plus.
Hitches are not just an accessory, but the accessory that makes towing jobs possible. Protection Plus carries and installs all sizes and types of hitches, from the simple bolt-on hitch for cars and mini-vans to huge goose-neck hitches for fifth-wheel trailers. They are the authorized dealer and installer for B &W and Curt hitches. Motor home hitches are a specialty at Protection Plus. State requirements vary, so Randy and his team make sure a motor home towing a trailer or vehicle can safely and legally travel throughout the United States. Protection Plus is bonded and insured.
“Trucks are a large part of our business,” Randy said. “We sell and install a full line of accessories, including running boards, nerf bars, grill guards, mud flaps, spray-on bed liners, toolboxes, bumpers, canopies, bike racks, and more.”
Truck canopies come in different styles for different needs; they can be painted to match the truck. They also are available in “working man” styles that safely cover and store tools and supplies.
Protection Plus can install diesel exhaust upgrades and fuel-economizing computer modules. They also stock just about any truck accessory for the do-it-yourselfer. “We can turn a stock truck into whatever you want,” stated Randy. That’s not an idle boast. If they don’t carry the needed parts in one of their stores, they can order from a variety of suppliers.
Cars as well as trucks can be updated and customized. Protection Plus sells and installs the latest in sophisticated electronic equipment and devices: after-market keyless entry, video systems, stereos, speakers, amplifiers, CB radios and scanners, satellite radio systems, anti-theft systems, and custom window tinting, to name a few.
Powersports are popular and Protection Plus can outfit sports enthusiasts with all the necessities: ATVs, side-by-sides, snowmobiles, safety equipment and clothing.
The powersport machines and power equipment carried by Protection Plus are made by Arctic Cat, Husqvarna, Bad Boy Mowers, and Kymco. Kymco is an American company that is “second to none,” according to Randy. Kymco has traditionally made parts for big-name companies such as BMW, Honda, Kawasaki, and Arctic Cat, among others. The company has been known for high quality and dependability since the 1960’s; these are features that Randy is particular about.
Arctic Cat, Bad Boy Mowers, and Husqvarna – in spite of its Swedish roots – are also 100% American made. It is a point of pride for Cathy, Randy, and Kayla to carry all American-made products.
Protection Plus sells all the attachments that make ATVs so versatile: snowplows, winches, and trailers. For hunters, they have camouflage packs and accessories, brush guards, gun guards, and braces to secure the gun to the ATV. They also carry gear and safety equipment, including shin guards, chest guards, helmets, and boots.
Both the Colville and Deer Park stores are certified by the State of Washington to install “street legal” kits to ATVs and UTVs. This adds signal lights, horns, mirrors, and other components that allow 4-wheelers to operate on public roads.
Protection Plus is also certified by the State and the Washington State Patrol to install interlock devices that detect alcohol. This is a necessity for anyone who has a DUI.
Both stores carry apparel for men, women, and children, but the bulk of it is at the Deer Park location. The specialty women’s line is the very popular Off Road Vixens; they make pants, shirts, hats and more for women and girls. The men’s clothing lines are the equally popular 590 and HMK.
Snowplows are a must-have for winters here in northeast Washington, Idaho, and Montana. Snow plows can be attached to ATVs, SUVs, and trucks. Many customers come from Spokane for the competitive prices and services available at Protection Plus.
Protection Plus has a tire mount and spin balance machine to service ATV and motorcycle tire mounts and repairs. Their service department also does repairs and maintenance.
“We do it right the first time,” Randy says. “Customers come first. If the customer leaves happy, he will keep coming back. If our customers aren’t happy, we aren’t in business.”
There is more to Protection Plus than powersports – they also have power work equipment. Mowers ranging from small to the huge Bad Boy Outlaw riding mower; its slogan “Mow with an attitude” is very apt! It’s possible to power one’s way through the most mundane jobs with chainsaws, leaf blowers, and snow throwers; Protection Plus has the right equipment for those jobs.
Protection Plus in Colville is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 to 5:30 and from 9:00 to 2:00 on Saturdays. You can reach them by phone at 509-684-5849.
Protection Plus in Deer Park is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 5:30 and on Saturdays from 9:00 to 4:00. They can be reached at 509-276-4294. and both stores use the same e-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Protection Plus website – www.propluspowersports.com – shows what they have available. Remember, too, that Christmas will be here before you know it. A gift from Protection Plus might be just what your favorite person wants – and the convenience of ordering on-line can’t be beat, whether it is an accessory for an ATV, clothing, or a gift certificate.
Apparel, gear, and some smaller machines, such as chainsaws, can be shipped.
Whichever Protection Plus store you go to – Colville or Deer Park – you will find knowledgeable, helpful, and enthusiastic people. Cathy, Randy, Kayla, and their staff are ready to help you find the vehicles, tools, services, and clothing to do what you really want to do. And remember to tell them you read about Protection Plus in the Huckleberry Press!