Current Lead Times: 1-3 Weeks on Most Engines; 3-4 Days on Heads – *call us for more exact lead times for your specific build 

Diesel mechanic shop owners in this competitive machine and repair industry is not an easy feat. But when it comes down to it, recognizing what obstacles to expect and knowing how to overcome them is essential for your business to continue to grow and thrive.


This article touches on the three biggest challenges of owning a diesel mechanic shop and the best ways to resolve them.


1. Hiring Mechanics


One of the biggest problems for diesel mechanic shop owners is hiring qualified personnel. Of course, this problem can be found in virtually any industry, as Mike Rowe – famed host of the TV series ‘Dirty Jobs’ – has so acutely pointed out. But finding the right people for skilled trades, ones with the right skillsets and specialty knowledge is easier said than done.


Business owners invest millions of dollars annually to determine who their customers are. We spend so much time scrutinizing our customer base and know our clientele from the inside out. We know they eat at steak houses on Friday night, pick up lumber at Lowes Saturday morning, and haul their boat back from the lake Sunday afternoon.


That being said – the same approach should be taken when hiring mechanics. 


Employee retention is simply higher among enthusiasts of the industry. Instead of combing through job sites and ending up with a guy “just looking for a job,” go to a race track. There you’ll find someone willing to spend all their hard-earned money 1/4 of a mile at a time and work late on a Friday night just to make a pass – and that’s exactly the kind of person you want to work with within this industry.


We strongly encourage you to check out your local 4H if you are in a rural area. Those kids all grew up working on tractors, and a good work ethic is a standard issue on a farm. The most remarkable trait is dependability; nothing is more important for an employee than being someone you can rely on.


2. Parts Shortages


In the last two years, we have seen firsthand the challenges that global shortages have caused. From auto manufacturers that have shut down production due to a lack of electrical components to lead times so long that you start to question the feasibility of buying a horse and buggy instead – delays are frustrating. And not just for the customers but for the owners as well.


For shops that are limited to space and bays, the last thing you want to do is to tie up your lifts with cabs hanging in the air, waiting for parts that keep getting pushed back. The good news is: Choate can help with this!


Though we are best known for our tough and high-performing engines, one of our best-kept industry secrets is actually our parts department. Choate builds numerous engines, which in turn helps us get better pricing with our manufacturers. We stock plenty of different parts consistently, so we’re confident we can take care of you in time to get your customer back on the road. If you need something and you don’t see it on our website, don’t hesitate to give us a call! We can most definitely work something out.


3. Customer Acquisition


Customer acquisition is the lifeblood of any business. While spending money on ads is a good investment, there’s no denying the power of word of mouth. Think about the endless possibilities if every customer came to you through a referral!


On that note, did you know that our Preferred Installers (PI) receive leads for engine installs whenever they team up with Choate? That’s right – not only can you have confidence in knowing that you’re installing the best engine, but you can also be confident about who is installing it.


To learn more about our nifty PI plan, feel free to reach out to us anytime.


Final Thoughts for Diesel Mechanic Shop Owners


Building and sustaining a successful diesel mechanic shop is largely about identifying barriers and knowing the right action to conquer them. With this article, we hope we’ve provided you with valuable insight and keen advice to benefit you and your business in the long term.


For more information about our diesel engine products and services, contact us at (901) 553 – 9847 or drop us a message here.

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