Gary Fields started his career as a heavy duty mechanic in the marine core from ’99 to ’03 during a tour in Iraq. Upon leaving the core he went to Montana with the intent of setting down some roots and going to college for a planned career in law enforcement. Gary worked through college as a diesel mechanic for a local diesel repair facility from ’03 to ’10, graduating with a Justice Studies degree and a minor in Political Science. After taking a long hard look at their future, Gary and his wife decided that his being a mechanic was the right life path. He enjoyed it, was good at it and took a liking to the light-duty side of the business. And there was an opportunity, there were very few people in his area doing any performance diesel work.
So, in 2010 Gary created a business plan for Diesel Pros, got a small loan and opened his first shop: a one-bay shop with a small showroom totaling 1,800 sq. ft. His operation ran with only him as the soul employee. After a year in business, he moved to a larger 2,500 square foot location with a second bay and a few new employees. His next expansion saw Gary buying some land with his father-in-law. The two set out to make an 8,200 square foot building with 6 bays, a good sized showroom, ample storage and plenty of parking. Of course, with the larger size and more capacity that meant adding several additional employees, growing the workforce and offering more services.
“My shop is first and foremost a diesel repair facility, but the wonderful thing is that Banks and other companies create solutions to problems that the original equipment just don’t have a grasp on. And that’s the part of my job that I absolutely love. There’s a lot of repair facilities out there that focus on O.E.-style replacement parts, and I’ve always felt that there’s a niche there to have an aftermarket solution to problems that continue to plague these diesels.”
Gary continued “From the very beginning I wanted to make it a point to be very diverse on what we offer. Although we focus on repair and maintenance, we never look past an opportunity for accessories and upgrades, especially off-road parts, sales and installation. We tend to take out time when we put a vehicle together and focus on U.S. made products that aren’t going to give a customer headaches. I’m personally an avid off-roader and I spend more time in my Jeep than I do my truck. Off-roading is something that we take seriously, and that’s why my company has an offshoot called DP Conversions. We do Jeep engine and transmission conversion packages.”
Gary as a ‘recipe’ for servicing the customers: “Stick to your guns when taking care of folks. Do what you say you’re going to do, and do it when you say you’re going to do it. Sometimes that’s an uncomfortable thing to do, but when you look past your own ego and look past your own bank account I think you’ll find more success. Folks are more likely to tell their friends what you did for them when you didn’t have to do it.”
If you’d like to experience Gary’s recipe and get a taste of what Diesel Pros is serving, stop by. You’ll be glad that you did.