Diesel Stories Recap: David Saline on Running a Diesel Shop

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Hey, friend, you’ve checked out Fullbay’s podcast, right?

If not, stop reading right now and go check it out. We’ll wait.

Actually, check out this particular episode of the podcast, where Jacob and Chris chat with David Saline, VP of Sales at Drive.

It’s a pretty great episode, with David sharing stories about his school years and his early plans, which—interestingly enough—didn’t really involve trucks. True, he grew up on a farm and spent his formative years around heavy-duty equipment, but when he grew up, he wanted to be a veterinarian.

He even attended vet school while working as a mechanic at a truck stop. There, he said, he was faced by an uncomfortable reality: “I was going to spend eight years in college, and have this outstanding college debt…for a job that’s gonna pay me what I’m making right now.”

That incident, David says, was a wake-up call regarding “how well the industry can provide for somebody.” While other fields ram home the need for degrees and racking up debt, the heavy-duty field is one “you can get into without a lot of schooling … they’ll do on-the-job training and grow you through their company.”

 

Fortunately for trucking (and for us!), David decided vet school was not for him. He ended up running some highly successful repair shops, and then later joining Drive to help other shop owners do the same thing.

Not surprisingly, the conversation swirled around business and shop management. Some of the topics the guys discussed include:

  • The importance of thinking like a business owner instead of thinking like a mechanic
  • The viciousness of the “boom and bust” cycle (or, perils of marketing a repair shop)
  • Why you always need to be growing your business in some way
  • Why every shop, no matter how small or large, needs to plan, and how to get started
  • How he got his techs to 100-125% efficiency
  • Properly incentivizing your techs
  • “You’re saying you got your shops running so well on their own that you spent your days playing online poker?”

It’s an awesome, far-ranging interview loaded with excellent advice and more than a few laugh-out-loud moments. To hear the whole thing, grab a drink, head over to the podcast, and enjoy!

Suz Baldwin

About Suz Baldwin

Suz Baldwin got her start in the automotive industry, writing and editing for several motorcycle and classic car magazines straight out of college. In the years that followed, she’s written all sorts of copy for brands big and small while consuming enough coffee to paralyze a dinosaur.

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