Diesel Stories Recap: Jamie Irvine of the Heavy-Duty Parts Podcast
Jamie grew up in the Maritimes in a time “just before the internet.” Like many of that particular age group, he spent his childhood building ramps, riding bikes, climbing trees, and just generally running around a lot outside. At thirteen, he was picking potatoes for a farmer named James Brown (who was not a soul man at all), and continued working part-time jobs throughout high school. By the time he graduated, he was juggling three jobs—including a spot at a mechanic’s shop.
Jamie acknowledges that teens working in diesel shops is increasingly rare, and he laments that trades have fallen out of favor. “I don’t see too many parents bringing the family all together and celebrating that Johnny is going to become an electrician,” he says, “or Sandra is going to become a diesel tech.”
Jamie, however, did have mechanical experience under his belt, and when he graduated at 17, he packed his bags and moved to Vancouver. From there, a series of jobs, questionable decisions, and relationships followed, and Jamie freely admits he made some mistakes. By his mid-twenties he knew he needed to straighten things out, and he cleaned up his life and had a job working on trucking and logging equipment.
Over the next few years, he bounced through jobs, but in 2016, he returned to the heavy-duty industry to sell parts with previous colleagues. He very much wanted to get into consulting, and realized that while there were some trucking podcasts around, there was no sign of a podcast around parts. He created a new podcast around that concept, and about seven months later, he was running the podcast and consulting on the side.
“I love this industry,” he says, “and I love the people in it … but if we don’t adapt … we’re going to get left behind.”
Some topics the guys covered include:
- The hardships and trauma he faced in his life, and how overcoming them helped shape the man he is today
- How he learned how to step back from his business so he didn’t need to be constantly present
- The importance of asking yourself why a customer should choose you over a competitor—and why you need to come up with an answer if you don’t have one!
- How the COVID-19 pandemic forced a “digital transformation”
- How the industry can further adapt as the world around it continues to change
It’s a thought-provoking, deeply motivating podcast, and worth a listen if you’re interested in where this industry is going and how it will need to shift to keep up with and take advantage of changing technology. Listen to the entire show here, and remember to follow Jamie’s Heavy-Duty Parts Podcast, too!