Expansion for truck repair business
A few days ago, we were visited by David Parker from Calgary Herald who wrote an article about Brandell Diesel. Here the article.
Calgary has become a major transportation hub for the movement of goods and people by air, rail and road. Also, you can go to PressReader to read the article.
Calgary has become a major transportation hub for the movement of goods and people by air, rail and road.
The number of warehouses and distribution centres continues to grow with massive structures in place to receive and forward a wide variety of foods, merchandise and equipments. Much of it is transported by truck, mostly fuelled by diesel.
As the trucking industry has grown, so, too, has the need for qualified maintenance and repair shops. Brandell Diesel (BDI) is one company that has enjoyed rapid growth that has necessitated relocation to much larger premises. Not bad for a company launched in 2013 by Brandon Mandel and his wife, Marisol, the company’s chief financial officer.
Mandel is from a solid farm background, having grown up in the Taber area, where his father fixed diesels for many years and enjoyed having his sons help him while learning the trade.
Mandel moved to Calgary and worked for truck dealerships as a service manager and shop foreman before deciding to strike out on his own. With the encouragement and advice of Chris Blundell, the owner of Compact Compressions, he started Brandell Diesel with just one other mechanic in a small bay in northeast Calgary.
Within its first year, the business had a staff of six mechanics. After 18 months, Mandel was thankful to be able to lease the adjacent bay, increasing its space to 16,000 square feet.
Today, the employee count has climbed to 17 full-time workers. With the help of Dave Jorgensen of Cypress Real Estate, Mandel has moved his operation to a 22,000-square-foot building that can handle 15 large trucks and five light-duty diesels at the same time. The 72nd Avenue S.E. location in Foothills Industrial Park is proving to be ideal, as it is surrounded by truck traffic and close to all of BDI’s vendors.
The office area is complete and, although shelving is still being built in the extensive parts department, the large yard was full of vehicles and busy mechanics on my visit.
Service and maintenance are highly specialized trades today and individual experience and knowledge has to be backed up by the latest technology. Mandel’s shop has more than $200,000 of specialized tooling.
He said good advice from his father was, “Work smart, not hard,” so his technicians are supported with frequently updated diagnostics, with a laptop at each station.
Customers can book a service and follow the work online. From home or office they are always aware of the status of their vehicle and can discuss repairs and new parts, even able to look at photographs or videos taken of trouble spots.
Law demands every commercial truck must have a yearly inspection and the same goes for truck-mounted cranes that his specialists are also licensed to inspect and repair.
BDI has the space and staff to work on both diesels and cranes in the same bay, cutting down on the amount of time a vehicle is kept off the road.
Mandel knows trust is built up by the transparency of his business. He strives to educate his customers and holds free courses at their fleet yards.
Bringing farm values to the city, and earning a solid reputation standing by his motto of “common sense service’” has helped Mandel enjoy his rapid growth.