In this episode, we have Mr. Tyler Robertson, Founder and CEO of Diesel Laptops. Diesel Laptops is a startup that focuses on improving shop productivity. Diagnostic equipment, diesel technician training, repair knowledge, parts lookup tools, and a contact center team of diesel technicians help them do this. Diesel Laptops is dedicated to aiding you in finding the ideal solution for your company based on your unique requirements and budget. Today, Tyler shares his early years of starting the business, how his business impacts the community and the services that bring value to his clients.
The Early Years
Tyler remembers the first time he had lunch with his wife, who asked how much he sold and said, "Zero." On the other hand, his wife supported him by telling him that he could do it. That is what entrepreneurship is all about: venturing into the unknown and taking a chance. As is often the case, there is a payoff for taking a chance. Tyler would never have done it if he hadn't already been debt-free. That was one of the main reasons he was able to do what he did and how he accomplished it.
Tyler's supervisor offered him a raise and a double bonus in exchange for his closing his firm, or Tyler would have to resign. He sought guidance from his father, who advised him to sell the company because his job pays well. Tyler contacted one of his vendors, who assured him that whatever Tyler did, the merchant would gladly back him. Tyler's wife was the last person he spoke to, and she told him that giving up his side company was a terrible idea, that he should put in his two-week notice, and that he should give it a go because he could always find a job somewhere else.
Early Experience In The Industry
Tyler has worked in truck repair since he was booted out of college in his early twenties. He was lucky that his family owned a concrete ready-mix plant and a gravel pit, and they decided to go into the truck sales business because they had a few prosperous years. Tyler completed his college education and returned home to work for his father. He views this as his first exposure to the industry, which he is now struggling to shake. Compared to the 20-year-olds, he considers himself a late bloomer when it comes to launching a business.
Tyler, who grew up in the middle class, always knew he wanted to be successful, but he had never considered starting his own business. He just made a lot of money for many other people all of the time. Tyler had some unique ideas and conducted things in a particular way, to which others objected. The problem is that when you run your own business, no one knows unless you tell them, so you get some control over how you spend your time, resources, and money. Tyler does not consider himself the most brilliant guy or the hardest worker, but he does all of these things that he is passionate about and the events that are taking place.
Awards and Recognition
As a result of winning awards, Tyler and his team became well-known in the industry, and all of the venture capitalists, private equity investors, investment companies, and bankers began calling them to inquire about how they could get a piece of their company's success. Making money and developing habits is difficult, to say the least, and that is always the challenge with any business: you have to have something that is valuable enough to be worth the money.
Consumer Centered Products and Services
Tyler is a huge believer in matching the right product to each consumer. Tyler's team is very consultative when speaking with consumers. Their best-selling goods are most popular with independent and truck repair shops rather than fleets. They always warn people that they shouldn't do business with them unless they can save them their time, money, or both. They focus on helping their clients be more efficient in the repair process.
Companies have spent money developing a system that collects and analyzes data ahead of time to decide if a particular unit needs to be serviced in the future. It changes the way parts are purchased, and repairs are performed remotely.
The Diesel Decoder
Tyler just created a tool called the diesel decoder. It's a $350 gadget that's roughly the size of a half-dollar and an inch thick, and it connects to an Android or iOS tablet in your truck's cab. You'll be able to see all of your fault codes and your live data, trip data, and statistics. It will tell you for free all of the possible parts you'll need to fix that truck and all possible causes of the error code. That tool will soon be able to perform additional instructions on your emission system, such as force or regen, among other things.
The first is called "Diesel Components." It is one of Tyler's free websites that he encourages people to use—www.partsdotdiesellaptops.com. On that website, you can look up your parts with expanded views, on display by measurement or application, cross reference components, and anything else. The other one is called "Diesel Repair," a premium website, repairdiesel.com which contains the repair content that they give their clients that buy these $10,000 tools. If you're interested in learning more about diagnostics, go to diesellaptops.com, where they have a free startup kit called the Diesel Laptop Starter Kit, and you get diagnostic software, training, and freebies in the package.
The Importance of Goal Setting in Businesses
You can't just start a business and bumble through it for the rest of your life; you need a goal and a plan to achieve that objective. A goal without a strategy is merely a wish. So, Tyler is very concerned about where they'll end up. And more importantly, how are they going to get there. They recognize that they must raise the level of all employees, regardless of their current position, for the company to continue to expand. If employees stop improving, they will not continue to grow.
Tyler has purchased a lakefront property where he enjoys spending time with his wife, playing with his children, and getting nostalgic. They're not big on going out. They prefer to keep to themselves, while the kids enjoy having their friends over and running around, and Tyler enjoys being able to entertain and keep them entertained.
Two Apps by Diesel Laptops that are a must to have:
1. App that allows users to cross-search over 1.2 million truck parts for free: Diesel Parts.
2. Diesel Repair - gives you all of your repair information in one place.
These two Apps are available on IOS and Android devices, on the play store under: "Diesel Parts and Diesel Repair"
*Anuj Agarwal - Feedspot the founder of Feedspot.com notified us that The Trucking Entrepreneurs Podcast has been selected by their panelist as one of the Top 20 Logistics Industry Podcasts on the web. Currently we're ranked #8. https://blog.feedspot.com/logistics_industry_podcasts/
Tyler Robertson, Founder and CEO of Diesel Laptops, an industry game changer. I worked at commercial truck dealerships my entire career and throughout those years, I’ve seen commercial trucks become more and more complex, and more difficult to diagnose, which has become a problem, so I wanted to fix that problem. I started selling diagnostic tools and now Diesel Laptops has expanded from selling on eBay in my garage to over $50 million/year in revenue with 200 employees doing it the hard way - Without raising capital. We now offer all kinds of platforms both internet-based, mobile apps, we have training classes, we do parts information, we do diagnostic tools, we also have a live call center, we now do all kinds of stuff.