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Doyle Diesel: Redefining diesel in Fort Dodge

Doyle Diesel specializes in modern diesel engines; Company ready ‘to handle anything that comes through the door’

-Messenger photo by Darcy Dougherty Maulsby
A pair of Doyle Diesel employees work on an engine at the Fort Dodge shop after raising the entire cab of the truck to give themselves room to work.

Jake Doyle won’t forget the day his buddy called him with a major problem. His friend drove a diesel pickup to work daily, but the truck shut down and wouldn’t run. Things only got worse after the truck was towed to a repair shop.

“My buddy got a bill from the shop for $1,400 for troubleshooting, plus they told him he needed a new engine, which cost $13,000,” said Doyle, who owns Doyle Diesel in Fort Dodge. “As he described the situation, I wasn’t sure the truck needed a new engine.”

Doyle’s friend had the Doyle Diesel crew take a look at his truck. After asking questions and doing diagnostic work, the team was able to not only troubleshoot the problem, but fix the truck for $1,200.

“Asking the right questions and listening are essential to finding the answers,” Doyle said.

Doyle Diesel’s reputation for service attracts customers from Storm Lake to Algona to Des Moines and beyond.

-Messenger photo by Darcy Dougherty Maulsby
A pair of Doyle Diesel employees look over the exterior of their Fort Dodge shop.

“We’ve worked hard to get the training and experience to handle anything that comes through the door,” said Doyle, who opened his business in 2017.

The Doyle Diesel team includes three full-time diesel technicians. Doyle; his younger brother, Nick; and Logan Klingson specialize in full-engine overhauls, new engines, fuel injection systems and after-market engine performance components. While the Doyle Diesel team primarily works on newer diesel pickups, they also work on buses (including the St. Edmond school bus fleet), semi-trucks, heavy equipment, tractors and more.

Pickup trucks remain the most popular type of diesel vehicle, with more than 6.6 million on U.S. roads in 2017, according to the Diesel Technology Forum. Demand for diesel vehicles continues to grow, as reflected in new light-duty and mid-size trucks, from the Ford F-150’s Powerstroke turbodiesel V6 to the Dodge Ram 1500 with an EcoDiesel V6 engine.

While modern diesel engines are distinguished by fuel efficiency and dependability, things can still go wrong.

“It’s not always about simply fixing what is broken,” Doyle wrote in a recent Facebook post about a turbo that failed prematurely. “You also have to go a step further and find why the component failed.”

-Messenger photo by Darcy Dougherty Maulsby
A truck proudly wears the Doyle Diesel logo in its back window.

Doyle updates clients every step of the way as Doyle Diesel troubleshoots issues on their vehicle.

“We take pictures to show what’s going on, and we explain everything, including what could go wrong if the repair isn’t made,” he said

Communication is essential, Doyle added.

“People are eager to learn,” he added. ”We also know that happy customers bring more customers.”

While every diesel enthusiast has his or her own reason for wanting more horsepower or more custom options, they all agree on one thing.

“There’s just something about a diesel,” said Doyle.

It’s a mindset Doyle has embraced for years, long before he opened Doyle Diesel in Fort Dodge in 2017.

“My plan was always to run my own diesel repair shop,” said Doyle, a 2012 St. Edmond High School graduate who completed the diesel mechanics program at Iowa Central Community College in 2014. “I’ve always liked diesels, because they offer more horsepower, bigger torque and are made to work.”

Doyle credits his family for inspiring his entrepreneurial dreams. His father, Mike, runs Doyle Construction, where Doyle worked for five years. Doyle also enjoyed spending time with his five brothers when he was growing up in Fort Dodge.

“I liked riding dirt bikes and had a knack for engines,” said Doyle, who took all the training he could to launch his career in diesel mechanics.

After graduating from Iowa Central, Doyle spent two years in Fort Collins, Colorado, working as a field service technician for a company that operated heavy equipment in the oil fields.

“I learned a lot about hard work and long hours,” Doyle said.

In the spring of 2016, Doyle returned to Iowa to join Ziegler CAT in Fort Dodge, where he ran a service truck and worked on heavy equipment.

“Along the way I was also doing side work with diesel trucks,” Doyle said.

Doyle invested in a new shop at 2125 Lainson Ave. after he opened Doyle Diesel in 2017. Since Doyle Construction is an authorized Wick Buildings dealer, Doyle built a 66-foot-by-20-foot Wick building, complete with a full-service shop, showroom and room to expand.

“Whether you want to take your truck down the pull strip or just pull a trailer during the work day, we can handle it all,” Doyle said.

True diesel enthusiasts don’t just want to drive a powerful truck; they want to customize it. That’s why Doyle Diesel is an authorized retailer for more than 250 aftermarket companies.

“In the diesel world, people want big, powerful and shiny,” Doyle said. “We do a lot of business in aftermarket performance parts and accessories.”

Doyle Diesel has created a slideshow of trucks they’ve worked on to show customers what’s possible with customization. This attention to detail, along with reliable service, helped Doyle Diesel earn the People’s Choice Award in the fall of 2018 for Best Diesel Shop in Fort Dodge.

“It’s awesome to run a business in my hometown,” Doyle said. “We’ve met so many people and appreciate the opportunity to grow here. It’s exciting to see how far we can go.”

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