If it hasn’t been made evident by now, we love people here at AAT! We love hearing about their stories and passions for our community, but we also love hearing about what our fellow locals do and why they do it! For example, we have some wonderful neighbors who own/manager some fantastic local businesses and serve our town tremendously by doing so! This fact is why AAT has partnered up with our good friends at B3 Glass, to bring you all “Small Business Fridays!” Each week, we’ll feature a different, local small business and talk with its owner and hear about their journey, their business in general, as well as their heart for their customers and our city!
This week, we were lucky enough to be joined by the husband and wife team behind Spring Creek’s Dukes Diesel Repair, Russell (Russ), and Jacquelyn (Jac) Snyder. Named after the Snyder’s family dog, Duke’s Diesel Repair has been serving our community as a quality certified diesel mechanic company. However, don’t let the name fool you because Russ and his brother will service almost anything with wheels! As a family-owned business, the Snyder’s enjoy being able to use the success of Duke’s to serve their personal family as well as their community family. They’re all about giving back to their neighbors, which is why AAT & B3 Glass are excited to give them the spotlight this week!
Thank you all for making time to chat with us this week! We know that you have several vehicles in your yard that need your attention, so we’re thankful for the conversation! To kick things off, can you please tell us the story of how Duke’s came to be and how you ultimately ended up in Elko?
Jac– “He was working in Provo City, Utah, and he kept talking about diesels; trucks were all he could talk about. Then, he started working for this little mechanic in Springville, Utah, when I finally asked him what he could do in this field. He mentioned that there was a school in Arizona he could go to, and I told him to apply for it! He did and got accepted, and then he proposed, and we got married ten days later!”
Russ- “The school started in February of 2009, and we graduated in March of 2010. After that, I went to work for Freightliner of Utah for a year and a half before going up and working in an oil field for a year. At that point, we had one little one, so I would start missing the family and get homesick.
“My aunt was dating a guy in Spring Creek. We went to my mom and dad’s house one night, and he offered me a job!”
Jac- “We came to check the community out, and we just fell in love with the town. We had never been to Elko before that visit. It was cool being here.”
Russ- “Eventually, I ended up working for Bill Miller Equipment Sales in Carlin for two and a half years, but that was the point when I realized I wanted to start doing my own thing. We started doing work on the side at home, and the next thing we knew, we were so busy that the day job was being a hassle to keep up! In 2016, we got our LLC in place, and in 2017, I officially started Dukes and have been running ever since.”
That’s wonderful! Russ, from where did your interest in the mechanic life come?
Russ– “Growing up, my dad was a mechanic his whole life. My brother was a mechanic. My uncle was a mechanic. It was just a natural thing for me to fall into. As a kid, I was always tinkering with things and pulling things apart. It was a family trait, in a sense. I just followed the bloodline.”
That’s very cool! Now, let’s discuss Duke’s. Can you please give us a breakdown of your business for our readers?
Russ- “We’re a 24/7 seven call-out service. I’ve been out until four in the morning before, and I’ve been back up at six to go on another job. We do a lot of things many other businesses won’t do. We try to go above and beyond to make sure the customer is taken care of.”
Jac– “Our company name says “Diesel,” but really, the guys here will work on anything! They’ll work on anything from your gas engine car all the way up to the big mining equipment. There’s a huge variety when it comes to what we can get done.”
What have you loved the most about working in this space, locally?
Russ- “Honestly, it’s the service. I like helping people out! When someone brings their vehicle in that’s shut down, I like getting it repaired and getting it repaired correctly so that we can get it back on the road for them. Our biggest thing is that we will one hundred percent stand behind what we do.”
Jac- “Watching from the outside, you can really see Russell’s quality of work. They’ll spend time cleaning even the littlest of parts. He likes to know that every inch of everything he’s touched is in place. If I had someone working on my stuff, I would want that type of quality!”
Russ, what would you say is the part of the job you find yourself having to overcome the most?
Russ- “I would say time management. There are days where I’ll be out in the fields, working all day, and when I get back to my voicemail, I find out there are two more customers who want to get their vehicle in. Sometimes, I wish I had more time in the day to get stuff done.”
Jac, why do you believe your husband, and by extension, Duke’s, has had such success over the years?
Jac- “It’s honestly the way he treats his customers. They adore him. He may be a big, scary-looking dude, but the minute he opens his mouth, you can tell he’s not [scary] at all. He respects people and brings real quality to his work.”
Is there anything you would add to what Jac said, Russ? Why do you believe you’ve dedicated so much to serving your customers?
Russ- “It all comes down to the fact that this is the kind of community we’ve always wanted to grow up in. We grew up in Provo, Utah, where it was bigger with lots of people and colleges. In this area, people know their neighbors. Everyone in this community is hard-working. You’ll go to some other cities, and nobody wants to do anything for what they have. In this town, it’s not like that at all. Our neighbors come out to support us, and we support them!”
Fantastic! Well, we thank you again for joining us this week! Is there anything else you’d like to share before we let you get back to your repairs?
Russ- “Our quality is our number one goal. We stand behind what we do. We want to build a relationship with customers; we’re here to stay, and we’re here to grow!”
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See you around, Elko!
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