CONKLIN — The Laing family is back in the diesel business with a new diesel-service division at Laing Industries, Inc.
The company, which got its start as a diesel-service provider in 1970, added diesel services to its lineup on May 17, something it hasn’t provided since founder Richard (Dick) Laing, Sr. sold Dick Laing Diesel Service in 2007.
Laing opened Laing Truck and Trailer in 1990, a company that concentrated on truck and trailer repair, and later renamed the business Laing Industries. Laing, and his wife, Eleanor, own the business and operate it with their two sons, Brian and Richard, Jr.
Brian Laing, vice president at Laing Industries, says he brought diesel service back because of growing customer demand. Laing Industries has built a solid reputation as a provider of equipment restoration, fleet maintenance, and alignments, but customers kept asking for diesel service, he says.
“They all said, ‘Please get back into it,’ ” he says of conversations he had with current and former customers.
Combined with a lack of local service providers, Laing says the time seemed right for the Laing family business to get back into the diesel business.
One of Laing Industries’ company’s major competitors is D&W Diesel, based in Auburn, which opened a Southern Tier location at 27 Link Drive in Kirkwood after purchasing the business, customers, and assets of Fleetsource’s Binghamton location when that company closed up shop.
Laing says his company brings something different to the table. First, he notes, Laing Industries is based in Conklin, making the company and its management readily accessible.
Second, he says, is his firm’s emphasis on customer service. “At the end of the day,” he explains, “we all sell the same stuff.” It’s the service provided with that “stuff” that sets a company apart from its competitors, he says.
At Laing Industries, that means doing things such as answering the phones promptly when they ring and getting back to customers in a timely manner, he says.
The company is able to offer the new diesel services without making any changes to its 14,000-square-foot complex at 430 Broome Corporate Parkway. Laing Industries did add three new employees, boosting its staff total to 12.
The Laing Industries’ diesel-service division provides drive-in service focused on diesel engines ranging from compressors to Class 9 road tractors and a parts department that offers products for brands including Caterpillar, Mack, Cummins, John Deere, and Detroit Diesel.
Laing declined to disclose the company’s revenue or say how much he expects the new diesel service to increase its revenue.
Laing Industries is using social-media outlets such as Facebook, where the company has 44 likes, and Twitter, where it has 900 followers, to promote the new diesel services online along with its website at www.golaing.com.
In addition, Laing and his sales staff are hitting the streets with new marketing packets outlining Laing Industries’ services. The plan is to distribute the packets to construction companies, fleet-maintenance departments, public-works departments, school-district bus garages, and even at small garages that could utilize Laing for ordering parts.
The company will also launch a new companion website (www.laingdieselperformance.com) to provide information and products to diesel fans. For example, Laing says, a customer might use the site to ask one of Laing’s diesel experts how to increase the gas mileage of his diesel vehicle while towing. Laing’s expert can provide information as well as recommend products that will boost performance for that customer, Laing explains.