Dovicsak Services, Granite MHD
There is a collective sigh of relief when Jim Dovicsak’s Mack® Granite® MHD rumbles toward a construction work site in the Trafford, Pennsylvania, area. That’s because there’s nobody better at repairing and servicing equipment and fleets in the field than Dovicsak’s one-truck, two-man operation. Like a doctor making house calls, Dovicsak can diagnose and repair almost any construction equipment breakdown in the field and get them back in full operating health. For a full engine rehab, they can extract an engine, via crane, and haul it back to the shop for further repairs.
Dovicsak and his son, Jim Jr., have not always operated a Mack for their mobile service business, but Dovicsak says he’s a true believer now that’s he’s the proud owner of a 2014 Granite MHD with a lightweight 9-liter Cummins engine that rests on Mack’s Cornerstone™ chassis and a pulls a Maintainer service truck body. The truck includes a crane that can lift a 10,000-pound engine from a dozer. And, as a top-notch diesel mechanic, he knows a good truck when he operates one.
Dovicsak retired from his service job at a heavy equipment dealership after 40 years of perfecting the art of diesel mechanics and feels right at home on the construction sites
His customers value his expertise, but he says they go crazy over the Granite MHD. “We say we keep the local chiropractors in business because everywhere we go, people get whiplash admiring our truck,” Dovicsak says.
“One of the main features we like about the Mack, compared to our previous Peterbilt, is the interior. We really like the roomy, wide work area and the ergonomic dash. It makes a big difference in comfort and efficiency when both of us are working inside the cab,” Jim Jr., says. While they love how the truck looks and feels, it’s the performance that counts.
“I needed the heavy-duty components rolled into a medium-weight truck that is loaded to the max. The Granite MHD has all that and more,” he says. He depends on the rugged components needed to operate on the rough terrain of a construction work site. Dovicsak is equally reliant on the lower weight of the truck since he’s loaded with service equipment and has to be ready to relocate heavy pieces back to his shop for more complex repairs.
Kent Lalley, a truck sales professional with Legacy Truck Centers in West Newton, Pennsylvania, says Dovicsak is a mechanic’s mechanic and knew exactly what he wanted when he came ready to buy.
“He needed a heavy-duty truck with a medium weight application for his mobile service business,” he says.
Lalley says he admires Dovicsak’s technical background and feels like their working relationship goes beyond a business one. In fact, he joined both Dovicsaks as they watched the truck come down the line at the plant in Macungie, Pennsylvania.
“He is so happy with the truck that I’ve sold several more based on his personal recommendation,” Lalley says.
Dovicsak says he worked closely with Lalley to spec the truck, including some pieces of chrome he had to have. “I’ve bought enough trucks over the years that I know what I want and what I need,” he says. He particularly likes the locking differentials. “We never need a chain. I’m able to steer us into tight, narrow spots. The Granite MHD is so maneuverable and I really put it to test.”
He’s impressed with other features such as positive traction, the ergonomic design of the interior, the hard-working heater and the visibility from the driver’s seat. “When you have a one-piece windshield, no post down the middle, you can’t believe how much you appreciate 100 percent visibility,” Dovicsak says.
Dovicsak and his son, Jim Jr., work side-by-side, and his wife Becky prides herself on keeping the truck washed and sparkling. For most of his work life, Dovicsak says he worked seven days a week. Now, he’s taking Sundays off so they can enjoy their time together and be with their grandchildren.
“I don’t smoke, drink or gamble, but l love to buy trucks,” he says with a laugh.
He also loves working with his son and is proud of what a good businessperson, diesel technician and welder he is. “He reads my mind and can figure out the next step before we even discuss it. It’s an unbelievable team.”
However, he’s worried about the future.
“I’m concerned about finding the next generation of diesel technicians. These kids grow up with less physical strength and don’t want to do the hard labor that’s involved in mechanics. They could bypass college and all that debt and learn a trade like diesel tech where they can make a good living,” he says.
Even the lure of all the high-tech, digital diagnosis tools doesn’t seem to attract millennials. But Dovicsak says the industry is changing and he managed to adapt to the computer era. “One of the reasons I love the cab’s heater and how quiet it is inside the Granite is that I’m on my laptop so much of the time,” he says. He’s wirelessly connected to the high-tech world of equipment maintenance and says he doesn’t miss the old day of carting around huge books full of the fault codes and torque info you can access in an instant now.
However, as long as his customers keep calling him back, he’s ready for another day. He credits his truck for keeping his work world profitable and comfortable.
“It’s a joy to drive and I’ll be buying another one.”