Pine Aire Truck Service in Bay Shore, New York, is the DRIVE Shop Spotlight for February.
Owner Dave Bloom, who has been in business for more than 30 years, emphasizes that he’s blessed to have a great team.
“When I look at our staff and the way they carry themselves and push themselves to be the best, it makes me so proud to be part of this group,” Bloom says.
At the age of 25, Bloom found himself in charge of a large repair business. But according to Bloom, the owner continually questioned Bloom’s decisions, and the owner reneged on his promises. Based on the experience, Bloom learned the right way to treat good employees. Without the experience of working for the kind of boss he didn’t want to be, Bloom may have never opened up his own shop.
Always mechanically inclined, but not knowing anything about truck repair specifically, Bloom got the opportunity to open his own business – a truck repair shop. Bolstered by the confidence that he could figure it out, Bloom dove in and had many missteps at the beginning. Pine Aire started out as a small truck shop located down a dirt road with only well water … and the well usually didn’t work. It was a rough beginning.
Just like many shop owners, Bloom thought he could fix trucks and be a business owner at the same time. He often was found working under one truck while talking to a customer on the phone about another truck and being pulled out by his ankles to deal with money he owed someone – from vendors to taxes to the landlord.
He was working more than 70 hours per week. Something had to change.
There was no going back. Bloom needed to figure it out and fix the business.
He started to implement his own policies and procedures. It took him a long time to figure out what needed to be done, but he gradually began to make a bit of money and started to develop a team he was proud of. But he wasn’t able to get past the hurdle of how to run a shop and be a business owner – in other words, the CEO of Pine Aire.
Bloom was continually waiting for his accountant to tell him how things were going. He knew that he should know that, but didn’t know how to get there.
Bloom’s wife, Cindy, was the rock throughout this time. Married for 32 years now, she was working full-time to support the family. They both knew help was needed. Bloom knew he needed to become a legitimate business owner – with the goal of having time for his family.
Around that same time, DRIVE contacted Pine Aire and he became a client.
“Your journey with DRIVE starts out being about you and your need to fix your shop but it turns into so much more,” Dave Bloom says. “The value is equally balanced between the consulting and the networking with owners that you meet while attending workshops and attending the Expo. When you experience something that works, you can’t wait to share it with the other shops. When someone is down, you are there for them and when you are down, there are always other owners willing to pick you up.”
With DRIVE’s coaching, Bloom began to understand the different areas of his company. He began to learn where his time should be spent, how to delegate and to whom, what each team member’s function is and how to focus each of them for success. He found that running a profitable and organized shop makes for a stronger and more balanced company.
Pine Aire now is effectively measuring production, which makes people feel valued and proud of the work they do. Bloom also understands the importance of company culture and continually works to build a place that people enjoy coming to, whether it’s to get their trucks repaired or to be part of the Pine Aire team. He now has a crew of 10 people and is bringing in over $2 million annually.
Furthering the growth and recognition of Pine Aire, it also has become a Meritor Service Point shop.
“It is quite an honor to be trusted by Meritor – such a leader in our industry to perform service work on their products,” Bloom says. “They have quite a bit invested in their brand and they were very careful in recognizing us as a company they can count on to uphold their standards and reputation.”
There’s not a day that goes by that Bloom isn’t pushing himself and the Pine Aire team to do better and to learn the latest technology.
“Learn to be a business owner first and never stop learning,” Bloom says. “If you are not learning something new every day, you must have your head up your butt.”
As a native New Yorker, Bloom is proud of the community he grew up in and still resides. As a graduate of Hauppauge High School, he’s aware that some may have the wrong impression of what being a New Yorker truly means. It means going above and beyond to help someone. Pine Aire Truck Service has that same goal for both its great team and their customers.
DRIVE, a Monrovia, California-based consulting group, provided this article.