LK Diesels in Braeside, Victoria, began in 1967 and has been a family business since day one. Initially a partnership between Lloyd Lang and Ted Kuhlwind, today the business is run by Ted’s sons, Michael and Bernard.
“Our German-born father was passionate about DEUTZ engines. He worked for DEUTZ Germany before coming to Australia in 1956 to assist DEUTZ to assemble buses for Anslar,” says Bernard.
“DEUTZ was a very important part of our father’s life he was thrilled when LK Diesel Service was offered a dealership. He has passed on that DEUTZ passion to my brother and I which is why we continue to have a successful business relationship with DEUTZ Australia.”
Michael joined the family firm in 1979 as an apprentice diesel mechanic and nine years later, Bernard joined as a diesel fitter and administration/parts assistant.
The brothers nominate a couple of key milestones in LK Diesel’s journey.
“One milestone was in 1984 when DEUTZ Australia offered us a dealership and then in 1993 we’d grown into a sizeable and successful company and we needed a larger, purpose-built building to allow continued growth. We moved to the location where we are today,” says Michael.
“Receiving our first DEUTZ Dealer of the Year award in 2002 was also a milestone and Bernard and I taking ownership of LK Diesel and bringing new ideas and improvements to the company has also been a highlight.”
Bernard says a secret of LK Diesel’s growth and success has been customer service. Their customers include multinational mining and rail companies and government departments to ‘the small guy with a wood chipper’. The business provides spare parts, breakdown repairs, servicing and new engine and generator sales.
“We treat our customers like good friends and a lot of them have become long-term customers. We carry out each job as if we were working on our own equipment and we go above and beyond to help,” says Bernard.
“My brother and I are very honoured to receive the Dealer of the Year award again. It makes us feel that our efforts are appreciated and that we are progressing in the right direction. It is also a bit emotional for us, as we know our mother and father would be proudly looking down on us.”
Shaw Diesels Ltd has offices in Auckland and Christchurch and has been an authorised DEUTZ dealer since 2002. The business services and supports DEUTZ customers across New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, offering sales, spare parts, engine servicing and DEUTZ Power Solutions generating sets for industrial, agricultural and marine applications.
The growth and professionalism of Shaw Diesels has seen it named Dealer of the Year in New Zealand once more after a series of wins since 2016.
“This award and being recognised as the best dealer in the country is massive to our business. It shows our team is doing all the right things to support DEUTZ and that our customers are getting the correct service,” says Pete Shaw, Director of Shaw Diesels Ltd.
“We’ve been lucky enough to have the trust of some big OEM customers this past year and that, with the help of DEUTZ, has helped us grow. We’ve seen our sales rise and I believe this was a big factor in winning this award.”
Highlights of the past 12 months include signing on key customers and moving to a bigger premises to be able to stock more products and support the service side of the business.
Shaw Diesels Ltd has recruited two new team members and its Christchurch branch has only been in business for 18 months but has already developed a solid customer base in the South Island.
“I think we are known for our willingness to help and for our knowledge of our products. We’ve been able to stock the correct parts most of the time and this allows our customers less downtime,” says Pete.
“We wouldn’t have been able to achieve this award if it wasn’t for DEUTZ Australia. As we’ve grown during the past five years, DEUTZ has been there every step of the way and helped us understand and overcome any hurdles.”
Shane Moretto, DEUTZ Dealer Development Manager, says both LK Diesels and Shaw Diesels are deserving winners of the Australian and New Zealand DEUTZ Dealer of the Year title.
“Their effort and support of customers is second to none and has been consistent over a long period of time, resulting in these businesses winning the Dealer of the Year award multiple times,” says Shane.