Shane and Glen McKay were children when their parents, Paul and Isabel, started Diesel Parts & Service Pty Ltd (DPS) in 1970.
The family business had three staff and dealt mainly with marine, truck and bus engines, offering repairs and spare parts at their Albion premises in Brisbane.
Shane and Glen, who both studied accounting at university, took over DPS in 1997 after Paul died. They have run it since, and now have 25 staff.
Both brothers grew up around the business and spent time there during the school holidays, so it was a natural fit. “We were always tinkering,” Shane says.
After the DPS premises were flooded twice in the 1970s, the business had several moves before settling in Hilda St, Hamilton, in 2000. “That was a big turning point for us; it gave us a lot more exposure,” Shane says.
The early 1990s recession was tough, as were the 2002-2008 drought and the one which is just ending now.
As DPS had diversified into agriculture, Shane and Glen dealt with farmers affected by the drought as well as a reduction in business.
“In the 1980s, we sort of started to do a lot more agricultural work and irrigation type work and we built a lot of pump stations and things like that,” Shane says.
DPS became a DEUTZ dealer in 1987 and both have enjoyed a fruitful relationship since as they have evolved together.
“It gave us a reputable engine brand; it gave us access to training; it gave us a critical presence in the market,” Shane says.
“It’s a high-quality engine out of Europe. It’s very well respected in the market. It’s been very good for us.”
The COVID-19 situation has impacted the business but not as much as some others, which Shane, Glen and their team are grateful for.
They hope to mark the 50-year milestone in September with a low-key celebration, possibly a quiet family dinner as each brother has three children.
For now, they are forging ahead in a situation no-one could have predicted a year ago. So far so good.
“I’m very happy with the way we’re going,” Shane says. “I feel very confident now about where we are sitting in the market.
“We’re all living in this new business environment. It’s a very nervous time for business.”
DEUTZ Australia Managing Director Craig Chamberlin congratulated the hardworking DPS team for “a wonderful 50 years of business”.
“DPS has been a very important partner for DEUTZ for decades and their focus on delivering first class customer service and high-quality products fits perfectly with the aspirations of DEUTZ globally,” Craig says.
“We recognise that you can have the best product in the world, however, to be truly successful you must have strong, competent and customer focused partners working to support the population of DEUTZ products in the field.
“Without this we could not succeed. Thank you to Paul, Isabel, Glen and Shane for making our relationship such a successful one. We look forward to working together for generations to come.”