Field Service Company Lifts Itself to Success
Like most great ideas, Boude’s Field Service Company started in a garage.
“We couldn’t get our service trucks in the garage, so we’d poke our cranes right through the garage door to rebuild transmissions,” says Jesse Boude, owner Boude’s Field Service Company. “Funny looking back at where we were in 2016 considering where we are now.”
Where they are now is a large shop in Williston, North Dakota, with a crew of six full-time mechanics. How did Boude move out of his garage and into a successful shop? A perspective he picked up along the way from influential figures in his life.
Over and over again Boude heard “Nobody or nothing owes you anything — you’ve got to go out and get it. You have to want success more than you want to breathe.” It’s a lesson he was taught by his grandpa, Mike Boude, and his mom, Michelle Boude, in his childhood and reiterated during his first farmhand job by his employers Rick and Ryan Miller. “Stop at nothing and you’ll achieve what you set out to do.” So, that’s exactly what he did.
A Field Addiction
While he’s worked in a garage and a shop, Boude’s first introduction to repair work was in a barn. “My first real job was working on a farm, and they repaired all their own equipment,” says Boude. “I was fascinated with what they could do in a barn.” Launching from barn to mechanic, Boude eventually moved to Wyoming to work for an independent field service repair company.
After a few years, he decided that instead of handling the stress of running someone else’s business, he might as well be stressed about running his own operation. That’s when Boude’s Field Service Company was established in his North Dakota garage.
“I’ll never forget my first customer, Troy McCoy,” says Boude. “He had me troubleshoot a hydraulic system on a 143H motor grader.” After that first job, the work kept coming in and Boude’s Field Service Company took off.
“Every day really is a challenge,” says Boude. “It’s a unique breed that can go and troubleshoot equipment — lay in a puddle of mud or hydraulic oil and fix a piece of equipment out in the middle of nowhere.” But that’s just how Boude and his crew like it.
While they handle some frack pump and power generation repair work, Boude’s bread and butter is heavy equipment repair. “That’s what we’re known for. You give us a broken-down piece of equipment and we’ll do our thing,” he says.
Reliable Equipment Makes for Reliable Repairs
Since the early days when he was using crane booms through the garage door, Boude has always relied on Iowa Mold Tooling service trucks and cranes. “The first guy I worked for put me in an IMT, and I was really impressed,” says Boude. “The ergonomics, the smoothness of the crane, the handling capabilities, the box layout on the truck — it all impressed me. I told myself right then that whenever I bought my first truck it was going to be an IMT.”
And Boude did just that. His crew now relies on eight IMT Dominator service trucks (with another on its way through Lodi Equipment). In 2019, he decided to round out his fleet by adding an IMT tire handler. “I started to see a need for a tire truck when we kept having to turn down tire business,” says Boude. He mounted an IMT 12916 tire service crane, which features a horizontal reach of 16’ 2”, on a Sterling chassis and immediately saw business gains through tire service jobs. “Now that we do tires, we’re truly a one stop shop for equipment repairs.”
As far as he’s aware, his crew runs the only tire truck capable of working on tires up to 14,000 lbs in a 120-mile radius. “My guys really like the IMT trucks, and I appreciate the fantastic customer support through the IMT dealers — they go above and beyond.”
That’s a lesson Boude learned early on in his business. He got caught in a bind and needed a truck part late on a weeknight in order to complete a repair job the next day. He had no luck finding the part around town and the local dealership he typically worked with was closed for the day.
Yet, the mantra Boude internalized early on meant he wouldn’t give up so quickly. So, he reached out to Byer Matthias at Lodi Truck Equipment.
“Beyer is just a sales guy, not a parts guy. I didn’t even really know him, and he drove all the way back to the store, found the pump and got one ready to be overnight shipped to me,” recounts Boude. “He didn’t have to do that, and it speaks volumes to me about IMT and Lodi in a way that nothing else does.” Since then, Boude has worked closely with Lodi to purchase repair parts and most recently, a brand new IMT Dominator III with the new 12000-lb hydraulic telescopic crane.
The new truck will be his second equipped with the 12000-lb crane. “It’s a monster,” he says. “It’s smooth. It’s fast. The 30-foot reach is awesome, especially for some of the really big jobs we tackle — the 12000 is great and then some.”
Tackling New Challenges
In spring 2020, as work around the world came to a grinding halt to help contain the spread of COVID-19, Boude and his crew shouldered on. “We’re fortunate; we really haven’t slowed down too much,” says Boude. There’s still work to be done, and Boude and his team are up to the task — as always.
“If it hadn’t been for those people encouraging me early in life, a pandemic like this might have gotten the best of me,” he says. “But if you want it, you won’t let anything stop you. Not a pandemic, not the coronavirus, not oil prices. You’ll stop at nothing to achieve what you set out to do.”