Wednesday, 23 May 2018 17:22

The Truck Doctors Handles Big Vehicles in Fort Dodge, IA

Written by Terrence Dwyer, The Messenger
The Truck Doctors' manager, Doyle Richardon, looks over an RV brought in for work recently. The large shop allows them to work on several of them at once. The Truck Doctors' manager, Doyle Richardon, looks over an RV brought in for work recently. The large shop allows them to work on several of them at once. Messenger photo by Hans Madsen


Troy Waller has opened a new business in Fort Dodge’s booming Corridor of Commerce.

In early April, he launched The Truck Doctors at 3375 Fifth Ave. S.

“We’re focusing on semis and RVs,” Waller said. “Major stuff. Fabrication work. It’s pretty much body work. With the RVs, we’ll be doing all the maintenance of those things.”

While body work and vehicle painting will be at the heart of the projects The Truck Doctors handles, other services are also available, including installing and repairing electronics.

“Basically, full service on RVs,” said Doyle Richardson, who manages the business. “We’ll be doing winterizing, awnings---everything to do with RVs.”

Waller said he believes this new venture responds to a growing need that has been largely unmet in this part of Iowa.

“With the semis, there aren’t really many people doing what we do,” he said. “We’ve had a good response from a lot of truck drivers.”

Waller said the strong economy is causing greater consumer interest in RVs. He said the array of services The Truck Doctors offers is very much in sync with that trend.

“The initial response has been pretty good,” he said. “We haven’t done any marketing yet at all. Even without that, it’s been pretty steady with people calling.”

Waller said he expects The Truck Doctors to attract customers from a wide area.

“For Troy Waller Auto Body, I probably draw from 30 or 40 miles,” he said. “With this, I’d feel comfortable saying probably a couple hundred miles. Semi drivers are used to driving long distances. With RVs, they’ll travel to get service taken care of.”

This new enterprise is a separate business from Troy Waller Auto Body, 508 S. 32nd St., which Waller created and owns. The Truck Doctors was inspired by the need for a shop that could perform assorted work on large vehicles, he said.

“We needed more room,” Waller said. “The idea’s been kicking around for a couple years. People would come by with a semi and RVs. I couldn’t get them in my shop due to the doors. This came available and I decided to give it a whirl.”

The Truck Doctors is housed in a huge building with massive doors and extremely high ceilings.

“It’s 10,000 square feet,” Waller said. “Anything that will go down the highway, we can get in here.”

There is ample room for a large number of vehicles inside the structure.

“We had 12 in here last night,” Richardson said. “That was semis and a fire truck.”

Waller has outfitted The Truck Doctors with the state-of-the-art equipment needed to ensure quality work on customers’ vehicles.

“I installed a PPG Delfleet system,” he said, providing one major example. “It’s a mixing system for paint. We’re the only one here that has a paint-mixing system for semis and stuff. Some places mix it out of town. We mix everything here.”

Waller stressed that what makes this new business a good choice for truck and RV owners is the expertise his team of professionals possesses.

“I’ve got 20 years of knowledge and experience in the collision industry,” he said, noting also that Richardson has been in the RV world since 1987. “My employees have broad expertise in the body work.”

Waller said that initially, some of the projects being handled at The Truck Doctors are making use of specialists from Troy Waller Auto Body.

“Eventually, I’ll get this place self-sufficient,” he said. “As it grows, we’ll do that. There are three full-time employees here right now. When all is said and done, it will probably employ 10 to 12 people.”

Waller said the key to success in businesses like the ones he owns is careful attention to customer service.

“We’re honest,” he said. “We treat people right. I treat people like I would want to be treated. We take care of people.”

Meet Troy Waller

Troy Waller graduated from Fort Dodge Senior High in 1987. He continued his studies at Iowa Central Community College and Iowa State University. At ISU he prepared for a finance career, but an old passion for working on automobiles presented an attractive entrepreneurial opportunity.

“This was something I had a knack for,” he said, explaining how Troy Waller Auto Body came into being.

The small, 1,600-square-foot shop that was the company’s original home quickly became too cramped. The business grew fast. Almost exactly two years after it was launched, Waller moved the company to 508 S. 32nd St. It has continued to grow significantly in the subsequent decades.

After nearly a quarter of a century at the helm of his body shop and other entrepreneurial ventures, he said the aspect of being a business owner that he most enjoys is dealing with customers.

“I’ve always liked meeting new people and being able to help people,” Waller said.

We thank The Messenger for reprint permission.

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