Revved up: Diesel mechanic shop takes off

In the last six months of 2019, Hiner Diesel and Auto was started, $196,150 in financing was obtained, and 3 jobs were created.

Since he opened the doors to Hiner Diesel and Auto, a diesel mechanic and auto repair shop in Tappahannock, Hank Hiner says it’s been pedal to the metal. “We pretty much got started and hit the ground running.” In fact, the bustling shop had diesel vehicles lined up before they opened the doors. The secret to the clamoring throngs? The Hiners’ sterling reputation for excellent work.

When it comes to diesel mechanic and auto repair work, the Hiner family have it in their blood. Father Hank, who owns the shop, has worked on diesel vehicles his whole life, including during his time in the military. Son Chris, the lead mechanic, learned the trade early at vocational school. Cementing the family aesthetic is daughter Krissy, the office manager and bookkeeper.

The decision to open their own shop felt like the logical next step for the highly experienced team. Hank carefully researched the area to see if a diesel mechanic shop would be a good fit. With no comparable services accessible for over an hour’s drive in any direction, he knew that he was on to something.

The Hiners turned to the University of Mary Washington SBDC - Warsaw and Director Joy Corprew. They required a loan in order to purchase their building. Joy worked with Hank and his family to draft a business plan, and with help from the Rappahannock Economic Development Corporation, the Hiners received a SBA 504 loan for $167,500, thereby turning their diesel dreams into reality.

Hank is confident that they would not have received this funding without the direct guidance and support of Joy. He plans to partner with Joy again in the near future regarding vocation programs and training opportunities at the local community college.

In the meantime, Hank and the rest of the family have their hands full with Hiner Diesel and Auto. A recent contract with the town has the shop servicing all the municipality’s ambulances and brush trucks. Hank, who plans to expand the shop and add a towing and roadside service in the upcoming year, feels that providing for the needs of the community is what keeps their customer base coming back.

“We are committed to getting it right. We don’t throw parts at it,” Hank concludes “I am proud to say our reputation as a good diesel mechanic shop is really getting around.”

Virginia SBDC