In 1953 Philip LeBlanc left his home town Comeauville, Nova Scotia to study Diesel Engine Repair at Canadian Vocational Training School in Halifax. He worked at various companies in and around the Halifax/Dartmouth area during the next 20 years. During these years he gained a lot of experience working on diesel engines and a lot of other types of machinery and equipment. In his last position in Dartmouth Philip was service supervisor in charge of about 20 mechanics. In 1972 he decided he wanted a change of pace; he missed home in Clare. He decided to strike out on his own.
Philip had become familiar with all kinds of diesel engines. He enjoyed working with his hands and began offering service on diesel engines in his hometown and surrounding areas. Philip LeBlanc Diesel Repairs began. "It was mostly service at that time," says Danny LeBlanc, Philip's son and the current C.E.O., "within a couple of years he had hired somebody to help him." Soon, Philip had become a dealer for his engine of choice, “Detroit Diesel." In the next few years his business grew quickly and developed a good reputation. Philip hired a few more mechanics, and expanded his shop.
Danny LeBlanc grew up in Clare, working in the family shop over summer breaks from school. After studying Business Administration at Acadia University , Danny returned to join the team with his father. "I decided to come here," he says by phone, "help my father and keep the thing going." It was 1984.
After starting with a specialty for Detroit Diesel, today the company also offers mobile service and parts for Cummins, Volvo Penta, and Perkins engines. They also work on heavy equipment and other engines and offer Twin Disc and ZF Marine Transmissions and various types of generators. They boast a well-equipped machine shop, complete with an engine dynamometer. The company is still operating from the same location it started, 50 years later. "There's still lots of work," says Danny, "still in high demand. That's for sure."
The years have brought different challenges. Sometimes there's a high demand for new engines, while in other years new engine sales may slow down but people still need repairs or service. Economic downturns are always a challenge, but in the post-COVID economy there is still business to be had. "We're still busy doing engine repairs and rebuilds," says Danny, "if people aren't building new boats, they're fixing the old boats, so we're still busy."
In addition to the company's 50th anniversary, next year will be Danny LeBlanc's 40th with the company. You learn a lot being in business that long, and some of the best lessons are simple. "When you call my number, if I'm on the phone with a customer, I'm gonna call you back," says Danny, "I'll call you back within a few minutes, not hours or days. We've always provided good customer service, and that's what you have to do with this kind of business."
Now, in their 50th year, the shop sits in the same area overlooking St. Mary's Bay in Saulnierville. Philip LeBlanc Diesel has always promised responsive, professional sales and service for your diesel engine needs. If you need diesel service or sales in Nova Scotia, give them a call at (902) 769-3030.