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Inside our History
Like many successful American business stories, the Diesel USA Group began with a young man who had a vision. Driven by desire, Lloyd A. Bailey founded Diesel Injection Service Company in April, 1950. His knowledge of the diesel engine, a strong work ethic, sensitivity for service, and sound business ethics provided the formula for success.
Values and Work Ethic
As a young boy growing up during the depression, Lloyd formed many of his values through the hard work he and his family did to maintain their farm, The family farm was in Elizabeth, Indiana, just across the Ohio River from Louisville. Along with his uncle and grandfather they tilled the ground with mules, and sold their vegetables at the market on Saturdays.
One day Lloyd told his grandfather that he had enrolled in the Louisville Diesel Engine School. When Lloyd told him it would cost $4.00 a week, his grandfather said, "You won't make it since you only earn $6.00 a week, if it doesn't rain!" Lloyd's determination was strong, however, and his interest in the internal combustion engine would shape his future and that of many others.
Off to War
The Louisville Diesel Engine School experience appealed to the United States Army during World War II, and they placed Lloyd in the 147th Amphibian Combat Engineers Battalion. He became an instructor for crawler cranes while stationed in England. But on June 6, 1944, he prepared for the Allied Forces D-Day Invasion of Normandy, France. Lloyd was in charge of the cranes used during the landing at Omaha Beach.
Building a Business
As a young soldier home from the war, he got a job, married his high school sweetheart Ann Ashton, and they had a baby. After driving a dump truck 12 hours a day, he returned to the diesel engine school as an instructor.
Eventually, Lloyd became co-owner and president of the school. Lloyd and Ann saved money every week until they were able to buy a diesel nozzle tester and other specialized tools to begin a diesel service business working on engines during the day, while teaching nights.
Lloyd and Ann started in 1950 using the space in a hallway of a building located at 124 South First Street. This was the beginning of Diesel Injection Service Company. Ann helped with the bookkeeping while Lloyd did the selling and worked on equipment. In 1952, he and four mechanics moved to the Prestonia Garage at 3206 South Preston Street. Two years later they moved again to 805 Mulberry Street.
A New Industry
The prosperity of the post war era spawned many commercial industries; among them, the diesel service industry. In 1956, Lloyd was 1 of 21 people in the nation to attend the first meeting in Chicago to form the Association of Diesel Specialists (ADS). This international association has been instrumental in the formulation of quality diesel service standards for the industry.
An Industry Poised For Expansion
The emerging commercial diesel service industry needed businesses run by experienced and knowledgeable people to service the growing needs of a nation. The year 1956 proved to be a memorable year. In addition to the formulation of the ADS, Diesel Injection Service Company was awarded its first two Central Distributor contracts from Stanadyne Automotive Corporation and Robert Bosch Corporation.
A Central Distributorship is a contractual agreement with an OEM manufacturer of fuel injection systems. As a Central Distributor Diesel Injection Service Co., Inc. is the right arm of the factory supplying genuine service parts and field training for the growing network of factory authorized fuel injection service dealers.
From Louisville to Cincinnati, and Columbus to Indianapolis, and from Fort Wayne to Fontana, all business locations maintain their founder's values and ethics that are a company hallmark.
Technical Achievement Today
Throughout the development of Diesel Injection and The Diesel USA Network, Lloyd never lost his love for the mechanics of the diesel fuel system. Lloyd was on the ADS Standards Committee and represents the ADS on the Fuel Injection Sub-Committee of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) to this day.
The absence of standardized methods of over-check for calibration test stands and test nozzles caused Lloyd to begin his own research. After several prototypes created through years of development, the "Master Pump," designed by Lloyd Bailey was issued SAE Standard J-1549.
For his work, the ADS honored Lloyd with the Henry Ortner award for outstanding contribution toward technical and educational achievement within the industry.
Master Calibrating Equipment Division
Based on the need for the "Master Pump," Lloyd established a new company within Diesel Injection Service called Master Calibrating Equipment. It manufactures and sells the "Master Pump" and "matched flow" test injector sets. Master Calibrating products are used by OEM manufacturers and fuel injection shops in over twelve countries around the world. Today, the activities of Master Calibrating also include fuel injection test stand upgrades, specialty fixtures for improved diesel component service, and joint development activities with engine OEM's on future designs for tomorrow's fuel injection systems.
True leaders give of themselves without concern for personal gain. The Bailey family is no exception. In 1970, Lloyd became President of the ADS. He was also given the highest award in ADS, the Henry B. Sirotek Award in recognition of the qualities, craftsmanship, and business ethics that he brought as a leader in the industry.
The Legacy Continues
Unfortunately in 2012 Lloyd A. Bailey passed away, however his son Steve Bailey having grown up in the industry continues his legacy. Developing the largest branch and active participation in the Association of Diesel Specialists has helped prepare him for the future. Steve served on many ADS committees and in 1990 became the Association's first second generation president. One of Steve's many contributions is the ADS nationwide warranty program. Through this system, customers of all member companies can enjoy accredited, dependable service support at over 400 member facilities throughout North America. For his leadership, Steve was also awarded the Henry B. Sirotek Memorial Plaque.
In 1994 Steve Bailey moved from Columbus, Ohio and returned home to become President and Chief Operating Officer of Diesel Injection Service Company, Inc., the leader of The Diesel USA Group.
Looking toward the future, Steve named Jay K. Miller President of the group and continues to focus on the future of the companies as a whole.
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