Treating their customers like family for 23 years and counting

Ultimate Truck Service team

Ultimate Truck Service, located in Ridgefield, Washington, has been in business for 23 years. In this time, Debbie and Dave Jennerjohn, the owners of Ultimate Truck Service, have grown their shop into what it is today – a place customers can go to if they want to be treated like family. From it only being them and 1 technician to a dedicated team of 12. They now have two service advisors, a general manager, production coordinator, six technicians, an administrative assistant, and Debbie and Dave. They are proud of how much they have grown, from making $316,045 their first year to their sales hitting $1,600,000 last year.


Ultimate Truck Service

The shop is located in the perfect place, according to Debbie. Being just 10 miles outside of Portland, Oregon they are able to get most of their parts from the city but still be surrounded by the “country feeling”. When Debbie is not in the shop you can find her quilting, reading books, or gardening. Dave on the other hand likes to practice woodworking and you can most often find him fishing.


One of Debbie and Dave’s biggest points of pride is the training their staff receives. Their employees are trained for multiple positions in the shop. Debbie says that by doing this they are “setting them up for a better life”. Setting their employees up with various skills allows them to be well-rounded workers with many transferable traits. They are focused on making sure everyone on their team can succeed. 


Debbie & Dave Jennerjohn

Originally, the couple had planned on only running the company for five years and then selling it. But, they fell in love with owning their own shop. They love connecting with customers to make their experience easy and reliable. As a way to show their repeat customers they value their business, Ultimate Truck Service will send out cards between Thanksgiving and Christmas that include “giving back” coupons. Debbie says she also likes to “send a Thank You card to new customers and, if they’re relatively local, I include a coupon for the next visit.” By showing their appreciation for customers, their clientele is more likely to go to them again and recommend their business to people they know.


Bear (Left) & Shadow (Right)

As shop owners, they have also been able to be involved in their two grandchildren’s lives. The boys were able to hang out in the shop as they grew up, fostering a love for trucks. Debbie also gets to bring her two dogs, Bear and Shadow, into the shop with her. They love to be around the team and bring everyone’s spirits up. Having the people and pets she loves around her as she works is one of the biggest perks of being a shop owner, making work days brighter. 


Ultimate Truck Service crew at work

Debbie says one of the smartest things they ever did for their business was become a DRIVE client. She says, “It was one of the best decisions we have ever made. The last 13 years have been so much better than the first 10 because of DRIVE’s help.” Her coach, Karla Vice, keeps the business on track. She has an integral role in helping the shop set and meet goals on time. Debbie says everyone should “Listen to their coach. Get things done when they tell you to. You will be so much more successful than we are now and you’ll get here sooner than we did.” Before DRIVE, it felt as if they were fighting fires every day. Now? They have time to breathe. The shop is a much more calm environment and they can plan for the future. As Debbie puts it, “they can keep their wits about them”. 


They also love being DRIVE clients because of the networking opportunities it has afforded them. Being able to talk about what others have been through and how they overcame their struggles is one of the best parts about talking with fellow shop owners. Debbie says she “loves getting to know everyone!” One of the best places to do that? At DRIVE’s annual EXPOs. Where shop owners come together to network with one another, meet industry professionals, and expand their knowledge on the various systems available to them. For example, at Ultimate Truck Service, they use Fullbay and QuickBooks to help keep their shop in order. 


Debbie’s final piece of advice for other shop owners is this: “Treat your business like you’re a going to exit it, because in truth, you will exit your business somehow, sometime. That’s a fact!”


Ultimate Truck Service


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Prepared by Chase Clough