DANNY Fort considers himself a problem solver first and foremost. As a qualified boilermaker, mechanic, body maker and hot-rodder, there are not many mechanical problems he hasn't encountered.
But due to the reputation he's developed as Queanbeyan's go-to guy for all things mechanical, his business, Resort Trailers on Stephens Road, is now inundated with work, and his loyal customer base is growing by the week.
What was once a niche business catering primarily to trailers and associated products and maintenance has rapidly expanded to include custom fabrication jobs, restoration, insurance work, sign writing, tow bar installation, electric brake units and many other one-off and custom jobs.
So it was nice recognition for the 18 hard-working staff down at Resort Trailers when they were awarded the coveted Country Member of the Year award at the annual Motor Traders Association Awards for excellence a fortnight ago.
As a result, the team at Resort Trailers has effectively been dubbed the best business to deal with in the New South Wales' motor industry outside of Sydney.It was also a finalist in the New and Used Parts Business of the Year category, Mechanical Repair Parts Business of the Year, Apprentice of the Year, and Workplace Health and Safety Member of the Year.
Mr Fort, a Queanbeyan man who purchased the business 10 years ago said he was over the moon with the recognition."It's just elation really," he said.
"You get recognised for all the hard effort you put in and your team puts in. It's just amazing to be recognised."He put the success of the business down to the satisfaction his staff gets out of solving problems.
"You've got to have a team that enjoys what they're doing and is excited about the work. Our team is very enthusiastic and everyone gets on well, they work hard, and they all try to find solutions. That's the key: people come to us with problems and we have to find solutions," Mr Fort said.
"We've got staff ranging from 16 years of age up to 69, and they all love coming to work here, because we give them goals and aspirations. It's about creating the right product and solutions for every client who comes through the door."
Also at the awards' night, 20-year-old Ashley Mulcahy said he was stoked to be named a finalist in the Apprentice of the Year category.He started with Resort Trailers as a young apprentice, and is now the workshop foreman."It's a pretty good achievement," he said.
"There's a good variety of jobs here, and I've learnt a lot of skills from Danny and the team."His boss that said he was pleased to employ skilled local staff like Ashley Mulcahy, and said it was the local knowledge and people that gave them the edge over competitors.
"Growing up in Queanbeyan, you know a lot of people and a lot of people know you, which is important for the business. The rest comes down to the quality of the product and the service that follows it, which people love about us," Mr Fort said.
"The ability to create solutions for people is paramount. You just can't buy that anywhere, you can't learn that. You have to live it, you have to experience it, you have to enjoy it… to see another challenge, and say 'How am I going to fix this? Somebody throw some ideas at me, and let's create it."