Diesel business depends on Madison College graduates

Fair Valley diesel technician team including Madison College graduate Dennis Frey
Dennis Frey (center, seated) and his team of diesel equipment experts.


After graduating high school in 1985, Dennis Frey took five years to find direction for his career. He had always enjoyed fixing things around the family farm and participating in tractor pulling events.


Those interests came together in Madison College’s Agricultural Equipment Technology program.


“Working with diesel engines was what I definitely wanted to do, and I took it seriously,” he said. “I got a lot out of the program. It taught me basic repair skills and how to approach diesel repairs in an organized way.”


After graduation, Frey took a job with Diesel Injection Services. He started as a diesel fuel injection technician and worked his way up, becoming a trainer, technical support manager and diesel service manager.


Fifteen years later Frey established his own business, Fair Valley Performance and Repair, near Sauk City. His diesel component service center draws clients from around the U.S. as well as local customers. The diesel drive-in service center specializes in diagnostics, service and repair of diesel pickups, medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks.


Fair Valley employs 11 full-time and three part-time personnel. His “dream team” includes six Madison College Diesel Equipment Technology graduates.


“We rely on smart, productive technicians,” Frey said. “They are committed and dedicated.”


The diesel industry has changed quite a bit since Frey was in college. Diesel trucks and farm equipment all have electronic and computerized controls and diagnostic tools are involved. Students must learn the basics and the new technology.


The bottom line is technicians make things run again, they take broken pieces and turn them into working machines. That work brings Frey satisfaction and his employees share his passion for diesel.