RR 097: Jeff Ruffing from Ruffing Automotive Services

Can you relate to this: Jeff Ruffing from Ruffing Automotive in Kaukauna, WI, yes a Packers fan, started washing cars at a Buick dealership in 1985. Later that year he was asked to bring his tools in when a technician was injured.

When he started his own shop he got into business with ‘’training wheels” on as he started like many successful service professionals do; at night in a rented shop. You may relate when Jeff tells the story about buying his first lift on his credit card.

Why Listen?

Appreciate his customer ‘Marty’ who bawled him out and how it changed his business forever. A very powerful lesson that you may have experienced before.

Learn about his training culture and how many hours his techs get each year.

Compare your marketing ideas to Jeff’s.

Realize after word of mouth what is his next best way to get new customers.

Jeff and his wife Karen have 4 children. Jeff’s first job was caddying at the golf course when he was 12 years old.  He became a AA rated Honor Caddy.  HeJeff Ruffing Logo moved up to being a locker room attendant, dishwasher, cook, and valet there.  One of Jeff’s favorite memories from that job is shining one of Bart Starr’s shoes.  The other locker room attendant shined the other one, so they would both always be able to say that they shined Bart’s shoe(s).

Jeff eventually became a Dodge/Chrysler technician.  He was an ASE Master, a Chrysler Master, and an ASE L1 Advanced Driveability technician.

Jeff went to Cardinal Stritch College at night, while a technician. Jeff started his own shop with $700 in 1996. The first shop lacked running water, floor drains, a bathroom, and had a 9 foot ceiling.   Jeff brought the water to work in the morning in a small barrel, and brought the ‘porta potty’ home at the end of the day to empty.

The shop has moved, grown and expanded over the years. Working out of a beautiful shop now, sales topped $700,000 last year for the first time. The shop is now ready to expand from 2 technicians to 3 technicians later this year.

Jeff loves to spend time with family in northern WI.  The success of the auto repair shop has enabled the family to get into the vacation rental business.   They own a vacation rental cottage, Haven by the Falls, in Mercer, WI.   Jeff likes to improve and remodel the cottage. Jeff is an avid Musky fisherman, and the family snow shoes and ice fishes in the winter. After being on the season ticket list for 25 years, Jeff & Karen enjoy being season ticket holders at Lambeau Field and cheering on the Green Bay Packers.

Jeff and his wife are very active in their local Catholic parish, St Katharine Drexel parish of Kaukauna, WI.  Jeff is a past Grand Knight of the Kaukauna Council 1033 of the Knights of Columbus.

JJeff Ruffing Shopeff has been a Hospice Volunteer at St Paul’s Elder Care nursing home in the past, and likes to visit older widowers who are lonely and just talk. Hear Jeff tell some great stories that may inspire you and enjoy the story about his first car (don’t miss that).

Ruffing Automotive Services Website here.

This episode is brought to you by Federal-Mogul Motorparts and Garage Gurus.Episode Logo Sponsored By v1 With brands like Moog, Felpro, Wagner Brake, Champion, Sealed Power, FP Diesel and more, they’re the parts techs trust.  For serious technical training and support – online, onsite and on-demand – Garage Gurus is everything you need to know. Find out more at fmmotorparts.com  and fmgaragegurus.com


Jeff Ruffing Road Sign E097

About the author, Carm Capriotto, AAP

Carm is the founder and host of the Remarkable Results Radio Podcast and the pioneer of automotive aftermarket podcasts. Carm calls on his years of experience in the aftermarket to bring engaging stories from his guests.

Listen to raw, unfiltered, honest, and sincere stories that include insights, trends, best practices, and expertise. Each interview brings an opportunity to learn one new thing through the stories of personal achievement. Many podcast guests tell their story of transformation from working in their business to working on it.

As host of over 1,000 episodes, Carm uses his enthusiasm and passion for the aftermarket especially the service sector to take his listeners on a journey showcasing successful service professionals’ paths to Remarkable Results. He also enjoys interviews with aftermarket industry thought leaders who bring their industry perspectives to his listener.

Follow the podcast on your favorite podcast listening app and always listen to learn just one thing!