Growing up in the Los Angeles area, James King thought big machinery and equipment was intriguing, and how its operators were in such command. It was this interest that cultivated his passion in life to make a difference in the world by working in a trade profession that allowed him to work outside .....
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In the mid-70’s, King took his first major step toward that goal by joining the Army and attended basic infantry training in Fort Jackson, South Carolina. After his time there, he traveled across the country in the years after to receive advanced military training on bases in California, Hawaii and other states before ending at Fort Campbell in Kentucky to begin training to be a combat heavy engineer in the 101st Airborne Division.
In his military tenure, he was stationed in foreign countries, like Haiti, Nicaragua and Panama, where he and his division helped with these country’s interior, including the building of roads and schools. He was part of a civic action team sent to the Micronesian Islands, where he lived in a camp in the jungle and helped repair and develop new infrastructure.
“While I’ve had the ability the travel the world and see more amazing things so far in life, my most fulfilling accomplishment has been the training and mentorship of solders,” said King. “As a senior advisor, I was tasked with traveling to multiple states to train protocol and systems, weapons training and leadership skills to Army reserves and National Guard members.”
King retired from the military in 2001 with the plan to move to a more desirable part of the country to start over in a new line of work. After choosing Melbourne, Florida, King and his wife moved to the Sunshine State and knew they could live off his retirement money until he found the next adventure. After a friend came across Pirtek USA, an industry leader in fluid power system hose repair, he suggested King apply for their technician position, given his strong engineering experience.
“I had never heard of the company of even much about hydraulic hose repairs as a business,” said King. “With the brand promising and delivering 7-day, 24-hour service and 1-hour response time on emergency calls, I knew I had to check out this company to learn more and see if it was a match.”
After being offered the job, King worked hard as a Pirtek technician and rose up the ranks to operations manager of the Pirtek facility in Space Coast, Florida.
He excelled at the company using his amassed military skills, such as self-discipline, leadership and ability to deal with and talk with all kinds of people, and delivered on the rapid response nature of the business. King has been a good trainer and advocate for the brand, and he still gains the respect of employees in the system by being able to still “keep up” with the younger guys. In fact, his grandson says all the time that he wants to work a Pirtek when he gets bigger. So, it is apparent that King is a great leader, mentor and communicator.
“My military background equipped me with the ability to find success in doing something I love,” said King, noting his military experiences led to appeasing his younger self by using his hands to work in an outside environment. “Everything I had done prior to Pirtek was using my hands and wits to complete tasks, so I was already familiar with how to start and run most of the equipment needed in this new industry. This gave me an advantage when I started.”
Under King’s watch, Pirtek USA has grown into a successful business brand in the fluid power system hose repair industry. Because of the untapped demand, since most equipment in both small workshops, public and civic buildings, and large manufacturing centers and sites require fluid power systems, the brand is filling a need and is looking to add new units and jobs across the country in 2014.
“I plan on doing this work for as long as he can because I want to finish all of my personal and professional goals and strive toward being the best,” said King. “Pirtek has been good to me and through the company’s very structured organization on all levels, something very comparable to my military days, I’ve been able to follow protocol, help the company grow, and exceed expectations.”