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90-Years of Customer Focused Sales, Service and Support

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Since its founding in 1974, Mack Boring’s Training Services division has trained over 20,000 students.





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Story by Steve D’Antonio

Few businesses, particularly those run by families make it to the nine-decade mark.  Yet, Mack Boring & Parts Company has achieved this venerable milestone using a variety of formulas, not the least of which is its agility and flexibility in an industry that has seen dramatic changes and the occasional upheaval, as well as its unswerving commitment to living up to and exceeding the expectations of its customers. 

Today, Mack Boring represents, services and in some cases manufactures, a variety of internationally recognized and respected product lines. These include Yanmar, Scania, Isuzu and Mitsubishi diesel engines, in-house brand Global Power Products generators, ZF, Kanzaki, Velvet Drive and Paragon transmissions, and Aquadrive thrust bearing systems, among other products.

A History of Strong Values, Commitment and Excellence
It all began 90 years ago, started by family patriarch Ed “Mack” McGovern.  The company’s origins can be traced back to pre-Great Depression era Newark, New Jersey.  After serving as a Chief Machinist’s mate in the US Navy during WW I, Mack and the eponymous Mack Boring & Parts Company originally did what the name suggests, provide parts and cylinder boring and general machine shop work on internal combustion, gasoline engines.  Four McGovern generations later they remain at it.

Lifers: The average length of employment is twenty-years, although many have served the company for over thirty and in some cases forty years.

According to his grandson Ned, who remembers Pop well, it wasn’t long before he gained a reputation for being

 

“the best automotive machine shop in town”.  Not surprisingly, the business quickly grew, and outgrew the confines of the 500 square foot cellar shop; eventually moving to a proper 10,000 square foot brick facility in Newark, NJ in the 1930s.  Expanding once again, the company ultimately moved to its present five acre Union, NJ location in 1966.

Successive McGovern generations joined the company as it and they grew up.  After serving as a naval aviator during WWII Mack’s son, Ed junior, also known as “Mack”, joined the company and he too soon gained a reputation for fairness, although, unlike his father he was anything but quiet or introspective.  Customers routinely describe him in terms that any man would envy, using phrases like “passionate”, “driven to succeed”, “principled” and “he never quit”.

Mack junior’s eldest son, Ed McGovern III; because three Eds or three Macks could lead to confusion he is known as “Ned”, joined the company in 1968, but only after serving with the US Marines for two years.  Ed junior’s second son, Steve McGovern joined the company in 1975.  The fourth generation of McGovern, Ned’s son Patrick, joined Mack Boring in 1997 after graduating from Boston College with a degree in finance.

The company entered the education business in 1932 when Mack Sr. founded The New Jersey Diesel School, which eventually morphed into the Engine City Technical Institute.  Mack Boring continues to place a heavy emphasis on education; providing training that ranges from diesel engine maintenance seminars attended by thousands of boat owners, to specialized diesel engine repair and electronic troubleshooting for dealers, industrial users, the military and even on occasion, dealer personal from other distributor territories. Mack Boring remains the only distributor
 

of their ilk to offer education of this sort, on scale this broad.

The firm’s success is steered by a set of guiding principles, one of which dictates that service after the sale is as important as the sale itself.

Mack Jr, who already had made the insightful decision to enter the recreational diesel market in the 60s, had the continuing vision to see Yanmar as the next step for the firm, as the compact, well engineered, virtually unstoppable diesel engine had much to offer.  Mack Boring has grown, as has the Yanmar brand, in large measure because of its early support for this small and hitherto unknown name in marine diesel engines.  Within five short years, in part as a result of Steve McGovern’s passion for and connections within the recreational sailing market, Yanmar would become the number one selling sailboat diesel engine in the US.

Today and Beyond
Now a leader in the industry, the company’s territory covers a vast swath of the Eastern United States, from Maine to South Carolina and west to Wisconsin. Considering its humble beginnings in a basement machine shop started by a twenty eight year old former navy Chief Machinist, Mack Boring’s success and longevity speaks volumes about the firm’s core values and family work ethic.

Mack Boring went from being a multi-generational family business, albeit a successful one, to a principle-based corporation. Instead of resting on their laurels, they made the transition from thinking tactically to strategically, to acting on or in advance of instead of reacting to market changes, a process that continues to this day.  

 

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