ARTICLE: Pirtek USA franchise offers opportunity for aspiring West Bend entrepreneur

This article originally appeared on

By Tom Held

Tom Fechter hopes the number 50 will serve as a positive omen for his new business.

A 17-year veteran in the industrial hydraulics industry, Fechter has opened the 50th franchise of Pirtek USA – and the first in Wisconsin – to provide mobile repairs of hydraulic hoses for construction and manufacturing equipment. This is also the year that Fechter turns 50.

“I was looking to run a business, that’s been a goal of mine for some time,” said Fechter, of West Bend. “And here in Milwaukee, there was a big need. There’s a lot of hydraulic equipment.”

The business plan is fairly simple. From his franchise’s base in Menomonee Falls, Fechter and his five employees take calls for service from the field and drive to wherever a bulldozer or a garbage truck or other heavy equipment has sustained a hydraulic hose failure.

Business started relatively slowly in February and March because cold weather slowed construction and a lack of snow kept the plow repairs to a minimum. The ramp up of road construction and the start of the building season has Fechter optimistic 50 will be a good number.

Pirtek, a privately held company based in Rockledge, Fla., operates in 18 states and has 400 businesses in 23 countries. It does not disclose its revenue figures.