Employee Spotlight: CVL Phenom Jim Potthast Takes a Look Back at His 60 Years

Jim Potthast’s livelihood has revolved around industrial agricultural equipment & commercial vehicle applications starting from a young age. Growing up on his family farm had given him an opportunity that many others did not have the chance to experience, a hands on learning environment. What he did with this opportunity has shaped him into the man he is today.

Jim got his start around the age 14 working around semi’s & large industrial equipment in a five-unit trucking fleet. From then on his passion for the industry had evolved into something much greater. This young midwesterner found employment at a Freightliner dealership working as a service manager/technician. Little did he know that it would turn into a 20 year career where he would work with all types of diesel engine OEM’s. With this experience he then acquired a ASE diesel certification along with a doctorate certification with Detroit Diesel. With that he spent the next 10 years at a Detroit Diesel Distributor working with fleets and dealers specing units for reliability & fuel efficiency. 

As Jim advanced in his career he became a greater asset to the company. When Jim was hired on to the MDI team in 2007 his vast knowledge of CVL & industrial applications solidified him as one of the most well versed salespeople at MDI. When asked about his role in the company he said “ He enjoys when he can show the customer how something is supposed to work properly & make it last. He then stated that he provides value to his customer base by providing them with a quality oil that will reduce expensive equipment repair costs.”

When Jim is not working in the field you can usually find him staying active by ways of camping, woodworking, restoring pedal tractors & tinkering on cars. When he’s not working on himself he will find comfort in his family. Jim enjoys spending time with his eight, soon to be nine, grandchildren.


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