ELKO -- 5th Gear Powersports is more than just a bike enthusiast’s heaven, it is also a major mining supplier, and the Elko Daily Free Press Readers Choice recipient of six awards.
“We were originally a Yamaha dealer 10 years ago,” said co-owner Cortney Worline. “We bought out Jeff’s Cycle Shop. We picked up other brands along the way.”
“Then we discovered LED lighting from riding at night in the Baja desert,” explained Worline. “Vision X is used for all off-road night riding. Now we supply the mines with LED lights.”
Before LED use some mines were shutting down their shovels a couple of times a month. Now the lights can stay on longer and the cost in much less.
The other half of the mining supply business is in buggy overhaul. The company carries Kawasaki, Mule, Gravely, and Polaris utility vehicles.
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“We equip them here for mine use,” said Worline. “They have to get overhauled and be MSHA approved.”
Underground mining is a highly profitable activity here in northeastern Nevada. With several mines located near Elko the company has had a lot of experience developing the utility vehicles for the rough and dirty rides that they will be put through during their years of service, Worline said. The 5th Gear maintenance team turns out quality products that are extra durable and dependable. They also service the vehicles after they are sold. This aspect of the operation keeps the crew busy six days a week.
Touring the plant is a journey into a mechanical montage. The front shop is filled with dirt bikes, support gear, ATVs, and the LED sales section. Numerous workers help customers and answer phones. But, this is just a tiny section of the facility. Stepping out the back door leads to the more extensive ATV outfitting and repair operations. There is even a washing bay for cleaning ATVs that come directly from a mine. The business physically inhabits over an acre of land and the building square footage is over 1,600 square feet.
Worline and John Glenn are very busy and successful owners who manage a team of 25 happy employees. All of the people working here are enthusiasts in one way or another. Some actively pursue bike racing and motocross in their free time.
“I basically quit my mining job to come work here,” said employee Dean Brown. “This is a family oriented place, a lot like my original experience in old mining. Back then we had smaller crews. The customers who come here see us as a family, everyone is involved. They like that.”
Our bosses really do take care of us,” said Orin Munoz, a long- term employee. “We all love working here.”
When asked what the future holds for 5th Gear John Glenn said, “We are growing, growing, growing.”