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The Job Title Is Expert Problem Solver: L&M Engineers on Finding Solutions and Satisfying Customer Needs

Where there’s a problem, there isn’t anything L&M engineers can’t solve. For more than 65 years, these expert problem solvers have been designing and applying products for customers all around the world, mixing sharp communication skills and tons of experience to get even the most impossible jobs done.

Behind every great Mesabi® Heat Exchanger or Chiller is an expert problem solver. If you come to L&M Radiator with an issue, you’ll learn very quickly that there’s hardly anything L&M engineers can’t fix.

For more than 65 years, L&M Radiator has carved out its name as the standard for heavy-duty equipment radiators within the mining, oil, and construction industries across the globe. Customers can’t get enough of the reliability and durability that Mesabi® products exhibit, and it all starts with the company’s engineers and their innovative ideas on how to meet the needs of the company’s customers and the unique environments in which they operate.

The problem-solving abilities showcased by L&M engineers are what really set them apart from other radiator manufacturers. A customer may be dealing with minor, direct issues or long-term problems like corrosive and hazardous environments that require a longer-lasting life cycle for their machines. No matter what the problem is, L&M engineers are fully equipped with the competitive edge needed to deliver time and time again with a successful solution.

L&M Radiator employee

“Problem solvers should be our job title, whether it be for our current product or replacement of conventional cooling systems,” said Chris Domogalla, Design and Application Engineer at L&M Radiator.

As professional problem solvers, L&M engineers display sharp communication skills and extensive experience and knowledge with their products so they can improve customer needs. Foundational and trustworthy relationships with customers, paired with quick turnaround solutions, is what keeps genuine Mesabi products one of the most trusted radiators in the world.

“Every customer has a unique situation in one way or another, so it’s our job to figure out how to solve it,” said Tim Cass, OEM Applications Engineer at L&M Radiator.

65 Years of Reliable Experience

A key asset to problem solving is experience. Many of L&M’s customers work in predictable environments, whether that be at mining plants where dust and mud tend to clog machines or facing the rough conditions of oil fields and their high-pressure fracking equipment. When presented with an issue, L&M engineers take the knowledge they have about their customers, their working environments, and the application of their machines, and work towards finding a solution that considers all these factors.

“A lot of it is based on experience. For example, if you’re working on a loader project, whether it’s a surface loader or an underground loader, you know from other experiences with that type of machine and ask customers questions,” said Cass. “Is there an oil cooler upstream or downstream or are there other heat sources in the way? How much restriction is there for the airflow to get to the cooler and to exit the cooler? A lot of the questions we ask are just based on experience with other customers in similar situations. We don’t get surprised very often.”

L&M Radiator employees

L&M engineers expect the unexpected. Over in Hibbing, Minnesota, at the Hibbing Taconite Company, workers were using pond water to cool their machine mill bearings and their conventional coolers because of complications upstream. The pond water would get sucked up into the conventional coolers and cause all sorts of trouble – one thing being that the coolers were getting plugged up with minnows.

The solution? L&M provided the company with larger tubes for the tube and shell cooler so the tiny fish could pass through the machines and be on their merry way.

In another scenario, L&M was presented with an issue regarding the cooling systems in Komatsu excavators at forestry and waste handling plants. These cooling systems were originally produced with tight spaces that have a side-by-side charge air cooler and oil cooler. The system is a very thick and dense package, which, when applied to a sap-and-bark-riddled forestry and waste handling environment, can become clogged very easily. L&M engineers had seen issues similar to this before on smaller excavators used in construction. Equipped with this knowledge, engineers applied this experience to a larger scale.

“We were able to keep our cooling system in the same space constraints except for depth. We didn’t have to change the fan or increase fan horsepower. We made the package a lot easier to clean and more survivable in the forestry and waste handling applications they were in,” said Cass.

L&M engineers can fix anything – though sometimes, they’re hit with a tough situation that forces them to rethink their approach. Not too long ago, the engineers assisted the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) with trying to figure out why their machines had reappearing holes in their tubes. L&M had sent over replacement tubes, but after a short time running the buses with those replacements, the same holes and leaks would return. Discouraged, the team got together again on the issue and decided to run some tests.

“Those coolers have electric fans on them, so we did some stray current testing and found that the power wires for the fans were contributing stray current to the tubes and causing leaks in them,” said Ryan Jaeger, Design and Applications Engineer at L&M Radiator. “The grounding wires on the coolers weren’t hooked up when they were put on. So, we had to hook those up and then we provided the customer with an additional grounding wire. By grounding out the coolers, it solved the problem. We haven’t seen the issue reappear and they’ve since come back to buy many more coolers from us.”

Working Together Across the Globe

Recurring customers already know what to expect from L&M: dependable, reliable, and fast service. L&M engineers are adamant on customer satisfaction. Cooperating with customers and relaying information back and forth to get a project done is crucial to everyone’s success.


A keen problem-solving skill is communication. With overseas customers in Australia, Chile, Mexico, and more, it’s important to be able to talk with someone over the phone and understand their issue without physically being there to see it.

“We’ll get customer calls all the time where they’re on their machine having an issue right then and there, so we have to be able to problem solve on the spot and walk them through it,” said Josh Mitchell, Application Engineer at L&M Radiator. “If you can get a better understanding of what they’re seeing and then solve the problem quickly for them instead of going, ‘Oh, well you have a problem, we’ll get back to you in a week after we figure it out.’ Having a high level of communication and problem-solving skills is essential to quickly and efficiently reducing downtime and getting a customer’s machines up and running.”

A strong relationship with their customers matters to L&M Radiator and sets them apart from competitors. L&M engineers and sales representatives have their boots on the ground, checking in on unique applications and making sure products are running smoothly as intended.

Having trust in L&M engineers is not misplaced. These problem solvers are here to make sure their products are beneficial to customer’s needs and working environments. The confidence in Mesabi products starts with L&M engineers’ sharp and educated experience produces the best solution to solve their customers’ cooling problems.

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