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New from South Dakota


Dyce

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I have been on here for a while and I am looking for some help. I am a technician at a heavy truck dealership that is dead in the water. My father was a truck mechanic as well, and as a hobby he did car restoration in his shop at home. I grew up in the shop working with him and developed the same hobby. In the 1990s my father and I started an automotive machine shop that was, under the circumstances a success. During that time he was diagnosed with leukemia and unfortunately passed away. A year after that I had a son that was diagnosed with leukemia as well but he pulled through and 20 years later has good health today. I sold the machine shop business because of stress and I needed more time to focus on my family. 

17 years ago I invested the funds from the sale of the business and purchased a one acre commercial lot and had a 45 by 75 morton building put up. I have been using it for a hobby shop. I don't owe anything on the property now. Through the years I have been doing odd jobs to pay utilities and property taxes. What income I had left over I used it to fill the shop with a variety of equipment. I have been doing a great variety of things in the shop and not to brag but I have developed a large skillet set.

Welding and fabricating has been a major part of the work I do, and I have all of the equipment to start. Yet I have a car hoist, trans jack and tools to start an automotive repair shop.

I am 49 years old and working on big trucks is really starting to take a toll on my body. My dream has been to be self employed again in my own shop full time, but I am having a hard time deciding what to specialize in.  Some of my concerns are getting health insurance (currently my family is insured through my work) and would I be able to make a decent working by myself without employees starting out? 

 

 

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  • 6 months later...

Welcome. Noobie here too. I have been in the dealership world for many years. 

my plan is not to wrench, as i have been on the front of the business for years now. There is plenty of money to be made on good honest work on passenger vehicles. good work, fair price, and respect will have you with an endless amount of work. I'm just south of you and for years a very close family friend has owned a shop for 24 years now, its a little two bay hole in the wall and its just him, his tow kids and wife who run it. They are honest, way to fairly priced, and respect all of their customers. 

 

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         0 comments
      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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