Quantcast
Jump to content


Where's My 10mm Socket!?? --- The professional escapee of the tool box


Gonzo

Recommended Posts

Where’s my 10mm Socket

         Deep or shallow, impact or chrome, 12 point or six point, ¼” or ½” drive, it really doesn’t matter, those 10 mm sockets have the ability to grow legs. Out of all the hundreds of sockets in the drawer, only the 10mm seems to be the one that disappears without a trace. Sure, it’s used a lot, and yes, it does seem to be on every car and in every form and fashion you can think of, but why is this most useful socket also the one with the escape artistry of Steve McQueen in the movie “The Great Escape”?

         They can vanish without a trace, leave without warning, or fall into an engine bay never to see the light of day again. One time I actually caught a glimpse of one on a mad dash for freedom.  I was working under a car installing a few brackets with my trusty (trustee) 10mm socket attached to my ¼” air ratchet when the socket spun off the ratchet.  It traveled along the top edge of the crossmember spinning like mad when it came upon a small hole in the center.  It hopped straight up, still spinning, did a perfect pirouette and slipped right down the hole.  It was like watching a cartoon character sticking their head out of the hole just long enough to say, “See ya!” and disappear out of sight.  I never managed to fish the socket out of there, either.  The hole was too small for anything but the socket and the ends of the crossmember were welded shut.  That one got away, but I saw the whole thing myself.  They really do try to escape.

         It’s like spotting Big Foot.  I mean, who would believe ya when you tell them you just saw your 10mm socket make a break for it and escape down some rabbit hole in a crossmember? Ya might as well call one of those tabloid magazines and tell them.  At least they might believe your story.  I think the tabloids would put it all down as some sort of conspiracy anyway. It’s the only way to explain it. When I lose a socket the tool truck always has a replacement.  For all I know, those fiendish little sockets are sneaking back on the truck, while I’m purchasing one of their buddies.  Maybe they’re all out to prove something, or they’re all working with the tool trucks for a cut in the profits. 

We should start a 10 mm support group for all those socket sets and mechanics who are missing one. I can just hear it now. “I’m here to tell my story about my 10 mm socket.  We were good friends, we did a lot together, but now he’s gone and I’m all alone.” The group could all get a T shirt that says, “I lost my 10mm socket.  Can you help me?”, but knowing my luck, I’d probably lose the shir, too.

Maybe I’ll just paint them all bright yellow, or buy them in bulk and keep so many around that I can’t possibly ever not have one handy. But, knowing those 10mm sockets the way I do, I’d bet they’d find a way to have a mass escape when I’m not looking. The next thing ya know, I’ll start a chain gang of 10mm escapees and have them all work on the worst slimy, greasy, dirty, nastiest part of the car I can find.

         Here’s the thing I don’t understand.  Why doesn’t the 7 and 8mm socket make a break for it? They’re out and about just as much as the 10?  As a matter of fact, why not use the 9mm socket or the 11mm a bit more often and give that 10mm guy a bit of break.  Maybe then the 10mm won’t feel so over worked and have the tendency to walk off the job.

         Way back when everything was SAE instead of metric,  I don’t recall having to put posters on the neighborhood telephone poles, “Have you seen this ¼” socket?” Most of the time it was right where I left it, and eventually I would wear it out to the point it couldn’t grip a bolt or nut anymore. But would I replace it? No, of course not.  I’d put it back in the rack with all of the other sockets, only to remember how worn out it was the next time I needed it. But, that 10 mm, haven’t worn one out yet, because that guy will use any excuse to leave before it gets that old.   

 

I’m not saying all the other metric wrenches and sockets are exempt from trying to flee the tool box.  Heck no.  I’m pretty sure I stumbled onto one of their mass escape plans before.  I came into work one day and somebody had moved my tool box.  When I opened the drawer all the sockets were haphazardly scattered everywhere you looked. I’ll bet that 10mm socket dude got the other sockets all riled up and would have made good on their escape if it wasn’t for the tool box being locked.

 Then, there are those two sockets that rest on either side of the 10mm. They don’t seem to do much, they hardly get out of the drawer, and apparently don't take after that 10mm guy at all. You know these two, they're the 9 and 11mm sockets. Every now and then you'll find that one or two odd ball nuts or bolts that are specifically made for a 9 or 11mm socket. They seem to be content living in the tool box with this empty gap between them and they never seem to get lost or go AWOL. In fact, I somehow have a large collection of 9 and 11mm sockets that I don’t even remember buying. But that 10mm socket, that guy hardly ever ends up back in the box and is a bad influence on the rest of them. It’s out all night, can’t find its way home, rolls up under a cabinet and hides, or its favorite trick, finds the one spot in the very center underneath the car that you can’t possibly reach. It's also been known to take the suicide approach of avoiding going back in the tool box. It will take a dive off the edge of a fender and fall into a narrow crevice from which you’ll never retrieve it again. 

I’m starting to believe those 10mm sockets got it in for us mechanics. They’ll hide in plain sight or sit there shining up at us from some unreachable spot in the corner of the engine bay. I’m pretty sure I saw one scoot across the floor and under a bench once.  Never did find him again, either.  Maybe we should get Sherlock Holmes on the case.  Maybe he could find the whereabouts of these elusive 10 mm runaway sockets.

In the mean time I’ve got another problem to take care of.  My new pocket screwdriver I just got off the tool truck has disappeared.  Seems it’s been hanging around those 10mm sockets way too long, and has gotten ambitious about going over the wall on its own.  Or maybe he’s stuck on the edge of the driver’s door again, but that’s another story entirely.


View full article

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Similar Topics

    • By carmcapriotto
      Bill Haas is the owner of Haas Performance Consulting LLC, with 40 years of experience in the automotive service and repair industry. Clients now have access to Bill’s solution based focus, expertise, unique perspectives and in-depth knowledge of the industry. Services available include business management seminar development and delivery, keynote presentations, business consulting, performance coaching, and strategic planning facilitation. His career includes time as a technician, shop owner, technical trainer and most recently on the staff of the automotive industry’s oldest and largest association representing automotive service and collision repair businesses. .Bill received the Accredited Automotive Manager (AAM) credential from the Automotive Management Institute in 1996 and has been a member of the Automotive Management Institute’s faculty since 2002
      Listen to Bill's other episodes HERE
      Key Talking Points
      Successor struggle- when every day is a struggle “Advanced Financial Strategies for Peace of Mind”- what is it that you need to pay attention to in business? KPI’s need to be reviewed every day, don’t wait until the end of the month. It needs to also be shared with employees. “If you don’t share, they don’t care.” Don’t make decisions without data- it lets you know what you need to work on and prioritize. Strategic thinking instead of working on many things at once.  How do you know what to fix? Pause and do analysis. Make cars count vs car count.  Coaches change clients- is this someone who is willing to put words into action? You need an investable business in order to retire- can’t wait until the end to start working on your business You have to want to change yourself and your business. If not don’t hire a coach or even join a networking group Focus on one particular area of concern, get it right, then move on to the next. Stop the smorgasbord of quick fixes. You can’t wait to fix the business when you want to sell or retire. It takes a few years depending on the depth of the struggle P & L statement- don’t ask your accountant how the business is doing, don’t rely on them to take the pulse of the business. Most accountants have clients in all different industries, they don’t know how to “fix” your automotive service business. Ask them to perform one job and that is to minimize your tax liabilities. Finances in your business is just a big math problem to solve Labor rate- gross profit percent on labor, labor parts split, hours per repair order Sales forecasting and budgeting- have goals, targets and expectations Connect with the show:
      Aftermarket Radio Network
      Subscribe on YouTube
      Visit us on the Web
      Follow on Facebook
      Become an Insider
      Buy me a coffee
      Important Books
      Check out today's partners:
           
      This episode is brought to you by AAPEX, the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo. AAPEX represents the $740 billion global automotive aftermarket industry and has everything you need to stay ahead of the curve.  AAPEX 2021 is in the record books and lived up to presenting leading-technical and business management training from some of the industry’s best and brightest. Now set your sights on Las Vegas in 2022. Mark your calendar now … November 1-3, 2022, AAPEX - Now more than ever.

      This episode is brought to you by Shop-Ware Shop Management. It’s time to run your business at its fullest potential with the industry’s leading technology. Shop-Ware Shop Management will increase your efficiency with lightning-fast workflows, help your staff capture more sales every day, and create very happy customers who promote your business. Shops running Shop-Ware have More Time and generate More Profit—join them! Schedule a free live demonstration and find out how 30 minutes can transform your shop at getshopware.com/carm

      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By Joe Marconi
      Exit Strategy-Step 2
      Have Clean and Accurate Financial Statements
      The value of your business will be determined by your net profit, cash flow and a strong balance sheet.  Having clean and accurate numbers will be more attractive to a potential buyer, especially if your business shows growth over time. While you may value your loyal customer list, and your tools and equipment, it's the profitability of your business that will be used to determine how much someone will pay for your business.  
      As an added benefit, having clean and accurate financials will also help you through tough economic times, and if you ever need a bank loan. 
      Get your books in order and work hard on your business to show a profit.  
    • By Joe Marconi
      I was attending a recent TECH NET council meeting a few weeks back and one of the topics discussed was Exit Strategies. One of the members spoke about finding a key person in your company, if there is no one in your family to consider.
       
      There are many shop owners out there that are near retirement. It would be a good idea to share a few ideas. I know many shop owners may not even have a plan. My lawyer approached me about a year ago and insisted that I sit down with him to plan out my future. I am 59, been in business for 34 years and been in the auto repair business since high school. If your story is similar to mine, it's something we need to start planning.
       
      Thoughts? Comments?
       
       
    • By Joe Marconi
      I was asked recently if it's possible to be a true absentee owner. Here are my thoughts.  First, it really depends on the staff, your position in your business and how the business is structured. There are shops that are run totally by a manager and the owner is not involved in the day to day. There are shop owners with multiple locations. There is no way to be at all locations at the same time. 
      Build the business by having a strong team. Find leaders in your business.  Give others control and allow others to grow.  You, the owner, do not have to be in on every single situation, and you should take time away from the business. 
      But remember, you are the owner and the primary leader. You set the tone. 
      Those are my thoughts...yours? 
       
    • By Joe Marconi
      Let's face it, we all know you can't find techs, and it's time that we do something about it.  We all need to implement an apprentice program at our shops and hire entry level techs. And we need to start tomorrow.  
      I know many of you are saying that you don't need a tech right now. Well, trust me. You will.  And I don't want to hear you can't afford to do this either. 
      No one is going to help us, and the best techs have jobs. 
      If everyone in the industry commits to hiring an apprentice, we will solve the this shortage in a few years.
      There are many apprenticeship programs available, like the NAPA program, and more. 
      Oh....worried that you train someone and they leave. Let me ask you, How Did You Start Out? 
       


  • Our Sponsors



×
×
  • Create New...