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[Podcast] Decade the Seventies – Talking Auto Repair [THA 184]


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https://youtu.be/vcZAi4m3ZpM

Chris Chesney is theDirector of Customer Training for Carquest Technical Institute. He is also a NASTF Board Member. Visit Chris’s previous episodes HERE.

Mitch Schneider is a fourth-generation “mechanic/technician” recognized as a champion of service dealer and technician causes. Mitch is an award-winning journalist, former shop owner, and published novelist. For more than 37 years, Mitch operated Schneider’s Automotive — a successful 6-bay, family-owned and operated service facility in Simi Valley, Calif.

Mitch has recent great news on the biggest challenge in his life as he has taken on Primary Myelofibrosis, a rare bone cancer, head-on. He is in his recovery after a successful stem cell /bone marrow transplant in April 2019. I’m so glad to have him back to discuss his novel Misfire: What to Do When Things Aren’t Running on All Cylinders. Look for Mitch’s other episodes HERE.

Maylan Newton from ESI – Educational Seminars Institute is a business coach, trainer and industry speaker. Maylan is no stranger to the podcast having paid it forward many times. He is a much sought our speaker at industry events in the US. Find Maylan’s previous episodes HERE.

Bob Pulverenti is the Executive Director of the Independent Garage Owners of North Carolina and show chairman of ASTE (Automotive Service & Technology Expo), prior to working for IGO Bob worked as the Executive Director of SSRSOUNY in Syracuse NY. He had also operated automotive shops in Central NY for 25 years, as a shop owner he was triple certified with ASE & a nine time NAPA/ASE Technician of the year award winner. He holds the AMI Accredited Automotive Manager certification. He sits on the AASP National Board of Directors and is a registered lobbyist. Previous Episodes HERE.

Jerry Kezhaya from The Auto Shop in Plano Texas has been in business since 1981. Plano is a northern suburb of Dallas with a population on 280,000. According to Jerry, it is the top growing county in the US. His 35,000 sq ft shop has 21 lifts with two flats per lift.

Jerry is a business coach and prides himself for getting out of the shop between 80 and 120 days a year to work with clients, attends seminars and enjoys wine. Listen to Jerry previous episodes HERE.

Key Talking Points:

  • Some big work done in this decade was carburetors   
  • Maylan was a Snap on Dealer and Mitch was a customer
  • Chris Chesney was also a Snap On Dealer. They kept you in debt so you got up everyday and went to workYou had to pay so you collected from your customer everyday
  • New Tech: Chrysler Electronic Ignition. No points and condensers. “Space Age Tech!!”
  • If you did not have a feeler gauge you used a match book cover
  • Sun engine analyzer. These guys are still waiting to learn how to use it
  • As is typical with each decade or new advances in technology many did not believe it would last
  • Bear static balancer and BADA Bubble Balancer to balance tires
  • New electronic balancer was about $6,000 at that timeTook forever to sell one and to get a shop to buy one
  • These guys pumped a lot of gas. Most shops sold gas.
  • Learning how it works was an incurable passion for these guys
  • Chris Chesney loved the new tech 
  • The more cars at the pumps the more cars came into the bays. The gas pumps was ‘social media’ back in the day
  •  Mitch won a bet if he could field strip a carburetor, $100It took skill to rebuild a carburetor
  • Electrical and carburetor shops were specialists in the dayThey used a growler to grind the armature
  • Curiosity drove the technician of the day
  • To the consumer nothing has changed.My car is broke, fix it
  • Training was big at dealerships back in the 70's
  • General Motors Training Center that provided training to dealer techs also provided training to the independent via their AC/Delco product division
  •  Some training came from the parts people that was more of product training then technical
  • Everyone was in street racing or drag racing
  • The techs of the day in the 70's loved the machine called the automotible
  • We need to start attracting young people into our industry
  • Motor and Chilon were the repair manuals necessary to repair cars of the time 
  • Be careful and mindful of the solvents you are working with.Wear gloves, glasses and steel toed shoes

Resources:

  • A special thanks to Chris Chesney, Mitch Schneider, Maylan Newton, Bob Pulverenty, and Jerry Kezhaya for their contribution to the aftermarket.
  • Link to the ‘BOOKS‘ page highlighting all books discussed in the podcast library HERE. Leaders are readers.
  • Listen for free on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spreaker, iHeart Radio, Spotify, Podchaser, and many more. Mobile Listening APP’s HERE
  • Find every podcast episode HERE.
  • Every episode segmented by Series HERE.
  • Key Word Search HERE.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      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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