Quantcast
Jump to content









Big City, small world


Gonzo

Recommended Posts

Even in a big the city it’s still can be a small world

 

I’ve been in private business long enough to gain quite a following from all over the city and surrounding areas. Most of it good, I hope… and then there are some of my customers that once they get to know me they’ll bring just about anything into the shop for me to repair.

 

Just the other day I had one of my regulars bring in a huge lawnmower for me to look at. It has a Caterpillar diesel engine on this huge grass cutting machine the likes of which I’ve never seen before. But as with anything mechanical/electrical if given the right tools and the proper information I’ll take on the challenge.

 

It wouldn’t start; the first thing I could tell about it was the starter bendix was out of it. It would hit the flywheel spin a quarter turn and then nothing. The bendix would stay engaged and the starter motor was spinning like mad but the bendix never moved. Each time I would turn the key the same thing would happen. The engine would spin just a bit and then the bendix would just stop turning. I took the starter off and gave him a call.

 

Since his place of business was just around the corner it didn’t take him long to show up. “I’ll go get it rebuilt,” he said, as he grabbed the starter and headed out the door.

 

A few hours later he was back, but the starter wasn’t repaired. He had taken it to two different starter overhaul shops and both said it was Ok… I thought that was a little strange… this thing was in dire need of a bendix. I muscled the engine over with a pry bar just to make sure there was no issues there, it was fine. I was very certain the bendix was at fault, there was no mistake about it. But, if the overhaul repair shops have as good a reputation for their work as I have, I’ll have to take another look at this whole thing and be sure I’m not diagnosing it wrong.

 

I stuck the starter back on and as I expected the same thing was happening to the starter.

 

I decided to skip this little problem and try to determine if anything else was wrong… because according to the owner the starter probably wasn’t the only problem wrong with it. He had already tried a new ignition switch but when that didn’t do the trick he brought it to me.

 

After checking the wiring diagram it was clear that one wire was on the wrong post on the replacement ignition switch. I asked the owner if he made sure he put the wires back correctly when he changed the switch, he not only was extremely sure that he had them in the same place, he also took a photo of the old switch wiring so that there was no mistake about where each of the wires went. With that information it had to mean only one thing… the ignition switch had to have been wired wrong from either a previous repair attempt or from the factory. Because, the way it was hooked up the starter solenoid was engaged the whole time the engine was running.

 

I went ahead and moved the wires to the right spots and gave it one more try. When, I could get the starter to stay engaged long enough to spin the engine, there still wasn’t any voltage at the fuel cutoff solenoid. Something else had to be wrong with it. Time to consult the wiring diagrams again. Now it was only a matter of following the road map of a wires and trace out how all the individual safety cutoff switches played a part in the starting and running of this beast. Sure enough, one of the fail safe switches was faulty.

 

It should start now, that is, if you could get the crazy starter to engage long enough to throw the engine over top dead and create enough compression to keep itself going. It took several attempts of flicking the key on and off to get it to happen but it did finally start. Once it started I knew why no one noticed the starter bendix was still stuck out against the flywheel… you couldn’t hear a thing with this huge motor blaring away… (ear protection is in order) Now, the owner only had one more task to do. Take the starter back one more time to the rebuild shop and get a new bendix installed.

 

I offered to install a new bendix for him, but he insisted on going back to the overhaul shop and tell them about it. He said there was something about “putting a board in the bendix” which seemed to be the way both places checked to see if the bendix was any good. I’ll bet it would hold a board… but I don’t think a little old piece of wood jammed into the starter nose cone was any match for this big diesel motor.

 

I just hope my reputation has gotten to that end of the city, because he planned on telling them who said the bendix was bad. Even though the starter overhaul shop was convinced it wasn’t the bendix… he was going to insist on having one replaced.

 

A day later he had a new bendix and the big old grass munching beast was as good as new. Sometimes, all it takes is experience and a reputation to get your point across. Just make sure you can back it up with clear evidence and good diagnostic skills. It’s an excellent way of gaining a good reputation, even in the big city or the small world we live in…

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         3 comments
      Got your attention? Good. The truth is, there is no such thing as the perfect technician pay plan. There are countless ways to create any pay plan. I’ve heard all the claims and opinions, and to be honest, it’s getting a little frustrating. Claims that an hourly paid pay plan cannot motivate. That flat rate is the only way to truly get the most production from your technicians. And then there’s the hybrid performance-based pay plan that many claim is the best.
      At a recent industry event, a shop owner from the Midwest boasted about his flat-rate techs and insisted that this pay plan should be adopted by all shops across the country. When I informed him that in states like New York, you cannot pay flat-rate, he was shocked. “Then how do you motivate your techs” he asked me.
      I remember the day in 1986 when I hired the best technician who ever worked for me in my 41 years as an automotive shop owner. We’ll call him Hal. When Hal reviewed my pay plan for him, and the incentive bonus document, he stared at it for a minute, looked up, and said, “Joe, this looks good, but here’s what I want.” He then wrote on top of the document the weekly salary he wanted. It was a BIG number. He went on to say, “Joe, I need to take home a certain amount of money. I have a home, a wife, two kids, and my Harly Davidson. I will work hard and produce for you. I don’t need an incentive bonus to do my work.” And he did, for the next 30 years, until the day he retired.
      Everyone is entitled to their opinion. So, here’s mine. Money is a motivator, but not the only motivator, and not the best motivator either. We have all heard this scenario, “She quit ABC Auto Center, to get a job at XYZ Auto Repair, and she’s making less money now at XYZ!” We all know that people don’t leave companies, they leave the people they work for or work with.
      With all this said, I do believe that an incentive-based pay plan can work. However, I also believe that a technician must be paid a very good base wage that is commensurate with their ability, experience, and certifications. I also believe that in addition to money, there needs to be a great benefits package. But the icing on the cake in any pay plan is the culture, mission, and vision of the company, which takes strong leadership. And let’s not forget that motivation also comes from praise, recognition, respect, and when technicians know that their work matters.
      Rather than looking for that elusive perfect pay plan, sit down with your technician. Find out what motivates them. What their goals are. Why do they get out of bed in the morning? When you tie their goals with your goals, you will have one powerful pay plan.
  • Similar Topics

    • By Transmission Repair

      Premium Member Content 

      This content is hidden to guests, one of the benefits of a paid membership. Please login or register to view this content.

    • By carmcapriotto
      As tax season 2024 unfolds, many entrepreneurs find themselves grappling with previous years' unpaid taxes, alongside the looming obligations for the current year. This episode gets into practical solutions for managing tax debt, with real-life advice and expert insights to navigate this challenging aspect of business ownership.
      • Understanding Your Options with the IRS: Setting up a payment plan with the IRS is the most common recourse for those unable to pay taxes in full. Learn about the prerequisites, process, and potential pitfalls. How does the IRS view income versus payroll tax debts? What are the crucial differences that could affect your business?
      • The Truth About Offers in Compromise: Offers in Compromise (OIC) might seem like a silver bullet for tax woes, but they're often misunderstood and not as easily attainable as advertised. I I try to demystify OICs, outlining the qualifications, processes, and the reality behind settling tax debts for "pennies on the dollar." Why are these offers rarely the best solution for most taxpayers?
      • Practical Tips and Real-World Strategies: Beyond understanding IRS mechanisms, this episode provides actionable advice for managing and potentially settling tax debts. From negotiating with state tax authorities to leveraging existing assets and income for a better outcome, learn strategies that could save your business significant amounts of money and stress.
      Thanks to our partners, NAPA TRACS and Promotive
      Did you know that NAPA TRACS has onsite training plus six days a week support?
      It all starts when a local representative meets with you to learn about your business and how you run it.  After all, it's your shop, so it's your choice.
      Let us prove to you that Tracs is the single best shop management system in the business.  Find NAPA TRACS on the Web at NAPATRACS.com
      It’s time to hire a superstar for your business; what a grind you have in front of you. Great news, you don’t have to go it alone. Introducing Promotive, a full-service staffing solution for your shop. Promotive has over 40 years of recruiting and automotive experience. If you need qualified technicians and service advisors and want to offload the heavy lifting, visit www.gopromotive.com.
      Paar Melis and Associates – Accountants Specializing in Automotive Repair
      Visit us Online: www.paarmelis.com
      Email Hunt: [email protected]
      Get a copy of my Book: Download Here
      Aftermarket Radio Network
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By carmcapriotto
      Get to know Darrin Barney, the family man, Jeep Enthusiast, multi-business owner, and friend to many. Take away some helpful tips, but a ton of inspiration from the owner of Barney Brothers Off Road and Repair and Elite Worldwide.
      Thank you to RepairPal for sponsoring The Auto Repair Marketing Podcast. Learn more about RepairPal at https://repairpal.com/shops
      How To Get In Touch
      Group - Auto Repair Marketing Mastermind
      Website - shopmarketingpros.com 
      Facebook - facebook.com/shopmarketingpros 
      Get the Book - shopmarketingpros.com/book
      Instagram - @shopmarketingpros 
      Questions/Ideas - [email protected] 
      Lagniappe (Books, Links, Other Podcasts, etc)
      Barney Brothers Off Road and Repair
      Elite Worldwide
      [email protected]
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By carmcapriotto
      In this week’s episode of Business by the Numbers, Hunt welcomes Mike Edge from Tread Partners, a fellow podcaster from the Gain Traction Podcast. The dialogue explores the symbiotic relationship between tire sales and auto repair services, emphasizing the strategic value of incorporating tire sales into auto repair shops' service offerings.
      Why Sell Tires in Auto Repair Shops? Discover why even repair shops traditionally not focused on tire sales should consider offering tires to their customers. Mike Edge shares insights on how selling tires isn't just about the transaction; it's about fostering long-term, loyal customer relationships. This segment explores the concept that selling tires can be a gateway to securing a customer's business for all their vehicle maintenance needs over the next three to five years. Operational Insights and Strategies: Learn from the practical experiences and strategies of shop owners who have successfully integrated tire sales into their business model. This part of the discussion sheds light on operational considerations, such as space management, inventory selection based on local demand, and the logistics of tire delivery and installation. It also addresses the challenges and benefits of balancing tire sales with high-margin service work, ensuring shops can maintain profitability while enhancing customer satisfaction and retention. Navigating Equipment and Supplier Relationships: For shops considering entering the tire business, this section provides valuable advice on selecting the right equipment and building beneficial relationships with tire wholesalers and distributors. It emphasizes the importance of investing in high-quality, reliable equipment to streamline operations and enhance service quality. Mike also highlights the critical role of choosing a supportive wholesaler, one that not only offers competitive pricing but also provides exceptional service, ensuring shops can meet their customers' needs efficiently and effectively. Realities of the Tire Business With Hunt Demarest of Paar, Melis & Associates  
      Thanks to our partners, NAPA TRACS and Promotive
       
      Did you know that NAPA TRACS has onsite training plus six days a week support?
      It all starts when a local representative meets with you to learn about your business and how you run it.  After all, it's your shop, so it's your choice.
      Let us prove to you that Tracs is the single best shop management system in the business.  Find NAPA TRACS on the Web at NAPATRACS.com
      It’s time to hire a superstar for your business; what a grind you have in front of you. Great news, you don’t have to go it alone. Introducing Promotive, a full-service staffing solution for your shop. Promotive has over 40 years of recruiting and automotive experience. If you need qualified technicians and service advisors and want to offload the heavy lifting, visit www.gopromotive.com.
      Paar Melis and Associates – Accountants Specializing in Automotive Repair
      Visit us Online: www.paarmelis.com
      Email Hunt: [email protected]
      Get a copy of my Book: Download Here
      Aftermarket Radio Network
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By carmcapriotto
      Find out how the movie Mrs. Doubtfire relates to the automotive industry. Matt Fanslow explores the motivation behind self-improvement and giving credit when using someone else's knowledge or ideas.
      Show Notes
      Mrs. Doubtfire Movie Analysis (00:01:05) Analysis of the movie "Mrs. Doubtfire" and its characters, discussing the dynamics of the relationships and the impact on the main character's behavior. Motivation and Improvement (00:03:23) Exploration of the motivation to improve, drawing parallels from the movie's characters and their impact on personal growth. Learning from Others (00:09:30) Discussion about learning from colleagues and other professionals in the automotive repair industry, focusing on gaining inspiration and improving skills. Robin Williams and Improvisation (00:13:48) Reflection on the comedic genius of Robin Williams and his unique improvisational skills, leading to a discussion about his impact on the comedy community. Robin Williams' Legacy (00:16:16) Reflection on the impact of Robin Williams' passing and his reputation in the comedy world, addressing the complexities of his suicide and the issue of joke theft in comedy. Giving Credit to Intellectual Property (00:18:47) Importance of referencing and giving credit when using someone else's knowledge or ideas.  
      Thanks to our Partner, NAPA Autotech napaautotech.com
       
      Email Matt: [email protected]
      Diagnosing the Aftermarket A - Z YouTube Channel HERE
      Aftermarket Radio Network: https://aftermarketradionetwork.com/
       
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio


  • Our Sponsors










×
×
  • Create New...