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History of the Model T

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    • By Jay Huh
      2 years ago, I was in my garage. Now I recently opened a second location. This is my story.
      How did you guys go about opening a shop? Similar story?
    • By nge
      Just wondering how you all pay your quick service tech? In recent years we have paid ours hourly though a time clock and not based on actual hours worked or commission. I have actually had some problems come up with this as far as employee urgency goes. My guy was taking too long to service etc and not really into the job because after all he was getting paid hourly. Just trying to find the best blend of pay structure hopefully somehow including a commission based pay and a guaranteed rate. My only problem here is since he is quick service he will only get smaller tickets so commission may not be competitive. Also I have considered giving an "upsale" incentitve. So if the customer comes in for an oil change and through the checklist he finds a CV Axle for example and recommends and sells it he gets x% but my B tech would do the actual install and quick service tech would continue the other items on his board. Just looking for some ideas.
    • By Gonzo
      Perishable Goods

      I talk to a lot of new technician/mechanics coming out of the tech schools or starting their automotive careers at small shops and dealerships. They all have that same look. You know, that fresh, green, and full of spunk "take on the world" attitude and appearance. Most are still on their first set of wrenches, all shiny with the engraved wrench sizes still visible on them. (Not like most of mine that I can barely read the size anymore.) They're all eager and can't wait to be a part of the next project.
      Electronics have changed the caliber and education level of the modern technician, and these new fresh wrenchers are well aware of that fact. After talking to a few of them, boy do I feel old. I start thinking back ...way back to when I first picked up a ratchet. My first recollection of working on a car had nothing to do with electronics and more to do with hanging over the fender watching my dad. Since then, there have been a lot of changes in the automotive world.
      Training is one thing, knowing a few tricks of the trade helps even more. Like most mechanics, young or old, you find a rhythm, a sense of awareness of what needs to be done. You stay up with the technical changes, and keep what you already know tucked away for future reference. It might be a certain way to do to a diagnostic procedure, or perhaps what wrench worked best for a certain project. You develop these skills, and strengthen your knowledge base with every new encounter. It's what makes a seasoned tech so important to a shop and to the customers they serve.
      There's so much to know, so much to comprehend, and for the new tech it can be overwhelming. Some of it can't be taught in books, or by watching an instructor. There's a lot of that "doing it yourself" kind of teaching where you find out firsthand what works, and what doesn't. Those traits come from years of experience, and with that experience you start to master the trade.
      You have to keep up with the changes or you won't last long in this business. As the cars age so does their relative technology. Then it becomes apparent that the cars and their technology are all perishable goods. Old technology is just that… old. You can't compare the technology in a 1950's car with a 2012 car… it's just not the same in anyway.
      Knowing some of those old out dated procedures is still important though. That knowledge will come in handy when you least expect it. One day you'll be working on a fairly new model, and then the next day it could be a 30 or perhaps a 50 year old car sitting in the service bay. You can bet a mechanic will have to stare under the hood for a while, scratch his head a couple of times, and hope it all comes back to him. You'll find yourself jogging the old noggin for some of those old tricks you used to use.
      Scanners were never heard of back in the day.These young hot shots, fresh out of school guys and gals have all grown up with the internet, have always had electronic ignition, and a computer is as common to them as a toaster. Like one old timer used to tell me, "These youngsters wouldn't have a clue how to fix a car without a trouble code." I don't know about that, but some of those old cars are museum pieces to them. Oh sure, those young guns will take a few stabs at it, but you know... somewhere there's an old, grouchy, sour attitude,crotchety mechanic with the disposition of an alligator sitting in the back corner of the shop who has probably seen it all before.
      I'll bet most older techs can remember using a matchbook cover as a quick points gap check (Let's see one of those youngins try to find a matchbook cover these days). Ask an old mechanic what the timing setting is on a 327, or what the three pedals on the floor of a model T are for. They probably know it. But, when is the last time I needed to know that stuff? I don't know, haven't a clue. Maybe I like to hang onto that sort of stuff just to show those fresh techs that us old guys still have what it takes.
      The old mechanic may not move around as well, his skills may not be as fresh, but he can still get the job done. Are they stale, out dated?... probably not. What does that older tech have that only experience can bring? He has that knowledge. His knowledge is something that doesn't rot away with time; it's not like perishable goods at the grocery store or those cars that fade into history. Knowledge can't spoil, you might forget a thing or two… but it's always there. You gain it with experience, you store it away for a later date, and if all goes well, it sticks with you your entire life. At least I hope so...
      There's no doubt the fresh, educated, and modern technician will someday be the norm, and the age of the shop mechanic will shift directions from where it is today. But experience still prevails you know. As along time Master tech told me years ago when I was still wet behind the ears,"I've showed you everything you know, not everything I know."
      The older groups of techs have seen the changes from points and condensers to full on electronics. The new mechanics will no doubt will see even more changes in the future, and most likely those changes will happen even faster with future advancements in electronics.
      Even the modern car technology of today will eventually reach old age as well. The technology that's developed for them will also become part of the perishable goods as well as the cars. New technology will move forward with even better, fresher ideas than today. Just imagine what changes are in store for the next generation of mechanics.
      As a mechanic… I perish the thought.

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    • By Joe Marconi
      History of Veterans Day
      World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” - officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”
      In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations."
      Let us honor all those that have fought, died and served our great nation in order to protect the freedoms which we enjoy each day.
      Joe Marconi
    • By Joe Marconi
      Just a reminder on this historical day. The first battle engagements of the Revolutionary War between the 13 American colonies and the British army began on April 19th, 1775 at Concord, Massachusetts. In Massachusetts they call this date, Patriot’s Days. I felt this was worth mentioning.
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