Similar Forum Topics
On June 20, the Automotive Service Association (ASA) hosted a webinar called “The Road to Great Technicians” with Chris Chesney, senior director of customer training for the CARQUEST Technical Institute. Written by Chasidy Rae Sisk * Attendees qualified for one credit from the Automotive Management Institute. After ASA Vice President Tony Molla introduced the webinar’s presenter, Chesney recounted his collaboration with the National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF) to identify the Road to Great Technicians. They began in March 2016 when NASTF’s Spring General Meeting focused on the topic of building a road to great technicians. Chesney was asked to explain the current state of the aftermarket training industry. He defined the current state of aftermarket training as a lack of industry standards and a structured career path, unorganized training offerings, and disjointed efforts by industry organizations. However, he also identified many good building elements. Current problems in the industry include the inability to find new talent, graduates not performing to industry standards, an inability to afford techs and the amount of time is takes to replace a technician or advisor who leaves a company because companies do not build bench strength. Chesney stressed, “You have to invest in those new technicians, but many shops cannot find someone who can perform out of the gate, so we need to focus on growing our own and building our bench strength to overcome this problem. We have a need now for the next several years. Reports indicate that we need 80,000 technicians each year, but only 25,000 are being produced.” Chesney identified the aging workforce, oncoming tidal wave of technology and lack of a structured career path as reasons for the significant needs for technicians. Focusing on the influx of technology, he explored the unseemly amount of data that is transferred within modern vehicles. “It’s not the problem of education,” he said. “It’s our problem, and we’re going to look into that.” Chesney presented a picture of the Technician Life Cycle, which included the following seven steps: secondary shadowing, post-secondary intern, entry-level apprentice, technician, senior technician, master technician and specialist; however, he noted that this does not include possible “off ramps” on the Road to Great Technicians. Occurring after an industry professional becomes an entry-level technician, these “off ramps” include in-service continuing education and higher education, which can offer technicians a variety of paths to pursue in their careers, ranging from master technician to shop foreman to shop owner or even becoming an engineer for an OEM. In a January 2018 meeting, the education team at NASTF identified a subcommittee of industry experts tasked with creating a framework of education around the life cycle of a technician and other job roles within the industry. This framework is intended for curriculum providers to use in order to offer a career pathway that means something to the industry and is transferrable throughout the industry. The group began with the vision that they would prescribe degrees of competencies at every skill level, focused on the safety and reliability of the ground vehicle fleet. This Road to Great Technicians team consists of NASTF Chair Mark Saxonberg, Toyota’s Jill Saunders, WTI’s Rob Morrell, CTI’s Chris Chesney, NACAT’s Bill Haas, of Diag.net’s Scott Brown, WTI’s Mark Warren, NASTF’s Donny Seyfer, ASE’s Trish Serratore, S/P2’s Kyle Holt, DrewTech’s Bob Augustineand Cengage’s Erin Brennan. Exploring possible solutions to the industry’s problem, this group defined 13 solution elements, starting with new and enhanced communication with parents and influencers of peripheral students, early engagement with tactile students in middle and high school, support of STEM and development of a well-articulated career path with clear opportunities for advancement and growth that students and parents can see. The industry also needs to get involved with vocational education content to ensure these programs provide the right skills to students. Chesney explained, “They’re producing the wrong technicians because we aren’t involved. We have to be involved. We need to design a curriculum for schools and employers to ensure that, regardless of where technicians work, they are uniformly trained for the skill level. We have to provide people with the opportunity to grow throughout their careers.” The team also believes that the industry needs to provide internship experience, develop programs to help in-service technicians become mentors, and ensure that testing and certification programs are uniform and tiered to provide milestones for achievement. Employers also must find ways to provide wages and benefits that are competitive with other industries attracting the same individuals. “As technicians progress through their career, it is imperative to communicate career options to ensure they don’t leave the industry,” Chesney elaborated. “Vehicle technology has accelerated to unprecedented levels, necessitating faster and more thorough technician skill development to ensure public safety. To add further credibility and value to the process, NASTF is encouraging practical examinations similar to other safety-related skills as a means to verify requisite skill level attainment. Currently, this is not regulated and we cannot keep up with the advancing rates of technology, but we need a way to prove our skills and be prepared for what’s coming, not merely what is on the road right now.” The current state of industry education is outcome-based and not sufficient to serve today’s technology. The future of education must be competency-based with a focus on mastery of skill and validation of a technician’s mastery and development of skills that are recognized and transferable. A competency-based education offers a variable class structure and the ability to test out of the subject matter at different levels, enabling students to finish as they are able. The Road to Great Technicians team defined a new NASTF Technician Life Cycle that includes seven steps: apprentice technician, maintenance technician, service technician, repair technician, diagnostic technician, master technician, and specialist technician. According to Chesney, “Each step would require a variety of requirements as far as training and experience. They would also require mastery of competencies using curriculum provided by the industry, to include mentoring, demonstrated skills and self-paced curriculum. Finally, technicians seeking to advance would prove their skills through oral and hands-on exams.” Continuing the work they have started, the team plans to provide the industry with a white paper by the end of the year, but they encourage the industry to comment and opine. While the team will be limited in size in order to maximize effectiveness, they encourage industry professionals to join NASTF and the NASTF Education Team. The group’s vision for the future of automotive education culminates in the idea of the Automotive Institute of Science and Technology, which would include a pathway education in a project-based environment. In ninth and 10th grades, students would sample each pathway through projects designed to highlight the different aspects and career fields before choosing a specific pathway in 11th grade to focus on in their final two years of high school. Their choices would be automotive technology as a trade, business, or engineering. While obtaining their associates degree, students would enter the discipline of their choice, working in shops to gain practical experience while simultaneously acting as mentors to younger students. Chesney concluded the webinar with a question and answer session. Article Source: https://www.autobodynews.com/index.php/component/k2/item/15820-asa-hosts-road-to-great-technicians-webinar-with-carquest-s-chris-chesney.html
- 1 reply
- 280 views
We have been growing tire sales for the last few years and have considered offering in house road hazard warranty. For the shops offering road hazard was curious what your pricing model is and how your claim process works. Any insights would be greatly appreciated!
- 5 replies
- 607 views
Well established business with instant income. 3600 square feet with 5 racks. Owner willing to train buyer. Very highly regarded service provider. Owners looking to retire great turnkey business. View the full article
- 0 replies
- 111 views
Hazards of the Road
Pot holes, rough railroad crossings, and uneven pavement are just a few of the hazards of the road that can send you to the repair shop. They can tear up the undercarriage, bend suspension parts, and ruin components. Not to mention the damage to the rims and tires or the front end alignment. We all know how it happens, those things just seem to dart out in front of you with no warning. There you are zooming down the road sipping your morning coffee when all of a sudden you hit one of those car-swallowing pot holes. The coffee flies everywhere, and then your steering wheel starts shaking back and forth. It’s time to make a call to the repair shop.
Undercarriage and suspension damage from pot holes is fairly common. But, there are those occasions when an unwanted passenger hitches a ride underneath the car, too. Ah yes, those bits and pieces of a darting squirrel or road debris that get lodged in the under carriage from time to time. Sometimes you swerve or slam on the brakes, or you might try honking the horn or flash your brights at it. But, due to road conditions, visibility, speed, the weather, or that extra sip of coffee while changing the radio station makes hitting it unavoidable, and now you’ve acquired a new passenger under your car. And, who gets to remove what’s left? Your local mechanic, that’s who.
The diversity in these sudden hitchhikers are endless. I’ve seen everything from an aluminum ladder to road kill. Plastic bags and construction debris are probably the most common stuff I run across. In fact, a few years ago a Jeep rolled in with a differential leak that turned out to be a large garbage bag wedged into the rear seal. It was so impacted in there it actually popped the seal out of the housing. It must have made one heck of a noise as it wrapped tighter and tighter around the drive shaft.
I’m sure a lot of mechanics have seen worse than I have, especially the body shop techs. But I don’t recall any mechanics or body shop tech classes ever going over road debris or squirrel removal. Even if it was a class I missed, I don’t think you could explain the diagnostics to a customer as to how a spare tire flying out of a pickup had just the right angle, and just the right momentum to crack the crank sensor in two pieces, but didn’t do any other damage under the their truck. (Trying to involve their insurance company on that one.) Yeah, it really did happen to an old Ford truck that came in my shop.
I’m not immune to road debris either. I’ve collected my fair share of screws, glass, cardboard boxes, and hitchhiking varmints. The most memorable one was back when my wife and I first got married. We made the long trip to her home town in Nebraska in the middle of one of the worst winters in memory. One morning we decided to drive around town and see what had changed since the last time we were up there. It’s a really small town set amidst miles of corn fields, no grocery store, one gas station, two churches, and three bars. (Priorities ya know) The big excitement in town this winter was the stock pile of corn that was at the Co-op at the train depot. For one reason or another they couldn’t load the grain into the silos. Maybe the conveyor was frozen or the silos were full. I never asked why, besides it was 35 below zero out there, and I wasn’t about to get out of the warm car and ask.
Since there wasn’t anywhere else to put all this corn, they just piled it up right there in the middle of the street. It stretched from side walk to side walk and was higher than the telephone poles. We couldn’t turn around, or back up because there were even more gawkers checking out this huge pile of corn behind us. Instead, we followed the tracks on the edge of the pile from the previous car. As we carefully negotiated over part of the curb and part of the mound of corn (as gingerly as possible) the icy crust of snow on this massive pile of corn gave way and shifted the whole thing just as we went through.
A day or so later, we both caught a whiff a foul odor emanating from the bottom our car. It had the unmistakable smell of burnt corn bread. It seems we didn’t clear that pile of corn all that well, because the catalytic converter shield scooped up a bunch of the corn and some of the snow and turned the converter shield into a mini skillet. It took me hours of lying under the car (in the freezing cold) with what tools I had to clean most of it off. Then I took our family corn machine to the nearest town that still had a car wash open, trying to wash out the kernels faster than the water spray could froze. The smell of the burnt corn lingered for weeks afterwards despite several car washes.
Cooked corn, yea that was a mess but, it doesn’t compare to some of the other things I’ve removed. Such as mangled deer, mice, rabbits, or worse yet… a skunk. I’m not real squeamish when it comes to the blood and guts part of it but, the stench… oh the smell. Years ago after one of my “de-skunking” episodes my uniform guy told me he would rather I just throw those shop rags away instead of turning them back in.
Nothing surprises me anymore when it comes to a customer’s car which has just hit a pot hole or ran over something and their car needs my attention. Anymore, I don’t get all that excited when I find something like a sneaker jammed inside the right front tire rim and it has somehow ripped the ABS sensor wires completely off. I just smile, change out the sensor, and remove the shoe. I’ll add it to the pile of stuff I show the customer after the repair is completed. Needless to say, ya do get a few quirky looks at the counter from time to time. Often times they can’t remember running over something.
But, it is what it is… just another day at the shop dealing with hazards of the road. http://www.autoshopowner.com/article/automotive/gonzos-tool-box/hazards-of-the-road-potholes-and-varmints-r320
- 7 replies
- 830 views
Has anyone had experience with Sonsio or Safe-guard? We are looking to offer road hazard but I want some opinions on which company to use.
- 5 replies
- 552 views