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Handing Snap-on, Matco Salesmen

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There has to be strict guidelines as to when the truck can come. Let the driver know that you only want him to stop by on this certain day at this certain time (which of course will be the slowest day and slowest time). If he can't make it at that day/time, do not come that week and come by again the following week. Also, if a tech is working on a vehicle and the driver comes, he has to WAIT until the tech is done with the customers car. The tech cannot stop in the middle of a customers car to go to the tool truck. You have to have rules set in place or the tool truck driver will come whenever he wants which is always at the busiest hour of the busiest day. Also, your techs need to understand the customer comes first, not the tool truck driver.

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the "poor-man-truck" ....


hahahaha! I have never understood buying tools off these trucks. Maybe it's my Dutch roots, but paying 200-300% higher costs for brand-name tools just never sat well with me. Amazon, eBay, and even Sears have treated me very well over the years.

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If the techs want to buy their stuff it's ok by me. Plus these vendors have items that won't be found anywhere else. I just think that the vendors need to follow some guidelines that don't use up the shop's time. Thanks for the advice. I would like to hear

from a Snap-on or Matco salesman for their prospective.

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It's totally ok with me(the shop owner),when those "tool trucks,which by the way is snap on and matco" come by to the shop and my techs will spend 15 minutes on the "truck"..Even IF the customer is waiting..After all my techs are buying quality tools which will make their jobs easier thus in return making them more effecient.I wouldn't want my techs NOT having quality tools.Just think of the problems there would be if techs had crappy tools and rounding nuts and bolts or even worst breaking bolts...If shop owners don't want their techs on the trucks maybe the shop owner should provide all the necessary tool required for all jobs..I'm fortunate that my techs will spend only a few minutes on the "trucks".My techs are responsible enough to know that 15 minutes on a tool truck is too long to get their business done.

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I agree that my techs purchasing the correct "quality" tools for the job is something I do not want to interfere with. But the tool truck does start to become a gathering point or a water cooler so to speak. When that happens I have no problem reminding them that there are customers waiting. Usually if I see the truck out there for more that 15 minutes then I will go check it out to see what is going on.


Or more truly in my case, I am usually out there buying stuff just like the rest of my guys. ;)

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Most mechanics are tool nuts. They look forward to the tool guy, no matter who is it. And I have to admit, when I was a tech way back, I too look forward to the tool truck. It can be a distraction and interfere with productivity, but I do not have any easy answer how to best control it. We encourage the tool guys to bring into the shop, the weekly specials, this has nearly eliminated the techs from hopping on the truck.


We make techs buy their own tools, and that is a big expense. Speak to the techs, speak to the tool truck guys and work to minimize the down time. I know that chasing the tool truck owner off the property or running around angry when the tool truck arrives does not solve anything either.


Let's face it, when you come down to it, there are so many more situations where time is lost or when we are not charging the right labor time. For me, I will choose my battles and engage in the ones that I know I can win.

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  • 1 month later...

I will post from a tech's perspective, but first I want to say, our tool truck comes the same day, the same time, each and every week. Perhaps the shop owner/manager should not be scheduling directly at that time, or schedule lighter? Expecting them to finish an oil change and then do their business is one thing, expect them to finish that brake job they just got the wheels off for is another.

When the tool truck arrives, we need to get our tool purchases taken care of, our bills paid, our questions answered and our warranties fulfilled. Those tools are what are making us money and in direct relation making you money. There are some battles you should avoid and this is one of them.


If I had a manager who got upset at that 15-20 minutes, if that, that isn't even every week as we do not make the kind of money required to be purchasing these tools every week, I would secretly be looking for a new job to push my box into. Maybe that doesn't resonate with you, because I am some random tech on the internet, but how do you know your A guy isn't feeling the exact same way? Can you afford to lose a quality tech over this?

On top of that, Snap-On and Matco and Mac and Cornwell, and whoever else comes by your shop, do not have store fronts. We cannot go around chasing them on their routes, because we need to be at work too, most of them are cautious about meeting up with you after work because if they are caught selling on an area that is covered by someone else's route, even if it is your house, they get in a lot of trouble. Nor do I feel I should have to do this.

No shop is helping me with the 40,000.00 of tools that I have acquired, so please do not make my infrequent and short visits on the truck difficult. I also only get a 30 minute lunch, at my manager's discretion, for a 10+ hour day, no other breaks, so call it my one 15 minute break for the week.

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  • 4 months later...

My tech's seem to keep their tool truck time within reason so it isn't a problem for me. I work on my tool providers vehicles. Not only do I do work for my Snap-On and Matco tool drivers, but they have been a great help when I need a tool that I do not have. Either of my tool reps will drive across town on an off day to hand deliver a tool I might need that they have on their truck. I have heard of other shops locally here that are a bit more stern when it comes to the working relationship of tool trucks and shops being productive. Personally I think the tool trucks have saved me more time that they have cost me by going above and beyond when it counts. Different for every tool driver though I suppose.

Edited by Chuck
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This thread is still alive? You guys will have to excuse me but I come from a different industry where we didn't have route salesmen.

My only point is that they come by once a week and the entire tech crew (sometimes) goes out to the truck. Four techs (now, thank you) x 30 minutes (not always, but worse case) is 2 hours of down time that you can't get back.


However, I do understand the usefulness of the tool guys, I hope they understand and mitigate the down time.

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Limit techs to 1 at a time on tool truck. Add a half hour to tool day. Pay flat rate. Fire the techs and get ones that don't buy tools. Or realize that working on cars is a tough job and sometimes a break is deserved.

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My techs make me money. for them to do it easier they need good tools. if they spend 10-15 minutes on the truck and production slows for that time so be it. My customers are extremely important to me, but having happy, well equipped techs is also important.

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  • 4 weeks later...

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