Members | Sign In
ScannerDanner Forum > Case Study Videos
avatar

"No good techs out there" comment from Paul in video...

posted Feb 08, 2016 14:39:09 by JeffreyBirt
One of the videos I watched this weekend Paul had a vehicle in his class that had been to PepBoys who replaced a fuel injector, which did not fix the vehicle, and then said it needed a PCM. Paul hesitated to mention PepBoys but then said "It not the companies fault, it is the tech who made the bad call. There are just no good techs out there to hire." (or something to that effect.)

I know it is a bit off topic, but I wonder why that is. My experience is that it is tough to find a shop that you can trust (I do the vast majority of my own work). Just because someone has an ASE badge does not been they could fix a ham sandwich. Even taking your car to the dealer is no guarantee that you will get good service.

The thing that drew me to Paul's videos and to buy his book was the quality of the troubleshooting instruction. I went to a VoTech school in high-school and took industrial electronics. Even then (almost 30 years ago) people though only the dummies went to VoTech. The school I went to taught auto-body, auto tech, welding, drafting, and a lot of other things. Where I live now it seems like the local VoTech is scaling back what they teach but they still do autobody and autotech. I don't know what the quality level of the courses is but I know that quality instruction is out there.

I work at a university now running a machine shop in the EE department. It is rare to find an engineering student who has any hands on experience with anything. They learn a lot of theory but don't know how to put it into practice. I wonder if the same situation exists with VoTech training these days, most students have never had any real hands on experience and/or have never learned how to apply the theory they learn to the real world.

So I'm rambling a bit but the question is, why are there no good techs out there? I suspect it is the same reason that automotive engineers put connectors in inaccessible locations; they don't know how to bridge the gab between the theory and real world.
page   1
15 replies
avatar
Tyler said Feb 13, 2016 19:55:39
So I'm rambling a bit but the question is, why are there no good techs out there?


This is a huge problem in the industry overall, and people have taken notice.

I think there's a LOT of things that go into the lack of good techs, one of which is the job itself. Think about it: You're repairing vehicles that aren't designed to be repaired, under a double-edged pay system, for customers that often don't appreciate the level of skill it takes to complete repairs, using parts of horrible quality, in a hazardous work environment, all the while paying for your own tooling.

With so many other careers available, that pay better for less work, why would anyone consider becoming a technician?
avatar
PaulDanner said Feb 16, 2016 21:58:03
Another HUGE issue is our public school systems push College! All of the students that have learned how to study, that have good work ethics etc. They don't come to tech schools.
Sure some of the poor performing students (like me) fell through the cracks and found out we had a brain late in life but it is not the norm.
It is almost to the point of indoctrination if you ask me. Lets pump these kids into these colleges with these liberal professors so we can brainwash them and make them do what we say later in life. This is the college agenda. Sorry, that last paragraph is more of a political thing than it is an answer to why. But I think it relates. Tech schools are for "dumb" people seems to be the attitude.
BTW, I have 4 children and if I had my way, all 4 of them would learn a trade.
avatar
Tyler said Feb 18, 2016 20:20:31
Another HUGE issue is our public school systems push College!

It is almost to the point of indoctrination if you ask me.


Quoted for truth. I fell for this exact kind of attitude, and ended up wasting a bunch of time at a four year school. It took me way too long to realize how little I belonged there.

Getting my associates degree from a community college was one of the best things I ever did.
avatar
JeffreyBirt said Feb 24, 2016 15:53:57
I can remember my high school guidance councilor's attitude about VoTech school even back in the mid eighties. The presumption was that it was where the 'dummies' went, even though the work was harder as you had to do your vocational training and your normal high school work, and the grading scale was harder.

I work at a university now and it is sad that 90%+ of kids getting an engineering degree have NO hands on/practical experience. I'm convinced that is why we get cars where they bury connectors 2" out of reach, etc. They engineer designing it has never worked on a car so he/she has no clue. The kids have no clue how to take the theory they learned and apply it in the real world.
avatar
Scott Duncan said Feb 27, 2016 01:01:26
Hello every one
Well good car tecs trained or training tecs
I have had 4 over the last 15 years some went to college some didn't it's a hard subject to learn and to
Bring out the best in people keep their interest at the beginning it sounds easy induction,compression
Ignition,and exhaust but experience some of the variable and things get a little harder ,time interest and plenty
Of patients helps
But if you enjoy fixing car,and motorbikes hopefully you will get there
avatar
Prez said Mar 03, 2016 19:16:21
PaulDanner said Feb 16, 2016
Another HUGE issue is our public school systems push College! All of the students that have learned how to study, that have good work ethics etc. They don't come to tech schools.
Sure some of the poor performing students (like me) fell through the cracks and found out we had a brain late in life but it is not the norm.
It is almost to the point of indoctrination if you ask me. Lets pump these kids into these colleges with these liberal professors so we can brainwash them and make them do what we say later in life. This is the college agenda. Sorry, that last paragraph is more of a political thing than it is an answer to why. But I think it relates. Tech schools are for "dumb" people seems to be the attitude.
BTW, I have 4 children and if I had my way, all 4 of them would learn a trade.


Preach...your life experience sounds very familiar. I also find that VoTech programs in our local high schools (where they exist) tend to give the kids unrealistic ideas of what they're going to do and get paid.

This is a huge problem in the industry overall, and people have taken notice.

I think there's a LOT of things that go into the lack of good techs, one of which is the job itself. Think about it: You're repairing vehicles that aren't designed to be repaired, under a double-edged pay system, for customers that often don't appreciate the level of skill it takes to complete repairs, using parts of horrible quality, in a hazardous work environment, all the while paying for your own tooling.

With so many other careers available, that pay better for less work, why would anyone consider becoming a technician?

That is so true. The flat rate pay system is broken for sure, and feel that it's use has created it's own neccessity. As an independent who has always paid hourly wages, we see it all too often. First few months techs seem to perform well, after they've proved themselves....they seem to get slow & dumb (experienced techs). At which point we always wish we'd started them on flat rate so they'd remain productive.
avatar
Chris said Mar 05, 2016 22:24:16
In my 10+ years in the field I've learned that a good tech is the one who is motivated to fix the vehicle. Because it's the right thing to do. We can not forget that we are in a service industry and we are expected to be proficient at what we do. The guys I've found that excel in the reair world are the ones who don't quit until they are confident the have repaired the vehicle.

In my time I've worked for fleet shops on heavy diesel. Only 6 months ago did I land at a dealership. The thing I find interesting is that our best techs are either long time vets from the dealership or the guys who have worked fleet shops. The ones out of school fresh to the industry lack the basics so to speak. They have all of this theory and book knowledge but usually minimal hands on practice. There are good techs out there. A lot of them. We are the ones who get it right the first time. The ones who don't get the credit because we are expected to do just that. We get criticized if we don't and we take that to bed every night.
avatar
Alex Messina said Mar 18, 2016 09:43:47
Actually, there are some great techs out there - let's start with Paul (and James), Chris, Prez, Scott, Jeffrey and Tyler:-) ... But there are problems too. I'm working and learning every day in Australia with some auto tech students at entry and higher levels. Almost all are international students. I'm guessing about half of them raally want to do this tech course ... many have ulterior reasons: ie they need a qual, any qual, to help them extend visas etc. ... However, within my first few days, I could easily pick the ones that I would want to see start a Shop together. A couple of them are starters who know very little; a couple have got strong experience doing good work in shops at low pay and deserve a qual that reflects their ability.
The common theme, I think, is not knowledge or book smarts. Both are important of course. But the common theme has nothing to do with the tech part ... it's about a difficult to define (and maybe impossible to teach) thing called "attitude".
The ones with the right attitude can learn anything and if they lack a bit of raw god-given intelligence they more than make it up with commitment and effort.
As one trainer observed: they can't really do this unless they are genuinely passionate about what makes things turn. You need to want to know. That's attitude. Maybe?
avatar
scott ScottMechanics said Mar 18, 2016 21:42:51
Hello Alex
I see your point,but and there is always a but
I think Paul must see this day in day out at work
Some (let's call them trainees) have the ability for fixing car and motorbikes & some don't
Attitude helps a lot,for example,35 years ago I joined Royal Marines along with 55 others
Only 15 of us finished the training 6 months later,did we have the right attitude,looking back some good
Men with good attitudes did not complete the training ,strange when you look back to when you were learning.
avatar
PDM said May 25, 2016 19:09:34
PaulDanner said Feb 16, 2016
Another HUGE issue is our public school systems push College! All of the students that have learned how to study, that have good work ethics etc. They don't come to tech schools.
Sure some of the poor performing students (like me) fell through the cracks and found out we had a brain late in life but it is not the norm.
It is almost to the point of indoctrination if you ask me. Lets pump these kids into these colleges with these liberal professors so we can brainwash them and make them do what we say later in life. This is the college agenda. Sorry, that last paragraph is more of a political thing than it is an answer to why. But I think it relates. Tech schools are for "dumb" people seems to be the attitude.
BTW, I have 4 children and if I had my way, all 4 of them would learn a trade.


Exactly. I'm still young in my 30's and have been successful in my engineering career. A lot of things have changed in the short time since my high school days. When I talk to kids now, I advise them to learn a trade.
[Last edited May 25, 2016 19:10:13]
avatar
AndyMacFadyen said Jun 09, 2016 06:38:19
Jobs that involve getting hands dirty are looked down on by society so don't attract enough good people and the problem is getting worse.

Technology is moving forward and new increasingly complex designs are being released every month, in the past it has taken the repair trade 4 to 7 years to catch up on step up in new technology, we don't have that luxury anymore.
"Rust never sleeps"
avatar
JohnGeorgiadis said Jun 15, 2016 02:48:58
You guys left out the part about investing 10's of thousands of dollars in tools. There is only one reason to do this work and its not because we are dumb. Its because we love it! It is indeed hard to find great techs these days. Cars are getting more and more complicated, the days of filling a shop with bodies and hoping for the best are over.
I recently watched some of the premium channel videos on verus training. I think it was the 6th one. Paul goes off script and starts talking about this career. I think some of the students were falling asleep. He explained to them that while training on how to use a scanner was boring it was still important. Of course if you are trying to figure the tool out you cant be fixing the car. What he said was nothing short of inspirational. I really want everyone that works with me to watch it.
He explains that its not an easy road and it doesnt come over night, but. If you are passionate about this, if you keep at it and pay your dues, its great. I agree with him.
The sad fact is that today know body wants to pay dues. they give up before they get to the fun part or they dont invest in themselves with continuing education and technology runs them over.
I for one love this business. Its never the same 2 days in a row.
avatar
scott ScottMechanics said Jun 19, 2016 23:57:15
Well said John could not have put it better my self
avatar
PaulDanner said Jun 20, 2016 01:05:39
Thank you so much JohnGorgiadis! Really cool that you liked that part. I'll need to go back and watch because I forget what I said :-)
avatar
Wrench97 97 said Jun 26, 2016 15:33:43
There are several reasons why it's hard to find good techs today, I started in this business in the early 70s finding good techs then was also had there have always been a lot of part changers available but finding someone who could troubleshoot was tough.
The 80's and analog electronics didn't help(ever troubleshoot a 81 fuel injected Caddy........)
Then came the 90's and fewer and fewer teens wanted a job that got them dirty the cost of tools and the amount of tools you needed kept rising as the need for services was dropping the shops feeling squeezed couldn't keep up with the pay/benefits of other industries.


Login below to reply: