Scott Shotton: Straight Talk on Entry Level Technicians, Tips on Becoming an Aftermarket Trainer and Post-Secondary Automotive Education
Scott and I dig into automotive education at the college level. We talk about the knowledge level and experience that our automotive graduates have and what their expected career path can be. Any seasoned technician knows where he started and what it took to get where he/she is today. That hasn’t changed, however, we may have higher expectations of our new grads and that is why each needs to have a career path set for them that includes an ongoing training program
Scott gives accolades to our top aftermarket trainers and gives advice to aspiring trainers.
We also get into the grow your own technician issue, the A,B,C technician designation, and mobile as a career path.Listen and view episode notes
The Knowledge Of Electricity Is The Basis Of Every Solution To A Diagnostics Problem
Gary Smith has been fascinated with electricity his whole life and understands that the more you know of electricity’s core fundamentals, the better diagnostician you’ll be.
He says many technicians have never been to a basic electric class so how will survival in today’s repair environment keep pace with the ever enhancing tech, circuits, and modules. Gary like so many other trainers I’ve interviewed can’t say it enough. You must continually train, invest in yourself and get to a basic automotive electrical class every three years.
Ham radio enthusiast, Gary Smith, tells the story of Edward Weston who invented a tool in circa 1893 that you still use today.
Thanks, Gary, for the reminder that you must be curious if you want to solve diagnostic challenges today. He reminds technicians that after a training class, they must go back to educate the rest of the team. When you teach you learn.Listen and view episode notes
Trained By Techs – Creating a Training Commitment Inside All Shop
Recorded at ASA-PA’s the panel is Keith Perkins, Richard Falco, Tomi Oliva and Mario Rojas. We discuss the loss of our talent, that being a lead diagnostician can be profitable, that techs do side work because they are not being compensated properly, and how to get a training commitment started in a shop that doesn’t. And finally, do our shop owners really know what is going on in training classes? Think that one through.
In such a short time the Trained By Techs group has made some incredible strides. They appear at a lot of events, by spending their own money to get the word out. Their enthusiasm and dedication is exactly what our industry needs and this talented group of volunteers is sharing their passion for education in the automotive training industry.
They are diagnosing cars every day and are LEARNING new things. Watch their videos and the conversation and start your learning from there.Listen and view episode notes
Did You Know That Training is the Responsibility of the Technician?
A hard-hitting interview on technician training with trainer, writer, and mobile diagnostic tech Edwin Hazzard, Owner of Southeast Mobile Tech who has a lot to say about the responsibility of training in the aftermarket.
Edwin Hazzard owns a mobile diagnostic company in South Carolina. He contributes articles to Motor Age and has instructed in many different capacities over the years. Edwin has been a dealership technician and taught at the high school level.
He enjoys what he does for a living and sees diverse age group in classes. He says investing in training is important just to be relevant and up to date with the recent technology. If you don’t update, you evaporate.Listen and view episode notes
Paul Danner. Educator, Diagnostician and Youtuber ‘ScannerDanner’
Paul Danner is an ASE L1 Certified Master Technician with Twenty-Four years of field experience in electronics, electrical and drivability diagnostics. For eighteen years he has been employed as an instructor at Rosedale Technical College where he has taught Engine Performance Diagnostics and Basic Electrical Systems. Eleven years ago, he opened his own mobile diagnostic business which performs electrical and electronic diagnostic services for over Twenty Garages in the South Hills of Pittsburgh.
He fell into mobile diagnostics and case studies by stopping in and helping his friends on the way home from work. He called it diaper money to help pay the bills. He is thankful that God has graced him with the ability to troubleshoot.
He is wired for variables and loves ‘What Ifs’. Paul stresses that your learning curve comes from the ‘good parts’ drawer and from the mistakes you make. You have to be in a shop that gives you a steady diet of diagnostic work to become good at diagnostics.
He teaches his student’s field diagnostics and has written a field manual about it and his youtube channel is a very popular place to learn.Listen and view episode notes
Technician or Diagnostician, What’s the difference?
Technician Roundtable episode with Brin Kline, Tanner Brandt, and Pedro De La Torre share their passion for their craft and talk scheduling and selling diagnostics. We get into apprenticeship/mentorship to younger techs, and what training and education are necessary to be top diagnostic tech. This episode will benefit technicians and diagnosticians in a lot of ways.
They share their views on constant improvements that build the strength of a team and creates satisfied customers. Areas like IT, Quality Control, Business Education and top training for techs. This episode tackles the differences between techs and how to improve their skill through training. It is important to show a pathway of continuing education for the industries young techs to emulate and follow. The industry will benefit in the long run.
Listen to a diagnostician’s point of view only here at your premiere aftermarket podcast.Listen and view episode notes
Diagnostician, Trainer and Writer. Learn What Inspires Brandon Steckler to Be the Best.
Brandon Steckler is a working diagnostician, writer and trainer. He loves to help maintain and improve the level of professionalism among today’s diagnosticians. His first article for Motorage is still his favorite piece. Brandon shares his take on daytime training, who he counts as his mentor and who is the respected and admired industry trainer he aspires to be like as he continues to earn his own stripes.
His lessons resonate even outside the confines of his class. It reaches out to each and every one of us that sharing knowledge will always result in discovering and learning new innovative things. Never be afraid to ask because careers are made with each choice we make.
Brandon is a trainer for CTI/WTI and has a personal mission to maintain and improve the level of professionalism amongst today’s diagnosticians and to help grow the number of competent diagnosticians of tomorrow.Listen and view episode notes
Trained By Techs. There To Help.
Recorded at Vision 2018 Studio this tight group of technicians are part of a large community effort called ‘Trained By Techs’. Tanner Brandt, Brin Kline, Chris Martino, Justin Miller and Brian Culotta share their stories.
These guys are committed to helping technicians excel at their craft; to make a difference personally and professionally for the industry. The group was started to help bridge the gap between basic and advanced training. They are producing short tutorial training video’s that can be viewed without a major time commitment. Like a lunch break.
Hear their story, their dreams, their thoughts on training. We talk about the training hours necessary to keep pace with technology, and what to do to get the most from training at events like Vision. There is a special storyline in the interview regarding the winner of the 2018 Ed Schaeffer Memorial Management Scholarship. Also, hear this teams’ opinion of Day Time Training.Listen and view episode notes
A Perspective on the Value and Future of Technician Training.
Listen and learn from Ryan Kooiman, Director of Training at Standard Motor Products, Jeff Masterman, the Manager of Technician Training Development and Wayne ‘Jerry’ Bishop, well known instructor at Standard Motor Products.
Listen to a discussion on daytime training, augmented reality, the future of training, hands-on, case studies, course development and the importance of the fundamentals among others.
If you are a shop owner or technician and you on the fence about making a 100% commitment to obtaining 40 hours of training per year, this industry will pass you by. Maybe you already feel it. Ryan, Jeff and Jerry are going to serve up a very solid position on why you must be a lifelong learner and attend every training class you can get to.Listen and view episode notes
Is The Industry Ready For A Diagnostician Learning Platform That Is Deeply Connected To The Industry?
Diagnostic Network, Scott Brown’s new venture, will be a learning platform and open a deep channel of communication for diagnosticians and aspiring diagnosticians while connecting the industry that provides the products, services, information and training to the marketplace.
If you earn your living in the aftermarket, and for that matter serving the motoring public, you’ll want to give this episode a serious listen as Scott unveils his plans for Diag.net that will focus on the diagnostician.
Scott shares his vision along with the industry collaboration he is building to create a very powerful repository of aftermarket intellect. Peer discussions and peer reviews will be part of this program to help refine the rich content.
There isn’t a clearly defined guideline as to the skill set you need to be competent in this industry. Scott sees the creation of the right building blocks for training and says it is time to break the mold and to improve engagement and transparency.Listen and view episode notes
Shop Owner Stays on the Cutting Edge of Automotive Technology
Brin Kline owns Assured Auto Works in Melbourne, FL but never misses a technical training class presented by a top industry trainer. He can’t take the technician out of his business owners mindset.
Brin has set his goals to be a technical instructor at Vision KC some day. He works very hard on learning the technical side of the automotive. A proponent of day-time training and a member of many industry advisory councils like iATN and CTI.
Brin believes that every technician should take a business course to understand how business operates.Listen and view episode notes
How To Sell Diagnostics at a Profit?
This is not an easy question to answer. Service professionals must be paid for their expertise because the cost of doing diagnostics is the most expensive service you have in your building.
It is time to move from diagnostics to testing and analyzing. Every shop needs to build a premium product around testing and analyzing. You need to be known as the ‘we can fix anything right the first time shop’. Your motto: “We have the best technicians.” Your shops testing and analyzing skills is the premium product you sell and are known for in your marketplace. No need to go anywhere else. We do the research, test, analyze and discover what is wrong. We present the solution then you decide.
Marketing this premium product requires a strong testing/analyzing process that both the service advisor and technician are totally in agreement with. The benefits allow the SA to confidently sell testing and analyzing.
The diagnostician knows that the SA will sell the value and benefits to the customer because the process dictates the work to be done. A very strong discussion and powerful take-a-ways that will arrest the black hole in your business of profitable diagnostic time.Listen and view episode notes
Are You Committed to Be A Lifetime Learner In The Automotive Aftermarket? Learn Why It Must Be Your Most Important Goal.
Chris Chesney is the Senior Director, Customer Training at the CARQUEST Technical Institute and explains that our great aftermarket has its best days ahead, however, the challenge is going to take many people, teams and organizations working together to formulate solutions as we prepare for the largest wave of technology and consolidation we’ve ever seen.
Chris explains that all successful technicians and shop owners know …. that you must be committed to being a lifelong learner. If not … you’re in the wrong profession.Listen and view episode notes
Shop Owner Turned Mobile Diagnostician and Post-Secondary Instructor Loves To Teach Our Future Technicians.
Jim Morton from Morton’s Automotive Technical Services (MATS), and educator at the Automotive Training Center (ATC) in Warminster, PA has a BIG passion for training.
Jim is a sought-after national aftermarket trainer at expos around the country including NACAT, CARS, TST Big Event, VISION KC, Automechanika, and ASA. In October 2017, he taught a diagnostics class at the ASA-PA Super Saturday event and we were able to sit for this interview.
Jim is so genuine and thankful for the opportunity to be an educator in the aftermarket and for ATC. He has impacted many students and helped professionals over the years. He is proud to have the students tell him years later that he really knows what he was talking about! Strange how that happens and better to hear it firsthand from a former student.Listen and view episode notes
Is iATN A Staple In Your Shop? Listen to Scott Brown Tell the Story of the Humble beginnings and Future Plans Of iATN.
Scott Brown president of iATN and co-owner, with his wife, of Connie & Dick’s Service Center, keeps his finger on the pulse of the industry by staying engaged at the shop. The interview takes you back to the day before the internet when bulletin boards were a way to communicate with your peers.
iATN is keeping pace and is working on exciting plans to continue to bring value to shop owners, technicians and educators of the auto care industry.
Scott gives an insider look at the iATN mobile APP, the new ‘Review’ space and the new iATN 2.0 and much more.Listen and view episode notes
Are You Learning Up To Your Maximum Potential?
Industry trainer and entrepreneur Jorge Menchu, President of AES Wave is enthusiastic about teaching our industries technicians. He is more passionate on how technicians learn. He says that the basic problem of learning is to understand the mechanics of learning.
Jorge shares his Four Levels of Learning and says if you are in control of your learning process you will learn more. He says everyone knows how to learn. If you are not struggling to learn; then you are in control of the process of learning.Listen and view episode notes
Having a strong training culture is an important discussion point in this Town Hall Academy.
There are many choices for aftermarket technical training. Technicians need to schedule a minimum one major event a year. Our panel of experts touch on the need for training policies, budgets and supporting the vendors that make these events affordable. Also discussion points on Vision Hi-Tech Training and Expo and Automechanika.Listen and view episode notes
What do Three Diagnosticians think about Silver Bullets, Critical Thinking and the Future of Diagnostics.
Bob Heipp, Peter Landry and Matt Fanslow, bring a big dose of their passion to the second technician round-table. This discussion generated talk on important and trending topics, that for these working techs, are important.
In this episode Bob, Peter and Matt expressed their feeling on technician pay, computer skills, augmented reality, and flat rate among others. There are over 20 key talking points. Invest in understanding how these three professional technicians and trainers look at the industry, especially the commitment to perpetual training and for creating a better and sustaining aftermarket.Listen and view episode notes
The Future is Now. Are You Preparing for the Future of Automotive Repair?
Held in Detroit on May 18th & 19th, 2017 and presented by ASA, Automotive Service Association, Connected CARS (Congress of Automotive Repair & Service) and organized by Donny Seyfer. This training conference brought industry trainers, automotive engineers and service professionals from all parts of North America to learn about rapidly advancing vehicle technology. Participants got an important glimpse into the world of the connected car with in-depth and detailed looks at ADAS, Next Gen Vehicle Networks and the future of diagnostics.
Listen to a compilation of seventeen of your industry peers as they discuss their reaction to this top industry event. There is no time like now to best understand the speed and gravity of technology. This conference helped serve up the enormous opportunities that lie ahead for the ‘connected’ service professional.Listen and view episode notes
Illuminating Discussion with Technician Round-Table
Join this recorded session from Vision 2017 with Bob Heipp, Peter Landry and Matt Fanslow, (above) as we tackle the value of training and why networking is so critical at these events. These guys were straight up and expressed their feeling on engaging with your peers and instructors, developing relationships from around the country, and the sheer admiration that they have for technicians that continue to learn and grow within the industry.
Invest in understanding how these three professional technicians look at the industry, especially the commitment to perpetual training and for creating a better and sustaining aftermarket.Listen and view episode notes
Mobile Diagnostic Entrepreneur and Industry Trainer Shares the Power of Networking.
Eric Ziegler owner of E-Z Diagnostic Solutions a Mobile Diagnostics and Programing company specializing in collision centers and auto repair facilities. Eric is also an instructor for Automotive Seminars and The Driveability Guys.
Eric shares sage advice on diagnostic challenges, training, networking, labor rates. He also imparts his passion on the need for bigger labor rates, specialization, silver bullets, and his role in the industry as a trainer.Listen and view episode notes
Lincoln Tech Grad: Only woman in her class is drivability diagnostician at Beck Service Center.
Michele Winn flipped burger at Wendy’s when she got her first job doing payroll at a service center. She got the bug and spent six years at a Goodyear, then on to Linder Technical Service and now at 30 bay operation Beck Service Center in Indianapolis.
Michele graduated from Lincoln tech and spends her day diagnosing drivability and electrical problems. She shares her opinions of training, she lists her personal strengths and feisty is one of them and how she sees the impact of future technology.Listen and view episode notes
Simple Solution to Minimize Cooling System Comebacks
Bobby Bassett, the Manager of Training North America for Gates Corporation shares important facts about cooling system repairs.
Bobby explains the do-right-rule when it comes to cooling system repairs. He says 40% of radiator failure and 95% of water pump failure is due to coolant contamination. Listen to Bobby Bassett’s frank discussion on minimizing customer comebacks. It’s very simple.Listen and view episode notes
How Do We Make Ourselves SMARTER?
Jorge Menchu was hooked at an early age. He grew up in Kansas City, MO. It was his go-cart that brought upon his passion for loving cars and mechanics. This developed into a passion about learning.
His goal is to help young folks to realize their own success and failure by engaging his students to be better learners.
The episode highlights Jorge’s three pathways to learning. These fundamentals can change your ability to learn and understand. They are Self-Awareness, Learning Awareness and Building a Structure of Knowledge.Listen and view episode notes
Euro specialist shop owner is also a BMW trainer and embraces technician networking.
Scott Thorson has specialized in the service of European automobiles since 1999. A BMW Trained technician also owns a nationwide BMW tech Support service (LMV Bavarian) that people all over the world use for BMW technical advice.
A national BMW trainer embraces new technology and understands that there is always someone willing to work harder to take everything away.Listen and view episode notes