Diesel vehicle technicians are hard to attract to fleet shops and diagnostic and workshops. The shortage of techs is not going away anytime soon. New technology means existing techs must be trained in maintaining and repairing battery electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles, and all the latest digital systems found in HGVs & LGVs. Unfortunately, shops are faced with technician shortages and must dutifully take care of the technicians they have now.
We know from experience that good techs want to be great techs. They take pride in what they know and do to keep fleets running profitably and safely. Nurturing your techs doesn’t mean walking on eggshells around them. Instead, it means being proactive and providing them with up-to-date equipment and training for them to do what they are best at: diagnosing and repairing commercial vehicles with confidence.
In present times, ageing technicians are retiring, and they are not being replaced with newly recruited and trained techs at a pace that will sustain or improve upon the technician shortage. Maybe more focus should be spent on showing how new recruits can be able to snag an interesting and challenging technical career that will be secure and pay well for a lifetime.
Let them know up front that working on commercial vehicles is not the dirty, greasy job of the past, but one that comes with much job satisfaction from daily achievements. Every time a commercial vehicle enters a tech’s bay, he or she knows they will face a challenge, but they are confident in knowing they can handle it well.
As manager of a shop, you need to be providing your techs with what they need to do their jobs. Techs are responsible for tracking their time on the work orders. It may be time for a shop manager to streamline the work by using a comprehensive management software program that tracks time, parts, and adds them to the ROs in real time. Taking away paperwork from technicians makes them more productive and accurate. Everybody wins, even your customers.
Supply your technicians with clean and crisp uniforms and they will gain a sense of pride in the shop they work for. Techs will act and work better and cleaner. Customers will recognize that your people are commercial vehicle experts and will trust your organisation, which is likely to give a boost to your brand.
New recruits face a big investment in tools for working on commercial vehicles. They know that going in, and it likely makes many shy away from the industry. Add to that the cost of training new techs is also prohibitive. Apprenticeship programs can help with training by enabling new people to work for pay while enjoying mentoring that will enable them to succeed.
Shops in need of new hires could also consider offering a tool allowance or loans to new techs for tools and diagnostics with favourable terms for repayment.
Technicians are real people. Their work keeps them practising their trade without communicating much. There is a basic human need to feel important to others in what they do. Make your technicians know they are key to the shop’s survival. Do it often so they understand you have their backs and loyalty will follow.
And when you decide to streamline your shop business, look to EMDECS from BrightOrder for a free demo. It can make management a breath of fresh air.
The EMDECS dedicated technician portal is specifically designed to be incredibly easy to onboard, while providing every detail a tech may need to perform their job to the best of their ability. To see it in action, reach out to us today.