Mechanics Shortage Equals Driver Shortage In Intensity

Topic 26210 | Page 1

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DaveW's Comment
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While the big rig driver shortage has been getting all the press these days, there's another truck industry-related labor shortage that has been flying under the radar – diesel mechanics and technicians.

Mechanics shortage equals driver shortage in intensity

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
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My dad has opening for 5 mechanics but is having a hard time filling the positions, according to him it takes around 6 months to find a qualified mechanic.

Rick S.'s Comment
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Part of it is that kids today don't want to do "actual work". And they're either flooding fields with a huge overage of applicants (computer fields) due to the perception of "increased demand" (and outsourcing overseas), or pimping/pumping/dumping them through college (with the huge debt that occurs) in useless fields of study for which there also is a shortage of positions due to the huge glut of minimally qualified graduates.

And NONE of these guys are making money. But there's thousand upon thousands of them.

DJT spoke plainly about this in the SOTU address a couple of years ago. The need for TRADESMAN AND TRADE SCHOOLS. There's no "shame" in learning a skilled trade. When's the last time a plumber cost less than $200 for a weekend service call. Car dealerships are getting over $100 an hour for labor.

Is wrenching hard dirty work? Yeah - sure is. One of the reasons I went electronics as a kid - when I was working as a wrench.

The inference in the article is somewhat scary though - and could create huge issues industry-wide. If the truck isn't RUNNING, it ain't ROLLING.

I check trucking company websites on their employment pages - and EVERY ONE OF THEM is looking for diesel techs.

The trades have become another one of those "jobs americans don't want to do". SINCE WHEN don't americans want to work? I can understand not wanting to pick produce in a field all day.

The article also alludes to much of the work being computerized (what with all the onboard computers), but heavy truck work is HEAVY WORK

What your going to see (and what we're already seeing) is IMMIGRANTS who don't mind working, with families to support here and in their home countries, moving into these positions. While our youth run up trillions in college debt (which the left promises to absolve them from - while offering free everything), for oversaturated fields - while pretty soon you won't be able to get your car/truck/tractor repaired, your drain unstopped, etc. - without having to take out a second mortgage and get on a "wait list".

It's an issue in trades not solely limited to this industry - but since, we're a trucking board - something that's already impacting us, and will get worse before it gets better...

Rick

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rob T.'s Comment
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My dad has opening for 5 mechanics but is having a hard time filling the positions, according to him it takes around 6 months to find a qualified mechanic.

Lately I've been hearing about companies in my area willing to sponsor students, similar to the way the trucking companies do. Sign on bonuses are also higher than those for drivers. At my company starting pay for techs is over $25 with raises every 6 months for the lowest level tech and they still struggle to find help despite also offering a 4 day work week. A big problem is most of my generation (millenials) wants everything handed to them and dont want to work for it. They all want to sit in a cozy office working 40 a week and not get their hands dirty, but still be paid as if they're putting in more hours in a skilled labor position. I actually quit talking to a few friends when I began this career because I was talked to like I was an idiot because "anyone can be a truck driver", yet I was making more $$ and that made them mad. It seems the next generation isnt much better, all they seem to want to do is be a YouTube star where they can stream themselves playing video games and make millions.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Rick said

I check trucking company websites on their employment pages - and EVERY ONE OF THEM is looking for diesel techs.

just think if this shortage continues how long some drivers will wait for repairs. We already see members tell us their truck was in the shop for a week or more for repairs. Sometimes they need to wait on parts but it seems they simply don't have enough mechanics and have such a long waiting list it isnt efficient at all. If the problem continues it probably wont be uncommon to need to swap trucks anytime theres any issues with your truck.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
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One huge down side to becoming a tech is the time and money commitment it takes to become a top tech. A tech can spend years in school and thousands on tools all while making the same or less than a driver who does not have the same expenses. Imo companies will have to bite the bullet and start paying mechanics more and they may get more people to get into the field.

PackRat's Comment
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The Knight terminal in Carlisle, PA has 4 mechanics on a good day. I talked with the shop manager extensively a few times since I started. He can't get mechanics that want to work, show up for work, or can pass a drug screen. A kid that only knows the difference between a screwdriver and a brake pad can start at $18 an hour working on trailers. A brand new wrench turner can start at $22 an hour.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Rick said

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I check trucking company websites on their employment pages - and EVERY ONE OF THEM is looking for diesel techs.

double-quotes-end.png

just think if this shortage continues how long some drivers will wait for repairs. We already see members tell us their truck was in the shop for a week or more for repairs. Sometimes they need to wait on parts but it seems they simply don't have enough mechanics and have such a long waiting list it isnt efficient at all. If the problem continues it probably wont be uncommon to need to swap trucks anytime theres any issues with your truck.

I had to burn a 34 reset at our Carlisle terminal , THE DAY BEFORE GOING HOME, for an annual inspection on the tractor I have now. This was with ZERO defects!

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Noob_Driver's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Rick said

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I check trucking company websites on their employment pages - and EVERY ONE OF THEM is looking for diesel techs.

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

just think if this shortage continues how long some drivers will wait for repairs. We already see members tell us their truck was in the shop for a week or more for repairs. Sometimes they need to wait on parts but it seems they simply don't have enough mechanics and have such a long waiting list it isnt efficient at all. If the problem continues it probably wont be uncommon to need to swap trucks anytime theres any issues with your truck.

double-quotes-end.png

I had to burn a 34 reset at our Carlisle terminal , THE DAY BEFORE GOING HOME, for an annual inspection on the tractor I have now. This was with ZERO defects!

Similiar situation. When my airbag was leaking i pulled into our Burleson terminal on a sunday at about noon. Shops closed on Sunday. Talked to the shop manager Monday morning he said this afternoon. Didnt get in all day Monday. They had one mechanic in there plus some trailer guys. Tuesday afternoon rolls around and theres a guy from the local Kenworth dealer who drove to the shop to look at it. He finds the leak but doeant have the part. He'll be back tomorrow afternoon to finish it on Wednesday..... My hometime was supposed to start Wednesday at 9am. Oh well.... I get problems pop up and i know the guys in the shop are busy i watched them for 3 days! Same story.... They cant find find help. Its gotten so bad theyre calling in mechanics from local kenworth dealers. I dont know much about service but Im going to assume that bringing in an outside mechanic to your shop probably costs a bit more than having your own on site mechanic.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Oz's Comment
member avatar

No clue how the logistics companies pay (for) their techs. The company I'm I the warehouse for currently pays for the tools and the tech mostly learned how to do the work on the job. He (great guy and tech) came from another state and was originally hired on with no diesel experience. Only problem is "budget". They allocate so much for fleet, if it doesn't get used, they allocate less. If fleet goes over budget, then they first complain and demand paperwork, then allocate more. First year on location, higher ups complained about budget, second they awarded for best service. Now on third year and no road calls yet. I agree the newest generation has had tech shoved in their face so much by programs that promise a future and hide the incurred debt (don't forget a saturated field). There is a flip side to the coin though, those still growing up in rural areas. Hard work, honesty, integrity, and drive to work still exists. Just not so much in the urban jungle (I make sure my nephews know the difference between an alternator and starter). Media in all it's forms plays a big role in what road a recent HS grad/GED holder follows. Therein lies the main problem, lack of and/or misinformation. Parents/teachers/media/idols/relatives/etc. all play a roll. I don't just judge the next generation, I feel disgust with most of my own. Sorry, rant over.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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