Mechanics Shortage Equals Driver Shortage In Intensity

Topic 26210 | Page 2

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Stevo Reno's Comment
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I started out turning wrenches on big trucks.... Waste Management back in 80-90s then went into automotive....Worked for a Ford dealer then a Dodge dealer.....Problem haz always been no one wants to pay you what you're worth.....I am by no means a " super tech" but i know how to fix just about anything....Even if i have never done it before....I learn by doing, not by learni g out of a book.....Never got any certifications really, no ASE crap lol....Worked with a few of those ASE Masters pffffft they could'nt fix crap right......Went to apply here at local place, ad said $20 an hour. Turned out the Korean guy wanted me work on high end cars for (his words) Someone to work for less like $10 to $12 an hour.....I wanted to punch him in the face lol...Tools aint cheap !! Due to high labor rates charged a guy needs to make a bigger cut of their pie. Diesel techs I think should START out around $25 and higher IMO........

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
RealDiehl'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.

That's what I was wondering. How well do they pay mechanic's. I know the labor charges are expensive. Just wasn't sure if the mechanics were compensated well. Are mechanics at truck stops and dealerships paid similarly? That's good money, especially if you dont have college debt to repay.

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.

Rick S.'s Comment
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double-quotes-start.png

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.

double-quotes-end.png

That's what I was wondering. How well do they pay mechanic's. I know the labor charges are expensive. Just wasn't sure if the mechanics were compensated well. Are mechanics at truck stops and dealerships paid similarly? That's good money, especially if you dont have college debt to repay.

Varies from place to place.

Some shops I know pay a regular hourly rate - some pay a percentage of the labor on the ticket. Shop I worked for many moons ago, paid 50% of the ticket labor.

For a billing shop - percentage would be a good way to incentivize productivity. In-house shops (trucking companies) are going to pay hourly.

Tools that I have for my hobby work are Craftsman. Tools that folks use day in/day out - especially with heavy trucks and machinery, are going to be Snap-On or maybe MatCo. And the dealers are like dope dealers, you're always in the hole. And those brands are NOT CHEAP.

So being a full time wrench requires a large investment in tools and equipment.

Rick

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

Really don't know about truck stop shops, guessing they do the same as car dealers, pay @ "flat rate/Book time" (percentages) Every task has book time to do that job. Which I learned at the Dodge dealer, is done at the factory. A tech has the work bench with all parts and tools needed to do a certain repair. Say a head gasket or whatever.......So they are timed, and after 3-5 times doing it over and over, they average out the time taken.

Like anything, you do it so often, of course you get faster @ the same task! I got so fast working on those Ford's 6.0 diesels, can have the turbo off and on the floor in 10 minutes lol.......

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

Rick lol you posted while I was typing mine out

Yeah them big Snap On wrenches, yikes! And sockets, hell ALL their branded tools lol Think my 1 7/16 wrench was close to $200 by itself back in mid 1990's ! lol didn't buy lot of em, found Proto large wrenches lots cheaper @ swap meets etc....

Tools I have missing from Ariz job when I broke shin bone.....$7,000 tools missing! $500+ Mac air drill, (2) Snap On..1/2 torque wrenches @ $450 each, My Cummins dual indicator injector timing tool set $400 lots of misc 1/2 n 3/8 sockets,, ratchets....List goes on, so much for my boss securing my stuff and locking my boxes....He musta went thru a lot of thieves/tweekers .....When I was finally able to get my stuff home, he had also lost ALL my dang keys!

Eh What'cha gunn'a do, I figure Karma will come around one day lol

Pete E Pothole's Comment
member avatar

Can the lack of interest in trade school students be at all attributed to teachers k-12 telling kids all their lives, they wont get anywhere without a college diploma? Used to be when people could work with their hands it was valued by the general public, seems that isnt the case so much anymore.

PackRat's Comment
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Good tools AIN'T cheap, for sure. I bet I have $5000 worth just on the truck now, and I can carry them all in two boxes. Just a drop in a bucket compared to what the value is in a big roll around shop tool chest. Biggest bolt on these trucks now is 1 3/8".

Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

PackRat lol I have THAT size wrench, might wanna load it too then when I get to that point..... Rare to use a 1 3/8ths but it happens! Biggest I have is a 2 inch wrench lol Do still have a few big sockets, even 1 to remove big trucks rear wheel hub axle nuts

Yeah I used to own a custom made Matco roll away, Burgundy metal flake with gold handles and my name plaque, which I kept, when I sold it back to Matco...............

It weighed 1000 pounds "empty" shipping weight!! When it got delivered Became too much of a pain to move from place to place, needed a forklift etc since it probably weighed a couple tons with it loaded....

Dave S (formerly known as's Comment
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Good tools and the time for the SAE certs (needed for TOP wages) is a barrier to most.

Seabee-J's Comment
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Don't know how practical or what the logistics of it would be but perhaps the larger carriers could have some sort of training program or apprenticeship for people who may be interested in becoming a mechanic with their company similar to the CDL training contracts paralleling the structure. One could apply with some of the basic qualifications and then if accepted sign a contract for x months or year and start with basic assistance and tasks while working up to more complex tasks all while learning ins and outs of the particular company and its SOPs . The company in turn would have their own specifically trained mechanics . I've seen this in some other industries and it does work. It might incentivize nee and younger folks to get into the field as so many high school have eliminated their trades programs and only seem to push for students to go to college. I believe quite a few young men and women have no idea these options are viable and aren't being steered towards them.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
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