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View Full Version : Stihl and John Deere mechanic Training


MarcSmith
02-12-2007, 11:30 AM
Hey folks.

I am loosing my smell engine mechanic after 20 years....and until I can find a new replacement, I'd like to sned one of my auto mechanics to some classes.

Stihl and John Deere are theonly ones that are holding me up.

Both require me to be a "dealer" to utilize their training. Has any else had this problem? and if so did you find a work around....to the dealer offered training?

khouse
02-12-2007, 01:43 PM
If he/she is a good auto mechanic they should be able to work on small engines with no problems. I was an ASE master tech in a shop and jumped on all the small engine repairs I could. It paid the same as cars and was easier, cleaner and there wasn't as much heavy lifting. I have not had any formal "small engine training" I'm not saying it wouldn't hurt! I know a lot of engines that have or had specific problems that may be addressed in a class. But a good mechanic is a good mechanic in my book. I'm not saying that a person doesn't need extra training - we all can learn more. This is just my opinion.

MarcSmith
02-12-2007, 03:13 PM
The guys are more desiel oriented. when I had to rely on them when the small engine guy was out for 2 weeks on vacation. I was doing more repairs myself than they were.... Which I don't mind doing...but...The union start btching when a manager starts doing the job of a union employee....

khouse
02-12-2007, 04:55 PM
I would question their abilities if they can't repair a small engine. We are talking engines here. Now I could see if there were hydro issues. Maybe you should just advertise for a small engine mechanic.

MarcSmith
02-12-2007, 05:10 PM
I am going to advertise for a small engine Mech....no doubt about it....I was just looking for some of the training thats only offred for dealers...but woul dbe beneficial to my guys given that we have a slew of their products in our posession.

if I get in a bind I can always take the machine down the street and get the dealer to work on it...

Gotta remembe too, on two stroke stuff on 4 cycle equipment, they have carbs with adjustments, not computers and keyboards to make the change lkike on the cars and busses they work on....

MowerMedic77
02-12-2007, 05:46 PM
I think for Deere and Sthil you unfortunately are going to be S.O.L , if you are not a dealer. Not to sound negative Khouse, but I have had lots of auto mechanics come to my shop and say "an engine is an engine" they work for 2-3 weeks and quit cause they can't get it. I would spend more time showing them how to fix it then I would fixing anything else that needed to be done, actually making the shop less productive. Now I know this is not always the case just my experience. This is the problem that our industry is facing, less and less qualified techs. Good luck with your search Marc

lucforce
02-12-2007, 06:30 PM
This is an old story. Before you do anything, you need to decide what type of job you are trying to fill.

Do you want a:

1. Mechanic-A person that understands the workings of the equipment, and can test, diagnose, and repair said equipment. This person understands how the parts work together to form a "whole." This person knows the limitations of a given piece of equipment and how it should perform. Is able to properly tune, adjust, and modify equipment if necessary. Needs little to no supervision to work effectively. Is able to repair individual parts will equal rigor as equipment.

2. Parts Changer-A person that has an understanding of how to assemble/disassemble equipment and replace major components. Can work with hand tools. Not responsible for knowledge of how equipment functions. Not responsible for diagnosis of equipment. Knows names of major components. Needs extensive supervision.

3. Warm Body-Listens to most directions. Has little to zero knowledge of equipment, its components of the use thereof. May often be seen looking around shop for metric crescent wrenches, left-handed screwdrivers, and cans of striped paint. This person needs more supervision than can possibly be afforded to them.

Once you determine what you want of your new hire. Look for THAT person. The person is out there, he may be right around the corner. Aggressively look for the right person and take care of him when he shows up.

Most "Technicians" are simply parts changers. Be careful of confusing a "Technician" with a "Mechanic." I am certain that you want the mechanic and not one of the other two mentioned above. As you all know you can easily distinguish the two. Parts changers are a "dime a dozen" as they say. Find someone that knows what they are doing, pay them, and you will have little to worry about. Hire a parts changer and you will suffer from lost productivity from mis-diagnoses, incorrect ordered parts, and countless wasted hours trying to explain how things work. It is cheaper to find the right guy and pay him a bit more. A good mechanic working 20 hours can run circles around a parts changer working 50.

khouse
02-12-2007, 07:51 PM
Mowermedic77,
I guess since I worked on all types of equipment in the shop from combines,cars to chainsaws it seemed pretty easy. I'm not saying I know everything because I don't. I learn all the time here. I'm glad there is a forum with so many sharp techs! I always had the need to know why a part failed. I never fell into a the trap of replacing parts untill it fixed the issue. You made some great points!

MarcSmith
02-12-2007, 08:14 PM
otu of a current shop of 6 people who work on equipment.

I have 2 bus "warm bodies" I have one trades helper wich seems to do more than the 2 bus warm bodies, 1 automotive warm body, 1 super mechanic (proably soon to be promated to shop manager), and guy who is retiring is an OK small engine "mechanic".

If I can find a good small engine mechanic it would be great. but I need more than a warm body or a parts changer....

Roger
02-12-2007, 09:13 PM
Think carefully about promoting your "super mechanic" to shop manager. You may do two things:

1. Take far too much of his time in dealing with people, schedules, and other issues, making him of little value to perform with his excellent skills as a mechanic.

2. He may not be of the temperament, attitude, or desire to want to deal with the issues associated with a manager's responsibility.

Or,
1. He may be able to use his new position to teach others to be good mechanics as well, thus a great benefit to spread his expertise.
2. Such a move may be just what he has been wanting and his supervisory skills will make the shop more productive.

Only you know the answers to these questions. Having been down a similar road with many different people in the past, I learned that just because somebody was very good at doing a task DID NOT mean he/she was the best person to be promoted to supervisory roles. Many, many times, they were poor at the non-technical skills, hated the frustration, and just wanted to get back to do what they did best. I'm not suggesting this is your case, but it many be an important consideration.

lucforce
02-12-2007, 11:36 PM
I agree with Roger.

If this is the case, I would advise (assuming that you have not yet) discussing what he is comfortable with in the position and what he feels his weaknesses are (or what he does not like to do). If he is a get-along type of guy he can wean his way into mastering his weaknesses. Another consideration would be to have him as a "Mechanics Supervisor" more so than a shop manager so that he can concentrate on delegating authority and giving sound guidance to the less knowledgeable guys in the shop. Send him to a few management classes at night. You can do this and still have an overall manager or a customer service manager who can deal with customers, office worker, inventory, etc. Of coarse, then you have to keep their delegated authority from overlapping-while keeping that smooth running machine oiled.

MarcSmith
02-13-2007, 06:16 AM
the super mech. is definitly shop manager material.....Currently the vehicle fleet at GU consiste of 24 busses, 80 golf carts and close to 100 cars trucks, and 12 heay equipment type vehicles ( boom lifts, back hoes, dump trucks...) Heck of a fleet when there is no fleet manager.... if the super mech is promosted, they woudl free up time of the current garage manager to start managing the fleet.

Roger
02-13-2007, 07:21 AM
MarcSmith ... Clearly, you had my concerns covered much earlier. Good.

Armstrong
03-01-2007, 12:41 AM
If they can repair small engine, then that's a great start, but more training is needed.

Smokerr
03-19-2009, 09:03 PM
Think carefully about promoting your "super mechanic" to shop manager. You may do two things:

1. Take far too much of his time in dealing with people, schedules, and other issues, making him of little value to perform with his excellent skills as a mechanic.

2. He may not be of the temperament, attitude, or desire to want to deal with the issues associated with a manager's responsibility.

Or,
1. He may be able to use his new position to teach others to be good mechanics as well, thus a great benefit to spread his expertise.
2. Such a move may be just what he has been wanting and his supervisory skills will make the shop more productive.

Only you know the answers to these questions. Having been down a similar road with many different people in the past, I learned that just because somebody was very good at doing a task DID NOT mean he/she was the best person to be promoted to supervisory roles. Many, many times, they were poor at the non-technical skills, hated the frustration, and just wanted to get back to do what they did best. I'm not suggesting this is your case, but it many be an important consideration.

A agree. I figured out a long time ago I was not a manager. I can be a good number two and assist the manger in analysts and decision if he will let me. I am a great heavy. You want a crew mess stopped, I do that good. Bang, heads, stop the nonsense. I don't mind the daggers.

Long term, keeping it running, deciding if a qurik is ok to live with and how much to step in and when, nah.

Only to types fit the mold, mechanics who want to move up for the right reasons, and reluctant types that you have to push. A mid level or low level ho hum mechanic that wants to be a manager will be a worse manager than he was mechanic.