Featured Image Caption: Diesel Mechanics
Diesel vehicles are continuing to grow in popularity across the U.S. Global Newswire reports that 43% of commercial trucks are being powered by newest-generation near-zero emissions diesel technology.
As an expert diesel mechanic, you can expect to be busy as the trend for diesel looks set to stay. With a few essential skills, you can set yourself apart from your competitors. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool. As the mechanic with the right attitude and experience, word will spread quickly about your services. Boosting both your personal and business brand.
Knowledge and Know-How
Sound obvious right? You might be surprised how many people try to run before they can walk. Or in the case of mechanics, try to run diagnostic tests before they know a wrench from a ratchet.
Know more than the tools you use on an average day on the job to be ready for any task that comes your way. Talk with colleagues, and even competitors, about the quality difference in brands. Knowing which types do a better job could help you do a better job.
Unused brains get as rusty as an old truck hood. Volunteer for different jobs come in to try not to get stuck doing the same tasks day in day out. Try out unfamiliar tools and tasks to give yourself a more rounded knowledge. Set yourself a goal of doing more than the routine maintenance checks that take up the bulk of your workload.
The Willingness and Ability to Learn
With a few years of solid experience under your belt, you could let yourself become complacent in the knowledge that you know enough to stay employed and do ok in your career. Complacency leaves us open to risk, namely the risk of missing essential changes in mechanics and technology. Skills that someone else will have. Someone that could replace you.
Technology and electronics are developing at a lightning pace. A willingness and ability to learn and upskill will keep your skills relevant and your mind sharp. The variety brought by upskilling can keep the job interesting too. Preventing burnout or boredom.
Keep an eye on the changes to the computer components being used. Systems and software change quickly. Having a handle on the basics will help you adapt quicker.
There is no escaping that you will be working with people. Customers and colleagues alike will want your help, want to chat, want to ask for your advice.
Listening is a key skill when it comes to people. No matter the personality type or whether or not they are happy, angry or confused, feeling like you are listening to them will make all the difference to their day and yours. A customer might be frustrated about the problems they are having with their vehicle and feel the need to rant. Let them get it out of their system before ushering them out the door so you can get things fixed for them. Listening properly will help you avoid misunderstandings and ensure the customer receives the service level they expect.
In a customer-centric service industry, customer service must be second to none. Good customer service is largely about a customer’s experience interacting with the service provider (you).
Times move quickly and change often feels like the only constant. Keeping ahead of the game will keep you in the game. Be open to changes that might come your way.
People are unpredictable (and sometimes frustrating). Customers may change their minds and miss appointments. Being flexible, where possible, and allowing them to reschedule at the last minute can prevent them from going to another mechanic.
There will be peaks and troughs in mechanics as there are in any industry and profession. Busy seasons and quiet season. Stay organized and the busy season will be a breeze. For when it is quieter, have a plan of what needs doing around the worship that you can’t get to when it’s busy.
Things don’t always go to plan. Learn to roll with it and accept change.
Teams change all the time. Sometimes it feels easier to stop learning about your colleagues in case they don’t stick around. Staff turnover is normal. It’s not easy getting to know someone only to find them gone the following week but look at personnel changes as a way to learn. If the new person is a rookie, learn through teaching them.
A Safety Focus
An overlooked element of workshop safety is your health. Safety starts with you looking after yourself. Being a diesel mechanic is physically demanding. Without proper rest, exercise or nutrition you could be putting yourself and your colleagues at risk. Encourage colleagues to take proper care of themselves too.
Take personal responsibility for the space you work in and the gear you need to stay injury-free. You might feel uncomfortable wearing safety goggles, but eye injuries are one of the most common injuries suffered by mechanics. Keep your equipment up to date and, if it’s not offered by your employer, encourage them to bring in regular health and safety training for the whole team.