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Archive for the ‘Technicians’ Category

HD Repair Forum Fall Conference to Tackle Industry’s Biggest Challenges

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The Fall HD Repair Forum will take place September 26th and 27th and it will address the industry’s biggest challenges including staffing issues, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), electric vehicle repair information, new model vehicle technology advancements, and more. The complete agenda can be found here.

The advancement and adoption of electric vehicles and ADAS continues to evolve. As their presence and complexity in the industry grows, it is the HD Repair Forum’s mission to make sure the heavy-duty and medium-duty collision repair industry is prepared to handle and repair these vehicles for safe and proper repair.

Taking the stage in September is a well-known list of companies, organizations, and industry experts who will provide education, training, and insight on these key topics. Organizations represented include: Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, Big Rig Alignment, Ford, Great Dane, I-CAR, the RV Dealers Association, Penske, Progressive and many others.

The HD Repair Forum will take place alongsideTMC’s 2022 Fall Meeting and National Technician Skills Competitions, which offers attendees a chance to participate in both events. Those involved in heavy-duty & medium-duty collision repair looking to prepare yourself, your team, and your business for growth and success should make plans and head to Cleveland.

For more information on the organization, event educational sessions, and industry resources sign-up for our e-communications
To register for the event, visit the HD Repair Forum website or go here

Registration Opens Fall HD Repair Forum

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The Fall HD Repair Forum 2022 conference will take place Monday and Tuesday, September 26th & 27th, 2022, in Cleveland, Ohio and will be co-located with the American Trucking Association’s Technology & Maintenance Council’s (TMC) fall meetings.

Attendees of the event will hear presentations and panel discussions that give insight and speak to trends in the heavy-& medium-duty collision repair marketplace. Speakers involved include truck manufacturers, insurance carriers, collision repair experts, and many other collision industry leaders.

The fall event begins Monday with a networking breakfast and vendor fair enabling those in attendance a chance to fuel up for the day and catch up with friends, colleagues, and industry partners. Following will be an agenda filled with educational sessions that speak to industry executives, shop owners and managers, insurance partners, and other company leaders. This year’s sessions and presentations will look deeper at topics involving ADAS repairs, Ford’s e-Transit in the medium-duty market, solutions to the technician shortage, welding newer substrates, and many other key topics and trends.

Also unique to the Fall 2022 program is the organization’s partnership with the American Trucking Association’s TMC Fall Meetings. Registration to the HD Repair Forum’s event in Cleveland will also include access to TMC’s s17 Heavy-Duty Collision Task Force’s meeting. 

The partnership with TMC speaks to the HD Repair Forum’s continuous efforts to work with all stakeholders in the market. ”Collaboration is vital to the success of an industry and we are pleased to partner with TMC this year,“ stated President and co-founder, Brian Nessen. “Hosting a collision industry event alongside TMC provides both audiences with a unique opportunity to attend a wider array of sessions.“

The HD Repair Forum is the only event dedicated to heavy-duty & medium-duty collision repair and is the only place where stakeholders in this market can gain access to available industry specific training, equipment and service providers, receive information on topics that matter most to this industry, and have important and affirming conversations with peers. 

Registration to the HD Repair Forum is now open and access to the early bird rate is available for a limited time. To access HD Repair Forum registration, go to www.hdrepairforum.com/register

For those offering equipment, services, and educational opportunities to this industry, be sure to check out our 2022 sponsorship opportunities. Or to find out how your company can get further involved in the evolution of this industry, please reach out to via email or call 281-819-2332.

7 Tips for a Successful Mentoring Program

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June 20, 2022, Overland Park, Kansas – Ninety-five percent of automotive service, heavy-duty/diesel and collision repair businesses agree: the technician shortage is here, and it is severe. 

There are precisely ZERO skilled technicians wandering the streets asking themselves, “Where will I possibly find a job?” You can poach from your competitors – which you’re probably doing already, while your competition is simultaneously poaching from you. This does not add a single new person to the technician workforce.

In the heavy-duty/diesel industry, there is an expected need of at least 32,831 new technicians for 2023 alone. Poaching technicians is nothing more than musical chairs and cannot fill the need. 

Alternatively, you can actively recruit and convince career tech students that you are the right first employer to launch their career. 

But what happens when those students enter the industry? According to research from the ASE Education Foundation, 42% of career tech graduates will leave the industry altogether within their first two years. 

The one sustainable competitive advantage is to implement a systematic and repeatable technical mentoring and apprenticeship program. Want to prove to young techs that your business is the right one for them? Being able to tell an entry-level technician (and their instructors) that you have a written mentoring program and career path sets you apart from everyone else.

“Vehicle technology is growing exponentially. Entry-level technicians need an employer who is ready, willing, and able to train and prepare them for the industry,” says Lirel Holt, CEO of Mentor Mentee. “Creating your own pipeline of technicians will differentiate the good shops from those that are going to be left behind as experienced technicians retire at an ever-increasing pace.” 

Here are 7 tips to give you the best chance of implementing a successful mentoring program:

1. Prove to your local CTE instructors that you are for real. Anyone can tell an instructor they have a mentoring program. Invite them out to your shop and show them how you will continue to enhance a young technician’s understanding, further the instructor’s training efforts, and how you develop a plan specific to each student. The rest of your competition will call up the instructor begging for their ‘best student,’ while you’re showing the instructor how you are committed to launching their students’ careers. Now who’s getting the best students?!

2. Get buy-in and understanding from staff and ownership before implementing a technical mentoring or apprentice program. Seventy percent of workplace initiatives fail due to lack of leadership commitment. If you are going to build an on-the-job training program, communicate with all stakeholders early on, get all staff to understand that there is a plan and why they should be on board. Without buy-in, staff can undermine the goal. Show them how mentoring programs create upward momentum for the business, which benefits all staff.

3. Have two plans for each mentee: long-term (what you can become) and short-term (what you’ll do daily to get there). Sell a career vision to a mentee and set realistic expectations along the way. Show – in writing – to the entry-level technician where they can go and how you will help them get there. Everyone wants to know, “What’s the plan?” Don’t forget: A plan is not a plan unless it is in writing!

4. Use a task list. This is the best way to put your day-to-day plan in writing. Many programs will start without direction or standard duties. The program’s manager and mentors should identify 30 to 50 tasks for a mentee to focus on from the beginning. Be sure to include often-overlooked items like safety, vehicle placement in bays and soft skills. Do you still have to work with what is coming in the door each day? Of course! But with a task list, both the Mentor and Mentee are looking for opportunities to work on the core, foundational tasks in front of them.

5. Track training progress against the task list. Whether you use paper, Excel, or a total software solution, it is essential to track task progress to understand what task areas mentees are winning, losing, and needing more exposure. Mentors and Mentees should work together to track the number of repetitions a Mentee has on each task, as well as their quantitative and qualitative improvement in time and quality of each task performed.

6. Use the mentee’s progress data to celebrate wins and offer incentives. You can’t do #6 if you don’t do #5! When a mentee develops a new skill, publicly point it out and celebrate. Provide incentives for Mentors and Mentees to reach their goals. These can be monetary or non-monetary incentives. Small efforts to recognize their success as a team, and to celebrate those with the whole staff builds positive feedback loops, and keeps your whole staff engaged in the success of your program.

7. Do not allow bullying. Celebrate successes, but when a Mentee makes a mistake, provide constructive feedback in private. The same goes for Mentors. And do not allow anyone in the shop to bully a young tech. The days of hazing a young technician when they make a mistake are gone. As a society, we have made bullying an unacceptable practice in school. Why would you allow it in your shop? Bullying only makes it look like management doesn’t really care about the success of their own trainees or program.

The shortage is real and will continue. But while the rest of the industry faces staff shortages, a successful mentoring program can dramatically increase your odds of success. 

Mentoring and apprenticeships have worked for thousands of years, and there are new ways to implement these programs without having to reinvent the wheel. If you can implement these seven tips, you can give new life to your business’ technician recruiting and retention efforts! 


Mentor Mentee (mentormentee.com) provides a systematic mentoring toolset that shops can tailor to their specific needs. Marc Brune serves as Business Development Manager for Mentor Mentee and helps auto service, collision, and heavy-truck businesses implement mentoring and apprenticeship programs to grow their own technicians.
marc.brune@mentormentee.com