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If you employ skilled technicians providing them with advanced technical training and education on a regular basis is a value add to elevate your business. Truck technology is advancing at a rapid pace, one which many industry insiders struggle to match with proper training.
To supplement, many service providers have turned to vendors to deliver on-the-job training to avoid loss of revenue due to this education. This can feel appealing however at ACOFAS we have found it actually prohibits depth of knowledge due to forced multitasking.
The founders of ACOFAS (American Council of Frame and Alignment Specialists), an association of independent truck repair shops, conduct one-and-a-half-day classroom, and hands on training program to alleviate this race to train up.
During this training retired DOT officer Any Blair will go over real situations that technicians can address to elevate the service offered to clients. Hands on and classroom training will help solidify both the principals and practice of this training.
How does the Technician benefit?
- Most shops will select the one or two most qualified technicians to attend the clinic. This gives the technician a feeling that the company is willing to invest in them.
- When all training is held in house, it is a short program and the techs do not pay attention to the trainer
- When the technician returns the company has conducts an in house training program taught by the technicians that attended the clinic. This reinforces the training they received and lets the other techs know that these are their go to sources when they have a problem.
How does the shop benefit?
- By sending a technician to a training clinic the shop is showing the employee he is a valued asset to the company and the company is willing to invest in the employee, this increases employee loyalty.
- The company has turned a technician into a trainer and a go-to source for the other technicians and the service manager. This assures the employee that he is important to the success of the company.
- The other technicians will increase performance and desire to be the next technician to be sent to a training program.
What kind of training does ACOFAS provide?
ACOFAS was organized in 2006 by four shop owners that recognized the need for technician training on both all the new technology but also on the daily functions that they were currently performing. The training had to be located in facilities where both classroom and hands-on training could be performed. The training program had to be one and one half days long. The program had to have one night for a networking dinner following the first day for the techs to discuss what they had learned that day.
Why do we have sessions during the middle of the week?
We have found over the years the technicians do not like to be away from home on weekends. Requiring the weekend programs techs get upset and ask for being paid overtime to attend. We have found that techs are very happy to attend during the week. They are getting paid their regular pay and their travel costs. They are in a good a good learning mood.
Where has ACOFAS held Technician Training Clinics?
ACOFAS has held programs in member shops and when possible in component manufactures training facilities.
ACOFAS has had programs with:
Hendrickson, Neway, Bee-Line, Michlein, Eaton, Meritor, Bendix, 3M, Noregon, Hunter, Delphi. Department of Labor, OSHA. Department of Transportation and others
Programs have covered:
- Complete front end and chassis alignment procedures,
- Wheel end maintenance, King pin replacement and axle inspection, wheel mounting and balance,
clutch maintenance, replacement, and adjustment,
- Air disc brake rebuild and maintenance
- Chassis frame strengthening.
- Collision inspection procedures
- Writing a collision chassis repair estimate
- Latest air, telematic devices how we can affect and adjust them
- Working with carbon fiber and composite technology.
- OSHA regulations and reporting requirements
- DOL what we can expect of our employees and what they expect from us
ACOFAS also produces SOLD! Every January in conjunction with HDAW. SOLD is Service Opportunities Learning Days. This is focused on new technology and regulations that affect the daily operation of the shop.