Most CarWash College Tips are directed towards wash owners and managers. This month, I’d like to speak to the service and installation techs out there.
I started as a service tech over 20 years ago. Back in those days, eating drive-thru burgers while slurping down a soda driving to my next “emergency” was common place for mealtime. I also became very adept at steering and shifting gears on a manual transmission while simultaneously smoking a cigarette and taking a call on my cellphone.
A lot has changed since those days; I no longer subsist on an energy drink/coffee diet or smoke (well, maybe I sneak one occasionally) or eat fast food. I’m also no longer spending more time behind the wheel of my service truck than I do at home, opting for the security of working for Sonny’s on a set schedule with limited travel.
One thing that hasn’t changed since then, however, is the need in the industry for good service techs.
With more and more washes being built every year and more and more equipment in the field, there is a critical shortage of good service techs.
As an Instructor in the CarWash College Repair Class, I am constantly being asked by owners, regional managers and area managers where they can find good techs. Most have begun looking outward and are now hiring from HVAC, auto, marine and other industries with similarities.
There’s never been a better time to be a tech in our industry, and a good one can command a fair wage along with good benefits if they connect with the right company. If you’re currently an independent, you may want to consider looking at one of the chains, especially if you’re getting tired of chasing down payments from customers and 100-plus-hour work weeks. There are some really great groups out there offering a better way!
I have an old friend and mentor who I spent a lot of windshield time with early in my career who used to say, “Jorge, life is like the ride to your next service call; sometimes you’re the bug, sometimes you’re the windshield.”
If you’re tired of always being the bug, the windshields are hiring.
Jorge Jaramillo is a 20 year industry veteran and a nine-year employee of Sonny’s the CarWash Factory. He is involved in new product development, installation and has won CarWash College Instructor of the Year. Jorge can be reached at [email protected].