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Where are the Mechanics?

Discussion in 'Personnel' started by glsahl, Dec 31, 2004.

  1. mrappels

    mrappels Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2015
    Messages:
    56
    Occupation:
    Diesel Plant Fitter
    Location:
    Zimbabwe
    it works a bit differently where i was. an apprenticeship is 4 years. one of those you're required to go to a technical college. to say that it was a waste isn't entirely true, because i did learn from it. was just a pain sitting through the propaganda lessons that had absolutely nothing to do with what i was there to do..

    i agree with you, there's so much to learn. electrics is its own trade, so is hydraulics when you really get in to it, and there will always be more to learn, even 30 years from now.
     
  2. 92U 3406

    92U 3406 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2017
    Messages:
    522
    Occupation:
    Field Service Tech
    Location:
    Alberta
    Its still a 4 year apprenticeship here. I noticed a lot of guys seemed to struggle with the theory aspect of things when they were in school for 8 weeks of the year (as evidenced by the number of students in the sub-75% range). That's one of the reasons I think the pre-apprenticeship program is such a great idea. Rather than try to cram the basics of hydraulics (Pascal's Theory, fluid behaviour etc) along with the remaining course material into 8 weeks, it was already covered during the 8 month pre-app. Same with electrical. I basically slept through 1st year and aced the government test because I had already gone through tools, safety, airbrakes and basic electrical during the pre-app. It was just an 8 week review to me but half the class struggled with trying to understand electrical theory and air brakes.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2017
    mrappels and StanRUS like this.
  3. JD955SC

    JD955SC Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2011
    Messages:
    165
    Location:
    South Carolina
    I like my job a lot and I wish I has gotten into it when I was 18 vs 26. Unfortunately it was not advertised and I found about it purely by happenstance. Kind of hard for prospects to find out about the industry when they never hear about it ways in while the normal job advertisements call for "3-5 years of experience"
     
    DMiller and mrappels like this.
  4. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    Messages:
    2,387
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Hermann, Missouri
    I went to trade school when it was just a Cert. 10 month crash course in gear train, engines and fuel systems, basic electrical, hydraulics some minor welding and diagnostics. Ranken Technical 75/76. First job, RTW state-KS, floor mechanic not trainee, not apprentice just mechanic, on production rate(flat rate). Lost my ass for two weeks, started getting the hang of it the third on old simple Freightliner cabover tandems. Midwestern Distribution Ft. Scott KS. Garage was B&D Motor Parts a separated division and the ONLY garage except for emergency repairs the company equipment ran thru. Got good at brake jobs(full anchor pin 16" drive axle type), clutches and replacing frame cross members. Experienced the grief of straight time on Air Conditioners, coolant leaks off engine and working on cab components as speedometers in that age of early electronic shyt. ABS was coming out, learned air brake systems really quick as to diagnostics. Became wrecker operator off hours same company dragging the junk both out and in, picking up wrecks and so on. Got laid off after just over a year. Had broken 80 hour pay weeks working 3 1/2 11 hour days rotating week end or beginning every month. First overhaul, first Glider kit and first aux section fuller rebuild all here.

    Got really good at busting axles with a sledge popping those BS Frt Lnr/Rockwell flange wedges without busting studs. Journeyman by forced function. Second job Mack Trucks St. Louis, journeyman, rebuilding in-frames, fuel system repairs/dyno work, electrical system repairs and conversions on the old beasts. Transmissions in Bulldogs are their own animal, triple counter shaft, heavy as all get out, clutches were another experience in these on dump trucks and Trash trucks or City Fire apparatus, ALL sucked a crank with multiple PTOS, multiple extra whatever in the way but was Union and all time was paid. Frying pan to fire, never specialized on any aspect. Then went to work at Feld Truck Rental St. Louis, second shift shop working foreman, sidelined days as a heavy equipment grunt at St. Charles Quarry, lube man to start, by the end of a year rebuilding 110 Driptroits in Eucs on 1/2 day schedules.

    Have been in under or around most every type of equipment including garbage trucks replacing blade packer hydraulic rams(While LOADED) and Honey Buckets needing clutches or exploded engines while of course FULL to smaller towboats on Alton Pool Mississippi River. Heaviest/nastiest job ever done: rails on a D9H on a job site(trash Dump) in the open in August. Never so much fun in my life as to deal with the stinking garbage infused rails on that POS, removed with a gas axe in 1984. Working a tow boat while underway is an experience, three engines, take one down service then swap to another, by the time done the scenery outside is quite different and no sensation of motion other than watching rudder controls oscillate, bilges are just NASTY!
     
    JPV, Truck Shop and funwithfuel like this.
  5. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2015
    Messages:
    724
    Location:
    SE Washington St
    The truth is if your green as a gourd fresh out of school shut up and listen to the old guys. Every time a newbie opens his mouth he lets everyone in the shop
    know his level of experience. The dumbest question is the one that isn't asked. Nothing wrong with asking for help just be ready to return the favor. And show
    up for work looking like you have some ambition and ready to jump through your a$$. A few of my requirements.

    Truck Shop
     
  6. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    Messages:
    2,387
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Hermann, Missouri
    I like my job a lot and I wish I has gotten into it when I was 18 vs 26. Unfortunately it was not advertised and I found about it purely by happenstance. Kind of hard for prospects to find out about the industry when they never hear about it ways in while the normal job advertisements call for "3-5 years of experience"

    Was 38, getting tired and broken from all the crap jobs I had. Finally get a response to a Union Electric Co job app I had made and had kept updated, only took 18 years from first entry. Managed to get a decent retirement and healthcare package from 22 years of service. The first 20 years bending wrenches were not a waste but I had managed to save little.
     
  7. thepumpguysc

    thepumpguysc Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Messages:
    2,286
    Occupation:
    Master IP rebuilder
    Location:
    Sunny South Carolina
    "Saving" is over rated.. unless you LIKE living outdoors & eating berries.. LOL
     
  8. Truck Shop

    Truck Shop Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2015
    Messages:
    724
    Location:
    SE Washington St
    DMiller likes this.
  9. thepumpguysc

    thepumpguysc Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Messages:
    2,286
    Occupation:
    Master IP rebuilder
    Location:
    Sunny South Carolina
    Boeing here in SC laid off 1000 I think?? It was a dam good run for afew years tho.. They put ALOT of people to work & filled the pockets of ALOT of businesses..
     
  10. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    Messages:
    2,387
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Hermann, Missouri
    I see a lot of the retiree call backs at m old employer and have been called by a few companies knowing I retired trying to get some old school and some skill back into their workforce. I am hesitant to return to full time, still have back/backside issues and do not need to anger it any more than already do. They have not met a reasonable pay level either as they seem to think that as a retiree having a existing income precludes paying a price for the knowledge base.

    And I do enjoy a few berries now and then, along with the bourbon and scotch and old fashioned Stag Beer!! TPGSC!!
     
  11. KWD

    KWD Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2012
    Messages:
    76
    Location:
    Ireland
    Underpaid and not appreciated
     
    RZucker, DMiller and wornout wrench like this.
  12. wornout wrench

    wornout wrench Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Messages:
    266
    Occupation:
    Heavy Duty Mechanic
    Location:
    Campbell River, BC, The Left Coast of Canada
    Ain't that the truth
     
    DMiller likes this.