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Where are the Mechanics?

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

  1. glsahl

    glsahl Charter Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Messages:
    84
    Occupation:
    equip.mngr/mechanic
    Location:
    white settlement, tx
    Just recently was given the job of finding my own replacement.
    Felt kind of odd,to say the least,but,saw it as a challenge.
    Owner wants me to take over more administrative duties,equipment placement,rental equipment,etc.
    Problem is,we've run ads in the local papers for mechanics,for three weeks,and haven't had a single response.We have trade schools in our area,but are in the market for "experienced" help.
    The mechanics I know are all well employed,in fact,I get job offers on a daily basis,most from equipment dealers.
    We run ads for operators,and laborers,and get 10-15 applicants a day.Are there no heavy equipment mechanics looking for a new opportunity?
     
  2. cat320

    cat320 Charter Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    Messages:
    912
    Location:
    Stoneham,MA
    Not that i'm a mechanic but what are you offering in the form of wagers and employment plan-401K,health,veactions.

    Maybe some one would make a move on it if they new it was more than what they are making now,just a thought.

    I know around hear for truck/equipment it's around the low to mid 20's for hourly wage . with some overtime .
     
  3. glsahl

    glsahl Charter Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Messages:
    84
    Occupation:
    equip.mngr/mechanic
    Location:
    white settlement, tx
    We don't have a 401K plan,but everything else is equal,or above, the local standards.The local Cat,Linkbelt,and Vermeer dealers are having the same problem.Contractors are basically trading help,depending on who has the current prevailing wage jobs.
     
  4. fixou812

    fixou812 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2013
    Messages:
    677
    Occupation:
    Millwright Equipment Mechanic Welder
    Location:
    Buffalo NY
    Mechanic with 25 years diesel millwright and oilfield experience.
    Question; What's the best and only way to get someone to do something?
    A good mechanic does not want to talk to your remorse department
    or fill out their paperwork until After he's hired.
    he doesn't want to be interviewed by some who just thinks he knows a mechanics job.
    if the hands have to "chip in" For the coffee. Take a walk
    if he can't pull his personal truck in to change a tire etc he won't work there long
    if he's working around disgruntled employees it won't last
    Tools are expensive and need maintenance have a good tool allowance
    its cold dirty work have uniforms
    consumables will be supplied by the company. Drill bits zip wheels batteries etc
    if he comes in gets things going right some employees will hate him
    also seek to undermine him.
    I could add more but you get the picture .
    and to answer the "question".......
    What's the best the only way to get someone to do something?
    Make the person "Want" to do it"!
    But of course you already knew that.
     
    OFF likes this.
  5. caterpillarmech

    caterpillarmech Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2011
    Messages:
    533
    Occupation:
    Field Service Supervisor
    Location:
    Florence Texas
    I know I am spoiled, so I won't o anywhere else. got 401k, health insurance I pay half, uniforms, education, company truck, and now an office as well. These younger guys don't want to work or work hard to get where I have. We have been looking and growing guys. We pull them in to the wash rack and start adding more and more technical jobs on them. System seems to work fine. See if you can get a kid out of TSTC or UTI. Go to the campus and get your name out there.
     
  6. GregD1

    GregD1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2013
    Messages:
    221
    Occupation:
    Equipment for a paving contractor
    Location:
    Tonopah, Az.
    Having been in this business for the last 38 years it doesn`t surprise me at all. How many places did you guys work for years ago that had the attitude of "Mechanics are a dime a dozen, I can hire one any time I want." Talk about something coming back to haunt you !!!
    I have been trying to find someone to hire for near a year now and the results aren`t very good. I tried the want ads, Tried to hire ex military, that one was the worst by far. Told one guy I would start him at $4.00 to $5.00 over what he was currently getting paid. Never called me back.
    I wouldn`t blame anybody for not getting into this business. Everybody expects you to walk in with $50,000 in tools, yet they will hire an operator and all he needs is his dinner bucket.
     
  7. truckdoctor

    truckdoctor Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Messages:
    139
    Occupation:
    mechanic
    Location:
    reno nevada
    I know where I am at we have a shortage of qualified hands that are willing to do the work. We have a lot of young guys who want the the big white tool box that you can drive from job to job but when the job requires a late night, weekends, or inclement weather you loose them. I've seen more guys leave the industry without someone there to replace them. There are some good ones moving into the trade but they are few and far between. I am curious if the trend will turn around.
     
  8. kshansen

    kshansen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    Messages:
    5,561
    Occupation:
    Retired Mechanic in Stone Quarry
    Location:
    Central New York, USA
    Well that there is a big thing if the prospective employee is smart. Unless you only want someone who is looking for short term work, need to give them some reason to stay.
     
  9. kshansen

    kshansen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    Messages:
    5,561
    Occupation:
    Retired Mechanic in Stone Quarry
    Location:
    Central New York, USA
    Sounds familiar. At one of our sister operations it was common knowledge for at least a year the only mechanic at that plant was planing on retiring. They waited till several weeks after he was gone to even start looking for a replacement. They have had an outside contractor working almost full time doing the mechanic work, even after they finally found someone. I'm sure this is the same thing that will happen in a couple years when I decide to head out the gate.

    PS: Don't think I'm saying anything against the outside contractor, they are a couple great guys who both worked for the local Cat Dealer before deciding to make a go of it on their own.
     
  10. ValleyFirewood

    ValleyFirewood Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2013
    Messages:
    311
    Location:
    Palmer, AK
    I never did understand why a mechanic is usually expected to have all his own tools.

    I can't think of many other jobs that are like that.

    Imagine if Dr's got hired on like that!
     
  11. kshansen

    kshansen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    Messages:
    5,561
    Occupation:
    Retired Mechanic in Stone Quarry
    Location:
    Central New York, USA
    Yea, an equipment operator can be paid the same as a mechanic here and all he has to supply is his lunch and coffee! Goes home nice and clean and sits in a machine with A/C and heat. And they still b1tch about how they are working so hard to load the customers trucks.
     
    mrappels likes this.
  12. Old Doug

    Old Doug Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2013
    Messages:
    833
    Location:
    Mo
    I could wright a book on this subject. Tools are to easy to lose. The last place i worked was more welding than any thing. It was a new shop and they had a tool room that started out with alot of stuff but after 4 years most of it was gone. It was the managment fault more or less. They needed to have a better system.
    I went to automechanics votec school. There was a tool board that 3 guys shared and they would make the 3 guys pay for missing tools. Haveing tools is a biger deal than ever because todays mechanics have to have more than ever to do there job and to be fast you need so many special tools that cost big bucks. When i started out i was the guy that did the big jobs that took several days to do so i had more tools than most at that shop and i may have had 300.00 worth. That wouldnt buy the wax to wax most toolboxes today. So Where Are The Mechanics they are makeing the same money some were with out haveing to buy tools.
     
    mrappels likes this.
  13. BlazinSS934

    BlazinSS934 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2012
    Messages:
    125
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Try working in the environmental field. Long hours , low budget/high profit outfit and run ya into the ground. I started there as a field tech doing sampling and dismantling of gas stations. Became a Geoprobe operator, then started running jobs oh then the wrench quit!?!? So I would have to come in a 4 to help get the other 3 crews out the door, then get myself out the door. Then come back and have to fix crap that got destroyed during the day. Really frustrating making 5 dollars more an hour then a field tech but they don't get abused like I did, had no remorse or responsibilities. Best one was a laborer but diesel in a demo saw because it was slippery like 2 cycle gas. Wtf? But they never got dealt with. I got canned because some pecker wood that I worked with over heard a convo I had with a project manger. He ratted me to the boss and I got canned for insubordination. Good riddance
     
  14. FSERVICE

    FSERVICE Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Messages:
    633
    Location:
    indiana
    would this sister operation be in Kentucky??? iv got a buddy that is working in a shop with the same story there. he was a field mechanic & went to work for himself & he has been there everyday for awhile now...
     
  15. Former Wrench

    Former Wrench Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    Messages:
    312
    Occupation:
    Road Construction Permit Analyst
    Location:
    SE Alaska
    A trend that I have noticed for at least 10 years or better is that many of the younger guys that should be anxious to learn, are lazy. It is tough to find a person that will work hard, let alone work hard and smart. Too many are looking for something that pays a lot, does not require showing up, and demand pampering. $300 for a "dumb phone" is nothing, while expecting someone to show up with a set of professional tools is getting to be out of the question. I am not sure of an answer, but I certainly see that attitudes need to change. If it was that easy, they would not call it work or pay you for it.
     
  16. truckdoctor

    truckdoctor Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Messages:
    139
    Occupation:
    mechanic
    Location:
    reno nevada
    I don't have a problem buying tools. It makes it easier to find the next job if that is what needs to happen. When I first started in the trade the guy I worked for supplied the tools and then was able to hire anyone. It worked out good for him but when I left the company it was really hard to find a job as a mechanic without tools. No one took me seriously. I do agree that being an operator is easier than being a mechanic. But on the same note their job is not as secure because they are only bringing skills not much else. There is a lot of "stick-stirrers" out there so replacing one becomes easy. One thing I remember a friend saying to me when I started in the trade is the mechanic is the first one on and the last one off. He works when everybody else is at home. I have found that to be true.
     
  17. RZucker

    RZucker Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2013
    Messages:
    1,736
    Occupation:
    Mechanic/welder
    Location:
    Wherever I end up
    My favorite grumble was employers that considered us to be a necessary EVIL, meaning "non productive" employees. Had one years ago tell me how much I "cost" him.
    I dragged up 2 hours later. Funny, hes my best contract customer now. Go figure.
     
  18. Old Doug

    Old Doug Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2013
    Messages:
    833
    Location:
    Mo
    Every time something Happen a mechanic is there trying to make it right agin. After the employer see the mechanic around the problem he begins to think the mechanic is part of the problem. Kind of like training a dog.
     
  19. thepumpguysc

    thepumpguysc Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Messages:
    3,534
    Occupation:
    Master Inj.Pump rebuilder
    Location:
    Sunny South Carolina
    We have the same problem, finding mechanics.
    Fuel injection specialists are hard to come by. Its EASY WORK, indoors and climate controlled, about 65* during the summer months..
    The problem is, MOST techs in this field are VERY comfy and don't want to go anywhere else..the pay is mid teens/hr to start and mid to hi 20's with experience..
    Tool investment is VERY minimal!! a set of wrenches, metric and standard.. a socket set, standard and metric.. some screwdrivers and some pliers, oh, and don't forget the hammer.. and your hired!!
    8-5 w/ 1hr lunch and 2 breaks in between.. uniforms payed.. 401k..medical insurance payed.. dental..eyes..
    The average worker at my place has been there 20 years.. some have 35 years under their belt..the receptionist has 40 !!
    We even have a VOC training school 1 block away with a diesel class and STILL CANT get any mechanics..
    I suggest, ANYONE with decent wrench turning skills, hit up your local fuel shop, they'll be happy to see you.. and its ALWAYS FUNNY to watch the old timers squirm..worried about their job..lol
     
  20. kshansen

    kshansen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    Messages:
    5,561
    Occupation:
    Retired Mechanic in Stone Quarry
    Location:
    Central New York, USA
    Kentucky, no. So it's more wide spread than I thought huh? Management too many places just look at workers as items on a shelf. Just run down to Wally World and pick up a machinist, two mechanics and maybe a couple welders. No Problemo!