Archive for ‘Fleet’

February 19, 2020

Benefits of a Wide Bench Of Mechanics

Wide Bench of Mechanics

Wide bench of mechanics


Having a wide bench of mechanics is a tremendous asset to a service shop that ultimately benefits the client in many ways. Before diving into the benefits of a wide bench of mechanics, let’s explore the two aspects that motivate and satisfy technicians so that they stay at a service shop. 


Helping others

At the core of most technicians is an underlying emotion to help others. The technician innately feels fulfilled when they are able to get someone’s vehicle back in action efficiently and effectively. The reason for this is because there is a trickle-down effect from the client’s business into the personal lives of countless people. This is a primal feeling of satisfaction they get through the result of their work. 


Fixing something broken

Technicians like to fix something that is broken. It is a puzzle to them and when it is resolved there is a sense of release. This craftmanship type of attitude may have surfaced early on in life. At an early age, you could typically find them taking apart and putting back together the family lawnmower or constantly tinkering under the hood of their first high school car. 


When a technician or a group of technicians experience these benefits, they are more likely to have longevity at a service shop. The result is a wide bench of dedicated and skilled mechanics that offer tremendous value to customers. Let’s explore the benefits and value that a wide bench of mechanics delivers to a service shop and ultimately, the customer.


  • Always have a backup


By virtue of having a wide bench of mechanics, everyone’s knowledge base is expanded through cross-training. This means that if someone calls in sick or has a vacation scheduled, we have professionals to slide into place. As a result, the shop workflow is not disrupted, and delays/vehicle downtimes are minimized. Below are some of the key types of mechanics at a service shop that has a wide bench of mechanics.


  1. Truck Mechanics – Specialized and computer savvy. Solve problems quickly. 
  2. Forklift Mechanics – Specialist with LP systems and hydraulics.
  3. Heavy Equipment Mechanics – Old school mechanics. Dealing with large pieces of equipment like cylinders, hydraulics, electrics and more involved with the computer side of things.
  4. CDL Drivers – Transport equipment and test larger Class A vehicles.
  5. Unicorn – Mechanics that can fix anything and/or have a Class A CDL. 


  • A wide base of knowledge


If a technician encounters a challenge that he can’t seem to resolve, he has a number of other people that he can call upon for help. As a result, service shops can troubleshoot complex problems faster and without employing outside resources. This leads to fewer errors, shorter vehicle downtimes, and fewer unnecessary costs to clients. 



  • Specialists in various areas


With a wide bench of mechanics, you can have specialists in various areas. These areas include but are not limited to trucks, forklifts, heavy equipment, hydraulics, electrical and equipment transport. This allows for a shop to focus deeply and take care of special vehicle needs so they don’t have to seek outside resources to resolve a problem. Seeking outside resources typically results in longer vehicle downtimes and unnecessary costs to the customer. This can be avoided by having specialist mechanics in various areas.



  • Cross-Training & Apprenticeships


A wide bench of mechanics allows you the opportunity to grow your own in-house mechanics and offer apprenticeships to those that are seeking. It represents the opportunity to transfer knowledge from an older generation of mechanics to the younger aggressive mechanics.




A wide bench of mechanics is the cornerstone of a successful repair shop that can provide world-class service to its customers. 


If you require heavy equipment, truck or forklift assistance in the South Puget sound or Tacoma area, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Equipment Experts, Inc. We are an independently owned, family operated repair and maintenance facility for forklifts, diesel trucks, and heavy equipment, with a wide bench of mechanics to support each service. 


June 24, 2016

Organize Your Fleet – Simple Systems

Organizing your fleet is one of the best ways to be in control of your equipment and assets. This can be overwhelming if there are a lot of pieces of equipment and not a lot of organization currently in place.

Some of the benefits of organizing your fleet are knowing which piece belongs where.  Especially if you include a department or branch in your fleet numbering system. That way, at a glance you know where the equipment should be located, and when it comes to billing, which department needs to be charged.   Additionally, it can help with planned maintenance by grouping certain machines together.

One of the best ideas I’ve heard is from Les at Wilcox Farms.  He says that that people remember 7 numbers at a time, in most cases.  That’s why telephone numbers are seven letters.  We also do better, when they are broken up, such as the hyphen in the telephone number.  His plan is to use a 3 digit number to designate departments, then two letters to define the type of equipment, then 3 numbers to define the piece of equipment.  For example; 200 (HENS) FL (Forklift) 001. It would look like this;  200FL001.

Another option that I’ve seen is by location or branch. For example, branch one is 10, branch two is 20, etc. then the equipment number.

While setting all this up, make sure to be friends with your administration staff, and keep in mind what works for their systems as well.  If it can make everyone’s lives easier, then we have a two birds, one stone type of solution.

What we have seen, that cause occasional problems, is using the last 4 of the VIN, in some cases they have been duplicated.  It doesn’t happen very often, but it does happen and it can get confusing, if it does occur.

Additionally, nicknaming equipment can lead to a lot of confusion for those people who never see the equipment.

Bottom-line, by picking a logical system, documenting what it means, and sticking to it and it will help you manage your fleet.