Discussion:
Average age of tech's

I've noticed a declining interest in any industry which includes any type of physical labor. The young people I've met working in this industry don't seem to last long. Have any of you had the same observation?
  • Posted 2 Jan 2014 03:31
  • Discussion started by bbforks
  • Pennsylvania, United States
bbforks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Customers love technology- until they have to pay to fix it!
Showing items 1 - 15 of 24 results.
Yes, I agree. I have observed such a situations in many industries especially in heavy industry. In such a industries labor need to work disparately so at the end of day they get tired badly. After some time they lost their interest in working. So its our responsibility to keep them satisfied.
oh yeh!!!i was a auto tech for years....been a lift truck field service tech. for 15 years now...much much better pay than auto
  • Posted 25 Oct 2014 13:01
  • Reply by forkup
  • Massachusetts, United States
I'm 25, just started as a maint. Mechanic about a year ago. I am the youngest tech at where I work, the more experienced techs have moved on to refrigeration and ammonia system repairs mostly, me and the other younger tech(28) are the only ones who touch the lifts.we have all electric Raymond high lifts, Dockers and pallet jacks. Both me and the other tech have been auto techs for about 10 years. I really enjoy working on the lifts, mabey its because they are all the same and its easier to figure out problems compared to a car, anyway I like it a lot and will probably do this until I retire
  • Posted 7 Oct 2014 03:36
  • Reply by kyle_z
  • Illinois, United States
Funny thing- my 17 year old son began working with me. At first he thought it was fun, then as time went on & I began to expect more out of him (by learning the basics of what we do) he let me know that this was hard work & there was too much to learn- he thought fixing lifts was going to be "easy" - after all- hard could it be?

Easy- that's all the younger generation wants (& if the local school district is any indication- all they're taught -that life's easy).
  • Posted 6 Oct 2014 03:58
  • Reply by bbforks
  • Pennsylvania, United States
bbforks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Customers love technology- until they have to pay to fix it!
As an lifer in this business I have seen probably hundreds of good young techs quit. Retaining good techs is should be a major priority of all companies. We have 40+ mechanics here and the average age is mid 50s. With many of us at or over normal retirement age.
With the lack of proper education in our schools now it is up to the industry to train the younger wanabes. I remember many older techs years ago that were afraid to teach the lesser skilled. They were afraid of their job. I learned many years ago if I can teach the young blood something he can do it next time and I can usually do something lighter or easier. I can remember the first really good tip that a senior mechanic, I guess today it should be a senior tech, told me. "Don't try to remember tune up and adjustment specs. There are too many to remember. Just remember where you put the book. It won't forget or remember wrong." I have told every up and coming tech that bit of advice. I have never been afraid of my job, and will always tell the less experienced tech the way I would do it. Don't be afraid to pass on all the personal shortcuts, tips, special tool suggestions, etc. It will only help you in the long run.
Many of the younger techs have not learned to think analytically. Spend time teaching analytical troubleshooting techniques. When diagnosing a problem, explain your thought process. If a younger tech finds the work easier to do they will hopefully stay in the business.
Manufactures and dealers have to get involved with local schools, both technical high schools and colleges. Offer possibly interested high school students field trips to your shop or manufacturing facility.
Supply part time instructors for classes. Work with the schools to help create interest in the world of forklifts.
Remind senior techs that when they help by teaching a lesser skilled tech something, they are not only helping the other tech but helping themselves. Dealers need to make happen, teaching opportunities between senior techs and lesser skilled people. Everyone will benefit.
  • Posted 8 Sep 2014 06:29
  • Reply by oldmanforklift
  • Arizona, United States
Robe, good to hear from you and glad to see you pay your dues and move through the ranks. I'm sure your employer is happy to have you on board. I started on the wash rack. No where to go but up from there :).
  • Posted 16 Jul 2014 10:05
  • Reply by Forkliftt
  • Louisiana, United States
Steve
steve at forkliftt dot com
In defense of the "good young techs"
Im 31, been repairing lifts for 13 years at the same company
When I started I was sweeping floors and cleaning gear
I'm currently the lead tech and trainer
We deal Hyundai, Linde and some other crap
  • Posted 16 Jul 2014 09:46
  • Reply by Robe
  • Nova Scotia, Canada
I agree with most of what is said above. I strongly agree we need to get the industrial art / Tech classes back up in the JR/SR high schools. If it wasnt for Metal / Auto / Wood / Drafting elective classes back in Jr high & high school I would have no way ended up where I am today (20 yr lift tech). The school I graduated form doesnt offer 1/3 of what it used to in these areas. Fact is maybe 20% of graduates go to and finish a 4 year degree. A lot of the kids quit college and go to work never to return to school to finish it up. We need to get these kids interested and talent discovered when they are young. Then maybe they move on to tech school or hire on as an apprentice out of high school and actually have a shot in 5 or so years of earning a family-wage income. Well never make the $$ doctors and lawyers etc make But most of us make a pretty decent living and can provide necessities and even the little extras at times for our families.
  • Posted 10 Apr 2014 04:35
  • Reply by chevotaman
  • Washington, United States
It's all just nuts n' bolts.
I agree with everything said above. The forklift industry is something we all just fall into and is not something someone seeks out to do. I started over 25 years ago with a hand shake and will show you what you need to know and figure I would do it till I found something else better. Now I make $65k a year working on electrical lift and I don't even get dirty. I know more people who have way more stress and make a lot less money plus I am out and about and don't have to go sit in an office for 8 hours a day.
  • Posted 27 Mar 2014 03:46
  • Reply by tomas_s
  • Bahamas, Bahamas, The
in this part of the world, we have had a few women forklift techs, and I have heard that one passed away just recently. She was as hard a worker as most any man, but believed in working smart, not hard, as much as possible, and while we worked for competing dealers, she will be missed. I also have an 'abodanza" of young techs wanting to learn the business, so much so that we continually have a position of 'apprentice' that is equal to 1/3 of the number of our 'journeymen' shop techs, and after somewhere between 6 months and 2 years (depending on past training and experience) they are moved into journeyman level techs.
We do seem to provide a light stream of younger techs to the local larger dealers, since the younger techs usually feel like they will make more changing jobs, (and they seem to be correct, for the most part), but it also still seems to me like the 2nd "Peter's principal" holds true; 'work expands to fill all available time'.
  • Posted 10 Feb 2014 00:02
  • Reply by edward_t
  • South Carolina, United States
"it's not rocket surgery"
Depends on what type of auto tech you hire. Some are parts installers, while others are diagnostic tech's that can fit right in and work on fork lifts. Even then, we get older, experienced techs. Were an average of 45 here, with some pushing 60! I found the comment from the Norwegian tech interesting. It's true here as well, you never see woman getting into the trade,
  • Posted 9 Feb 2014 10:13
  • Reply by EasiTek
  • Ontario, Canada
Got to disagree with the recruiting auto techs and slowly training them up working on IC flt's maybe but electric machines and warehousing no we've tried this over here at a few dealers I've worked for and it nearly always ends up badly. The answer is to take on apprentices and train them up from scratch most of the big boys over here have been doing this for quite a few years now but most of the experienced techs in the uk seem to be around 50+ so the industry is going to be in a very bad way very soon
  • Posted 9 Feb 2014 06:43
  • Reply by lifter01
  • West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
yes the age problem will not be going away anytime soon. the main problem is company in the usa want already trained tech. the solution is visit your local tech school and recuit from the auto program and start them off with pm and train them slowly. however dont short change these trainee by low pay.
Here a true story we train this one kid start at min wage after six month he moved to another company who offer three dollars over min.
  • Posted 7 Feb 2014 05:20
  • Reply by clkgovt
  • Ohio, United States
I'm not a tech, so not directly in that "Biz". but from what I can say for the techs around my area, they seem fairly young. Both the local Jungheinrich Techs are in their mid 30's. Toyota MH which is our main service provider, since they have their shop quite literraly just up the road, Has one lead tech who is in his 50's, with a handful of techs I guess holding around just 30. with an added bonus of a not displeasuring to the eye, female. (I know that sounds sexist, but, at least here, females in technical fields are nigh on inexistant, and usually of the more butch kind)

Admittenly though, the lead tech seems to be the only one that takes interest in what you have to say.. the others just seem to focus on what they've been called in for, and get that fixed, anything aditional, or inquiries on potential problems I may have with other units, seems like a burden to them.
  • Posted 25 Jan 2014 11:02
  • Reply by raymond_h
  • Aust-Agder, Norway
My thoughts on this are pretty much inline with everyone else that has posted previously. The younger generation has the attitude that they are entitled to everything. They do not want to work hard, but they want to be paid better than managment! I also find that most of the younger " entitled " generation do have an interest in this industry, however most high schools have eliminated or downgraded auto, woodworking, metal, and drafting classes. They have not been exposed to this type of work like we were when we went thru school. Oh ya and to answer the question - average age we see is approximatly 45-55
  • Posted 23 Jan 2014 07:19
  • Reply by lynn_w
  • Colorado, United States

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