Service Technicians Beware!

I wrote a little poem. Give it a read, then I will explain.

There once was a forklift technician whose story I tell
Who found that a pain, had gotten into his shell
Just one little pain
But he didn't complain
For no one would hear, as technicians are treated with disdain
Now did he berate this working of fate
That left him in such a deplorable state
Did he curse out the government and call for an election
He said to himself, as he as he kept repairing
If it gets really bad my company will help to improve it
So the years went by, as the years always do
And he came to his ultimate destiny
Unable to Do!
But that small little pain that had bothered him so
Now was so bad that he couldn't go!
But this story has a moral for isn't it grand
Now his company told him to eat sand

My story I have found is like many so it must be told.
After 31 yrs, 11 mos, 28 days, I was let go because I was hurt on the job and could no longer do service calls. I could (and did) work from home doing a cost control job and found real savings (millions). But they didn't want to open the flood gates to all the others that they may have to do that for in future years.

So the real moral here is never listen when they say "Don't worry we'll have something for you to do. Ya at 61, body broken, I can stand in the unemployment line.
When you have to watch your wife of 39 years shovel snow, mow the lawn and worst of all say "I don't need anything for my birthday. All I need is you" The pain in my back is small compared to the pain in my mind and heart.
Bean counters only care about Beans and you're not worth beans
  • Posted 15 Jul 2017 04:35
  • Discussion started by Canada
  • Ontario, Canada
Showing items 1 - 15 of 18 results.
A common problem with people in the industry for an extended period of time. I've been working on forklifts for over 40 years as a technician, and a trainer for the last 9 years with no injuries on the job. I've always subscribed to the theory of working smarter, not harder. If you need assistance, don't be too proud to ask for it rather than invite injury by over-extending yourself.
I am retiring next week at age 70, and looking forward to the next chapter of my life working at the golf course.
To be honest, I will miss the challenge of the forklift industry, and the people I have met over the years. But, all good things must come to an end.
Best of luck to all at Forklift Action.
  • Posted 22 Mar 2019 00:25
  • Reply by ramon_m
  • Ontario, Canada
Perseverence is a virtue.
I wish people could get together and form a professional trade association for the material handling industry, along the lines of the automotive trade associations.
  • Posted 1 Feb 2019 21:59
  • Reply by triumphrider
  • Texas, United States
Welcome to the real world buddy. After 30 years working in Ontario in the fork lift business I too was worn out Knees needed replacement due to all the heavy lifting, OHIP answer was pain killers Had my own business in the end but still working hard , so took the plunge sold up everything and moved back to the UK took early retirement had both knees replaced was 60 then, had 15 years of the easier life repaired caravans much lighter and more profitable not worked full time now for 4 years pension keeps me alive and rebuilding an old car HEAVEN
  • Posted 1 Feb 2019 02:54
  • Reply by victor_j
  • Somerset, United Kingdom
I have to agree with Wiggy if your any good at this job flashing the spanner's as some of my colleagues would say. Then you won't make management or even parts department, my earlier company where I did my training thought when I wanted to move onto some other department that they would put in charge of the pump room and auto electric department fine but that's still keeping you on the tools and no pay rise.time for a change of venue. I did get a job with an auto elec and fuel injection company more money and in charge of my own department and two apprentices to look after quite satisfying.
Inflation got the better of my pay packet. Time to move on I got a job with a forklift manufacturer as a field service engineer.
What a fantastic job twice the pay swanning around fixixig fork lifts.
Some days where hard some days where easy. Some days where horrible working in hide and skin yards and abattoirs, but the job had a lot of freedom being your own boss, not like today with spy in the cab and any management jobs where never offered to field engineers but my advice to any engineer is get out of this profession by the time your 40 before ties you in till your 65 or breaks you, and probably will for the chances are you will suffer in your retirement years

Regards Nero
  • Posted 12 Nov 2018 07:19
  • Reply by NER045
  • North Yorkshire, United Kingdom
I do have good news ( I think) regarding employers not respecting their employees. We- as the techs who actually do the work that creates billable hours for employers- are really becoming scarce (at least in the Phila Pa USA) region. Everyone I know is looking for qualified techs & having no luck recruiting anyone. The shuffle board of techs moving from company to company hasn't changed- but replacing retiring techs is becoming extremely difficult. Younger people don't seem to have an interest in this line of work so the workforce in our line of work is getting thin. Hopefully this will eventually translate to higher wages, better working conditions & better benifits to attract techs to our field. Tim will tell........
  • Posted 10 Nov 2018 04:00
  • Modified 10 Nov 2018 04:00 by poster
  • Reply by bbforks
  • Pennsylvania, United States
bbforks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Customers love technology- until they have to pay to fix it!
Hello, not to sound disrespectful but if you were hurt at work shouldn't WCB have to retrain you if you can't return to your original position?
  • Posted 9 Nov 2018 01:30
  • Reply by Gordo
  • Alberta, Canada
I agree that talent is hard to find and even harder to Find if you want a Mind! For all that are willing be there, and to all that are not, well let them be forgot.
  • Posted 2 May 2018 01:22
  • Reply by Canada
  • Ontario, Canada
I make a point to try to get trainees to think out of the box, don't jury rig anything but do the repair correct. Im not a hard a## on anybody. Just a few seem to get it. They think the more money they can bill out make them look good. then the reworks hit them and they do not want to accept the fact they screwed up. I get calls from some of them and work them through things but after a while they are on their own.
  • Posted 1 May 2018 20:52
  • Reply by triumphrider
  • Texas, United States
Triumph rider you speak a lot of truth.

Recently we had a engineer start with us who was 21, just finished an apprenticeship with Toyota/bt rolatruc and I s@@t you not, he didn't know how to change a tube of grease in a grease gun - and he was on good money! He couldn't solve a single problem without someone holding his hand.
Adventually he admitted they had only trained him to work on rolatruc PPT's. How the **** can you claim you've put a lad through an apprenticeship with this little overall background knowledge?
In the UK the young lads trained by the independants are better because they have to be, working on anything and everything without the magic laptop.

Myself I started with my father who was a one man band and have had a lot of good mentors who were grizzly 'ol buggers who taught me the value of hard work and how to solve my own problems. They seemed hard at the time but God, I thank them to myself everyday, they made me the engineer/man I am now.
  • Posted 1 May 2018 08:16
  • Modified 1 May 2018 08:25 by poster
  • Reply by wiggy
  • kent, United Kingdom
The quality of the trainees going into this field is just about lower than anything I have seen anywhere. first they think they owed the world when they cannot pour P**s out of a boot with the directions written on the heel. Ok so they can take tests and pass them but taking that knowledge and applying it to real world applications is quite totally another thing. it is not only in this industry but any service / mechanical trades. They think a laptop can solve all troubleshooting issues. Greasegun? whats a greasegun?
  • Posted 27 Apr 2018 20:43
  • Reply by triumphrider
  • Texas, United States
Sad fact with this industry, your basically worked until you drop - especially if your good at what you do, remember a wise old boy who's sadly no longer with us telling me 'boy, your good a what you do, you'll never be a manger or be able to join a sales team - no one will let you'.
Seen a lot of truth in that, seen a lot of guys in there 60's grinding away just to be tossed into the garbage when their knees give out when they should have been back in a depot passing that lifetimes worth of knowledge to the next generation. But no.. 'We can't have them training, we need them earning money!'. It's a big part of the reason for the engineer shortage now, they rarely have their 'best' engineers teaching apprentices, they use the engineer they can 'do without' so you have this bizarre situation of the blind leading the blind.
The guys with the real knowledge work until the joints give out, then retire early and take that knowledge to the grave.
Typical forklift industry short sighted thinking.

I'm only 33 but I know I've got maybe 15-18 years left before the body starts to give up and I've gotta look at something else if I want a retirement life where I'm basically not a cripple.
  • Posted 27 Apr 2018 16:04
  • Reply by wiggy
  • kent, United Kingdom
I emphasize with all those that are laid off. If the hierarchy had only done their homework and looked at or perhaps understood the implications of losing that valuable knowledge these employees had to contribute to the ongoing future of their business.
There is one important message in those stories. One persons father did not take his dismissal laying down , he started his own service company.
By the way, I am almost 80 and still put in 4 days a week to make up for a shortage of knowhow due to a fall off of trainees and a lack of interest in pursuing down to earth work by youngsters.
  • Posted 23 Mar 2018 20:20
  • Reply by bagwan
  • South Australia, Australia
Great read. I know a few service techs who would agree with you. Even as a long time sales rep seen so many people get laid off for nothing more than looking at someone wrong.
  • Posted 28 Oct 2017 03:48
  • Reply by tyler_d
  • California, United States
Your story is almost an exact match for what happened to my dad back in the '60's and not much has changed. You always have to have a back up plan as you can't depend on anyone to protect you- it's such a shame.

My dad eventually opened his own forklift service company & "the rest is history". Hat's off to all of you who are in the same situation as the author.
  • Posted 18 Oct 2017 01:09
  • Reply by bbforks
  • Pennsylvania, United States
bbforks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Customers love technology- until they have to pay to fix it!
In this case Canadian Law Eats Sand. If they give the right about of severance, there is nothing you can do. Even in circumstances like this. It isn't morally correct but most of employment law is Right but not Correct.
  • Posted 22 Jul 2017 01:54
  • Reply by Canada
  • Ontario, Canada

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