Training techniques for today’s technicians – brake and front end | Team Cansler

Doug Kaufman:

It’s harder than ever to keep up with the workout. And from a technician’s point of view, it is visible every day in the workshop. I’m here with Philip Austin, Training Manager at NGK and NTK. Phillip, let’s talk about the challenges for a technician who needs to keep up with training across a wide range of products. What is happening in the real world?

Philip Austin:

It varies, but the common denominator is that whether you’re self-directed and spending just a bit more time per car, you need to keep up with the training while delving deep into the system, style of technology, or engine management strategy is supposed to work properly or actually spends the time on evening or midday workouts. It evolves. The need is growing and the dependency on it is also growing. So at NGK we are aligning with this need with our Shop Squad program and trying to keep track of how it is changing and how much is needed.

Doug Kaufman:

Let’s talk about the resources that are available today. Where can technicians get the latest? How can they keep up?

Philip Austin:

I know most of your viewers might be thinking of Google, but that’s not the right place. They could keep up by coming online through our channels like Shop Squad and be able to pull resources in addition to the resources that come with getting the work done like Process, all these best practices work. And we’ve just added additional resources to look up technical articles and view online learning modules on topics you may feel faint at. So there are tons of resources out there, and NGK is definitely trying to make sure one of them is you.

Doug Kaufman:

Philip, you touched on a variety of different training styles. What do you think is the most effective?

Philip Austin:

Most effective? It’s hard to say as it depends on the type of person. There are no magic formulas when it comes to training. There are various methods in which an audience can be in person, a receptive audience, and there are others who would rather sit alone and go through an online module or training module, digest information, pause and think about what images they are looking at need to troubleshoot a vehicle and how does this LMS module help them to improve that based on the images and content? It all depends on how you learn.

So we have three main training methods for these types of people. So you want to interact in person, ask questions on the fly and then stay behind and network with other professionals and ask each other questions and get answers from the instructor. Our on-demand program where you can set your own pace, take your time, or even complete a live webinar that doesn’t require you to drive anywhere. You could just be a part of this live experience, ask questions, type them into a chat box. So those are the three different ways, and unfortunately there isn’t one.

Doug Kaufman:

Yes. I know that training methods and training opportunities have certainly changed over the past few years, and I know that you are doing more personal training now than you probably have in the past few years.

Philip Austin:

Yes.

Doug Kaufman:

What are some of the real questions? What do the technicians ask you, they are really looking for information these days?

Philip Austin:

I’m telling you, it depends on what condition I’m in. “In each state, they just have a different sense of what they’re experiencing. And some of the questions I get are: How can I navigate schematics more efficiently and choose what kind of equipment to use to get to the root of the cause? And it’s on-topic, so the answers change and I respond to a question like this: “Okay. Let’s take an application as an example.” Because there is no cookie cutter approach for this answer either.

So the approach, discussions and questions around the troubleshooting approach is one of the most common questions I get. We have a good discussion about it. Another question that’s pretty obvious but important to ask is, do I see everything I need to see from the gear I’m using? What are my limitations when using a scan tool and looking at the global OBD-II platform versus the manufacturer specific? What data pits do I need to keep in mind to jump back and forth on to create the troubleshooting diagnostic plan for this car? When is the right time to pull out my scope? Should I spend more time mastering the oscilloscope, or should I rely more on the graphing ability of my scan tool data pits? How does mode six apply when trying to fix a car with no codes but has a drivability issue? These are the main questions I usually get during and after training events.

Doug Kaufman:

So the training goes on. You’re never done exercising.

Philip Austin:

no

Doug Kaufman:

Never finished studying.

Philip Austin:

no

Doug Kaufman:

If you think you’re not done learning, there are opportunities and resources out there. Philip, how can our viewers get more information?

Philip Austin:

Well we just started a new program called Shop Squad where once you sign up you can become part of our community and our community is easy. There is a need for training and development in our industry so that we can be efficient at what we do. We want to build a community so we can share resources, ask open-ended questions, and use that community to make everyone else better. And we will drive this forward by offering specialist training for technicians, service advisors for shop owners and the resources, all of which you can come to NGK for through our online Shop Squad program.

Doug Kaufman:

Sounds like a great thing to do to help the entire industry improve.

Philip Austin:

We try it.

Doug Kaufman:

Thank you for watching. We’ll talk again soon.

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