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Overcoming the Shortage of Diesel Technicians

Learn just how big the shortage of diesel technicians is and one company’s innovative solution.

Episode 93: In this episode, we discuss the shortage of diesel technicians, and Aaron Picozzi, the President of the American Diesel Training Centers talks to us about how big of a problem it is and the solution that they have provided the truck repair industry.

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The Problem

We’ve all read the headlines and heard people talk about the shortage of diesel technicians in the heavy-duty truck and trailer industry. Many factors are contributing to the problem, but how big of a problem is it?

Empty Bay because of Diesel Technician Shortage

“It’s a massive problem. I don’t know of any shop that isn’t feeling this currently. Many folks come to us and say they need 10, 15, 20, even 100 technicians depending on size, but there are very few that don’t need any,” said Aaron Picozzi, the President of American Diesel Training Center.

The situation is reflected in the numbers. The day that we recorded this interview there were 25,841 diesel technician jobs posted on Indeed currently. This represents about 1/3 the actual need for diesel technicians industry-wide.

Contributing factors include; an aging workforce where we have far more people leaving the industry faster than coming in, a lack of exposure which results in us failing to attract people to the industry, and even the high cost of tools compared to other trades all play a part in the diesel technician shortage.

The Cost

“People don’t even realize how much they’re losing by having those vacancies,” said Picozzi. For every open position a repair shop has for a technician; they’re losing out on $1500 a day. Think about it another way, it’s costing repair shops $30,000 a month to have an open position.

The adage, “you’ve got to spend money to make money” comes to mind when thinking about ways to solve the diesel technician shortage. One way that shops can attract technicians is by helping them with acquiring tools to do the job. The cost of tools is prohibitive to many individuals who are thinking about becoming a diesel technician, but the cost of not providing tools is much higher for a repair shop.

The Solution 

Traditional trade schools are expensive and they take a long time to get people into the field where they can earn a living. This is a barrier to getting more people into the diesel technician role and is part of the reason we have a diesel technician shortage.

“What we need is to remove those barriers new technicians have coming into the industry, the financial cost, and the time it takes. At the American Diesel Training Center, we find vet, train, and place technicians. We don’t just sit around waiting for people to come to us, we target geographically to find who will be a good technician,” said Picozzi.

ADTC Technician Training Logo

ADTC is not a regular school, the training is 80-85% hands-on. They don’t waste time on unnecessary information for new technicians, but rather focus on entry-level tasks. This allows them to get new technicians trained up in just 5-weeks. The cost of the program is much lower as a result, which is better for the trainee and they can start working faster which is better for the technician and the repair shop or fleet that hires them.

Additionally, through a strategic partnership, technicians don’t pay a dime for the program when they’re being trained, and they only pay once they get a job and they start making money. This reduces the risk for the student and their payment is based on their income which means that it keeps their expenses in line with their income after graduation. If they lose their job, the payments stop until they can find another job.

As an industry, it’s necessary to solve this problem, and the American Diesel Training Center has done all it can to remove as many barriers as possible. Not only are they helping to solve the diesel technician shortage but they are changing people’s lives.

Post-program employment and an average increase in graduate’s annual salary of $11,500 change the technician and their family’s situation for the better.

Disclaimer: This content and description may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, The Heavy-Duty Parts Report may receive a small commission. 

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