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Technician Training for ADAS

Learn the importance of technician training for ADAS.

Episode 167: With technology changing so rapidly it can be difficult for technicians to keep up, especially if they work in the independent service channel. In this episode, we are going to focus on Training for Technicians for ADAS.

My guest today is Amanda Schuier, the Director of Employee Engagement at Jetco Delivery.  

Amanda Schuier headshot, and TMC Logo. In this episode, learn about the importance of technician training for ADAS.

Amanda is actively involved in the Technology and Maintenance Council (American Trucking Associations) and currently serves as the Study Group Chairman for the Fleet Maintenance Management Study Group.

Guest Website: TMC.Trucking.org

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Transcript of Episode:

Jamie Irvine:

You are listening to The Heavy-Duty Parts Report. I’m your host, Jamie Irvine. And this is the show where you get expert advice about heavy-duty parts that keeps trucks and trailers on the road longer while lowering cost-per-mile.

With technology changing so rapidly, it can be difficult for technicians to keep up. That’s why we could come together at meetings like TMC. And if they work in the independent service channel, there is a challenge to get enough resources to make them have what they need to be able to take care of the trucks they’re responsible for. So in this episode, we’re gonna focus on training for technicians, for ADAS and we’re right now at TMC, the Technology and Maintenance Council’s annual meeting. And I’m really excited to have my guest here today to talk to us about this. So Amanda is the director of employee engagement at Jetco Delivery. She’s actively involved in the Technology and Maintenance Council and is currently serving as the study group chairman for the Fleet Maintenance Management study group. Amanda, welcome to The Heavy-Duty Parts Report.

Amanda Schuier:

Thank you. This is actually my last meeting as the study group chairman. So I just got elected to be the chairman of study groups. So moving up in the world.

Jamie Irvine:

Congratulations.

Amanda Schuier:

Thank you.

Jamie Irvine:

That’s great. So you asked to talk about this subject specifically because it’s an important one and I think we need to bring more attention to it. So what’s at stake if technicians aren’t properly trained on ADAS systems?

Amanda Schuier:

Yeah. This is a topic that I’m really passionate about. And, you know, as I’ve continued in my role at TMC, I think, you know, ADAS has taken really a bigger prominence right within our organization and it is truly critical. Right. So just recently I read an article about a multi-vehicle crash in 2020, involved two tractor trailers, a bus, and basically it was a cascade of events, right? And, and so one bus hit a truck, a truck hit another truck, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. So, so as they were investigating the accident, the motor coach had minor damage, but basically there was a fault code that, that had been identified on the forward collision mitigation system. It was not reported on the DVIR. And so it was literally, you know, an ADAS issue that we hadn’t been properly trained on and really can be a safety concern. It’s a critical issue in our industry.

Jamie Irvine:

Right. And when these accidents happen and people sadly sometimes get hurt or even worse, the investigators are always looking for those kinds of things. So what are like common mistakes that are made by technicians when it comes to these systems?

Amanda Schuier:

Yeah, that’s a really good question. And, you know, like let’s face it, so our equipment gets bumped, like bumped around, knocked around all the time. Right. And so making sure that we’re in alignment is a critical issue and something we have to focus on. So I did talk to some OE manufacturers on ADAS product, because I wanted to make sure I got the notes right. So some common themes are reusing bent radar brackets. Okay. So sometimes techs try to bend a mounting bracket back into shape, but they don’t get it close enough. Okay. So that’s one issue, assuming the alignment is correct by visual inspection. So looking at it saying, oh yeah, that looks right. Right. So looking at it by visual inspection. So you have to actually make sure that it’s working properly using a proper alignment procedure and then third, installing the wrong part number. Okay. So it says that components like the radar may look the same, connect the same way, but obviously the different part numbers have different configurations. Right? So those are three kind of the top critical issues, I guess for technicians right now, and errors they’re making.

Jamie Irvine:

Those things need to be addressed. And these systems are, I mean, they’ve been around for a while, but relatively speaking in the industry, when you look at some of the more mechanical, older systems that were in place for decades, this is all relatively new for the industry. So I can see how, like for example, a part number misidentification goes completely unnoticed and then causes a major problem. So at TMC they have something RPs, Recommended Practices. So what is the RP for this? Why is it important? How is that all coming together?

Amanda Schuier:

Yes. So the RP in this case is actually called Technician Training for ADAS and it has been a labor of love through the pandemic actually. And so as part of the grant, which is a joint effort between ATA, TMC, and others, basically TMC as a group committed to creating three RPs about ADAS. So the first one was balloted in fall of 2021, which was ADAS Nomenclature. And then just at this meeting, we did go ahead and ballot our technician training for ADAS RP. So basically the RP is some pretty generalized, it’s not manufacturer specific generalized information. So we identified three different workflows, preventive maintenance, driver complaint, and collision. So basically the RP walks us through, basic generalized training for our technicians, focusing on those three workflows.

Jamie Irvine:

That’s great, because we’re gonna be able to address some of those common issues and then they can get more, manufacturing specific information from the manufacturer directly. Is that correct?

Amanda Schuier:

Exactly. Exactly. Oh, you know, and that’s in basically every workflow, which is always reference your manufacturer’s materials, but exactly.

Jamie Irvine:

Makes sense. Yeah. We’re gonna take a quick break. We’ll be right back.

Jamie Irvine:

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We’re back from our break. And before the break, we were talking about the technician training for ADAS. We’re talking about this new recommended practice that is being developed that is gonna help them avoid common mistakes. But we are at the TMC annual meeting and I just wanted to know what’s your favorite part of these meetings?

Amanda Schuier:

Yeah, I love TMC. So I’ve been a member since 2008 and you know, I think this week has just been a really great example of how our organization is evolving and growing with change. Right. And you know, this week we’ve had our electric vehicle track, you know, we drafted our second ballot on ADAS. Like there’s a lot going on. And I think it it’s really cool to see how the organization is really adapting and embracing new technology and you know, coming together as a group is always a great time.

Jamie Irvine:

Yeah. And I agree with that. And the collaborative that happens here just helps us to move the whole industry forward. So I’ve been a member now just this year. And I’ve been getting a lot out of it. For people though, who are sitting on the fence about membership and it is individual membership, not corporate membership. So regardless of where you are in the industry, why should you become a member of TMC?

Amanda Schuier:

Why shouldn’t you? I think like for me there’s not a TMC meeting that I don’t immediately take something back to my day job. Right. And just being around industry professionals where I’m able to learn from, you know, trade best practices with, I mean, there’s just nothing like this event. I mean there’s just truly not. And like, if you’re kind of into new technology and geeky stuff like me, like there’s just really no trade show like this either. And just seeing all the cool stuff, you know, this week, there’s never been as many electric vehicles on the floor as there are this week. Right. And stuff like that. It’s like, that’s cool. I wanna be a part of that.

Jamie Irvine:

I was telling our videographer Miguel in between interviews today, how every time I start to think, I might know a little bit about this industry, I come to one of these events and I’m truly humbled. Because you learn so much and it’s so fantastic. So let’s just end on this, what is one thing you want people to remember from today’s conversation?

Amanda Schuier:

Really good question. You know, I think obviously, we’re gonna see a lot more in ADAS, in TMC in the near future. And I think just you know, again like the RP was a labor of love and our group had basically produced this RP solely via zoom. And we first met in person in Cleveland last year. And so like that, it’s just like, it’s such a cool story of how, even through the pandemic, our task force came together and wrote this RP and I’m proud of it because it means something to the industry. Right. And that’s what the goal of our RPs are. And this is one that is really critical, you know, it’s needed in the industry, especially in terms of safety.

Jamie Irvine:

You’ve been listening to The Heavy-Duty Parts Report. I’m your host, Jamie Irvine. We’ve been speaking with Amanda Schuier, who is the Director of Employee Engagement at Jetco Delivery and the Study Group Chairman for the Fleet Maintenance Management Study Group at TMC, is that what’s changing?

Amanda Schuier:

That is changing.

Jamie Irvine:

Okay. So what will it become?

Amanda Schuier:

So as of Wednesday night, so tomorrow all of this will be late, but tomorrow night I will assume position of Chairman of Study Groups.

Jamie Irvine:

All right. So we’ve got that on the record. To learn more about TMC, visit tmc.trucking.org, links will be in the show notes. Amanda, thank you so much for being on The Heavy-Duty Parts Report.

Amanda Schuier:

It’s been awesome. Thanks.

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