Patiently previewing user guides may save technicians time and aggravation when operating equipment the first time.
Similarly, practicing tester operation beforehand can prevent costly mistakes when techs begin troubleshooting vehicles with it.
Some owners, managers and techs assume that newly purchased test gear will be self-explanatory: Turn on a tester and it should guide users through all its functions automatically without a hitch.
Service managers, shop foremen and techs all hope for sensibly designed diagnostic devices,but practical experience has shown that some excellent meters, scan tools, oscilloscopes and specialized testers may be devilish to operate.
For one thing, cumbersome operation may deter all but the most-dedicated techs from learning the tester and exploiting its capabilities. An expensive tester that sits idle most of the time will not yield a return on your investment. The more often a tester or device operates, the more profit it's likely to generate
For another, complicated operation only increases the importance of a thorough and easy-to-read user guide or highly detailed instructional video.
Also, bosses may have to convince some techs to read the operator's manual or study the instructional video thoroughly. Otherwise, they may not prepare themselves to use a tester correctly. They simply connect it to the car and wing it.
Watch out because a stubborn, uninformed tech could use the new equipment carelessly, damaging it and possibly a customer's vehicle, too.
Unfortunately, some techs have little patience for any non-intuitive test gear. More than once, I have seen techs vent their frustrations so loudly and obviously that they drew the attention of everyone in the customer lounge.
Trustworthy automotive repairs are drama-free; unconcealed anger with a tester does not garner the customer trust and confidence your business deserves.
Depending upon the complexity of a new diagnostic device, some bosses block out mandatory, in-house study sessions for the equipment. For instance, they pay techs for their time and provide dinner for a team viewing of an instructional video after work.
Later, the techs attend another meeting at which they practice operating the new tester on a known good vehicle.
Mandating attendance and paying techs for their time usually handles objections to the meeting before they're even spoken. Remember that group gatherings like these often boost camaraderie among the crew.
Bosses may overlook the potential value of the give-and-take that occurs among the techs as they study the instructional video and practice tests on a vehicle. Sometimes these group efforts spur superb suggestions for the new tester as well as for diagnostic procedures in general.
(Some savvy techs at these sessions have taught me as much as the training video did.)