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Old 24-10-2017, 09:43 PM   #61
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Default Re: My time as a Ford Master Tech is at an end

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No. It’s a skills shortage. All these qualified guys don’t have the skills. Basic skills they really should know. A lot don’t own a multimeter and of those that do half don’t know how to turn it on.
I don't belive that's the case, it's either a sense of self entitlement or simply not giving a crap. I own 2 multimeters. Dual redundancy. In as many years the first hasn't played up I still have my backup.
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Old 24-10-2017, 10:09 PM   #62
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Default Re: My time as a Ford Master Tech is at an end

I've been in the game since 1970 & I have never seen a skill shortage like there is today. Actually it's not just a skill shortage it's more of a brain drain to other industries. The vast majority of mechanics today can't carry out basic diagnostics. Take away there scanner & they're stuffed.

The main problem with the motor trade is the ridiculously high overheads compared to other trades, so the operator can't pay for tradies the way they should.

By the time you've rented a workshop, bought the equipment & paid all the various rip-off government departments, there isn't much left for the tradie or the owner. Even if you could charge out say 6 to 7 hours a day (very hard to achieve), $120 per hr (+GST = $132) is often not quite break even.

Compare this to the plumbing or electrical trades. They don't need a workshop costing $1000-$1500 per week plus $100,000 worth of equipment. Most can get away with a $50,000 ute or van & maybe $10,000 or $20,000 worth of equipment.

This is why so many mechanics go solo & mobile.

Others just pick up their tools & go & work in a warehouse, driving a forklift, where the pay rates are often much higher. I am talking Sydney here, it probably differs in other states.

I've closed my workshop over 5 years ago & now supply EFI & ignition parts to the motor trade & I'm in contact with these guys all day. Most of them are doing it pretty tough.

The best selling group of new vehicles on the Australian market are fully optioned dual cab utes; Hi-Luxes, Rangers, Tritons, Colorados etc. You know the ones. Most of these are purchased by well-heeled tradies. You will note though, that very few of these are owned by are motor mechanics.

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Old 25-10-2017, 12:02 AM   #63
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Default Re: My time as a Ford Master Tech is at an end

I don't know for sure if the skill shortage or lack of qualified mechanics is partly due to there being less apprenticeships on offer in recent years compared to say 20 years ago, but I know that in the HVAC or air conditioning industry, it is getting almost impossible to hire Refrigeration mechanics for the same reason.

Without new apprenticeships and businesses willing to take them on, it is inevitable that as time goes on, with the rate of older mechanics retiring and not being replaced, the problem will only get worse.

With the 457 Visas also made harder to sponsor skilled overseas workers to work temporarily in Australia to fill the void will also add to the problem.
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Old 25-10-2017, 08:02 AM   #64
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Ive got a dirty AU, wanna hookup TG, bring some protection though, no funny stuff ok lol!!!

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Old 25-10-2017, 11:59 AM   #65
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Default Re: My time as a Ford Master Tech is at an end

Another big issue is that big companies like Boral for example, used to run their own workshops and would hire 3 or 4 if not more new apprentices every year and the cycle would continue. Now they don't employ anybody and just contract the work out to sub contractor mechanics. Obviously they cannot be apprentices but qualified people. Now not all subbies can afford to put on apprentices as they pretty much work own their own as that is what the work they do allows them to afford (in automotive that is), so now the 3 or 4 apprentices that would normally come into the system are no longer there. The industry is mainly filled with the minimal tradies that came through the system about 10 years ago. Hate to see what will happen once they start getting to retirement age and no apprentices are their to replace them. Its time the good mechanics get paid what they are worth.
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Old 25-10-2017, 12:39 PM   #66
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Default Re: My time as a Ford Master Tech is at an end

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Another big issue is that big companies like Boral for example, used to run their own workshops and would hire 3 or 4 if not more new apprentices every year and the cycle would continue. Now they don't employ anybody and just contract the work out to sub contractor mechanics. Obviously they cannot be apprentices but qualified people. Now not all subbies can afford to put on apprentices as they pretty much work own their own as that is what the work they do allows them to afford (in automotive that is), so now the 3 or 4 apprentices that would normally come into the system are no longer there. The industry is mainly filled with the minimal tradies that came through the system about 10 years ago. Hate to see what will happen once they start getting to retirement age and no apprentices are their to replace them. Its time the good mechanics get paid what they are worth.


Hi GT-L
My old boss started with Victoria’s State Electricity Commission many years ago as an apprentice. It was a different era. They would spend the first twelve months learning basic skills like sharpening drill bits or welding. They weren’t allowed near any machinery.
Today in Dealerships apprentices are servicing cars after a couple of weeks. If they didn’t destroy the first couple they were pretty much left to it.

Even after a couple of years a lot of these guys just can’t diagnose anything. They just come up with “no fault found”. Which is what frustrates a lot of customers.
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Old 25-10-2017, 12:51 PM   #67
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Default Re: My time as a Ford Master Tech is at an end

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Even after a couple of years a lot of these guys just can’t diagnose anything. They just come up with “no fault found”. Which is what frustrates a lot of customers.
For those mechanics that have worked in Ford dealerships... Do Ford Australia run regular fault finding and training workshop days for the apprentices /mechanics, or are they left to just learn from the qualified mechanics on the floor?
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Old 25-10-2017, 12:54 PM   #68
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Default Re: My time as a Ford Master Tech is at an end

The 'no fault found' thing isn't always on the mechanics. Most of the time the dealer doesn't want to spend the time looking at a problem unless the customer is paying for the labour. Usually they aren't willing to pay so the problem gets a quick 15 minute check. More often than not the problem can't be replicated in that time. Diagnosis doesn't make money.
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Old 25-10-2017, 01:21 PM   #69
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Default Re: My time as a Ford Master Tech is at an end

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The 'no fault found' thing isn't always on the mechanics. Most of the time the dealer doesn't want to spend the time looking at a problem unless the customer is paying for the labour. Usually they aren't willing to pay so the problem gets a quick 15 minute check. More often than not the problem can't be replicated in that time. Diagnosis doesn't make money.


That’s bang on. And all the dealer sees is the figures. The guy doing all the diagnostic work always has the worst figures.
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Old 25-10-2017, 01:29 PM   #70
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Default Re: My time as a Ford Master Tech is at an end

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For those mechanics that have worked in Ford dealerships... Do Ford Australia run regular fault finding and training workshop days for the apprentices /mechanics, or are they left to just learn from the qualified mechanics on the floor?


Ford had their own apprentice program but that was shut down 2 or 3 years ago. Now all apprentices are just run through group training centres with nothing ford specific.
Then there’s the Ford training which I have completed. It’s a mix of online modules and practical class days. It’s really up to the dealership how much of this each Tech gets. At my previous dealership it was on the drip feed and I actually did a lot of it at home without getting paid for it. The current place is quite good with someone doing something every week.
The training does help if they take it in. A lot just want to pass it and don’t apply it to their work.
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Old 25-10-2017, 01:49 PM   #71
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Default Re: My time as a Ford Master Tech is at an end

I know a lot of people who complain about car dealership mechanics but I think the reverse when it comes to diesel mechanics.
I once took one of my very well looked after Ford trader trucks to a well known truck and bus repairer in Wangaratta who services V line bus fleets.
He had 4 jobs I required him to do where he totally stuffed up on all 4 and backed my truck into another truck telling me it must have been like that.
I found this the norm from various independent mechanics.

Since then I only take my trucks ( big or small) to Kenworth dealerships. I know what they charge per hour is a lot dearer but they regularly diagnose any problems straight up without stuffing around (charging me hours) like some of the hit and miss mechanics do. Most often the job will be done in half the time hence saving me down time and money and they look after your truck, doesn't matter what brand or how old it is.
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Old 25-10-2017, 01:59 PM   #72
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Default Re: My time as a Ford Master Tech is at an end

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The 'no fault found' thing isn't always on the mechanics. Most of the time the dealer doesn't want to spend the time looking at a problem unless the customer is paying for the labour. Usually they aren't willing to pay so the problem gets a quick 15 minute check. More often than not the problem can't be replicated in that time. Diagnosis doesn't make money.
That's one of the biggest problems in the industry, diagnosis labour time.

The average Joe doesn't see the huge bill when getting an X-ray or a scan, because it's usually paid by Medicare. However it's not that different to automotive diagnosis. Why should diagnosis time be at no charge or little charge compared to 'physical' labour time. Just because no actual 'repair' was carried out doesn't mean it should cost any less.

You have a technician being paid $X per hour & some equipment worth $Y, The charge out rate is $Z per hour, but the retail customer often is not willing to pay for diagnosis alone.

If it's a simple fix & the diagnosis fee is included in an all-up fee of say $300, no problem. But if after say 1.5 hrs nothing concrete is found or after several fruitless test drives no faults are apparent, the customer is usually not willing to pay 2c, because he figures no actual 'work' was carried out.

A lot of shops won't get involved in diagnosis at all & just stick to general service work & brakes etc. where it's quick turn over & everyone including the boss gets a full pay-packet every week, without any 'stress'.

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Old 25-10-2017, 02:00 PM   #73
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I don't believe it'd s skills shortage. I'm not saying that or any trade doesn't involve skills, people don't want to put in an effort and do hard work. Hard work isn't particularly easy but even a small (not short) guy like myself can get **** done. Now I don't mean to take this put of context but the age of things like IT and sitting at a desk to make the 50k a year is somehow what the younger folk aspire towards. I have charged a callout fee and the minimum hour labour countless times simply because a dope has not turned on a light switch. I've had the same after hours callout twice in a night and that's not cheap for the same reason from the same person. I made 2 days pay. For 2 1 hour door to door call outs. It's the sad expectation that no responsibility makes the cash. It doesn't work like that.
In the building game, not many young guns want the work anymore, I mean why would you want to be out in the hot summer sun all day lifting heavy stuff and getting covered in dust, when you can sit at a office desk big noting yourself.
On the ABC last week they interviewed a Noakes shipwright who could find apprentices. From memory TAFE lost 44% of their staff in Victoria in 2017.
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Old 25-10-2017, 05:27 PM   #74
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Default Re: My time as a Ford Master Tech is at an end

I started off as a mechanic - loved it but struggled with the pay. It's a shame the way they're treated because it's the only passion I have.
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Old 25-10-2017, 05:45 PM   #75
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Default Re: My time as a Ford Master Tech is at an end

have any of you mechanics thought of doing some cousrses and going away from car mechanics.

i look after some large companies that have lift and door mechanics in all the time, they get paid well, company cars and not lying under cars. when they are on call they kill it!
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Old 25-10-2017, 06:25 PM   #76
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have any of you mechanics thought of doing some cousrses and going away from car mechanics.

i look after some large companies that have lift and door mechanics in all the time, they get paid well, company cars and not lying under cars. when they are on call they kill it!
My cousin is still technically a mechanic by trade and he started at a dealership then went to a 3rd party shop, nothing amazing again pay wise, but he got his gas ticket. From there he got a job working on forklifts, but on site. Yeah he had to get trained in hydraulics but he was thrown in a van and typically working in warehouses attending breakdowns so there was alot more pressure but it payed better and even though everything was urgent he was up for it. Since then he's moved up into the office of the forklift mob in a new role as a manager and is on pretty decent coin. The thing is yes he has to manage people but also give advise towards problems the people he manages have so the mechanical mind is still flexed.
Now over the past 2 years I have squashed any talks at my firm to move into lower management. Reason being I've been there 11 years and even though I wouldn't have to justify every hour anymore, ive seen it happen when you work with people on the same level for that long then all of a sudden are a superior then that harbours a lot of resentment and people don't put in their best effort, that's a fail for a manager. If a manager gets employed in that capacity from day 1 it's fine, even in the case of someone being employed on the tools then rapidly moves up then generally most people don't care but sometimes some people are resentful. That's the case towards the project manager at my work. Now in a small company like mine there's no real advantage to going on a salary and still being expected to do the long hours. In a big company the extra say 20k on a base rate on an hourly rate if it was an 8 hour day 5 days a week then it's worth 20k. With all the extra hours I do on an hourly rate with penalty rates it's usually 26 to 30k extra a year so it makes more sense to me keeping it like it is. Plus I don't have to deal with non paying clients and all the rest. Also I have somehow over the years managed to score the benefits of a manager but am still on the tools being one of the boys. Service techs get Mitsubishi vans (I had one for 6 and a half years) but managers get a ute. I'm a service tech in a ranger that's nothing flash but it's nice compared to the L300s and the 2010 hilux the pm is in. My service manager is in a new dmax that's nicer but he gets paid accordingly and has to put up with my **** so I'll allow it. Work phone, tablet and laptop all with data allowances. My wage goes towards the mortgage and general living expenses so in my case I'm on a good thing. Base rate is not amazing but with ot and other things factored in the difference in the small place I work for is I make it up as opposed to the same pay every week. Not that I make much, it's adequate for a living but not enough for luxuries, but if I got offered a salery that's equal to what I earn for a flat 40 hour week I'd be all over that like a rash on testicles after chaffing thighs.
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Old 25-10-2017, 06:37 PM   #77
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Default Re: My time as a Ford Master Tech is at an end

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have any of you mechanics thought of doing some cousrses and going away from car mechanics.

i look after some large companies that have lift and door mechanics in all the time, they get paid well, company cars and not lying under cars. when they are on call they kill it!
One of my mates is one of those sliding door mechanic guys and he's got new PXII Ranger company car and on $35/hour, he just drives all over Victoria to look at doors and see why they aren't opening and closing, seriously some days he spends more time in the car for a 15 minute job then drives home again
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Old 26-10-2017, 09:07 AM   #78
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Yes, I think that's exactly what he's saying. And if he's one of the senior mechanics is it any wonder that the juniors 'struggle to change a globe without breaking something' if that's the sort of mentality that is guiding their professional development?

On a somewhat related note... wouldn't it be nice if we had a way of knowing in advance whether a mechanic was interested in doing the job or not? I now quite clearly know how Top Ghia feels about working on unworthy cars but how can I transfer that to the real world to avoid turning up at his workshop and wasting both of our time?
Just curious, what do you do for work?
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Old 26-10-2017, 11:26 AM   #79
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Default Re: My time as a Ford Master Tech is at an end

Been in the same boat as TOPGHIA, Nissan master tech. The poor mechanics move into the office, eventually everyone on the floor was under 26. They only ever sent me to training courses - even flew me around states lol. When i pulled the pin, 4 mechanics and a service advisor left within 2 weeks. That was 5 years ago now. I used to all ways ask around other dealers mechanics and some full qualified (at holden) were only on $17 an hr! It's not a good industry anymore, no one has passion in there jobs, they have no interest, you go to any dealership and ask a technical question and they simply cannot answer... those that where in the trade 10 plus years ago would definitely understand, feel like I was one of the last breed that actually cared for the customer. One thing for certain, once my cars are out of warranty, they will be going to "professional" workshops.

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Old 26-10-2017, 10:10 PM   #80
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I’ve been a mechanic for 16 years now and I’ve spent the last 7 years at 2 Ford dealerships. In that time I became a Master Tech. It’s a qualification that really means little to your career but actually makes a big difference to how much the dealership gets paid by Ford. Being a master tech basically just means you’ve done all of Ford online and classroom training.
I’ve really enjoyed my time fixing Fords. But I will say my passion for Ford certainly died when Broadmeadows closed.
I always tried to learn as much as I could about the latest models and technologies that were coming out. But this didn’t always help as it’s hard to predict what will play up and what won’t.
Today as one of my last jobs I had the privilege of pulling the supercharger off an FPV to fix a small coolant leak. I took my time and made sure it was done right.
Working on nice FPV cars was always a highlight. I always tried to go the extra mile with these cars as I felt the owners really had paid for that extra attention to detail. Being around for the GT-F was pretty cool. It actually felt like a special car. Driving them was a real buzz.
Why am I leaving? Money is why. The pay is rubbish and I’m tired off. I can earn far more working at a private workshop. Dealerships view mechanics as bottom dwellers. But I actually view myself as a professional and need to make the most of my career.
In just the last 2 years the dealership I’m at has also changed a lot. I’m the last guy on the floor with any real experience. It’s now full of kids and young guys who don’t give a toss. Most struggle to change a globe without breaking something and I don’t think any of them actually know what the workshop manual is.
Management seems quite happy to let all the good guys walk and just employ another kid on $15/hr. Good luck with that.
So thank you to the many loyal Ford fans out there. It’s been real.
Be great to know where you end up so folks can then take their businesses you should they so choose.
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Old 26-10-2017, 11:35 PM   #81
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Default Re: My time as a Ford Master Tech is at an end

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One of my mates is one of those sliding door mechanic guys and he's got new PXII Ranger company car and on $35/hour, he just drives all over Victoria to look at doors and see why they aren't opening and closing, seriously some days he spends more time in the car for a 15 minute job then drives home again
We have about 20 auto roller doors at work, they always trip out and need resetting.
Call out for the service company was costing the boss $250-300 each time. I spent about 30 seconds on Google, learnt the reset sequence and now reset them whenever they trip. If it works great, if not then it's obviously an actual fault and he gets the service guys in. We very rarely see them now outside of scheduled maintenance now.
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