While it’s no secret that the vehicle repair and maintenance industries are suffering from a skilled labor shortage, one potential solution to help mitigate the supply-demand imbalance in the labor force can be found in the very equipment used on the shop floor. According to an industry overview by Stertil-Koni, a recognized leader in the North American bus lift and truck lift sectors, today’s technicians, in addition to seeking higher compensation, also are demanding better working conditions. Why? Many of today’s shops are still poorly lit, unorganized and lack modern equipment to help technicians get their work done efficiently and safely.
Enter highly engineered shop equipment designed to boost tech performance, safety, and job satisfaction. Explains Dr. Jean DellAmore, President of Stertil-Koni, “The scope of the labor challenge confronting many of the industries we serve – from transit agencies and school bus fleets to trucking companies and utilities – is massive. In fact, some industry experts predict there will be a shortage of more than 640,000 shop technicians by 2024.”
Continued DellAmore, “While there is no single solution, we have found that choosing the right equipment for specific vehicle service and repair functions does indeed help attract and retain qualified technicians by improving their safety, workplace morale, and overall performance.”
Several examples stand out. Notably, Stertil-Koni has transitioned to full-color touch screen controls on all its major vehicle lifting systems, thereby delivering real-time information on the lifting process to the busy tech on the shop floor. In addition, all of the lifts manufactured by Stertil-Koni utilize durable, reliable hydraulic technology – for safe lifting and lowering every time.
“What’s more,” added DellAmore, “we build our lifts with high tensile Domex steel and provide a mechanical locking system on our lifts as standard. And, because these locks engage precisely on established tight parameters when a vehicle is being raised or lowered – preventing unintended descent — the technicians operating them can literally hear our distinctive ‘ker-thunk’ sound every time they operate our products. We call that the ‘sound of safety!’”
But job satisfaction and safety initiatives don’t stop there. Stertil-Koni also advocates the use of robust shop equipment and accessories to further ease the burden on today’s hard-working techs. That’s why the Stertil-Koni motorized high lift wheel dolly has become such a runaway favorite. It simplifies the back-breaking task of hub, wheel end, and tire maintenance by employing a full hydraulic operation to safely lift wheel assemblies on a host of vehicles, including buses, trucks, vans agricultural equipment, military gear, and even industrial machinery.
Motorized transmission jacks and air over hydraulic jacks also can help alleviate some of the strain associated with the routine tasks shop technicians encounter virtually every day – and provide an ergonomically sound approach. Concludes DellAmore, “At Stertil-Koni, we appreciate that there are many factors that have led to a shortage of skilled techs at this point in time. That said, we also recognize that those shops and maintenance facilities that select the right mix of equipment for specific functions can help attract and retain qualified technicians – particularly by improving their safety, efficiency and sense of self-worth.”