Jun 19, 2024

4 Takeaways from WrenchWay’s Voice of Technician Survey

4 Takeaways from WrenchWay’s Voice of Technician Survey

It’s here! It’s here! Guys, it’s here!

No, not a caffeine drip you can jam right into your vein. And not a peanut butter cup in the shape of a semi. While both those things are cool—Reese’s, have your people call our people—they are not quite as exciting to the heavy-duty industry as what we’re actually about to discuss.

That’s right, folks: WrenchWay’s 2023 Voice of Technician Survey is here. Odds are you know the WrenchWay crew already—Jay Goninen is a frequent guest star on the blog, and we’ve also talked to Valerie, their social media wizard. They’re all about connecting shops with techs, and as you might expect, they’ve absolutely got a bead on the way the industry is operating and how the people in it—specifically technicians of all stripes, diesel and automotive alike—are feeling. Hence the name: Voice of Technician.

We got our over-caffeinated little mitts on the survey and took a look. WrenchWay built this report out from 649 responses they received from automotive and diesel techs, along with students and other folks in the shop, and they’ve crammed a lot of information into nearly 20 pages. You should absolutely read it for yourself, but here’s some of the most interesting takeaways:

Techs are after proper equipment, paid vacation, and paid training.

Granted, that’s not all they’re after, but WrenchWay did ask them to rank the factors most important to them when considering employment at a shop. Proper equipment scored 98%; paid vacation 93%, and paid training 91%.

No one likes flat rate.

Okay, fine, we’ll be precise: almost no one likes flat rate. We have talked about it often on this blog, but only 10% of the WrenchWay respondents cited it as their preferred pay structure. The winner was hourly rate + production bonus, which claimed 37% of the votes.

Hey, we’re doing better than the auto industry…sorta.

When asked about their current jobs, diesel locations seemed to edge out the automotive areas. Behold:

  • 56% of diesel techs reported their shop had a solid career path to follow, as opposed to 38% of automotive techs;
  • 70% of diesel techs indicated their shop provided good benefits, as opposed to 56% of automotive techs;
  • 68% of diesel techs said their shop provided adequate paid training, as opposed to 56% of automotive techs.

The numbers become more even as different topics (including treatment by managers) are discussed. And look, we want shops to be at 100%! Still, it’s nice to see areas where diesel is leading the way.

Not everyone would “refer a friend.”

Diesel technicians were also more likely to recommend their industry to a friend…but only just. To be honest, WrenchWay’s findings about how techs feel about the industry in general were pretty gloomy. Still, it’s not straight up hopeless. We know what techs worry about, and that gives us plenty of starting places to improve.

We do hope you’ll go through the report and use it as a starting point for conversations and, maybe, changes. WrenchWay also has a great blog, a podcast, and some outstanding webinars—all of them dedicated to the diesel industry and—more specifically—the technicians that keep it running. Go hang out with them for a while—they’ve got a lot more wisdom to share!

Suz Baldwin