Diesel Stories Recap: Adventures in Training Techs With Tim Hawes

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On a recent episode of Diesel Stories, Jacob and Chris sat down with Tim Hawes, the Director of Training at Boss Truck Shops.

Tim credits his grandfather Charlie with getting him interested in wrenching. As a kid, he would help his grandfather wrench on cars and vehicles on the side. After serving as a medic in the Army, he gravitated back to wrenching, explaining that, “I always tell people I got into diesel because when I fix it usually stays alive and stays fixed.”

He eventually followed his younger brother Lyle into professional wrenching, developing a genuine fondness for the diesel industry as his education continued. “I love the people, the grittiness of it,” he says. “I love the techs, I love our customer base.”

He followed that love—and an ability to teach younger techs the ropes—into his role at Boss Truck Shops, a truck maintenance and repair chain with 46 locations in 23 states. They’re continuing to grow, and as a result, they have a huge need for technicians; Tim spends his days designing training platforms and operational policies.

You’ve all heard us talk at length about the diesel tech shortage, and it’s something Tim confronts every day with his work. In short, senior-level leadership is retiring, and entry-level applicants aren’t turning up fast enough to fill the spaces. That’s why Tim is willing to look at a lot of people—even those who don’t come directly from the diesel world. If they’re passionate and show promise, they have a way in. “Not only will we take them,” he says, “we’re going to make sure they’ve got a path to growth.”

 

Some of the other topics the guys chat about include:

  • The stability of the diesel industry and why that becomes more important as you have a family
  • The changing face of technology in the diesel world
  • How he realized he had an affinity for training new technicians
  • Why he advises junior technicians to stay humble
  • The impact COVID has had on training and recruiting—and how Boss Truck Shops is shifting to meet the challenge

It’s a great, far-ranging interview; not only will you enjoy listening to it, but we also think you might pick up a few ideas for training the newbies at your own shop. Head over here to listen to the entire podcast, and don’t forget to stop by Boss Truck Shops!

Suz Baldwin

About Suz Baldwin

Suz Baldwin got her start in the automotive industry, writing and editing for several motorcycle and classic car magazines straight out of college. In the years that followed, she’s written all sorts of copy for brands big and small while consuming enough coffee to paralyze a dinosaur.

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