At Auto Tech & Body in Roselle, Ill., a mechanical and collision shop, information is the key tool for all the techs. The best organization for them is to know how to quickly find answers to what you don’t know.
The best indicator that the shop places a premium on growing repair knowledge is that one of their techs, Rollin Hansen, was named the 2009 TECH-NET Professional Auto Service/ASE Master Automotive Technician of the Year (from criteria set by CARQUEST).
Hansen brings 35 years of experience to the shop that opened in 1965. Chuck Benhart, co-owner, works on cars alongside Hansen and Dave Holmes, in addition to running the mechanical side of shop business. Co-owner Mick Stanaway runs the collision side of operations.
“I enjoy being a technician because of the repeated short-term gratification of solving problems,” Hansen said regarding the 2009 award. “With all the new systems and models coming out every year, each and every vehicle is a fun, new, learning experience.”
The shop has been in its current 5,000-sq.-ft. location since 1986; the mechanical side has four bays and two lifts. Presses, parts washers, lathes and other equipment are easily accessed along the outside walls; toolboxes are arranged along the front of the shop at the head of the two main repair bays.
Also easily accessed towards the front of the bays is the storage room that holds parts, the shop’s specialty tools and computers for access to frequently used Mitchell 1 and IdentiFix repair info sites, among others.
Chuck said one of the best specialty tools the shop has invested in is its Redline Detetction SmokePro.
“The day the salesman was here, we had two EVAP leaks in here we couldn’t find,” Chuck said. “The [SmokePro] practically paid for itself in one day.”
One advantage of being a combined independent shop is that “when body is down, repairs are up,” Chuck said.
Another benefit: “We’re a one-stop shop for 99 percent of what a customer needs,” he said. There’s not a lot of farming parts of jobs out, when you can just walk down the hallway to arrange for what you need.
The shop is testing some tools for PTEN, look for more from them in coming tool reviews. And look for Hansen as Co-Grand Marshal of the 2010 TECH-NET Professional Auto Service 300 race in Charlotte, N.C., on May 29.
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