Earlier this year, some techs asked me how much the average tech spends on tools each year. I questioned a preliminary, nonscientific sample of PTEN readers and found that most spent about $2,500 per year on tools. In a similarly nonscientific poll, I asked distributors what their average weekly payment was per customer, and the average was $40/week, which matches close with what the techs were saying they spend.
But I wanted to know more about how that money is spent. In our more scientific survey, 91 percent of respondents had been working on cars more than 10 years, and all respondents worked at an independent garage, specialty shop or dealership. Here is some of what we found out:
• In 2009, the majority said they spent between $2,501 and $5,000 on tools.
• In 2010, most respondents said they expected to spend the same.
• It should be no surprise that the majority of money spent in 2009, and expected to spend in 2010, was on Diagnostic tools and updates. In fact, it received 60 percent of votes, while the next closest were more than 30 points behind; in a neck-and-neck race for second were power tools and hardlines in both 2009 and 2010.
• 70 percent of respondents spent most of their money on tool trucks.
I think there are good indicators here for distributors, not only that a focus on diagnostics, power tools and hardlines is wise, but the positive vibe from techs who expect to spend the same or more as last year.
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