A Brewing Storm
Frost & Sullivan’s research also focused on whether the different aftermarket channels are ready to take on the challenge of the rapid technological advancement in heavy duty trucks.
“Going forward, the rising complexity of components and increasing adoption of new technologies will put technician knowledge management issues at center stage,” said Saha. “The dearth of skilled heavy duty technicians is another brewing storm.”
“In terms of expertise, heavy truck repair channels have had a good run with a solid base of skilled technicians who have served the industry well over the years. But the average age of these professionals is rapidly rising as aftermarket channels are finding it increasingly harder to attract younger technicians because of the complex and tough nature of the work.”
Despite the slight economic recovery, Saha said fewer shops are providing the level of training they have historically offered. In 2010, only 55 percent of independents provided formal training to their staff compared to 87 percent in dealerships.
Major Game Changer
Technical expertise - technician knowledge base and advanced diagnostic capabilities - “will be a game changer in the future,” maintained Saha, because fleets are increasingly adopting new, more complex technologies.