Former electrician finds a place as a Matco Tools distributor

Jeff Shriver has found his experience as an electrician good preparation for being a Matco Tools distributor, a role he assumed 15 months ago. 

Shriver, a resident of Winter Springs, Fla., has a mostly urban route through Orlando and its outskirts. He stops at independent shops, including many body shops, and four dealerships.

Past experience meets present

Prior to becoming a Matco Tools distributor, Shriver found himself unemployed. Before that, he worked most of his professional career as an electrician. Prior to becoming an electrician, Shriver also went to school to be a motorcycle mechanic. 

Shriver related the electrician and vehicle repair fields, saying he has found its easy to help customers with their tool needs for different jobs.

"As an electrician, I've had to overhaul electrical motors, and things like that. Most of the same tools, just different applications."

He also has some experience on fixing vehicles too.

"I used to be a shadetree mechanic before. I've done most of my own work on all of my automobiles."

Shriver also leased a new truck when he decided to go into the distribution business. When asked if he completes maintenance on his own truck, he said he'll take care of minor things, but leaves the rest up to the dealership where he leased the vehicle.

"The heavy stuff, I have to take it into a dealer because I just don't have the room or the proper tools to pull the tires and rotate them."

Speaking of his truck, Shriver has already dealt with some speed bumps while getting his business off the ground.

"Within a year, the engine blew on (the truck); an 2012 Isuzu. The crankshaft snapped on it at about 14,000 miles. And then the turbo was out on it also, so it sat in the shop for three weeks while they were fixing it."

Shriver said he made do while his truck was in the shop, but it was a challenge to keep business running as usual. 

"I went around and did collections for the people that owed me. Other than that, I really couldn't do any sales, so I was hanging on by the skin of my teeth trying to make sure I kept my business open."

The good and the "bad'

There is a downside to having your own business. Shriver's least favorite part of the job? Paperwork. 

"I never liked paperwork. I can do it, I just hate it."

But Shriver also emphasizes that he'll take the job of completing paperwork over his previous jobs. 

"I was a general superintendent for a large electrical contractor. I had 60 people under me at one time. The stress was killing me. Now, the most stressful part of the day is maybe paying the bills once a week.

And by becoming a distributor, "I've lost a lot of stress."

"I've been having a ball. This isn't really like work for me. I get up every morning, I go get my truck, go out and talk to people, and then collect money for it."