The times, they are a-changin’

July 8, 2022
New video resources and events available now with more to come!

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What you will learn:

 Brandon Steckler fills Pete Meier's shoes as Motor Age's Technical Editor

• We are committed to bring great and relevant content to the men and women of the automotive industry

• Expect greater video content for ABRN and PTEN magazines, from Pete Meier

Since the official announcement that the Endeavor Business Media’s Vehicle Repair Group had named Brandon Steckler as technical editor, I’ve been fielding questions asking whether I was still with Motor Age. And to be frank, I am honored that so many of you have found my tenure as technical editor beneficial to your shops and you, personally. I've always said that I am blessed to be able to try and help my fellow technicians keep up with the rapidly changing technology you face daily, and to bring you relative content in each issue of the magazine.

Yes, I’m still here and I now have a more expanded role working with our sister publications, ABRN and PTEN on the digital side of our business. Most of you know that I’ve been creating a variety of videos hosted on our Motor Age YouTube channel (Figure 1). If you weren’t aware (what, you’re not paying attention?), I encourage you to look us up and subscribe to the channel. You won’t find vehicle-specific videos, but you will find training resources that will help you handle diagnostics and repair on numerous OEMs. After all, I’d rather show you how to fish than just hand you a fish (to somewhat quote an old saying)!

These efforts, along with the duties of overseeing the print technical content, just got to be too much work for one man to handle. Enter our new guy, Brandon Steckler. I first met Steckler when he filled in for a trainer, Jim Morton. It only took a few minutes of seeing him teach to realize that Steckler was a young man to watch, and I thought even then that he would make a great successor when the time came. He, too, comes from a wrench-turning background and he understands, as I do, what it takes to make living in the business we chose. But it wasn’t just his presence in the classroom or his work resume that impressed me; it was his sincere desire to help technicians face the challenges of today and tomorrow. If you are on any of the Facebook groups he frequents or has ever had the opportunity to meet him in person, you know exactly what I mean.

And that, my friends, is the number-one requirement for stepping into the shoes of the technical editor for this publication, and it is my honor to hand over the keys to the print side to him while I focus on new projects that I hope will take us — and you — to the next level of professionalism.

Video resources you may not know about

There is no question that video is king. It is estimated that over 90 percent of internet use is spent on watching videos — from streaming feature-length films, to watching kittens and puppies at play. We are spending more and more time engrossed in our phones and many of us use video search to help us when faced with a new challenge in the shop.

Again, I'm not going to get into many videos that are vehicle-specific for the reasons stated earlier. What I intend to do is provide you with professional-level content you can use to increase your skillsets and those of your fellow technicians. Much of what we currently offer can be used, for example, as a group "lunch and learn," to watch with your team and discuss afterward.

Educators tell me they assign our videos to their students as homework, for review in class the next day, and even some nationally known trainers ask to use our content in their own presentations, to illustrate what they are teaching more effectively. While I try to be entertaining in these videos, I first want to be informative. I hope you'll feel that I am achieving that aim and please let me know if I miss the mark or if you want me to take on a topic you haven't seen.

Even if you are aware of our YouTube efforts, many of you still don’t know — or take advantage of — the free, sponsored webinars we do eight times a year now with G. Jerry Truglia and his Technicians Service Training (TST) team. These are live, in the shop, and on the car, presentations that allow you to interact with us in as close to real-time as we can make it, and as close to a "hands-on" feel as we can get. Sure, some of the topics seem "basic" but don't let that fool you! Even in these modest webcasts, I'll assure you that you will leave knowing something you didn't know before. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or YouTube. As I post the event notices, there is plenty of time for you to reserve your seat. You may not be able to attend the live event, but you can always access the recordings in your Motor Age Training account.

News and event coverage

Today, I am working to broaden our news and event coverage. Many of these videos are streamed live on-site and then recorded for viewing at your leisure. Recently, I’ve had some great conversations regarding the pending Right to Equitable and Professional Auto Industry Repair (REPAIR) Act (H.R. 6570) with ACA’s Bill Hanvey and AASA’s Paul McCarthy (Figure 2). I've shared a motivational keynote address by Gary Smith at the recent NWACA ATE event (Figure 3). I've interviewed with Advance executives at the WORLDPAC STX 2022 event (Figure 4), and even carried out a walk-thru of the trade show at this past March's VISION Hi-Tech Training and Expo in Overland Park, Kan., with plenty more to come (Figure 5). A new video podcast is in the planning stages so keep an eye out for that. You will be able to watch it on any of our social media pages and hopefully be able to listen to it on your favorite podcast service soon. But that’s not all, folks! Not only have my own efforts been kicked into overdrive, but you'll also start seeing more and more of our editorial staff in front of a camera, as well as behind the keyboard. Our own editorial director, Amanda Silliker, has hosted a few shows herself and is an amazing talent; and Steckler has been known to make a video or two himself. All this means that we are doing even more to honor our mission of “advancing the automotive service professional.”

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