TST Big Event draws over 350 shop owners, techs for training

March 21, 2016
The 13th annual TST Big Event was bursting at the seams in March as more than 360 shop owners and technicians were on hand for a single-day training event featuring some of the nation’s best instructors.

The 13th annual TST Big Event was bursting at the seams in March. More than 360 shop owners and technicians were on hand for a single-day training event featuring some of the nation’s best instructors.

“G” Jerry Truglia of Technicians Service Training (TST) said the training program each year helps techs stay current with diagnostics and repair procedures as vehicles become more complex with every model year.

“You have to update so you don’t evaporate,” Truglia said during a break in the conference. “Without staying up to date, you're going to go down the tubes real quick. Technology is passing you by.”

He also noted the importance of conveying professionalism in the shop, so customers feel comfortable walking in the door.

"If you don't respect yourself, dress professionally, have a clean shop, stay up-to-date, get certified showing your professionalism, how the hell do you expect the customer to take you seriously?" he noted. "How do you expect to make good money? You’ve got to be smart.”

TST was able to discount the price for this year’s event due to the support of the following:

The event kicked off with morning session taught by Dave Hobbs, Motor Age contributor and trainer for Delphi Corporation, who talked about telematics and advanced body electronics diagnostics. Hobbs explored various electronic systems in today’s vehicles, including new technology that is just arriving or will soon appear in cars and in shops.

His presentation featured numerous case studies that helped attendees understand diagnostics and troubleshooting processes for some of today’s new systems. Crash avoidance systems, for instance, including blind spot detection, lane change assistance, autonomous emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control have resulted in an influx of internal radar modules that make the customer safer, but challenge today’s techs.

“We have got radar going everywhere,” Hobbs told the audience. It’s critical for repairs to be done properly on all safety features, to avoid putting vehicle owners in danger. Airbags, for example, must be properly configured. Timing in nanoseconds is the difference between the airbag hurting you, saving you, or the airbag being worthless."

Mobile technician Ed Hazzard offered a quick look at real world tips for diagnosticians. He advised shops to dig for information from all sources, and to have a simple systematic approach to identify problems.

Trainer Bernie Thompson covered advanced Leak detection to help technicians simplify and shorten the diagnostic time for finding system leaks. He explored various forms of leak detection processes, including everything from soap bubbles, to smoke machines, gas, and sound.

Following Thompson was special guest John Anello, who provided real world examples about radar systems that reinforced the issues Hobbs brought up in his presentation.

About the Author

Michael Willins

Mike has been involved in the automotive industry since 1997. He was formerly Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Automotive Body Repair News. In 2005, under Mike's direction ABRN won the Advanstar Communications "Magazine of the Year Award." Prior to that he was senior editor of Aftermarket Business. With Mike's help Aftermarket Business earned the 2004 Gold Key Award as Publication of the Year given out by the Association of Automotive Publication Editors.

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