The Mower Shop continues to adapt our service procedures to preserve the performance and lifespan of customer’s equipment. One of the greatest challenges is a shortage of skilled technicians. There are a number of factors that influence why technically skilled workers are difficult to hire. We use a number of different solutions to find new employees and we are improving our service department to adapt to less technicians.
The vacuum of skilled technicians began as older employees retired from our staff. Despite strong wages, solid benefits, flexible work schedules and training programs, fewer applicants are interested in a technical career. Professional landscape companies, local municipalities and other business owners struggle to find applicants with the skills to maintain fleets of lawn equipment. Josh, a local landscape contractor learned to work on his own equipment. He says, “The problem isn’t getting better. There simply isn’t enough people to do the work in spring. I taught myself to maintain my own equipment and fix what I can on my own.”
Many municipalities and professional landscape companies rely on backup equipment but homeowners may face a back log of weeks during the spring. Even now, our service department repair time is 2 weeks with over 200 mowers awaiting repair.
At The Mower Shop, we have adopted a training program where senior technicians guide trainees. Desi is a long time, highly skilled technician with over 20 years working on small engines, lawn mowers and other outdoor power equipment. As technology advances, she has distinguished her career with new certifications and adapting to a changing industry. Desi offers our staff extensive knowledge and profound skills. New technicians train under her tutelage developing basic skills, earning certifications and eventually working independently. She says, “The biggest problem is finding people who want to work and learn.” Prior to designing this training program, many younger workers struggled to learn the wide range of skills required to develop into a technician.
During the spring the volume of repairs increases dramatically, our repair time has stretched as long as 4 weeks. Hiring a contractor to mow your grass, renting mowers or borrowing a neighbor’s lawnmower are expensive and imperfect solutions. Lawnmowers fail to start after improper storage and extreme weather conditions often result in equipment breakdowns. While you may not be able to avoid a broken belt or seized transmission, proper preventive maintenance and carefully following storage instructions are vital to avoiding weeks of downtime. Act quickly and intelligently to avoid unnecessary repairs.
Our Winter Service Lawnmower Maintenance Program is the best solution to preventing breakdowns. This program includes pick up and delivery, full inspection of equipment and complete tune-up services recommended by the manufacturer. Homeowners register for this program in November each year. From December through March processing over 20 lawnmowers each day, we are able to service more than 1,500 lawnmowers. This process assures each lawnmower is thoroughly inspected and ready for the first cut of spring. This solution mitigates the volume of lawnmowers during the spring and continues to develop our trainees year round.
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