The shortage of skilled technicians throughout the economy has definitely influenced how our service department functions. Older skilled technicians have retired from our staff and finding replacements has been difficult. Our professional landscape companies, local municipalities and other business owners all struggle to find technicians with the skills to maintain fleets of lawn equipment. Despite strong wages and solid benefits, businesses simply cannot attract qualified workers.
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.” Frankly, many young workers struggle to learn the wide range of skills required to develop into a technician.
The vacuum of skilled workers impacts our customers directly. Homeowners face lengthy delays when lawn mowers need repair. 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 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.
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.
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