When the time comes to apply to be a diesel mechanic for either a dealership or a fleet, it is important to know how the two differ from one another so you can make the best choice possible for yourself.
I’ve worked for Schneider, which is a fleet, since 2008 and have held a variety of diesel mechanic roles. During my time here, I’ve come up with some reasons why I would encourage others to become fleet mechanics versus dealership mechanics.
Advantages of being a fleet mechanic vs. a dealership mechanic
1. Consistent work and job security
At Schneider, there is always work to get done, no matter what shop you’re working at. Schneider’s fleet, of approximately 10,700 trucks and 60,000 trailers and intermodal containers, runs about nine-million miles per day so you know there will always be a truck that needs fixing.
2. Ability to work with different equipment
Being able to work with a variety of truck types keeps the work interesting. At Schneider, for example, our mechanics work mainly on four different types of trucks:
- Cascadia trucks with a DD15 or DD13 GHG 14/17 engine and DT12 transmission
- Kenworth T690 trucks with a PACCAR MX13 engine and an Eaton auto shift transmission
- International LT tractors with a Cummins X15 engine and an Eaton auto shift transmission
- Volvo trucks with a Volvo D13 engine I shift transmission.
3. Strong communication and team work
One thing you’ll notice when working for a fleet is that mechanics are willing to share their knowledge with one another and help each other because they are not paid commission.
At Schneider, we stress the importance of communicating with one another and that’s why each shift starts with a meeting that covers:
- Safety issues for the month
- Any watch-outs or close calls
- Service bulletins that may have been put out by a vendor or Schneider engineer
- Information that a mechanic may have found while working in the different areas within the truck
Regardless of the position you are in, we all have one common goal: to keep the fleet running.
4. Opportunity to learn and grow
When Schneider hires new candidates, like assistant diesel technicians, many come in with little-to-no experience or with only what they learned in school. You’ll find that our experienced mechanics are more than willing to share their insight and help guide the newer mechanics. Be it observing, hands on, reading or self-guidance, you’ll have the opportunity to learn at Schneider.
Additionally, being able to advance in your career could mean receiving higher pay, more responsibility and better hours.
5. Reliable pay
Schneider offers hourly pay that is performance-based and reviewed on a yearly-basis. Fleet mechanics feel less pressure to fix a truck as quickly as they possibly can because they are not being paid commission like they would at many dealerships.
Also, mechanics who work for fleets don’t have to worry about upselling, and can instead focus solely on making repairs.
6. Standardized checklists
Schneider has standardized checklists to help guide mechanics that are used no matter what shop you are located at. These lists ensure work is completed at a high level and are used for:
- Following the correct diagnostics for what system mechanics are currently working on
- Helping other technicians when looking at the work history of the truck
- Providing information to help recover warranty dollars
7. Variety of work
Schneider, like many fleets, trains diesel mechanics so they can work in all areas of the shop. This allows mechanics to learn about different areas of a shop and prevents the work from becoming monotonous.
Everyone from entry-level diesel mechanics to master technicians cover all areas - top to bottom, bumper to bumper, inside and out - of the truck. This not only benefits the mechanic, but Schneider as well.
Are you ready to make a switch?
Tired of working for a dealership or even for a fleet that isn’t what you thought it would be? Search our diesel mechanic jobs and you’ll find even more advantages that come with working for Schneider.