Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tools for Success

HVACR mechanics rely on their tools for survival. It is not possible to install, service, or troubleshoot HVACR systems without tools. Having the correct tools for the job and knowing how to use them can be the difference between success and failure. Teaching tool use is more critical now than ever before. I have noticed an increasing number of students who are quite intelligent, do well in class, show genuine interest in our field, but struggle to perform fairly basic operations with hand tools. One student confessed to me after he graduated that he had never held a wrench until he took Air Conditioning. What he didn’t know was that it was fairly obvious. The good news is that his innate intelligence and strong work ethic allowed him to overcome this and go on to be successful. He took a job as a helper for one of the best refrigeration mechanics in town, who also happens to be a patient man. You see, the mechanic had cancer, and his ability to perform the physical part of the job was declining. The student became the hands and arms for a gifted mechanic, and in the course of a summer the student became proficient at using tools. He has stayed with that company for five years. He loves his job and the people he works with. If you have bright eyed, eager students from the “virtual generation” show them how to hold a wrench, give them lots of shop work to practice their tool use, and be patient with them. They could end up working with the best mechanic in town.

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