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Author Topic: Training  (Read 221 times)

Offline tbhall

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Training
« on: December 27, 2012, 12:41:43 PM »
When  all of ya'll started out, how did you learn the trade?  I have been reading up, buying old appliances and working on them to get them going, then selling the fixed appliance for a little to keep me motivated, but I am extremely hesitant to go into business myself.  Its not because I dont know business, or I am hesitant on going into customers homes, but I feel that I dont know enough to offer a value added service. 

I have looked into uncle Harry's program, and Fred's, and have spent hours and days on this forum to learn what I can. I have a full time job, and find it extremely difficult to leave for a few weeks to train, so I'm kinda looking  into more of the at home courses.  I can learn as I go, and continue to purchase appliances so I can learn the in's and out's before trying to experiment on homeowners appliances, but just having an educational course eases my mind more than trial and error I guess.

So to sum it up, where did all of ya'll learn the trade? and how did you make the plunge into business?  I know some of ya'll will say that its better to work for someone else, at least to learn....I also agree, but the only shop close that has actual employees is A&E but they never seem to be hiring here.

Offline AJ

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Re: Training
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2012, 01:11:15 PM »
Back in the old days I went to a vocational school.

The two year program covered appliance repair the first year and refrigeration the second year.
After school I worked for a small family owned appliance & tv shop for 20 years before going out on my own.

I think things are different now days with so much information being online.
There also seems to be less options now for hands on training.

Anyway that's my story and I'm sticking to it. ;)

Offline andersenappliance

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Re: Training
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2012, 01:18:25 PM »
I got into the appliance business through working as a handyman.  I've fixed a few appliances here and there, and tossed some which (in retrospect) couldn't have had much wrong with them.

I took a class on HVAC that covered electric motors also, but decided that I was too big to crawl in attics and under houses.

So I started my own business in an area where there was no appliance service.  I spent a long time on the web, and like you, got junk appliances to take apart, fix (?), and put back together.

The value added for the customer is to fix the machine.  That is it.  If you fixed the machine, then you earned your money.

There are lots of details like professionalism, guarantees, punctuality, dependability, value, etc. that are crucial to running a successful business, but if you get it fixed, you earned your money.  If you don't get it fixed, at least in the beginning, you didn't earn your money.

Start your business, get ready to eat a lot of non-paid time, and maybe a few parts, but go for it.

If you work hard, don't break anybody's stuff, and have a good attitude, you should do OK.

Offline JWWebster

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Re: Training
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2012, 01:46:23 PM »
I started out delivering appliances. When work got slow I was sent out by the boss to hunt down deadbeats. I did that till I dang near throwed my back out. I got with an old guy who opened the first appliance parts store in Mobile. He sold HVAC and appliance parts and we had a shop in the back where people would bring in stuff to get fixed. I already was a pretty good handyman and had done service work in the past. but working behind the counter at the parts store I was able see virtually all parts that crossed that counter. While the others in the shop were basically parts monkeys I was fixing things in the shop when not behind the counter. I worked weekends and sold parts while others were closed so I basically got quite a bit of knowledge. My boss started out working for Alabama power and noticed the need for an appliance parts store in Mobile. At the time they had to be shipped from Birmingham. So he opened in 1946. Before he died he passed along a lot of what he knew about to me. I suggest you find someone in the biz and get with em.
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        never grow rusty.

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Offline Bailey

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Re: Training
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2012, 05:35:58 PM »
I was an electrician in the military and when something in the kitchen or laundry broke they sent us to fix it. When I got out I thought I was going to be an electrician but answered an add for someone with electrical experience and it turned out to be an appliance repair company.
They did warranty work for every brand so we went to a lot of schools and in those days you paid for a subscription for parts  and service manuals. Yes this was before microfish. I used to take service manuals home every night. They also sold used and I worked on those. I remember all the times I was sent out to work on something and had no idea what I was doing. I used my GI Bill and took a correspondence course on refrigeration. It turned out not to be as complicated as i thought it would be.

Offline Bailey

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Re: Training
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2012, 05:43:34 PM »
I should tell you the next part. After working for this company for eight years I answered an ad in the paper. Maytag was setting up interviews for someone to open a Maytag home appliance center. My wife and I met with the reps and they let us have the franchise. We did that for 20 years untill Whirlpool bought them. They then decided they didn't want to support those stores anymore and pushed us to join the Brand Source buying group. We were tired of retail by then so my wife retired and I just kept repairing appliances.

Offline andersenappliance

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Re: Training
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2012, 07:47:34 AM »
That is interesting, Bailey.  Did the home appliance center work out good for you? 

I think it'd be nice to do something like that, but with Sears & Home Depot, it seems that the days of the local appliance store are long gone.

I'd like to have access to all the schools you mentioned.  There doesn't seem to be much out there, if you are not "factory authorized."

Offline niobrara

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Re: Training
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2012, 10:21:16 AM »
I started while going to school for HVAC, I had a job managing apartments, for a discount on rent. They were always having tenants waiting to have something fixed so being a dumb country bumpkin I told the management company I would fix what broke.  Now truth was I really had never really worked on any appliance before that. I moved to the city from the country and had paid $50 a year and watered the cattle in the winter . for the ranch house I rented and rent in the city was $325 a month. I really had not figured that into my school budget ?? So I looked for a way to cut the rent bill. Cutting into the beer fund bad !!! Things haven't changed much thru the years, I'm always taking something apart and wondering how it goes back together.Or I'm walking into something that someone took apart and ordered 6 parts for because they could not figure out what was wrong with it ,or how to put it back together.And they sent me here !!! While appliances are always changing I find that with the internet I am able to get information so much better than years ago. The industry just kinda pulls you in, if you let it and is a great deal of fun. I have been very lucky thru the years of always being able to get information from other tech's in the bis, most gentlemen that make there money doing what we do are always willing to share.They know first hand the issues you run into every day.

Offline Wedgeman55

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Re: Training
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2012, 01:50:54 PM »
I actually started at the ripe old age of 8 years old.    My Dad repaired appliances for 35 years.   At age 9,   I could do a transmission job on a belt drive whirlpool.   By the time I started working at a company at 17,  I knew quite a bit.   Then I went to alot of schools,  HVAC - Refrigeration <   Electronics    <    Many many,  MANY schools pertaining to commercial and residential appliances.     
 
As of recently,  (last 11 years)  I go to every school offered.    Trouble is,  like AJ said,  they dont' seem to be having as much hands on training anymore.    I actually used to do some of that,  and I think it is missed.   Gave techs a chance to bond,  exchange war stories,   ideas,    Shortcuts,   etc.     To Me,  nothing beats being in a class with humans learning.   
Commercial Laundry repair Tech and Installer  1973 to 1980
Service Manager / Technician Commercial Laundry repair company 1980 to 2002
Refrigeration - HVAC - Boiler School 1974-1976
Electronic School 1978-1979
Self Employed Appliance Repair Company 2002 to present

Offline JADsvc1

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  • 25 yrs Frigidaire/W-W/Electrolux svc mgr
Re: Training
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2013, 12:14:53 AM »
Great stories! Long story short, I started at 18 being fresh out of electronics tech school and with none of those jobs in this area, I got a job behind a parts counter with White-Westinghouse Consumer Service Co. I went in the shop and learned everything I could from the techs when I had breaks behind the counter, then I started dragging old appliances home in my basement and repairing & selling those on the side. After about six years of that, one thing led to another and I ended up becoming a Service Manager for Frigidaire and training others for 25 years. The ELUX/Frigidaire office here closed last year and so now, 32 years later, I've come back to running service calls myself.

I have to agree with Wedgeman55 that nothing beats hands-on classes with real people though. The sharing of real-world experiences, short cuts and war stories is priceless. We get a good bit of that here, which is one reason why I became part of this group. Lots of great experience and knowledge to share with each other, so let's face it, the Beatles said it best . . . we all get by with a little help from our friends!  :) 
Having is not always so desirable as wanting . . .

 

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