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Diesel Service Manager Explains the Benefits of a Career in Diesel

"There’s a whole host of things technicians could do, but the starting point is that initial relationship inside the UTI events we go to."

 

As service manager for Florida Detroit Diesel-Allison in Orlando, Florida, David Bret Galloway connects with some of his employees before they even graduate school. Florida Detroit Diesel-Allison directly recruits talent from Universal Technical Institute (UTI) in Orlando, with representatives visiting career fairs to meet students and build early relationships.

There are currently five UTI grads working for David. David’s team goes to UTI events to interview people while they’re still in school, so they can track their progress and monitor their potential in the industry. UTI students who have good grades and attendance particularly stand out to the team.

“If you’re not going to be at school, you’re not going to be here,” says David. “That’s a key indicator for us as managers. The grades are the other piece of it. If you’re not going to be attentive to your grades, you’re not going to be attentive to what we do and our customer base.”

David continues, “Our integrity and our reputation precede us long before I got here. We value that very much. We try to hire based on those two indicators, that you’re going to be here, and that you’re going to take care of our customers’ equipment.”

Diverse Work in Diesel

If working on big engines and equipment is what you love, Florida Detroit Diesel-Allison has plenty of opportunity. The company does more than repair a variety of equipment. The business builds fracking machines, manufacturers equipment and operates barges on rivers.

“There’s a whole host of things technicians could do, but the starting point is that initial relationship inside the UTI events we go to,” David says.

Florida Detroit Diesel-Allison is a company that focuses on long-term growth for employees. David says the hiring managers evaluate candidates based on strengths, talents and interests. Then, the business can create a career path based on what the employee wants to do, not what the company necessarily needs them to do. From the moment a candidate is hired, the business looks down the road to see where their growth potential can take them.

There’s also an apprenticeship program new hires start in. They learn the trades of the business, and also start mapping out a plan for evolving their career with the company, whether that’s moving to a different department or moving on to a different field within the company.

David says compared to many careers available, working as a diesel technician who working on vehicles and equipment that power businesses and deliver can be a very lucrative choice.

“There’s a lot of careers available in our industry,” David says. “Our industry is so short-staffed right now, it’s unbelievable. You can tell that because the average wait time to have repairs done in any shop across the country is days, not hours. The overwhelming trend in our business today is you can’t find quality technicians. They’re just not out there.”

Advice for Those Who Want a Diesel Career

David says another key quality he looks for in employees is integrity. That relates to a willingness to work hard and do a job well done. New employees continue to go through training at the shop to get full certifications, so curiosity and a love for learning are key.

“When you’re asked to do something, do it to the best of your ability,” David says. “When you don’t know, say you don’t know. We get that. When you don’t know, take it on and do it and ask questions along the way. Retain the knowledge and what you learned in the process to help you in the next job you do.”

If you or a loved one are interested in a career in diesel, learn more about UTI’s Diesel Technology Program here.

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