Newbies Need Training!

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Matt White is the Director of Tire Services for the Tire Industry Association (TIA). He has over 34 years of experience training technicians from all over the globe on how to stay safe on the job. Photo Matt White

Transferrable skills may lack safety savvy.

Due to the tight labour market, many tire shops are getting creative and hiring tire technicians from other sectors, like hospitality or high-tech.

It’s a great idea. Although many of these new hires come with a host of transferrable skills, there’s one item they’re missing—how to practice good safety. And that can only come from good training. 

For example, someone who’s been in the food service industry for 10 to 15 years, doesn’t know how to safely change a commercial tire. In this environment, there are so many more hazards—metal objects, inflation hazards, and driving hazards. So you have to start with the basics. 

You need to bring them in, do the basic training, the apprenticeship program, step by step, putting them with a solid leader trainer, who’s been in the industry and proven that he’s doing it correctly. You don’t want to start all over again with people who have learned the wrong way!

Online training

Many of you have realized this need and we’re seeing a high increase in demand for training. Our online training is off the hook. That’s where somebody new is going to start, in front of the computer. Then they have to do the task in front of a manager. That’s one of the most sought-after programs in the past two or three years. With COVID, people have not been able to train hands-on so they had to train remotely.

It’s going to be a big plus for the tire industry, gaining new people and new personnel in the shops. But it’s going to pose a challenge to managers and owners, to make sure these new people are provided with the best correct training and maintenance procedures on all the equipment, to ensure they know step-by-step standard operating procedures for installing and providing service to customers.

Let’s face it, the tire is a dangerous application. And as the truck industry is coming back, and the mining industry is coming back, there’s been an uptick in injuries. The best way to stop injuries is training. Training and enforcement of training. 

Always review your safety standards, and take pride in them. At the end of the day, everyone goes home safe.

Training is power

Training is power. It makes a difference in an organization how people react to each other. I’ve seen shops with healthy and safe standard operation procedures and everything’s working, they don’t have a lot of troubles, everything’s flowing. You can see it in the attitude of a properly trained technician, you can see that he’s got a different input.

Another bonus for bringing in people who have not worked in the industry before, they can be shown the exact good standards instead of changing habits that were used in the past. 

People are going to bring their exceptional skills from their previous professions. We’re welcoming them into our sector, which stands to gain. The world revolves around tires—you can’t go anywhere without tires. Now that more people are coming into it, shops can hire and train people and business is picking up. We’re bringing in qualified people and showing them a different career. It’s a huge benefit for the tire industry.



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