Every vehicle requires periodic maintenance (preventive maintenance) to avoid problems. The same holds true for certain tools and shop equipment. Lifts should be inspected annually, office and shop computers require updates, torque wrenches require periodic calibration, pneumatic tools require in-line lubrication to prevent dry running and lockups. Bay door rollers require cleaning and lube to keep them running smoothly.
The shop roof needs to be inspected on occasion to see if any repairs are needed before you run into a leak situation. Asphalt parking lots need to be re-sealed to avoid age and use damage. Gravel parking lots require periodic filling and leveling. Wall-mount fire extinguishers and plumbed fire extinguisher systems need to be inspected and recharged according to local regulations.
The list goes on. But what about the people who keep everything in motion? Busy shops are, well, busy. From the time you clock in to the time you finally call it a day, chances are everyone in the shop has been bouncing from one vehicle to another or grinding away, both physically and mentally, to address a particularly difficult diagnosis and repair.
Stressful days take their toll. Consider a regularly scheduled mental-relief time such as an annual outing that might involve a picnic, a group visit to an amusement park or zoo, or a monthly get-together at a local restaurant, bowling alley, golf course, etc.
Having a day, or even just a few hours, as a group in a relaxed atmosphere can go a long way to reduce stress and to bolster the bond among the entire staff as an extended family.
The careers that we chose consume a great deal of our time, effort and passion. It may be hard to find the time, but rewarding ourselves as a group can have an enormous effect on unifying everyone in the shop. ■