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Technician Spotlight: Tanner B.
Name: Tanner B.
Location: Wellford, South Carolina
Job Title: President of Autodiag Clinic and Technical Trainer for Worldpac Training Institute
Industry Experience: 16 Years
How did you get started in the automotive industry?
I started my career in an automotive high school program. From there, I spent a lot of time in racing. I spent two years while I was in college with a BMW race team until it closed down during the recession. I went to college and studied automotive in a Toyota T10 program in New York. I went on to work at a couple different dealerships including: Toyota, Lexus, Chrysler, and Hyundai. After a while, I moved away from the dealership world because it wasn’t my passion. I got into the aftermarket independent side and pretty much have been on that side ever since. I worked at a bunch of different shops and owned a shop for about four years, but always focused more on diagnostics. Now it’s been 16 years, and I own a mobile diagnostics and consulting business in Greenville, SC.
What sparked your interest in racing?
My father and I always went to local race tracks growing up. That was our thing to do together, and he is the main reason for my interest in cars. My dad owns a contracting company, but always tinkered with cars as a hobby and has some old hot rods. The biggest thing about racing for me is it was always clean, professional, and well-organized. It was a lot more of a family to me than the first few shops I worked at. Everyone was so happy and constantly having a great time. That inspired me for my business today. My uniforms are bright colors and clean. I’ve always tried to run my businesses like the racing organizations I’ve been involved in.
What was your favorite part of being a technician?
Problem solving. I’ve always enjoyed figuring out what is wrong with a car that has a crazy problem. At the end of it, it’s extremely satisfying when you figure it out. The other side of it is taking things apart, and it’s something different everyday. One day you could be putting an engine in a car, and next you could be dealing with diagnostics.
What is the best part of your job?
I love having the opportunity to make things better for the automotive industry. I like getting to make everything better for everyone, and making the industry better. From the training side of it, getting everybody to understand new things and learn so they’re not getting beat up while they’re in the shop is huge. The biggest thing for me now is being able to give back to the industry.
What’s the best advice you can give to someone looking to enter the industry?
The best advice I could give is to pick a good shop, do your due diligence, and get involved in training conferences right off the bat. The sooner you start going to training conferences, the better. You’ll find shops in your area that are better than others because they go to training conferences. The next thing I would say is stay off the tools trucks. That can get people in financial trouble right off the bat when they first get in the industry. If you stay off the tool trucks and not get yourself in financial trouble from the beginning, you’ll be better off.
What do you wish more people, especially high schools, knew about the profession?
The challenge of the job and how technology has advanced. I still get people that have no idea the knowledge and technology that goes into a car. People don’t realize how important it is that the systems in cars are calibrated correctly. If not, it can put a lot of people in danger. I think that’s the biggest thing — people need to understand technology has changed rapidly in the last decade. If people aren’t doing things correctly at this point, it can be a life or death situation.