What to expect as an entry level tech

The idea of working on motorcycles for a living is almost a fantasy in some people’s eyes.  As Harley-Davidson technicians, we experience this first hand when speaking to our customers.  So many times we are asked how we got in to this business and what it is like starting out.  As with so many things in life what it looks like from the outside is not what it looks like from the inside.  In this episode we share our experiences as entry level techs and what we had to do to get into this industry.  We talk about the tools, expectations, pay and so much more.  

Transcript

THIS TRANSCRIPTION WAS DONE BY OTTER AI SO THERE ARE MANY ERRORS. WE DO PLAN TO COME BACK AND CORRECT THEM, BUT IF THIS MESSAGE IS STILL HERE WE HAVE NOT DONE SO YET

Roy Merritt 0:00
Oh man, we got some moonshine tonight. Gotta love the moonshine.

Once again, it’s time to open your ears and expand your mind. Or maybe it’s Dell your mind. Either way, I think these boys have something to say. So sit back, grab a brew, we’re gonna have some to give you our point of view here on Talkin Braap.

Unknown Speaker 1:08
We have the technology

Unknown Speaker 1:11
we have the capability to make so

Roy Merritt 1:18
I turn the mics back on I knew you’re coming in with some well welcome back just the one line talking crap once again we got a we got a little different idea for a episode tonight. I think we’re Episode Five was last one for I don’t know.

Mike VO 1:38
I don’t know they all blur together they’re not very good. I’m telling you.

So

Roy Merritt 1:45
you know I think tonight we’re going to talk about you know what to expect as an entry level tech. I think two episodes ago we did. Is MMI worth it kind of talked about you know, that side of it. You know whether or not going to school to learn to do this is worth it. I think you know, the next question you kind of in a good is always about you know kind of what to expect when you get out when expecting. Yeah what to expect what to expect when expecting a lot of money when you start in this business?

Shane Langdon 2:20
Well, yeah, at any point, spend the big bucks make the medium bucks. Yeah,

Roy Merritt 2:24
that’s right watch other people spend the big bucks, medium bucks. If you dedicate

Mike VO 2:28
yours to this job you can make 10s of thousands of dollars a year.

Shane Langdon 2:33
Yeah, when you retire, you can sell your toolbox and have a little some. Yeah, what like

Roy Merritt 2:38
so that’s that’s the first segue. That’s a great segue. You’re the first to have a lot of

Mike VO 2:45
tools. You can maybe get one plane ticket. The first topic is tools.

Roy Merritt 2:48
So, you know, as a technician, you have to supply your own tools in 90% of the shops out there. There are some shops that will supply tools and Most of the shops are probably hourly and BMW yeah you know sir hourly for the most part your tools make you your your money. You know, if you don’t have a tool that makes this job easier then you have to do it the hard way. Yeah.

Mike VO 3:16
In our tool. What on vacation so he’s not here. Yeah. So, you know, to our Tyler

Roy Merritt 3:26
I figured I could start off with you know how I came out of MMI and when I came out of MMI you know, you get a tool voucher or whatever they wanted to call it then. And basically those are my torque wrenches. I got some other stupid things extensions and some other stuff like that extension writing warrant warranting, I sold that shit. A lot of tracksuit What color was red, red, a pound of cocaine disappointed with the

Unknown Speaker 3:51
silver it had

Mike VO 3:52
silver reflective pinstripe Okay.

Aaron Staudinger 3:54
Let’s see Michael a tracksuit and a pound of cocaine.

Unknown Speaker 3:59
Fucker Come here

Mike VO 4:01
on Better Call Saul my friend when he wears the tracksuit when he’s still on the phones. Oh yeah.

Roy Merritt 4:06
I’ve always wanted to track you know, I’m six foot three 200 pounds man I you know, I’m not the kind of guy that should be wearing a tracksuit,

Mike VO 4:15
you are the kind of guy that wears track suits. I’m pretty sure they might want to ask if I want

Roy Merritt 4:19
if I if I could do it I would totally

Mike VO 4:22
do it. Well, I didn’t they didn’t When did they start out as a warm up suits for basketball players? Yeah, I’m sure

Roy Merritt 4:28
yeah, there have to be you know, somewhat in shape. Well,

Mike VO 4:33
no, you don’t know.

Unknown Speaker 4:36
It makes no difference.

Mike VO 4:39
You just get it like a triple extra large and long so that it’s like, yeah, blanket, like a three XL

Roy Merritt 4:45
giant, reflective Snuggie. And then, like a 15 year old white kid.

Mike VO 4:51
Yeah. And then if you get mad at roadie, you just throw it on top of the middle, the last

Unknown Speaker 4:55
rip it off.

Roy Merritt 4:58
So actually that makes me think you know, we should be doing Introduction so we got Mike and Shane I roadie and Aaron I who have all been on the show before we all just got off work and we’re sitting down here hopefully the video I’ll put up on YouTube at some point you know sitting here at work we got a pretty cool chopper behind us inadvertently it wasn’t intentional but

Mike VO 5:20
almost cools right word but he

Unknown Speaker 5:24
is unique

Mike VO 5:24
The handgrips are nice. Like your

Unknown Speaker 5:30
chain styrofoam cup is legit you know cover the spikes you know yeah,

Roy Merritt 5:34
that’s how I’m gonna I’m gonna hit this I swear at least once tonight

Mike VO 5:38
don’t do it because trouble just tweet it’s conspiracy

Unknown Speaker 5:41
related injury bro. Yeah.

Roy Merritt 5:44
So I came out of school I had my torque wrenches which is you know an absolute must for a new person without question. You know that years and years and years of using a torque wrenches would trained you how to tighten things up properly. You know, when it’s all And you’re calibrated. Oh, yeah, well that’s what i mean you don’t get a calibrated elbow until you’ve used a torque wrench for years. You know, it just doesn’t you know, it’s the way it is. But I actually bought a you know, and here’s my cheap Harbor Freight plug but I bought a 308 piece Harbor Freight set, which was all quarter inch sockets all three eighths sockets and all half inch drive sockets. So I had my basis of sockets and the ratchets. I always hated the ratchets, they suck.

Shane Langdon 6:30
So I didn’t get a tool about showing that I actually got a box. It was like a redraw box with a lid and I had quarter drive and three h drive ratchets and then your long and short three sockets and then your whole point in six point quarter drive sockets and then all your open box on wrenches and a hammer.

Mike VO 6:53
Yeah, helping hammer. They should forget the combo in the box.

Shane Langdon 6:57
No, they always said even in school one of them tools used for Harley’s a hammer. But yeah, you know that’s you know, it’s funny.

Roy Merritt 7:05
I don’t know if you noticed but I don’t have a real hammer. We have our own minds. I know I rarely one and Oh, he’s always got one so I just never think about it, you know, but I don’t I don’t like beaten things with a hammer. I try to avoid that if I can help

Shane Langdon 7:18
with stress relief.

Unknown Speaker 7:20
Yeah, it is.

Roy Merritt 7:22
But you know it in the beginning, a lot of that also has to do with the kind of shop you’re in, you know, if you’re going to a shop that’s going to stick you on services and tires for the first year where you sure there Yeah, you know that that’s actually a really good argument. Because I think here to an extent we haven’t had anybody new, like out of school or new that maybe we had that confidence in right away to just do shit that I can think of. Yeah. But in my old shop, and I think here for the rest People were in here. We were kind of just you kind of get what you get, you know if this needs to be done. I think my third weekend as a technician, I got a cam job on Twin Cam was like Yep, this is yours and I was like, Hey, you know, kind of Big Eyed looking around like man, I took a part of motor and on a bench in school, you know, I’m still kind of green, but you know, everything went good.

Shane Langdon 8:26
That’s good. At the same time, it’s throwing a lot of a lot of trust in a new person because they’re more likely to mess up or strip a bolt or so

Roy Merritt 8:34
well, if there’s a high attrition rate there and there’s a high cost

Mike VO 8:38
and but I think that most of that cost and attrition is because they can take all your veteran workforce off of their jobs to go help them all the time. So you know, in, in the environment that we work in, especially in flat rate shops, which you know, the flat rate is a double edged sword Because flat rate makes you good or makes you really terrible. Yeah, you know what I mean? Either restaurant get a bunch of comebacks

Unknown Speaker 9:07
or you learn to,

Mike VO 9:08
or you, yeah, or you or you don’t or you learn to enjoy the way you really make the money is by learning it the correct way and then getting fast through the repetition, you know, you know what I mean. And then once you get past the repetition, you don’t really have to worry about comebacks, so you’re still making money without doing a lot of stuff on your own. Like

Shane Langdon 9:26
Tyler was three and a half hours of tires now

Roy Merritt 9:29
down to two hours, well your time comes in knowing that I need a three eighths I need a you know, 10 executor, 12 point I need this plug, grab all of that at once, walk over, not three things out at once and walk

Shane Langdon 9:41
back here plus knowing the torque specs off the top of your head

Mike VO 9:44
correct and just go and click it and you get the routine you know when you take it apart, you lay it all out like this and then you put it back together in the reverse order.

Unknown Speaker 9:50
And so you’ve got to get in the tools

Unknown Speaker 9:52
where they needed to get everywhere. Now that’s why it’s dangerous have half gone already.

Mike VO 9:56
So when you when you take somebody Fresh Off the Boat and you give them My job like a cam job. One it takes them for fucking ever. Because not only are they not do they not have practiced at it, but you had the pressure that now they feel like they’re on the spot.

Shane Langdon 10:12
And hopefully they’re reading a lot in the book.

Mike VO 10:14
Yeah, they’re reading they’re reading the book all the time and then every time they have the question they’re taking one of the Masters off of I’m making money over here and this guy’s like, Hey, I got a question after about three. It’s often not saved Well,

Roy Merritt 10:28
yeah, yeah, well, I mean, so if they make mistakes, it’s not worth it. Because it will cost you too much in the end but a year to two years down the line the technician that you get when you have given them a little bit of everything I think is a better technician than the guy that’s just an oil changes and tires and doesn’t know anything about anything else.

Unknown Speaker 10:55
Okay, pins you got when I was

Unknown Speaker 10:57
Tyler was here. Yeah. We

Shane Langdon 11:00
have a grace period though of like, get them get them to do simple routine services and tires and stuff. And you know, give them a month to figure out as he as he cross starting stuff, is he leaving stuff loose like those little things? And if he’s not doing that, then you can I was

Roy Merritt 11:13
only a year or so out of school, maybe maybe a little bit longer. I don’t know. When I went to my first dealer class. And when I got there, I don’t remember what the first one was. But it was, you know, something easy. There was guys that had been renting for five or six years had done nothing changes entirely. Like you what I’m like, Man, that the transmission is

Unknown Speaker 11:36
probably the

Unknown Speaker 11:38
the rocker adjustment.

Roy Merritt 11:39
Yeah. Stuff like that. Yeah. And I think he was actually pretty good at a lot of that stuff. But you know, when we were talking, I just remember in every class it was like I was really young couple years in, and I was in classes with guys that had been doing it 10 years and never done some of the stuff I had done and I’m like, Man, you know, I’m thankful for that in my first job. I’m really thankful for that. You know, it trained me on a lot of things. Now granted, I soaked it up pretty well. I don’t think that’s always the case. You know? I think you gotta have the right people. We went through quite a few people in that shop

Mike VO 12:13
tweeting this between

Shane Langdon 12:16
the whole all of it. Yeah, just got to hold the record button now.

Unknown Speaker 12:21
143 words at a time.

Roy Merritt 12:30
Don’t you only get like 140 characters.

Buy me a ball there. But you know you. The tool thing has a lot to do with the shop and the people that are around you. I think the graduates of MMI are going to have a bit of an advantage there. And the reason I say that is any just betting shop you go to the guys around probably went to him and why. And they know what it was like getting out of school and having to pay to go to school and do all that. So I think, you know, just generally speaking, I think, you know, technician, especially guys that have gone to MMI are going to be a little more sympathetic to the new guy that just got out MMI. Now, the new guy that never went to MMI

Mike VO 13:19
I don’t think so. Yeah, no, I don’t think so. I don’t think so. I think I think we I think the way we operate here because we’re trying to foster people to come up through the ranks is different than most shops like when you Oh, yeah, we talked to Jordan. Even like the master texts at his shop in what what was that up in Detroit? I can’t remember the name of it, but they didn’t talk to him. Like if he even he was like, dude, I just became a master tech right before he came here. He’s like, I worked there for five years. If I asked them a question, they’d be like, Fuck you.

Aaron Staudinger 13:52
The old school guys were like, like hard on him because he thought they considered him green.

Mike VO 13:57
Because they don’t give a fuck about you. They don’t care. To make money, and if you don’t know how to do it, then you just need to figure this should I stop

Shane Langdon 14:04
if I stop and help you I’m not making right I have a job of turning wrenches shop that

Roy Merritt 14:09
actually offered me more money than this place did when I came out here. But there was some things that were said that I just really wasn’t happy with. And one of which was Oh, my guys, all they want is their 40 hours an hour. You know, I scheduled them 40 hours a week. That’s what they want, and they’re out. I was like,

Unknown Speaker 14:28
that really doesn’t sound

Roy Merritt 14:29
right. You know what I mean? Like, like, there’s a red flag there. And if everyone around you is that fuckin lazy, like, No wonder you can’t keep good people here.

Mike VO 14:39
That’s how the shop that jack went. It was like that. Yeah, they’ve been around for a long, long time. They had the routines. They were all hourly. They’d all been doing it for 2030 years, but they did what they did. And you’re not going to tell them. Yeah, well, how are you this instead? They’re like, Fuck that. Yeah.

Roy Merritt 14:56
Yeah. hourlies is one thing though. You know, can you really expect Somebody to build 12 hours a day in an eight hour day when they’re getting paid hourly. Well, usually if I was hourly I’d be like, Fuck Yeah, man booked me eight hours a day and I’ll work eight hours a day and get it all done.

Shane Langdon 15:09
Well, most hourly shops seven cents.

Roy Merritt 15:12
My last off we did. We built I worked in one too. I was stupid like that. I was making you know, $9 an hour I wouldn’t even get an incentive and I was billing fucking 55 hours a week working 40

Well, we’re having some kind of an idiot. Yeah.

Mike VO 15:28
So So then, you know, you take like, I’m gonna keep throwing Tyler under the bus because he’s not here to defend himself. And it’s and it will plus but it’s true,

Unknown Speaker 15:36
but it’s true.

Mike VO 15:39
So Tyler has a hard time because if he gets frustrated, he just slows down. Yeah. And he’s like, I’m having

Unknown Speaker 15:44
a hard time he doesn’t have

Shane Langdon 15:47
like a second or third gear to like get Yeah, he just he doesn’t be all the time

Mike VO 15:51
and he doesn’t have that. So like Tyler, if you put Tyler in a machine shop like one of the Veronica’s you Know what I mean? Or like a Scottsdale Harley or one of these big machines that churns out the service, he would not survive. He wouldn’t be he would by now he would be going. Well, what else? Can I use my, the rest of my GI bill for to close. Yeah. The only reason he’s still in this business is because we’ve cut him so much slack. And we’ve allowed him to kind of go at his own pace, and do like half of jobs for people and kind of given him the practice because he was so green. He and when we we did his review today, I went over that with him. And he’s like, yeah, and I’m like, and he, you know, and it was so frustrating because he wouldn’t even fucking write shit down. And I’m like, What are you gonna do next week when you do this job again? Yeah, because it’s your you’re gonna encounter this stuff over and over. Right, roadie, that’s the hard part is

Robert Rohdy 16:49
you got to talk to them. Everything you do is in repetition. And no matter what, you’ll be a rookie on this show.

No matter what you do is gonna be the same thing. The next time. You do minus a few things. I mean, you’re gonna run into obstacles going along through everything. And it’s hard, it is hard. It’s hard starting and not knowing what you’re doing. And running into it. And, you know, before I thought I knew a lot, and and then working here, and being given the opportunity to come here and work

was completely different from what I knew, you know, I did not talk

Mike VO 17:28
for a bit of action. When

Robert Rohdy 17:34
I started, I started working here at the dealership and sales and they didn’t, didn’t work out. So I started working in the shop as Mike

Mike VO 17:42
my rookie

Unknown Speaker 17:44
dialogue, so

Robert Rohdy 17:46
I started working in the shop as a quarter. And I did that for about two years or so. And I was actually talking to Mike about it and told him that I’d really like to get into the show. And I was giving The opportunity to come and work in the shop for a while and it’s it’s not as easy as you would think it is. These guys make it look so much easier than it really is from the outside looking in, I guess whenever you’re there all day and you see the stuff you go through it’s a bit different but I didn’t I enjoy working in the shop like I’ve always wanted to do stuff with my hands so it kind of being given the opportunities awesome but

Unknown Speaker 18:35
I thought you’re gonna stand up and present

Robert Rohdy 18:39
his hands so the tools you know it’s it’s it’s really awesome being in being given the opportunity to have tools shared stuff. Yeah, you know, the guys here have given me a lot of help and trained me which I don’t believe anywhere else. I probably would have not got given the opportunity and it wouldn’t be anywhere near like it is here. You’re gonna have like one shop in metropolitan areas it’s like we are

Roy Merritt 19:04
pretty good that’s about what is gonna work out because I worked in that shop in my last I hunt for over a year for a job and there’s there’s a certain thing you can usually see about a vibe and you when you walk into most shops man you’re like oh this is this is a clock in clock out you know fuck around job we’re pretty

Shane Langdon 19:23
we’re pretty good about sharing tools like yeah

Unknown Speaker 19:25
like you got the

Shane Langdon 19:26
the torques the for the strip torques I got the ones for the stripped Allen Yeah, like I like this the goofy tools and you don’t use much. But when you need them and you have to use them. That’s a perfect

Roy Merritt 19:37
example. Everybody here even even Mike who’s who’s not wrenching anymore now I’m back to Richard. Everybody here I think has a payment on a tool truck somewhere.

Mike VO 19:47
Should I just started like $400 a night.

Unknown Speaker 19:53
I know I was still when I

Roy Merritt 19:54
was service Ranger. I was still I was still buying shit off the truck. Like you still got a song. glad I did. Because when I went back to original Whoo I’m glad I bought that

Unknown Speaker 20:02
SOC bill. What SOC bill what that was a sock boom. You see it the socks off the truck or something like that of the

Unknown Speaker 20:07
snap on socks.

Mike VO 20:10
Yeah, yeah, I mean we’ll split a case of socks couple years ago cuz my last my last two snap on reps I hope John’s listening would buy like a case of socks and then you could buy them a Christmas for like five bucks a pair. Yeah. And if you fucking mess up and buy snap on socks, you’re ruined.

Roy Merritt 20:26
I know. I didn’t like them. They were a little hot for me. But they are super thick. Super plush. Well, comfortable.

Mike VO 20:32
Yeah. You like green and white tracksuit?

Roy Merritt 20:35
Yeah, well, I also wear waterproof waterproof boots which doesn’t help you know what? Yeah, so no, I got actually my snap on guy gave us some for Christmas one year. That’s Oh,

Unknown Speaker 20:46
yeah. Yeah, that’s that’s how I got mine.

Mike VO 20:50
Yeah, they’re like then the next year like I want some of them socks. dollars a person. So

Roy Merritt 20:55
this is actually perfect, good topic for what to expect as a technician because tool trucks. You know, you’re probably going to have two to three on average at a shop that run around there. And if you’re not careful, you can get a $50 a week on every one.

Shane Langdon 21:13
I’m doing $400 a month right now, that says a box. Yeah,

Mike VO 21:17
well and again, it sucks to our Tyler’s not here. Yeah, because he made the biggest mistake.

Shane Langdon 21:24
He bought up.

Mike VO 21:26
Dude, he was like, I gotta get a cool box. Everybody’s got a cool box

Shane Langdon 21:29
and then all those tools aren’t as little Carl Yeah.

Mike VO 21:32
He started talking about it and I called john and i was like, You’re fucking ripping this kid off, man. We’re turning. I’m taking half the shit and giving it back to you. Hey, fuckin bought it. The 10 stomped on. No, dude, that’s bullshit.

Roy Merritt 21:48
We got some really obscure shit. Oh, yeah, he Well,

Mike VO 21:51
he got the impact. He got the impact gun. No.

Unknown Speaker 21:54
Yeah, he’s got they got all the digital torque wrenches. He got you

Mike VO 22:00
Gotta be doesn’t need. He got like, deep, medium and shallow of all the sockets and I’m like what the fuck man?

Roy Merritt 22:11
So I have deep and shallow six point and then I have shallow 12 point yeah I’m just about everything and that’s about it

Mike VO 22:18
so it was like no you’re giving these back and you’re gonna get long ball Allen’s because you’ll need those for like foot pegs and weird shit that you need into intake bolts. You’re going to take these back and you’re gonna get these jobs on hold on goddamn numbers better equals like that’s your fucking problem Hey you don’t have to work with him and he can just give all the shit back and you can lose the sale

Unknown Speaker 22:40
yeah to charge him a consultation fee.

Mike VO 22:42
Well, so now here’s the big problem isn’t even that he has a maroon roll cart. That’s his main box and a roll cart that he bought it at Harbor Freight because we’re like, buy this real car from

Unknown Speaker 22:51
harbor freight and fill

Mike VO 22:52
it before you do anything else. And he didn’t even do that. Yeah, he feel it because everything’s in these huge plastic cases. And he does

Unknown Speaker 23:02
Harbor Freight

Roy Merritt 23:02
first about that too, man.

Shane Langdon 23:05
I’ve the harbor freight rail car and it’s packed to the gills everything because it’s everything I use on a daily and I’ll move it around and all wheel swivel so it’s really easy to move and then I’ll go to move Tyler’s joints to wheel swivel, but I’ll move it I’m used to moving my heavy one and I almost throw it across

pounds worth of tools like there’s nothing in here.

Mike VO 23:24
There’s like, Oh look, I have this whole wrench set.

Unknown Speaker 23:28
And there’s like six rings.

Mike VO 23:31
I filled the role card. I’m like you have two hammers.

Roy Merritt 23:34
I finally organized a couple of my drawers that were like stressing me I’d open it up every time I open and just be like,

Shane Langdon 23:43
Oh, you’re gonna put everything in your main box and then you’re gonna start working. You’re like where’s all my stuff? wires, you throw them in the plier draw your old cart and next thing you know you’re like, Okay, let’s get this out and then I’m not there.

Mike VO 23:52
But But now the thing that sucks or Tyler is he blew his fucking wad. So he oh snap on $50 a week for the next seven years. Here’s a kid. He doesn’t make any money.

Roy Merritt 24:05
Now his wife makes more than he does. So

Mike VO 24:06
the other day he was using my I still use my brake bleeder all the time and now he tries to hide it from me. So when I walked through the shop, he’ll like

Roy Merritt 24:12
move it over the other side of the bus.

Mike VO 24:17
I was like, Tyler, you need to buy your own brake. bleeder Well, they’re like 200 bucks. They’re expensive. And I’m like, Yeah, they are but you didn’t have to buy $5,000 worth of shit in a second box in the

Roy Merritt 24:30
first toolbox Oh another I’m so horrible. Everybody makes funny because Harbor Freight but I use the harbor freight brake bleeder that was like 20 bucks for the first probably three years. You shouldn’t call them. They they’re I’m telling you man, they might suck. It wasn’t wasn’t as good. But man, it got me through he did what I needed to do and I did that with a lot of things. And you buy in so this is my recommendation to a new person. Snap on, you’re looking like 30 to $50 a socket. You can buy Things one at a time. And nothing’s less than 150 bucks I

Mike VO 25:04
said in the beginning you need to buy stuff in sets and you need to buy one on sale and they have like the buy one get one but

Roy Merritt 25:09
my seem now my my side of this is you can go to harbor freight and that sort of sockets that cost you 199 from from a snap on will cost you 1999 at Harbor Freight right and it has a lifetime warranty right but you have to go to harbor freight correct. But what you buy on the tool trucks is every Tuesday in almost two years of doing this. I have yet to break a socket from Harbor Freight I have broken a torques here we go but the torques lasted longer than the snap on that no I’m telling you honestly I could call Corey he tell you hey, he would break a snap on and come back and be like give me your fucking Harbor Freight one because this thing broke my

Robert Rohdy 25:54
boxer shorts my snap on torques I replace it all the time. Yeah.

And I respect Dubai anymore. Yeah.

Shane Langdon 26:03
Every week but so

Mike VO 26:05
what I did by two

Robert Rohdy 26:06
and a half when I bought red sun

Roy Merritt 26:10
and like have a good recommendation is like AutoZone I think it is or discount one of those they sell gear wrench and you go in there because it’ll rise and they’ll put gear on like 50% off and I gotta set a gear wrenches you know the original the ratcheting wrenches for cheaper shit like 35 bucks you know what I mean?

Mike VO 26:30
for the for the line tools you know that’s all right and now you know like my biggest thing with with Harbor Freight now it’s like that that new icon line, and I was in there, get some shit some fucking cheap ass tools from my house the other day and I was looking at icons. I got like a doing the rotors on my riding lawnmower and I don’t have a half inch ratchet at home. I was like, I’ll just go buy one from I was looking at like Lowe’s and I was like, I’m not gonna fucking pay 50 bucks. Yeah for this thing that I was looking at the icon one and I was like you know my deal is I just really don’t like supporting China in ripping off fucking patents because I’m kind of I’m done with China

Roy Merritt 27:11
yeah well he’s icon made in China for

Unknown Speaker 27:14
everything in our freights made in China

Roy Merritt 27:17
separate icon to bring the shit icon

Mike VO 27:19
is a fucking patent rip off of snap on may even put it in their catalogs icon snap on oh yeah the harbor freights been doing that for years right the only only on their Chinese ripoff brands that their reverse engineering and stealing patents so the icon brand to me is

Roy Merritt 27:37
like, oh, CCS production bikes. I think it’s a stretch for Harbor Freight, nobody goes, wrenches on quality tools. You know what I’m saying? So when you’re getting into that I bought I bought my

Mike VO 27:47
true because you do

Roy Merritt 27:50
know I know what I’m buying. And so and let me finish No. So when you start off with Harbor Freight tools, and something breaks or you wear something out You know what you use a lot of, then you know, okay, Hey, you know what this I need off the snap on right? And there are things that you can only get off the snap on sure. But those basic tools, sockets things like that that don’t really break it doesn’t matter what brand they are, you know you don’t have to have $1,000 worth of sockets you can have $300 for the sockets and do the same shit right now for sure that’s kind of my thing. And if you go through I lost like my half inch or my nine sixteenths deep wells and their snap on or Mac or something you know as you leave stuff or breaks you buy you don’t go back and buy Harbor Freight

Mike VO 28:38
right and and the whole reason is because you’re like, I don’t want to go there. And then and then the matco truck comes up he’s like What’s

Unknown Speaker 28:44
up guys? Yeah

Unknown Speaker 28:49
25 bucks a week. Yeah, okay, cool.

Unknown Speaker 28:52
catalog.

Mike VO 28:52
What do you need? Not 16 I got those.

Unknown Speaker 28:57
Around god yeah. Oh my god. Cars made in Taiwan

Roy Merritt 29:00
by the way to Taiwan much higher quality. Absolutely just a say

Mike VO 29:08
okay, here they are not. What is it? orosi yet so what?

Unknown Speaker 29:18
I thought I bought an icon ratchet

Roy Merritt 29:22
but it feels pretty good. All that talking. It’s it’s actually about but it’s okay. They’re putting it out there they have some

Mike VO 29:28
work. I mean it worked for getting my lawnmower too long.

Shane Langdon 29:31
It’s no 88 to snap on. I think

Unknown Speaker 29:36
it was I think I think it’s like

Mike VO 29:37
99 tooth

Roy Merritt 29:38
Yeah, they’re pretty high. I don’t Yeah, it’s

Mike VO 29:40
it’s it but it but like looking at it and you know, using snap on and matco and Mac ratchets for a long long time. I’m like, this is a snap on ratchet. Yeah, they totally took this shit. They’re like,

Unknown Speaker 29:50
Oh, that’s Michael Joseph. Same. Yeah. The cost difference. Oh,

Mike VO 30:00
Stefan would have been like 250 bucks. You paid what like $35 Yeah, yeah.

Roy Merritt 30:06
Yeah. So that’s how I got to have like this big collection of tools quickly was by buying cheap tools and then like I said, as a broker as I use something and was like this thing sucks. You know what I mean? Like, I need to better one of these I would buy something better.

Mike VO 30:22
Well, and another good route that I bought a lot of my tools this way over the years is pawn shops and flea markets. Yeah. Well, people get hurt up and they suck at being a mechanic and they set up for a pawn shop Craigslist

Roy Merritt 30:36
and could find a full box you

Mike VO 30:40
just have to have the cash now, you know, like if

Roy Merritt 30:43
so, and that’s tough for a new guy because you don’t that’s tough for everybody. Yeah, that kind of gets into you know, the the pay thing which we’ll kind of talk about in the end because there’s there’s no money in this

Shane Langdon 30:53
the financing is what makes snap on Mac and Matt COEs. So, appeal. Yes, because they come weekly, they’ll replace that Like, those drill bits, so we got 400 it’s like $370 for a set of drill bits. Way more than a lifetime warranty. Oh god yeah, every week at least six robots replace for the last What? Five, six months

Roy Merritt 31:14
as soon as he was one of the first things I bought when I came back to Reggie so yeah give me the drill a

Shane Langdon 31:20
better deal you can’t go to snap like you’d spend that much money you spent $400 at Harbor Freight Oh,

Mike VO 31:26
I bet I spent $10,000 and then when Nick was like no, we weren’t here at all and I’m like what do you mean like quarter inch it up? He’s like all of them all right, Nick. I want you to make sure yeah, because no other company warranties all the drill bits you know and I’ve got like, I have like a you know two $500 snap on drill bit sets and I’m like, Why the fuck did I buy these things when I should have just went to

Roy Merritt 31:49
Yeah, Mac Home Depot. They do that? What do you want drill bits if you get like the nice tip cobalt liked it. Yeah. Nice.

Mike VO 31:58
Nice. The last one was really

Shane Langdon 32:01
steel. Yeah. And using the three eighths every time we drill a ring gear to three times it’s I only have one flipped over it’s gone.

Unknown Speaker 32:09
Yeah,

Shane Langdon 32:10
and moreover because we’ll replace them yeah Nick

Mike VO 32:14
confirmed that they were their warranty everything and I was like hell yeah bro Do you can borrow my drill bits? Yeah well that’s

Roy Merritt 32:22
like three weeks he was in the dyno every time I could do a goddamnit you guys tell me when the tow truck series? I was like wow, I feel bad. I’m sorry man, but I got the drill bits.

Unknown Speaker 32:38
The only person that doesn’t have those robots does Tyler

Unknown Speaker 32:42
afford another payment? He

Shane Langdon 32:43
does. But he doesn’t have a gun either.

Mike VO 32:45
Yes, he does. It’s on my toolbox over there. So

Unknown Speaker 32:48
how often does the guy show up with those scratch dent? Big Ass boxes that he sells on cheap.

Unknown Speaker 32:54
Like once a word is the worst.

Robert Rohdy 32:57
Almost end up paying the same amount of money. Do you do

Roy Merritt 33:01
what there’s another term? You

Unknown Speaker 33:02
know?

Mike VO 33:04
Like the Ryder truck with the toolbox deal speak what they do

Roy Merritt 33:11
here that day I came in the next day and everybody I knew boxes I’m like, What the fuck man?

Unknown Speaker 33:18
box I bought his old box which used to belong to Mike So speaking of that, like let’s give some people an idea

Roy Merritt 33:23
how much a box. Okay, how much do you think your box rough estimate your box cost? which one you like your

Mike VO 33:31
gray 116 thousand dollars? Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 33:34
your roll cart. My roll cart was 1800 dollars 18 that’s actually pretty cheap. Yeah, that’s a good deal.

Shane Langdon 33:40
It was a great deal. In the end.

Robert Rohdy 33:43
roadie I spent 90

Mike VO 33:47
on your disco box on my disco box. Okay. I O box for 2500

Robert Rohdy 33:52
Yeah, but I got all my money back out of the box. Well, man, it’s like 500 bucks.

Roy Merritt 33:57
Yeah. And then most of your money he gave you back out of it. And then so you’re 10 grand in a box

Shane Langdon 34:02
and then he gave him 2500 traded on that boxes Why get back and then that’s why Mike’s like, Well, I know it’s worse. So we did 20 $500 for his old box, so I got a matco box. Yeah 2500 which is a steal. And you have a tool card so your old card I got 2700 bucks my role card and other tech had from harbor freight and they traded in on a matco roll cart and the matco guy was bitching walking by and I want to sell my truck and I was like, putting videos on my account. I’ll keep it

Unknown Speaker 34:33
moving. That’s the best time and so yeah, 2025 Marcus.

Roy Merritt 34:38
Marcus got a smoking deal on a $16,000 box. Yeah, yeah. Now he bought it used and it was four grand or whatever it was, you know, three four grand Jordan Jordans. Probably 25 into his

Unknown Speaker 34:49
No no, he’s me.

Unknown Speaker 34:52
He is

Mike VO 34:54
the top and everything but he got his well so now my I didn’t pay 16,000 for minor Oh,

Unknown Speaker 35:00
Have it Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 35:00
but that’s how much those retail for those those snap on epic series 68 inch steel tops no big deal

Shane Langdon 35:09
no big deal chrome wheels people throw away I

Mike VO 35:12
got the chrome wheels, Jordan

Unknown Speaker 35:15
Jordan stuff. He’s got a frickin Mac sitting in the top of that and I met

Unknown Speaker 35:19
Yeah, the Top

Mike VO 35:22
Shop they all had they all were logged into talent EPC so they did all the work orders there. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 35:29
yeah, he also I would love to do that.

Roy Merritt 35:31
I actually have some solutions for that for about 200 bucks a station.

Unknown Speaker 35:35
We’re gonna work on that when we tear out this room. Yeah,

Roy Merritt 35:37
I was waiting for busy season come back to try to start doing that because I think that’d be great. We’re gonna

Mike VO 35:42
we’re gonna wrap all that into the getting our next tech. We’re going to we’re going to do digital marketing digital baby. We’re in first century with with force. Now that it’s 2020. So this is

Roy Merritt 35:59
something that people I don’t think I understand because I don’t understand it either. But, you know, you spend thousands and thousands of dollars on just a toolbox. I mean, that’s not the tools are worth more than a tool. Teachers

Mike VO 36:10
pitch about pencils. Oh, you’re getting to know.

Roy Merritt 36:14
Okay, I have a 52 inch box that I bought from Harbor Freight. It’s not

Mike VO 36:19
even as big as mine. And this

Roy Merritt 36:22
episode feels like a plug for Harbor Freight. But I paid like $800

Mike VO 36:27
I think you should send it to them and be like, hey, so how about this? How about every week?

Shane Langdon 36:31
He’s gonna have a sponsor from Harbor Freight again.

Roy Merritt 36:34
Yeah, I do it.

Unknown Speaker 36:36
You know what if you get free tools, I’ll talk.

Unknown Speaker 36:42
I’m here for Harbor Freight.

Mike VO 36:43
Yeah. So disclaimer, I don’t have a problem with Harbor Freight. I just have a problem with China. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 36:50
Well talk to China. So

Roy Merritt 36:51
I paid like I said, $800 shipped to the door here, rolled it off card, got it in here. And it’s a pretty big box. Now. It’s the Not as tall as the snap onto the mat goes that that part I’m a little jealous that deep doesn’t have the power outlets and all the fancy shit but what it does do is hold my tools and that’s where the box is supposed to. So I have $200 in my roll cart because it’s a harbor freight just so you know what to do when they’re doing okay,

Mike VO 37:21
but obviously you haven’t seen the matco ad where they can drop it from like 10 feet because I’m gonna drop

Unknown Speaker 37:27
my toolbox on you

Mike VO 37:30
when you pack it with full with tools the thing weighs like 7500 pounds fall over like you can even get it on it

Unknown Speaker 37:38
What if I wanted to park a Jeep on top if there was a if there was

Unknown Speaker 37:41
a hammer tornado just

Unknown Speaker 37:43
hide by what somebody’s toolbox

Roy Merritt 37:46
so the harbor free us general the big one they have some smaller stuff that’s the big one like I have is made out of the same thickness deal as most of those other boxes like yours might be a little thicker yours is pretty heavy.

Unknown Speaker 37:57
giggity Um, but but mostly

Roy Merritt 38:05
But in the end, it’s it’s supposed to hold your tools so I never understood. I have $10,000 of tools. I got $1,000 tool here enough stickers on that thing. The guy next to me has a $2,000 toolbox holding $2,000 worth of tools that don’t pale in comparison to what?

Shane Langdon 38:27
Or does you know how to use them? Well,

Mike VO 38:29
look, here’s the biggest problem. Here’s the biggest problem that Tyler has. He’s he doesn’t understand his tools.

Roy Merritt 38:40
I know. I just added this day so I walked over to his toolbox, get your ass kicked for two and I think almost all of us are the same way. All day. I’m looking for his hammer. So where’s the first place I go bottom drawer bottom drawer. bottom drawer man, everybody I know with a fucking tool cart, keeps their hammer in the bottom drawer. And I’m like bottom drawer Nope next door Nope. Other fucked up right for keeping your fucking hammer in the top right.

Mike VO 39:07
He has two little hammers

Unknown Speaker 39:17
on the liner

Unknown Speaker 39:21
Nick glows

Unknown Speaker 39:23
these two brand new little hammers on a drawl. And I’m like What? He’s like why can’t put it in that drawer?

Mike VO 39:32
What do you mean? You said I needed a hammer and I was like

Unknown Speaker 39:38
speaking of role cards we find out tomorrow if anybody here one that purple Fuck, I’ll rock back. That thing is badass card.

Unknown Speaker 39:47
Row card

Shane Langdon 39:49
$25 a ticket or 20 tickets for the Purple’s

Unknown Speaker 39:55
largest roll cart they make on next

Mike VO 39:57
truck. Damn it yeah

Unknown Speaker 40:00
I mean by ticket. Oh, I’ve been up front fucking trying to fix

Mike VO 40:04
was I have to I have to apologize to all your fucking customers. I mean

Roy Merritt 40:15
I’m not gonna lie. I’m smiling a little bit.

Mike VO 40:18
That’s the worst part

Unknown Speaker 40:22
sucks. Hmm.

Roy Merritt 40:24
But, you know, anyways, that’s that’s part of what to expect and I think as we’re talking there as an entry level tech is a bit of a bit of hazing. You know, I think if you’re not in a shop, if people aren’t fucking with you and you’re wrong, they’re not helping you. They’re not paying attention to you and you’re gonna be hung out to dry.

Unknown Speaker 40:46
Yeah, that’s a

Roy Merritt 40:51
reason for butthurt let’s see, what does this say? Someone was mean to me, given work I didn’t want to do. Someone told me I was wrong.

Unknown Speaker 41:01
spider bite on the asshole

Unknown Speaker 41:03
we need to get to

Roy Merritt 41:03
Marcus a social media burn. Every single job is that someone said a spensive words. Oh yeah, we’re using for filing Report. I’m an idiot. I’m a crybaby I’m a little bit. I want my mommy. My therapist told me to. I’m I’m better than everyone else. I’m a prude my favorite. I should be riding a Honda is not fair. How could management make your job easier? fire me so I can get unemployment? Hire me and assistant pay me more than everyone else. Or massage my delicate ego.

Mike VO 41:41
Even if you pay more than everyone else it doesn’t matter

Roy Merritt 41:44
now. paid in fiction.

Unknown Speaker 41:45
It was no all of the above check.

Unknown Speaker 41:50
It should be

Shane Langdon 41:51
a circle the whole page. Yep.

Roy Merritt 41:52
But you know, I wouldn’t want to work in the shop where people weren’t fucking Yeah, I know. You know what I’m And like I’ve always kind of made that a rule that like I don’t want to work for someone I can’t say fuck you too. But so because there are places they God forbid even in joking you said fuck you to the bus but

Shane Langdon 42:10
at the same time that comes with time. So if you’re new to a shop but yeah and in the industry long time that’s one thing. Yeah. But when I go to school and I got my first shop I was a little shop in Santa Cruz and they were hazing me and I was going along with it and then the foreman kind of haze me one time and I was like a week two weeks in and I shot one back at him and it was good like to where all the other tasks are like, Oh, he just looked at me he goes alright fucker. And it was like an hour later I got something I needed help. And I went to one guy and he was like, bigger than yourself. So he’s like, No, you want to talk shit figured out yourself and I was like, Alright, so haven’t earned the That’s the availability to talk shit yet. Yeah, yeah, like

Mike VO 43:08
Tyler Yeah. When when like it What was it like his third day? Yeah, Marcus was trying to put together that 49

Unknown Speaker 43:19
Tyler’s like we do

Mike VO 43:23
in school and I’m actually really good at this and Marcus girls really showed me how to do it.

Shane Langdon 43:29
He just clocked out for lunch. It was like 45 minutes later he hands it back and goes like

Mike VO 43:38
immediately. We’re all like, everybody come here. All huddled around. Tyler right out of school who’s super good at forks. Like this

Unknown Speaker 43:53
is cool. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 43:56
out a million times.

Roy Merritt 44:00
Probably heated up the Falcons bro

Unknown Speaker 44:01
What I’m saying is the spring the spring is probably an inch shorter than stock

Roy Merritt 44:06
compress so many times what I mean if I hated the spring so this is really good This leads into one of the things I wanted to talk about

Mike VO 44:17
which is sexy aliens I think

Unknown Speaker 44:20
exclusively to MMI graduates or like schools go

Roy Merritt 44:28
don’t go into the shop back and like you know what the fuck you’re talking yeah

Mike VO 44:32
no anything no yeah

Roy Merritt 44:34
no really you shit but how to read a manual that’s all it teaches you in the end you don’t know shill except I remember I was there was a guy that was a black friend and other classes. Guy wore gloves. He was one of the only guys in schools that were black gloves. He brought him in himself and you know I’m not gonna wear gloves. No, I’m not gonna hate on you for wearing gloves. Because I get it. But this dude talk mad shit. Like, I’m better than everyone in this school. I could run circles around anybody and you know, when you talk shit like that when you’re in school, it gets around. And I’m like, you know, I was fairly good in school, you know? And I was like, let that motherfucker run his fuck. Meanwhile, at least like once a class there was some shit he fucked up that I heard about. I don’t even remember his name and I guarantee you he doesn’t work in the fucking industry anymore. You know what I mean? He just was one of those guys. And I know what happened when you when you get out of class he went into a shop he was like yeah, I fucking know everything and blah blah blah and he got hung out to dry guys let him I would come in run his fucking mouth like oh, I knew everything. Oh, dude. I’ve had guys that were

Unknown Speaker 45:55
you know, humble going into though. Yeah,

Roy Merritt 45:57
you were asked for help. Hey, man. You know, blah blah blah Oh, I know what I’m doing. Okay.

Unknown Speaker 46:03
All right that’s it don’t even even people who know what they’re doing if you go in with that attitude especially in a flat rate shop you’ll drowned so this is just

Mike VO 46:11
always stuff there’s

Shane Langdon 46:13
gonna be a point where you are going to help them something

Roy Merritt 46:17
oh yeah you’re gonna need a lifeline even Mark just today asked me I really think we’re measuring something and he’s like, man, I have done this and why did we do it? You know? And I was over there helping him and then Mike came in it was like good to get back on your job. And he came over after he’s like, man, I really appreciate you helping I was like look Marcus if we’re not willing to help each other and work with each other we got bigger bro.

Unknown Speaker 46:36
Will you do it? Bro

Mike VO 46:38
and the only reason I even came over there is because I was like, bro he’s got to make money.

Shane Langdon 46:42
Yeah, well, but like warehouse knows. Not only all the tools but how they’re manufactured and the backstory behind everything and he knows all about the Harley’s but, you know when he waits a day and a half for lifters to bleed up By yeah i mean you know if you’re that if you’re that Harrison stroke yeah on the compression stroke he’s gonna bleed him up yeah so so overnight you know they they’re gonna bleed up so but if if you’re arrogant or you’re not humble in a shop especially that is this flat rate you’re gonna drown and

Roy Merritt 47:21
I think the reason for that it’s the old man thing you know as you get older you realize that a young person you thought you knew everything and as you get older you realize you don’t know shit yeah, I was

Unknown Speaker 47:36
I was tolerance for that shit decreases. Yeah, well,

Roy Merritt 47:38
no, but I always say I was born knowing everything and I’ve gotten dumber because as a young man, I knew everything but as I get older, I realize I don’t know shit and I’m

Unknown Speaker 47:50
fuckin tolerant and I’m in my age, becoming less and less time.

Roy Merritt 47:54
Yeah, well,

Unknown Speaker 47:57
tolerance,

Roy Merritt 47:58
you know

Mike VO 47:58
when it also swings the other way. Because you know as you you know you get to wear and everybody falls into this after a while you know you see you see things over and over again so like you have no to code yeah just replace the sensor

Robert Rohdy 48:17
okay oh it’s how it works

Roy Merritt 48:18
no it’s not but after the guy wrote he actually got in the

Mike VO 48:23
league but but you know he said just replace the sensor some kg veteran just fucking put a sensor in it

Robert Rohdy 48:29
okay there’s there’s like first thing you do when you get to code the first thing in that chapter it on the in the manual for that matter because we haven’t said anything about a manual that’s like your most important idea My love is tool.

So first

Unknown Speaker 48:47
check that manual your brother,

Robert Rohdy 48:52
that’s just you know, that’s just how it is.

I was right about something all the time. And I

Unknown Speaker 49:01
was wondering if is decor off? Oh no.

Roy Merritt 49:03
Yeah. So that’s

Unknown Speaker 49:04
a little bit of an outsider’s perspective because I walk around the shop a lot. Yeah. And he is in buried in a book a lot. Yeah, he’s looking at it making sure it’s right.

Mike VO 49:13
Well, it’s cuz i was i for a long time. He’s at the stage now where we’re like, you got to figure this shit out now.

Robert Rohdy 49:18
Yeah. I mean, you’re either gonna figure it out you’re gonna sink or swim. Okay, you know, I’ve been given the opportunity to come in the shop the same as fortunately the same opportunity they’ve given anybody that’s came here from him, am I and the biggest thing about it is, is learning you’re never too smart to know. You to know anything?

Unknown Speaker 49:37
Well, the biggest thing is actually what you just said, you know, the manual.

Robert Rohdy 49:39
Yeah, the manual. Always read the manual. I mean, like they always change torques on the rear axle between

Roy Merritt 49:47
19 and 20, which makes no sense. I’m

Unknown Speaker 49:50
like, Dude, that was like, torque. Oh,

Mike VO 49:54
right. Where’d you get that torque spec? Show me that torque spec. I got another menu. Show it to me. Yeah, he shows me I was like,

Roy Merritt 50:00
I know I wanted to say oh it’s a 20 you got a torque into this and I was like well alright if that’s the truth then we need to torque everything. That’s the way it works because it’s the same nut and bolt basic right? yeah so so if they’re saying 100 and what is it 120 now or 50 or some folks okay

Mike VO 50:18
so we’re gonna go back in time and that that theory on the 14 you know when the when the when the Rushmore is first came out in 14 and they did the shocks. Oh, yeah, we’re at 35 pounds and air and what was it like every 10 k? Part of the critical fastest was

Unknown Speaker 50:33
shocked. Check them and they’re all

Mike VO 50:34
loose, and then all the sudden like I remember I think that was when you were practicing and you’re like, you’re 70 pounds like you’re on fucking drugs. Yeah, yeah. I’m like bullshit. Show it to me. And I was like, god damn,

Shane Langdon 50:49
yeah, but at the same, but at the same time. rockers were like the top, the top rocker and the rocker bass covers. Were like 100 I think

Roy Merritt 51:01
144

Shane Langdon 51:02
six, and now they’re doing like 15 foot pounds or

Roy Merritt 51:06
something on them and I’m like, isn’t a whole lot different just to put in foot pounds, but is 144 is 12

Shane Langdon 51:13
primary as well, from like 984 to 121 44 144. And I’m like, I don’t I always do one

Roy Merritt 51:21
crush gasket I worked with the guy that came from the metric world. And I guess when you’re in a shop that does like multiple things, they’re they’re things they’d torque fasteners would you

Unknown Speaker 51:33
value? Yeah.

Roy Merritt 51:34
So instead of building a book with every fucking nut and bolt, Tony with torque is you torque fasteners. So a quarter 20 Allen bolt is torque 120 to 130 foot inch pounds, you know, so I, we I think me and Rody, were talking about this the other day. You can get closed doors that were 140 to like 150 or something get we’re quarter 20 Probably a primary that he was feeling really weird about. And I was like, Look, dude, stick to the 131 40 range, you’re fine. Okay? There’s 150 is really pushing the limit of a quarter 25.

Unknown Speaker 52:14
Quarter to 130 over 131 32 over 131 33 do

Mike VO 52:19
a primer you do 144, right. That’s how the

Roy Merritt 52:22
book says, Well, that’s the highest it should be. And if you’re if your

Unknown Speaker 52:25
torque wrench 120 torque wrench

Roy Merritt 52:26
is really high, and you set it to the high end, then you’re over torquing you’re supposed to, you’re supposed to go to the middle, always in the middle. That’s why so it gives you your variants of your torque wrench being off, but because you go to the low side. But he wrote he wrote he brought up you know, the service manual, and that is a huge thing for what to expect, as

Unknown Speaker 52:49
expected. Yeah. What to expect.

Roy Merritt 52:53
Is, is having your nose buried in a service manual. You gotta learn

Robert Rohdy 53:00
Because you’re going to get something dumped on you one day, that you’re going to need to know how to use a service manual to understand

Roy Merritt 53:06
well, I don’t know. So you have to understand to diagnose. So

Shane Langdon 53:09
the thing is, is MMI they don’t teach you a whole lot. You go through the repetitions, but they don’t teach you everything. They teach you how to read procedure in a manual. That’s our biggest thing. Like, it was 15 years ago. We didn’t change fluids, like ever like toddlers like Oh, really? I’m like, Yeah, no, cuz you guys recycle them. We didn’t do that. We didn’t have gaskets on any of the blocks that you did. We didn’t do any of that. So when I got out of school, and they put me in the shop, and I’m like, yeah, I’m in my tech and they’re like here changes oil on a softail and I’m like,

Unknown Speaker 53:43
Huh

Shane Langdon 53:45
where’s the drain plug in? manual because drain plugs in the frame because you don’t like look around see it cuz we didn’t do any of that. You know, I mean, I knew where to find it in the manual and I could figure it out,

Robert Rohdy 53:56
but it was baffled. I got asked to have to help figure out how Take a hand control off the handlebars one day. And here I am, like very new at this at the time. And the other dude was just fresh out of school. And he was asking me how to take control off the handlebars. And I’m just like, looking at him, like, I’ve done this in my garage at home.

Unknown Speaker 54:18
Like, he’ll take the screws out, take this stuff apart. But, you know,

Unknown Speaker 54:23
back to what you’re saying.

Roy Merritt 54:25
He brought a bow to sensor and Rudy Rudy is really good, you know, example of

Unknown Speaker 54:31
a sensor know. Exactly intake seal.

Roy Merritt 54:34
So there’s other things you have to look at. And that’s part of why I say, understanding is diagnosing if you don’t understand how the charging system works, you can’t diagnose it properly. can’t check it properly. And so most of the time when I’m helping roadie, I’m trying to like explain to him how it works. I’m not trying to you know, tell him what he’s doing. You know, it’s like, Hey, man, this is how it works. And that’s why you got transmission the other day. He’s like, how does this go back together, his eyes are all big and he’s like, I’m not sure if This is right and I was like look there’s there’s a logical sequence to everything

Unknown Speaker 55:04
whereas this exactly yeah

Roy Merritt 55:08
that those two clips won’t go in because there’s a gap underneath of it okay well they’re spacer needs to go there isn’t a spacer you just put a spacer and you know there’s lock rings and there’s things and if you understand what each piece is and what it does it’s very easy to pan

Shane Langdon 55:24
if you follow the manual on how to press it in one of those one of those split rings will come out every goddamn Yeah, he got bit by that door press

Unknown Speaker 55:35
the door on the shaft. Yeah.

Mike VO 55:39
I remember in my last shop when I was a superstition a super badass tech Chris Cook he got he got sick of it and he’s a backhoe rep now nice super bad awesome maca. Rep. The the the tool reps that were that were texted you like just fucking I don’t wanna do it anymore. They’re they’re badass. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 55:58
cuz they know the tools of people. Need the gas

Mike VO 56:00
and they know what you’re doing every day. So I remember one time he was. I’ve been there a few years. So he’s working on Transmission, and he was fast. He’s the only guy I’ve ever seen. Take a like a 15 softail. Break it down to split cases back together in one day.

Unknown Speaker 56:21
challenging me. Yeah.

Mike VO 56:29
Yeah, he pulled it apart and replace the balancers and had that thing back together in like, one day. That’s good. That was like, holy shit. That’s good. And he heads the heads in the intake and wouldn’t split the intake and pull it off. Yeah, totally. Yeah. And I’ve never I’ve never done that because I’m just like, I just man bring some you don’t. You don’t know until you’re completely hundred percent.

Shane Langdon 56:49
If you’ve blown the gas. You know what

Mike VO 56:51
I mean? And he’s like,

Unknown Speaker 56:52
Yeah, I don’t

Mike VO 56:54
do that shit all the time. He would do he would do top end jobs and he would, he would unbolt the head bolts, and he would leave the Yeah, yeah, holding opposite assembly and center over here. I’m like, how do you how do you ever seen? Oh,

Shane Langdon 57:05
you never seen that, dude. Oh yeah, you can leave the intake and heads together and pop it

Unknown Speaker 57:10
all at one. Really? Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 57:12
And you center over here. How do you clean that?

Unknown Speaker 57:18
How do you clean the heads?

Unknown Speaker 57:20
No fucks given Yeah.

Mike VO 57:24
Like, Hey, man, wanna make money or not? Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 57:27
the difference between that though is that’s a warranty job or some kind of replacement as opposed to like a

Roy Merritt 57:32
real high. So flipping flipping Forks Over, never done that before I got here. I’d heard about it. I know. There was a changed history store when the first clutch recall came out. And I think a lot of people were doing this and that’s why they had to do another recall and another recall. They would just roll the fucking master cylinder over. Pull the piston out, throw it back in, bleed it out.

Mike VO 57:58
Yeah, I do that now. Yeah. no no that’s

Shane Langdon 58:03
yeah if you pull it apart there’s not a look at them there’s no glue.

Roy Merritt 58:06
I mean I’ll bleed it to bleeder screw or at the mandible because that you know yeah when you’re when you’re setting the master cylinder I believe it to bendable that give save you so much fun time but just flipping it over pulling it out and throw it in packets and you didn’t clean any of the shit out you didn’t do anything you’re supposed to be doing there and they were just banging them out and I I’ve heard so many shortcuts like that along the way. And I have a hard time taking shortcuts it’s only a shortcut if it works right the first time Well no, it’s only a shortcut if you’re not like it’s there’s nothing hanky you know it’s hard to explain but like the sports are the other day I had a vehicle speed sensor and I had forceps and some close quarter tools. And I’ve replaced the vehicle speed sensor in like three minutes. You know what I mean? And one of the new guys came over and he was like, looking at my forceps and some other shit and they’re they’re long. They’re you know Pretty good. And he’s like, I didn’t expect to see somebody working with tools like that and I was like, this is a shit Let’s be anything like ball stuff to us once every four months a new guy with a new set of tools would be taking covers shit off

Mike VO 59:18
and like and that’s where that’s where like flea markets come in super handy because you if you walk a flea market like you’re shopping for tools, you can see shit like forceps and you’re like, Okay, that’s Yeah, you know that dental? Five doors.

Shane Langdon 59:34
That dental pick for the pin tool. Yeah. Mark has been looking for months trying to find a dental pick like a stainless steel pick like that. And he can’t he ordered like three of them online. They’ll come he’s like no little No way. He’s paperclips. That’s what I use paper clips.

Mike VO 59:49
And then and then I just take a file, just file a file.

Roy Merritt 59:54
The small paper clips work really good for the small connectors and big paper clips. We’re good.

Mike VO 1:00:00
If you buy the real pencils are like fucking 40 bucks Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 1:00:03
So I got a

Shane Langdon 1:00:06
savory wire that I twisted into a tee so and that’s what I use for like the Deutsch connectors where you have to use the pin to go and unlock the tool

Mike VO 1:00:17
you know I just tool for that the little rings that come on the Twin Cam tensioners

Unknown Speaker 1:00:25
Yeah, it popped that I have like 50 of those yeah you can find them down

Mike VO 1:00:32
a little bit it makes it long enough and all those dudes can there’s just go

Unknown Speaker 1:00:35
Yeah, it’s fucking

Unknown Speaker 1:00:39
free see the homemade

Roy Merritt 1:00:40
tools, Canvas connectors and the twist grip sensors. The one of the best tools is the you know Samsung comes with them the little thing to pop your microSD card. Oh yeah, yeah, look at that file a little edge on it. pops right out every single time like I have a bug Five of them. And that’s what I use. I just stick it in there and it’s like a perfect size you pop it in pops it right out. I got five or 10 of them off Amazon for like eight bucks or something. Yeah, it was like fuck it. Yeah, I’ll do that. But yeah, and that’s, that’s one of the things comes with time. You don’t know those things when you get out of school, like primary locking tools.

Unknown Speaker 1:01:19
I see that. All right, I got a really good question.

Roy Merritt 1:01:21
This is off the wall here.

Unknown Speaker 1:01:22
You bought George’s garage and I was like, how

Mike VO 1:01:24
would I spend on these and he’s like, I don’t know like 70 bucks I’m like, you know that’s like $2 for the metal.

Shane Langdon 1:01:29
Yes, he’ll just cut down

Mike VO 1:01:32
you just take my die grinders and you don’t have one and cut the

Shane Langdon 1:01:36
goddamn thing right? Like a staircase for the old ones. I just took a piece of

Roy Merritt 1:01:43
my primary locking bar Yeah, yeah, yeah, get some good bar and I want to do that I want to get some good bar steel and cut all that. So that’s

Mike VO 1:01:50
depot it’s like $10 for four feet of it. And then I

Shane Langdon 1:01:52
took an old primary issue I just just cut grind it down and made a staircase with it. That works great for those of our stairs because I play with To

Mike VO 1:02:00
borrow shares

Unknown Speaker 1:02:03
sometimes they go up the

Shane Langdon 1:02:06
stairs it just is like you’re drunk the little wobbly.

Roy Merritt 1:02:11
Drill Can I get a beer?

Unknown Speaker 1:02:13
But I’ll take a little one, make it

Roy Merritt 1:02:16
round

Shane Langdon 1:02:17
round. Well, the moonshine is gone. We gotta drink some, but lemonade, you know,

Unknown Speaker 1:02:24
lemonade.

Roy Merritt 1:02:26
Here’s come into our job is it’s a really interesting job because when these guys roll in here and they do all kinds of job plumbing and you know, lawyers and you name it, they look at us as technicians and think we have the coolest fucking job on the planet. They’re like, Oh, these guys. You know, work on Harley’s and this

Unknown Speaker 1:02:51
rich people’s toys and they’re right.

Unknown Speaker 1:02:54
Well, if you want to talk

Unknown Speaker 1:02:56
talking in the microphone, yeah. Hey, Ricky.

Roy Merritt 1:03:01
As a customer, you come into a place like this and you’re paying $900 or

Unknown Speaker 1:03:05
1200 919 and

Roy Merritt 1:03:10
$19 an hour, and you’re thinking of these fucking guys are making shit tons of money. No, medium, really where the money goes is this building and the support staff and it’s something I’ve had to explain to customers Well, why am I paying three hours for a service if it only took the guy an hour and a half? Well between the service writers and the porters and the parts guys, there was well over three hours worth of work not

Unknown Speaker 1:03:40
take that guy three hours

Shane Langdon 1:03:41
Not to mention Yeah, it takes book time is the 2.3 hours. I challenge

Mike VO 1:03:46
you to do it in three

Roy Merritt 1:03:47
hours. Oh, yeah, absolutely. If you don’t know what needs to be done, you know to look at that book every time three hours no problem. Oh, yeah.

Unknown Speaker 1:03:54
Yeah, but if you do it day in day out for an infiltrators,

Roy Merritt 1:03:57
we were what What is absolutely considered an extreme climate? So if you look into a manual and they say these are the recommendations every 5000 miles under normal, you know, normal conditions extreme climates more often. So in Florida you never do a service pretty much without doing all three fluids just the way it works you know you do a five k 10 k most shops I did. Yeah, yeah, you do all three fluids. When it comes down when you’re doing all three fluids already, you know, five k 10 k would no matter what it is, it’s a fucking service. Like the customers paying whatever amount of money there’s certain things that you do on every service aside from like, neck bearings, or fuck I really can’t think of a whole lot more you know, forks you know, dumb shit that you got to really get into you do that shit on every service. You know, it doesn’t just keep us on the five k? Yeah, just because of the five k does Say to do this bullshit do it. Yeah. And that that comes from being visible. You can have our clamp

Unknown Speaker 1:05:05
bolts if you can see

Roy Merritt 1:05:08
everything that moves let me know. Yeah, I gave Tyler little bit shit.

Shane Langdon 1:05:14
And I should notice that three left hand doesn’t last sg

Roy Merritt 1:05:17
750 the street that I had to put the brake switch on, which was super funny. I couldn’t even believe I was like, Where’s the brake switch on this thing and I walked over and I was like, Oh Jesus Christ, like face like right there hanging off the side like hey, change me. I was like whatever. You say that I tried to fuck with Mike and I was like, God dammit, Mike has always given me the fucking hard jobs and he just ignored me and left and I was like, I don’t. I told him later. I was like, I don’t like when you don’t play into my jokes. I mean, I was like, nevermind.

Shane Langdon 1:05:47
I don’t know if you guys do this, but like when I’m pulling all three drain bolts from the bike. I kind of like it’s it’s almost autopilot, but like just kind of like instead of looking what I’m doing once the wrench is there and you kind of work in my field you’re kind of at an angle on the bike where you’re just kind of like cruising like like you’re you don’t even realize it but you’re scanning across the whole platform of the bike and stuff that isn’t normal after so many years will jump out at you can way too into this like it’ll it’ll be like oh that’s that’s loose or this or like I was out of place Mikey told me it was hard.

Roy Merritt 1:06:27
Mike told me Hey, man, Tyler did a certain five k on it. It just needs a brake switch. We had to order it. I had no problem. You know, pull it in here, pump brake switch on it. And I had the other day I’d wrote it and I kicked up the kickstand and he was like,

Unknown Speaker 1:06:41
that was like,

Roy Merritt 1:06:42
What the fuck man and I was like Jesus Christ. I said the title and I was like, Tyler What the fuck Newser glue you know, and I looked at the work order, and it was an oil change, and I get it, guys want to do what’s on the work order and let him leave. He’s our break, switch. And I lubed all of the you Get the passenger pegs

Mike VO 1:07:02
to our Tyler and had him fucking do it and

Roy Merritt 1:07:04
i and i lubed up the kickstand and before I was done actually to flush it out it was crazy kids

Unknown Speaker 1:07:10
and stuff up I kind of miss

Shane Langdon 1:07:18
fucking now I kind of miss the days so of the non fly by wire Oh yeah, adjusting the throttle cables yeah properly to where you get full throw. I didn’t know that Mr. Lubin the clutch real surface flushing the clutch because what oh seven later when they had the the sheath on it you’re not supposed to spray him anymore

Unknown Speaker 1:07:41
when you go if you’re one of the few people that

Shane Langdon 1:07:44
frame with one

Roy Merritt 1:07:47
if you look in every service intervals

Unknown Speaker 1:07:54
but you’re not supposed to put the power, the power

Roy Merritt 1:07:59
I never did that. Just

Unknown Speaker 1:08:00
only do that when it’s bad lube, you’re not supposed to. If it’s got if it if it has that, that coating on the table, lube it and you pressure it, you can drop down and it gets gritty and you’re screwed.

Roy Merritt 1:08:13
Yeah, I’ve run a few back there. We’re already screwed lube

Shane Langdon 1:08:16
because he bought back with lube.

Roy Merritt 1:08:19
lube is your friend.

Shane Langdon 1:08:24
So you didn’t know that but and then my, the the phrase you’ll hear a couple times a week your whole time there is lube is your friend.

Unknown Speaker 1:08:33
Oh, yeah, I was like when we go to lunch.

Roy Merritt 1:08:36
You guys have got trucks in Phoenix? Oh, yeah. Yeah,

Mike VO 1:08:39
fucking killer.

Unknown Speaker 1:08:40
So hot dog. Where’s Casey in the back and that at night? Do you ever have the hot dog guy that did the meatballs. Did you eat meat back then?

Unknown Speaker 1:08:49
There was the hotdog cart

Shane Langdon 1:08:50
they do Thursdays you do the meatball sandwiches and they’re just

Unknown Speaker 1:08:55
about me.

Unknown Speaker 1:08:56
You’re the same time as me.

Roy Merritt 1:09:00
But I went in the morning. Oh yeah, I want a night. Oh, in the morning. That’s hardcore.

Shane Langdon 1:09:04
Oh, I was going on night and then I went to the morning side to work.

Roy Merritt 1:09:09
But I was a night class.

Mike VO 1:09:11
Because why? Because that were, Oh,

Roy Merritt 1:09:14
actually I like night class I went to school is really cool guys and they were like serious. And that was the best part because it’s like anything else you get into high school you’re getting anywhere. If you associate with the people that don’t want to go to school, you’re not gonna want to go to school. Well, I was happy to make friends but guys that like wanted to be the best in the class. So it pushed me you know,

Mike VO 1:09:36
so I did it. Like growing up. I was I was pretty immersed in the motorcycle industry. And then I went to MMI because I got out of the industry for a while because I got kind of tired of it. Yeah, you know, on the aftermarket side. And it was kind of an accident actually. The shop that I worked at, went under because the boss let go Gain just a little bit more than he liked motorcycles. So you kinda have to nearly like a cane. Motorcycle shop cocaine.

Shane Langdon 1:10:08
Yeah. Like, let’s just try the cocaine

Unknown Speaker 1:10:10
and see if it works.

Unknown Speaker 1:10:14
And then can the tracksuit

Unknown Speaker 1:10:15
Yeah, I think enough cocaine, I can do the motorcycle. So, I

Mike VO 1:10:22
I went to work and you know, I had a college and the army and all that stuff I they promoted me super fast. And I was just trying to raise money to move to go work at another shop that weekend. It was winter, so winter is not a good time to go. Yeah. And then I was like, Well, fuck, this seems pretty easy. If I show if I sweep the floor and take the trash out without being told I get promoted. So

Roy Merritt 1:10:44
see what Lowe’s It’s amazing. You know, it’s funny you say that because I’ve been in a lot of different industries. And I mean, I think y’all know I have a decent work ethic. I’m gonna be the greatest person in the world, but I’m good at work ethic. And that’s about it. It takes, yeah. I mean, you get into a business and you have a decent work ethic. It’s amazing how fast you can get promoted. Like, it’s like I went into I went to work for a company called color vision in Florida, and they handled all of the photography and Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. So all the ride photos, all the roaming photographers and things like that. I had always thought photography was cool. That was my that was that was my experience going into that business. Okay. So I went in, and I worked at the front gates with a lady. And before my 90 Day Review, I was her assistant manager. Yeah, well, and Lowe’s was pretty cool. Yeah. And maybe a month or two later, we sat down with it was a very corporate atmosphere. And we sat down with the district managers and this and that and a bunch of people and I didn’t really realize what was going on. When I went into the meeting, Christine was like, Hey, you need to come to this meeting with me. And I was like, Okay. And she had been with the company for eight years, she was one of the like, the longest standing managers in the company and had a lot of pool. and was like, basically recommending me to become the next manager. And I’ve missed, like four or five months, I’d you know what I mean, I barely knew what the fuck was going on. And I know how things are done on how I know how to keep things moving. You know, that was the biggest thing. And so we were sitting in this meeting, and they’re, they’re talking. So you’re recommending him, blah, blah, blah. And I kind of realized what’s going on as conversations going on. And I’m like, Oh, shit, and Christina is sitting next to me. And she’s like, he’s the best assistant manager I’ve ever had. And I was like,

Mike VO 1:12:52
you know, like, I feel bad for you.

Unknown Speaker 1:12:56
That was my first thought it was really I’m the best event.

Mike VO 1:13:01
call in sick

Roy Merritt 1:13:03
but, um, yeah and it’s been like that every job I’ve basically ever had I started, you know, washing dishes or sweeping the floors or being a porter like I didn’t this and yeah, you know and next thing you know, even fresh out of school you know my first shop I was a fucking manager and like,

Shane Langdon 1:13:18
this year did you have a role of ESL for those who work for you know?

Unknown Speaker 1:13:24
Do you have a role a vehicle for the shopkeeper for? Not yet? He’s the only one I know.

Robert Rohdy 1:13:30
So I didn’t just roll a vehicle I rolled a vehicle uphill one time and then back down at like five

Roy Merritt 1:13:36
with with another vehicle

Unknown Speaker 1:13:39
with another vehicle inside

Robert Rohdy 1:13:42
a trailer.

Mike VO 1:13:43
trailer and a truck.

Shane Langdon 1:13:44
That was the that’s the company you currently work for that offer you 10 job. Yeah, it is.

Robert Rohdy 1:13:50
A little bit.

Mike VO 1:13:53
Funny is the next day when he was he was telling me about I’d only been here like probably about five months. Six months. Yeah. And he’s telling me he’s like laughing and I said it’s not fucking funny, man. Yeah, you realize how much money you cost our company and he was like, I laugh when I’m nervous.

Robert Rohdy 1:14:11
Like I fully expected that. I was I was, buddy it’s been nice knowing you work. I mean,

it wasn’t. It wasn’t like a this is funny. That’s awesome. I’m alive. It was a well yeah, I got a family

Roy Merritt 1:14:29
so, you know, you go back to the main topic what to expect when,

Unknown Speaker 1:14:34
when all of this shit there’s a lot to do with

Roy Merritt 1:14:37
where you go.

Unknown Speaker 1:14:38
Good luck, you know?

Unknown Speaker 1:14:41
Between us when you

Roy Merritt 1:14:42
have a lot of shops under our belt. I don’t know about you guys. My my last shop if you went to Orlando MMI and you had a Harley and you asked one of the teachers Where should I take my Harley? My shop was where they told you there was bigger shops that did Way more volume and we’re destination dealerships. But if you ask someone in the community, hey man, where’s the shop? I could go. And I walked into a service department that had a stellar reputation and everyone I mean teachers I had when I was a year out of school, I was a service manager. I had my teachers applying for jobs there. It was an hourly shot. Yeah, it was an hourly shop they didn’t pay a lot of money was not your drive. It was one of the best

Shane Langdon 1:15:34
places your tech money is not your drive.

Roy Merritt 1:15:36
Yeah.

And it was a great place to work and and and I feel like displaces too you know, we all work together you know, we all get along great and you know, yeah, we’re gonna bitch and holler and whatnot. It when shit goes down, but in the end, I feel like we have a really good shop here like we did when she was good in my last shop at Harbor Freight

Unknown Speaker 1:16:06
contractually obligated to say Harbor Freight at every Thanksgiving

Roy Merritt 1:16:09
meal. I like to think Harbor Freight for this Turkey.

Shane Langdon 1:16:18
Not only are there tools delicious like Ricky Bobby with Gatorade

Mike VO 1:16:24
are they delicious? But I’m contractually obligated.

Unknown Speaker 1:16:28
Power rated every grace. I

Roy Merritt 1:16:30
went, you know, when I was an MMI I had so many guys who were like, yeah, I’m gonna come out and make so much money like, I was not shot and that’s not true because MMI basically told you that you’re not gonna make money. But they told me that when I went through, they were like all the commercials.

Unknown Speaker 1:16:48
They might have just thought you were like,

Roy Merritt 1:16:54
you’re not making me.

Mike VO 1:16:57
I’m gonna own the world. And I was like, Yeah, I did this before. I came

Roy Merritt 1:17:01
most of my teachers were like

Unknown Speaker 1:17:02
they tell you 60 grand out of school when I got in and I’m like,

Mike VO 1:17:08
the most MMI so

Shane Langdon 1:17:11
and the commercials getting in 15 years ago they’re saying 50 grand

Mike VO 1:17:14
oh yeah school oh yeah sure, sure. So when I was a kid you know aftermarket shop and he built choppers not quite as retarded as this like stretching next and doing i like i like how we didn’t you know back there that we didn’t have the fucking gay bars in the in the gas tops.

Shane Langdon 1:17:32
I like the right side drive with the sprouter so that the kickstand side is super clean. Yeah, that looks cool stoop. So,

Mike VO 1:17:44
you know, I had a softail army. And whenever I was in the army, I would I would shop right because back in in the 90s and before before, like, you know, it was required to go to school. So you get in debt to have jobs. You trade jobs. Yeah. You learn by apprenticing and when you apprentice you don’t get paid. You know, so when I was a kid, you know, I didn’t get paid at my dad’s shop I washed carburetors in, non safety clean. Like cracked your hand.

Unknown Speaker 1:18:18
Clean the carburetors. I spooned

Mike VO 1:18:20
tires on on a metal table that had an axle on the top with blocks of wood. No and you did everything by hand. Yeah, and I didn’t know the retired machine this was like the machines for this is

Unknown Speaker 1:18:37
better than our machine

Unknown Speaker 1:18:38
you know, and I have

Mike VO 1:18:41
you know, I was taught that to the torque the base bolts on a shovelhead because they have studs that come up and they just just the studs have nuts right on the bottom. Oh, yeah. It’s as tight as you can get it and then two hits with a hammer. I was taught that’s how you tied the old school to to that you go as far as you can go and then power power. Alright, that’s good. Two more pow, pow. That’s the torque. That’s how it was taught to just clutches. Yeah.

Roy Merritt 1:19:07
Shouldn’t you? Yeah, you tighten it up, and then pow, pow.

Mike VO 1:19:10
So when I was in the army, I would chop, right, you know, and I would go and work at shops for free, just so that I could get Costco set on parts. And I’d sweep the floor and start over, you know, I built a pretty nice, fast softail. And I wrote it and I just, you know, I was in the army, so I couldn’t afford to fix it. So I’m like, Hey, give me cost plus 10 on parts, and I’ll sweep the floor. I’ll clean parts, I’ll do tires, whatever you want, you know, so I got to know some of the guys and then I got out of the army, went to Phoenix go to MMI and was like, this is a fucking joke. Right? You guys are kidding. I’m going to spend like, back then it was like 15 grand for a toolbox, and shop manuals you already have. I’m like, I have I already have like, a big you probably knew everything. I was like, I have Well, I I thought I did sounds dumb. And I was 20. And I was arrogant. You know, they mean and I was like, Dude I’m a fucking airborne soldier with the this is retarded. So I end up doing construction in Phoenix for a year not it’s not fun, no freight framing and Phoenix is no

Unknown Speaker 1:20:11
bueno. so worth it. It’s in shop. So it was

Mike VO 1:20:15
one of the shops that I that I worked at when I was in the army he called me and said, Hey, so and so left, you know, what are you doing on Phoenix? And I was like, fucking working construction. He’s like, well, I need you to come work for me. I’ll give you $500 a week. Cash under the table. Oh, and I was like, Alright, so can you front me the first 500 so I can get there. And he’s like, yeah, okay, so I moved back out and I was making a dude that was most that to this day. I was like, Adam, I made a lot of money. I mean, I you it’s not on the books. $500 a week, cash, just boom, and you just do like work on bikes, do whatever. And I was working with a super brilliant guy named Joseph Jason McCloskey that taught me all kinds of shit about timing and head flow and balance. And we had an he had a new a valve cutting machine and I cut valves on receipted valves and just did fucking crazy head work with hand porting heads and all this shit. And he was a engineer and he engineered gyroscopes for the Navy. and was like, I like motorcycles way better than

Unknown Speaker 1:21:22
gyroscopes.

Mike VO 1:21:22
So yeah, he was from Long Beach. And so he was just this fucking crazy ass weird ass alcoholic. He’s dead now. But anyway, so that shop went under, I went to Lowe’s. And we had like this big visit, like three years, like two months after I got there. Right. First of all, they were like, We want to make you department manager because you put all these tools away when they came into these baskets. And nobody told you to do it. I was like, What am I supposed to do with

Unknown Speaker 1:21:51
the baskets? Yeah, you know, that’s why your management yeah.

Mike VO 1:21:55
Oh, yeah. And they’re like, Well, you could you you clean the trash. You clean everything up. Nobody has that. He would do and I’m like, okay, so that so they have this thing. So I became a target manager of tools and hardware, you know, and I’m like, whatever. And so, I grew up in the motorcycle industry where they’re like, I want to order this. Yeah. Okay. Yeah, it’s this much money in order for you No problem. So, so I special ordered tools at Lowe’s. Like all the time, people come in and be like, man, I wanna, I want to chop saw and move on. I’m like, well, it’s gonna catalog so I look it up. And I call Makita. Like, Hey, no problem, man. Come over here pay for it takes this long to get it. So they’re like, how are you special ordering all these tools? And I was like, yeah, people come in, and they ask for these tools. And we don’t have them over here. So we have this big fucking rocket catalog.

Shane Langdon 1:22:43
Well, here’s this one right here.

Mike VO 1:22:45
Hey, he makes that song. Every day. Yeah, now you’re talking about my life. That’s just that’s the way our industry is. Yeah. But you go to like somewhere like a hardware store. And they have those things. catalogs, but they’re just like, No, we don’t have it. And there’s no like, whatever. So I didn’t know any better. So I hadn’t been dumbed down to the society, you know? Yeah. So they’re like, well, we think you should get promoted. And I’m like, Look, I’m a motorcycle mechanic. This really just like to make enough money to move to Pittsburgh. Because there’s a guy out there that wants to hire me, but I’ve got to wait till April. You know, this is great. They’re like, No, seriously, like, look. And so like, it was, I think it was the regional vice president. He’s like, look at the special orders you’ve done in your store. Now I’m like, okay, and he’s like, it’s like, $77,000, or whatever it was. And I’m like, yeah, and he’s like, yeah, look at everyone else in the entire North in the entire southeast because this was Georgia. It was like, so they’ve done like, $1,000 in the other 90 stores. You’ve done like 7000 by yourself. What Are you doing and I’m like nothing. They just asked for a tool and I walk over to the catalog and say, I can get it from this company or this guy. Which one do you want? Yeah. And they’re like, we need to promote you.

Unknown Speaker 1:24:20
office space.

Mike VO 1:24:24
How I became a store manager for Lowe’s. I was like, Okay, well, I’m not sure they’re like, this is how much money you’ll get paid. And I was like, all right, okay, stock. That’s a lot of money. $45,000 a year. Plus, you can get stock options and you can get sales bonuses and those bonuses sounds pretty good. Oh, yeah. You got that part of the compressor. That’s

Unknown Speaker 1:24:54
the goddamn ice machine last last time. He’s like he’s like yeah.

Mike VO 1:25:01
Yeah, and 10 years later, all I wanted to do is work on motorcycles. You know, when I was making a you make a fucking retail, there’s a lot of money. There’s tons of money if you move up I mean, there’s not a ton of money being a cashier, but why should there be next

Shane Langdon 1:25:14
Nick’s wife does retail and she just worked her way through like Bed Bath and other places, to where she’s a store manager. And when she went on maternity leave, she’s got six months paid. Yeah, including like six months paid full full pay, including medical and everything for maternity leave, because she’s a store manager and a store manager pay.

Mike VO 1:25:36
Yes, just likely, like at 80,000 a year. Yeah. Or 90,000 a year. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 1:25:40
And so I’d like to be there so you’re getting 45 grand to not be there. Here’s it. Here’s

Unknown Speaker 1:25:47
your single day people every day every day you want to

Unknown Speaker 1:25:52
comment?

Mike VO 1:25:55
No comment is not only are you so the thing that sucks about Her life every single day when she goes to work is not only as everybody that worked for her,

Shane Langdon 1:26:05
just out of high school,

Mike VO 1:26:07
they don’t want her they don’t want her around because they don’t want to be told what to do. They can’t figure out what to do without you. And everybody above her wonders why she wasn’t just this much better. Yeah, yeah. Because their bosses like how come you didn’t do this? And their bosses? How can you do and their bosses some fucking faggot ass? CEO CEOs don’t do shit

Roy Merritt 1:26:32
like that you can never do a job ever. Management. You never do enough. Yeah, doesn’t matter how good you are or whatever. You’ll look good for a while. But then there’s always a point you hit where

Unknown Speaker 1:26:41
that’s what like contracts, whether they’re like cash out and then bail.

Unknown Speaker 1:26:44
Yeah, that’s it.

Shane Langdon 1:26:45
Yeah, that’s the whole game. We hit all your bullet points you want to hit? Oh, man.

Mike VO 1:26:50
There’s one left, right. I mean, what’s the last one? Pay pay. But we’ve talked about that

Unknown Speaker 1:26:56
retail

Unknown Speaker 1:26:58
retailer Level 10

Roy Merritt 1:27:00
is a minimum wage job.

Mike VO 1:27:02
Oh yeah, it sucks. I know you have to do it for the love

Roy Merritt 1:27:05
Yeah, I buy was like fucking Burger King or so yeah. Oh damn, they were like starting $12 an hour and I was like

Unknown Speaker 1:27:14
so started at nine

Roy Merritt 1:27:17
850 when I started Yeah. And and they promoted me to a tech and I got $9 an hour.

Mike VO 1:27:22
You know, when I started working for actual Harley Davidson I know you’re getting Oh man, I’m gonna

Unknown Speaker 1:27:25
get my house back. But that wasn’t that long ago.

Roy Merritt 1:27:28
I mean, I went to school in 2010 or 11. So it was it was like 2012

Unknown Speaker 1:27:32
and it wasn’t that long ago, almost 10 years.

Mike VO 1:27:35
So yeah, but pay hasn’t changed. When I decided that I was going to have a lot of retail go back into motorcycles, right shit cost more. I said okay, I’m gonna go back into motorcycles in 10 years, I’d saw the shift you kind of had to go to school because everything was electronic and you had to learn digital technician, you just and the labor laws and the liberals that one you know what I mean? So you couldn’t just go and like work your way in anymore. You had to have like A, you had to have like this piece of paper. So I had about $100,000 in just like liquid cash. So sold everything off, I quit, I quit, I went to MMI. And I started my own business, my own shop same time, because I’d been doing it for a while. I mean, I kind of knew what’s going on. I got in. I befriended what I used to do is I’d go to swap meets, and I started a mobile oil change company. So every Saturday I’d pay 20 bucks to go to a swap meet and I became a royal purple dealer and had a big banners and in cases of royal purple and I go to swap meets and I’d talk to anybody that had a Harley and be like, Hey, I’ll do I’ll go to your house and change your oil. So much money.

Unknown Speaker 1:28:39
Yeah, purple will propose a shit.

Mike VO 1:28:43
So I got a few clients and then I met this guy that was part of the Christian motorcycle Association. The CMA guys did a couple things for him. He had a shovelhead that he called the I came here when he caught the purple nightmare or something like that because it had a suit Bad death wobble because it was a it was an FX e with flh trees on it so it was a like a basically an FX E and a shovel. It was like a Dinah. And then it had

Roy Merritt 1:29:16
a front end on it. Now were those so the self centering Vernon. No,

Mike VO 1:29:21
no, no, but the cups were fucked up. So the so no matter what they did, that neck was super loose. And so I had it for like one day and I was like, Well, you’ve got the wrong front end on this thing. It doesn’t, you know, you’ve got like a narrow ply front end and then you’ve got wide glide trees and they it’s like, they just don’t match. You know, it’s like punching tips and then trying to impregnate Yeah, it’s not gonna happen talking so I fixed that.

Unknown Speaker 1:29:48
You fucking frightened.

Unknown Speaker 1:29:54
oil changes like whatever I

Mike VO 1:29:55
cannot find time to I get this one guy bring his bike to my house. I figured And form. And then the president of the CMA in in Phoenix is like, Hey, can you work on all of our stuff? And I was like, yeah. And then, like two weeks later, I’m like, I can’t do this house anymore. Yeah, I have to go find some place. So I bought a little fucking garage with no AC, no nothing. And I’m going to school at MMI in the morning, and then in the afternoon, I’m opening up my shop at like one o’clock and staying up until 10 o’clock at night. Oh, and then I outgrew my first space got to my second space. So finally, I’m like, you know what, I’m fucking sick of the aftermarket shit. I couldn’t get enough. I didn’t you know, as right at that point of small businesses where you die unless you take a huge investor loan. Yeah, because I had too much work for me to handle and I would well so my The good thing was I had a good job books, I would hire him and my kids. Yeah. So I’d hire them to come and work for me flat rate, and I’d be like, Hey, I’ll give you you know, $15 flat rate. So I would charge like 75 bucks an hour. Give them $15 an hour. So I did my My biggest moneymaker was I installed tires for free. And man that fucking pissed everyone in Phoenix you bought the tires for me I installed them for free. So they buy retail for pay retail for the tire installation, be free and I get the brake pads and whatever else I could upsell but it turned

Shane Langdon 1:31:18
me on to paying $15 for some kid to put a man Yeah, and they’re making what the 40% over Well yeah,

Mike VO 1:31:25
well the tires are like 30% markup but I’m making nothing, absolutely nothing on the tires, but it gets the motorcycle in there so that I can service the brake and I can get to know the people and start building a rapport you know, and so like a year or two later, it that’s the norm out there now. They don’t charge labor anymore. So I got sick of it and I started I was like fuck it I’m gonna go work for a shop. I got hired on my as my first tech is our ladies Davison 12 bucks an hour. Yeah.

Roy Merritt 1:31:57
After owning your job,

Mike VO 1:31:59
yeah, yeah, I sold everything off and I was like, I want to be a tech and he’s like, Well, you know what, that’s what I

Shane Langdon 1:32:05
was told. That’s fine minimum wage,

Mike VO 1:32:09
you’re out, man. Rudy’s out od is out of the building.

Shane Langdon 1:32:14
either go home to the wife and little bit.

Roy Merritt 1:32:16
Yeah, it’s about time to wrap it up anyways. But, you know, I think I think that the biggest thing about the pay thing is you’re not getting paid. You’re not gonna get paid for a while. No, I think you

Unknown Speaker 1:32:28
know, unless you’re great. No, nobody will pay you like master status. If you got something to give great tech, you know, I kind of like,

Mike VO 1:32:36
and if you’re like, well, you’re not a great tech for 10 years,

Unknown Speaker 1:32:39
you know, that’s what I mean. If you dedicate yourself to it, like anything, like any craft, you dedicate yourself to, if you become great at it, you’re gonna Well sure,

Mike VO 1:32:46
but this is like these are this is the new kills. We have a group of people here know

Unknown Speaker 1:32:53
that he wants to be great at it. If that’s what you want to do, and you have a love for it then, right?

Mike VO 1:32:58
But but that’s you but But you

Roy Merritt 1:33:00
aren’t that doesn’t have that mentality No, there’s there’s a certain mentality of I would say Marcus me Shane, Mike, that we all kind of had when we came out which was that we wanted to be the best

Unknown Speaker 1:33:14
we wouldn’t be here if we didn’t have

Unknown Speaker 1:33:17
yeah now let me ask you this is it a capacity thing or is it a

Unknown Speaker 1:33:23
dedication?

Roy Merritt 1:33:25
Yeah, there’s both there sir.

Shane Langdon 1:33:26
You gotta have you gotta be dedicated and it’s gonna be something that just you want to do and you like doing it. This is one job and mind you different dealerships, different people certain things in your life come up. But I’ve worked a lot of jobs, I’ve done retail, I’ve done restaurants, catering, whatever. Um, you know a lot of jobs you work for where you wake up and you think of you know, what’s it a good excuse to call in sick today? Never

Mike VO 1:33:55
you call. You fuck

Shane Langdon 1:33:58
the time. I’ve never had that feeling in the industry like, you don’t you know if you know that you’re coming in to do a V rod valve lash, you might already

don’t want to go in but you’re still like, well, there might be some cool behind that. Yeah. You know, or serving tables or or plus

Mike VO 1:34:18
plus a deal. I don’t come at means

Shane Langdon 1:34:21
he or or no if you don’t come in when they come in the next day it’s somebody sitting there waiting for you. Yeah, so just go but but it’s still it’s you know if if I was just doing tires every day, which is worse stress, but as older Tech’s we don’t like it because we did that. We served our time. We did lube and tire for years years. So pushing bikes like today, more I was in the dyno prepping for the tune in the morning. Marcus is finishing up that job he was setting up in here. He’s like, I felt kind of bad. I’m like I did too. And they looked and we had three lot tech Yeah, we had sketch, we had two hourly paid guys. And we had roadie with seven guys on the clock being paid to bring bikes in. I’m like, You know what? I did the shit 15 years. I’m not worried about bringing bikes in for free tonight. Yeah. But that’s the thing is you do it for so long. There’s things that you’re not worried about. But yeah. As you know, like, there’s days where I come in, and I’m like, Alright, I got a motor, and I come in mentally prepared to build a motor. And then as soon as I get into it and get it down, the parts aren’t here. Here, start on this one. That’s right in the middle. It’s like so. So getting mentally prepared for something is good, because you can make time but same time, you got to be ready for that quick switch. We’re like, Well, those parts aren’t here. So do this five K, with a neck bearing. And then hey, as soon as you’re done with that, there’s a dyno and then hey, like, you gotta be ready for the Quick quick flash. But but at the same time, as we’re all wired to have a Plan and then when that doesn’t go to plan, just naturally you’re like, Oh, no, no, that’s not what I want. But having the ability to roll with the punches and this industry is your is it they’re gonna help you or kill you?

Roy Merritt 1:36:14
Was it? So, you know, we all reach points where you’re throwing a million things and how you handle those situations says a lot for how you’re gonna last. Oh, yeah, you know, I everybody has her moments, you know? Yeah, we’ve been going through a lot.

Unknown Speaker 1:36:31
We got four racks and everything’s torn down and the new guys come out. They’re like, well, you got to do this. And

Roy Merritt 1:36:35
I’m like, motherfucker, I got four mics. I know you’re new. I’m sorry. I’m not pitching to you. I’m pitching. You.

Shane Langdon 1:36:44
Yeah, what do you got for rascoe?

Mike VO 1:36:49
Like, why is it going to ROI, like ROI. Just tell me Who told you to give it to Roy

Shane Langdon 1:36:58
yesterday. In part, the bike list officer tear apart other bike and we have four racks of motorcycles torn down for motors and they bring me an oil change. Yeah, I look at I look at Nick. And I’m like, huh? And he’s like, what? And it turns to you and you’re like, no,

Roy Merritt 1:37:14
that’s not going to say thank you.

Shane Langdon 1:37:18
For us jobs.

Unknown Speaker 1:37:21
That’s been there sitting there for a minute.

Roy Merritt 1:37:23
Yo, yeah, I got one more to get off a lift. Big Wheel bash. I like I like brake lines

Unknown Speaker 1:37:30
gay. I think they’ll

Roy Merritt 1:37:33
be good. You’re ripping through man. Yeah, you can kill those motors pretty good. I can’t do them that fast.

Mike VO 1:37:39
Well, you but you you wouldn’t be able to if you did if I did. them all the time. Yeah. And you know, and another thing that people don’t understand is like they they look at the job. They’re like, this is the coolest job in the world. It sure is when you’re on that side of the counter. Yeah.

Roy Merritt 1:37:53
You know, when everything goes in perfectly. This is a great job, but even when he rarely does

Mike VO 1:37:57
even when you’re in but even When you’re immersed in it like we are you know like so I did all the dyno tuning for a long time everybody’s like man if I fucking want to dyno tune that you know you that’s the shittiest fucking job in this entire shop and you don’t realize it until now it’s your job

Shane Langdon 1:38:16
well the biggest pressure is is when okay we got to the traveler so got built Terra motor, build the motor make sure and do it fast but make sure you do it right because they don’t have time for fuckup some tear down and bonehead gaskets and then turn around and dyno tune and make sure that diamonds use right get it off the dyno cleaned up go ride it do your fixes if you need them, get it cleaned up and then let the guy ride it before he takes it and

Unknown Speaker 1:38:43
that’s a that’s become one of our trademarks here two

Unknown Speaker 1:38:45
day turnarounds it’s

Shane Langdon 1:38:49
you show me another shot and so it’s what I’m doing that all week and then like the other day, Sunday does, like you know season you come in Tuesdays I’m like, dude, if I didn’t take these two days off I’ll have a mental breakdown

Mike VO 1:39:07
today and get them all out of the way. And then tomorrow, just just not be in there and you’re like, I think I want to split it up

Shane Langdon 1:39:18
so long and like I can do two a day Good. The third one is, especially if I’m like stressing about getting them done and they take a little bit longer or something’s messing with you and you don’t want to go down the rabbit hole and then you’re doing it. The third one, I started looking at the graph, and I don’t know, if it’s just being tired, the fumes, the heat, whatever it is, all that I saw on the screen and I got like blink a bunch of times. I’m like, Man water real quick because it just you’re looking at charts and numbers and everything the whole time. So it’s just, I mean, it’s cool and I like to be able to do it, but when it’s a matter of tearing down the complete motor as cluding flywheels To do

Mike VO 1:40:00
a three day turnaround it’s wait it’s way cooler. doing those kind of jobs is way cooler when you’re like looking at it gone, man, that’s cool.

Unknown Speaker 1:40:06
Yeah, but, but when it’s when it’s riding on you today I was

Roy Merritt 1:40:11
involved with Jay

Shane Langdon 1:40:12
sold it and he’s going, Hey, yeah, this guy is coming tomorrow and you’re like great I’m just starting to build it and I still have to dyno tune it. And hopefully the gaskets are good. Like as you know, I’ve done a couple hundred motors in the last two years and it’s you know, you do your whole torque spec thing and you do everything repetitively but ever you’re trusting the parts you’re trusting I’ll the gaskets, I mean you don’t know if something’s gonna go and Heaven forbid chain a bad gasket. Just trust

Unknown Speaker 1:40:47
me we had to reach out to Heaven forbid get a head gasket that goes bad It happens when the other guys

Mike VO 1:40:55
got mme either day. And he was like telling me I gotta do this dyno and then I gotta do this. I got it. And I was Are you? You’re, you know, you’re talking to the wrong guy. If you want sympathy, I’m not the guy.

Unknown Speaker 1:41:10
venting He’s like, okay.

Roy Merritt 1:41:16
It’s coming on. Well, man, we’re hitting

Unknown Speaker 1:41:19
that time. I think we covered

Unknown Speaker 1:41:22
right now with us.

Unknown Speaker 1:41:22
Yeah, yeah, man. We’re hanging out. Thank you, listeners for

Unknown Speaker 1:41:26
the listener. Oh, six people are listening. Yeah, I think you’re seven, seven.

Roy Merritt 1:41:33
Thank you. I posted something online and the guy was I bought YouTube in the garbage. Oh, yeah. Oh, seven viewers are gonna watch it now. I posted back we’ve seven now.

Unknown Speaker 1:41:46
Cheers.

Roy Merritt 1:41:48
to fucking seven. Yeah, buy furniture. Hold on a second. All right, well, check us out Talkin braap.com. We have more stuff coming

Unknown Speaker 1:41:59
to Tuesday.

Roy Merritt 1:42:00
Hey, there it is. It’s gonna be coming. Like signature

Unknown Speaker 1:42:09
wrench ride, repeat. Or wrench. Yep.

Unknown Speaker 1:42:49
Turn it off.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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