The Mechanic’s Crystal Ball

Sometimes it seems that customers expect a technician to instinctively know every answer, to every question, on every vehicle or piece of equipment. Customers expect you to (quickly, you’re on the clock!) gaze into your crystal ball (which you keep in your toolbox…right-hand side, second drawer down from the top…)and give them a solution.


I remember when I first transitioned from the automotive market to work on forklifts, I was ALWAYS running into unfamiliar territory. I realized quickly that while you may need to access manuals for specific procedures or specifications (What!? You call yourself a tech, and you don’t know everything?!), the basic systems follow the same principles in all mechanical fields. That is why a journeyman gets partial credit when he moves into another mechanical trade.

A good technician is not based just on what he knows but also on what he is. Strong work ethic, solid problem solving skills, and knowledge of mechanical systems will enable a technician to find solutions to equipment issues. However,  the right knowledge and resources are tools that will help that technician perform at a high level.

So, here are a few resources to put into your “toolbox”:

#1: MotorPowerInc

This is a helpful site with torque specs, engine data, timing, etc for many popular forklift engines. Save this link to make it easy to refer back when you need this information.

#2: Forums

This is a good forum, Forklift Action. Lots of good ways to find info and bounce ideas off other equipment technicians.

#3 Organizational tools

Ever feel like you have more info than memory?  Yeah, me too. I use Nozbe to do the heavy lifting for me, so I can focus on what I need to do. This lets you organize EVERYTHING! I use it to ensure I have parts ordered, sublet work set up, and to let me follow up on these areas. It does take a week or so to really figure out the system, but the investment will be well worth your time. Plus, they have a free version, and even if you get the paid version, it has a no-hassle 2-month money back  guarantee.

What about you? Send me your best nominations for technician resources.

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