The less-than-truckload fleet’s 537 technicians also are assigned one hour of training per week, Newby said, adding that Old Dominion is the only LTL carrier with an ASE certification training program.
“If a technician follows through with the training and shows commitment and tests, he’s automatically promoted,” Newby said.
Adding more computing and diagnostic capability in the shop helps, but the industrywide shortage of technicians remains.
While finding technicians is a challenge, getting new technicians up to speed and maintaining technical skills is just as critical, said Steve Lynch, vice president of equipment purchasing and shop operations with Swift Transportation, which is based in Phoenix. “We’re spending a ton of money and time training people.”
Swift, which ranks No. 6 on the for-hire TT100, requires its 1,300 technicians to take one hour of training weekly, whether it’s for the latest update or a refresher on a previous topic, Lynch said.
But the need for tech-savvy technicians can only grow, he said.