After more than 70 years in the self-moving industry, Team U-Haul knows what it takes to keep our trucks and trailers running smoothly. It’s much more involved than regular oil changes and accurate tire pressures. Since the launch of the U-Haul Technician Training Program, shop team members are better equipped to keep up with this ever-changing field. Thanks to these hardworking team members, who become master technicians, U-Haul equipment is serviced efficiently and then is back on the road. Ultimately, this this helps customers with their moving adventure.
To honor their contributions to the Company, we’re highlighting team members who hold the coveted title of U-Haul Trained Master Technician. To earn this title, a technician must complete all of the training courses. Additionally, the Master Tech has pass the mastery exams in each of the specialty areas of the U-Haul Technician Training Program. It’s the pinnacle of all U-Haul technician positions. Not everyone can claim this prestigious distinction. Mike Thompson, production supervisor at Warrington Equipment Manufacturing Company, is one of them. Thompson is the first, and so far the only, U-Haul Trained Master Technician at a U-Haul manufacturing plant.
How it came to be
“Back in the 70s and 80s,” Thompson recalled, “my dad Richard worked for the Horsham Warehouse.That led to my brother, getting a job at Horsham after he graduated. After I graduated, there was an opening and they hired me. I started as a parts picker and slowly moved up through the Company. It was a family affair all the way.
“Earning this certification gave me better knowledge of the issues we face on some of our trucks,” Thompson continued. “Before taking this course, I already had ASC certification, so this was another step on my learning path.”
Thompson oversees the pre-delivery inspection line, special projects and service vehicles. The F550 area field manager rig is his favorite truck to work on.
“It’s different from the other trucks we build,” Thompson explained, “and I like the fact that they go to U-Haul Team members after completion. I especially enjoy seeing the faces of people light up when they get their new trucks.”
Useful learning experience
For Thompson, the hardest part of the U-Haul Technician Training Program was the electrical. He noted that a lot of really good information is available through these courses, which would be of excellent use to anyone interested in learning about any gasoline-powered vehicle.
“I’m eager to spread the word about this program because it’s been a great help in my line of work,” Thompson enthused. “I have several team members here at Warrington interested in this educational process and I use that as the key to firing up enthusiasm. I tell them, ‘Hey,you can learn more about your own vehicles and our trucks, how they’re built and how to work on them.’ Four of my teammates are right now working through their training program.”
Thompson’s advice to other team members is to approach this learning experience with diligence and focus.
“It’s important that you take your time with this,” Thompson counseled. “Be patient with it, take lots of notes and carefully read every little detail.”
Gartner on Thompson
Mike Gartner, Thompson’s production manager, offered high praise for Thompson’s contribution to Warrington Equipment Manufacturing.
“Mike has always been a big asset here,” Gartner remarked, “even before becoming a certified master technician. By achieving the status of master technician, he has proven his dedication and commitment to the U-Haul way.
“Having a master technician in house helps keep production flowing in a timely manner,” Gartner added. “When a problem arises, I ask Mike to check it out, and he will correct it. Mike also can identify common challenges we face, and pass these on to the U-Haul Technical Center for further attention. By having Mike here as a master technician, I have one less thing to be concerned about.”
Congratulations on becoming a U-Haul Trained Master Technician, Mike!