Mechanic's tools

I work in a diesel repair shop for a construction company. My boss is close to retirement and I am the person who is being looked at to replace him. Mostly we hire inexperienced people with no tools and put them with experienced mechanics to teach them. My question is when, if there should be a deadline when they should have their own tools. I was thinking around 2-3 months and be able to change oil in most of trucks and equipment.

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That’s tough because you know as well as I do how expensive the tools trucks are. But yes after a few months you should have your own basic tools. Obviously you won’t be able to have all the specialty tools in a few months. But basic tools wrenches sockets ratchets is totally feasible in a few months.

might be worth making a list of what you think are the basics they need, vs experienced leads need.

and I hate to say this but - it might even be worth a decent bonus to the position where you provide them. I almost hate to say that but I could see that being a good perk. here is your loaner kit of _________ made by _______, and after 3 months (or some time) of gainful employment, they are yours.

anyway perhaps make a list and give that to them with a few suggestions just to help them not get rolled on tool prices. and say that by month ____ you should have this kit of your own.

Diesel repair uses some pretty heavy tools too so they aren’t cheap - maybe add an impact wrench to the list as a basic tool need. I don’t know how deep your work involves, but I could see that being handy.

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I was a partner in several businesses over my working life. The first one (plumbing business) that I cut my teeth on had the policy of buying/owning the tools needed to do the job. This may have in part been a result of local union contracts. As my partners and I expanded our footprint then ventured into other areas we adopted this practice to other businesses as well. I recognize that this is certainly not the norm for the automotive maintenance and repair business or even the GC/Remodeling business that we expanded into. We also acquired a metal/pipe fabrication business - which because of the need for specialty tools and machinery was not a good fit for worker tool ownership, When the tool trucks would wander onto one of our workout sites or our shops - If I were on site I’d shoo them away - explaining to them how we preferred to source our MRO or worker’s tools.

I know that there are pros and cons - and different levels of costs for both approaches - but just offering a different perspective. BTW I think that we had much better than average employee retention as part of our policy. We also found that most employees took ownership for the tools that they were assigned and seemed to care for and secure them as if they were their own. Naturally if an employee wanted some tool that seemed outside our norm (e.g. a $200 hammer) they were free to buy one themselves. We also had a thing about giving a Lie-Nielsen block plane (of choice) as a gift to an employee that we elevated to or brought on as lead carpenter - as an encouragement for fine craftsmanship.

thanks for your input, company does supply any tool over 1/2 drive and wrenches larger than 1 1/8 . I guess that will be my starting point. I’m not against truck brands I have a lot myself but will try to steer them away at least at first

I’ve worked with a few mechanics and one of my good friends and an old college housemate of mine is a pro diesel mechanic. All of them operated under the expectation that the mechanics themselves are expected to have all the basic tools, but 3/4" drive and larger, or expensive specialty tools like borescopes, large pullers, hydraulic press, etc, belonged to the business they worked for.

Plenty of companies offer tools over 1/2" drive. All the standard tool truck brands do, so do the industrial brands like Proto. Tool truck brands get mighty expensive at this size so I’d look at others like Gearwrench, Sunex, Tekton, EZRed, etc.

thanks everybody I’ll start thinking about what I think they should have by around 3 months and post and see if y’all think I asking too much or if there’s anything I should add

any update on this I’m curious as to the result.

sorry been busy few months

I agree Timothy but right now with the company I’m with it’s they’ll replace if it doesn’t have a warranty. I’ve been talking about a tool allowance for 20 years but no luck.

I think I have a pretty good list going but with 1/2 sockets, how big do I go. I would prefer all the way up to 1 1/2 and 36m. Is that too high?

personally I think so. in 1/2 inch I only have to 30mm and I never use it either. I mean I suppose you need some overlap but once you get past 1-1/8 or 27mm you’re able to have more torque than a 1/2 inch square anvil can take. ANSI rating wise.

But I know some kits go all the way to 36mm - but that’s a drive axel socket too. and those come off with an impact wrench and are impact sockets IMO. I guess I certainly wouldn’t go above that.