A redesigned schedule of technical classes and industry sessions at the MACS Training Event provides more opportunities to raise your game.
You asked—MACS listened, and the training program for the upcoming MACS Training Event and Trade Show in Orlando is designed to meet the need. After the last two conventions, we asked our attendees what they wanted from the schedule and the overall program.
Two answers were clear: first, repeat some classes so we’re not put to a choice of “this or that” and second, give us more of everything in depth. As well, an additional subtext in many responses suggested inviting some new presenters to bring a new perspective. We think we have you covered for 2013.
Our three-day event this year will see classes and sessions presented within several tracks and topic areas. From a high-level overview, you’ll find that the usual in-depth Light vehicle A/C and cooling technical classes, and the separate but equally-valuable sessions for Heavy-duty and Off-road vehicles, continue as before. But this year you’ll also find business and management classes on customer handling, the world market, and how to sell to specific market segments (like your kids!), plus a new coolant-specific set of three afternoon classes.
The first day’s schedule, Thursday, is partially doubled, repeating the morning’s most popular courses in the afternoon so you won’t have to give up one class to attend another. The revised HD program will include two new segments specifically aimed at making shops more effective: using diagnostic software, and the repair of recreational vehicles, a growing market segment.
Heavy-duty and off road
The HD market is catching up quickly to the passenger car segment as expanded electronics and diagnostics make their way onto the big vehicles. Tom Wilkins and Mike Maxwell from Noregon Systems introduce their JPRO diagnostic software. Their product isn’t the only game in town but it is one of the most popular. If you work on any of the most popular trucks and engines – International, Detroit, Freightliner, Volvo, Cummins, Mercedes, Ford, GM and many others – you need to be in this class.
Tony Yerman knows how to work on RV air conditioning systems, and how make money at the same time. Motorhomes and campers are popular once again, and they can represent an entirely new line of business for any shop. However, they also require some specific system knowledge and excellent diagnostic skills as well. Tony’s also got the goods on where and how to turn up the elusive technical and product information needed to work on these mobile palaces.
Besides the specialty topics, HD’ers can attend the popular presentations by people who build the systems they work on. Get the latest tech info on systems made or used by Caterpillar, CNH, Bergstrom, Red Dot and TransAir. Working smarter saves time and makes money, so each company is sending an experienced trainer to make certain their products get the proper repair when you get the vehicle.
Virtually every vehicle on the road or off uses liquid engine coolant, and we’re way past the days of “it’s all green.” There’s a lot of science needed to keep engines cool and owners happy. Three sessions address all aspects of selecting proper fluids, knowing when to change them, and keeping the coolants cool. Tom Fritsche, Mike Leeper and Bobby Basset lead you through the sophisticated interaction of fluids, additives, belts and hoses as well as what the DTCs are really telling you.
Autos and light trucks
Vehicles are changing so fast and presenting so many new technologies that what you know today won’t help much in a year. The topics in this track are as up to date as tomorrow’s sunrise and the savvy technician will soak up as much as possible to take back to the shop.
The industry is intrigued and puzzled by the new refrigerant R-1234yf: when will we see it? Will we ever see it? And how do we work with it? Two industry pros, Jim Baker and Tim Craig, have some answers. These two have been involved with the research and approval process from the very beginning and their inside knowledge is priceless. You need this class.
Sooner or later a hybrid or all-electric and rechargeable vehicle will appear in your shop, if one hasn’t already. Some of the work will be routine but some may be related to the battery and high voltage systems. Do you understand the specifics of these systems and the diagnostics? Can you work around the components safely? Tony Martin has done just that for years and his class will make you much more competent when a Leaf, Prius, Volt or even a Tesla (!) shows up at your door.
You’ve worked on performance cars and know how to hack an ECM chip for better performance. Your kids may have unlocked their cell phone to work on other networks. Why not unlock your scan tool for some high performance results as well? Gary Stamberger can show you some secrets hidden within those expensive boxes. If all you’re doing is reading codes, you’re missing a lot.
So one morning a customer walks in and starts off with “You guys are a nothing but a bunch of…” How will you handle the customer and the real cause of the complaint? Greg Marchand has answers for anyone dealing with customers, from techs to shop owners. He’s got experience on both sides of the counter and he’ll tell you what the customer really sees and hears.
As well, you can’t run your business well if you’re not aware of your surroundings. Ward Atkinson’s popular “State of the Industry” presentation after the Thursday luncheon brings his yearly update on happenings both national and around the world. Hear the latest news on pending R-1234yf requirements, the spread of rogue refrigerants, and the newest SAE specifications.
Trade Show Friday
The second day, Friday, is the all-day Trade Show but it still kicks off with another chance to get better at what you do. A few years ago, ace diagnostician Peter Orlando met a Ford Expedition with a problem. The problem pretty much kicked him around the shop for several hours. He’ll relate the mind-boggling story of how he ultimately figured it out. Plan to learn a lot from Peter’s mistakes and successes—something’s out there waiting to kick you, too.
Our last day, Saturday, takes a different tack. Thursday was “something for everybody” but Saturday brings something just for you, no matter what your experience or knowledge.
Seasoned veterans, old salts and HVAC specialty techs will benefit from Peter Orlando’s take on improving your diagnostic skills. He’ll teach you how to think and plan before you ever pick up a scan tool, and one of his teaching points is what NOT to do after you do pick it up. Peter’s classes are a combination of his experience, his humor and tons of information.
MACS is again offering its very popular A/C Boot Camp program on Saturday as well. It’s everything you need and nothing you don’t. This two-part class is ideal for anyone needing either an introduction or a refresher course in system operation, components and proper repair techniques. It’s not just for technicians, but anyone working on or with any part of the HVAC system.
Veteran instructor Larry Turay presents the morning class on the refrigeration system and MACS trainer Bob Miller handles the afternoon session on electrical and electronic systems and controls. You won’t know what you don’t know until you take this class.
A similar “HVAC basics-and-more” Spanish language class will also be presented by Oscar Contreras of Sanden International. He holds an engineering degree and has over 30 years of hands-on experience with vehicle heating and cooling systems. This class is perfect for entry-level and other technicians who need to learn the system right the first time.
If you’ve been in this business for any length of time you might have noticed that your customers seem to be getting younger. Or maybe you’re just getting…nah, that can’t be it. Learn the secrets of dealing with the Gen X and Gen Y young adults who see their cars in a way much different from yours. Bill Haas has some keys for unlocking new business and keeping it.
And before you’re tempted to holler “Get off my lawn,” you’ve got one more chance at Greg Marchand’s lessons in exceptional customer handling. His Thursday presentation was an all-day, two-parter but he’s reprising the high points in condensed form on Saturday as well. The session has style, class and a lot of solid ideas to make your customers want to come back.
As always, it wouldn’t be MACS without Section 609 certification and testing. (Hey, it’s what we do and you’re required to have it!) Our own Paul DeGuiseppi is presenting a free certification class and test on Saturday afternoon. Free, as in bring all your uncertified technicians, sign up at the registration desk and take the course. No convention fees, no class fees, no test fee. Free – as in free.
Find full event details and registration information when you click here!