Brad Sherman
Lead Mobile Diesel Technician
Cox Automotive Mobility Fleet Services

Tell us about yourself. What made you decide to become a service professional?
I grew up in a family that is passionate about cars. My dad worked in collision repair both in the automotive and heavy-duty industry and eventually ran his own business restoring classic cars. Through him, I acquired that same passion and enjoyment turning wrenches on the automotive side of things and was intrigued about the possibilities of transitioning those skills into the heavy-duty industry.

Where/How did you get your training to get the knowledge you have today?
I learned basic mechanic knowledge by working on cars, trucks, and bikes as a kid. The U.S. Army Armor School taught me more systematic troubleshooting and diagnostics. Over the years, I’ve gained a lot of experience by simply learning on the job. However, during my time at Ryder, I had access to online training with every OEM in the industry and was able to learn quickly. I was also fortunate to have classes available to help better understand diagnostics and OEM specific procedures/best practices.

How long have you worked as a service professional?
I’ve been a service professional for 17 years.

What role has being ASE Certified played in your journey?
ASE sets the standard of how quality work is to be performed. It has allowed me to take a step back, assess the repairs I completed, and analyze if the repairs are up to ASE and OEM standards. As a technician, every repair you complete contributes to your track record whether it be positive or negative. Day in and day out, I strive to continue building upon a positive reputation and for my customers to be confident that if it’s a repair that I completed, it is a job done right.

What ASE Certifications do you currently hold?
I hold the following ASE Certifications: T2 – Diesel Engines, T3 – Drivetrain, T4 – Brakes, T5 – Steering and Suspension systems, T6 – Electrical systems, T7 – HVAC, and T8 – Preventive Maintenance.

What are some of the top challenges you do/did face as a service professional and how do/did you overcome them?
I’ve had the privilege of working in multiple positions within the company as a mobile technician, lead mobile technician, regional service manager, and mobile technician manager. Each role had its unique challenges, but I have to say one of the greatest challenges I faced was establishing a presence within new markets. Coming into new territory as a relatively unknown service provider with an unproven track record required both myself and my team to go the extra mile to win our customers over. Working long hours in harsh outdoor environments was a daily occurrence. Continually evolving by familiarizing ourselves with the latest technology gave us a “service edge” few could match. We did anything it took to be sure our customer’s fleet was up and running.

Do you have any advice for today’s students who might be thinking about entering the automotive industry or becoming a service professional?
I would say the opportunities in this industry are nearly limitless. There has been a shortage of quality technicians for quite some time, which increased the compensation and benefits provided by employers. The old “grease monkey” stigma attached to being a mechanic is a thing of the past. Highly qualified technicians are earning just as much as many with four-year college degrees and with a fraction of the student debt, if any. The future within this field is promising, and I would advise today’s students to strive to absorb as much knowledge as possible. Spend some time with journeymen technicians who are successful within this field and learn as much as possible from them.

What do you like most about being an automotive service professional?
I’d have say it is working with and training the next generation of technicians coming into this field. If I can contribute to their future success, there’s really nothing more I could ask for.

One of the more satisfying parts of being an automotive technician is knowing you fixed something and the customer shows appreciation.