Dan Hammond
Elite Technical Instructor, Cox Automotive Mobility Fleet Services

Tell us about yourself. What made you decide to become a service professional?
At about eight years old, I started messing with model airplanes and engines. I collected about 20 model airplanes and engines along the way and kept rebuilding them after they crashed. Later, I was fixing bicycles and go-karts and eventually started fixing my mom’s car when it wouldn’t start. When I was in the army I worked on tanks, jeeps, trucks and all kinds of other vehicles.

I eventually went to college for automotive technology where I learned how to fix cars and then worked at dealerships and truck stops. After that, I went to the National Guard to work on maintaining a fleet of commercial vehicles and I rebuilt components for tanks, starters, and alternators. When I got out of the National Guard, I bought my first race car while attending race school, where I became a mechanic and a team manager. Eventually, I was asked by Terry Rivers to judge Cox Mobility’s annual skills for their technicians and was hired full-time.

Where/How did you get your training to get the knowledge you have today?
I learned a lot along the way growing up. I didn’t have a need to get ASE certified until I started working for Cox Automotive. Now, I help prep our FleeTec Academy students with practice questions and get them ready to achieve their ASE Certifications.

How long have you worked as a service professional?
I’ve been a service professional for 48 years (from the point of joining the army).

What role has being ASE Certified played in your journey?
If I had those certifications earlier on, I think my path might have been different. Now that I have those certifications, I get more recognition and it shows people, especially students, that ASE certification is obtainable and helpful for their journey.

What ASE Certifications do you currently hold?
Nineteen total including ASE World Class Certified, Master in Automotive, L1, L2, C1, Truck ASE Master Certification as well as most ‘A’ certifications.

What are some of the top challenges you do/did face as a service professional and how do/did you overcome them?
I enjoy overcoming challenges and problem solving. Sometimes it’s tricky little things such as misfires, and when you’ve done all your research just to find out it was a simple item all along. It’s a good feeling to get something fixed that really challenges you.

Do you have any advice for today’s students who might be thinking about entering the automotive industry or becoming a service professional?
Don’t do it just because it’s a job. Do it because it’s a passion.

What do you like most about being an automotive service professional?
That feeling you get when you repair something and when the customer is excited to have their vehicle back.