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International Automotive Technicians Network
Labor Times and how they are decided
Posted to Industry Issues Forum on 12/5/2012 60 Replies

Ok so I have a question about labor times and how they are decided upon, and what types of tools are and should be considerd shop tools. So I just recently changed jobs and am moving to a flat rate from an hourly position. I am no stranger to flat rate times nor am I a stranger to the fact that not everyone follows a standard and if they do that standard is not always correct nor does it encompass all that a specific job entails. What I am trying to understand is how and where do they decide the flat rate labor times. They have almost never been the same when looking at one source vs another such as factory times, All Data, Mitchell. Take for instance a Luve oil and filter change. Im sure most of us, if not all, can relate to this service. An oil change, no where in the guide does it say lube chassis or set tire preasures mind you,on a 2000 Toyota 4Runner. According to Mitchell it is .4 for a filter replacement and .2 for drain and fill the oil. Nothing about lubing a chassis. On these particular vehicles you must remove a splash shield to access and replace the oil filter. The vehicle holds 6.25 QTs of oil. Now take a 2006 Dodge Sprinter 3500 Diesel oil change. This vehicle has no splash shield to remove. Mitchell lists it at .3 to remove and replace the oil filter and .2 to drain and fill. These vehicles call for 9.0 or 9.5 QTs of oil depending on engine type. For a third refernce 2003 Ford Taurus 3.0 Sohc oil change. No splash shield to remove. Mitchell lists it at .4 to remove and replace the filter and .2 to drain and fill. These engines use about 5 QTs of oil. Now for a service not all people may have done but for those of you who have replacing a door latch. 2010 Ford Fusion drivers side door latch 1.6 hours on the same vehicle the winow regulator pays 1.6 hours but in order to R&R the door latch you must R&R the regulator to access the latch. My point being this In only one job was I ever payed according to or at least close to what a book time for the jobs I did. That was at a Toyota Dealership. The 2000 4Runner I earned .7 for every Lube oil and filter change I performed on them. Camry's, Corolla's were payed at .4 for a lube oil and filter. Every other place I have worked at you earned .3 at best for an Lube Oil Filter service. The Ford Fusion was a car I worked on in a Ford dealership. That job was under warranty. The warranty book time was .7 hours listed in All Data for warranty replacement of the latch, and .7hours for regulator replacement. So my question is this. If there is a minimum wage established for every other working individual in this country. How to companies get away with paying us as Automotive repair proffesionals fractions of what the industry standard labor times are and expect us to produce not only 100% productivity levels but most place expect 120% from a C technician, 130-140% from a B and no less then 140% from an A technician. But they ask you to do these jobs such as a state inspection or oil changes on the floor sometimes outside in the cold because theres no room in the shop, or the vehicle simply doesnt fit. We are expected to have our own tools (more in some places than others). There is always a difference in every shop as to what constitutes a shop tool. They expect 100% productivity out of us or more but there is nothing dictating what we should have at our disposal in order to meet these numbers or to be successfull in our day to day. I am curious how many other technicians would be interested in a standardized labor rate system so you know what you can expect to get payed for what job you're doing. Because personally I feel that companies that set whatever they want to for labor times are simply taking advantage of us as employees. This country has a Federal minimum wage. But we don't. I also feel whole heartedly that repairing automobiles is something that should require Licensing. Licensing for each different aspect of Automotive. Diagnostics, Repairs, and Servicing. Think of how many people can be affected by a car going down the road. Now ask yourself this "Is that wheel tight, are those brake caliper bolts tight, is that fuel line seated properly. Licensing should be a mandate in this line of work. Dozens of people's safety can be affected by improper and sloppy repairs. Poor labor times can contribute to this.

Kevin Hedrick
Automotive Diagnostics & Services
Holland, Pennsylvania, USA

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