When we say – a heavy duty repair, we mean – independent and internal shops focused on maintaining Class 6-8 vehicles, agricultural machinery, emergency vehicles, construction equipment, heavy machinery, commercial fleets, and more.
Here are some interesting findings from big survey (more than 500 shops and 900 individuals from the commercial freight, logistics, and repair industries from across North America).
The average age of shop employees tends to be on the younger side— over a third of those surveyed identified themselves as 18-34 years old. But the older generation is represented, too, as 7% of respondents are 65 or older.
Women are still a considerable minority in the industry, making up just 17% of our overall respondents. Men made up the other 83%.
Fifty-nine percent of our respondents reported between 0-5 techs on their payroll. Meanwhile, 33% had between 6-15 techs. This could be due to new shops opening up, as newer locations are more likely to have fewer techs at first. The uptick may also be thanks to several new programs designed to draw new techs to the industry.
The most difficultchallenge surrounding technicians is finding them, as over 60% of shops report hiring remains a chore. Because of this, shops may end up hiring less experienced techs, leading to the second challenge: a lack of skills and need for training.
Ninety-eight percent of the shops indicated English as their primary language. Spanish came in second with a distant 15%.
Over half the shops we spoke to described themselves as independent operations. That said, just over 26% of them are focused on internal fleet repair.
Thirty-two percent of our respondents have been in the industry for a long, long time—over 20 years! Happily, we’re also seeing new shops emerging, as 29% of operations surveyed are five years or younger.
Over half of all shops only have one location. This wasn’t incredibly surprising, as most independent operations are small businesses without the funding or manpower to open multiple operations.
We also noted that mobile-only techs—those without a physical location—made up about 7% of the population.
We see a lot of variation in revenue across the country! Overall, 22% of shops net $250,000 or less each year, while 20% are bringing in between $1 to $2 million. A handful of operations (4%) pulled in $6 million or more per year.
Upwards of 80% of shops are seeing a net profit. However, we’re still seeing about 17% of shops that just don’t know what their net profit is.
What shops charge for DOT inspections seems to depend on their markets. Just over half either make it free or charge up to $100, while a small percentage (just over 16%) charge up to $500. The average rate, however, is $132.38.
Over 78.3% of repair shops charge for diagnostics, with the majority of them charging $250 or less. The average diagnostic charge, however, is $177. In addition, the remaining 21.7% don’t charge for the service at all.
Hiring techs is the top challenge repair shops face today, with over half of all shops dealing with staffing troubles. Inefficiencies in repairs came in second, and problems with the supply chain led to our third-place finisher: sourcing parts. That said, shops are running into other issues like inventory management, communication, and managing records.