Each year at the TMC SuperTech skills competition, each competitor is tested at a Service Information station. The station has been run each year by Mitchell 1 testing competitors on their ability to use computers and web-based programs to diagnose and fix vehicles properly. Each competitor sits at a computer terminal which accesses Mitchell 1’s on-line Tractor-Trailer.net program. They are given a series of 20 questions about vehicle repair issues which can be answered by navigating the program. Mitchell 1 gives each contestant a 14 day trial of the program prior to the competition so they can become familiar with it if they don’t currently use the program in their shop. TMC includes the Service Information Station recognizing that skilled technicians need to be able to use computer and web-based programs to correctly diagnose and fix the complex vehicles operated by today’s fleets. At the 2010 SuperTech Competition, Mitchell 1 awarded the individual winner of the Service Information skills station, Jason Kleman, from Navistar Inc., Warrenville, Il, a one-year subscription to their new Repair-Connect.net program.

Testing today’s technicians using Mitchell 1 on-line programs makes sense because vocational schools like Universal Technical Institute (UTI), a nationwide provider of technical education training, use Mitchell 1 online programs in their curriculum for future commercial vehicle technicians. They use these tools because diagnostic and repair information for virtually every conceivable commercial vehicle on the road is all in one place. Mitchell 1 on-line repair programs are continuously updated so the schools know they have the latest information, and UTI helps Mitchell 1 do that. Mitchell 1 photographers routinely visit UTI facilities throughout the U.S. to take photos of actual component parts they use in training truck technicians. These photos are then uploaded to Mitchell 1 programs giving technicians a real world view of problems they are likely to encounter. Mitchell 1 annotates the photos to guide the technicians through the repair process. Kristy LaPage, CVG Account Supervisor for Mitchell 1 emphasized the partnership between Mitchell 1 and vocational schools like UTI “We have a close working relationship with the diesel technician educational community because Mitchell 1 programs are a great tool for them and they can keep us up to date on the ever-changing needs of future technicians. The relationship is good for both of us.”

Mitchell 1 newest program, Repair-Connect.net, introduced in 2010, is the latest example of the continuous improvement Mitchell 1 makes to their web-based service and repair programs to keep up with the increasing information demands. It speeds up the repair process by taking an experienced technician directly to the service information he needs by simply inputting the Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC). Repair-Connect.net anticipates what detailed information is required to fix the vehicle based on the DTC (Diagnostic Trouble Codes) and retrieves it in seconds.

Features of Repair-Connect include:
• Repair-Connect automatically pulls and clears DTC’s through its Vehicle Communication Device or with the vehicle information entered manually.
• Easy selection menu quickly navigates the program
• Repair-Connect delivers a “to-the-point” wiring diagram displaying just the wires making up a particular circuit. Repair-Connect will also provide the entire engine diagram when needed.
• Thousands of digital photos provide detailed real-world views of components involved with the repair.

About the Author

Jill Schafer

Jill Schafer is the Marketing Communication Manager at Mitchell 1 and has over 20 years of marketing experience with high-technology organizations, including over 10 years in the automotive information industry.