Mitchell 1’s Ben Johnson Talks Service Information for New Complex Vehicles

Ben Johnson, director of product management for Mitchell 1, participated in a panel discussion highlighting “The Future of Diagnostics for HD/EV Vehicles” during the recent Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week (HDAW) in Grapevine, Texas.  George Arrants, vice president of ASE Education Foundation, led the panel discussion that examined how sensor-based, data-driven technologies are impacting diagnostics and repair procedures for commercial vehicles, and what shops need to do to not only survive, but thrive.

As a thought-leader in the repair information service industry, Johnson noted that Mitchell 1 is seeing a transition in the way technicians view service information in the heavy-duty vehicle market –  particularly with EV trucks in mass production and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) becoming standard on many trucks.

“Previously, service information was viewed as ‘reference material.’ Any experienced technician could complete a repair based on his past knowledge with quick references to service manuals as needed,” Johnson said.  “This is not the case today. There is very little institutional knowledge about EVs or ADAS within the technician universe. Because of this, service information is no longer an option in a repair shop. It is becoming a must-have to meet customer demands.”

Johnson added that Mitchell 1 is seeing significant growth in its TruckSeries repair information software as heavy-duty service providers attempt to fill this gap.  Mitchell 1 continually updates information and adds enhancements to the software, so shops can provide their technicians with the tools they will need, on-demand, to diagnose and repair all vehicles coming into their facility –  including those with advanced technologies.

Johnson acknowledged that simply equipping technicians with the right tools and information is  just the first step.  “What I see as the biggest challenge is the training of the technician,” he said. “Although shops are eager to invest in the service information and scan tools, they seem more hesitant to invest in the training. I believe that mindset has to change so technicians can take full advantage of the information and tools that are available to them.”

After the HDAW panel, participants participated in a round table discussion where attendees were able to take a deeper dive on this topic, including training resources and tools needed to properly diagnose heavy-duty vehicles.