The state of training in America for working automotive technicians is a piece meal collection of night classes, convention short takes, webinars, streaming video and parts companies offering subsidized classes at warehouses. Taken as a whole there is a lot of great training available, but what if you lack a formal, organized foundation to use as your knowledge base for understanding the information presented. Do you have an associate’s degree as “Automotive Science”? I don’t. When I was first learning to “fix cars”, it was mostly mechanical. In High School “auto class” it was also something I could see, smell, hear and touch and that was easy for me. Being color blind (a bad term for mixing up red and green mostly) I was afraid of electrical systems. This was the late 60’s. Not a huge issue and one that I was to overcome later in life when I was able to ask for a second pair of eyes. But now it is 2014 and my students (some older than me, but not many!) need at least 2 years of study (4 would be better) after high school.
You all know our best known class “Up Your Voltage!” is ACDCs test bed for new things. Class # 36 is coming up so we have had some practice developing training techniques, many of which are used by others that we have trained. One thing we do the first day is give each student a three question test in the form of a wiring diagram. It takes only 10 minutes. About 80% of American technicians get part of it wrong. 100% of the Dutch students get it correct and that is over 100 Dutch students so far and 400 Americans. Why? Holland (the Netherlands) required a college education to “fix cars”. The Dutchies, as we call them, learn the basics at the age when it really matters, right out of High School. They are not smarter than us, but are better educated as a nation.
I will be at a college in the Netherlands next month teaching. I can’t wait. Not just because my Father’s Father was born and raised there or that I can visit my ancestor’s “Batenburg Castle” but it inspires me to do more and be better. On a trip there in 2006, I was introduced to a company called “Electude”. It was E-based learning with great interactive automotive systems with meters to hook up and get readings. It was awesome, but only in Dutch. I am an English speaker only. Today part of my love of Holland is here in America. Please go to our Electude page for more information about the “Dutch” way of getting your electrical skill training you may have missed.