John Cochrane and his wife Leah have been running the LinderTech Training program in Canada for the past 12 years.
After 12 years of organizing technician training in the Toronto area, shop owner John Cochrane may bring LinderTech training to other communities in Canada.
He’s working with parts distributor Uni-Select on the possibility of expanding the popular training event to new audiences.
Uni-Select sponsored the most recent event, held at Cochrane’s shop in the west end of Toronto and at a local conference centre on October 19-21. It attracted 25 technicians for hands-on Pico and Snap-on scope training with Jordan Coseni and Mark Lemay of AutoAide, a dozen shop owners for business management training with Bob Greenwood, and 75 technicians for a day of classroom theory with veteran trainers John Thornton and Scot Manna.
“This is the kind of training the industry needs,” he said. “Uni-Select has launched a research project to see if there’s a desire to run a Linder-type of concept in Atlantic Canada, Western Canada, the Pacific, and other locales in Ontario, not necessarily Toronto.”
Cochrane conceded it would be difficult to stage LinderTech training in French, but Uni-Select already has a strong training presence in Quebec, with a training facility that serves the province in both English and French.
Scot Manna delivers a class on “Figuring Out Fuel Trim” at this year’s LinderTech Training event in Toronto.
He has already completed at least one fact-finding trip to gauge jobber and repair shop interest. He and his wife Leah spent a week in Atlantic Canada discussing the idea with Uni-Select members there.
“I’ve been in the jobbing business all my life. The only way you get to know what people think is to get out of the office and knock on some doors. You have to sit down and talk with people,” he said. “Sending out emails about training never leads to anything.”
He said he’s about halfway through the research project and expects to have a final report ready by the end of the year.
“So far, I think it’s very viable and would work very well,” he said.
The big challenge are the popular hands-on flashing and scope classes, which are labor and resource intensive.
“Quite a few are interested in that type of training, but quality control is going to be huge,” he said. “You need to have all the right cars, and all the right equipment in working condition, updated and ready to go.”
Meanwhile, plans for next year’s LinderTech Training event are already underway. It will include a “connected car” class, led by Colorado-based shop owner Donny Seyfer.
“It will be a two-day class, with one day in the shop and one day in the conference centre,” Cochrane says. “We’ll be working with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), setting them up, and getting to know and understand them. It will be a real state-of-the-art program that is truly forward-looking. There is a hell of a lot of electronics involved in those systems.”
About 75 students turned out for LinderTech Training in Toronto in October.