Tim Sebert is a mechanic and has worked for KEC for 15 years.
What made you interested in working as a mechanic? How did you train for work in this field?
I’ve been turning wrenches since I was about six years old. I took a course in automobile mechanics in high school, but most of my experience comes from on-the-job training. My dad and uncle were both mechanics and I worked in my uncle’s shop when I was younger. I did all the jobs he didn’t want to do. I also worked on lawn mowers and motorcycles.
What does a day look like for you as a mechanic at KEC?
I’m responsible for maintaining KEC’s fleet of 115 vehicles. Our fleet includes pickup trucks, SUVs, line trucks, boom trucks, backhoes, mini excavators, UTVs, trailers, a snow machine, a plow cat, wire pulling equipment and two small boats. KEC has both gas-and diesel-powered equipment, and we do as much of the maintenance work as possible in-house. This includes generator maintenance, oil changes, engine swaps, transmission work, fabrication and repairs on chainsaws and battery-operated equipment. All this work requires the right tools, equipment and parts. Some of the vehicle maintenance on our large line trucks or boom trucks is done by a contractor due to space constraints and need for specialty tools.
What is the biggest challenge in your job?
Currently, helping with the development of our new headquarters facility is a challenge, but I really enjoy being part of the team that is active in the design of the new facility. The planning for the new facility includes multiple committees of KEC employees to ensure we are building an efficient facility. I appreciate being able to add my thoughts and input into this process. It’s a big project and there are a lot of details. I’m especially involved in the planning of the new maintenance facility, which includes bays for mechanics, welding and a vehicle wash system. Learn more about the maintenance facility on the next page. Another challenge we are facing in fleet management are the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the market and materials procurement. Vehicle prices have skyrocketed and car manufacturers’ production is limited due to a shortage of materials, computer chips and workers. For us, that means it is going to take 2-3 years to get a truck after it’s ordered. We are also closely monitoring a potential tire shortage and those prices are also increasing. Every day seems to bring a new procurement challenge that we need to consider to ensure we are planning for the future.
What is the best part of your job?
I enjoy the variety in my job. I get to work on something different each day. Sometimes it may be changing oil, other times I may be installing a new engine. The goal is to keep the trucks all rolling so our crews can meet the needs of our members.