Facts and History for Mechanics

old retro car

The Mechanic Trade has changed a lot over the years. Every once and a while we at Rockstar Mechanics like to look back at where it all started and some of the stops the trade has taken along the way. Below you will find some trivia, facts and history that are all related to Mechanics and the trade we love. We will try to update this post regularly as we come across more trivia so check back regularly.

The average car has over 30,000 parts. Being a mechanic today is harder than ever. Automotive Service Technicians have so much more to know and be an expert at than anytime in the past. Add to the fact that there are more makes and models of vehicles on the road than years past and this becomes an even bigger challenge.
Volvo invented the 3 point seatbelt design and left the patent open for other car manufacturers to use for free. They believed so much in the design and its life saving abilities that they wanted everyone to use it. Well done Volvo, way to put people over profits! I wish there was more collaboration like this going on.
In the UAE Mcdonald’s delivery trucks run on bio diesel recycled from their own cooking oil. This is such a cool initiative that will hopefully spread to other parts of the world. There is more than switching to electric that trucking can do to help the environment.
Car manufacturers originally thought that the introduction of computerization to vehicles would lessen the demand for mechanics. The opposite has been true. The thought was that these systems in place the car would run smoother and require less work. In reality they just added more things to the vehicle that could break. Also these advancements required more and more skilled technicians to complete the repairs. Every advancement has brought the demand for technicians up even higher.
The slogan “Nothing Runs Like a Deere” was created originally for the John Deere Snowmobile line. John Deere made snowmobiles from 1972 – 1984 and marketed them with the slogan “Nothing Runs Like A Deere” until 1978. Other slogans for their Snowmobiles were “Big John – Little John” and “Ride the new breed of Deere.” 
Over 40% of Equipment Today is owned by Rental companies. Prior to the 1990’s rental companies owned less than 20% of the equipment. Rising costs of equipment have made it harder for companies to own. Also with more and more specialized equipment many companies prefer to rent. This has brought a large increase in demand for skilled Heavy Equipment Technicians with Rental companies.
The diesel engine was invented in 1892 by Rudolph Diesel. Prior to the Diesel Engine, Steam Engines were the primary power source for large applications. There is also a very interesting history about Rudolph Diesel and his disappearance, look it up when you have a minute.
Mary Anderson Invented Windshield Wipers After Noticing that Streetcar Drivers Had To Manually Clean Their Windshields with a squeegee. She obtained a 17 year patent and tried to sell to various companies but was told “we do not consider it to be of such commercial value as would warrant our undertaking its sale.” After her patent expired windshield wipers started to be used regularly by most automotive manufacturers.
The Flat Rate System took over after World War 2. It was a combination of Standard Repair times developed in the 1920’s and Split Labour Charges that were used in the 1930’s. Flat Rate has been criticized for a long time from Technicians who feel that owners are taking advantage and from customers who feel they are being sold service they do not need. It is time for a new system that takes addresses these very valid concerns.
Prior to the Model T, most vehicles did not use standardized parts. New parts had to be fabricated by a blacksmith causting auto repair to be expensive and time consuming.
President Roosevelt allegedly rode in an armour-plated limo that the treasury department seized from Al Capone.
A bit of debate on this one but as legend goes, Roosevelt traveled to the capitol on December 8th, 1941 to declare war on Japan. That trip took place in an armored car that had been seized by the Treasury Department from Al Capone.

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