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  1. #1

    Becoming a better helper

    Hi everyone, I'm new to the HVAC trade. I'm 19 years old and have been at my current full time HVAC job as an installer's helper since last June. I got hired right out of high school, so yeah. I'm really really lucky.

    I took my local Vo-Tech's HVAC program for 2 years and got a decent understand of the very basics, but now out in the field, everything seems so very different.

    Introduction over. I want to know how to be a better helper. Granted, I still have very little experience and being one of the youngest guys at the company I get hazed and harassed no other, its all in good heart. How can I get better at the trade? Whether its online guides, simple teamwork stuff, whatever. I'd like to know everything I can.

    If this topic is in the wrong section or anything, let me first explain that my company mainly does commercial work (at least recently) and some residential work. Lately I've been doing a lot of commercial work with my installer, so I figured this would be a better place to put it.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    375
    Show up on time, don't lolligag (walk at a good speed, don't just amble along), don't check your personal phone every 15 seconds. If your journeymen looks like he is trying to work something out, don't ask him a million questions. If you are doing an install, think a couple steps ahead. Have the tools ready to go for when they need to be used.

    Did I mention not being late to jobs? Oh yah, don't be late to jobs.

  3. #3
    I always show up on time. They made a really big deal about it at school, so I figured it was a pretty good thing to keep a hold of.

    Thanks for the insight! I'll work on thinking a few steps ahead and having the tools out.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Chicagoland Area
    Posts
    4,509
    New guy buys lunch
    Officially, Down for the count

    YOU HAVE TO GET OFF YOUR ASS TO GET ON YOUR FEET

    I know enough to know, I don't know enough
    Liberalism-Ideas so good they mandate them

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Mixing oil and fire with a big spoon.
    Posts
    4,246
    How about: care. So many techs are looking forward to payday just to get hammered or get the hell off of work. Care about the trade. Care about the equipment and customer. Write down part numbers from some of the individual parts and pieces and then look them up to see how they work. Ask very specific questions about a very specific part to learn about its job/role in the machine. And last but not least: shut up. When the lead tech is talking...you shouldn't be talking. By shutting up, you might just find out that the lead tech is a liar or doesn't know crap....and that is good information to know too.
    my 1st time jumping out of a plane...http://youtu.be/Kv38G0MHsGo

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    SouthEast NC ICW & Piedmont Foothills
    Posts
    7,635
    pay attention

    listen

    ask questions, if you don't understand the answer; ask again-no necessarily right then, but ask again for clarification.

    as the others have suggested: anticipate what is going to happen, before/as it happens
    It`s better to be silent and thought the fool; than speak and remove all doubt.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Joplin,Missouri
    Posts
    310
    The main thing I look for in a newer guy is the quality of his work I would rather see someone take 4 hours to do a job in a neat, quality way than see him slop something together in 2 hours so just always do good work and the word will get around and people will take notice

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Upper Michigan
    Posts
    3,588
    I find it comical they would have to tell you to show up on time in school! Thought it was common sense.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Western KY
    Posts
    1,221
    Every journeyman is different. Different pet peeves and expectations. Get to know them all. Ask them up front what they expect. Some want you under their feet asking questions and learning. Some want you to do the work as they explain and show. Some want you wear a path to the truck retrieving tools one at a time and so on. Just be clean, sober, and on time and ready to do what the lead man you are with needs you to do. You're almost a year in so you're apparently not a dirt bag. Keep at it. Good luck.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    17,808
    In addition to what others have suggested:

    Keep tools in there proper place ie; where you found them.

    Do not dope the Union.

    If the customer asks you a technical question, refer them to your journeyman....don't say duh Im not sure?
    "Politicians are the lowest form of life on Earth. Liberal Democrats are the lowest form of politician"

    - General George S. Patton

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    2,576
    Wear kneepads at all times.
    My name is TooCoolforschool and I am a chronic over charger.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    East coast USA
    Posts
    955
    grab me a coffee and get back here in 15 mins...than we will talk

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Joehvac25 View Post
    I find it comical they would have to tell you to show up on time in school! Thought it was common sense.
    You have no idea how bad this generation is proclaimed to be. Its really disheartening and sad.
    Quote Originally Posted by coolwhip View Post
    In addition to what others have suggested:

    Keep tools in there proper place ie; where you found them.

    Do not dope the Union.

    If the customer asks you a technical question, refer them to your journeyman....don't say duh Im not sure?
    What do you mean, "dope the Union"?

    And thank you guys! Its good to hear I'm already doing most of these things.

    Except the kneepads. I did laugh at that though.

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