Ways to Get Techs Up and Wrenching


(From left): Cory Cook; Miguel Soto, general manager; and Augustus Gaskill, mobile technician leadercational

Fleet Services by Cox Automotive has a team of more than 1,500 technicians, the majority of whom are mobile. Fleet Services makes it a priority to set their new technicians up for success, starting with the onboarding process. MWS spoke with Cory Cook, senior manager, truck maintenance, Fleet Services for Fort Worth, Texas, to get his tips for helping techs breeze through onboarding, and get to wrenching.

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MWS: How do you set clear expectations early for new technicians?

COOK: When recruiting new technicians, we break down the first few weeks of the job, so they know what to expect from the onboarding process. After they’re hired, I reach out to them on their personal phone and text, followed up with a welcome email. This email is crucial as it provides a full overview of what they need to know, their schedule, and how to get ready for the job. It also encourages them to complete admin-type things ahead of time, making the onboarding process smoother.

MWS: What role does hands-on experience play during the onboarding process?

COOK: During the first week, I come into the office to meet with our techs directly or pick them up from their homes. It’s essential to be hands-on and in-person to lead them step-by-step through safety topics, driver qualifications, and on-the-job processes. This is also the time to guide them through computer training and help set up welcome calls, benefits, and more, ensuring all employment to-dos are checked off.

MWS: How do you ensure your new mobile techs have the support they need?

COOK: A hands-on approach is the best way to learn, so for the next few weeks on the job, we set our new techs up with veteran techs to ride along and take calls. This helps them learn the ropes and allows them to build relationships, so they have someone to call on once they’re in the field. We are fortunate to have awesome technicians on our team who are always willing to help new folks get started on the right foot.

MWS: In your opinion, what is the most important leadership quality?

COOK: Before, during, and after onboarding, sincerity is a key leadership quality. I genuinely care about my team and work to build trust early on; they need to know that I’ll follow through on my word. I always partner with my techs and ensure they know I’ll be there to help them fix any issues. Having started as a technician myself, I understand their position and am comfortable rolling up my sleeves to help with any problems that arise, whether mechanical or backend.

MWS: What strategies do you use to maintain consistent communication with your team?

COOK: Consistent communication is critical, especially for managing a mobile team. Many candidates come from shop environments, so being in a service truck and performing mobile repairs is a big change. 

Here are a few examples of how to keep the team connected.

  • 1:1 check-ins: Calling each of my 17 techs every couple of days to see how things are going, answer any questions, and share employee news or reminders.
  • Safety call: Hosting a weekly safety call every Thursday for the full team, emphasizing our safety-first culture and keeping best practices top of mind.
  • In-person visits: Visiting techs in the field a few days a week, bringing lunch or breakfast and treating customers. This is also a time for our annual in-person inventory, helping new techs navigate the process and enjoying team visits.
  • Emails: While our techs are often on the road or under the hood, following up with emails on important, action-needed items to make things easier for them.
  • Relying on qualified team members: My lead technicians also visit technicians to assist with safety audits, quality inspections, and troubleshooting.
  • Recognizing great work: I shout-out achievements like safe driving or helping a team member. Recently, five of my techs received 100% safe driving scores!

We ensure our new technicians hit the ground running by setting clear expectations, providing hands-on experiences, establishing a buddy system, demonstrating sincerity, and maintaining consistent communication. 

These best practices can significantly enhance the onboarding process and contribute to a positive work culture across the board.


Cory Cook is the senior manager, truck maintenance for Fleet Services by Cox Automotive. To learn more, visit

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