a forklift technician’s tale

Description/Intro: Every challenge has become a learning opportunity for forklift technician Joe Zamora of Edinburg, Texas. From forklift operator to technician, he has always been eager to show others what he has learned through his experiences.

I started working on material handling equipment almost 30 years ago. I worked at Fruit of the Loom as a forklift operator and jumped at the opportunity when a technician spot opened. Since I did not have much experience, working on that type of equipment was a real challenge for me. I learned to work on different brands and models and enjoyed working on the electrical systems and hydraulics the most. 

Technology has evolved so much since I began my career. Now, forklifts come with onboard diagnostics, which technicians can benefit from when troubleshooting a circuit. Being a technician has always been a rewarding career, but it is also one that many people cannot handle. It is hands-on, hard work that often leaves you drenched in sweat and oil. The most satisfying part of my job is bringing new life to old forklifts. And knowing that I helped our customers get more use of their equipment.

Honestly, this is the type of work I enjoy doing. If I had not become a technician, I would have become a machinist or welder. I even learned metal fabrication with computer programs and can already make several products. In my spare time, I enjoy welding. I especially like customizing trucks and ATVs. 

I had worked at J.V. Equipment (fondly referred to only as J.V.) for six years before I left to work for another company. After three years away, I have returned. Now, I’m eager to show the service department the innovative ideas and techniques I learned. I think that with a few changes this department can become more efficient. I believe this company is cultivated on fertile ground and can grow even more.

Currently, our biggest challenge is that we have struggled to keep up with the customer demand. The forklifts keep coming in, causing a backlog and pressure to fulfill customer orders. Our locations do the best they can, with the staff at hand, to keep up with the surges in customer needs. Often, we feel overwhelmed. However, I have been able to travel to our other locations and customer job sites to help our techs with some of the more challenging jobs. Since we currently do not have a foreman, I like to show the techs what I have learned. I hope my past experiences can help build a more open and energetic atmosphere. I want to be part of a company where people are happy to contribute their ideas and are proud that they work here. Something I consider to be very fortunate at J.V. is that I get to see the owners, Jim and Valery Mehis, every day. To me, they are role models. Everyone here takes their cue from them. I remember, back in 2004, bumping into Jim several times. He always seemed to be in a hurry, making deals. It looked like I was walking onto a trading floor on Wall Street. I remember thinking that I wanted to play at that level someday.