Nathan E. Adams
2017 Motorcycle / Power Equipment Technician
Parts Advisor at Bettencourt's Honda-Suzuki
Just as he was hired to work at Bettencourt’s, Nate was injured. Turning disadvantage into opportunity, he built up his knowledge about motorcycle parts. The Parts Department at a Dealership is critical to a good customer experience, as well as to the productivity of the technical service team.
I had very little knowledge about bikes before coming to MTTI.
My interest was sparked when I got my first dirt bike on my 8th birthday.
Being outdoors on a bike felt like freedom to me.
Of course it means you have to fix your bike.
I tinkered with the small stuff on the bike; I didn’t want to break things.
I bought parts at Bettencourt’s. I liked the relaxed atmosphere of the dealership— and that they had a lot of great “toys”.
As I got older, I asked myself, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’
I recognized I wanted to enjoy the work I would be doing—and motorcycles are what I enjoy.
I needed more knowledge to work on bikes.
I started searching and found MTTI; it was affordable. I read the reviews online, and saw that people were happy with the skills they had learned at the school.
When I visited, the school was bigger than I expected—more like a campus.
I walked into the classroom and saw the display of motorcycle parts hanging on the wall—that really interested me.
From the classroom, we went into the shop.
I was surprised at how big the shop was, compared to shops in other schools I had checked out. I looked at all of the bikes hanging up, the engines on benches, the tire and welding rooms, and the variety of big tools—all readily accessible for students to work with.
I learned that I could earn a tool bonus.
I would get to keep a professional tool set after I verified that I had accepted training-related employment.
I didn’t have a lot of money to spend on school.
MTTI’s Financial Aid department helped me get the payments sorted out and get a low monthly re-payment plan.
I knew then that this is the school I wanted to go to.
I was a little nervous on the first day of school, but the instructors, Jay and Gary were smiling, happy and welcoming.
The program structure was great—about half of the time would be in the classroom and half in the shop.
As much as I valued hands-on learning, I also appreciated leaving with a notebook I built—with notes I took and hand-outs I was given. You can’t always remember everything—more than a year after graduating, I still look things up in my notebook while I am at work.
When I started internship, I needed to put into practice what I learned at school.
My instructor, Gary, recommended me for the internship where he works at Bettencourt’s.
The harder you work during internship, the better the possibility of getting hired.
It helps to have the people you work with see where you came from, and where you grew to in your skills.
Half-way through the internship, I asked the owner what he thought about my work.
It was a little nerve-wracking to ask whether there was a possibility of hire. As I got closer to the internship’s end, I wanted to make sure I had a foot in the door. He told me I was doing a great job.
Just before I started my new job at Bettencourt’s, I had an accident.
I slipped and went over the handlebars of a mountain bike; I broke my collarbone. Because I was injured, I couldn’t do any wrenching.
Sometimes, an unfortunate event can have a very positive outcome.
Bettencourt’s still hired me; I was given a position in the Parts Department. The Parts section is one of the most important departments in a motorcycle shop; everyone goes there—customers, service writers and technicians.
I would never turn down an opportunity to work in such an important section of a dealership.
It goes hand-in-hand with every department; if you learn parts, you can work in any other department.
If I hadn’t had the training at MTTI, I wouldn’t have had a clue how to do my job.
MTTI went over what parts numbers are, and how they work. At Bettencourt’s I had to learn how to integrate part numbers with the bikes, so as to match the correct parts to the right model of bike, and to learn how they are ordered.
The parts numbers are logged on the computer; the system also maintains an inventory.
When someone comes into the store to buy a part—or the shop mechanic needs a part to fix a bike—I have to find it. At MTTI I learned how they are sorted alphanumerically.
I also learned at school how to write up repair orders.
When a customer comes in with a bike needing repair, I take down information to document what isn’t working. The information I write up about why a customer’s bike isn't working tells our technicians what needs to be done—as well as what parts will be needed.
MTTI also taught me how to look up parts on microfiche.
It’s an online tool that lets you find, locate and compare parts that you will buy for motorcycle repair, re-building or restoration.
Because I have done a good job working in parts, I’ve been given new opportunities.
I have been setting up new bikes, and have begun helping out as a service writer. A service writer has to know parts, to write up what parts are needed and which ones have to be ordered.
I’m also starting to do small service jobs.
Even as a Technician, having knowledge of parts helps get the job done. If a parts person or service writer is not available, the Tech may have to look up and locate the parts.
Without MTTI, I would not have had the proper knowledge to get into the motorcycle industry.
Graduating MTTI’s Motorcycle Tech program and working at Bettencourt’s makes me feel accomplished. Bettencourt’s is the place I've always wanted to be. I put a lot of work into it—and MTTI helped me get there.
Top photo: Nate at the Parts Counter at Bettencourt's Left photo: Nate with Gary Simcock, his (former) Instructor at MTTI, now co-worker at Bettencourt's
31 S Main St, West Bridgewater, MA 02379