A Day in The Life of Derek Heltner

By Ohmer Belma

Derek has been working for Precision Specialized for one year as our lead mechanic.

Derek started in the industry in high school where he co-op’d to be a mechanic. He always had an interest in mechanics as a kid, and his passion took off from there. He has been in the industry for 12 years. Derek’s interest in logistics and transportation started when he realized how much passion he has for working on big rigs. “As a kid, I always had an interest in cars and how they ran. It’s mainly why I ventured into that field. The interest and passion for big rigs came later. I haven’t looked back since and I’m still as passionate as when I first started!”

Derek is an early riser and starts his day with one of his favorite drinks to get the day going, coffee. He has a 5-minute drive to work and when arriving at work, he goes over his emails and fills out the required charts for the other mechanics’ work for the day. Derek has a routine before each workday: “I make sure to always use positive reinforcement thoughts. I tell myself that I can and will complete every task scheduled.”

One of the most important parts of the day for Derek is lunchtime! “I get to re-energize and reflect on the first half of the day. I also make sure to prioritize the tasks that are left to ensure we finish off the day smoothly.”

There are many challenges during Derek’s day, one of which is last-minute issues. “What makes my day challenging is last-minute issues that pop up with trucks and trailers, but it’s expected to happen occasionally. The challenge keeps the mechanics on their toes.”

Derek enjoys working with everyone at Precision, as they’re all hard workers and will give maximum effort day in, day out. That said, Alex, Derek’s right-hand man, is his go-to guy in the shop. “Working with Alex as right-hand man is great! He shows up and does an impeccable job. He is always willing to drop everything he’s doing to offer a helping hand when needed!”

Safety is a big part of Derek’s day-to-day tasks. He wants to make sure the team gets to go back home the same way they all came in to work, healthy and in one piece. “In the shop, it’s always safety first. There’s no flexibility when it comes to that aspect of our work. I’m happy the team is on board with our safety policies and so far, I haven’t had to remind anyone about wearing their PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) when stepping in the shop. We work smart not hard.”

Derek has completed forklift and Goldhofer training recently and considers those to be big wins. “I have never worked with a trailer as unique as the Goldhofer trailer and completing this training to gain knowledge of them means a lot to me. I’m now ready and able to handle these trailers.”

There’s a lot to like about Precision Specialized. In Derek’s case, he highlights the challenges, his colleagues and projects. However, there’s one thing he enjoys above all! “You simply can’t beat having to only drive 5 minutes to get to work 😁!”

There are many things that keep Derek coming to work every day. One of those reasons is working with Alex! “Getting to spend my day working alongside Alex is great. He genuinely is one of those guys you gravitate towards. He’s simply put, an amazing guy! It also helps working in an environment where you enjoy the people around you. It makes for an overall great day. Atmosphere is everything.”

“For me, customer service is key. My philosophy is simple: be kind to others, and they will hopefully be kind to you.”

“I enjoy wrapping up my day by completing and submitting my work orders and updating the charts to see how much we have accomplished in one day. It’s always a great feeling seeing how much we’ve accomplished in a day.”

“When I go home at the end of the day, I enjoy building my derby cars with the boys. I have two small kids who I love more than anything. I enjoy family time and playing hockey with the kids in the basement. I enjoy collecting different rocks for my rock garden in my yard!”

Derek is focused on the present, however, he has future goals he’d like to accomplish. “There are a lot of responsibilities that come with working in the shop. One day, I would like to work my way up to running the shop. I know I can because I believe in myself.”

We appreciate you taking the time to share a little insight of your day, Derek. Keep up the great work!

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