One More Busted Knuckle That Comes With the Territory

One More Busted Knuckle That Comes With the Territory

I can go an entire week without cutting myself or jamming a finger, but then there are those days where I have to make a mad dash for the First Aid kit.

Anyone who has ever worked on cars is familiar with the grease, the grime, the clanking of a loose rod bearing or the snap of a fuse that comes with the territory. And, along with the noises and smells of the business, there are also the scrapes and the bruises.
 
Sometimes, I can go an entire week without cutting myself or jamming a finger, but then there are those days where I have to make a mad dash for the First Aid kit.  
 
Like a lot of technicians, I’ve got scars, a couple of broken fingers and a few swollen joints from working on cars all these years. The older I get, the more war wounds I seem to collect. Age sure doesn’t help with the eyesight, or the knees, or, oh, let’s not forget about that aching back! Let’s face it, working on cars and trucks is a physically demanding job, as well as a mental workout. 
 
I can remember a time back in my youth when I would bench press a tranny up into the car while lying on a dirt floor. I don’t think I’ll try that these days. I’m much older now and I’ve grown out of that macho style of auto repair. Doing some Herculean feat, which only ends up with another scar for my efforts, is no way to end the day. I sure wish I would have understood that back then. 
 
I was changing the U-joints on a truck, on one particular day. The customer had dropped it off early that morning, and I said I could have it done by lunchtime. The joints weren’t that hard to change, but getting the driveshaft off was difficult. Three of the four rear yoke bolts came off without a problem, but with the fourth one, I wasn’t so lucky. The wrench slipped off, and, with the force I had on the bolt, my whole arm shot skyward. A sliver of MIG welding wire was still on the joint where the rear yoke housing is welded to the actual driveshaft pipe from the factory. This made for a perfect slice and dice on my forearm. 
 
I had most of my forearm wrapped up by the time the customer picked the truck up that afternoon. “What did you do to that arm?” he asked.
 I told him how it happened in all the gory details. I’d like to say he was concerned, but not just about my arm. He was more concerned with his truck. “So, you still got the U-joints changed?” he asked.
 
My wife just rolls her eyes when I come home with a new bandage on. I think she enjoys tormenting me while she cleans up my newest wound.
 
Outside the daily workings of the shop, I’m asked to speak at different functions, or invited to some event where I’ll be shaking a few hands. I used to worry about the roughness of my hands, especially when I was in a room of businessmen and women who had no concept of manual labor work in their daily vocations. But, you know, I’ve come to realize that I should be proud of what I do, and those scars and calluses are my own personal business card.    
 
Even with a few extra scrapes and scars, I’m still going back to this job tomorrow. I don’t plan on gouging a test light into my hand while reaching down into an engine bay, but you know … it’ll happen … maybe not today, but it will.

You May Also Like

Standard Motor Products Expands Emission Control Program

SMP’s program features more than 3,500 parts, including EVAP, EGR and positive crankcase ventilation products.

Standard Motor Products, Inc. (SMP) announced it is expanding its Emission Control program, which includes evaporative emission control (EVAP), exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and positive crankcase ventilation emission control systems.

Standard’s EVAP program features over 1,300 part numbers and includes Vapor Canister Purge Pumps, Vapor Canister Vent Hoses, Vapor Canister Purge Valve Hoses, Canister Vent Solenoids, Fuel Vapor Canisters, Canister Vent Valves, Canister Purge Valves, Fuel Vapor Leak Detection Pumps, Canister Purge Solenoids and more. Recently released Standard EVAP components include Vapor Canister Purge Pumps for more than 2 million General Motors SUVs, like the 2023-21 Chevrolet Trailblazer. Fuel Vapor Canisters have been added recently for the 2022-20 Ford Transit, 2023-19 Nissan Altima and more. Canister Purge Solenoids are new for Dodge and Jeep vehicles through 2024.

CAWA Accepting Applications for MPA Scholarship Awards

The deadline for submitting applications for the MPA Selwyn Joffe Awards is May 31.

Repairify Announces Executive Leadership Changes

The company has named Craig Edmonds as president of asTech among other executive appointments.

KYB Launches New Digital Catalog App

The updated app provides much more accurate part number recommendations, according to KYB.

PRT Launches 22 New Products on Complete Strut Assemblies

The new items come to expand the PRT portfolio in North American Market and represents more than 12 Million vehicles in new coverage.

Other Posts

BendPak to Debut Eight-Armed Car Lift Concept at NADA

Octa-Flex improves technician productivity, convenience and ergonomics, according to BendPak.

PRT Heavy Duty Presenting Innovations at HDAW ‘24

PRT is exhibiting a full line of shocks and air springs for heavy-duty applications.

RNR Tire Express Rides Franchise Momentum Into 2024 

The company said it had a year of growth, with the opening of 15 new franchise locations.

Transtar Industries Launches Remanned Transmission Products

The company provides a sustainable solution for transmission products and simplified complex vehicle repair.