Technical Information: Your Most Important Tool

March 28, 2001
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+
A well-stocked service truck is a must for any technician who wants to be proficient on the job.

Most service trucks are stocked with the right replacement parts and necessary tools for a service call. But how many technicians also carry the needed technical information for the equipment being serviced?

Keeping technical information on a service truck is an important part of the inventory. The right information will enable a technician to troubleshoot a system more quickly and efficiently.

With so many types of equipment and systems in our industry, it is almost impossible to remember all the technical data needed for each system serviced. A good technician may know the basics. But there will be occasions when knowing just the basics will not be enough. A technician may need more precise information to correctly troubleshoot a system. This may be especially true when troubleshooting a system that has incorporated some type of electronic controls in its design.


There are many important pieces of technical information a service technician can keep in the truck. Some of these include:

  • Wiring diagrams for the equipment normally serviced;
  • Reference material on the different types of refrigerants and oils normally used;
  • Replacement parts lists;
  • Troubleshooting guides;
  • Operating characteristics such as normal operating suction and discharge pressures for the equipment normally serviced;
  • Electrical sequence of operation for commonly serviced systems;
  • General rules for refrigerant piping and installation; and
  • Compressor reference manuals.
  • Most, if not all, of this information can be obtained directly from the manufacturers of the equipment in the form of service and installation manuals. Contracting the manufacturer directly will usually ensure getting the most current and correct information.

    Other useful sources may be local parts and equipment wholesalers as well as local chapters of trade associations.


    It is a good idea to keep this information in an easily accessible place and in an organized manner. Being organized will save time later on when the information is needed quickly.

    It is also important that the information be located in an area of the truck where it will not become damaged. I’ve found that storing such material in a metal or durable plastic container works best.

    While initially it may be tough or time-consuming to obtain this information, the results will be worth the effort. Concise and complete servicing information is truly as important as any other tool on the service truck.

    Marchese is owner of Arctic-Air Refrigeration, Pittsburgh, PA.

    Publication date: 04/02/2001

    Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

    You must login or register in order to post a comment.



    Image Galleries

    2014 MCAA Annual Convention

    Scenes from the 2014 MCAA Annual Convention in Scottsdale, Ariz.


    NEWSmakers: Julian Scadden

    Training is an ongoing process. Julian will discuss how you can generate maximum return on time and energy invested training by following a three part process. Listen to this podcast to get expert tips on training, tracking and follow up. 

    More Podcasts


    NEWS 04-21-14 cover

    2014 April 21

    Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

    Table Of Contents Subscribe


    Which statement on service calls best applies to your business?
    View Results Poll Archive


    2014 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

    Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

    More Products

    Clear Seas Research


    Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


    Magazine image
    Register today for complete access to Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.


    facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con