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Podcasters bring fixed ops expertise to the masses

What started as a bull session has turned into a Sunday morning ritual.

“We’d get together after work and just shoot the breeze about fixed ops,” Joe Chambers says of his off-the-clock conversations with his friend and colleague Erick Jauregui that turned into the “Service Drive Live” show.

“Then the pandemic hit and they closed all the bars down and we couldn’t do it anymore,” Chambers says.

But no amount of social distancing could cool their ardor for fixed ops. And Chambers and Jauregui were up anyway on weekend mornings with nothing better to do, so they started connecting via Zoom.

Only one person responded to their invitation on LinkedIn to join in their first show on Feb. 21, 2021. Slowly but surely, the circle grew. So did the level of sophistication. Jauregui remodeled his garage, which now houses their studio, complete with anchor desk, backdrop, webcams, microphones and soundboard monitors.

“We’re just a couple goofs with microphones,” says Chambers, who oversees multiple dealerships in suburban Chicago. Jauregui is a service manager at one of the dealerships.

Modesty aside, “Service Drive Live” has become a valuable venue to discuss best practices, trade tips and vent.

“It’s a group room to talk about the business and share the knowledge,” Chambers says. “One of the things that we wanted to do with ‘SDL’ is keep it real. We are boots on the ground, we’re in the stores every day.”

Jauregui says every show has a topic that arises from what the guys are going through. The audience is a mix of parts and service workers, consultants, trainers, vendors and manufacturer reps. But the purpose is to share knowledge, not make sales pitches.

“We enjoy it,” Chambers says. “We’ve got a great community and we’ve really made some strong connections with people out there.”

Show prep starts at 5:30 a.m. CST Sunday mornings and the show starts at 7 a.m.

“At that time of day, our families are sleeping,” Chambers says. “By the time we get back, the houses are stirring.”

He and Jauregui would rather meet than sleep.

“We like talking to these people,” Chambers says. “We love talking about the business.”

With more than 50 shows under their belts, Chambers says the next step is to produce a podcast and expand their reach across social media networks. They’d also like to host a live event. But they don’t aspire to become full-time broadcasters.

Their goal remains the same: professional growth.

“We’ve gotten a lot out of it,” Chambers says, calling “Service Drive Live” a “priceless opportunity to better ourselves in the business.”


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