Inside the shop of EquipmentShare’s branch in Louisville, Kentucky, is a trio that jokingly calls itself the “crew of misfits.” Not so long ago, one was a chef, another an electrician and the third a truck driver.
Now, they are fixing construction equipment as shop technicians.
“And I’ll put them up against any other shop tech crew out there,” said their boss, Chris Miles, sounding like a proud papa.
As the service manager of the Louisville branch, Miles has the vision to see a high-performance machine when others just see spare parts, and he has the leadership skills to help misfits become perfect fits.
“Chris is great with people, recognizing their hidden talents and pulling those talents out of them,” said Melissa Fouts, the general manager of the Louisville branch. “We’re struggling to find technicians, so he’s been interviewing people and listening for just a small skill he can hone into something. If somebody doesn’t know how to do something, he’ll say, ‘Let’s do this together.’ The next time, they can do it themselves.”
Miles’ road to EquipmentShare began on the central Kentucky farm where he grew up tinkering with tractors and other heavy machinery. After high school, he worked for a decade on the maintenance team at a factory, but when that turned into a seven-day-a-week job that kept him away from his family, he decided to change careers. Miles got into the equipment rental business as a shop tech and worked his way up to service manager, then left that company to join EquipmentShare in 2020.
What drew him, in part, was EquipmentShare’s technology advantage — its T3 operating system. When customers place a service request, Miles and his techs can immediately look up the machine in T3 and find a complete history and status update. Between that information and what the customer reports, Miles often can diagnose the problem over the phone and sometimes even talk the customer through an easy repair. That helps the service department efficiently handle its workload.
“At the end of the day, with all the little fires we put out throughout the day, I can look back and see what we’ve accomplished,” Miles said. “I look at our numbers of down equipment in the morning and then I look at our numbers at night, and I can see how far we’ve come and how we’ve helped customers. That’s the most rewarding thing about the job.”
Miles’ belief in people and their potential follows him home. He and his wife already had two children when they decided to also become foster parents. They are currently fostering three children and have had as many as five — all girls and all under age of 5 — at one time.
“My wife and I like to keep pictures of when they first came into our lives and then we’ll keep timelines — this is a month later, and another month — to see how much the kids have grown as far as their health and what they’re learning,” Miles said. “They usually come with all kinds of medical issues. To see them get those resolved is rewarding. But mostly it’s rewarding seeing these kids grow up and just be happy.”
Miles joked that his “me time” is limited to his one-hour commutes to and from work, but it’s worth the sacrifice to help others develop into their best selves.
“I don’t know how he juggles it all, but he does,” Fouts said. “He’s really good at managing time and people and having patience. We have all seen him with those kids, and they think their daddy hung the moon. They want him to fix their hair and they’re yanking him in every direction, and it doesn’t bother him a bit. He’s so calm and so patient with them, just like he’s so calm and patient with his guys at work.”
EquipmentShare is growing nationwide, and we’re on the lookout for team members in all departments, including service. If you’re ready for a new challenge, check out our job openings.