A Day in the Life: Frankie Mazza

Louisville Head Mechanic Frankie Mazza would have everyone believe his job is only about keeping the trucks moving, but there’s a lot more to it than that. “There’s always something to do, but there are days that it’s to the wall from the time you get here to whatever time you leave,” he said. Most of the time, if he can fix a truck one in a day, he’ll do it no matter how long it takes, especially if the truck is needed by the next day. “If the truck don’t work, you’re not making any money,” Mazza said.

Louisville Branch Manager Wayne Parrish said Mazza regularly reviews the monthly maintenance report, keeps the vehicles and their maintenance schedules and he’s on call 24/7 to keep all the trucks moving. “He may be driving home one day and they’ll call him and he’ll have to go out to North American Stainless, EW Brown or wherever he’s needed,” Parrish said.

While Mazza doesn’t do many midnight repair sessions, occasionally he has to get up really early. “Frankie’s a Class A CDL driver, so he’ll help move equipment when we need it or go check it out and even do a test drive,” Parrish said.

“I enjoy everything about the job. I’m serious; I do,” Mazza said. He said everyone at the branch works hard and treats each other respectfully. “If they ask me if I can fix something, they’ll do it on my schedule if it’s not something that’s stopping the truck right there,” he said. “If it’s stopping the truck, I drop what I’m doing and I go fix it.”

Mechanical work is second nature to Mazza, who’s worked on vehicles for more than 30 years. “We hired Frankie as a part-time driver just to help us out on days he wasn’t working,” Parrish said. “So then it kind of developed into the mechanic role.”

“I retired from the mechanic side, and then my nephew, who used to be the mechanic down here at Louisville, talked me into getting back into it again,” Mazza said. He began as a part-time mechanic in 2019 before becoming full-time.

It’s common for Louisville branch trucks to receive Zero Violations reports during routine roadside inspections. Mazza said this is a result of staying on top of any issues the trucks may have and addressing those issues before they become serious mechanical failures. It’s also a result of maintaining a strong relationship with the drivers and encouraging them to contact the mechanics as soon as a mechanical issue is noticed.

“That’s a good thing about the drivers. They’ll tell me if there’s something wrong with that truck,” Mazza said. “And then I get right on it, especially the ones that are going up and down the road. If they have any issues whatsoever, I tell them to let me know and I’ll get it fixed. They’re the top priority.”

“Frankie goes above and beyond to check on stuff. On weekends, if a truck’s not moving, he’ll wake Saturday morning and go check on a couple things and fix them so it’ll be ready for Monday’s work,” Parrish said. He said that’s how the Louisville branch stays ahead of the game. “If you keep your trucks going and maintenance caught up, you can always tweak them instead of having to do major repairs. And that’s a lot of what Frankie oversees,” Parrish said.

Mazza never received any formal mechanical training. He explained that from a young age he’d watch people work on vehicles and then dive in and try to do the same thing. “I’ve taken janitors and turned them into top mechanics,” he said. “You can tell in a short time whether you’re going to have a mechanic or not.”

Mazza said the best way to be safe on the job is to be patient. “I take my time and don’t get in a big hurry because when you get in a hurry is when you start having accidents,” he said. “I pay attention to what I’m doing. I don’t put myself into a position to get myself hurt.”

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