Kyle Platt: Owner and Auto Shop Teacher
Kyle Platt had been working for a local GM dealership for 15 years where he became the lead technician and became one of 1,100 certified World Class Techs in the country, securing that title at only 28 years old. From there he maxed out at his local level and wasn’t interested in the offers that he had to move to other GM facilities, so he decided to take his life in another direction. Two years ago his local high school had an opening for an auto shop teacher, so he inquired about it. He liked the team and the program that he was familiar with from his youth teaching Auto 1-3 classes. What he brought to the table the plan for a level 4 auto class that was based on diesel and hybrid technology. Since the pay scale was lower than what he used to he decided to expand his side business working on vehicles on the weekends and added e-commerce… and it took off for him. Now he enjoys both the rewarding career of passing on knowledge and being able to work on vehicles.
“Being able to teach and still make a comfortable living doing what I love is just the best,” says Kyle, “and it’s so great being able to spark the interest in a field that is so needed, and in such high demand. We’ve really worked job readiness into the curriculum as well, something that is sorely missing from a lot of youth programs today.” And his passing the torch to a new generation doesn’t just stop at school as he allows students to work with him at his shop after school and on weekends where they get a host of real-world experience.
When it comes to Banks products, his favorites are the Derringer and PedalMonster. “Being a GM guy I’m really into the Duramax, and the Derringer is by far one of my favorite products to sell and install at the shop. I think it’s mainly due to the amount of research and development that Gale and his team put into the product. And it’s not just the power that the product gives the truck, but the power behind the product: the people at Banks. If I have a problem, a question, or if anyone has an issue on the forums, the Banks team responds quickly and resolves issues fast. At any time I contact Banks directly via text and get a response… and that is what I feel sells the product more than anything. I have other products that I can sell, but most of them can take days to get a response… and that wait makes me look bad to the customer. An average of 4 days! And that’s an email, not a live person on the other end. In many cases, it’s not worth it.
Another thing I do, like with the PedalMonster for example, is to do a test install on a customer’s vehicle. It’s so simple to install. I just put it on and let them test drive it. One trip down the block and it sells itself.”
Another thing Kyle likes about Banks are Gale’s educational videos. “There’s a lot of teaching videos that are shown to the students, but nothing performance-oriented. When I show the class the videos from Banks, which are usually chalked full of technical information, I get everyone’s full attention. Just like in any school, kids don’t really want to be there, but when I turn those on, every student perks up. And usually, I can’t get through the entire video because we pause to answer questions and discuss. They really spark great conversations, that lead to great learning. The ‘Killing a Duramax’ videos are being fully integrated into my upcoming curriculum just to get some extra spice into the teachings.”
615 N 4th Street, Suite C
Millville, NJ 08332