Ben Lehner has been in the HVAC/R industry for more than six years. Like many technicians out there, Lehner got his first taste of the industry after a mentor took him under his wing.
For Lehner, his mentor was maintenance professional named Jerry Hallermann, an HVAC/R tech with more than 40 years experience, who worked at Lehner’s grade school.
“Jerry started teaching me HVAC when I was a freshman in high school. He handed me a 7/8” wrench and told me that we were going to change a boiler pump,” Lehner recalled. “From that day on, Jerry kind of took me under his wing. He became my teacher and a mentor.”
Growing up with Jerry to guide him, Lehner learned about everything: chillers, boilers, three-phase wiring, cleaning condenser coils, welding . . . the list goes on. In fact, most of what Lehner knows about the HVAC/R industry came through his lessons with Jerry.
“It didn’t matter what it was,” said Lehner. “Any time I had a question throughout my life, I knew that I could always call Jerry and he would get me the answers I needed.”
“Six years after Jerry and I met, I installed a new system in his house,” said Lehner. “It started with him helping me out and now I get to help him. “
Today, Lehner still keeps in touch with Jerry, but has moved on to become a residential and commercial service technician at Heating & Cooling Two in Maple Grove, Minn. He uses YELLOW JACKET tools everyday to deliver the high quality level of service that his customers demand of a master HVAC/R professional – the same level of quality that Jerry would have expected.
When he’s on the job, Lehner’s motto is: ‘treat each unit if it were my own.’
When there is a problem with a system, Lehner doesn’t just fix the broken part, he digs deeper to find out why the part failed in the first place. Based on this unwavering focus on the customer, Lehner has had the opportunity to meet some interesting people.
Lehner recalled a particularly memorable experience: “I showed up at the house of a retired Minnesota Vikings football player who needed the pressure tank for a boiler replaced. After I finished fixing it, he was so grateful that he helped me carry my tools back to my truck.
“We talked for a while and found out that we both really like to play old-school video games,” Lehner added. “It’s the little things like that, that make me excited to come to work. You never know what you’re going to find or, who you’re going to meet. It’s great knowing that I can really make someone’s day a lot better by doing my job.”