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Meet the 2024 Mobile A/C Pioneer Award Winners [THA 368]
Episode 36822nd February 2024 • Remarkable Results Radio Podcast • Carm Capriotto, AAP
00:00:00 00:46:46

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"Individuals who have made outstanding career contributions to the mobile A/C and heat transfer industry are recognized for their work with the Mobile Air Climate Systems Pioneer Award." Recorded Live at the 2024 MACS (Mobile Air Climate Systems) Training Event & Trade Show, Carm Capriotto discusses the automotive air conditioning industry with Peter Coll and Pioneer Award Winners Larry Hays, and Tom Massey. They explore the evolution of air conditioning systems, the importance of collaboration, and the role of MACS in advancing the industry. Larry Hays' career in automotive service began in high school when his shop teacher got him a job at an independent garage. Shortly thereafter, and while still in high school, Larry took a work/study job starting at 80 cent an hour and stayed there for 5 years before moving to Dallas Smith Transport. There he got his first taste of the A/C life learning to install factory A/C in a 1962 Buick and rebuild A6 compressors at the GM Training center in El Paso, TX. After three years, Larry found his forever home at Tony M. Coury Buick in Mesa, AZ where he would go on to spend the next 40 years. In 1966 Harrison Radiator introduced their own automatic A/C system and often visited Larry from the GM Proving ground due to his close proximity.  The visits led to friendships, networking and, eventually an introduction to the likes of Paul Weissler, Jim Resutek, Ward Atkinson, and many others. In 1976, Tom Massey, an ASE certified Master Technician, started his own shop in Sioux Falls, SD. Doing A/C in South Dakota in the 1980’s, Tom was frustrated because the one fitting that was needed for the job was not available locally so, Tom started stocking A/C fittings, A/C units and other parts to be available on demand. When other shops found out that he had inventory, the business progressed to add wholesale parts & distribution. He was a distributor for ARA, AIR & later for the company that became Global Parts Distributors. Tom’s passion for A/C drew him to heat of Las Vegas in 1993 when he started Auto Air & More Inc. selling A/C parts to consumers, fleets, dealerships, and competitors as well as servicing vehicles.
Show Notes:
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  • Pioneer award winners and their contributions (00:01:00) Recognition of industry pioneers and their significant contributions, including the first board member who was a technician.
  • Challenges in automotive air conditioning systems (00:03:49) Discussion about the challenges and innovations in air conditioning systems, particularly in the context of specialized vehicles like limousines.
  • Impact of temperature on air conditioning systems (00:06:35) Explanation of the impact of high temperatures on air conditioning systems, including the need for specialized designs and heat exchange.
  • Differences in customer expectations between dealerships and independent shops (00:08:27) Comparison of customer expectations and concerns between dealership and independent shop environments.
  • Effect of climate on air conditioning systems (00:09:21) Discussion about the influence of climate, particularly humidity, on the functioning of air conditioning systems.
  • Collaboration between manufacturers and technicians (00:12:00) Importance of collaboration between manufacturers and technicians in diagnosing and addressing technical issues in air conditioning systems.
  • Role of MACS in industry collaboration (00:15:04) The significance of MACS in providing a platform for industry professionals to engage with manufacturers and address technical challenges.
  • The history of automotive air conditioning (00:16:56) Discusses the early development of automotive air conditioning systems and the valuable feedback provided by technicians.
  • Collaboration and learning at MACS (00:17:34) Highlights the importance of collaboration between manufacturers and technicians at MACS and the exchange of knowledge between different automotive brands.
  • Shop management systems (00:18:10) Emphasizes the importance of selecting the right shop management system and the benefits of customization and support.
  • Comparing equipment and industry expansion (00:19:21) Discusses the comparison of different equipment, the entry of new suppliers into the US market, and the perspective gained from evaluating different machines.
  • Challenges of retrofitting air conditioning systems (00:22:54) Addresses the challenges and potential issues associated with retrofitting air conditioning systems.
  • Testing and innovations at GM proving ground (00:26:07) Describes the testing procedures and innovations at the General Motors proving ground.
  • Industry relationships and contributions (00:28:43) Explores the relationships and contributions of industry figures, including the impact of technical bulletins and the role of influential individuals in the automotive industry.
  • Innovations and intellectual property (00:30:19) Discusses the development and sharing of innovative tools and the challenges of patenting and profiting from inventions.
  • Supplier relationships and cost savings (00:33:02) Addresses the exchange of information and prototypes with suppliers and the challenges of providing valuable input without significant compensation.
  • Innovative Ideas for Tools (00:35:11) Exploration of the search for innovative tools in the industry and the rarity of finding them.
  • Early Air Conditioning Systems (00:35:23) Anecdotes about early air conditioning systems in vintage cars, including unique features and challenges.
  • Friendship and Collaboration (00:36:42) Stories of friendship and collaboration within the air conditioning industry, emphasizing the importance of knowledge sharing.
  • Respect for Industry Professionals (00:38:13) Reflections on the respect and admiration for industry professionals, highlighting the impact of their expertise.
  • Challenges in the Industry (00:40:32) Discussion on the challenges and limited number of specialists in the air conditioning industry.
  • Parts Distribution and Inventory (00:43:38) Insights into the evolution of parts distribution and inventory management in the air conditioning industry.
  • Business Transition and Negotiation (00:45:39) Brief discussion about the possibility of business transition and negotiation in the industry.
Thanks to our Partner, NAPA TRACS NAPA TRACS will move your shop into the SMS fast lane with onsite training and six days a week of support and local representation. Find NAPA TRACS on the Web at
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