Education & Fellowship between Locksmiths
I followed my father into locksmithing and it carried me through high school and college. Put in some years as a police office and earned a helicopter pilots license. Married a beautiful girl, who in turn gave me 2 great kids. They are the reason I grew a heart. I popped open my first pick up truck in central Texas about 20 years ago and through it all have enjoyed automotive locksmithing a little more everyday. I have always desired to teach and infecting students with my enthusiasm and passion.
I started my career as an apprentice under both Stacy and Jim Hetchler in late 1996. Working with them, and running openings in my spare time, while also pursuing a career in law enforcement. Over the years I found I really enjoyed being a locksmith and decided to make it my full time job in 2003. In 2004 I started my own company, Cuting Edge Lock & Key, and was running both residential and automotive calls. I found that I enjoyed the automotive side more than the residential and decided to focus on predominantly automotive work. Over the next 13 years I specialized in automotive and high end automotive key generation. That with the help of Stacy and Jim pushed me in the direction of EEPROM work and has leads me up to where I am today. I have been doing eeprom work for approximately the last 5 years and have been instructing with just cars for the last 6 . Four of those have been as a Just Car+ instructor. I’m also proud to say I’m a part of the Just Cars board of directors.
GREG N. BRANDT
Greg has been a locksmith for over 40 years and is the owner of Brandt Locksmiths in Kansas City, Missouri. He is a life member of ALOA, and also is a member of the Missouri-Kansas Locksmith Association. He works with various specialties in the trade, including automotive locks using high security formats. He is perhaps most known with auto locksmiths for the publication Sidewinder Key Bitting, which is a comprehensive reference for high security auto keys. Greg is one of the seven original Just Cars Instructors from 2003.
Joseph has over 20 years of experience in the automotive repair industry and over 11 years of experience in automotive locksmithing. Starting at 18, he worked his way from an auto parts associate to service writer, then on to assistant manager and manager of automotive repair franchises. Joe was the first in Washington state to achieved his Certified Automotive Locksmith (CAL) designation from the Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA).
I have been a locksmith for 23 years, a 4th generation locksmith in family business that was started in 1920. I run a full service shop but specialize in Automotive Locksmithing. I am an active member and treasurer of the NC Locksmith Association, and the treasurer/secretary of the North Carolina Locksmith Licensing Board. I currently hold a Certified Master Automotive Locksmith certification and am actively working towards others.
CFL, CAL, CRL, CAI
Retired Deputy Chief of Police Schererville, former Special Agent U.S. Air Force Reserve-Office of Special Investigations. Retired USAF Security Forces, Bachelor’s Degree, Oakland City University, Just Cars Instructor, owner of Lockout Express LLC Locksmith (Dyer, Indiana) established 1993.
Andrew Alchin is a certified master locksmith in Australia and is a qualified forensic investigator who specializes in Automotive Locksmithing. He started his locksmithing business in 1989 which has now grown to employ twelve staff.
He leads a team of fully qualified locksmiths who he has trained since they were apprentices.
His highly skilled team services all of Adelaide in fully equipped mobile service trucks providing a full on-site service.
I have been in Locksmithing since 1993. I am a certified journeyman Locksmith and I have been involved with Just Cars since Daytona.
Ben Turner is a veteran instructor at Just cars and teaches an accredited course on wafer lock reading in his home state of Tennessee. His company, Lock Medic, is entering its 15th year in business. He is an all-purpose locksmith, providing service to customers that range from national safe manufacturers, international auctions, mom and pop businesses, civic organizations, local government and everything in between. He is the father of a precocious 2 year old who shows all signs of growing up just like his dad, domestic partner to a French Canadian who is desperately trying to teach him some manners, and in his spare time (haha) enjoys flying airplanes and taking apart Subarus and almost putting them back together.
My first taste of locksmithing was when I was living in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. I began to cross over the border and work with a locksmith for free because I was fascinated with the trade. I was a quick study, and soon he was sending me out on my own and paying me.
After he closed down the business, I moved to Arkansas and went into business for myself. I had a 1200, a duplicator, and AutoSmart. I am an AutoSmart trained locksmith. I cut my teeth pulling door panels at BHPH lots and shops.
What took me over the top as an automotive locksmith, was learning through online association with the best of the best, and training at Just Cars. For example, here are just some of the members of KeyPro: Michael Hyde, (AutoSmart) Josh Heath, (The Transponder Book) Stacy Hetchler (Advanced Automotive Immobilizer Programming) Jason Frank, Chad Edwards, Jay Barker, Sean Preuss, and Jeremy Phillips to name only a few.
Do you want to to maximize your profit in this profession? Learn to do what others cannot, and charge accordingly.
I first became familiar with locksmithing in Montana when my father took the Belsaw home locksmith course in the late 70’s. For many years dad ran a part-time, after-hours lock service while owning an automotive body repair shop. After moving to Oregon in the late 80’s dad continued to work on cars as an auto tech for several new car dealerships. After high school, I went to work for dad, who was now working from home as an auto tech and locksmith. Our current company, SOS Lock Service, was started in 1993 and I was able to go to full time employment as a locksmith in 1997.
With our history in auto repair, we took on any and all automotive door, lock, steering column and security repairs. With the addition of transponders in US market cars, we quickly saw the need to service these systems with the purchase of an ASP TCL-1 and Ford NGS. American Auto lock originally got us into the EEPROM game with their MCP programmer for Toyota and Honda “flashing”. I love to buy tools and have tried to stay ahead of the transponder niche as much as possible. Unfortunately, this has often meant buying the original dealer equipment and the associated hair-pulling that goes along with setting up and keeping 30+ scan tools updated and working.
Today, we still run a full service lock shop with my father and mother, my wife, and 5 of our friends doing every type of job that comes through the door. However, the bulk of our work is now automotive programming. Our 2nd entity, SOS Diagnostics, focuses more on the wholesale automotive market, programming ECU’s for local shops or shipping them to shops around the world. Other services include; EEPROM restoration (data corruption fixed), ECU and instrument cluster repairs, unlocking and/or programming used ECU’s, closed system key programming, and technical support.
The community on Keypro.info has always been a great help to us and have enjoyed it from its early days on the web. The first Just Cars event I was able to attend was in Phoenix, AZ and have been hooked since. Keypro members had a lot to do with the introduction of the automotive locksmith certification by ALOA and I was happy to have the opportunity to be present for the first offering of the CAL test at ALOA in Las Vegas.
The Just Cars events are hands down the best opportunity for automotive locksmiths to develop their field of expertise. On top of the knowledge you gain at the shows, the friendships and contacts you make are invaluable once returning home to work. I look forward to seeing you at Just Cars.
Just Cars Auto Expo 2020
Caribe Royale Orlando
This year we celebrate 17 years by returning to the beautiful Caribe Royale in Orlando, Florida on April 24-25, 2020. The show floor will be open April 24 & 25 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and educational classes are schedule starting April 23rd thru 26th at different times throughout those days.