Spencer grew up deaf, being the first person in his entire family with this challenge. Growing up he attended a school for the deaf in Idaho that served nearly 150 students. Spencer later graduated and attended Seattle Community College where he focused his studies on Heavy Duty Diesel Mechanics. “I can tell you this,” he said. “Deaf people can do anything and everything, except hear.”
Spencer has spent his life doing different types of jobs including shipping freight, driving gravel trucks, operating cranes, and fixing forklifts. After pursuing these careers, Spencer found his way to TLNW and has been a part of the team for over 24 years. He services equipment for customers in the Seattle, Bellevue, and Monroe, Washington areas and is on call for emergency services.
A typical day for Spencer starts off with a drive to the customer’s site, where then he locates the equipment that needs service and spends his time locating and fixing mechanical issues. For larger sites, Spencer may spend a full day or a couple of days fixing equipment. The number of sites he may visit in a day depends on the need, but the most he has visited so far is 10 in one day. “I really enjoy fixing our customer’s forklift problems,” he said. “I like to make the customers happy and satisfied with my work, and the company itself. My favorite part of the job is getting to meet new people. I always make sure they are happy with the job before I leave.”
Although Spencer is deaf, he doesn’t let that stop him from what he enjoys–fixing mechanical issues on equipment. “I work side-by-side with a Hearing Technician when I visit a site,” he said. “I use the vibrations to determine what the problem is. For example, if there is a problem with the engine, I can tell what is wrong by how it is vibrating. As opposed to a Technician that can hear, who listens for the problem.” Both Spencer and the Hearing Technician work together to determine the issue.
When Spencer isn’t helping customers get their equipment back up and running, he enjoys spending his time outdoors partaking in activities such as fishing, hunting, camping, crabbing, and shrimping.
Overall, Spencer has come a long way from overcoming his challenge and has found what he enjoys doing in life. “As a deaf person, I am really proud of myself,” he said. “I have succeeded in life because I can overcome these challenges, which have made me a stronger person.”
Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication, Ricky! We are honored and proud to have you on the TLNW team!